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Jilly_in_VA's Journal
Jilly_in_VA's Journal
March 15, 2023

Aggressive policing in Memphis goes far beyond the Scorpion Unit

Reginald Dean took a long pull on his cigarette and leaned against the wall near the sliding doors of the Dollar General just as the store was closing.

It was April of last year in a neighborhood not far from the airport. As Dean recounted it, he was waiting for a ride home with a friend, the store’s assistant manager, who was still inside counting the cash in the register before locking the doors.

Two Memphis police squad cars pulled into the parking lot. Within minutes, three officers began beating and kicking Dean, leaving blood on the concrete, according to store surveillance video his family obtained. One of them doused him with pepper spray, a police report said.

“I’ve been on this earth 31 years and never been arrested,” said Dean, a former Navy mechanic. “They had no reason to do this. And they’re out here doing this to people every day.”

Surveillance video from a Dollar General store in Memphis showed that three Memphis police officers beat and kicked Reginald Dean, pictured, in April 2022.
Dean’s violent encounter with police happened months before Tyre Nichols died after police beat him during a traffic stop in January this year. The incident brought widespread scrutiny of the Memphis Police Department’s Scorpion unit, which was supposed to target violent crime. Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis disbanded the squad after critics said it frequently used heavy-handed and even unconstitutional tactics.

But the officers who beat Dean weren’t from Scorpion. They weren’t even from the organized crime unit Scorpion was part of. They were regular patrol officers.


March 15, 2023

Bill in TN legislature would strengthen 'divisive concept' laws in schools

A bill making its way through the Tennessee legislature is meant to strengthen rules passed last year that can change how schools approach teaching many kinds of lessons in social justice, racial inequity, political science, social work, psychology and many other fields.

In 2022, lawmakers passed rules that allow state leaders to withhold funding for schools that teach about social, cultural and legal issues related to race and racism. Most of those concepts focus on how the impact of racism affects people today.

The law also specified that schools can teach about ethnic groups' histories as described in textbooks and instructional materials. Educators can also only teach about controversial aspects of history, such as racial oppression or slavery, as long those discussions are impartial.

The bill, HB 1376, was introduced by Representative John Ragan (R - Oak Ridge). He said that it was meant to strengthen the law passed in 2022 by "promoting freedom of expression," and keep "colleges about advancing knowledge, not about advancing political or social agendas."

It would require institutions to publish a syllabus for each course offered in the semester on its website, meant to assess whether a "divisive concept" may be included in the curriculum.


Please explain to me how the cornbread hell you can have an "impartial" discussion of slavery or Jim Crow laws.

March 14, 2023

An Ivermectin Influencer Died. Now His Followers Are Worried About Their Own 'Severe' Symptoms.

Just before 7 am on March 3, Danny Lemoi posted an update in his hugely popular pro-ivermectin Telegram group, Dirt Road Discussions: “HAPPY FRIDAY ALL YOU POISONOUS HORSE PASTE EATING SURVIVORS !!!”

Hours later, Lemoi was dead.

For the last decade, Lemoi had taken a daily dose of veterinary ivermectin, a dewormer designed to be used on large animals like horses and cows. In 2021, as ivermectin became a popular alternative COVID-19 treatment among anti-vaxxers, he launched what became one of the largest Telegram channels dedicated to promoting the use of it, including instructions on how to administer ivermectin to children.

But despite Lemoi’s death, the administrators of his channel are pushing his misinformation—even as his followers share their own worrying possible side effects from taking ivermectin and some question the safety of the drug.

Lemoi, a heavy equipment operator who lived in Foster, Rhode Island, “passed away unexpectedly” on March 3, according to an online obituary post by his family last week. He was survived by his parents and brother. The obituary gave no details about the cause of his death.


~SMDH~ Draw your own conclusions.

March 14, 2023

'It just boggles my mind' 4.0 GPA student at UT leaving school for the military due to housing cos

'It just boggles my mind' | 4.0 GPA student at UT leaving school for the military due to housing costs

Arabella Sarver grew up in East Tennessee, and so when she walked across the stage for her high school graduation, she dreamed of attending the University of Tennessee.

"It was the only place I applied to, got admitted. I was so ready for this," she said. "I never thought it would be this hard to get an education."

She said that after finishing her semester, she is leaving the school and enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. She said she wasn't picked in the university's raffle system for housing, and she couldn't afford the rent prices in Knoxville — if she could even find a place to live.

"First-generation, working class does not have thousands to fall back on," she said. "I have had many people reach out to me who want to go to UT and my number-one response to them has been, 'Don't go here.'"

Around ten years ago, UT received around 17,000 applications. That number climbed to around 49,000 applications this year. They called it their "most competitive pool" in UT history.


Read on. It gets worse. UT is going to have to be like Cal-Berkeley and take only the top, forcing the rest to go to state schools or community colleges and transfer in.

March 9, 2023

Former Navajo Nation leader Peterson Zah dies at age 85

Peterson Zah, a Navajo Nation leader who guided the tribe through a politically tumultuous era and worked tirelessly to correct wrongdoings against Native Americans, has died.

Zah died late on Tuesday at a hospital in Fort Defiance, Arizona, after a lengthy illness, his family and the tribe announced. He was 85.

In 1990, Zah was the first president elected on the Navajo Nation, the largest tribal reservation in the US, after the government was restructured. At the time, the tribe was reeling from a deadly riot incited by Zah’s rival, former chairman Peter MacDonald, a year earlier.

Zah vowed to rebuild the tribe and to support family and education, speaking with people in ways that imparted mutual respect, said his longtime friend Eric Eberhard.

Zah, Eberhard said, was as comfortable representing Navajos in Washington DC as he was driving his old pickup truck round the reservation and sitting on the ground, listening to people who were struggling.

“People trusted him, they knew he was honest,” Eberhard said.


Walking the Beauty Way now.

March 9, 2023

Texas Tech's men's basketball coach resigns after making racially insensitive comments

Texas Tech coach Mark Adams, who had been suspended recently for racially insensitive comments made toward one of his players, resigned shortly after the Red Raiders were eliminated from the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday night.

Second-year assistant Corey Williams had led the Red Raiders in their 78-62 loss to West Virginia.

The incident involving Adams occurred in a meeting with a player, who wasn't identified, Texas Tech said Sunday in announcing his suspension. The school said Adams "was encouraging the student-athlete to be more receptive to coaching and referenced Bible verses about workers, teachers, parents, and slaves serving their masters."

Red Raiders athletic director Kirby Hocutt learned of the incident last Friday and issued a written reprimand, and Adams coached them in a regular season-ending loss to Oklahoma State the next day. But after Hocutt investigated the situation further, he decided to suspend Adams just three days before the start of the Big 12 Tournament.


I kinda don't think they would have suspended him if this weren't part of a pattern, no matter what he says.

March 9, 2023

Adults complained about a teen theater production and the show's creators stepped in

Is high school theater the next battleground in the culture war?

In Florida, Indiana, Kansas and Pennsylvania plays and musicals have been challenged or canceled recently. Parents or school officials have complained that the content isn't family friendly.

One such case is a production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Cardinal High School in Middlefield, Ohio. But there, the story took a different turn.

Spelling Bee is a musical that debuted on Broadway in 2005, ran for nearly three years and won two Tony Awards. High schools love the show and perform it often. Teens get to play characters who are close to their own ages and experiences.

"A lot of the kids [in the show] are dealing with problems at home or self-image issues," says Cardinal High School senior Riley Matchinga. She was cast as Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, a competitor in the spelling bee who has two gay dads.

"Carl Dad is kind of drill sergeant with spelling," explains Matchinga, "He wants his daughter to be super successful and win, win, win. Where Dan is more like 'Ok, it's time for a break. We can let her chill out for a little bit.'"


Whyizzit that one or two supposed "adults" can screw up everything for the kids? HMMMMMMM?

March 9, 2023

Human rights defender helps resettle 11 women athletes from Afghanistan to Knoxville

A champion for human rights from Afghanistan now calls Knoxville her home. Her mission is to welcome and resettle 11 women athletes from Afghanistan to Knoxville. She said their lives have been at a standstill since the Taliban took over.

Samira Asghari is a human rights defender, as well as the first and only female appointer Afghan member of the International Olympic Committee. She is also an athlete. She served as captain of the Afghanistan women's national basketball team.

Her fellow teammates sought refuge when the Taliban took power, and she jumped to help them.

"They are athletes, and in the end, they are my teammates. We are not giving up," she said.

Asghari united and gathered the names of athletes who needed help

That list of names became known as "Samira's list" and holds the names and stories of female athletes in search of justice, equality and the game of basketball;


Home of the legendary Pat Summitt. How fitting! Good news from Tennessee for a change!

March 8, 2023

There's no libertarian approach to preventing the end of the world

By Haydn Belfield

Peter Thiel — tech billionaire, libertarian polemicist, Trump donor — recently gave a speech at the Oxford Union, one of the oldest and most prestigious student debating societies in the world, to kick off its 200th year. That’s hardly news — we’ve all heard Thiel’s spiel many times before on campus conformity and how only tech can save us.

But my ears pricked up this time as he specifically criticized my field. I’m an existential risk researcher at Cambridge University, where my colleagues and I study the risks from nuclear and biological weapons, climate change, and emerging technology such as synthetic biology and artificial intelligence. All of these technologies pose incredibly high risks — we think it’s plausible that one or more of them could lead to civilizational collapse or extinction, affecting everyone alive today. As many in the effective altruism community have argued, I think tackling these risks is a key priority of our time.

Thiel seems to have had a passing interest in these topics a decade ago, speaking at some conferences and donating some money. But to my knowledge he has not engaged with the existential risk reduction community for as long as I have been involved. Instead, he seems increasingly interested in seasteading and the alt-right.

So why was he criticizing the field of existential risk reduction? Thiel seems to suggest we in the community are Luddites, bearing some responsibility for the stagnation in real wages and technological progress since the 1970s. He claims a leading cause of stagnation is that scientists effectively have become too scared of their own technology. He told the Oxford Union audience that “the single answer as to why it is stalled out on the part of the universities is something like science and technology are just too dangerous.”


Is it an accident that on first glance I read this as Peter Thiel being a "libertarian polecat"? I think that fits better anyway.
March 8, 2023

Ron DeSantis's plan to strip First Amendment rights from the press, explained

Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to eliminate the First Amendment safeguards that prevent lawsuits seeking to strong-arm the press into silence.

He’s been very clear about this goal: In February, DeSantis led a roundtable discussion brainstorming ideas to weaken the press’s First Amendment protections. Flanked by a panel dominated by defamation plaintiffs and lawyers, the Orbánesque governor attacked the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) for, in his words, empowering a media that will “find a way to smear you.”

Sullivan was a historic decision establishing that the government (and, in many cases, private litigants) may not censor the media, political advocates, and the public at large through defamation suits intended to shut down dissenting voices. The case arose out of a Jim Crow-era official’s attempt to silence civil rights protesters. It established that someone accused of making false claims about a public figure regarding a matter of public concern may not be held liable for defamation, unless the statement was made “with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.”

Without Sullivan, government officials could potentially use defamation suits to impose financially devastating liability on their political enemies — which is what an Alabama official tried to do in Sullivan itself. And a wealthy individual who disagrees with a newspaper’s coverage could potentially fund lawsuits targeting any false statement made by that newspaper, no matter how minor, until the sheer cost of defending against these suits bankrupts the paper.

Much of DeSantis’s February event consisted of the governor asking the panelists for proposals to make it easier to prevail in lawsuits against the press. Their ideas ranged from requiring losing defamation defendants to pay for the plaintiffs’ lawyers, to limiting the types of defendants who can invoke Sullivan, to blatantly unconstitutional proposals to eliminate Sullivan’s protections and replace them with much weaker safeguards for free speech.


Unconstitutional right down the line, but as noted in the article, both Thomas and Gorsuch are in favor!

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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 10,160

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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