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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 3,348

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

A Black 10-Year-Old Drew an 'Offensive Sketch.' She Was Handcuffed by Cops.

Honolulu cops allegedly handcuffed and detained a 10-year-old Black girl with disabilities after she was accused of drawing an “offensive sketch of a student” who had bullied her, according to a letter sent to state and city officials by a local law firm and the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii this week.

Ultimately, the child was held for over four hours by either school staff or police. By the time she was released, she “was very hungry and exhausted,” according to the letter.

The child, described only as N.B. in the Oct. 18 letter, was traumatized by the January 2020 incident, which occurred after a school parent demanded a police response to the drawing. The handcuffs left marks on her wrists, the letter alleges, and she didn’t understand why she was being arrested; while she drew the picture, other children had colored or written on it, yet none of them were detained, and charges weren’t ever brought against her. Once at the police precinct, N.B. couldn’t even follow officers’ orders to take off her earrings and shoelaces, since her mother usually did those things for her, according to the letter.

“After N.B.’s arrest, in addition to the trauma of being interrogated and arrested as a ten year old, she had to change schools before the end of the school year and eventually moved out of state without her mother, who remained in Hawaii for a new job with the U.S. Department of Defense,” the letter reads.

This is a fuller exposition of a story that was submitted yesterday. It's even more outrageous than you thought.

Putin keeps workers home for a week as deaths soar

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered most Russians to stay off work for a week later this month amid rising COVID-19 infections and deaths, and he strongly urged reluctant citizens to get vaccinated.

The government coronavirus task force reported 1,028 deaths in the past 24 hours, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. That brought Russia's death toll to 226,353, by far the highest in Europe.

Putin said he supports the Cabinet’s proposal to introduce a nonworking period starting Oct. 30 and extending through the following week, when four of seven days already are official state holidays. In some regions where the situation is the most threatening, he said the nonworking period could start as early as Saturday and be extended after Nov. 7.

“Our task today is to protect life and health of our citizens and minimize the consequences of the dangerous infection,” Putin said in a video call with top officials. “To achieve that, it's necessary to first of all slow the pace of contagion and mobilize additional reserves of the health care system, which is currently working under a high strain.”

Russia’s daily coronavirus mortality numbers have been surging for weeks and topped 1,000 for the first time over the weekend amid sluggish vaccination rates, lax public attitudes toward taking precautions and the government’s reluctance to toughen restrictions. Only about 45 million Russians — roughly a third of the country's nearly 146 million people — are fully vaccinated.

Kind of surprised this hasn't been mentioned today

Moderna won't share its vaccine recipe. WHO has hired an African startup to crack it

Fans of the television series The Great British Bake Off have long marveled at the skill contestants show during the dreaded "technical challenge" — for which they are given a basket with all the ingredients needed to make a highly unusual dish but a set of instructions that are often as vague as, "Bake until ready." Now a team of scientists at a pharmaceutical startup in South Africa is essentially confronting the same type of test — except the stakes are life and death.

The World Health Organization has hired the company, called Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines, as part of a $100 million plan to figure out how to make an mRNA vaccine against COVID that is as close as possible to the version produced by Moderna.

Until recently, Afrigen specialized in developing veterinary vaccines using fairly traditional methods. Now, says Afrigen's Managing Director, Petro Treblanche, the company's labs are a hive of research into the cutting-edge technology behind mRNA vaccines.

"You will see scientists in white coats and some with full personal protective equipment [suits] operating a bioreactor to make the actual DNA," says Treblanche. "You will see microbiology clean rooms where testing is taking place. You will see stability chambers where some of the products are put in to understand how stable they are in different environments of humidity and temperature."


In a major scientific advance, a pig kidney is successfully transplanted into a human

Scientists temporarily attached a pig's kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants.

Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but among the hurdles: A sugar in pig cells, foreign to the human body, causes immediate organ rejection. The kidney for this experiment came from a gene-edited animal, engineered to eliminate that sugar and avoid an immune system attack.

Surgeons attached the pig kidney to a pair of large blood vessels outside the body of a deceased recipient so they could observe it for two days. The kidney did what it was supposed to do — filter waste and produce urine — and didn't trigger rejection.

"It had absolutely normal function," said Dr. Robert Montgomery, who led the surgical team last month at NYU Langone Health. "It didn't have this immediate rejection that we have worried about."

But is it kosher?

The Trump Administration Used Its Food Aid Program for Political Gain, Congressional Investigators F

The Trump Administration Used Its Food Aid Program for Political Gain, Congressional Investigators Find

A $6 billion federal program created to provide fresh produce to families affected by the pandemic was mismanaged and used by the Trump administration for political gain, a new congressional report has found.

As a ProPublica investigation revealed last spring and as the new report further details, the Farmers to Families Food Box program gave contracts to companies that had no relevant experience and often lacked necessary licenses. The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which released its report last week, found that former President Donald Trump’s administration did not adequately screen contractor applications or identify red flags in bid proposals.

One company that received a $39 million contract was CRE8AD8 LLC (pronounced “Create a Date”), a wedding and event planning firm. The owner compared the contract to his usual work of “putting tchotchkes in a bag.”

In response to the report, the firm’s CEO said in a statement, “We delivered far more boxes/pounds than many other contractors and as a for-profit company, we’re allowed to make a profit.”

Not a surprise in a carload.......

Three Children Attacked a Black Woman. A Sheriff's Deputy Arrived -- and Beat Her More.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deputy accused of holding a Black woman by her hair and slamming her head repeatedly into the pavement with such force that a witness to the Sept. 20 incident said it ripped several of Shantel Arnold’s braids from her scalp. A 14-second video captured the incident in the New Orleans suburb where, for decades, Black residents have accused the Sheriff’s Office of targeting them.

It was the second time that hour that Arnold had been assaulted. By the time the deputies arrived, she said she had already fended off an attack by some local boys.

In an interview, the 34-year-old Arnold, who has not been previously identified, told the news organizations she had needed the police’s protection. But protection is not what she got.

The video begins with a sheriff’s deputy seen holding the wrist of Arnold, who is lying on her back on the sidewalk. The deputy appears to be dragging her along the pavement. The deputy then grabs Arnold’s arm with his other hand and jerks her upward, lifting her body off the ground. They briefly disappear behind a parked white vehicle. When they come back into view, the deputy is holding Arnold by her braids, slamming her repeatedly onto the cement. At one point, he whips her down so violently her body spins around and flips over.

The footage ends as the deputy crouches down and places a knee onto Arnold’s back.

Can we disown this state?

Meet the Tomahawk-Toting QAnoner Terrorizing School Boards

The audience at a meeting last month of the Ankeny, Iowa, school board exploded over the prospect of the board reinstating a mask mandate, with parents shouting at board members who supported the mask rule.

“We know where you live!” one parent yelled at the school board members. “We’re going to stalk you!”

The scene, which ended with the board voting to reimpose the mask rule, looked like so many other school board meetings across the country this year over coronavirus restrictions. But the Ankeny school board has become a larger flashpoint in the fight over mask mandates in schools, thanks in large part to a leather-clad, tomahawk-toting QAnon personality named Scott McKay.

McKay, a middle-aged former bodybuilder whose followers call him “Patriot Streetfighter,” has used his sizable online platform and frequent use of violent rhetoric to turn the Ankeny mask debate into a national event among followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory, urging his followers to bombard specific school board members with complaints.

Despite his bizarre demeanor and online presence, McKay has marshaled his fan base to engage in sometimes hostile activism at school board meetings against mask mandates—despite his own recent experience with a COVID outbreak at one of his rallies.

McKay inserted himself into the Ankeny mask debate in late August when he devoted an episode of his online Patriot Streetfighter talk show to the “Iowa Mama Bears,” Ankeny mothers Emily Peterson and Kimberly Reicks. The pair have become rising right-wing personalities for their opposition to mask requirements in Ankeny schools, hobnobbing with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) and QAnon celebrities like former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.

"We know where you live"? OK, where does HE live?

Hospital: Ivermectin-Crazed Pols 'Harassed, Threatened' Us

At least three high-ranking public officials in Montana tried to pressure a hospital to allow a woman hospitalized with COVID-19 to access drugs that have not been authorized for treatment of the virus—and even “threatened” doctors and dispatched a state trooper, according to the hospital.

“Last week, several of our providers and care team members who are working tirelessly at the bedside were harassed and threatened by three public officials,” Andrea Groom, spokesperson for the Helena-based St. Peter’s Health, told The Daily Beast in a statement Tuesday. “These officials have no medical training or experience, yet they were insisting our providers give treatments for COVID-19 that are not authorized, clinically approved, or within the guidelines established by the FDA and the CDC.”

According to the Independent Record, a patient in her 80s had requested ivermectin, the anti-parasitic drug touted in right-wing circles as a miracle serum for COVID-19.

Groom said Tuesday that the officials “threatened to use their position of power to force our doctors and nurses to provide this care.” The conversations had been “deeply troubling” to hospital staff and doctors “because they were threatened and their clinical judgment was called into question by these individuals,” she said.


Upstart Corn Activists in Mexico Just Beat GMO Goliath Bayer-Monsanto

In a real-life David versus Goliath moment, a small group of Mexican activists just won a major battle in a longstanding legal dispute with big farming monolith Bayer-Monsanto and other chemical and seed companies.

Mexico's Supreme Court just rejected appeals by companies including Bayer-Monsanto, Synganta, and Corteva, and voted to ratify an injunction that restricts the cultivation of genetically modified corn. The injunction was submitted in 2013 by a small group of activists and has effectively stopped Monsanto, which was bought by Bayer in 2018, and other companies from turning Mexico's massive and culturally important corn industry into genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for 8 years.

“It's a remarkable story,” Timothy Wise, a senior advisor at the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy and author of the book Eating Tomorrow which details the case, told VICE World News.

“How are these pesky, little, underfunded groups with their inexperienced legal teams taking on these freaking companies?”

The legal fight began in 2013 when a group called Demanda Colectiva en Defensa del Maíz Nativo, or the Collective Lawsuit in Defense of Native Corn in English, petitioned the Mexican government to halt the use of genetically modified corn because the country's constitution guarantees the right to a clean environment. The coalition of farmer, consumer, and environmental groups that makes up the collective argued that genetically modified corn causes cross-pollination and endangers native corn varieties, which is a staple of Mexican culture, cuisine, and its environment.


Court Mistakenly Gave Potential Jurors Access to Ahmaud Arbery's Mental Health History

The Georgia county court trying the alleged murderers of Ahmaud Arbery has mistakenly exposed potential jurors to suppressed evidence, including his mental health history, which a judge banned from the trial.

Jury candidates who visit the Glynn County Superior Court website seeking information about what time and what day they need to show up can view—in just a couple clicks—all the motions filed so far in the murder trial of Travis and Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan.

Those documents include specifics about Arbery’s mental health and prior criminal history that a judge ordered suppressed and never brought up in court.

The motions also include evidence that prosecutors would like to use against the McMichaels, including a Confederate flag vanity plate on Travis’ truck and how often the father and son had used their licensed firearms. The judge has yet to make a ruling on the admissibility of that evidence.

If a jury candidate were to read that information, it would make them ineligible to sit on the jury that will determine the McMichaels’ and Bryan’s fates. And if that person were to be chosen for the jury, it could be grounds for a mistrial, although that’s unlikely, legal experts told VICE News.

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