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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 8,033

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

Cause of mystery child hepatitis outbreak found

UK experts believe they have identified the cause of the recent spate of mysterious liver problems affecting young children around the world.

Investigations suggest two common viruses made a comeback after pandemic lockdowns ended - and triggered the rare but very serious hepatitis cases.

More than 1,000 children - many under the age of five - in 35 countries are thought to have been affected.

Some, including 12 in the UK, have needed a lifesaving liver transplant.

The two teams of researchers, from London and Glasgow, say infants exposed later than normal - because of Covid restrictions - missed out on some early immunity to:

adenovirus, which normally causes colds and stomach upsets
adeno-associated virus two, which normally causes no illness and requires a coinfecting "helper" virus - such as adenovirus - to replicate
That could explain why some developed the unusual and worrying liver complications.


Tucker Carlson Says He Knows Why Sri Lanka Fell. Don't Believe Him.

In mid-July, Sri Lanka’s government fell, with former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa bolting the country on a pre-dawn flight while protesters frolicked in the pool of his lavish mansion. The island nation of 22 million people, once one of the most prosperous in South Asia, had plunged into a severe economic crisis, characterized by empty grocery shelves, days’ long lines for gasoline, planned electricity outages lasting up to seven hours, and mass protests against the government. What happened? According to one prominent theory, it was all the result of a fateful decree Rajapaksa made in April 2021 to ban synthetic fertilizers and force the nation’s farmers—prodigious producers of rice and tea, among other crops—to embrace organic agriculture.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal opinion page on July 14, Tunku Varadarajan, a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and at Columbia University’s Center on Capitalism and Society, summarized the case like this: “In an uprising that has its roots in Mr. Rajapaksa’s imperious decision to impose organic farming on the entire country—which led to widespread hunger after the agricultural economy collapsed—Sri Lanka’s people have wrought the first contra-organic national uprising in history.”

Similar takes have emerged from Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, who characterized Rajapaksa’s push for organic agriculture as a disaster-inducing “green new deal,” equating it to the stalled, never-implemented proposal by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D.-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D.-Mass.) (even though their GND never included a fertilizer ban or an organic mandate); and from members of the “ecomodernist” movement—a crew, centered around the Breakthrough Institute think-tank, that favors technology-centered, nuclear-powered responses to environmental crises. In a July 9 post on his Substack blog, Michael Shellenberger, the Breakthrough Institute’s co-founder and former president, opined that the “underlying reason for the fall of Sri Lanka is that its leaders fell under the spell of Western green elites peddling organic agriculture.”

Back in March, months before Rajapaksa’s inglorious exit, the prestigious magazine Foreign Policy ran a similar take on Sri Lanka’s then-already-mounting crisis. Co-authored by BTI executive director Ted Nordhaus and BTI food and farm analyst Saloni Shah, the article suggested that the “ill-conceived national experiment in organic agriculture” had triggered a range of ills—everything from a tumbling currency to rising inflation and poverty rates.


Stupid is as stupid sez.

Why John Fetterman's Twitter trolling of Dr. Oz works so well

Months ago, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman was forced off the campaign trail in his race for the U.S. Senate after he had a stroke and underwent surgery to install a pacemaker. In place of the in-person politicking that he relied on to win his primary race, his team has been forced to get creative in the contest against the GOP candidate, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz.

There’s a lot of trolling in politics these days, and it often includes inflammatory statements focused on race or immigration status. In a marvelous subversion of those smear tactics, Fetterman’s team argues that Oz is an immigrant who doesn’t connect with the history and culture of Pennsylvanians and doesn’t understand the values of the people he seeks to represent. Not because Oz’s parents were born in Turkey. That’s not a problem. The problem is Oz is from New Jersey.

Oz as a New Jerseyan is a theme the Fetterman campaign and its supporters have hammered hard on the past few weeks. There was the video from “Jersey Shore” star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi wishing Oz luck on his move to Pennsylvania to “look for a new job.” There was the compilation of Oz’s mansions, not one of which is in Pennsylvania. And most recently, there was a video of Fetterman launching a petition to get Oz inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

“Where are you from?” can be a loaded question, but you’d think that by time candidates decide to begin begging a community for its support, they would be able to provide an answer. It’s almost always a mess when they aren’t, as we saw in New York when skepticism over mayoral candidate Eric Adams’ home address ran high. But Oz’s inability to provide a satisfying answer has left him vulnerable to the constant and cheerful hits Fetterman’s camp doles out.

In general, being a newcomer to a state may matter even less today than it did when Hillary Clinton won a New York Senate seat in 2000; still, Fetterman’s campaign accusing Oz of being an outsider has been deployed with tremendous skill against the Republican who was living in New Jersey as recently as 2020.


It wasn't "months" ago like they make it sound. By my count it was 7 or 8 weeks.

Dozens walk out of U. of Michigan white coat ceremony to protest anti-abortion keynote speaker

Dozens of incoming medical students walked out of their University of Michigan white coat ceremony Sunday when the keynote speaker — a doctor with anti-abortion views — was introduced.

A tweet showing the medical students and some other attendees of the ceremony walk out as Kristin Collier approached the podium has gone viral. As of Monday afternoon, the tweet had been liked more than 540,000 times.

After it was announced that Collier would be the keynote speaker of the event, a petition for the university to choose a different speaker garnered signatures from 248 current students, 100 incoming students and 72 others, including alumni.

The petition cited instances in which Collier expressed her anti-abortion views in tweets and in interviews.

"holding on to a view of feminism where one fights for the rights of all women and girls, especially those who are most vulnerable. I can’t not lament the violence directed at my prenatal sisters in the act of abortion, done in the name of autonomy," she tweeted in May.


Good for them. I would have too.

The Four Stages of Republican Misinformation

Wajahat Ali

If a 10-year-old girl cannot escape the cruel machinery of the right-wing disinformation network, then there’s little hope for the rest of us trying to protect our freedom, dignity, and fragile democracy.

Conservatives’ attempts to minimize, and then weaponize, the horrific story of a 10-year-old rape victim highlights their tried-and-tested four-part strategy to manufacture lies and outrage to fuel their march toward fascism.

Ohio was one of 13 states with automatic “trigger bans” that went into effect immediately after the Supreme Court overturned Roe in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. As a result, Ohio now has zero exceptions for rape and incest. A 10-year-old rape victim who missed the state’s new six-week deadline by three days was forced to travel to Indiana for her abortion. Earlier this month, the girl’s alleged rapist, Gershon Fuentes, was arrested and charged with felony first-degree rape.

One would assume this sordid story would force most Republicans to pause in horror and reflect on the brutal consequences unleashed by the Court taking away the constitutionally protected right to abortion.

How would they feel if this was their daughter or loved one? Would they want to force an innocent girl to endure unnecessary trauma by carrying her abuser’s child? Could they at least create exceptions for rape and incest, which are supported by 69 percent of Americans, including 56 percent of Republicans?

At the very least, this story should open them up to empathize with this young girl’s dilemma, right?



Neologisms for today's world

Outragion - A viral issue that causes great consternation within the body politic.

MetastaGIF - a meme that suddenly appears on every corner of the Internet. Ex: Josh Haulin'

Texas man arrested after 7 dogs mauled 71-year-old man to death

A Texas man was arrested after his seven dogs mauled a 71-year-old man to death while walking to a neighborhood store last week, authorities said.

The victim, identified as Freddy Garcia, was walking to the store around 1:30 p.m. on July 18 when he was attacked by the seven dogs in the city of Fresno, just south of Houston, the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Officers arrived on the scene and Garcia was taken to a hospital in Houston, where he was later pronounced dead.

In a news conference, Sheriff Eric Fagan said Garcia was walking on a sidewalk and "did nothing to provoke the animals" and they attacked "for no reason."

"This is a tragic, tragic incident," Fagan said. "It was uncalled for. It was senseless."


Sadly, more bad press for pitties, who are some of the sweetest dogs on the planet. But any dogs running as a pack will act wild if they have never been disciplined.

The 'catastrophic' high cost of insulin is financially straining diabetes patients

Nicole Smith-Holt’s son, Alec, died in 2017 from diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition that occurs when the body doesn’t have enough insulin.

Alec had Type 1 diabetes. The 26-year-old had been recently removed from his parents' health insurance plan and was about $300 short of the $1,300 he needed to pay for his insulin medication, his mother said.

In a bid to wait until his next payday to purchase the medication, he rationed the insulin he had left.

“Unfortunately, his body was found three days prior to payday,” said Smith-Holt, of Richfield, Minnesota.

In the five years since Alec’s death, not much has changed: The high cost of insulin remains a significant barrier to care for many Americans.

A study published this month in the journal Health Affairs found that 14% of people who use insulin in the United States face what is described as a “catastrophic” level of spending on the medication, meaning that after paying for other essentials, such as food and housing, they spend at least 40% of their remaining income on insulin.

The study’s estimate, which covered 2017 and 2018, didn’t include other costs related to diabetes care, such as glucose monitors, insulin pumps or other medications.


Fcuk Big Pharma!

Rescue groups begin work to rehome 4,000 beagles bred for research

The first group of the roughly 4,000 beagles in the custody of a research facility in Virginia have been brought to their new, temporary homes.

More than a dozen beagles arrived at the facility of the Homeward Trails Animal Rescue in Virginia on Thursday. It was the first of many deliveries as hundreds of rescue groups across the country are mobilizing in the coming weeks to rehome the beagles.

The Humane Society of the United States is spearheading the effort to transfer these dogs from their current home at the Envigo facility in Cumberland, Va., to shelters. The organization has just a few weeks to get this done.

Earlier this year the Envigo facility, which bred these beagles for pharmaceutical research and testing, was found to be in violation of several federal regulations. A federal judge ordered the dogs to be released within 60 days.

Animal rescue groups from Wyoming, Massachusetts, Virginia and elsewhere are working together to assist in this herculean effort.

"Finding partners who can make space and find homes for around 4,000 dogs in the summer — a time of year when animal shelters already are over-capacity — will be a feat of epic proportions," Kitty Block, president of The Humane Society of the United States, wrote on her blog.


You really must go to the link and see the pics of these adorable pups enjoying their new freedom and learning how to dog. It's wonderful!

Decades after foster care, she learned she was owed benefits. Where did the money go?

It's been almost 45 years since Kathy Stolz-Silvis was in foster care in Pennsylvania. Stolz-Silvis was nine when her father died, making her and her siblings eligible for Social Security survivor benefits. But she didn't become aware of those benefits until decades later — after reading an investigation published by The Marshall Project and NPR.

The report, published last year, found that foster care agencies in at least 49 states and Washington, D.C., have been applying for Social Security on behalf of foster youth in their care who are eligible for death, disability or veterans' benefits. The agencies often keep the money, often without notifying the children, their family members or lawyers.

Stolz-Silvis followed a step-by-step guide to contacting the Social Security Administration included with the investigation, which was developed with information provided by the agency. This is where she hit a roadblock.

"Out of curiosity, I called them to find out what happened to my benefits when I was in foster care," Stolz-Silvis said. "The person on the other end of the line told me they were not allowed to give me that information."

In recent months, The Marshall Project and NPR have heard from dozens of former foster youth who described similar failed efforts to learn whether a state or local agency had applied to become their "representative payee," allowing the agency to receive their federal benefits, a process permitted by federal regulations.

Many said they tried to contact Social Security but have not been given answers. And those who learned that their benefits were taken said there seemed no clear course for getting that money back.


This is appalling. Also possibly a criminal action.
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