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Member since: Fri Sep 26, 2008, 09:10 PM
Number of posts: 6,824

Journal Archives

From The Guardian/U.S. Politics 5-4-20: "Mitch McConnell could yet pay price

for 'tone deaf' coronavirus response"

from article: The Senate majority leader oversaw a huge handout to big business and drew bipartisan ire for suggesting struggling states should go bankrupt...

It was, New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo observed, “one of the really dumb ideas of all time”. Larry Hogan, his counterpart in Maryland, called it “complete nonsense”. Congressman Pete King of New York said it was the work of the “Marie Antoinette of the Senate”.
Trump adviser: coronavirus relief aid threat to ‘sanctuary cities’ could happen

It would be an understatement to say Mitch McConnell’s suggestion that state and local governments should declare bankruptcy rather than seek more federal funding went down like a lead balloon. It was a rare instance of the Senate majority leader overplaying his hand.

It also showed that Donald Trump is not the only figure embodying liberal nightmares in the time of coronavirus. When historians contemplate a death toll in the tens of thousands and an economy fallen off a cliff, they will pay close attention to the president’s most important ally.

more at link:

Articles like this and of course the photo galleries make The Guardian a daily read for me.

From BBC/Health 5-4-20: Malaria 'completely stopped' by microbe (that prevents mosquitoes

from becoming infected)

From article: "Scientists have discovered a microbe that completely protects mosquitoes from being infected with malaria.

The team in Kenya and the UK say the finding has "enormous potential" to control the disease.

Malaria is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes, so protecting them could in turn protect people.

The researchers are now investigating whether they can release infected mosquitoes into the wild, or use spores to suppress the disease."

more at link: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-52530828

This is very interesting and encouraging...

From The Guardian, May 1, 2020: Yanis Varoufakis: Marx predicted our present crisis -

and points the way out...

"The Communist Manifesto foresaw the predatory and polarised global capitalism of the 21st century. But Marx and Engels also showed us that we have the power to create a better world.
By Yanis Varoufakis


We need more robots, better solar panels, instant communication and sophisticated green transport networks. But equally, we need to organise politically to defend the weak, empower the many and prepare the ground for reversing the absurdities of capitalism. In practical terms, this means treating the idea that there is no alternative with the contempt it deserves while rejecting all calls for a “return” to a less modernised existence. There was nothing ethical about life under earlier forms of capitalism. TV shows that massively invest in calculated nostalgia, such as Downton Abbey, should make us glad to live when we do. At the same time, they might also encourage us to floor the accelerator of change."

much more at link:

I'm 71 years old and this is the best/most understandable writing on this topic that I've ever seen.

Eewwww! I saw a creepy-crawlie in my kitchen sink yesterday! It was very small and black

and it was wiggling so I washed it down the drain. Today I did a search* and found out that there
are flies, mosquitoes and moths that will lay eggs in our pipes, typically in water collected in the p-trap.
And what I saw was one of the hatched larva. We can keep our pipes cleaned out with drain cleaner or bleach, just let it sit for awhile (30 minutes) so I used drain cleaner and I'll keep an eye out for these things now, you betcha!


Coronavirus cure: When will we have a drug to treat it? From BBC:Health 4-22-20

"More than 150,000 people have died with Covid-19, but there are still no drugs proven to help doctors treat the disease.

So how far are we from these life-saving medicines?
What work is being done to find treatments?

More than 150 different drugs are being researched around the world. Most are existing drugs that are being trialled against the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched the Solidarity trial aimed at assessing the most promising treatments
The UK says its Recovery trial is the the world's biggest, with more than 5,000 patients already taking part
And multiple research centres around the world are attempting to use survivors' blood as a treatment

What types of drugs might work?"

more at link: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-52354520

There's a lot of work being done and much more yet to be done...

From the CBC/Canada Broadcasting Corporation: Correcting the history of Residential Schools.

'Pushed out and silenced: How one doctor was punished for speaking out about residential schools(.)

Cindy Blackstock was searching for allies in the history books. She was hoping to find someone who spoke out about residential schools, about the high death rate of students, the maltreatment of Indigenous children, and the inequalities.

While reading A National Crime by historian John Milloy, Blackstock came across the work of Dr. Peter Henderson Bryce. That's when she thought to herself, "That's the example. There's the person who was of that time, who knew better, who stood up for these kids and did everything in his power to make sure that they wouldn't die."

Bryce spoke out about the treatment of children at Indian Residential Schools back in 1907, but he was silenced by the Canadian government.

Blackstock, who is the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and a member of the Gitxsan First Nation, has been working to restore his legacy.'

more at link:

I admire people who bring us the truth about history. We can't have too much of that...

I read the following quote in a book by Robert Heinlein and Spider Robinson, 'Variable Star':

“People with opinions just go around bothering each other.” (attributed to The Buddha)

website text follows:

"When I first saw this quote I thought I was certain that it was fake. After a bit of investigation I came to be conclusion that it’s a paraphrase, but close enough to the original to be considered a genuine quote.

The original of this striking verse is found in the Magandiya Suta in the Sutta Nipata, which is generally held to be one of the oldest collection of texts in the Pali canon."

Very interesting... more at link:


This week my shopping outings showed that about half the people I saw (and me) were masked.

The other half didn't bother. Everybody pretty much tried to maintain distance but in WalMart most aisles are marked one way to direct traffic and minimize contact but again at least half the people shopping were blowing that off so what good does it do? It's obvious that some of us are taking this more seriously than others...

I saw an exhibition of temper this week in WalMart by one shopper at the register where I was in line.
She was trying to buy 2 cases of bottled water and I guess the clerk said something about only one per customer and she raised up the push end of her cart then slammed it down. A supervisor was
right there and told the clerk it was ok but I'll be honest, my nerves are getting frayed too...

Tell us your experience, inquiring minds want to know!

How To Make Pizza Like A Neapolitan Master: from BBC Travel...fun facts and recipes at link...

"Often considered one of Italy’s most memorable dishes, beloved pizza is an ultimate comfort food and has become an ever-growing obsession around the world.

By Ondine Cohane

17 April 2020

When you think of Italy’s most memorable dishes, its beloved pizza will most likely be among your top five, if not top three, favourites. It’s an ultimate comfort food that has become an ever-growing obsession around the world. But what is it that makes pizza from Italy so special, and where do you find the very best?

The most important thing was to see the humanity and connection there needs to be in a pizzeria.

Like so many of the country’s most prized gastronomic delights like wine, olive oil and cheese, the quintessential pie from Naples, where pizza was born, has become so cherished that it’s now worthy of its own Designation of Controlled Origin (DOC). The city’s pizza-making tradition even received Unesco recognition in 2017 as an intangible cultural heritage item."

much more at link:

Ah, food! It's my favorite dish! And pizza's not just for breakfast anymore!

Let us pay homage where it is due; Lead Belly, this is for you...

When I was a lad and turned 14 in 1963 I manged to persuade my Mom to buy me a guitar for my birthday. I'd been visiting a school friend and found out he had a baritone ukulele and instruction book so I spent a lot of time visiting him an learning to play.

I was born into a musical family. Mom and her sisters all played the piano and sang. My favorite aunt
played the guitar and welcomed me into her home so I could play it.

In 1954 my Mom wrote in a newsletter she sent from West Pakistan that I had found an old broken-down guitar that I treasured so it was perfectly logical that I should finally get a working guitar of my own.

As time went by I accumulated chord books, sore fingers and what books of folk songs I could. I found
that many folk songs were written by a man called Lead Belly and I wondered about that but I knew I
liked his songs.

Now as an old guy I've found out about Lead Belly and I recommend his story and his songs to you.

Leadbelly the movie: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadbelly_(film)

Lead Belly biography: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_Belly

Lead Belly performs his song Midnight Special, a favorite that I also used to perform...

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