HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Jilly_in_VA » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next »


Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 06:34 PM
Number of posts: 6,986

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

Pythons are eating alligators and everything else in Florida. Snake hunters stand poised to help.

The Florida Python Challenge, an annual statewide competition that kicks off Friday, will bring hundreds of snake-hunting professionals and novices to South Florida to hunt what wildlife officials are calling the state’s most concerning invasive species: the Burmese python.

Among those preparing for the 10-day hunt: Amy Siewe. Standing 5’4” and weighing 120 pounds, Siewe may appear small. But when it comes to hunting Florida’s Burmese pythons, Siewe is mighty.

“I don’t look like I can catch a 17-foot snake,” Siewe, 45, said. “But I can.”

As a paid contractor for the state of Florida, Siewe, who calls herself a “python huntress,” searches for the reptiles year-round. The Florida Python Challenge invites novices to hunt alongside professionals like Siewe, and compete for cash prizes. This year’s challenge runs Aug. 5 through Aug. 14. Its goal is to both nab snakes and raise awareness of the environmental harm they cause.

“The proliferation of pythons is an emergency situation for our native wildlife in South Florida,” said Michael Kirkland, senior invasive animal biologist for the South Florida Water Management District and the manager of Florida’s Python Elimination Program. “Human detection right now is the most effective tool in our toolbox.”

Kirkland said professional contractors like Siewe have removed 10,000 pythons since the state began employing them in 2017. With the additional help of novices during the challenge, the state hopes to catch hundreds more.

“When it comes to pythons, we need all the help and awareness we can get,” he said.


Breonna Taylor death: four Louisville police officers charged

The US Department of Justice on Thursday brought civil rights charges against four current and former Louisville police officers for their roles in the 2020 fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, a Black women who was killed in her home, a case that stirred national protests over police brutality.

Federal investigators alleged that the members of a Louisville unit called Place-Based Investigations “falsified” the affidavit used to obtain a search warrant, violating Taylor’s civil rights.

The indictment noted that in early 2020, Louisville police obtained five search warrants as part of a drug investigation, four at locations in the city’s West End.

Another was issued for Taylor’s residence, 10 miles away, on suspicion that her ex-boyfriend, a convicted drug trafficker, stashed cash or packages there.

In March 2020, Louisville police conducted a no-knock warrant at Taylor’s home. After police entered, her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a single shot from his handgun, as he believed intruders had entered the house.

The indictment states that Louisville police then shot into the apartment more than 30 times. Taylor was hit six times.


The mills of justice grind slow, but grind exceedingly fine, my grandfather used to say. #JusticeForBreonna

Volunteer networks in Mexico aid at-home abortions without involving doctors or clinics. They're com

Volunteer networks in Mexico aid at-home abortions without involving doctors or clinics. They’re coming to Texas.

Hi, I’m four weeks pregnant. Eight weeks. Six weeks.
The stream of pings and messages through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp reach Sandra Cardona Alanís at her home in this mountainous region of northern Mexico. She is an acompañante and a founder of Necesito Abortar México, a volunteer network that has helped thousands of people across Mexico access abortion, usually at home, by providing medication and support.

With the constitutional right to abortion in the United States eliminated and numerous states moving swiftly to cut off all access, more and more of the calls to Mexican organizations like Cardona Alanís’ are coming from places like Texas.

People seeking help are reaching not just over a border but across a cultural divide between two countries following distinct paths in providing reproductive health care. As abortion access is being restricted in the United States, it is expanding in Mexico.

Because abortion-inducing medication can be obtained in Mexico without a prescription, networks like the one Cardona Alanís helped found exist alongside the more traditional medical clinics that typify abortion in the United States.

The Necesito Abortar México network is one of several that operate outside the formal medical establishment, offering people the ability to manage their own abortions without visiting a clinic. They usually hear from two or three new people a day. The day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against abortion rights, they heard from 70, half of them calling from the United States.

Even before the full effects of Roe v. Wade’s reversal kick in, Texas is being stitched into the Mexican system as the networks build out their models of helping provide safe abortion at home on an international scale. For months, they’ve been helping train volunteers that will prop up new U.S.-based networks. And they have moved thousands of doses of abortion medication into the United States, creating informal stockpiles to more easily distribute the drugs.


Strange Radio Signals From Deep Space Contain Signs of New Physics, Scientists Say

Scientists have spotted mysterious radio structures in the midst of an immense cluster of galaxies located 800 million light years away, reports a new study.

These radio objects, some of which have never been seen before, pose new challenges to our understanding of the universe and offer an unprecedented glimpse into tumultuous regions of the cosmic web, a network of filaments and nodes that connects the universe. As the researchers who observed the sources put it in a companion essay, “They defy existing theories about both the origins of such objects and their characteristics.”

Stretching across 300 million light years of southern hemisphere sky, the galaxy cluster Abell 3266 is one of the biggest structures of its kind in the local universe. As the site of multiple clusters merging together, it opens a window into the fallout of huge cosmic collisions, which is why astronomers have studied it intensely for years, especially in X-ray and visible light.

Now, scientists led by astrophysicist Christopher Riseley, a research fellow at the University of Bologna, have examined new images of Abell 3266 captured by Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASCAP) and the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), two of the most sensitive radio observatories on Earth.


And the amazing thing is that this didn't even come via the James Webb telescope!

Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema act out of ego, not principle

Robert Reich

This week, the spotlight once again will be on Democratic senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema (dubbed “Manchinema” by the Washington press corps when the two blocked much of Biden’s agenda).

Which is exactly where both of these politicians want it.

It’s the Democrats’ last chance for a large package – Manchin agreed last week to $790bn – on the climate and healthcare, financed by a tax increase on the rich and big corporations. But will Sinema go along?

It’s been joked that the word “politics” is derived from the Latin “poli”, meaning “many”, and “ticks”, meaning small blood-sucking insects. I don’t hold such a cynical view. But I do know from 50 years’ experience in and around Washington that most of the people who serve in our nation’s capital have very, very large – shall we say? – egos.

On Sunday, Manchin made the rounds of all five Sunday morning talkshows. He thereby achieved what’s known as a “full Ginsburg”, after William Ginsburg, the lawyer for Monica Lewinsky, who was the first to appear on all Sunday talkshows, on 1 February 1998.

Manchin treated it as a victory lap. He took credit for his newly named “Inflation Reduction Act”. (He refused to allow it to be named “Build Back Better” because he’s still smarting over what he viewed as the Biden administration’s criticism of him for blocking the original BBB.)


The last time I said what I thought of Sinema, I got my post hidden for "speaking ill of Democrats", so I won't.

UPS drivers record temperatures above 100F in trucks without air conditioning

UPS delivery truck drivers have begun sharing pictures showing the sweltering temperatures recorded inside their vans as communities across the US continue to experience record-breaking temperatures.

In a viral tweet shared by Teamsters for a Democratic Union drivers posted pictures of thermometers inside trucks reaching 116F (47C), 117F and 121F – temperatures far above what is considered safe. UPS trucks do not have air conditioning.

“UPS CEOs would never accept working in 120- or 130-degree offices. Drivers shouldn’t either,” tweeted Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a group of members with Teamsters, the union representing UPS truck drivers.

In June, a young UPS driver died just after his 24th birthday after he collapsed while delivering packages in Los Angeles. His family believe he died of heatstroke.

A few weeks later, a homeowner in Scottsdale, Arizona, where temperatures have topped 110F, released dramatic doorbell camera footage of a UPS driver collapsing on his front porch right after delivering a package. The unnamed driver got up after collapsing and staggered back to his truck.


The summer I worked in Fredericksburg I took care of a UPS driver who got heatstroke. This is no joke, folks.

Minnesota man charged in deadly stabbing attack on tubers on western Wisconsin river

A 52-year-old Minnesota man was charged Monday with killing a teenager and stabbing four other people in a dispute that allegedly began with a lost cellphone during a weekend tubing excursion on a western Wisconsin river.

Investigators said in court documents that Nicolae Miu, of Prior Lake, Minnesota, attacked the group after people accused him of approaching children in the water. Miu told investigators that he had acted in self-defense.

He faces one count of first-degree intentional homicide and four counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide in St. Croix County, which sits along Wisconsin’s border with Minnesota. The judge set bond at $1 million cash for Miu, who appeared at the hearing by video.

The family of the teen who died has identified him as 17-year-old Isaac Schuman, of Stillwater, Minnesota. He would have been a senior at Stillwater High School this fall.


Miu told investigators that he was using a snorkel and goggles to look for a lost cellphone. Video and witness accounts indicate bystanders accused him of approaching children in the water. Witnesses said Miu was bothering a group of juveniles and others told him to leave, the complaint states.

Instead of leaving, Miu punched a woman and a fight ensued, according to the complaint. Video shows him falling into the river, emerging with a knife and then stabbing a person.


There's more, and it's even worse than this.

They lost Medicaid when paperwork was sent to a pasture, signaling the mess to come

Three years ago, Mason Lester, a rambunctious toddler, tumbled off his family's porch and broke his wrist. His mother, nine months pregnant, rushed him to a nearby hospital, where she made a confounding discovery: Their health insurance had vanished.

Alarmed, Katie Lester called the Tennessee Medicaid agency, TennCare, which had covered her during a prior pregnancy and insured Mason since the day he was born.

TennCare said the family was no longer enrolled because they had failed to respond to a packet of essential paperwork. But Lester hadn't seen the packet, nor a termination letter. Years would pass before it became clear what went wrong: Due to a clerical error, TennCare had mailed both to a horse pasture.

The loss of Medicaid was catastrophic for the Lesters, an impoverished family that owns a small lawn-cutting business in Belfast, a town of 600 about an hour south of Nashville. Lester and her husband appealed TennCare's decision but were rejected. They reapplied and were denied after mailed paperwork once again failed to reach their home. The Lesters said they were left uninsured for most of the next three years, during which the coronavirus, injuries, and a cesarean birth buried them under more than $100,000 of debt, which savaged their credit and dashed plans to buy their first home.

"It was like we just got run over by a bus when I found out we didn't have insurance," Lester said.

The Lesters' story may be a warning of what's to come for many poor Americans. Because of the COVID-19 public health emergency, TennCare and Medicaid programs in other states largely have been barred from dropping anyone, and Medicaid enrollment has swelled to historical highs. But when the emergency is declared over, states will once again require families to prove they are poor enough to qualify for coverage. Millions are expected to lose their insurance in the year that follows, including countless people like the Lesters who meet the requirements for Medicaid but get lost in its labyrinthine bureaucracy.


This happened in Tennessee, but it's happening all over.

The Marines are set to have the first Black 4-star general in their 246-year history

More than 35 years since his career in the U.S. Marine Corps began, Lt. Gen. Michael Langley will reach one of the highest ranks of the military.

On Aug. 1, the U.S. Senate confirmed Langley to become the first Black four-star general in the Marines' 246-year history. He will lead all U.S. military forces in Africa as chief of U.S. Africa Command.

A native of Shreveport, La., and the son of a former, noncommissioned officer in the Air Force, Langley has commanded at every level. His posts included Afghanistan during the war and various posts in Asia and Europe.

He assumed command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa last year, "after his predecessor was removed amid allegations of using a racial slur for African Americans in front of troops," according to Stars and Stripes.

He also holds multiple advanced degrees, including masters in National Security Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

As of last year, Langley was one of only six Black generals in the Marines, Stars and Stripes reported.


My spousal unit is a Marine brat. Hooah!

Almost 600 Texas youth are trapped in a juvenile prison system on the brink of collapse

Texas’ juvenile prison system is nearing total collapse.Its five lockups are dangerously understaffed, an ongoing problem that worsened dramatically last year when its turnover rate hit more than 70%. The state has desperately tried to recruit employees, but most new hires are gone within six months.

Teachers and caseworkers routinely work in security roles so the prisons’ nearly 600 youth can get out of their cells to go to the bathroom or take showers. Still, children have reported being left to use water bottles as makeshift toilets.

On weekends, youth are often locked alone in cramped cells with only a mounted bookshelf and a thin mattress on a concrete block for up to 23 hours a day. The lucky ones have a small window to the outside.

The agency has largely stopped accepting newly sentenced teenagers from crowded county detention centers, fearing it can’t even protect the children already in its care.

And more and more, children are hurting themselves — sometimes severely — out of distress or as a way to get attention in their isolation. Nearly half of those locked in the state’s juvenile prisons this year have been on suicide watch.

The emergency is the predictable result of a state agency that has been entrenched in crisis for more than a decade. The Texas Juvenile Justice Department is under federal investigation for an alleged pattern of mistreatment and abuse, and it has gone through several iterations of major and moderate reform following scandals marked by sexual abuse and violence, including a full restructuring in 2011.

But the agency has never escaped its problem of chronic understaffing, exacerbating systemic failures and spurring a vicious cycle of worsening conditions for imprisoned children, as well as more difficult work and longer hours for the staff that remains. The agency consistently loses detention officers at a faster rate than any other position in Texas government, outpacing other hard-to-fill jobs like adult prison officers and caseworkers for Child Protective Services.

The staffing crisis only worsened following the pandemic and the subsequent wave of resignations throughout the country. And although agency leaders believe the flood of departures has eased, they are left clinging to startlingly few workers. In June, less than half of the agency’s officer positions were filled by active employees.


More shame for Texas---something else for Hot Wheels not to care about
Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next »