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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 06:34 PM
Number of posts: 7,425

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

Genetic risk factor found for Covid-19 smell and taste loss, researchers say

Scientists are piecing together why some people lose their sense of smell after contracting Covid-19.

A study published Monday in the journal Nature Genetics identified a genetic risk factor associated with the loss of smell after a Covid infection, a discovery that brings experts closer to understanding the perplexing pattern and may point the way toward much-needed treatments.

Six months after contracting Covid, as many as 1.6 million people in the United States are still unable to smell or have experienced a change in their ability to smell. The precise cause of sensory loss related to Covid is not known, but scientists do think it stems from damage to infected cells in a part of the nose called the olfactory epithelium. These cells protect olfactory neurons, which help humans smell.

“How we get from infection to smell loss remains unclear,” said Dr. Justin Turner, an associate professor of otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University who was not a part of the study.

I couldn't smell or taste while I had it, but it didn't persist after like it does with some.

Kentucky candle factory that threatened to fire workers during tornado is closing

A Kentucky candle factory that was destroyed by a killer tornado — and where workers said they were threatened with dismissal if they left their posts before it hit — is closing and half the employees are being laid off.

Mayfield Consumer Products said in a Jan. 10 filing under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act that it plans to shift the remaining 250 or so workers to a new plant in the nearby town of Hickory that will be "up and running as soon as practical."

"Although many employees are being offered a transfer to the HP facility, there will not be room for the entire population to move to Hickory Point," plant manager Michael Staten said in the notice. "Those employees not offered a transfer to the new facility will be laid off."He said the company expects "all layoffs in Mayfield to be permanent."

Company spokesman Bob Ferguson later told The Louisville Courier Journal, which first broke the news about the layoffs, that the company is "committed to the rehiring of everyone and to meeting or exceeding the employment levels it had prior to the tornado.”

This is what happens in right-to-slave states.

The part of MLK's legacy that politicians today conveniently like to forget

Martin Luther King Jr. is a symbol of peace, justice and nonviolence, but he is often misquoted, misunderstood and invoked for nefarious purposes that have nothing to do with his legacy. While many like to speak of King's "dream" and his commitment to peace, part of remembering him means understanding his belief that society has a responsibility to disobey unjust laws. And right now in America, we have become the land of unjust laws and policies — from voter suppression to bans on teaching race and racism.

In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” King said we have a duty to disobey unjust laws. "I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws," he wrote. "Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'an unjust law is no law at all.'"

What is an unjust law? According to King, it's one that degrades rather than uplifts humanity. Jim Crow segregation statutes were a prime example of unjust laws because "segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality," as King noted. "It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority."

A law is also unjust if a numerical majority or a power majority imposes it on a minority yet the majority does not have to follow the law. King used specific examples to make his point.

Internationally, he pointed to Germany, writing: "We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was 'legal.' ... It was 'illegal' to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany."


Revealed: the Flint water poisoning charges that never came to light

A team of prosecutors and investigators leading the investigation into the Flint water crisis from 2016 through 2018 were assembling a racketeering case against the architects of a bond deal that residents and experts say sparked the health disaster, sources familiar with the criminal investigation have told the Guardian.

The case – which would have come under the Rico (racketeer-influenced and corrupt organizations) laws often used to charge organized crime groups – was widespread and set to implicate additional state officials who played a role in the poisoning of Flint, according to these sources.

But when the team was suddenly broken up and the investigation restarted with a new set of investigators, the Rico case never materialized.

What happened? Critics point to the Michigan attorney general, Dana Nessel.

Running to replace the term-limited Republican attorney general Bill Schuette in 2018, Nessel, a Democrat, criticized the Flint criminal investigation under Schuette as “politically charged show trials” and campaigned on revamping the investigation. Shortly after Nessel won the attorney general race and took office, her administration fired the top prosecutors and investigators working on the Schuette-launched investigation and restarted the prosecution with a new team.


Iowa town translates its diverse population into a majority Latino city council

When people drive into Iowa’s first majority Latino city, the first thing they’ll see is a building with an enormous mural. It declares ‘you belong here,’ on the left. ‘Tú perteneces aquí in Spanish on the right.

Two-term city councilman Jose Zacarias meets his old friend Tar Macias outside about a block away. They chat about the history of the town as they make their way up the street bundled in hats, jackets and gloves. Macias has been delivering his bilingual newspaper Hola Iowa to the town for about 20 years.

“Okay this is Main Street," Zacarias gestures to the long pathway of businesses.

Macias points to a building, "The coffee shop we were at, correct me if I’m wrong, this used to be a pharmacy?"

Zacarias answers yes without delay.


MLK Isn't the Only Black Baptist Hero Being Honored Today

As Americans observe the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., many Africans will be observing the legacy of their own Baptist crusader for racial justice, the Rev. John Chilembwe.

King and Chilembwe both led institutions influenced by the National Baptist Convention, a 19th-century network of African American churches with a missionary zeal.

The poignant history of MLK’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta has been oft-told: in 1886, John A. Parker, an ex-slave, persuaded a small group of friends to gather for fellowship at a stone marker known as the “Ebenezer.” In 1894, he was succeeded by pastor Adam Daniel “A.D.” Williams, a child of slaves who espoused a program of self-determination inspired by the social gospels and the bootstrap ideals of Booker T. Washington. He urged members to “get a piece of the turf.”

Williams was followed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. in 1931. He married Williams’ daughter, Alberta Christine, and led Ebenezer until 1975—eventually sharing pastoral duties with his son, MLK Jr., until the latter’s assassination in 1968. (Last January, Ebenezer Baptist made history by helping to catapult its pastor, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, to the U.S. Senate in a special election. Warnock became the first Black Senator from GA and is running for re-election to a full term in November.)

The story of John Chilembwe began around the same time as the founding of the Ebenezer. He was born about 1871 in a location of southern Africa known for slave trading by African Muslim tribal groups, Arabs, and Portuguese sea captains. His father was a part of the Muslim group; his mother was related to indigenous people from the interior region of mountains and lakes.


Why ending illegal pregnancy discrimination is so hard

In 2018, Annika moved to a new job at a bank in Germany, to lead a risk management team. Six weeks later, she told the company she was pregnant. She offered to continue working up until she gave birth, even though she was legally entitled to go on paid leave well before then.

She reports her manager quickly switching from pleasant to harsh. She says he started to question her competence, and complained to other colleagues about her pregnancy. “I slowly started to lose my nerve because the atmosphere became rather poisoned, and I really started to question myself.”

When he started talking about firing her, she found a lawyer. This led to a year’s worth of negotiations about a severance package. “The company was hoping I would quit by myself,” Annika, now 34, explains. “During my pregnancy I was pretty scared of the financial impact of getting fired and the impact on my career. I had a pretty bad nervous breakdown and couldn’t stop crying for three months.”

Discrimination due to pregnancy – like Annika experienced – is sadly common around the world. Even though it’s illegal in many nations, employers continue to demote, penalise or fire employees around the period of pregnancy. The discrimination can be overt or subtle, and in many cases structures and frameworks created to help women tackle it end up letting them down. This can have resounding psychological and financial impacts, in addition to the damage inflicted on their professional lives.

This article speaks of many nations. I invite your experiences.

How quick thinking stopped a ransomware attack from crippling a Florida hospital

It was approaching midnight on Sunday and the head of IT at a Florida hospital had a problem.

The emergency room of Jackson Hospital, a 100-bed facility on Florida's panhandle, called to report that it couldn't connect to the charting system that doctors use to look up patients' medical histories. Jamie Hussey, Jackson Hospital's IT director, soon realized that the charting software, which was maintained by an outside vendor, was infected with ransomware and that he didn't have much time to keep the computer virus from spreading.
The hospital shut down its computer systems on his advice.
"If we hadn't stopped it, it probably would've spread out through the entire hospital," Hussey said. Hospital staff ditched the electronic records and reverted to pen and paper to keep the hospital running and organized, he said, but patient care wasn't disrupted.
As Hussey spoke to CNN Tuesday, the hospital's IT systems were gradually coming online, and he was expecting phone calls from the FBI (which investigates hacking incidents) and Aon, a cybersecurity consultancy that Hussey said was supporting the recovery. He was trying to figure out if the hackers had stolen any hospital data, and if they might need to be paid off to get it back.


Portland Releases Police Training Material That Encouraged Beating Protesters

Portland, Oregon’s mayor announced just before the weekend that the city’s police department is investigating itself over a training presentation featuring a meme encouraging cops to use violence against left-wing protesters.

The meme shows an officer in riot gear beating a protester described as a “dirty hippy.” The message, addressed to demonstrators in the form of mock Bible verses, suggests officers would “christen your heads with hickory, And anoint your faces with pepper spray.”

“And once thou hast been cuffed and stuffed; Once though hast been stitched and bandaged,” it continued, “Perhaps thou shall learn, I’m tired of your shit. Amen.”

The department said it began looking into the training presentation in September after the image was discovered during a legal review. But it wasn’t until late on Friday that Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office alerted the public and published the presentation, noting that it would soon be released in the course of a lawsuit over the city’s response to racial justice protests in the summer of 2020.


Why the indictment of Oath Keeper Stewart Rhodes should scare a lot of people

By Laurence H. Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard and Dennis Aftergut, former federal prosecutor

We’ve reached a turning point on the road to accountability for those who led the Jan. 6 insurrection, whether they stormed the physical congressional barricades or not.

On Jan. 13, the Justice Department indicted 56-year-old Stewart Rhodes, head of the extremist group the Oath Keepers, and 10 others whom prosecutors say were the tip of the spear of the Capitol riot. The monumental lead count of the 17-count indictment alleges that he and his co-defendants, along with unnamed others, were part of a “seditious conspiracy.”

That crime is, in effect, treason’s sibling. Under 18 USC §2384, seditious conspiracy is an attempt “to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or... by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States.” It is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

This historic indictment creates an enormous incentive for the defendants to cooperate with the government and help fulfill Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Jan. 5 commitment to hold “all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law — whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy.” Four other Oath Keepers (at least) are already cooperating.

Recommended reading!
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