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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 167,494

Journal Archives

Routine building inspections not required on high-rises in Florida


Routine building inspections not required on high-rises in Florida
by Dave Elias
5:35 AM EDT, Fri June 25, 2021


Dr. Ashraf Badir from FGCU’s Whitaker College of Engineering explained there is routine maintenance that happens to all buildings. However, there is no routine inspection required on high rises after they’re built.

“There could be no warning but there is a reason behind it. Some changes in the environment around the structure have happened that caused this to occur,” said Dr. Badir.

In 1981, the same year that the collapsed building was built, Florida passed a threshold inspection.

The inspection requires buildings, like Tarpon Landings, to be inspected during construction and as well as when it’s completed.

Currently, after a special inspector signs off on a building that is three stories or higher there is no statewide law that mandates annual inspections on those buildings.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:19 AM (5 replies)

Woman Missing in Miami Beach Condo Disaster Had Been Woken by 'Creaking' Building, Says Son


Woman Missing in Miami Beach Condo Disaster Had Been Woken by ‘Creaking’ Building, Says Son
Philippe Naughton
Updated Jun. 25, 2021 4:27AM ET /
Published Jun. 25, 2021 3:42AM ET

A woman missing after the Surfside apartment block collapse had been woken up by “creaking noises” the previous night, according to her son. Pablo Rodriguez, whose mother and grandmother are both unaccounted for after Thursday’s disaster, said his mother had called him on Wednesday. “She just told me she had woken up around 3, 4 in the morning and had heard like some creaking noises,” Rodriguez told CNN. “They were loud enough to wake her.” He said it seemed like an offhand comment, but added: “Now, in hindsight, you always wonder.” At least 99 people are missing after the collapse of the Champlain Towers complex, which had been experiencing structural “issues” for years. Asked how he was handling his emotions, Rodriguez said: “It’s waves of devastation with troughs of disbelief... This doesn’t happen. Buildings don’t just collapse. It’s not real.”
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jun 25, 2021, 07:00 AM (7 replies)

"The act of journalism is not a crime."


Biden blasts Beijing over Hong Kong paper closure: 'Sad day for media freedom'


“Journalists are truth-tellers who hold leaders accountable and keep information flowing freely—and that is needed now more than ever in Hong Kong, and in places around the world where democracy is under threat,” Biden said. “Beijing must stop targeting the independent press and release the journalists and media executives that have been detained. The act of journalism is not a crime.”
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jun 24, 2021, 10:00 PM (7 replies)

Democrats hear calls to nix recess

Democrats hear calls to nix recess
By Alexander Bolton - 06/24/21 06:00 AM EDT


Senators are scheduled to leave town for a two-week recess starting Friday. After that, the Senate will be in session for four weeks, until Aug. 6, when it is scheduled to take another long recess until Sept. 13.

A growing number of progressives say Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) needs to think about revising the schedule, arguing the “historic” opportunity to pass a big, bold infrastructure bill is fast disappearing.

“I’m in favor of working right through” the August recess, said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Budget Committee.

“My view is we need to keep at it. I’ve been a strong proponent of really working to get the caucus fully focused on working as fast as possible,” he said of the slow-moving infrastructure negotiations.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who saw his voting rights bill, the For the People Act, get blocked by Republicans, said he’s also willing to stay in town during August, when lawmakers traditionally escape the town’s hot, humid weather for other locations.

“I’m very supportive of accelerating the momentum to counter the delay-and-obstruct tactics” of Republicans, Merkley said. “We need to use every day we can possibly use this year.”


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jun 24, 2021, 10:48 AM (6 replies)

Eric Boehlert: The stunning GOP report on voter fraud that Fox News won't touch


The stunning GOP report on voter fraud that Fox News won’t touch
Trump claims are "ludicrous"
Eric Boehlert
2 hr ago


Michigan became a hotbed of moronic, baseless elections claims just days after Trump lost the crucial state by more than 150,000 votes: Absentee ballots were sent out illegally! Dead people cast votes all over the state! Biden mysteriously won 100,000 votes the morning after the election! Poll watchers were blocked from watching absentee voter counting! Video proved absentee ballots were smuggled into the Detroit counting center!

All of those claims were quickly debunked and Trump never stood a chance of overturning Biden’s comfortable margin of victory. Yet Trump persisted, pressing the Michigan Republican Party to delay the state’s certification of Biden’s obvious win, simply as a way to muddy the waters and raise doubts about voter integrity nationwide. The destructive delay strategy almost worked. But then Aaron Van Langevelde, a Republican serving on Michigan’s board of canvassers, refused to go along with the bullying and voted to certify Biden’s win. “We must not attempt to exercise power we simply don’t have,” Van Langevelde said.

Today, the last thing Fox News wants to report on are detailed findings from Republicans who dismiss the “stolen” election programming that Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda network has been churning out for months. In fact, “In the two weeks after Fox News called the election for Biden, Fox News cast doubt on the results of the election at least 774 times,” according to Media Matters. “The network’s most prominent figures relentlessly attempted to subvert democracy by fueling conspiracy theories and spreading misinformation, rhetoric for which the network has refused to hold them accountable.”

And it continues to this day
. Tucker Carlson recently insisted, “So many people are lying at such high volume about the 2020 election, it's hard to know exactly what happened.” Not surprisingly, nearly nine-in-ten Republicans who trust Fox News the most overwhelmingly support the stolen election conspiracy theory.

Don’t look for Michigan Oversight Committee Republicans to be invited on Tucker Carlson’s show anytime soon.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jun 24, 2021, 09:49 AM (6 replies)

The Rude Pundit: Manchin and Sinema Made Promises to Their Voters That They Refuse to Keep


The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
Manchin and Sinema Made Promises to Their Voters That They Refuse to Keep

After yesterday's 50-50 vote killing the For the People Act because a Republican filibuster prevented it from even being debated, let alone voted on, I was ready to write another piece raging about feckless Democrats and their inability to get things done, even when they have both houses of Congress and the presidency. But every time I thought it through, I came up against one pretty solid wall built by Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia and their declarations that they will not vote to do away with the filibuster, which will affect every bill from now until Republicans take back over the Senate and almost definitely ditch the filibuster when a Republican is president. Sure, sure, we can say that President Joe Biden could try some kind of LBJ-like threats and/or cajoling to get them to change. But that's not going to happen. Screaming against that wall is kind of useless. So lemme zag instead of zigging:

Sinema and Manchin have taken an untenable position on the filibuster because it puts them in the position of lying to their constituents about a whole lot of the promises they made when they last ran for office in 2018.

For instance, Manchin's campaign website explicitly says, "America’s infrastructure is deteriorating, and too many roads and bridges in West Virginia are falling apart. Joe wants to put West Virginians to work updating and modernizing infrastructure." And in the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act, which is set to be voted on by the entire House of Representatives, West Virginia gets earmarks worth in the neighborhood of $35 million in specifically budgeted infrastructure projects, all requested by Republican members of Congress from the state, Carol Miller and David McKinley. That seems pretty damn bipartisan.


Even by her own standard that she laid out for voters, Sinema fails. On her website, it said, "We believe that delivering results is more important than scoring political points. That’s why Kyrsten will work with anyone – regardless of party – who’s serious about getting things done for everyday Arizonans." If she believes that the vote-blocking Republicans are "serious about getting things done" at this point, she's either owned by someone or delusional (or, yes, both - you can safely put away the little girl gif). But if Sinema believes "delivering results" really is "more important than scoring political points," then, it seems, the only result she cares about is preserving the filibuster. And that's just about scoring political points because it accomplishes nothing more.

Manchin and Sinema made explicit promises about what they wanted to do while in office. And the only people who are preventing them from fulfilling those promises are Manchin and Sinema. They will need to go home and explain why an anti-majoritarian Senate rule is more important than jobs, safe drinking water, bridges that don't break, and decent health care, especially for seniors and veterans.

You want them to change their minds? Forget about raging. Go full court press in their home states. Remind voters of what they stand to lose.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jun 23, 2021, 10:32 PM (1 replies)

Former NRA Prez Duped Into Addressing Empty Chairs Representing Gun Violence Victims

55 seconds ago
Former NRA Prez Duped Into Addressing Empty Chairs Representing Gun Violence Victims

The parents of a child killed in a school shooting orchestrated an elaborate hoax earlier this month, inviting a former president of the National Rifle Association and a gun rights activist to give commencement addresses to the graduating class of James Madison Academy in Las Vegas.

But there is no such school. David Keene, the former NRA head, and John Lott, a pro-gun writer, delivered their speeches to thousands of empty chairs. Those seats represented ‘The Lost Class,’ – the 3,044 teens who should have graduated from high school this year but were instead killed by gun violence (watch video above at link).
“We lost Joaquin three months before his graduation,” Manuel Oliver, who’s son died in 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida told Buzzfeed News. “We know exactly the feeling of being there and receiving the diploma without your kid being there. Because we understand that, we know there are a lot of people going through that same experience right now,” he added.

Oliver pulled off the stunt with the help of advertising agency Leo Burnett and production company Hungry Man.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jun 23, 2021, 10:12 PM (3 replies)

Buffett resigns as Gates Foundation trustee, donates another $4.1 billion for philanthropy

Buffett resigns as Gates Foundation trustee, donates another $4.1 billion for philanthropy
June 23, 2021, 7:46 AM

(Reuters) -Warren Buffett on Wednesday resigned as trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world's largest private charitable organizations, as he delivered another $4.1 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock to philanthropy.

Buffett has been making annual contributions to five charitable foundations since 2006 as part of a plan to distribute about 99% of his net worth to philanthropy.

"With today's $4.1 billion distribution, I'm halfway there," Buffett said in a statement.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jun 23, 2021, 02:32 PM (4 replies)

Eric Boehlert: How the media's helping GOP fuel critical race theory hysteria


How the media's helping GOP fuel critical race theory hysteria
Right-wing witch hunt
Eric Boehlert
3 hr ago


Across the country, Republican legislators and officials in more than 20 states, who often have no grasp as to what CRT is, are forbidding educators from teaching it. And across the country educators are confirming CRT isn’t being taught. (The theory, often taught at the college and grad school level, details how racism and white supremacy are systemic in American society.) This year’s runaway, manufactured, red-state frenzy is reminiscent of the Red Scare that swept through the country during the Cold War.

Back then at least, the Soviet Union was an actual foe and represented a military threat to American security. By contrast, the mobs forming to make sure CRT isn’t taught in schools seem to have no idea — or don’t care — that CRT isn’t taught in schools. The whole controversy is fabricated, and it’s getting a ton of media attention. It’s the kind of media attention that plays right into the hands of conservatives.


The conservative ignorance surrounding CRT is overwhelming, and it’s purposeful. Journalists have a responsibility to ask every Republican fanning the flames of hysteria to explain, in their own words, what critical race theory is. And if they cannot, journalists need to walk away.

It was actually a local caller phoning into a Nebraska radio show who pressed Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts to define CRT, after he urged it be banned from state schools. His word-salad response made clear he had no idea what the academic and legal theory is:

So, the critical race theory — and I can’t think of the author right off the top of my head who wrote about this — really had a theory that, at the high level, is one that really starts creating those divisions between us about defining who we are based on race and that sort of thing and really not about how to bring us together as Americans rather than — and dividing us and also having a lot of very socialist-type ideas about how that would be implemented in our state.

The Republican Noise Machine is demanding critical race theory be banned, but has no idea what critical race theory is, or that it’s not taught in American schools. That’s the news story that requites attention.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jun 23, 2021, 10:39 AM (9 replies)

Newsmax Goes There: Critical Race Theory Is 'Road to Death Camps' for White People


Newsmax Goes There: Critical Race Theory Is ‘Road to Death Camps’ for White People
Right-wing radio talker Michael Savage declared the obscure academic theory is akin to the Holocaust, prompting a supportive response from a Newsmax TV host.
Justin Baragona, Contributing Editor
Published Jun. 22, 2021 11:33AM ET


Republicans and right-wing media have been mired in a months-long freakout over critical race theory, an obscure legal academic framework that conservatives now use as a catch-all term for any racial-equity training or anti-racist school curriculum. At the same time, NBC News recently reported that the battle over CRT that has invaded local school boards is largely an astroturfed effort funded by well-connected national political organizations and right-wing activists.

Prior to interviewing Savage on Monday night, Newsmax hosts Steve Cortes and Jenn Pellegrino griped that the left was trying to deny that critical race theory exists while claiming they” have the receipts to prove” that it is “permeating all of our culture and our schools.” They then turned to Savage, a provocateur long known for his inflammatory and offensive rhetoric, as their expert on the subject.

After taking issue with NBC News anchor Chuck Todd dismissing the right-wing outrage over CRT, saying he’d like to “reach through the screen and smack him in the face,” Savage then delivered an overheated diatribe about how the schools are literally abusing white kids.


“I worry sometimes that if we continue to always use the phrase critical race theory that we might allow the left to hide, in effect,” the conservative host said. “What I mean is they’ll say, ‘Oh no, we’re not teaching CRT.’ But they are, in fact, teaching some other version of anti-white racism.”

Cortes concluded: “So I’d really—I’d prefer to call it anti-white racism as a term because, let’s face it, no matter what flavor this takes or what shape this takes the goal, always, is to shame white people.”
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Jun 22, 2021, 02:29 PM (9 replies)
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