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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 6,733

About Me

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.

Journal Archives

Hendersonville political pundit denies working for Russian state-run media

Scottie Nell Hughes is well-aware of the tweets.

“You are quite literally working for Putin. Your actions will not be forgotten,” one man tweeted at her.

“I wonder if North Korea will hire Scottie Nell Hughes now,” tweeted another.

The vitriol toward the Hendersonville resident has increased so much that she’s now placed her Twitter account on safety mode, a temporary block to keep away what she describes as hatred towards her and all the employees of the now-shuttered RT America.

The network, funded by the Russian government, abruptly shut down this month after carriers from Roku to DirecTV dropped it from their platforms following the invasion of Ukraine.

“I do know that there was so much hate that was being targeted – not only to myself but my colleagues – obviously people that were from other countries, including Russia,” Hughes said.

In its coverage of RT America’s closure, CNN described the network as “one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s main mouthpieces in the US.”

Dr. Robert W. Orttung, research professor of International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, said RT, the main network of Russia’s state-run media, routinely promotes Russia propaganda about the invasion of Ukraine.

Sorry, ya wee snowflake, but you ARE working for the Russian propaganda machine!

'Turning Red' spurs debate about double standards in film criticism

“Turning Red,” Pixar’s first feature-length film directed by an Asian woman, received strongly favorable reviews overall by film critics and audience members — but not without some criticizing it as too “alienating” and “narrow.”

The coming-of-age story follows a 13-year-old Chinese Canadian, Meilin, who must learn how to navigate puberty and be a dutiful daughter. She has an ancestral connection to red pandas and is imbued with the ability to turn into the animal when she feels intense emotions.

The film, directed by Academy Award winner Domee Shi and starring Sandra Oh (as Meilin's mother), was rated 95 percent certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and was ranked 12 out of 26 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of Pixar films. The overall critics' consensus on the website was positive and read: “Heartwarming, humorous, beautifully animated, and culturally expansive, Turning Red extends Pixar’s long list of family-friendly triumphs."

But a Twitter user pointed out the discrepancy between critics and the public, with some viewers saying it’s “targeted to a specific audience” and “wildly inappropriate."

One viewer on Rotten Tomatoes said the film was “totally unrelatable to the general population,” while another said it was “crude” to talk about puberty; both gave the film one star.

Some of the criticism surrounds the idea of encouraging teenage rebellion, but a number of viewers and critics are pointing out some of the double standards in the criticism and how race and gender might play into the idea of not being relatable.

This really brings the question of "Who is doing the loudest screaming and why?" Let's talk about that.

How the biggest pro-Trump Republicans seriously misread the Russia moment

In late January, as Russia’s troops amassed along Ukraine’s borders, many of the GOP’s most Trump-friendly figures preached caution over confrontation. According to Axios’ reporting, the GOP’s up-and-comers feared they would “alienate the base” of the Republican Party by pushing too hard against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his ambitions for Europe. They thought they had their finger on the pulse of an ascendant movement within the Republican Party. They were wrong.

“You’d think we would have learned our lesson by now when it comes to policing the world and ‘democracy building’ thousands of miles away,” said Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters. “I gotta be honest with you, I don't really care what happens to Ukraine one way or another,” Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance asserted, citing domestic border security and opioid addiction as more pressing national emergencies. Even after Moscow moved troops into Ukraine, the avatars of populist Republicanism continued to remind right-wing voters that they should care more about cultural conflict than the real thing. “Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him? Has he shipped every middle-class job in my town to Russia?” Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked incredulously. “Is he teaching my children to embrace racial discrimination? Is he making fentanyl? Is he trying to snuff out Christianity? Does he eat dogs?”

If the aperture through which you view conservative politics is narrowed to the point that it is limited to only Trump’s presidency, this is a defensible political strategy. After all, the former president still enjoys the affection of a critical mass of Republican voters, and Trump’s rhetoric when it came to Russia was reliably favorable toward Putin. But the MAGA wing of the GOP misjudged the mood on the American right when it came to Russia.

When President Joe Biden gifted Putin a bipartisan summit in June 2021, CBS News/YouGov found 62 percent of Republicans described the Russian leader as “unfriendly” or “an enemy.” Fully two-thirds of GOP respondents agreed with the idea that Biden “should take a tough stand” against Russia. In late January, the Pew Research Center found that this sentiment had not abated. Most self-identified Republicans called Russia a “competitor,” while another 39 percent described Russia as an “enemy.” Moreover, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to say Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s border represented either a “major” or “minor threat” to U.S. interests.

Last month, on the eve of Russia’s invasion, another CBS News/YouGov survey found that only 9 percent of Republicans supported Russia over Ukraine while nearly 60 percent of Republicans accused Biden of being “too friendly” toward Putin. And today, with Russia on the march, Quinnipiac pollsters found that 74 percent of GOP voters don’t think Biden’s response to the invasion of Ukraine has been tough enough. Two-thirds of Republican respondents support accepting Ukrainian refugees into the country and the same number back a ban on importing Russian oil, even if it means higher prices at the pump.


Ghost Army honored with gold medal, but who were they?

It could have been a scene from a Hollywood movie. The set looked real. The actors played their parts perfectly. They had everyone fooled.

Instead, the scene was set behind enemy lines in France and later Germany during 1944 and 1945. They may have been actors, but they also were soldiers risking their lives in an attempt to lure Nazi troops away from advancing U.S. forces.

Very few outside the unit knew about the work done by the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops during World War II because the project was a highly guarded and effective tool of warfare.

The soldiers in the 23rd, also known as the Ghost Army were sworn to secrecy in case the Army planned to use the tactic in future wars. Not even their families knew what they did.

Fifty years later, the top-secret missions were declassified and documents pertaining to the 23rd’s actions released, leaving soldiers free to talk about one of the Army's most successful missions. It took another 25 years before their work was recognized by Congress.

I never heard of these guys until today, but what a great story!

How 'Saint Javelin' raised over $1m for Ukraine

A Canadian marketer who had planned to raise a humble few hundred dollars for a charity helping relief efforts in Ukraine has found himself the creator of a viral marketing campaign that has so far earned well over C$1m ($783,000; £600,000) using the unlikeliest of images - a rocket-armed saint.

Christian Borys helped develop the image - known as "Saint Javelin" - which depicts the Virgin Mary cradling a US-made FGM-148 anti-tank weapon. These missiles are among the arms being sent by Western allies to Ukrainian forces to aid in their fight.

The marketer and ex-journalist said the response to the campaign, which sells the image on everything from tote bags to sweatshirts, flags and stickers, has been "overwhelming", with thousands of orders coming in each day.

He now plans for the "Saint Javelin" campaign to become a full-time effort and hopes to hire permanent staff so it can continue to support reconstruction efforts for decades after the current conflict ends.

The Toronto-based Mr Borys, 35, is no stranger to Ukraine and its people, and is of Ukrainian heritage.

From 2014 to 2018, he freelanced for a variety of media outlets - including the BBC - from the country, where he says he was particularly moved by the plight of widows and orphans from the conflict in Donbas in eastern Ukraine, which began in 2014 when separatists, backed by Moscow, seized parts of the region.


Texas judge hears case on state's transgender care investigations

A Texas judge is holding a hearing Friday on whether to prevent state officials from investigating reports of transgender youth receiving gender-affirming care as child abuse.

The hearing comes the same day that dozens of major companies — including Apple, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Meta and Microsoft — criticized the Texas directive in a full-page ad in the Dallas Morning News.

“The recent attempt to criminalize a parent for helping their transgender child access medically necessary, age-appropriate healthcare in the state of Texas goes against the values of our companies,” read the ad, which used the headline “DISCRIMINATION IS BAD FOR BUSINESS.”

District Judge Amy Clark Meachum will hear Friday from attorneys for the state and the parents of a 16-year-old girl who were being investigated by the Department of Family and Protective Services over such care.


Conservatives Try to Hold Up Ukraine Aid for Bulls**t Reason

Just days before Russia invaded Ukraine, a small group of Republican lawmakers seized on Russia’s buildup of troops on the Ukrainian border to make a tenuous point about a situation 6,600 miles away: President Joe Biden needs to do something about the southern border of the United States.

The conservative group of lawmakers introduced legislation tying military assistance to Ukraine with the status of the U.S.-Mexican border.

You may think conservatives would abandon their politically performative legislation after Russian President Vladimir Putin actually mounted his attack: His forces have been killing civilians and attacking Ukrainian cities for two weeks now. Just this Wednesday Russian forces bombed a Ukrainian maternity hospital.

But in spite of the carnage, many of these Republicans are doubling down.

Rep. Bob Good (R-VA), one of the original cosponsors of the bill, said he “absolutely” still wants to move the proposal forward, even though aid to Ukraine is needed now more than ever.

“I do support aid for Ukraine. However, I support this,” Good told The Daily Beast this week.

He confirmed he thinks the Biden administration should handle the southern border first before Ukraine, and said the greatest responsibility of the federal government is the safety and security of the United States

Bob Bad and Gooser are examples of "what's wrong with this picture?"

Heartless Text Sent Days After AG Killed Man With His Car

Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg ran down and killed a pedestrian on Sept. 12, 2020. This week, South Dakota Department of Public Safety Secretary Craig Price said Ravnsborg received a text message from an unnamed political consultant less than two days after the crash that commented on the political party of Joe Boever, the 55-year-old man that Ravnsborg, a first-term Republican, had killed.

“Well, at least the guy was a Democrat,” the message read.

Price, in a letter to Speaker of the South Dakota House of Representatives Spencer Gosch, said a study of text messages between the Attorney General and advisers and staff members reveal “disparaging and offensive statements regarding other law enforcement officers, judges, a Supreme Court justice, a legislator, prosecutors, staff members, a former attorney general, and a United States senator.”

Price posted the letter on Twitter Wednesday and also issued a press release, as Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration continues to apply pressure in an effort to remove the attorney general.

All of these people are scum

How an Election Conspiracy Theory Led Back to Georgia Cops

An election conspiracy that went viral on right-wing news sites and was promoted by former President Donald Trump has been debunked by security footage obtained exclusively by VICE News.

In May 2021 in Fulton County, Georgia, an alarm was triggered in an election warehouse that stored ballots and voting machines from the 2020 presidential election. A photo taken of an open door at the warehouse was used by conspiracy theorists and right-wing media to claim that the 2020 election was, indeed, insecure. But through a series of interviews and Freedom of Information Act requests, VICE News found that it wasn’t election workers who opened that door—it was off-duty police officers.

The warehouse had become a site of contention earlier that year, as lawyers and pro-Trump activitsts sued Fulton County multiple times to review the absentee ballots. As part of the fourth lawsuit brought against the county, a judge ordered that Fulton County Sheriff's department provide round-the-clock watch of the warehouse to ensure no one was tampering with ballots.

That protection was not enough for Bob Cheeley, one of the lawyers who filed suit against Fulton County. Cheeley decided to hire off-duty sheriff’s deputies from neighboring Douglas County to do their own surveillance of the warehouse. The deputies were hired through T&T Security, a private security company. They were tasked with sitting across the street from the warehouse and monitoring any potentially unusual activity.

Election workers at the warehouse, already on high alert after being subject to months of violent threats from Trump supporters who believed the election was stolen, were uneasy about the off-duty sheriffs watching them exit and enter the building.


South Dakota AG impeachment committee meets amid new claims

A South Dakota House committee examining whether Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg should be impeached for his conduct after killing a pedestrian with his car in 2020 will meet Thursday to plan how to wrap up its investigation, with fresh allegations from one of Gov. Kristi Noem's top officials.

Lawmakers planned to meet in a closed-door session to discuss how to deliver a report on their investigation and whether to recommend impeachment charges to their House colleagues. Speaker Spencer Gosch, a Republican overseeing the committee, said lawmakers will focus on what their “next step is.”

That discussion may be complicated by a letter the committee received Wednesday from Craig Price, Noem’s public safety secretary who oversaw the crash investigation. The letter said Ravnsborg had been pulled over for traffic offenses eight times between taking office in 2019 and the fatal crash, including five in which he either identified himself as the attorney general or displayed a badge.

Although he wasn’t ticketed for any of those eight stops, Ravnsborg previously accumulated eight traffic tickets since 2014, including six speeding tickets.

The letter irked some members of the committee as an intrusion into their deliberations, even as it raised new allegations about Ravnsborg's conduct beyond the scope of the crash.

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