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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

La Nia is about to take the Southwest drought from bad to worse

Global scientists reported in August that due to the climate crisis, droughts that may have occurred only once every decade or so now happen 70% more frequently. The increase is particularly apparent in the Western US, which is currently in the the throes of a historic, multiyear drought that has exacerbated wildfire behavior, drained reservoirs and triggered water shortages.

More than 94% of the West is in drought this week -- a proportion that has hovered at or above 90% since June -- with six states entirely in drought conditions, according to the US Drought Monitor. On the Colorado River, Lake Mead and Lake Powell -- two of the country's largest reservoirs -- are draining at alarming rates, threatening the West's water supply and hydropower generation in coming years.
Though summer rainfall brought some relief to the Southwest, the unrelenting drought there is about to get worse with La Niña on the horizon, according to David DeWitt, director at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center.
"As we move into fall, from October on, the Southwest US, based on all the best information that we have, they're going to see persistent intensification and development of drought," DeWitt told CNN. "There's, at this point, not any indication that they'll see drought relief."

La Niña is a natural phenomenon marked by cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator, which causes shifts in weather across the globe. In the Southwest, La Niña typically causes the jet stream -- upper-level winds that carry storms around the globe -- to shift northward. That means less rainfall for a region that desperately needs it.


Justice Department unseals Capitol riot charges against FreedomWorks organizer

The Justice Department unsealed charges on Thursday against an organizer from the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks for his alleged role in the January 6 insurrection.

Brandon Prenzlin was charged last week with four federal misdemeanors for what prosecutors say was just over three minutes inside the Capitol.
According to court documents, a confidential source identified Prenzlin from video shot inside the Capitol on January 6. Investigators matched the images to his social media posts, including a March video in which he identifies himself as a grassroots coordinator with FreedomWorks.

FreedomWorks was created through a merger between the Koch Brothers' Citizens for a Sound Economy and Empower America, a right-wing think tank. Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation later split off in 2004 and became Americans for Prosperity.


How a Southern utility guards its monopoly -- and endangers the power grid, critics say

Like many ravaging storms that came before it, Hurricane Ida exposed the fragility of Louisiana’s power grid, knocking out electricity to hundreds of thousands of people and businesses, including nearly all of New Orleans. It also laid bare growing doubts about the ability of the state’s largest energy provider to protect against the effects of climate change, including the increasingly destructive weather it causes.

The company, Entergy Corp., has told regulators and shareholders that it is committed to protecting the grid against extreme weather, having spent billions of dollars to upgrade towers, poles and lines.

But Entergy also has a history of resisting changes that would have made the electric grid more resilient, from developing new transmission lines to expanding solar power, according to an examination of regulatory filings and other public documents and interviews with industry researchers and clean-power proponents.

These actions show that while Entergy isn’t opposed to renewable power, it fights projects it doesn’t control and doesn’t want competition from other companies or homeowners trying to generate their own power from the sun. That has angered local elected officials and environmental advocates, who say Entergy is blocking needed change to maintain its dominance of the local energy market.

Because EVERYTHING gotta be for-profit in the USA!

PG&E charged with manslaughter in California wildfire last year that killed 4

Pacific Gas and Electric was charged Friday with manslaughter and other crimes after its equipment sparked a Northern California wildfire last year that killed four people and destroyed hundreds of homes, prosecutors said.

It is the latest action against the nation’s largest utility, which pleaded guilty last year to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter in a 2018 blaze ignited by its long-neglected electrical grid that nearly destroyed the town of Paradise and became the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century.

In a news conference, Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett announced the 31 charges, including 11 felonies, against the company. She said in July that her office had determined that PG&E was “criminally liable” for last year’s Zogg Fire, which burned near the city of Redding.

“We have sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is criminally liable for the ignition of the Zogg Fire and the deaths and destruction it caused,” she said.

Pushed by strong winds, the fire began on Sept. 27, 2020, and raged through the rugged Sierra Nevada and communities, killing four people, burning about 200 homes and blackening about 87 square miles (225 square kilometers) of land.


'Vigilante treatments': Anti-vaccine groups push people to leave ICUs

Anti-vaccine Facebook groups have a new message for their community members: Don’t go to the emergency room, and get your loved ones out of intensive care units.

Consumed by conspiracy theories claiming that doctors are preventing unvaccinated patients from receiving miracle cures or are even killing them on purpose, some people in anti-vaccine and pro-ivermectin Facebook groups are telling those with Covid-19 to stay away from hospitals and instead try increasingly dangerous at-home treatments, according to posts seen by NBC News over the past few weeks.

The messages represent an escalation in the mistrust of medical professionals in groups that have sprung up in recent months on social media platforms, which have tried to crack down on Covid misinformation. And it’s something that some doctors say they’re seeing manifest in their hospitals as they have filled up because of the most recent delta variant wave.

“We were down to four Covid patients two months ago. In this surge, we’ve had 40 to 50 patients with Covid on four different ICU services, 97 percent of them unvaccinated,” said Wes Ely, an ICU doctor and professor of medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “We were making headway, and now we’re just losing really, really badly. There’s something that’s happening on the internet, and it’s dramatically increasing steam.”

Those concerns echo various local reports about growing threats and violence directed toward medical professionals. In Branson, Missouri, a medical center recently introduced panic buttons on employee badges because of a spike in assaults. Violence and threats against medical professionals have recently been reported in Massachusetts, Texas, Georgia and Idaho.


'Rudy is really hurt': Giuliani reportedly banned from Fox News

Rudy Giuliani has reportedly been banned from Fox News.

“Rudy is really hurt,” Politico quoted a source “close to Giuliani” saying.

According to the website, the prominent Trump ally learned of his expulsion on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, after which, as New York mayor, he became a national figure.

Fox News declined to comment on whether Giuliani had been banned.

Politico quoted its source as saying Giuliani was hurt “because he did a big favour for Rupert [Murdoch]. He was instrumental [in 1996] in getting Fox on Time Warner so it could be watched in New York City.”


Tens Of Thousands Of Black Women Vanish Each Year. This Website Tells Their Stories

Tens of thousands of Black girls and women go missing every year. Last year, that figure was nearly 100,000. Yet their cases hardly ever grab national headlines.

A journalist in California is doing what she can to try to change that, by telling as many of their stories as she can — and hopefully helping them get the justice they deserve.

Our Black Girls centers on the often-untold stories of Black girls and women who have gone missing or, in some cases, were found dead under mysterious circumstances. Launched by journalist and activist Erika Marie Rivers in 2018, the website is a one-woman show: Rivers spends her nights combing missing persons databases, archived news footage, old articles and whatever other information she can find to piece together these stories. And she does it all after her day job.

Rivers, 39, has worked in entertainment journalism for more than a decade. For her regular job at a music news website, she works an evening shift from 4 p.m. to midnight — but her nights don't end there. After she finishes her first job, she dives into her second, often working on stories for Our Black Girls well into the night.

I need to add something to this. In Knoxville, TN, Desheena Kyle has been missing for 3+ months. Her off-again, on-again boyfriend is in jail and has been named a person of interest but has not been charged. In my daughter's hometown of Morristown, TN, Inesha Haygood disappeared about 3 years ago. Continued searches, in which my son-inlaw participated, found nothing. Her remains were finally found in an adjacent county (not in an area searched) about 6 months ago. No one has been charged. Those are two that I know about, out of many.

Far-Right Group Wants to Ban Kids From Reading Books on Male Seahorses, Galileo, and MLK

School books about Martin Luther King Jr. are too “divisive,” claims a conservative group at the center of a Tennessee book ban battle. A story about the astronomer Galileo Galilei is “anti-church.” A picture book about seahorses is too sexy.

As the school year resumes, simmering fights over school books have returned to a boil. In some schools, like in Pennsylvania’s Central York School District this week, students have beaten back bans on books about racism. But elsewhere, like in Tennessee’s Williamson County School District, the battle is ongoing, bolstered by new state laws that ban the teaching of certain race-related topics. At the heart of that fight is a conservative group, led by a private-school parent, that has a sprawling list of complaints against common classroom books. Many of the books are about race, but other targets include dragons, sad little owls, and hurricanes.

Registering its website in late 2020, the group “Moms For Liberty” is one of a series of conservative education groups to spring up in the wake of 2020’s racial justice protests. The group is currently involved in battles against in-school mask mandates, as well as a particularly heated fight over school books in Tennessee’s Williamson County.

In June, the group’s leader, who does not have children in the district, authored a letter to the Tennessee Department of Education, complaining that the district’s curriculum violated a new state law against the teaching of some race-related subjects in public schools. (That law, one of multiple enacted over the past year on state and local levels, faced strong criticism, with opponents warning that it would impede teaching about racism in American history.) The MFL letter specifically took issue with curriculum items about Martin Luther King Jr., Ruby Bridges, protests during the Civil Rights Movement, and school segregation.

I wish people would mind their own goddam business!

Detroit drug pipeline targets North Dakota Native Americans. How they're fighting back.

Two police officers led a frantic mother into a Bismarck, North Dakota, hotel room in 2018 to identify the tattooed arm of a body found sprawled on a bed.

Investigators held up a sheet to cover the ashen face of the young Native American woman, while Rhonda Packineau confirmed the victim was her 21-year-old daughter, Cheyenne.

The 6-foot-2 basketball standout’s left forearm displayed “Kasten,” the name of her 1-year-old son, inked in black Old English font. Cheyenne named him for her favorite court move, “casting” three-pointers.

Her talent playing for the high school in the town of Parshall, on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, secured Cheyenne a college scholarship. But sports injuries led to a pain pill addiction that ultimately cut short her studies — and eventually, her life.

Her doctor first prescribed opioids years ago, before physicians and patients understood the addiction risks. Once Cheyenne was hooked, she easily found illegal drugs in Bismarck and on the reservation, a two-hour drive northwest of the city.

Both areas are largely supplied by dealers from the Detroit area who get their drugs from Mexican cartels that are flooding the U.S. every year with thousands of kilos of methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.


A Fleet of Prison Buses Is Being Deployed to Move Haitian Migrants

First it was Border Patrol agents mounted on horseback. Now it’s prison buses.

The federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has quietly dispatched “bus crews” from around the country to Del Rio, Texas, to help transport thousands of Haitian migrants who are camped underneath a bridge along the border, VICE News has learned, after speaking with multiple BOP employees who allege the agency has intentionally tried to avoid leaving a paper trail.

A BOP spokesperson confirmed that the agency “sent approximately 100 staff to provide transportation assistance.” The agency declined to offer further details in response to questions about the scope and purpose of the operation, how the move would affect already short-staffed prisons, and whether the officers are appropriately trained for such a mission.

The BOP staffers who spoke out said their colleagues were ordered to report for duty at the border on short notice and warned that the assignments could last anywhere from two weeks to two months. The staffers involved work on “bus crews,” which typically entails shipping people who’ve been charged with or convicted of federal crimes between jails and prisons.

Andy Kline, the staff union president at the U.S. penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, said eight officers from two bus crews at his institution were among those sent to Del Rio. Kline said BOP buses are equipped with metal cages to lock in prisoners, and questioned whether the Haitians would be subjected to the same security measures.

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