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Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2008, 03:38 PM
Number of posts: 3,354

Journal Archives

An explanation of the finding of poliovirus in a sewage system in London...

TWiV 913: Twinkle twinkle little SARS
June 26, 2022

TWiV explains the meaning of vaccine-derived poliovirus found in London sewage, risk of long COVID after infections with Delta or Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2, and enhancers of innate immune signaling as broad-spectrum antivirals.

The whole episode is worth watching. It's "barking" good.

Who cares what this church or any of its officials think or do? This should have exactly zero...

bearing on anything relating to government in the USA.

Religion and government need to be kept completely separate. It's not a win to need to look to the Pope's actions or whatever occurs in the Vatican for approval or encouragement. That church can do what it likes (within the limits of secular and physical law) - both in Rome and in San Francisco. If the Pope and Cardinals cannot agree on something and want to contest that issue within the Catholic Church, good for them. Again, it has should have exactly no bearing on the US government.

Even though Pelosi is Speaker of the House, the linked story should have no public importance. The Bible says that Christians should not make a public spectacle of their faith. It's between her, her church and her god. (It's not her fault that there are photographers and journalists there unless she planned this as a photo op, though.)

Matthew 6:1-5 (Nestle 1904)

1 Προσέχετε δὲ τὴν δικαιοσύνην ὑμῶν μὴ ποιεῖν ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων πρὸς τὸ θεαθῆναι αὐτοῖς· εἰ δὲ μήγε, μισθὸν οὐκ ἔχετε παρὰ τῷ Πατρὶ ὑμῶν τῷ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. 2 Ὅταν οὖν ποιῇς ἐλεημοσύνην, μὴ σαλπίσῃς ἔμπροσθέν σου, ὥσπερ οἱ ὑποκριταὶ ποιοῦσιν ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς καὶ ἐν ταῖς ῥύμαις, ὅπως δοξασθῶσιν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀπέχουσιν τὸν μισθὸν αὐτῶν. 3 σοῦ δὲ ποιοῦντος ἐλεημοσύνην μὴ γνώτω ἡ ἀριστερά σου τί ποιεῖ ἡ δεξιά σου, 4 ὅπως ᾖ σου ἡ ἐλεημοσύνη ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ· καὶ ὁ Πατήρ σου ὁ βλέπων ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ ἀποδώσει σοι. 5 Καὶ ὅταν προσεύχησθε, οὐκ ἔσεσθε ὡς οἱ ὑποκριταί· ὅτι φιλοῦσιν ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς καὶ ἐν ταῖς γωνίαις τῶν πλατειῶν ἑστῶτες προσεύχεσθαι, ὅπως φανῶσιν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀπέχουσιν τὸν μισθὸν αὐτῶν.

Matthew 6:1-5 (KJV)

6 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Keep all religion out of government! Religion is fundamentally divisive and needs to be kept a private matter for those who want to believe it.

In summary, "But...look! The Pope approves!" is not useful statement except to elevate religion to a level below which it needs to remain.

Roberts' Confirmation Hearing's discussion of Roe, Casey and stare decisis with Sen. Arlen Specter

The C-SPAN video has Sen. Specter starting the question at about 04:50 and Roberts agreeing that stare decisis was applied to the (1992) Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision by 11:46 in the video and that the use of stare decisis then was additionally a precedent. Their discussion continues with the later parts in excerpt form below.

The video is here on the C-SPAN site:

(at 11:52 in the video)
Specter: "...The joint opinion says, ‘‘The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.’’Do you agree with that statement, Judge Roberts?"

Roberts: "Yes, Senator, as a general proposition. But..."

(at 12:48 in the video)
Specter: "...Well, I am not going to ask you whether you are going to vote to overrule Roe or sustain it, but we are talking here about the jurisprudence of the Court and their reasoning. Let me come to another key phase of Casey where the joint opinion says, ‘‘A terrible price would be paid for overruling Roe. It would seriously weaken the Court’s capacity to exercise the judicial power and to function as the Supreme Court of the Nation dedicated to the rule of law. ’’Now, this moves away from the specific holding and goes to a much broader jurisprudential point, really raising the issue of whether there would be a recognition of the Court’s authority. And in a similar line, the Court said this: that to overrule Roe would be ‘‘a surrender to political pressure,’’ and added, ‘‘To overrule under fire would subvert the Court’s legitimacy. ’’So in these statements on Casey, you are really going beyond the holding. You are going to the legitimacy and authority of the Court. Do you agree with that?"

Roberts: "Well, I do think the considerations about the Court’s legitimacy are critically important. In other cases—...."

(at 15:35 in the video)
Specter: "A jolt to the legal system, a movement against stability—one of the Roberts doctrines."

Roberts: "....An overruling of a prior precedent is a jolt to the legal system. It is inconsistent with principles of stability and yet—..."

Specter: "One—go ahead."

Roberts: "I was just going to say, the principles of stare decisis recognize that there are situations when that’s a price that has to be paid. ..."

"Starbucks" seems to say that it cares so much about customers that it cannot have unions...

This is a short video excerpt. The position seems indefensible. However, has Howard Schultz ever elaborated on this position? Does Starbucks actually pay a living wage? If so, did that wage go up in response and in proportion to current inflation?

Rand Paul's Delaying Aid to Ukraine Acknowledged on Russian TV

At 01:19 in the video "...and the resistance of a single senator...."

PBS Terra: Weathered .... The Doomsday Glacier Is Collapsing...Who Is Most at Risk?

The Doomsday Glacier Is Collapsing…Who Is Most at Risk?

Sea level rise is a problem that is garnishing increasing attention among both scientists and the media. And as climate change continues to warm the earth, the current rate of 1.4 inches per decade is projected to increase, with NOAA predicting another foot of sea-level rise along US coastlines by 2050.

The most consequential tipping point, when it comes to sea-level rise, is Thwaites Glacier, also known as the Doomsday glacier, located in West Antarctica. When this massive ice sheet melts, the earth’s seas are predicted to rise by at least two feet. But perhaps the greater concern is what will happen to the surrounding ice once Thwaites is no longer there to stabilize the region around it. Many scientists predict that, were this system to completely collapse, we would actually see around 6 feet of sea-level rise – a truly catastrophic scenario.

In this episode, we explore just how likely this dire outcome is, take a look at how America’s most at-risk city, Miami, is already experiencing the effects today, and what all of this has to do with gentrification.

Weathered is a show hosted by weather expert Maiya May and produced by Balance Media that helps explain the most common natural disasters, what causes them, how they’re changing, and what we can do to prepare.

Texas is ready to execute another person who seems possibly to be innocent....

This has been brought up on DU a few times in the last several weeks, but it is worth bringing up again, since the planned execution by the State of Texas on April 27 is coming up very quickly:

The current situation seems to be that the Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz seems to be unwilling to stop the execution immediately (the following entire article is worth reading):

Facing harsh criticism in the Melissa Lucio case, Texas prosecutor may temporarily spare the woman many believe is innocent

Federal judges, five jurors who convicted her and a roster of family, politicians and celebrities believe there are substantive doubts about whether the death of Lucio’s 2-year-old daughter was even a murder. A prosecutor Tuesday appeared to open the door to canceling her scheduled April 27 execution.

by Jolie McCullough | April 12, 2022 | 6 PM Central

At a combative legislative hearing, the Cameron County district attorney indicated Tuesday he may step in and stop Melissa Lucio's April 27 execution, creating a new level of uncertainty in what many believe is the case of an innocent woman facing lethal injection.

Although he was not district attorney when Lucio was convicted, Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz did request the execution date and has the power to withdraw the request. During a heated exchange with a bipartisan group of lawmakers pushing to halt Lucio’s execution, Saenz initially stated he would not intervene.

As outrage has built to a crescendo over Lucio’s case, Saenz has previously stated — and reaffirmed in the hearing — that he stood by the process that led to Lucio’s conviction and the many court rulings since that have upheld her death sentence.

But after about an hour of urging from the lawmakers, Saenz’s stance shifted. He said he believes his intervention will be unnecessary because the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals will likely stop Lucio’s execution. If it doesn’t, he said he would, though he didn’t provide details.



Here's a past example of Texas's willingness to execute in spite of doubts as to the guilt of the condemned - this was done under then-Texas-Governor Rick Perry:

Cameron Todd Willingham: Wrongfully Convicted and Executed in Texas

By Innocence Staff

Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in Texas in 2004 for allegedly setting a fire that killed his three young daughters 13 years earlier. He always claimed his innocence, and the arson investigation used to convict him was questioned by leading experts before Willingham was executed. Since 2004, further evidence in the case has led to the inescapable conclusion that Willingham did not set the fire for which he was executed.The Texas Forensic Science Commission issued its report on the convictions of Cameron Todd Willingham and Ernest Willis on April 15, 2011 recommending more education and training for fire investigators and implementing procedures to review old cases (the commission issued an addendum to the report on October 28, 2011.


In 2008, the Texas Forensic Science Commission agreed to investigate the case. The panel’s review was interrupted several times over the last two years, however, and continues today. In 2009, an arson expert hired by the commission issued a report finding that experts who testified at Willingham’s trial should have known it was wrong at the time. Days before the expert was set to testify, however, Gov. Rick Perry replaced key members of the panel, delayed the investigation for months.



The role of allowed tactics in police investigations/interviews should be considered as was mentioned on John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight": this was brought up by Rhiannon12866 on April 18 - i.e., today - (https://democraticunderground.com/1017729452).

Lastly, here is the Innocence Project's page that asks people to contact TX Gov. Greg Abbot (i.e., call 956-446-2866 to leave a voicemail):

Stop Melissa Lucio’s Execution, Call Gov. Abbott Now
Urge Gov. Abbott to stop this irreversible injustice — call 956-446-2866

Melissa Lucio was charged for murder after the accidental fall of her 2-year-old daughter, Mariah, and is scheduled to be executed in Texas on April 27, if officials do not step in.

Instead of looking into Mariah’s health history and investigating the potential causes of her injuries, authorities immediately jumped to the conclusion that she had been murdered and, through a coercive interrogation, pressured Ms. Lucio to make a false statement.

Thousands of pages of Child Protective Services records show that Ms. Lucio’s 12 children never said she was violent with them. No physical evidence showed otherwise.

“The State presented no physical evidence or witness testimony establishing that Lucio abused Mariah or any of her children, let alone killed Mariah,” Judge Catharina Haynes wrote on behalf of the seven dissenting judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Time is running out and Ms. Lucio deserves justice.



Bush ought to consider his role in world events, go back into hiding & keep painting his victims....

Portraits of Courage: Paintings of Military Heroes by President Bush


Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

US fatalities in Iraq: 4586

US wounded in Iraq: 32455


Documented deaths in Iraq

"Documented civilian deaths from violence
186,143 – 209,349

Total violent deaths including combatants


Proposed bill could allow people to kill without proving self-defense

Proposed bill could allow people to kill without proving self-defense
Xcaret Nunez

JEFFERSON CITY — Legislation that would drastically alter Missouri’s self-defense laws was debated by a Senate committee Tuesday.

Sen. Eric Burlison’s Senate Bill 666 would alter the requirement for someone to prove they used physical or deadly force in self-defense. If passed, the bill would move the burden onto the prosecutor to prove the defendant’s actions were not in self-defense.

Burlison, R-Battlefield, said the purpose of the bill is to strengthen the already existing "castle doctrine," which allows individuals to use force in defense of themselves, their family and their property.

"And yet still, there are those who would seek to prosecute law abiding Missourians whose only "crime" is they were trying to defend themselves and or their family members," he said.



SB 666
Modifies provisions on self-defense

Sponsor: Burlison
LR Number: 3356S.01I
Committee: Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety
Last Action: 2/1/2022 - Hearing Conducted S Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2022

Current Bill Summary


Under current law, the defendant has the burden to prove he or she reasonably believed physical or deadly force was necessary to protect him or herself or a third person.

This act provides that there shall be a presumption of reasonableness that the defendant believed such force was necessary to defend him or herself or a third person.


This act provides that a person who uses or threatens to use force in self-defense is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless such force was used against a law enforcement officer who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the person reasonably knew or should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer.

Additionally, a law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use or threatened use of force, but the agency may not arrest the person for using or threatening to use force unless the agency determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used or threatened was unlawful.

This act provides that the defendant can raise a claim of self-defense during a pre-trial hearing in either a criminal or civil case which shall shift the burden on the party seeking to overcome the immunity by proof of clear and convincing evidence.

Finally, this act repeals provisions relating to civil remedies that are unaffected by criminal provisions of self-defense law.


No Amendments Found.



It seems they found an appropriate number for the bill.

Proclamation of National School Choice Week, Jan 22 - Jan 28: Signed on Jan 25 & Released on Jan 26

This must be an example of the superlative competence that a truly great businessman is able to bring to the White House:

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
[hr]For Immediate Release
January 26, 2017

[font size="4"]President Trump Releases National School Choice Week Proclamation[/font]

Yesterday, the President released a proclamation in honor of National School Choice Week. The text of the proclamation is below:


- - - - - - -



The foundation of a good life begins with a great education. Today, too many of our children are stuck in schools that do not provide this opportunity.

Because the education of our young people is so important, the parents of every student in America should have a right to a meaningful choice about where their child goes to school.

By expanding school choice and providing more educational opportunities for every American family, we can help make sure that every child has an equal shot at achieving the American Dream. More choices for our students will make our schools better for everybody.

Our country is home to many great schools and many extraordinary teachers -- whether they serve in traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, private or religious schools, or in homeschooling environments.

With a renewed commitment to expanding school choice for our children, we can truly make a great education possible for every child in America.

I commend our Nation's students, parents, teachers, and school leaders for their commitment to quality, effective education, and I call on States and communities to support effective education and school choice for every child in America.

[strike]As[/strike] Damn near after our country celebrates National School Choice Week, I encourage parents to evaluate the educational opportunities available for their children. I also encourage State lawmakers and Federal lawmakers to expand school choice for millions of additional students.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 22 through January 28, 2017, as National School Choice Week.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.




Without addressing the content of the proclamation, is it not amazing how he almost totally missed the proclaimed week?
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