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Current location: Minnesota
Member since: Sun Oct 19, 2003, 10:29 PM
Number of posts: 49,733

About Me

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Journal Archives

Monty Python's John Cleese and Eric Idle on ... the Trump and Brexit Show


While Monty Python’s Flying Circus was more subversive than political, both Cleese and Idle are active on Twitter, and are closely following the Brexit “shitshow,” as Cleese calls it, and Trump’s impending impeachment.

Idle admits that, during a break from his busy schedule, he recently became addicted to MSNBC.

“The problem is, the way they cover everything, you constantly think, ‘They’ve got him!’” he says of the coverage of Trump’s travails. “Like they’re coming for him with the handcuffs. The golden handcuffs, of course.”

“It’s been quite clear to me from the very beginning that he is not mentally balanced,” Cleese says of Trump. “He is an extraordinary caricature of an asshole; a person who has no interest in anyone else except himself. Every time he makes a decision, no matter how impulsive it is, it’s the one that makes him feel best about himself for the next 20 minutes. But I think he is now for the first time, because he is really becoming a disaster in foreign affairs, I think some Republicans are beginning to notice it. But the people who support him are basically so ignorant, because they only ever get news from Fox News, I don’t know what you say to people like that. To me, it’s like people who go and watch professional wrestling and don’t realize that it’s fixed. If they can’t see it when it’s right under their nose, I have no idea how they’re going to realize how wrong they are.”

Go Fund David Weinlick - Former DFL Party Affairs Director who sadly, has stage four cancer.

Information courtesy of Scienceblogs ~ Greg Laden

Some of you may know David Weinlick, especially if you are active in politics in the Twin Cities, or associated with the University of Minnesota. He is well known around these parts for his political activism and important role in the DFL (that’s how Minnesotans spell “Democratic Party”). He was the Party Affairs Director for the Minnesota DFL until 2014, and until recently the Vice Chair of the Fourth Congressional District for the Minnesota DFL.


Dave was a graduate student in my department at the time. He was a cultural anthropology student, and I was a professor in paleoanthropology at a department with inexplicably deep divisions between the disciplines, so naturally we didn’t know each other particularly well. The experiment that David carried out was a bold one, and an interesting one, and was, as I understand it, predicated on the premise that people are not necessarily that good at finding long term mates in the usual ways open to them in American society. The hope was that a more thoughtful process (carried out by friends, many of whom were anthropologists, who should know a thing or two) could produce better results than, say, the bar scene, or the then nascent online dating systems, etc.

And it worked. Elizabeth and David Weinlick had a happy and long lasting marriage, children, all of that.

That is all the good news. The bad news is that David has of late been struggling with illness, and currently has Stage 4 colon, liver, and abdomen cancer. He is nearing the end of his life, but his life can be extended meaningfully with further treatment.

Please see the Go Fund Me page HERE for further information, as to how to assist.

Fewer than half in USA get flu shots, CDC says ~ USA Today

At a time when many people are preoccupied with the dangers of Ebola and a rare respiratory virus striking children, health officials announced Thursday that fewer than half of Americans are being vaccinated against the flu, which kills an average of more than 30,000 people a year.

The disparity is striking given that influenza vaccines are available more widely than ever — including at supermarkets, drugstores and many workplaces — and there are options to accommodate just about everyone's preferences, from needle-free shots to high-dose versions, said William Schaffner, a professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a flu shot for everyone older than 6 months.

The flu season could be tougher than usual this year if it follows the pattern seen in Australia, which has reported the highest number of influenza cases in five years, Schaffner said. He noted that flu is hard to predict. In many years, however, flu outbreaks in the southern hemisphere can predict flu activity in the USA.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advice on flu shots and other vaccinations aimed at keeping children, pregnant women and senior citizens healthy.

More at LINK:

Of note: Percent of adults 18-49 years who received an influenza vaccination during the past 12 months: 29.6%

Percent of adults 50-64 years who received an influenza vaccination during the past 12 months: 46.5%

Where is the outrage at unvaccinated adults who are "spreading disease to the vulnerable?" And, where is the discussion about mandating vaccines for adults, who are clearly capable if spreading disease?

NPR ~ Most People Getting Measles Are Adults. Time For A Shot?

Most of the 92 cases of measles confirmed in California are among adults — more than 62 percent.
Maybe they or their parents chose not to vaccinate, or maybe those people are allergic to one of the ingredients in the measles vaccine.

But it's also possible that a few of those adults happened to slip through the cracks when the measles vaccine first came to the public.

Jackie Carnegie immunizes Mabel Haywood in a Colorado Health Department immunization van in 1972. Shots for measles and other infectious diseases were offered.

... Adults have a few options, according to Schaffner. They can have their blood tested for measles antibodies, which exist in the blood of anyone who has either had measles or received the vaccine. Or they can get the shot; there's no harm in receiving the vaccine an additional time. In fact, most people have had two doses, since that's what's recommended for full coverage.

... "If you're really worried and you and your physician are really not sure, then roll up your sleeve," says Schaffner.

More at: NPR

FDA study helps provide an understanding of rising rates of whooping cough ~ FDA

“There were 48,000 cases reported last year despite high rates of vaccination,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “This resurgence suggests a need for research into the causes behind the increase in infections and improved ways to prevent the disease from spreading.”


While the reasons for the increase in cases of whooping cough are not fully understood, multiple factors are likely involved, including diminished immunity from childhood pertussis vaccines, improved diagnostic testing, and increased reporting. With its own funds plus support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the FDA conducted the study to explore the possibility that acellular pertussis vaccines, while protecting against disease, might not prevent infection.

“There were 48,000 cases reported last year despite high rates of vaccination,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “This resurgence suggests a need for research into the causes behind the increase in infections and improved ways to prevent the disease from spreading.”

The FDA conducted the study in baboons, an animal model that closely reproduces the way whooping cough affects people. The scientists vaccinated two groups of baboons – one group with a whole-cell pertussis vaccine and the other group with an acellular pertussis vaccine currently used in the U. S. The animals were vaccinated at ages two, four, and six months, simulating the infant immunization schedule. The results of the FDA study found that both types of vaccines generated robust antibody responses in the animals, and none of the vaccinated animals developed outward signs of pertussis disease after being exposed to B. pertussis. However, there were differences in other aspects of the immune response. Animals that received an acellular pertussis vaccine had the bacteria in their airways for up to six weeks and were able to spread the infection to unvaccinated animals. In contrast, animals that received whole-cell vaccine cleared the bacteria within three weeks.

This research suggests that although individuals immunized with an acellular pertussis vaccine may be protected from disease, they may still become infected with the bacteria without always getting sick and are able to spread infection to others, including young infants who are susceptible to pertussis disease.

More at FDA.Gov

75 Unforgettable Moments From Minnesota’s First Day Of Marriage Equality :)

1. The five levels filled up with people trying to get the perfect spot for the night’s
(well, the morning’s, because the law didn’t take effect until midnight) first weddings.

2. Literally everyone was in a good mood…

3. …even if they got stuck sitting in the stairs.

4. Al & Jeff, the second couple to be married, looked around and waved to friends, families, and those who came to support them.

71 more reasons to smile at: BUZZFEED

Cross posted in the Minnesota forum.

Ex-WCCO anchor Don Shelby (Democrat) mulling run for Congress

Former WCCO news anchor Don Shelby is reportedly mulling a run against three-term Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen next year, potentially putting in play a suburban Minneapolis congressional district that has been in Republican hands for decades.

Shelby’s interest burst into the open amid remarks by U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who mentioned it at a Washington fundraiser Wednesday attended by about 30 or 40 campaign contributors, lobbyists and Democratic activists.


Democrats have been tight-lipped about Shelby’s possible entry into the race, but they made clear Thursday that they would welcome a respected Twin Cities figure with almost universal name recognition across the state.

“I don’t know if he’s in or not,” said DFL Chairman Ken Martin. “If he is considering his options, I don’t think there’s any question that he’d be a very strong candidate against Congressman Paulsen. The fact is, if he gets in the race, it [the district] would become an immediate target for Democrats, not only in this state, but around the country.”

More: http://www.startribune.com/politics/blogs/216976041.html

After George Zimmerman Rescued Family, Hilarious #ThanksGeorge Twitter Feed Was Born

On Monday, it was reported that George Zimmerman helped drag a family from an overturned truck just a mile from the spot where he shot Trayvon Martin. Of course, the right immediately responded with smug satisfaction, saying it confirmed their assertion that Zimmerman was a hero all along for (apparently), ridding the world of a Skittles-bearing teenager who sometimes smoked weed.

The rescue hasn’t gone unnoticed on Twitter, where an hilarious twitter feed erupted. Here are some of the posts on #thanksgeorge:


What can people do about the Zimmerman verdict and SYG laws?

[center][font size = 20][font color = blue]Show up at the polls and VOTE. [/font color][/font size]

[font size = 4]Not just in national elections, but in every local election possible.[/font size]


Deaths Nearly Triple Since “Stand Your Ground” Enacted

A timely reminder of a story that surfaced shortly after the Martin murder.

MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – As some state lawmakers are calling for a re-thinking of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows people to defend themselves from danger without the need to first try to get away, an analysis of state data shows deaths due to self defense are up over 200 percent since the law took effect.

The shooting death of Trayvon Martin by an armed, self-appointed Central Florida crime watch volunteer who claimed he shot in self defense has sparked a national debate about Florida’s law, technically known as the Castle doctrine.


Until 2005, it was generally considered self defense if someone tried to get into your home or invade your property, so long as you could show deadly force was the last resort. In 2005, the “Stand your Ground” law removed the need to retreat before using force, even in public.

That’s the justification George Zimmerman used when he shot and killed Miami Gardens teen Treyvon Martin, who was returning to his father’s fiance’s house from a convenience store visit when Zimmerman spotted him and deemed him suspicious. Before the police he called arrived, he claims Martin attacked him and he shot in fear for his life.

Police accepted his story, and let him go, sparking national outrage. Zimmerman remains free. .......

More at: MIAMI CBS

(Posted in GD for discussion, as well.)
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