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Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
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Mail delivery suspended at L.A. public housing complex with over 1,800 residents

Mail delivery has been suspended at Mar Vista Gardens, a public housing complex with more than 1,800 tenants in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Del Rey, forcing residents to pick up mail and packages at a Culver City facility over a mile away.

Culver City Post Office Postmaster Roderick Strong told officials at the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles this week that mail delivery was immediately being put on hold because of safety issues at the 43-acre housing complex.

Strong had previously cited safety issues as a reason to set up centralized banks of mailboxes at Mar Vista Gardens instead of delivering mail to each door, an idea that troubled residents of the complex. Tenant leaders had raised concerns about voting in the upcoming elections and questioned why the same changes were not happening in wealthier areas.
Housing authority spokesman Eric Brown said that, although Strong has repeatedly spoken of threats to mail carriers at the Del Rey complex, “we still have not received a valid report on his accusations.”


Fox News panel offers tepid reaction to Trump speech

"Flat," "didn't have the bite he usually has," and "too long."

Those were just a few of the reactions from the Fox News panel that provided immediate analysis of President Trump's speech.

With fireworks and opera in the background, Chris Wallace, moderator of "Fox News Sunday," said he was "surprised by the lack of fireworks" in the speech. Brit Hume, Fox's senior political analyst, said it was too long and agreed with Wallace that it felt flat. Dana Perino, a Fox anchor, gave the president points for hitting Biden hard but agreed it was on the long side.


How Social Workers Like Me Can --And Do -- Deescalate Dangerous Situations Every Day

One meme I saw showed a naked man standing on the roof of a building with his fists in the air, captioned with the words, “Can’t wait to see how the social worker handles this one.” But when I looked at that picture, I knew exactly how a social worker would handle that situation.  

Even as a novice, I managed to do this by remaining calm and engaging on a human-to-human level, showing respect and care for my clients, no matter how difficult their behavior. That meant that even if a client was being disrespectful or yelling in my face, I ignored that behavior and engaged him. Then — and now — I utilized open-ended questions, asking the client to tell me more about what upset them in the moment. I empathized and validated the client’s feelings by saying something like, “I am so sorry this is happening to you. I understand why you are so upset.” Sometimes I asked the client to take a few breaths or a moment to calm down, so that I could find the best way to help in the situation.

I would stress that I wanted to minimize any further consequences due to the disruptive behavior. At Covenant House, I would explain that I wanted to make sure he did not get discharged for fighting. When a client would see that I was genuinely interested in helping, he would generally calm down.  

So that meme asking how a social worker would handle a naked man on the roof? Well, I’d do what I was trained to do: I’d respectfully engage him using a calm voice and relaxed body posture showing sincere empathy. That’s how you help a vulnerable person during a crisis.   


It's not just the pool boy. Falwell Jr. also was sugar daddy to a former LU student.

From an August 27. 2019 Reuters article about Falwell using Liberty U assets on his "personal trainer":

Exclusive: Falwell steered Liberty University land deal benefiting his personal trainer

LYNCHBURG, Va. (Reuters) - Evangelical leader and prominent Donald Trump backer Jerry Falwell Jr personally approved real estate transactions by his nonprofit Christian university that helped his personal fitness trainer obtain valuable university property, according to real estate records, internal university emails and interviews.

Around 2011, Falwell, president of Liberty University in Virginia, and his wife, Rebecca, began personal fitness training sessions with Benjamin Crosswhite, then a 23-year-old recent Liberty graduate. Now, after a series of university real estate transactions signed by Falwell, Crosswhite owns a sprawling 18-acre racquet sports and fitness facility on former Liberty property. Last year, a local bank approved a line of credit allowing Crosswhite’s business to borrow as much as $2 million against the property.

In 2016, Falwell signed a real estate deal transferring the sports facility, complete with tennis courts and a fitness center owned by Liberty, to Crosswhite. Under the terms, Crosswhite wasn’t required to put any of his own money down toward the purchase price, a confidential sales contract obtained by Reuters shows.

Liberty committed nearly $650,000 up front to lease back tennis courts from Crosswhite at the site for nine years. The school also offered Crosswhite financing, at a low 3% interest rate, to cover the rest of the $1.2 million transaction, the contract shows.


A picture of Crosswhite from his Instagram account:

I wonder what Falwell Sr.'s granddaughter, who spoke at the RNC tonight, thinks about this arrangement...

Most Russians Say 'Hell, No!' They're Not Taking Putin's COVID-19 Vaccine

Epidemiologists, pharmacologists, and doctors in Russia have responded to the alleged breakthrough with skepticism, and they certainly aren’t lining up to be injected first.

Russian scientists plan to start the final stage of the trials on Monday, planning to begin the mass vaccination in October. Siberian scientists in the city of Novosibirsk are offering thousands of volunteers $1,997 for giving the vaccine a try, Znak news website reports. That is a lot of money for Novosibirsk, where the average monthly wage is $519.

The research looked a lot like a secret military operation from the start. The vaccine, created by a team of experts from the Russian Defense Ministry and the Gamaleya Institute, is called Sputnik V, in honor of the Cold War-era space-race winning satellite, which has also given its name to one of Russia’s leading state-operated propaganda news sites.

Leading epidemiologists and a trade group for medical experiments, the Russian Association of Clinical Trials, publicly urged the Kremlin to delay the vaccine’s registration, but they were ignored. Some scientists warned that it was possible Sputnik V could even make the disease more virulent in those who have been vaccinated.


Amid coronavirus surge in California, hospital workers say they're not protected

Workers at Fountain Valley have repeatedly raised alarms in recent weeks about hospital practices they fear leave them vulnerable to the coronavirus — including lack of testing, reuse of personal protective equipment and subpar infection controls — by writing to the CEO, calling lawmakers and staging two demonstrations outside the hospital. In July, the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which represents employees like Nguyen, submitted a complaint to the California Department of Public Health, which the union said prompted an investigation that continues. (The department said that complaints are confidential and that it couldn't comment on any investigations.)

Up and down California, where COVID-19 cases spiked through July and into August, health care personnel in hospitals say they're facing working conditions that leave them vulnerable to the coronavirus. Health care workers and their unions have tried to improve their situation facility by facility — one even held a five-day strike at a Santa Rosa hospital last month — but they have made little headway. Six months into the pandemic, they say they are still forced to reuse protective equipment and are denied testing by their own hospitals. Now, many say they need government intervention.

The National Union of Healthcare Workers has asked the state government to issue new rules requiring testing of all newly admitted hospital patients for COVID-19, as well as baseline and exposure-driven testing of health care personnel. Sal Rosselli, the union's president, said it presented its plan recently to Gov. Gavin Newsom and other top state officials, who seemed receptive. (Newsom's office didn't respond to a request for comment.)

"No provider was ready for this pandemic — it was chaos, and it continues to be very chaotic," Rosselli said. "But the fact that workers that treat these patients every day or clean their rooms can't get tested even when they have symptoms, or even when they're exposed, is the demonstration that this industry is driven by profit and not by providing adequate care."


Don't just look at covid-19 fatality rates. Look at people who survive -- but don't entirely recover.

Anecdotal reports of these people abound. At least seven elite college athletes have developed myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that can have severe consequences, including sudden death. An Austrian doctor who treats scuba divers reported that six patients, who had only mild covid-19 infections, seem to have significant and permanent lung damage. Social media communities sprang up of people who are still suffering, months after they were infected, with everything from chronic fatigue and “brain fog” to chest pain and recurrent fevers.

Now, data is coming in behind the anecdotes, and while it’s preliminary, it’s also “concerning,” says Clyde Yancy, chief of cardiology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. A recent study from Germany followed up with 100 recovered patients, two-thirds of whom were never sick enough to be hospitalized. Seventy-eight showed signs of cardiac involvement, and MRIs indicated that 60 of them had ongoing cardiac inflammation, even though it had been at least two months since their diagnosis.

If these results turned out to be representative, they would utterly change the way we think about covid-19: not as a disease that kills a tiny percentage of patients, mostly the elderly or the obese, the hypertensive or diabetic, but one that attacks the heart in most of the people who get it, even if they don’t feel very sick. And maybe their lungs, kidneys or brains, too.

It’s too early to say what the long-term prognosis of those attacks would be; with other viruses that infect the heart, most acute, symptomatic myocarditis cases eventually resolve without long-term clinical complications. Though Leslie Cooper, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, estimates that 20 to 30 percent of patients who experience acute viral myocarditis end up with some sort of long-term heart disease including recurrent chest pain or shortness of breath, which can be progressive and debilitating. When I asked whether the risk of long-term disability from covid-19 could potentially end up being greater than the risk of death, Cooper said: “Yes, absolutely.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dont-just-look-at-covid-19-fatality-rates-look-at-people-who-survive--but-dont-entirely-recover/2020/08/14/3b3de170-de6a-11ea-8051-d5f887d73381_story.html?hpid=hp_opinions-for-wide-side_opinion-card-e%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans

Trump reverts to stereotypes as campaign fumbles to respond to Harris pick

It took President Donald Trump less than two minutes to reach for the word "nasty" as he reacted to California Sen. Kamala Harris' historic selection as the first Black woman to join a major-party ticket.

A few minutes later, the President added "meanest" and "most horrible" to his characterization of Harris and claimed she was "disrespectful" in her attacks on Biden during the Democratic primary, when they stood on the debate stage as equals.
Harris was one candidate that several Trump campaign advisers said they did not want, according to two sources familiar with the discussions. Several Trump campaign advisers told CNN they would have preferred to see Biden pick from the other finalists on his shortlist, with a preference for former national security adviser Susan Rice and Rep. Karen Bass, both viewed as lightning rods for controversy.

"She is certainly formidable," a source close to the campaign said. "She will inject some much-needed energy into the campaign."


Babs allows MeidasTouch to use her "Enough is Enough" hit and the ad is glorious!

Barbra Streisand Turns One Of Her Biggest Hits Into An Anti-Trump Anthem

Progressive PAC MeidasTouch received Streisand’s blessing to use “Enough Is Enough” to encourage LGBTQ+ voters to hit the polls.


Georgia teens shared photos of maskless students in crowded hallways. Now they're suspended.

At least two North Paulding High School students have been suspended after sharing images of a school hallway jammed with their mostly maskless peers, and the principal has warned other students against doing the same.

North Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga., about an hour’s drive from Atlanta, was thrust into the national spotlight this week when pictures and videos surfaced of its crowded interior on the first and second days of its first week back in session. The images, which showed a sea of teens clustered together with no face coverings, raised concerns among online commenters and parents over how the district is handling reopening schools during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Facing a fierce online backlash, Paulding County Schools Superintendent Brian Otott told parents and guardians in a letter that the images “didn’t look good.” But he argued that they lacked context about the 2,000-plus student school, where masks are a “personal choice.”

Hannah Watters, 15, wore a mask as she captured the inside of her school. On Wednesday, she ended up with a five-day suspension for violating the district’s student code of conduct, BuzzFeed News reported. The rules bar students from using social media during the day or using recording devices without the permission of an administrator.

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