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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 06:34 PM
Number of posts: 7,029

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

The languages that live forever

More than 2,000 years ago, in a temple in the city of Borsippa in ancient Mesopotamia, in what is now modern-day Iraq, a student was doing his homework. His name was Nabu-kusurshu, and he was training to be a temple brewer. His duties involved brewing beer for religious offerings, but also, learning to keep administrative records on clay tablets in cuneiform script, and preserving ancient hymns by making copies of worn-out tablets. These daily tasks, and his devotion to beer, writing and knowledge, made him part of an extraordinarily resilient literary legacy.

Cuneiform had already been around for roughly 3,000 years by the time Nabu-kusurshu picked up his reed stylus. It was invented by the Sumerians, who initially used it to record rations of food – and indeed, beer – paid to workers or delivered to temples. Over time, the Sumerian texts became more complex, recording beautiful myths and songs – including one celebrating the goddess of brewing, Ninkasi, and her skilled use of "the fermenting vat, which makes a pleasant sound". When Sumerian gradually slid out of common use, and was replaced by the more modern Akkadian, scribes cleverly wrote long lists of signs in both languages, essentially creating ancient dictionaries, to make sure the wisdom of the oldest tablets would always be understood.

Nabu-kusurshu's generation, who would have spoken Akkadian or maybe Aramaic in everyday life, was among the last to use the cuneiform script. But he probably assumed that he was just one ordinary young writer in a long line of writers, preserving cuneiform for many more generations, under the benevolent eye of Nabu, the god of writing and "scribe of the universe". He faithfully copied the old tablets, noting down for example that a Sumerian sign pronounced "u", could mean marriage gift, burglar, or buttocks. He wrote on the tablets that he copied them "for his own study", perhaps as practice or scholarship, and placed them in the temple as an offering.

"He's learning how to write, and learning these lists, alongside other things, and then dedicating his work to the god Nabu and the temple," says Jay Crisostomo, a professor of ancient Near Eastern civilisations and languages at the University of Michigan, who has studied Nabu-kusurshu's tablets in depth.

It was these humble lists, quietly written in the shadow of a giant ziggurat – a pyramid-shaped stepped temple tower – that would earn Nabu-kusurshu immortality.


Ethics board: SD Gov. Noem may have 'engaged in misconduct'

A South Dakota ethics board on Monday said it found sufficient information that Gov. Kristi Noem may have “engaged in misconduct” when she intervened in her daughter’s application for a real estate appraiser license that it could take action against her.

The three retired judges on the Government Accountability Board determined that “appropriate action” could be taken against Noem, though it didn’t specify the action.

The board voted unanimously to invoke procedures calling for a contested case hearing that would give Noem, who has denied wrongdoing, a chance to publicly defend herself against the allegations related to “conflicts of interest” or “malfeasance.”

The retired judges also referred a complaint that Noem flew on state-owned airplanes to political events to the state attorney general’s office for further investigation. That puts the investigation under the oversight of the interim attorney general, Mark Vargo, who was appointed by Noem.


Just following the lead of her lord and master, the Slobfather.

A Republican candidate is facing backlash after 'joking' Garland should be executed

New York Republican and congressional candidate Carl Paladino reportedly said in a recent interview that Attorney General Merrick Garland should be executed. Then Paladino walked it all back, claiming he was just making a lil’ jokey joke.

Just your standard quip about murdering America’s top law enforcement officer.

For over a week now, conservatives have been raging over their dear leader, ex-President Donald Trump, having his estate searched by the FBI. Recent reports pointing to Trump’s improper — and potentially nefarious — possession of classified information should have quieted these concerns. Instead, Trump-loving Republicans are doubling down and turning to threats and fear-mongering in lieu of valid defenses for his actions.

Paladino, who has been endorsed by the third-highest-ranking House Republican, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, said during an interview with Breitbart last weekend that he thinks Garland “probably should be executed,” The Associated Press reported.


This awhole again?

Teachers in Ohio go on strike after requests for more staffing, smaller class sizes and A/C ignored

Teachers in Columbus, Ohio, home to the state’s largest school district, went on strike Monday over smaller class sizes and building safety demands after bargaining negotiations with the school board stalled.

The Columbus Education Association, the teachers union, said in a statement on its website that its educators and school communities “are on strike for our students” two days before the new school year is scheduled to begin. The union voted to go on strike Sunday and said it would be on the picket line beginning at 7 a.m. Monday.

The union said the school board walked away from the bargaining table on July 28 and has refused to agree to language in a contract that “will guarantee Columbus students basics like air conditioning, appropriate class sizes, and full-time art, music, and P.E. teachers in elementary schools.”

“The Columbus Education Association’s bargaining team has negotiated for months in an attempt to reach an agreement, but Columbus City Schools continues to ignore the voices within our community and invest in our schools in a way that will improve learning conditions for our students,” the statement said.

The union said on Twitter Sunday night that 94% of its members voted to reject the school board’s latest offer and go on strike for the first time since 1975. The union represents more than 4,000 teachers and education professionals.


Ousted Republican reflects on Trump, democracy and America: 'The place has lost its mind'

Rusty Bowers is headed for the exit. After 18 years as an Arizona lawmaker, the past four as speaker of the state’s house of representatives, he has been unceremoniously shown the door by his own Republican party.

Last month he lost his bid to stay in the Arizona legislature in a primary contest in which his opponent was endorsed by Donald Trump. The rival, David Farnsworth, made an unusual pitch to voters: the 2020 presidential election had not only been stolen from Trump, he said, it was satanically snatched by the “devil himself”.

Bowers was ousted as punishment. The Trump acolytes who over the past two years have gained control of the state’s Republican party wanted revenge for the powerful testimony he gave in June to the January 6 hearings in which he revealed the pressure he was put under to overturn Arizona’s election result.

This is a very Arizonan story. But it is also an American story that carries an ominous warning for the entire nation.

Six hours after the Guardian interviewed Bowers, Liz Cheney was similarly ousted in a primary for her congressional seat in Wyoming. The formerly third most powerful Republican leader in the US Congress had been punished too.


Rusty Bowers may be a Republican, but he is a man of integrity. What was done to him and other people of integrity is untenable and inforgivable.

Kid Cudi says he had a stroke at 32. Hailey Bieber was 25. How common are they?

Back in 2016, Kid Cudi wrote a heartfelt letter to his fans explaining that he needed help. The musician was struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, so he checked himself into a rehabilitation facility.

"I am not at peace. I haven't been since you've known me. If I didn't come here, I would [have] done something to myself," he explained.

But another danger was lurking.

In a recently published interview with Esquire, the artist revealed that two weeks after entering rehab, he had a stroke and was subsequently hospitalized. It was a terrifying and traumatic event. It slowed his speech and movements so badly that his manager urged him to step away from music while he underwent weeks of physical therapy to recover.

He was 32 at the time.

While that's young, a February 2020 article in the journal Stroke suggests that between 10% and 15% of strokes occur in people ages 18 to 50. And rates among people under 45 appear to be on the rise. Recent research in the United States and Europe has found that "ischemic stroke in younger adults is increasing," according to the paper.


I apparently had one in my early 50s. I thought it was just another migraine but it showed up later on an MRI I had for other reasons. No aftereffects, lucky me.

'Bad Sisters' Proves How Much Fun It Is to Kill Bad Men

I’ll never forget the feeling of being 7 years old and realizing that The Chicks’ “Goodbye Earl” was about three best friends murdering their other friend’s abusive boyfriend.

A babysitter of mine used to play the song from the stack of CDs in my parents’ collection, and I had listened to it 50 or more times without it ever registering. I hadn’t yet mastered the concept of attaching meaning to song lyrics. When it finally clicked, it was like my mind had been thrust through an Interstellar-level wormhole. I could see everything around me with 20/20 vision. Every sense was heightened. The concept of women banding together to gleefully kill an evil man changed everything for me.

In the years that have passed, women killing men for the greater good of the world has become my favorite genre of media. Give me a revenge film and I’m there. A true crime doc about an abusive adulterer meeting his demise? I’ve already seen it. I hold Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof and Taylor Swift’s “no body, no crime” in equal reverence.

So imagine the childlike delight that washed over me when firing up Bad Sisters, the new Apple TV+ series about, you guessed it, some very bad sisters.

Almost immediately, I recalled that old, familiar feeling of my “Goodbye Earl” days. Bad Sisters is just like The Chicks’ song, except there are four culprits. And they’re related. And they’re Irish. So maybe not just like the song, but all of the same gratuitously enjoyable, novel-like plotting is still there—now turned up to an 11 for one of the single most boisterous shows of the year.

Adapted from the 2012 Belgian series Clan, Bad Sisters stars Catastrophe’s Sharon Horgan as Eva Garvey, the voice of reason among her four other sisters: Ursula (Eva Birthistle), Grace (Anne-Marie Duff), Bibi (Sara Greene), and Becka (Eve Hewson). Though Eva is slowly spinning out and teetering on the edge of full-blown alcoholism, she’s still somehow the most put-together of her sisters, who have all been bound together by the early-in-life death of their parents. Though each sister has since been crawling through her own layer of muddy discord, no one has been suffering more than Grace.


We started watching this last week. I love it and can't wait for the next episode!

Texas Judge Accused of Calling Immigrants 'Wetbacks'

A Texas judge who came out of retirement to take part in the state’s controversial police and military crackdown on undocumented immigrants was reported last week to an ethics panel for allegedly complaining to lawyers about “wetbacks.”

The Daily Beast has obtained a copy of the formal accusation, which is laid out in a sworn complaint that was submitted to the state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Judge Edgar Allen Amos now faces a potential ethics probe, which if substantiated, would call into question every ruling he’s made in local Texas courts. Amos routinely adjudicates cases involving arrests of Spanish-speaking people who fled Mexico and Central America, illegally crossing the U.S. border to find refuge here.

In the complaint, defense lawyer Emily Miller recalls crossing paths with the judge on July 26 at the McCulloch County Courthouse, where Amos stations himself at a computer to conduct virtual court hearings on Zoom while arrestees remain 150 miles south at a courthouse near the border.

“He mentioned he did not think people understood how hard ‘we had it’ in these hearings. As the hearings are technologically, logistically, and emotionally difficult, I agreed,” Miller wrote in the complaint. “He went on to say that these people (meaning the defendants) are not ‘your regular wetbacks. They have phones and clothes and all kinds of other things.’”

“I took that to mean that he believes the defendants are affluent and not really indigent, and are not like the migrants making their way into the U.S. in years or decades past. I was dismayed and disappointed,” Miller continued, noting how his comment “raises substantial questions about his impartiality and the quality of justice being served in his court.”


Another one of Abbot's awholes, sounds like

Massachusetts student receives uniform violation for hijab

A Massachusetts charter school where an eighth grade student was written up for a uniform infraction for wearing a hijab says it understands its “handling of the situation came across as insensitive.”

A family member of the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School student posted on social media a picture of the “School Uniform Compliance Form” the student received from a teacher for the hijab on Thursday. In the description of the infraction, the headscarf worn by Muslim women was misspelled as “jihab.”

The school said in an emailed statement that it allows students to wear religious attire “as an expression of their sincerely held beliefs,” but asks students to provide a letter “expressing this desire from a member of their clergy.”

School Superintendent Alex Dan said there were no consequences given to the student and that the form sent home was meant to start the conversation with the family about obtaining a religious accommodation. But Dan acknowledged that the situation was mishandled.

“While we would like to reiterate that the well-respected staff member overseeing the process should bear no responsibility for what has transpired, we understand how our handling of the situation came across as insensitive and look forward to using this moment as a learning opportunity to improve our policies and procedures,” the school’s statement said.



Louisiana woman faces 'horrifically cruel' abortion choice over fetus missing skull

A pregnant Louisiana woman faced with either carrying a skull-less fetus to term – for the baby to likely die within hours – or traveling several states away to obtain an abortion has hired a prominent civil rights attorney as she weighs how to move forward.

Nancy Davis has retained lawyer Ben Crump as she becomes the latest to embody the gut-wrenching decisions some women are being forced to make after the US supreme court’s decision in June to strip away nationwide abortion rights, according to a statement from the attorney’s office.

Davis’s home state is among those that have outlawed abortion with very few exceptions. Davis, from Baton Rouge, said publicly that she tried to have her pregnancy aborted after a 10-week ultrasound revealed that her fetus was missing the top of its skull – a condition known as acrania, which kills babies within minutes or hours of birth.

But because acrania was not explicitly included on Louisiana’s list of conditions justifying an exception from the state’s abortion ban, the hospital that treated Davis turned down terminating her pregnancy, which, as of Friday, was in its 13th week.

The medical center, Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, directed her to an abortion clinic. But Louisiana’s abortion clinics have announced plans to leave the state amid legal battles over its the ban’s enforcement, the New Orleans news outlet Gambit reported.

The state senator who authored Louisiana’s abortion ban, Katrina Jackson, insisted to Baton Rouge TV station WAFB that the hospital should have authorized the termination of Davis’s pregnancy, because the statute contains exceptions for fetuses which are not viable outside a mother’s womb.


Lousyanna, sucking harder than ever.
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