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Jilly_in_VA's Journal
Jilly_in_VA's Journal
February 18, 2022

Hiatus brain: When your favorite show returns, but you can't remember a thing

Last week the premiere date for the final season of Better Call Saul was announced: The first half is set to air on AMC starting in April, and the second half will premiere in August. At first, I was elated; this has been one of my absolute favorite shows of the past several years, the rare exercise in capitalizing on a pre-existing franchise that's actually managed to distinguish itself as a great endeavor in its own right.

But quickly, a realization set in. I have zero recollection of where the show last left off. Honestly, I not certain I'd be able to tell you anything plot-related that occurred throughout Season 5. That season concluded April 20, 2020 – exactly two years minus two days from the upcoming launch of Season 6.

Two years might as well be an eternity for a show like Better Call Saul, where significant details tend to be doled out piecemeal via deliberately paced plotlines. All I have are fuzzy memories of long scenes spent with Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler combing through legal documents, Kim joining in on Jimmy's elaborate scams but eventually becoming exasperated by them, and Nacho Varga partaking in a nighttime home invasion that I think might have involved some tunneling? Maybe? Also, Gus Fring did some things, and so did Mike Ehrmantraut. I'm 99 percent certain Walter White and Jesse Pinkman still haven't entered the picture yet, though.

I could totally be imagining all or some or most of these things. Like I said, I'm fuzzy on the details. I think I've got what I'll call "hiatus brain."

This will be me when "Outlander" returns

February 18, 2022

A grand jury indicts multiple Austin police officers for injuries during 2020 protests

A Travis County grand jury is expected to indict "multiple" Austin Police officers accused of injuring people during the 2020 protests over the killing of George Floyd.

In announcing the indictments, Travis County District Attorney José Garza said "multiple indictments will be forthcoming in the days ahead,” but did not specify how many. The Austin American-Statesman reports 19 police officers have been indicted.

“An indictment handed down by a grand jury is a preliminary decision that probable cause exists to believe a crime was committed,” Garza said during a news conference Thursday. “It is not a statement as to the guilt or innocence of any person indicted. That determination will not be made until much later in the process.”

A Travis County special grand jury had been tasked with deciding whether there was probable cause to find law enforcement officers acted criminally during the 2020 protests. Garza said Thursday the jury had concluded its work and that indictments were expected, though they couldn't be made public until the officers were booked in the county jail.

Garza described the facts discovered during the investigation as “disturbing.”


February 18, 2022

Winter Olympics: Kamila Valieva treatment by entourage 'chilling' - IOC

It was "chilling" to see the "cold" way distraught Kamila Valieva was treated by her Russian coach after falls in her figure skating routine at Beijing 2022, says International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

Valieva, weighed down by a doping scandal and questions over the wisdom of allowing her to compete, came fourth on Thursday after several mistakes.

There was no hug and no comfort for the 15-year-old from coach Eteri Tutberidze when she immediately came off the ice, instead she was asked "why did you stop fighting?"

Valieva was favourite to win the women's event, having set several world records in the short time since she made her senior debut in October. She had led after Tuesday's short programme but the series of falls and messy landings on Thursday ruled her out of a podium finish.

"When I saw how she was received by her closest entourage with what appeared to be a tremendous coldness, it was chilling to see this, rather than giving her comfort, rather than to try to help her," said Bach.

Tutberidze, whose training methods were already under the spotlight, did put her arm around the young Russian while she waited for her score. But moments before that had demanded to know: "Why did you let it go? Explain it to me, why?"

Bach said he was "very, very disturbed" by what he had seen when watching the competition on television.

"All of this does not give me much confidence in this closest entourage of Kamila, neither with regard to what happened in the past, nor as far as it concerns the future," he added.

"How to deal, how to address, how to treat a minor athlete at the age of 15 under such an obvious mental stress."

Comment below, too long for up here. Please read the ENTIRE artlcle (I know, long) before commenting.

February 17, 2022

Heartbreak and Concern for Kamila Valieva Overshadow Figure Skating Competition

There will be a medal ceremony. But nobody imagined it would happen like this.

In a shocking turn of events at the women's free skate Thursday, Kamila Valieva, the Russian national champion and the overwhelming favorite coming into the Beijing Olympics, faltered in the worst performance of her elite career.

Reeling from days of media scrutiny after her positive doping test became public, Valieva fell multiple times during her free skate and walked off the ice in tears, finishing fourth. She was heartbroken; compatriots Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova, who came in first and second, respectively, were stunned. Trusova sobbed, her makeup running down her face.

Japan's Kaori Sakamoto, sixth at the most recent world championships, won the bronze with an incredible performance. Her tears were joyful.

But their victories are sadly overshadowed by the week's events and the toll they have taken on one young athlete. After it was revealed last week that Valieva had tested positive for a banned heart medication and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that she could still compete at these Olympics, the spotlight on her shone brighter than it ever should have.

The situation, likely the result of child neglect and an institutional failure to wrangle Russia's doping problem, tainted the free skate competition—how could the other figure skaters compete knowing their biggest competition had potentially cheated? Thursday's result, though, highlighted the fact that no one is more damaged by this than one 15-year-old girl.


February 17, 2022

North Carolina Poultry Frenzy: 500 Million Birds and "Zero Transparency"

Thirty years ago, North Carolina gained the dubious distinction of having the largest hog slaughterhouse in the world. Two eastern North Carolina counties, Duplin and Sampson, became synonymous with environmental racism when it came to light that the lower-income residents of these largely Black, American Indian, and Latino counties were outnumbered by hogs 40 to 1.

But even here in North Carolina, in America’s most densely populated swine areas, hog is no longer the boss of industrial farming. After massive expansion in recent years, poultry now trumps pig production in scale and economic impact and is increasingly seen as a threat to the environment and human health, chiefly because of the runoff of poultry waste into the state’s waterways.

Each year, North Carolina farmers raise more than 500 million chickens and turkeys, compared to 9 million hogs. The exact number of industrial-scale poultry farms is hard to pin down because there is no official state record of their locations. The best available data comes from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which uses aerial surveillance and satellite imagery to track and identify facilities across 17 watersheds in the state.

A joint report with the Waterkeeper Alliance revealed expansion at a breakneck pace, with poultry operations steadily spreading west from their original stronghold in the eastern part of the state. From 2008 to 2016, the state added about 60 new poultry farms each year. That number doubled between 2016 and 2018, with more than 120 poultry farms added annually, and in 2020 roughly 1,000 new large-scale poultry operations were added. The state now has more than 6,500 poultry CAFOs, nearly triple the number of hog farms. This boom happened because of a quirk in state law that leaves the poultry industry largely unregulated, particularly in terms of the waste its farms generate.


February 17, 2022

Judge tosses George Zimmerman's lawsuit against Trayvon Martin's parents

A judge in Florida has dismissed a defamation and conspiracy lawsuit former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman had filed against the parents of Trayvon Martin, the teen he fatally shot almost a decade ago in a case that drew international attention about race and gun violence.

Judge John Cooper in Tallahassee dismissed all counts against all defendants in the lawsuit filed by Zimmerman against Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin; attorney Ben Crump, who had represented the family; and others.

In his order, the judge wrote that Zimmerman had failed to show “any fraudulent representation” and said any further arguments in the case would be futile.

“There can be no claim for conspiracy to defraud if there is no adequately stated claim for fraud,” Cooper wrote in the order filed more than two weeks ago.

The other defendants in the lawsuit included HarperCollins Publishers, which had published a book Martin’s parents wrote about the case; Brittany Diamond Eugene; and Rachel Jeantel.

Holy sh*t, this guy is a waste of time....and space!

February 17, 2022

Feds say Oath Keepers plot went beyond Jan. 6 attack on Capitol

A federal judge on Wednesday expressed skepticism about releasing the founder of the right-wing Oath Keepers organization ahead of his trial on seditious conspiracy charges in connection with the Jan. 6 riot, as prosecutors revealed new evidence about the plot and how it extended beyond the U.S. Capitol attack.

Elmer Stewart Rhodes III was arrested in January, charged along with several other Oath Keepers in a seditious conspiracy case that alleges they "planned to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power" and keep former President Donald Trump in office.

The feds said that Rhodes — who was on the grounds of the Capitol on Jan. 6 — had helped organize “quick reaction forces“ (QRFs), including at a hotel in nearby Virginia.

A federal magistrate judge in Texas ordered Rhodes held until trial last month, and his attorneys appealed. Since his first detention hearing, Rhodes testified before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.

Federal authorities argued before Judge Amit P. Mehta on Wednesday that there were no conditions of release that would reasonably assure the safety of the community and Rhodes’ future court appearances.


February 17, 2022

Kamila Valieva's Olympic dream falls apart as Anna Shcherbakova wins gold

The haunting strains of Ravel’s Bolero rang out across Capital Indoor Stadium, but for once Kamila Valieva was unable to weave her spell.

The 15-year-old Russian is widely recognised as the greatest figure skater in history but, with Olympic glory on the line, the trials and tumult of the past week caught up with her over the longest four minutes and 20 seconds of her life.

The initial signs were not encouraging as she under-rotated on her first element, a quad salchow. But having then landed a triple axel, Valieva’s routine suddenly fell apart with two heavy falls – first on a quad toe loop and triple toe loop combination, and then again on another quad toe loop combination.

The crowd clapped and tried to rally her. And rally she did. But the damage had been done. And despite leading after Tuesday’s short programme, Valieva’s performance in Thursday’s free programme dropped her down to fourth with an overall score of 224.09.

As Valieva stepped off the ice, visibly distressed, her coach Eteri Tutberidze barked at her: “Why did you let it go? Explain to me, why? Why did you stop fighting? You let it go after that axel. Why?”

For minutes afterwards Valieva sat in the kiss and cry booth, unable to comprehend what had happened. She was not the only one.

I told you that coach was a fcuking monster! The kid is 15...let her cry!

February 17, 2022

Minimum ages for figure skaters? Some at the Beijing Olympics say it's a good idea

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva finished her short program routine earlier this week and promptly burst into tears. After skating off the ice, the emotional Valieva grabbed a stuffed animal her coach handed her and waited to be judged. She ended the program in first place.

For days leading up to her event, the 15-year-old skater faced intense scrutiny after a pre-Games doping violation came to light. She was still allowed to compete at the women's figure skating final on Thursday despite this violation, and ultimately placed fourth after multiple stumbles.

Valieva's participation in the Games after the positive test was met with harsh criticism — but even some of these critics say that ultimately the teen doesn't bear all of the blame here. At such a young age, Valieva is being guided by a team of adults — officials and coaches that make decisions for her.

Former Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon recently criticized Valieva's team. Rippon coaches U.S. figure skater Mariah Bell.

"Valieva is 15. I doubt very much she knowingly doped. She's a minor. The adults completely failed her," he told NPR.

I would prefer that all Olympic athletes be at least 18.

February 17, 2022

Inside a Massive Human Smuggling Ring Led by US Marines

yron Law knew what he was doing was illegal. But the money was too good to pass up. On the morning of July 3, 2019, the 20-year-old and his friend headed out for another run in Law’s black BMW, eager to make some extra cash before the long holiday weekend. With any luck, they’d be finished by lunch.

Law pulled onto a dirt patch on the side of the highway about seven miles north of the U.S.–Mexico border. Somewhere in the vast expanse of sand, shrubs, and granite rock, two men and a woman emerged from their hiding spot, ran down the hill, and hopped into the backseat of Law’s car. They each carried a backpack. Their shoes were covered in grass and dirt.

For the hundreds of migrants crossing into the U.S. without permission each day, the border itself is just the beginning: Next are a hundred miles of checkpoints on roads and highways that stretch well into the interior of Texas, Arizona, and California. To reach their destination, migrants rely on smugglers hiding them along the way, inside of dump trucks, tractor trailers, even coffins, to evade detection.

But Law and his friend weren’t just any smugglers. They were U.S. Marines, sworn to uphold the values and laws of the U.S.

Law was one of more than a dozen Marines in the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton who started smuggling migrants into the U.S. in the spring and summer of 2019—even while thousands of their fellow Marines were deployed to the border to shore up security. At their peak, according to court records, they were going on multiple runs a week, coordinating among themselves to see who was free to go, and making excuses to get out of training exercises in order to make a few hundred dollars.

The why and wherefore are the interesting part.

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Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 06:34 PM
Number of posts: 9,758

About Jilly_in_VA

Navy brat-->University fac brat. All over-->Wisconsin-->TN-->VA. RN (ret), married, grandmother of 11. Progressive since birth. My mouth may be foul but my heart is wide open.

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