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Home country: USA
Current location: Southern California
Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
Number of posts: 45,231

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Typhus outbreak in Los Angeles County surpasses 100 patients

The latest figures for Long Beach and Pasadena obtained by NBC News, 15 and 20, respectively, bring L.A. county's total to at least 107 new typhus patients in 2018, more than half of what the entire nation usually observes in an entire year, according to the California Department of Public Health.

In the 2000s the number of patients diagnosed with typhus in Los Angeles county "did not exceed 20 cases per year," according to a county report. Observers say there's a correlation between the rise of typhus and the area's 47 percent increase in homelessness since 2012.

Nearly one in 10 area cases, according to the county's health department figures, was centered downtown, where squalid conditions in the skid row neighborhood, including piles of trash and conspicuous rats, have been blamed for exacerbating the outbreak.

A typhus infection can cause headache, high fever and, in rare cases, meningitis and death. According to the L.A. county health department website, it's contracted when "the feces from infected fleas are rubbed into cuts or scrapes in the skin or rubbed into the eyes."


Militia Group Says Members Will Intercept Central American Caravan at U.S. Border

Militia groups and far-right activists are raising money and announcing plans to head to the Mexican border to help stop the caravan of Central Americans, echoing President Donald Trump’s attacks on the migrants making their way toward the U.S.

Their presence has led to conflict in some cases. A militia member killed two people in 2009 during an invasion of what she thought was a drug house near the border in Arivaca, Arizona.

Residents in that same city have been posting signs in recent weeks warning that militia members are not welcome.

Marianna Trevino Wright, a South Texas resident who is director of the nonprofit National Butterfly Center, said she is more fearful of the militias than the caravan.


Mexicans shower the caravan with kindness -- and tarps, tortillas and medicine

Source: Washington Post

“Today it’s them. Tomorrow it could be us,” said Lesbia Cinco Ley, 70, who was volunteering with the Catholic church in town to distribute food.

Town officials in Pijijiapan said they began readying for the caravan’s arrival on Monday, holding meetings to strategize how to attend to the migrants. Before dawn on Thursday, Cinco Ley and several others began cooking, on a mission to prepare giant vats of ham and eggs and 14,000 sandwiches. Between the municipality, churches and private citizens, town officials estimated Pijijiapan had spent nearly $8,000 for one day’s worth of food.

“This is a poor town, but we still did all this,” said Guadalupe Rodriguez, 48, a city councilwoman.

It has been difficult to get a reliable estimate of the number of people in the caravan, for several reasons: It is now dispersed among towns along the highway in Chiapas; more than 1,000 migrants have dropped out to apply for asylum in Mexico; and new people have joined in. Meneses, Pijijiapan’s mayor, said 7,500 migrants had been in town, while the U.N. staff traveling with the caravan estimated it was 3,000.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/mexicans-shower-the-caravan-with-kindness--and-tarps-tortillas-and-medicine/2018/10/26/b2f828b4-d7b0-11e8-8384-bcc5492fef49_story.html?utm_term=.ec9e3164ab24

Despite their own poverty, the Mexican people are giving what they can to the Central American migrants. They are showing us what decency looks like.

Sickness, Fear, Harassment Whittle Away at Migrant Caravan in Mexico

Source: Associated Press/KTLA

Little by little, sickness, fear and police harassment are whittling down the migrant caravan making its way to the U.S. border, with many of the 4,000 to 5,000 migrants camped overnight under plastic sheeting in a town in southern Mexico complaining of exhaustion.

The group, many with children and even pushing toddlers in strollers, planned to depart Mapastepec at dawn Thursday with more than 1,000 miles still to go before they reach the U.S. border.

But in recent days a few hundred have accepted government offers to bus them back to their home countries.

Jose David Sarmientos Aguilar, a 16-year-old student from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, was one of at least 80 migrants waiting in the town square of Huixtla, where the rest of the caravan departed Wednesday morning, for four buses that would take them back to Honduras.

Read more: https://ktla.com/2018/10/25/sickness-fear-harassment-whittle-away-at-migrant-caravan-in-mexico/

Sounds like there won't be a whole lot for Trump's troops to shoot at soon...just the desperate families who have nowhere to go back to.

In Deep Red Idaho, Voters Are Fanatic About Democrat Paulette Jordan

The enthusiasm gap between Jordan and her opponent, 64-year-old multimillionaire Lt. Gov. Brad Little (R), was obvious after their last debate. The self-described undecided voters in attendance swarmed her for photos and questions as he quietly slipped out. One veteran waited in line for 15 minutes to meet her and promptly ripped a sticker off of his shirt bearing Little’s name, saying he is voting for her instead.

Jasper LiCalzi, the chair of the department of political economy at the College of Idaho, said Jordan has hit a sweet spot in the Idaho electorate: young people and women unhappy with President Donald Trump and people across all parties who feel ignored.

Jordan, a 6-foot-tall indigenous woman in a state led by white Republican men, also just looks different. Between her dynamism and calls for big changes to Idaho policies, like marijuana legalization, she couldn’t stand out more from Little, who is, well, boring.

Paulette Jordan comes from a long line of tribal chiefs, and the elders in her tribe, the Coeur d’Alene tribe, saw that same leadership quality in her early on, said her mom. She said her own mother would often pull her aside and tell her to make sure to protect her daughter because the elders believed she had “a gift.” https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5bc90d21e4b0d38b58766654

Spain to lead Japan in global life expectancy, US continues to slide

People in Spain will live for 85.8 years on average, marginally edging out expected lifespans in Japan (85.7), Singapore (85.4) and Switzerland (85.2).

The United States will take the biggest drop in ranking of all high-income countries, falling from 43rd in 2016 to 64th by 2040, with an average life expectancy of 79.8.

The US will be overtaken by China, which rises 29 places to 39th in the table.

Spain is one of several European countries to offer tax-funded healthcare, with their healthcare system ranked as the seventh best in the world by the World Health Organization.


I was in Spain (Barcelona) in 2015 and remember how trim the locals were, and wondering how that could be, since the food was crazy delicious and there was a bar on every block. But people walked a lot. And everyone had good healthcare.

Houses intact after Hurricane Michael were often saved by low-cost reinforcements

The houses still standing in the storm-ravaged neighborhoods of Florida’s Panhandle are conspicuous for their presence. Sticking up from the rubble like one remaining tooth in a jawful of decay, each one is a haunting reminder of what used to exist around it.

In many cases, they were saved by additional strategically placed nails, some small metal connectors and window shutters that created a sealed package — low-cost reinforcements that determined whose home survived and whose was destroyed by the power of Hurricane Michael.

There are the five Habitat for Humanity houses in Panama City, a waterfront vacation home in Mexico Beach, a house built by a homeowner and a few of his church friends — modest structures that lost shingles and suffered water damage but stand largely untouched overlooking the wreckage of buildings that were shredded and ripped from their foundations.

“Often the difference between a roof that stays on and one that flies off is the connection method,” Chapman-Henderson said. “A handful of additional nails can mean the difference.”



President Jimmy Carter has been a strong proponent of Habitat for Humanity, and continues to do the physical work himself, alongside Rosalynn! True patriots!

Here's a nice summary of the Carters' work this year:

Study: Residents With Lower Incomes Pay a Higher Effective Tax Rate

States and localities are filling their coffers by disproportionately burdening lower-income residents, who are taxed at a higher effective rate than top earners, according to a studyreleased Wednesday by a tax policy group.

The 50-state analysis by the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that the lower one's income, the higher the effective overall state and local tax rate. The study includes sales taxes, excise taxes, user fees and income taxes. In fact, states which boast low income taxes are often the most likely to have systems that end up shifting the fiscal burden to lower-income residents, Carl Davis, one of the authors of the study, told reporters in a conference call.

Nationally, the people in the bottom 20 percent of earners face a state and local tax rate that is 50 percent higher than the top 1 percent of households, the study said. That does not mean lower-income people pay more in absolute dollars, only that their effective tax rates are higher. The national average effective state and local tax rate is 11.4 percent for the bottom quintile of taxpayers, compared to 7.4 percent for the top 1 percent of income earners, the study said.


Son in viral meme forgives mother for #HimToo tweet he says is a misrepresentation

On Monday night, a days-old tweet from Jon and Pieter's mother, who they are not identifying, began trending. The tweet said Pieter, 32, is no longer going on "solo dates" out of fear of false allegations of sexual misconduct being leveled against him.

"This is MY son. He graduated #1 in boot camp. He was awarded the USO award. He was #1 in A school. He is a gentleman who respects women. He won't go on solo dates due to the current climate of false sexual accusations by radical feminists with an axe to grind. I VOTE. #HimToo"

The tweet appeared to be referencing the political climate that engulfed Justice Brett Kavanaugh amid his confirmation hearings after he was accused of sexual misconduct, allegations he denied.

Jon said his mother — who has since deleted her account — has posted similarly untrue, yet benign, things in the past, like saying her sons were single when they were not, but this is the first time those posts have included a political message.

That was my Mom. Sometimes the people we love do things that hurt us without realizing it. Let’s turn this around. I respect and #BelieveWomen. I never have and never will support#HimToo . I’m a proud Navy vet, Cat Dad and Ally. Also, Twitter, your meme game is on point. pic.twitter.com/yZFkEjyB6L

— Pieter Hanson (@Thatwasmymom) October 9, 2018


Reminder: Mazie Hirono has Stage 4 kidney cancer while fighting for us.

She was diagnosed in May of 2017. John McCain was not the only one with Stage 4 cancer to vote No on the GOP attempt to repeal Obamacare last year. As this graphic from last year so succinctly put it:

She is currently getting immunotherapy treatment for it instead of chemo, so her hair is not falling out and she appears to be tolerating it well. http://amp.timeinc.net/time/5280460/mazie-hirono-senate-donald-trump  She has not let her Stage 4 cancer stop her from fighting for us.

So when you're feeling down, think you can't keep up the fight, think of Mazie. If she can drag herself out of bed to fight, so can we!
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