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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 6,716

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

Methane leak at Russian mine could be largest ever discovered

Possibly the world’s biggest leak of methane has been discovered coming from a coalmine in Russia, which has been pouring out the carbon dioxide equivalent of five coal-fired power stations.

About 90 tonnes an hour of methane were being released from the mine in January, when the gas was first traced to its source, according to data from GHGSat, a commercial satellite monitoring company based in Canada. Sustained over the course of a year, this would produce enough natural gas to power 2.4m homes.

More recently, the mine appears to be leaking at a lower rate, of about a third of the highest rate recorded in January, but the leak is thought to have been active for at least six months before January’s survey.

The leak, which comes from the Raspadskaya mine in Kemerovo Oblast, the largest coalmine in Russia, is about 50% bigger than any other leak seen by GHGSat since it started its global satellite monitoring in 2016. The company believes it is bigger than any leak yet traced to a single source.


US prison workers produce $11bn worth of goods and services a year for pittance

Incarcerated workers in the US produce at least $11bn in goods and services annually but receive just pennies an hour in wages for their prison jobs, according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Nearly two-thirds of all prisoners in the US, which imprisons more of its population than any other country in the world, have jobs in state and federal prisons. That figure amounts to roughly 800,000 people, researchers estimated in the report, which is based on extensive public records requests, questionnaires and interviews with incarcerated workers

ACLU researchers say the findings outlined in Wednesday’s report raise concerns about the systemic exploitation of prisoners, who are compelled to work sometimes difficult and dangerous jobs without basic labor protections and little or no training while making close to nothing.

Most incarcerated workers are tasked with general prison maintenance that is crucial to keep the facilities running, according to the ACLU researchers, who worked with the University of Chicago Law School’s Global Human Rights Clinic.


Read the WHOLE article. This is why we are not getting prison reform any time soon.

New Jersey touts abortion protections to lure businesses

Gov. Phil Murphy has a message for companies located in conservative states: come to New Jersey and your employees' abortion rights will be protected.

In a letter sent to nearly 60 businesses, the Democratic governor warned that an expected Supreme Court decision could spell the end of the federal protection for abortion, but that New Jersey would ensure reproductive rights regardless.

"We're never going to be a state that looks like Texas or Georgia or other states — Oklahoma — that are going in the direction of taking rights away from people," Murphy said in an interview with NPR. "We are going to expand rights."

Americans continue to await an opinion from the Supreme Court in a highly anticipated abortion case. A leaked draft opinion published by Politico in May indicated support for overturning Roe v. Wade, though that may not be the final judgment of the court.

A number of Republican states have vowed to ban or severely restrict abortion if the Supreme Court allows it, but New Jersey joined some liberal jurisdictions moving in the opposite direction, enshrining the right to an abortion in state law.


Alexei Navalny has gone missing from Russian prison, say allies

Allies of the imprisoned Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny have said he is missing from the prison where he was serving his time.

His close associates say he is probably being transferred to another prison. In Russia, prison transfers can take days, if not weeks, and are shrouded in secrecy.

“All this time that we don’t know where Alexei is, he is left alone with the system that has already once tried to kill him,” Navalny’s spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, said on social media.

Navalny’s closest ally, Leonid Volkov, said on Telegram that the politician’s lawyer went to visit him in prison on Tuesday and was told that “there is no such convict here”. “Where Alexei is now and which prison he is being taken to, we don’t know,” Volkov said.

Navalny, the most determined political foe of Vladimir Putin, was arrested in January 2021 upon returning from Germany, where he had been recuperating from nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin, and handed a two-and-a-half-year sentence for a parole violation.

In March Navalny was sentenced to nine years in prison for fraud and contempt of court, charges he rejected as politically motivated and an attempt by the authorities to keep him behind bars for as long as possible.

The judge ordered him to serve the new sentence in a maximum-security prison. He was supposed to be transferred to one after he lost his appeal.



Roger Stone and Michael Flynn under fire over rallies 'distorting Christianity'

A growing number of prominent Christian leaders are sounding alarms about threats to democracy posed by ReAwaken America rallies where Donald Trump loyalists Michael Flynn and Roger Stone and rightwing pastors have spread misinformation about the 2020 elections and Covid-19 vaccines, and distorted Christian teachings.

The falsehoods pushed at ReAwaken gatherings have prompted some Christian leaders to warn that America’s political and spiritual health is threatened by a toxic mix of Christian nationalism, lies about Trump’s loss to Joe Biden, and ahistorical views of the nation’s founding principle of the separation of church and state.

Several well-known Christian leaders, including the president of the Christian social justice group Sojourners and the executive director of a major Baptist group, have called on American churches to speak out against the messages promoted at ReAwaken America rallies that have been held in Oklahoma, Arizona, Texas, California, South Carolina and other states.

Other tour rallies, some of which have been held in religious spaces, are slated for New York and Virginia this summer and some local Christian leaders are being encouraged to publicly voice concerns about the dangerous rhetoric and messages they convey.

“This ReAwaken tour is peddling dangerous lies about both the election and the pandemic,” Adam Russell Taylor, the president of Sojourners, told the Guardian. “Jesus taught us that the truth will set us free, and these lies hold people captive to these dangerous falsehoods. They also exacerbate the toxic polarization we’re seeing in both the church and the wider society.”

Taylor added he was deeply concerned about “a conflation between Christianity and a nationalistic form of patriotism” at the “tour rallies which are promoting a more overt form of Christian nationalism”.


Gee, ya think? Late to the party, y'all.

A worrying phone call adds to concerns about Sen. Dianne Feinstein's cognitive health

Journalist Rebecca Traister set out to write a profile of the oldest sitting U.S. senator, Dianne Feinstein of California, who turns 89 on June 22. And while Traister's feature piece does center on Feinstein's long and storied career, it also evokes questions about the senator's cognitive health.

NPR's All Things Considered spoke with Traister, a writer for The Cut, about a worrying call she had with Feinstein two days after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

"It felt to me to be deeply disconnected from the very urgent and chilling realities that we are very much in the midst of," Traister said on All Things Considered.

Traister had that 30-minute phone conversation with Feinstein in the course of her reporting for her feature piece, titled "Dianne Feinstein, the Institutionalist." She wrote:

Nothing she said suggested a deterioration beyond what would be normal for a person her age, but neither did it demonstrate any urgent engagement with the various crises facing the nation. ... Every question I asked — about the radicalization of the GOP, the end of Roe, the failures of Congress — was met with a similar sunny imperviousness, evincing an undiminished belief in institutional power that may in fact explain a lot about where Feinstein and other Democratic leaders have gone wrong.

With the U.S. grappling with various crises and at a tense political moment with the expected overturning of Roe v. Wade, the optimism felt out of place.


I'm quite concerned about both her and Chuck Grassley's connection to reality. OTOH, Pat Leahy and Bernie Sanders seem very grounded.

Updates: Yellowstone damaged by record flooding, rockslides

Yellowstone National Park officials assessed damage Tuesday as the park remained closed through at least Wednesday amid dangerous floods and rockslides that have eroded roads, ripped apart bridges and led to evacuations this week.

With flood levels "beyond record levels" and rainfall expected for the next several days, all five entrances to the park were closed, officials said Monday.

The park has seen multiple road and bridge failures, power outages and mudslides, causing evacuations starting in the northern part of the park.

“I’ve never seen this, not in my lifetime,” said Austin King, a firefighter and EMT in Gardiner, a town just outside Yellowstone's busy North Entrance.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, but floodwaters swept away numerous homes, bridges and other structures with the northern part of the park suffering the worst damage.


I had not even heard this! Where have I been?

The scandal embroiling Washington's most venerable think tank, explained

Few research institutes in Washington command as much respect as the Brookings Institution. It’s where a visiting head of state may deliver a lecture, where an administration official might roll out a new policy idea, and where former US leaders hold prestigious fellowships. More than 20 of the think tank’s experts have gone on to serve in the Biden administration.

And yet, over the weekend, Brookings president John Allen resigned after a federal investigation into his alleged unregistered lobbying work for a foreign country became public.

For Washington observers, it was a stunning fall. Allen had long carried an air of impartiality and public service. After an almost four-decade career in the Marines, he retired as a four-star general in 2013 and joined Brookings as a fellow. In 2014, President Barack Obama appointed him as the State Department special envoy for the global coalition countering the Islamic State.

By 2017, Allen was again a private citizen and working at Brookings. He also, according to a US District Court filing made public last week, was allegedly lobbying top officials in President Donald Trump’s administration on behalf of Qatar. He did not register as a foreign lobbyist as required under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Spokesperson Beau Phillips denied that Allen had ever worked as an agent of the Qatari government. “Gen. Allen has actively and voluntarily cooperated with all U.S. government inquiries related to this matter,” Phillips said in a written statement.

If the FBI’s allegations are correct, Allen’s conduct crossed lines — legal ones. But it was only possible in a world where similar, albeit less explicitly transactional, connections are normalized.

The scandal surrounding Allen’s resignation reveals how foreign and corporate interests have a bigger role in policy-idea production than we tend to realize, and how relatively little scrutiny the capital’s think tanks receive despite their outsize influence in policymaking.


Final update: Dog breeding facility closing after years of violations!

Envigo, the company behind the medical dog breeding facility under fire by federal investigators, announced its Cumberland County facility will close. The announcement came late Monday night, just hours after the company’s legal team expressed willingness to ‘wind down’ operations according to a federal court filing.

“The required investments to improve the facility and the lead time to achieve these improvements have recently increased. As a result, we have decided we will not be investing further in this facility, and it will be closed,” according to an online statement from Inotiv, which brands itself as a provider of “nonclinical and analytical drug discovery and development services.”

The breeding facility has been marred by federal complaints and animal welfare violations cited by the USDA and exposed in 8News investigative reporting as well as an undercover operation by PETA.

The news comes after a federal judge slapped a temporary restraining order on Envigo in late May after Inspections found dogs malnourished, sick, injured and kept in excessive heat.

Since initial complaints, hundreds of dogs have been turned over.


Much of the thanks for this goes to the dogged (sorry!) investigating team from WRIC, Richmond.

I read a headline somewhere

that said "Trump became increasingly detached from reality". This assumes he was ever attached to it in the first place.......
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