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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 06:34 PM
Number of posts: 7,362

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

Second world war veteran twice denied absentee ballot under Texas voting law

A 95-year-old second world war veteran twice denied an absentee ballot under a restrictive Texas voting law has attracted support from prominent figures including Beto O’Rourke, a voting rights campaigner and former presidential candidate now running for Texas governor.

Kenneth Thompson, who served in the US army in Europe, told Click2Houston, a Harris county news outlet, he had voted in every election since he was 21 and even remembered paying a 50-cent poll tax in the 1950s.

“I’ve been voting many, many years and I’ve never missed a vote,” he said, adding that he considers voting a duty.

But under a voting restriction bill known as SB1 and passed last August, Thompson could be unable to meet the state’s 31 January voter registration deadline for an absentee ballot.

According to the new law, Thompson is required to submit a social security or driver’s license number that matches state or county records. When Thompson registered to vote decades ago, however, such requirements were not in place.

Gov Hot Wheels Texass

Hungarian Roma are translating Amanda Gorman; her poetry speaks to their experience

Rozalia Galambica first discovered Amanda Gorman on YouTube, not long after the poet dazzled at President Biden's inauguration with "The Hill We Climb."

"The way she performs her poem," says Galambica, a 20-year-old Hungarian Roma, "you are listening to her, and everything makes sense."

The Roma are one of Europe's largest minorities, and its most marginalized. They migrated from India to Europe centuries ago yet are still treated like outsiders. Until recently, the Roma were also called gypsies.

"When you experience hate every day of your life," Galambica says, "you just feel every word of the poem. You feel seen. You feel hope that you can do much more in life than what society tells you."

This perspective is one reason why Galambica is now on a team of young Romani writers who are translating Gorman's best-selling new book, Call Us What We Carry, into Hungarian. The translation is due out this summer. Their selection came after a heated debate in Europe last year over who should translate the work of a young Black American poet.


This warning from Patrick Henry has become disturbingly relevant in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrec

This warning from Patrick Henry has become disturbingly relevant in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection
History News Network

On January 6, 2021, and again on its anniversary, rioters and their defenders invoked an almost mythological belief in “1776” and the most famous words of Patrick Henry – “give me liberty or give me death.” Henry’s speech is a favorite of the modern Tea Party and those who wish to deny federal authority or to ignore laws with which they disagree.

This, though, is to misunderstand Henry. His “liberty or death” speech was a response to British efforts to tax Americans unrepresented in Parliament and undermine the power of elected assemblies. His understanding of democracy is much more clearly shown in his opposition to ratification of the U.S. Constitution and then, later, his defense of the Constitution that he had opposed.

In 1788, Henry became the leading antifederalist, contesting ratification of the new Constitution. He warned that the federal government would become too powerful, too distant from the people. The presidency “squints to monarchy.” Henry almost defeated ratification in Virginia, but he lost. The Constitution was ratified.

When other antifederalists, led by George Mason, met to plan continued opposition to the Constitution’s implementation, Henry objected. He had opposed ratification “in the proper place – and with all the powers he possessed,” but having lost, it was time to “give it fair play.” Henry retired, refusing appointments as a Supreme Court justice, secretary of state, ambassador to France or Spain.


Her When We Were Young Fest Nightmare: Dick Pics and Mockery

What began as an aughts emo kids’ fever dream of a festival is shaping up to be a shambolic mess that TikTokers have already dubbed Fyre Fest 2.0. And for one woman, the When We Were Young Festival in Las Vegas has already turned into a nightmare.

Cristina Amaya, a gaming director, was ready to slap down $2,600 for a day of pop-punk nostalgia for herself and four friends. She ended up canceling their entire trip after allegedly being called a “bitch” and a “cunt,” and being mocked by a customer service agent who claimed to be from the festival’s third-party ticketing agency, Front Gate Tickets, which is owned by the fest’s presenter Live Nation.

And when she finally spoke with the agent’s boss, the supervisor sent her a pornographic photo of multiple penises and stayed on the phone to ensure that the would-be concertgoer had received the explicit photo.

“The whole thing just feels so crazy to me,” Amaya tells The Daily Beast. She ended up having to block the customer service number after the agent tried calling her cellphone back, feeling that she was being harassed. “They said I deserved dick pics because I had a whiny Karen voice.”

Not OK

This California Dairy Farm's Secret Ingredient for Clean Electricity: Cow Poop

It has already proven its worth as a fertilizer and building material, and even as a secret ingredient in Ancient Egyptian ceramics. As it turns out, cow dung might also have a bright future as a plentiful source of clean electricity, thanks to the planet-warming methane it produces.

Few places encompass this potential future better than Bar 20 Dairy, a dairy farm in Kerman, California, which uses methane from cow manure to produce clean electricity with almost zero carbon emissions. It’s the first dairy farm in the U.S. to power its own clean energy “microgrid” using a biogas, and it could be a tantalizing sign of what the future of green energy might look like for companies with access to plenty of methane.

The technology isn’t all that hard to grasp. Manure and waste water from the farm’s nearly 7,000 cows are transported and sifted into a 25-million-gallon rectangular pit in the ground called a digester. The liquid sits for about 30 days while methane gas rises to the top of the closed digester. The gas then gets piped into a skid shifter, which separates the methane from hydrogen sulfide and other impurities. Finally, the methane is piped into fuel cells that harness it to produce electricity with little to no greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s where Silicon Valley meets the Central Valley,” said N. Ross Buckenham, the CEO of California Bioenergy, a company that operates and builds manure digesters—including the one used by Bar 20 Dairy.

Note: Unlike some other farms that use cow poop for energy, this one does NOT use a combustion engine!

The Supreme Court's new death penalty order should make your skin crawl

Hamm v. Reeves, a death penalty order that the Supreme Court handed down Thursday night, is an epilogue to a longstanding tension between drug companies that do not wish their products to be used to kill people, and states that are willing to use unreliable drugs to conduct executions if effective sedatives are not available.

It’s also unsettlingly cruel.

The upshot of the Court’s 5-4 decision in Hamm is that a man was executed using a method that may have caused him excruciating pain, most likely because that man’s disability prevented him from understanding how to opt in to a less painful method of execution.

There is significant evidence that Matthew Reeves, a man convicted of murder that the state of Alabama executed after the Supreme Court permitted it to do so on Thursday, had an intellectual disability. Among other things, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor noted in a 2021 dissenting opinion, an expert employed by the state gave Reeves an IQ test and determined that “Reeves’ IQ was well within the range for intellectual disability.”

The Supreme Court held in Atkins v. Virginia (2002) that “death is not a suitable punishment” for someone with an intellectual disability. Nevertheless, in its 2021 decision in Dunn v. Reeves, the Supreme Court voted along party lines to effectively prevent Reeves from avoiding execution.

The issue in Hamm, the decision that the Court handed down Thursday night, is quite narrow. After Dunn, it was no longer a question of whether Alabama could execute Reeves. The only question was how Alabama could conduct this execution — and whether the state was allowed to use a method that may very well amount to torture, even over Reeves’s objection.

"Pro-life" my sainted Aunt Matilda!

A bizarre Wisconsin hospital lawsuit shows how Covid-19 gave workers new leverage

The staffing crisis in health care reached a farcical extreme last week when ThedaCare, a health system in Wisconsin, filed for a temporary restraining order to block a number of its employees from leaving their jobs and moving to another nearby hospital.

The hospital argued that, because the pandemic had created a shortage of health care workers, it needed the court to block the employees from leaving at least until it was able to come up with a staffing plan.

As medical workers burn out, isolate due to Covid-19, and leave for other professions, the ensuing staffing shortage has gotten so severe that ThedaCare turned to the courts to try to fix it. It was a striking example of how the pandemic has turned the health care labor market upside down, putting nurses and doctors in higher demand than ever even as they must face the most grueling working conditions of their careers.

The workers and the hospital that hired them, Ascension Northeast Wisconsin, countered that ThedaCare could have matched the offers made by Ascension, but didn’t. By declining to match and then failing to come up with a plan before the workers were to set to leave, they argued ThedaCare was attempting to punish the workers for its own shortsightedness.

I once worked for a home health agency that tried that gambit. Didn't work for them either.

How the world's deepest shipwreck was found

On 23 October 1944, the first engagements of a gigantic naval battle began in Leyte Gulf, part of the Philippine Sea. It was the biggest in modern human history.

Over the following three days, more than 300 US warships faced off against some 70 Japanese vessels. The Americans had with them no fewer than 34 aircraft carriers – only slightly fewer than all the carriers in service around the world today – and some 1,500 aircraft. Their air fleet outnumbered the Japanese five to one.

The battle had two major effects – it prevented the Japanese interfering with the American invasion of the Philippines (which had been captured by the Japanese nearly four years earlier) and effectively knocked the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) out of action for the rest of World War Two. Nearly 30 Japanese ships were sunk, and many of the remainder – including the biggest battleship ever built, the Yamato – would be so badly damaged they would be largely confined to port for the rest of the war.

While the wider battle largely saw the US outnumber the Japanese fleet, one crucial action was different. A small force – Task Force 77, mainly destroyers and unarmoured aircraft carriers – found itself battling a much larger Japanese formation.

The battle took place off the island of Samar. Massively outnumbered, the small US flotilla fought against overwhelming odds, pressing home their attack against the much larger and better-armed Japanese ships.

The US resistance was so fierce that it prompted the Japanese commander, Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita, to turn his fleet around, believing he was now facing the bulk of the US forces. The small, relatively unarmoured American destroyers came as close as possible to the Japanese warships, preventing them using their powerful long-range guns. The small US force prevented a potential massacre, but their resistance came at a heavy cost. Five of the 13 US ships were sunk.


'Quick Reaction Forces' And The Lingering Mysteries Of The Plot Against The Capitol

The Comfort Inn location just off the interstate has three stars on Yelp, where reviewers noted it had free parking and free breakfast, but poor WiFi. It did well on TripAdvisor too, although one person reported they found a dead roach in the shower.

As a staging ground for an alleged seditious conspiracy, however, it was a pretty solid choice. The Comfort Inn Ballston had rooms available for members of the right-wing Oath Keepers organization at a reasonable rate. The hotel’s luggage carts were strong enough to lug the bins of weapons, ammunition and supplies that they wheeled in to prepare for Jan. 6, 2021. Its location right off the ramp to Route 66 eastbound, outside of rush hour, can get you to the U.S. Capitol in a hurry. Critically, it was located in the state of Virginia, where the alleged co-conspirators wouldn’t have to worry about those pesky D.C. gun laws until it was time to take over the federal government. Then the laws wouldn’t matter.

The indictment of Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, who was integral to the plot that unfolded in Ballston, on seditious conspiracy charges this month has once again drawn national attention to how supporters of President Donald Trump plotted to help stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory on Jan. 6. Even after more than 700 arrests, and the hundreds of potential cases that remain, the latest indictment indicates there is much more we still don’t know about the most high-profile conspiracy case to emerge from the Jan. 6 investigation — and how much worse things could have been.

Part of the Oath Keepers’ conspiracy was standing up “Quick Reaction Forces” (QRFs) just outside of D.C. that were on standby to deliver guns into the capital on Jan. 6. The “base of operations,” according to the indictment, was the Comfort Inn Ballston, where the North Carolina QRF team leader reserved three rooms: one for their North Carolina team, another for the Arizona QRF team, and the third for the Florida QRF team. The indictment alleges they used those rooms to store and guard the firearms, although the four men on the North Carolina QRF team “kept their rifles ready to go in a vehicle parked in the hotel lot” according to a court filing.

Brownshirts. Freaking DANGEROUS!

The real reason some people are so afraid of 'Maus'

Opinion by David M. Perry

I thought it was a comic book. I first saw this book called "Maus" on the shelf in the guest room of our Nashville house. I don't remember why I was looking at the books. Maybe I was just a bored 17-year-old looking for something to do. I just remember being confused, because as far as I knew my parents didn't own any comic books. And why did it have a swastika on the cover? But I picked it up, sat down on the couch and started to read.

As I flipped the pages, I felt myself becoming a little disoriented, unclear why this book was telling the story of the Holocaust in this way, with drawings of Jews as mice and Nazis as cats. But I was quickly drawn in, flipping pages faster and faster, then pausing, going back and trying to process the visual narrative of Art Spiegelman's graphic novel instead of just skimming words. In the end, I felt unsettled, unsure of what I just encountered, but sensing it mattered deeply.
Back then, as a bookish Jewish teenager, I was pretty sure I knew a lot about the history of the Holocaust. My parents were historians. I was, it turned out, pretty good in history class. I had read "Man's Search for Meaning" by the survivor Victor Frankl in eighth grade.
But "Maus" was different -- I was pulled in by the choices made possible by the medium itself. It was hand-drawn, the mice at once distinct as characters (the author, his mother, his father and their community) but at the same time rendered into a mob of animals fit only for slaughter by the Nazi cats. The triangular shape of the mice's heads evoked long-held stereotypes about the shapes of our faces as seen by our oppressors, while also conveying warmth and even humanity.

I can't tell you why it worked, but it did -- and reading it changed me. Clearly, I'm not alone in finding the book a perspective-altering experience. It's the only graphic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize, and it's become part of school curricula all around the country.

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