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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 6,489

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

How the search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago revealed a secret Twitter account for GOP Senator Mike Lee

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) is the more Donald Trump-like of the two senators in the state, the other being Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT). But it's Lee who is up for reelection this year against former Republican Evan McMullin, who previously ran for president in Utah to try and deny Trump the electoral votes in 2016.

Behind the scenes, however, Lee has been using an unofficial Twitter account that has gone unnoticed by the public, but appears to have been promoted by some far-right activists. The Star Tribune outed the senator with details on some of his more catty tweets.

It was something noticed after Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort was searched by the FBI for classified information. Lee's social media accounts were dead silent. Noting that it's rare for a politician to be quiet about anything unless they're pleading their Fifth Amendment rights, reporters started searching.

"Lee’s personal Facebook page links to a Twitter thread from a Twitter account — 'Based Mike Lee' — that was created in July," the report said. "The account, full of attempted snark and sarcasm, at one point had a profile picture of a young Mike Lee with digital sunglasses superimposed on his face — a reference to the 'Deal with it' meme that was popular in the early 2010s. A source close to Lee says the account is Lee’s personal Twitter which he manages by himself."

So, it appears Lee has made a statement about the search warrant, through his private Twitter account. He asked if the attorney general personally approved the search warrant and then rants about Hillary Clinton, protests at the homes of the Supreme Court justices and Hunter Biden.


Paunchy Parcheesi, trying to be one of the "cool kids" ("Paunchy Parcheesi" is a reference to Mormon's Monday night "home evenings" which often feature board games. DM me if you want to know where the nickname originally came from.)

Don't go Greyhound

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On Friday, Greyhound said Bus 1511 experienced an "unexpected cancellation." It was expected to arrive at the Marathon Gas Station bus stop on Cherry Street, but travelers said it never showed up.

"They would say it's going to be there soon, 'It's going to be there soon,'" said Emie Hinojosa, who has been sitting outside the gas station since Friday. "They said it was going to be there around 10:30, and it never showed up."

They said they were stranded there for days and were taken to a Red Roof Inn on the third night they spent waiting. But during those days, some storms passed through the Knoxville area. The group also said they couldn't charge their phones and at several points, people would approach them asking for money.

"Greyhound should have some kind of protocol that fell into place, and they didn't do it," said Dajuan Ward, a former bus driver from Ohio. "How would you feel if it was your mother out here?"

There was a similar incident in April when a bus never arrived and travelers were brought to a hotel to wait for a ride. Some of the people waiting at the gas station on Monday said they couldn't afford a hotel though, and had no choice but to wait where they were. Another group of travelers said they were stranded in July too.


And Knoxville has still not negotiated with Greyhound for a better stop. This one is dangerous.

How Coal Mining Contributed to Deadly Kentucky Floods

Appalachian states like Kentucky have a long, turbulent history with coal and mountaintop removal—an extractive mining process that uses explosives to clear forests and scrape soil in order to access underlying coal seams. For years, researchers have warned that land warped by mountaintop removal may be more prone to flooding due to the resulting lack of vegetation to prevent increased runoff. Without trees to buffer the rain and soil to soak it up, water pools together and heads for the least resistant path—downhill.

In 2019, a pair of Duke University scientists conducted an analysis of floodprone communities throughout the region for Inside Climate News that identified the most “mining damaged areas.” These included many of the same Eastern Kentucky communities that saw river levels rise by 25 feet in just 24 hours this past week.

“The findings suggest that long after the coal mining stops, its legacy of mining could continue to exact a price on residents who live downstream from the hundreds of mountains that have been leveled in Appalachia to produce electricity,” wrote Inside Climate News’ James Bruggers.

Now those findings feel tragically prescient. From July 25 to 30, Eastern Kentucky saw a mixture of flash floods and thunderstorms bringing upwards of four inches of rain per hour, swelling local rivers to historic levels. To date, the flooding has claimed at least 37 lives.


Not just mountaintop removal, either. Read Night Comes to the Cumberlands, by Henry Caudill.

She Never Hurt Her Kids. So Why Is a Mother Serving More Time Than the Man Who Abused Her Daughter?


A week before Christmas last year, Kerry King helped three of her children build gingerbread houses in a prison visitation room in Oklahoma. King wanted to make the holiday special for the kids, even under the circumstances. But as the Black 35-year-old spread frosting on a graham cracker while dressed in her orange jumpsuit, her hair braided for the occasion, the mood still felt bittersweet. Since she was incarcerated six years earlier, her kids could only visit once a month, and soon it would be time to say goodbye.

“Do you love me?” Lilah, 10, the most outgoing of King’s children, asked her mother as the visit was ending.

“Of course I do,” King answered.

Lilah thought a moment, her brown eyes serious, and then said something that caught King off guard. “Do you still love him?” she asked. “Because if you still love him, I’ll never forgive you.”

King’s heart dropped. Her ex-boyfriend had abused them both, years ago. He was the reason King was in prison now. But her daughter had never said anything like that to her before. And there wasn’t enough time to have the long conversation they both craved.

Back in her cell, King agonized over whether a letter to Lilah would suffice. She had been mothering her children over letters and phone calls for too long. No matter what, King wanted to tell her daughter, I love you more than I could have loved anyone else, any man. And you should never, ever have to even consider whether I do.

“I am not guilty,” King had said to me over the phone, months before the Christmas visit. “I just wanna go home. I wanna see my kids so bad. It kind of eats you up.”


Oklahoma, you are fucking NOT OK!

N.J. hospital marketing director arrested after cache of 39 guns, ammo found in office closet

A New Jersey hospital marketing director was arrested this week after a bomb threat at the facility led police to discover a cache of weapons and ammunition stashed in an unlocked office closet.

Reuven Alonalayoff, who worked at Hudson Regional Hospital, was taken into custody Sunday at Newark Liberty International Airport with assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations.

Alonalayoff, 46, of Elmwood Park, was charged with possession of an assault firearm and two counts of possession of a high capacity magazine.

Lawyer information for him was not immediately available.

His arrest comes weeks after the hospital received a phone call on July 18 that a bomb was in the facility, the Secaucus Police Department said in a news release.


Missouri family says racism led to pool party cancellation

A Black family says racism prompted officials at a suburban Kansas City water park to cancel a private pool party for their 17-year-old son’s birthday during the weekend.

Chris Evans said he signed a contract with Summit Waves Aquatic Facility in Lee’s Summit to host 250 people for the party on Saturday. But when his sons arrived at the park they were told the reservation was canceled and were not given a reason, Evans said at a news conference Tuesday.

Evans said he and his wife learned while they were on the way to the water park that “this event doesn’t represent Lee’s Summit Waves and that my reservation was canceled because (a park official) was uncomfortable,” The Kansas City Star reported.

That official, flanked by police officers, met the parents when they arrived and reiterated that the party would not be held.

“What are you scared of, Lee’s Summit?” Evans asked at the news conference. “Why are you uncomfortable?”


Sure sounds like it.

The One Critical Mistake Alien Hunters Keep Making

Our search for alien life is getting serious. With better telescopes and a growing scientific consensus that we’re probably not alone in the universe, we’re beginning to look farther and wider across the vastness of space for evidence of extraterrestrials.

But it’s possible we’re looking for too few signs in too few places. Having evolved on Earth, surrounded by Earth life, we assume alien life would look and behave like terrestrial life.

What if we’re wrong? What if E.T. is out there waiting to be discovered by the first astronomer willing to open their mind to the possibility that, to us, alien life might seem really weird?

Some scientists are trying to fix our Earth bias. In a new study that was made available to read on July 27, a team led by Arwen Nicholson, an astrophysicist at the University of Exeter, attacked one assumption that’s widespread in astronomy. There’s a common line of thought that a distant “exoplanet”—a planet outside the solar system—would need a certain amount of oxygen and hydrogen to support life. And those lifeforms, as they lived and died and evolved, would excrete methane gas that would build up in the atmosphere.

Methane is one of the big things astronomers look for when it comes to evidence of alien life. They call it a “biosignature.” But with over 5,000 thousand confirmed exoplanets on the official roster and only so many telescopes that are powerful enough to survey them, astronomers tend to exclude planets that appear to be nutrient-poor—lacking, say, the concentration of hydrogen that we have here on Earth.


I once read a SF series called Starbridge, by A.C. Crispin, which assumed otherwise in some cases. It was...interesting.

A challenge for antiabortion states: Doctors reluctant to work there

In a few years, Olgert Bardhi’s skills will be in high demand. A first-year resident in internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, he’ll be a full-fledged physician by 2025 in a nation facing a shortage of primary care doctors.

The trouble for Texas: Because of the state’s strict antiabortion laws, Bardhi’s not sure he will remain there.

Although he doesn’t provide abortion care right now, laws limiting the procedure have created confusion and uncertainty over what treatments are legal for miscarriage and keep him from even advising pregnant patients on the option of abortion, he said. Aiding and abetting an abortion in Texas also exposes doctors to civil lawsuits and criminal prosecution.

“It definitely does bother me,” Bardhi said. “If a patient comes in, and you can’t provide them the care that you are supposed to for their well-being, maybe I shouldn’t practice here. The thought has crossed my mind.”

He is balancing his concern with his sense that he can do more good by staying, including counseling patients on obtaining contraception.

Bardhi’s uncertainty reflects a broader hesitancy among some doctors and medical students who are reconsidering career prospects in red states where laws governing abortion have changed rapidly since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, according to interviews with health-care professionals and reproductive health advocates.


Red states, you have shot yourselves in the lower abdomen. Now deal with the bleeding.

The Surreal Spectacle of Marjorie Taylor Greene and the Capitol Riot Rage Cage

As dozens of onlookers looked on, some with tears in their eyes, a barefoot man in an orange jumpsuit and red MAGA cap sobbed in a cage in a convention center in Dallas, Texas.

Attendees at CPAC, the massive annual conservative activist conference, were given bluetooth headphones, emblazoned with the word “silence,” where they were invited to listen to audio accounts from January 6 defendants who have been jailed due to the Capitol riot.

Some spectators wept. Some threw money into the cage. Others came up close to mutter words of comfort and support to the emotionally distraught man inside, who was alternating sitting on a bare cot with his head in his hands, and writing sad slogans on a blackboard like “Where is Everyone?” Among those in the audience was Zuny Duarte, mother of Enrique Tarrio, the jailed ex-chairman of the Proud Boys facing seditious conspiracy charges for his role in the Capitol. One man, wearing a T-shirt saying “Correctional Officers for Trump 2020” pointed at his chest, making sure the “jailed” activist saw, and said “”I know how it works, man.”



Surprise in the stray jail this morning

Went for my usual Friday shift in the stray jail and started by feeding everyone since they were all hollering that they were starving (you can imagine how loud it gets). Started cleaning as usual with the back row of kittens, fending off the advances of the one I've named Buddy Guy, who wants to climb all over you and chew on your ears while you're cleaning, by putting him in what Natalie calls the "dumb baby jail", and making the acquaintance of the new little boy who has a problem with one of his front legs.There were some others to do also, of course. Then I started on the front row.

There was a "box cat" in the first top kennel. Box cats are feral or very shy cats who are given what we variously call a feral box or hide box (some people call it a "bad box" but I hate that) to hang out in until they either get used to us, are consigned to the Barn Cat program, or go to a partner shelter. This particular box cat had a very gross, nasty towel in her kennel. Natalie told me that she had given birth to two kittens night before last and kicked them out of the box and wouldn't have anything to do with them, and Charlottesville had taken them yesterday on their weekly visit and sweep. I closed up the box and prepared to take box and cat out and set it on the floor so I could clean the kennel and change the towel. Imagine my surprise when I looked in the box and found the cat with two more kittens, the image of her, and fat, clean and healthy, that she was obviously taking care of! Everyone was shocked! Natalie came over to look, Marly came running in from the adoptable room, and Natalie put in a call to the med team, which brought the clinic manager down to marvel. Mama and babies were carried off to the nursery and the rest of us were left shaking our heads.

Here's the strange part. The kittens she wouldn't have anything to do with didn't look like these two. Mom is a common brown tabby sort with some white on her, as are the survivors. One of the ones she kicked out was orange and the other was black. When I told my husband, he said, "Maybe it was two different dads and she didn't like one of them." That's one theory. I think she may just be an inexperienced mom and didn't recognize them or didn't understand what was happening at first. It's all kind of weird.
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