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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
January 31, 2015

Florida man accidentally shoots, kills teen while acting out rap song.

Brevard County deputies charged Rodney Patrick Jr. with manslaughter after he allegedly killed his girlfriend’s 17-year-old brother, Douglas Winslow. Officers said the two were listening to ‘Bustin' at 'Em’ by rapper Waka Flocka Flame when the 22-year-old grabbed the gun, believing it was unloaded, and pointed it at the teen. The song included the line, ‘Shoot first, ask questions last.’

A Florida man accidentally shot and killed his friend while they acted out a Waka Flocka Flame song together, officers said.

Rodney Patrick Jr., 22, was charged with manslaughter after he fatally shot his girlfriend’s little brother, 17-year-old Douglas Winslow, on Monday, and then told investigators a story that they believe to be false, Brevard County deputies said.

Officers said the two were inside Patrick’s Merritt Island home listening to "Bustin' at 'Em" by rapper Waka Flocka Flame, WESH reported.


January 31, 2015

Measles patient was on train that later stopped at Niagara Falls

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Health officials say a New York college student who now has measles recently traveled across the state on a train. So they want to make people aware while noting that most New Yorkers have been vaccinated against the disease.

The state Health Department said Friday that the Bard College student took a 1:20 p.m. Amtrak train from New York City's Penn Station to Albany and then to Niagara Falls this past Sunday.

If someone might have been exposed, develops a fever and isn't sure of his or her immunity, he or she should call her doctor before going for care. That's to avoid possibly exposing others.

The Dutchess County Department of Health held a measles vaccination clinic Friday at Bard.


January 31, 2015

Greece Will Repay ECB, IMF, Reach Deal With EU, Tsipras Says

(Bloomberg) -- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sought to repair relations with creditors after a week-long selloff in bonds and stocks, triggered by his pledge to end the country’s bailout agreement.

Greece will repay its debts to the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund and reach a deal “soon” with the euro-area nations that funded most of the country’s financial rescue, Tsipras said in a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg News on Saturday.

“The deliberation with our European partners has just begun,” Tsipras said. “Despite the fact that there are differences in perspective, I am absolutely confident that we will soon manage to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, both for Greece and for Europe as a whole.”

Bond yields surged on Friday after Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said the six-day-old government will turn its back on the rescue program that has allowed Greece to pay pensions and public wages for the past five years in exchange for a punishing regime of spending cuts that wiped out 25 percent of its economy.


January 31, 2015

Comic Heroine Ms. Marvel Saves San Francisco From Anti-Islam Ads

Comic book heroine Ms. Marvel, also known as Muslim, Pakistani-American teenager Kamala Khan, brought her shape-shifting superpowers into the real world as part of a grassroots response to anti-Islamic ads on San Francisco buses.

Pamela Geller's American Freedom Defense Initiative, identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an extremist anti-Muslim hate group, purchased 50 controversial ads on San Francisco Muni busses equating Islam with Nazism, including one with an image of Haj Amin al-Husseini, a 20th Century Palestinian Muslim leader who opposed Zionism, with Adolf Hitler.

Street artists challenged the ads by adding triumphant images of Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel alongside new messages including, "Calling all Bigotry Busters," "Stamp out Racism," "Free speech isn't a license to spread hate," "Islamophobia hurts us all," and "Racist," complete with red hearts for punctuation.

Bay Area Art Queers Unleashing Power (BAAQUP) and Street Cred told NBC News that they "took action because Pamela Geller's repeated hate speech campaigns have normalized Islamophobia and verbal violence in the community we love. We appreciate what Marvel has done in introducing Kamala Khan, who gives young Muslims a positive image of themselves and their power."


January 31, 2015

Pro-Life Groups say Merck is Partly to Blame for Measles Outbreaks

As the measles outbreak focuses attention on parents who object to vaccination, some pro-life groups argue one culprit contributing to the problem is actually Merck, which makes the only measles vaccine available in the U.S. And some have begun a new campaign this week to pressure the drug maker to alter the composition of its vaccine.

At issue is the MMR – or measles, mumps and rubella – combination vaccine sold by Merck. Pro-life groups say they object to the rubella component on religious grounds because it was made using cell lines derived from aborted fetuses. As a result, the groups say pro-life supporters have avoided the MMR vaccine ever since Merck ended production in 2009 of a dedicated measles vaccine.

“The current outbreak would not be as severe or widespread if parents had the ability to access separate vaccines,” says Debi Vinnedge, the director of Children of God for Life, a non-profit, pro-life organization. “Parents are being unfairly targeted as the problem when Merck is the problem. If they had the separate doses available more people would have been vaccinated.”

To what extent a separate measles vaccine might mitigate any recent outbreak or uptick in the disease is unclear. Children of God for Life and the American Life League, another pro-life group that this week has called for Merck to change its vaccine production, are uncertain of the number of supporters who would vaccinate their children if MMR was not offered only as a combined product.


January 29, 2015

With a Growing Measles Outbreak, Is the Anti-Vaxxer Movement Finally Finished?

If there’s a silver lining here, or if you’re into dark humor, there’s a wonderful irony to the fact that Santa Monica was named specifically in a recent Hollywood Reporter investigation into wealthy Southern California cities that have shockingly low vaccination rates. The piece declared that some wealthy areas have vaccination rates lower than those in Sudan. In other words, affluent Southern Californians, who have access to the best health care in the world, are allowing themselves to be as susceptible to disease as those living in the Third World. In Sudan, it’s poverty that can kill you. Here, it’s just stupidity.

John Swartzburg, an emeritus professor at the Berkeley School of Public Health, calls the growing California outbreak a huge “red flag” for the country and noted that every measles patient has the potential to infect 12 to 18 unvaccinated people. Now before anyone dismisses this as just being a problem for the idiots who chose not to vaccinate their children or themselves, as Swartzburg says, measles can be devastating to those too young to be vaccinated (like, for example, the infants brought to Disneyland every single day). There are also a small percentage of people in which the vaccine — one of the most effective in the world — doesn’t take or who haven’t had the necessary booster to be fully protected. These are people who can then go on to infect others.

With the spread of not only the measles but news about the measles outbreak, doctors in California are reportedly being overwhelmed with requests for the MMR vaccine. For those who haven’t been paying attention all this time, that’s the vaccine the anti-vaxxers believe can cause autism in children — an alleged link which was initially based on fraudulent research and which has been disproved more than once. Even the doctor most often associated with former Playboy bunny and game show host Jenny McCarthy — who more than any other single person may be most to blame for the anti-vaxxer lunacy — says he’s been inundated with patients seeking the vaccine. Dr. Jay Gordon of, surprise, Santa Monica claims that he’s not necessarily against vaccines, he just believes parents should have the ability to decide for themselves. The problem is, many of the parents he sees are more than willing to put whatever holistic, pseudoscientific nonsense they see on Oprah before proven medicine and their decisions impact other children who aren’t their own. Which is exactly what we’re seeing now.

This is what’s leading people like Swartzburg to stop playing nice and it’s what’s led the media to finally listen and get on board. “A small but very vocal minority is perpetuating this myth (the danger from vaccines), and we have to stop accommodating them,” he says. “As with climate change, there is no legitimate debate. Both climate change and the efficacy and safety of vaccinations are as real as the sun rising.” In 2012, a bill came before Governor Jerry Brown that required anyone who wanted a “philosophical exemption” to school-mandated vaccines to provide proof he or she had been counseled by a reputable physician. Brown defanged the bill by simply allowing for a “religious exemption,” and as you know, particularly in California, anything can pass for a religion.


January 29, 2015

California Father Asks School To Bar Unvaccinated Children

Rhett cannot be vaccinated, because his immune system is still rebuilding. It may be months more before his body is healthy enough to get all his immunizations. Until then, he depends on everyone around him for protection — what's known as herd immunity.

But Rhett lives in Marin County, Calif., a county with the dubious honor of having the highest rate of "personal belief exemptions" in the Bay Area and among the highest in the state. This school year, 6.45 percent of children in Marin have a personal belief exemption, which allows parents to lawfully send their children to school unvaccinated against communicable diseases like measles, polio, whooping cough and more.

Krawitt is taking action of his own. His son attends Reed Elementary in Tiburon, a school with a 7 percent personal belief exemption rate. (The statewide average is 2.5 percent). Krawitt had previously worked with the school nurse to make sure that all the children in his son's class were fully vaccinated. He said the school was very helpful and accommodating.

Now Krawitt and his wife, Jodi, have emailed the district's superintendent, requesting that the district "require immunization as a condition of attendance, with the only exception being those who cannot medically be vaccinated."


January 29, 2015

I've changed my opinion about school sports.

I used to think it was a waste of time. But since my son started playing basketball, we immadieatly saw changes in his focus and attitude about school work. In our case, sports worked!

January 25, 2015

Man Spends $40,000 to Transform His Home Into A Playground For His Cats

Since the 1990s, home builder Peter Cohen has spent tens of thousands of dollars transforming his Goleta, Calif., house into a kitty paradise for his many rescue cats.

The result? One awesomely purr-fect pad.

Home design website Houzz details just how Cohen turned his home into a cat playground. He’s spent years building a colorful and intricate network of perches, tunnels, ramps and walkways (called “catwalks,” natch) for the enjoyment of his and his roommates’ many cats. They currently have 15 of them -- all of them rescues.

“We try to take the kittens that other people don’t want, especially kittens that have been traumatized,” Cohen told Catster in an interview last year.


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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 60,412

About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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