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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 8,081

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

What book(s) made you cry?

I just read a column on this and neither of mine was mentioned so here they are. One is a YA by Tiffany D. Jackson entitled Monday's Not Coming. It has stuck with me hard and I may have to go back and read it again. It concerns two young teen girls who have been best friends forever. They're separated every summer when Claudia goes south to visit her grandmother, but they write letters. This particular summer, she doesn't get any back from her friend Monday, and when school starts, Monday doesn't show up. When she goes looking for her, she's stonewalled at every turn by Monday's mother and the authorities. The climax of the book is particularly horrifying and what happens after is even worse. Not exactly for the faint of heart. I cried my eyes out for both girls and the book has stuck with me since.

The other is probably little-known in this country and might be classified as a romance, but I'm not so sure--Song of Songs, by Beverley Hughesdon. I first discovered it years ago in our library in Tennessee and borrowed it several times. Then it disappeared. I finally bought my own copy through a used bookseller on Amazon. It concerns the gently brought up daughter of British nobility who comes of age just before WWI. She falls in love with an officer and becomes engaged just before the war. When war breaks out, she volunteers as a nurse. Much of the book is taken up with her horrific experiences there, and after the war, the transition of her and the survivors (her fiancé and one of her adored twin brothers are not among them), and her subsequent hasty marriage to a man many consider "beneath" her. For me, it bore some strong parallels to the TV show "China Beach", which I loved even though many episodes brought me to tears because I lost someone precious to me and other friends in Vietnam.

What are your tear-bringers?

Anger and anxiety as DeSantis's asylum-seeker flights return to US skies

Anger and anxiety as DeSantis’s asylum-seeker flights return to US skies
Mission of ‘Air DeSantis’ to transport migrants to other states gives Florida governor chance to burnish hardline reputation

Richard Luscombe in Miami
Sat 10 Jun 2023 09.00 EDT
The already congested skies over the western US became a little more crowded this week after Florida’s rightwing Republican governor Ron DeSantis ordered the return to flight of one of America’s most notorious transport airlines.

Air DeSantis, as supporters colloquially refer to the state’s unauthorized alien transportation program, doesn’t even exist as an official entity. It isn’t registered as a company, or with the Federal Aviation Authority, is mired in legal troubles, and has been grounded for months.

Yet its renewed mission, ferrying scores of South American asylum seekers around the country aboard chartered aircraft, and leaving them on church doorsteps in Democratic states and cities for authorities there to deal with, provides the perfect vehicle for DeSantis to enhance his reputation as an immigration hardliner.

The political capital the project yields with his base might be invaluable as he pursues the Republican 2024 presidential nomination.

Unsurprisingly, critics of the governor’s agenda, and those on the ground in California attempting to assist bewildered Venezuelans and Colombians dropped off in two separate episodes in four days, see things differently.

“They’re resilient people. But at the same time they have feelings of abandonment, and realizing that they were duped into a political stunt,” Oren Sellstrom, litigation director for Boston-based Lawyers for Civil Rights, told the Guardian.

“There’s anger mixed in with fear and frustration. You have to remember that many of the migrants came from countries where getting caught up in political divisions can get you and your family killed.


'Everything is natural and tastes so good': microfarms push back against 'food apartheid'

On a recent Sunday morning in South Los Angeles, Crop Swap LA volunteers and staffers harvested bags of freshly picked produce from the front yard of a residence. Located just steps from Leimert Park Plaza, the Asante microfarm is the first of what will be numerous microfarms created by the organization, which is dedicated to growing hyperlocal food on unused spaces “in the neighborhood, exclusively for the neighborhood”.

“Everything we’re growing is nutrient-dense and the food remains in the neighborhood,” says Jamiah Hargins, who founded Crop Swap LA in 2018 as a small monthly swap of surplus produce. After spending years in finance and consulting, Hargins decided to create a local food distribution system to address the fact that his neighborhood was a food desert, meaning most residents have little access to healthy food. It’s now one of many Bipoc-led groups across the US that are reclaiming their agricultural heritage and redefining the local food movement by growing on traditional farms and unconventional spaces such as yards, medians and vacant lots as a way to increase food security and health in their own communities.

Crop Swap LA members live within one mile of one of the organization’s microfarms and receive their weekly bags of produce within hours of harvest – which Hargins says is far more nutritious than buying produce that’s been sitting on trucks or in storage for days and weeks – for $50 (£40) a month (Cal Fresh/EBT users pay $25).

The solar-powered microfarms feature on-site composting, beehives and rainwater harvesting, and plants are grown in long mesh containers made from upcycled polypropylene. Harvests have included Swiss chard, tomatoes, red-veined sorrel and pattypan summer squash, among other produce and herbs. A fruit tree harvesting program provides members with honey crisp apples and Asian pears.

Crop Swap LA’s third microfarm will debut its first harvest in June and its biggest project yet will be an urban farm that will provide produce for a 10,000 sq ft food incubator and grocery store at the forthcoming Marlton Square development in south Los Angeles’s Baldwin Hills neighborhood.


Bad night in Cookeville: KPD officer goes to apartment seeking sex, ends up leaving in ambulance

Seeking sex, an off-duty Knoxville Police Department officer drove to Cookeville, showed up at a 20-year-old student's apartment and quickly found himself in a world of trouble.

Before the night was over Officer Tyriq Campbell, 24, would be accused of blackmail, hurl himself through a second-floor window, hand five cellphones over to Cookeville police and catch a ride to the hospital in an ambulance.

He'd also offer various and sometimes conflicting details to authorities about what he was doing a hundred miles from Knoxville and how he ended up there, records show. Records portray it as a Snapchat hook-up gone very wrong.

The Cookeville Police Department deemed the March 16 incident "odd and unusual." But, after a review, it's filed no charges.

Knoxville police administrators knew about Campbell's trip hours after it happened. So far the department hasn't opened an internal affairs investigation.

Defense attorney Don Bosch represents the young officer. Bosch said his client was a victim who did nothing wrong.

"We have been informed that the criminal matter in Cookeville has been closed. We have voluntarily cooperated with the Cookeville Police Department throughout their investigation," Bosch told WBIR in a statement.

"We are unaware currently of any review that the Office of Professional Standards is undertaking, but stand ready to answer any questions they have in the future. As it relates to the incident in Cookeville, this had nothing to do with my client’s duties as a KPD officer, and he was a victim in this situation."


Read on...what a weird tale! Worthy of a bad TV movie....

What's going on? Trying to post story

Trying to post a story in General Discussion and I keep getting a "403 Forbidden" every time. I haven't had any trouble posting up until this one, which is just a story from ABC today.

Teen Accuses Hospital of 'Medical Kidnapping' After Her Mom Died By Suicide

Last year, the story of Maya Kowalski—a young girl whose suffering from a series of strange symptoms including severe pain that spanned her body culminated in a hospital falsely accusing her mother of Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSP)—shocked the internet. Kowalski’s mother, accused of attention-seeking and child abuse because medical personnel at John’s Hopkins Children’s Hospital speculated whether her daughter’s symptoms were real or had occurred naturally, died by suicide. Now, the 17-year-old is speaking out, as her family’s gut-wrenching struggles will be aired in a new Netflix documentary, Take Care of Maya, premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 19.

In a People cover story, Kowalski and her father, Jack, start from the beginning, detailing how, at just 9 years old, the girl was struck by innumerable ailments—from asthma attacks to headaches to lesions on her extremities—that left doctors with more questions than answers. One physician went so far as to suggest she was imagining them. “But Maya would be crying 24/7,” Jack told the magazine. “We knew she wasn’t faking.”

Eventually, Kowalski’s mother, Beata, learned of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a rare neurological condition that inflicts constant or intermittent pain in its host’s arms and legs. Severe sensitivity to touch is also a symptom of the condition, meaning those inflicted are prone to routine, excruciating discomfort. Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick, a Tampa-based anesthesiologist and pharmacologist in Tampa who specializes in CRPS, officially diagnosed Maya with the condition in 2015.

For a while, the family found relief in Kirkpatrick, who treated the condition with infusions of ketamine, including five-day “ketamine comas” in which the nervous system is administered with a high dose of the drug to “reset” itself.

“I felt amazing,” Kowalski recalled of the treatments to People. The respite, however, was short-lived. The following year, Kowalski was hospitalized at John’s Hopkins for debilitating stomach pain. Beata—a registered nurse—reportedly begged nurses to administer a dose of ketamine to alleviate her daughter’s pain. The request concerned hospital staff enough to contact Florida’s version of Child Protective Services. The agency then launched an investigation of Beata and accused her of the mental disorder, in which a caretaker of a child either fabricates false symptoms or causes real symptoms in an effort to prove the child is ill. Kowalski was then separated from her parents and remained hospitalized in state custody for three months.


I had a friend whose daughter developed CRPS after being whacked on the elbow in a school bus incident(!) It was a long and horrible journey for mom and child. Thank goodness no one was arrested or committe suicide, although the daughter nearly did.

Florida woman charged with fatally shooting her neighbor has a history of harassing area children

A white woman charged with fatally shooting her Black neighbor through a door has a history of harassing area children and using racial slurs against them, neighbors said Wednesday.

Susan Louise Lorincz, 58, was arrested Tuesday on charges of manslaughter with a firearm, culpable negligence, battery and two counts of assault, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. Manslaughter with a firearm is a felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

The arrest came days after authorities said Lorincz shot Ajike “AJ” Owens, a 35-year-old mother of four, through a closed door in Ocala on Friday night. At least two of Owens' children witnessed the shooting, according to the sheriff’s office, which was criticized by civil rights attorney Ben Crump and the grieving family over the pace of the investigation.

It was not immediately clear whether Lorincz, who is being held in the Marion County Jail, had an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

In interviews with NBC News, neighbors recalled the times they said the suspect recorded their children, taunted them with slurs, called the police and waved guns at them — just for being kids.


Worse than a Karen and should have been locked up years ago.

Kids can't all be star athletes. Here's how schools can welcome more students to play

Going into his last tennis match of the school year, high school senior Lorris Nzouakeu knew he might get knocked out in straight sets. He was scheduled for one of the first matches of the day during the regionals competition in western Maryland, against a student from another school who'd won the championship last year.

"So it wasn't really looking good at the start," he laughs. "My goal was definitely to continue rallies and maintain pace and also just have fun."

"Fun" is sometimes hard to find in high school sports. Gunning for college athletic scholarships, many students and families go all in – focusing on one sport and even one position from elementary school. It's also big business – the whole youth sports industry is worth $19 billion dollars, more than the NFL.

For a lot of kids of all ages, sports are not working for them. Less than half of kids play sports at all, and those that do only stick with it for about three years and quit by age 11. That's a whole lot of kids missing out on some of the huge benefits of sports, including spacial awareness, physical activity, and team skills.

Increasingly sports educators, health researchers and parents are pushing back against this trend and arguing that playing sports should be for all kids.

During the last few pandemic years, physical activity fell, while obesity rates and mental health challenges grew, note Tom Farrey and Jon Solomon of the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program in a 2022 handbook for reimagining school sports. At the same time, interest in sports has grown, which "presents an historic opportunity for schools to reimagine their approach to sports," they write.


I had to sit through boring daily study halls. I would have welcomed a flex "playtime" with a variety of sport choices rather than the rigid PE classes I was forced into. Think outside the box!

Why quoting my book on racial justice is a problem for Christian college professors

Jemar Tisby

In his classic book, "The Souls of Black Folk", renowned Black scholar W.E.B. Du Bois begins by asking the question white people often hint at but seldom say outright: "How does it feel to be a problem?"

For many far-right Christian institutions of higher education, my name and my work have become a problem. For them, I seem to have become an avatar of all that is wrong in modern racial justice work.

A professor at Taylor University, Julie Moore, quoted from my book, "The Color of Compromise," in the introductory narrative to her syllabus, and according to her provost this was a problem. In a meeting in which professor Moore was informed that her contract would not be renewed for the upcoming year, she asked the provost to cite the reason for her removal.

According to the Religion News Service, "When pressed for details, Taylor Provost Jewerl Maxwell said there had been complaints about assigned readings on racial justice in Moore’s classes. Maxwell named one author as problematic in particular. ... 'Jemar Tisby is the main focus,' Maxwell told Moore."

Mind you, professor Moore had not actually assigned any of my readings to her class. She merely quoted me in her syllabus.


Reich-wing Christian colleges, he means. Of course they would have a problem.

'It's been a total witch-hunt. It takes its toll': the LGBTQ+ families fleeing red states

This month, Lauren Rodriguez will move out of her home in Texas, a state where she has lived for 20 years, to relocate to New Zealand. “People think we are dramatic for leaving, but when you look at what’s happened to my family, we’re not,” she says, amid packing up her life’s belongings. “It has been a total witch-hunt. It takes its toll.”

Six years ago, Rodriguez’s son Grey told her that he was transgender. That first night, she stayed up Googling “what to do when your kid tells you they’re trans”. From there, she took him to get his “first boy haircut” and contacted local LGBTQ+ organizations for advice.

Although she describes the climate against trans people then as less hostile than it has become, the news was not well received by some in their neighborhood. At the extreme, neighbors, a teacher, and even family members reported Rodriguez to Child Protection Services (CPS) for helping her son, who was then under 18, access gender-affirming medical care. Rodriguez, a social worker, has been on the receiving end of more than 10 complaints to the CPS. All cases were opened, investigated and closed.

During this period, Texas was one of a number of Republican-led states where the political mood was changing. The current legislative session in Texas has seen an unprecedented number of anti-gay and anti-trans bills pass through the senate. Some restrict teaching about gender and sexuality in schools. One bill has a section that would allow anyone to criminally prosecute an individual librarian in a school for distributing “harmful material”.

Other bills would ban drag, while one, SB14, would ban gender-affirming care for under-18s. If it passes, Texas will follow the 19 US states that ban or restrict access to transgender care, with penalties for doctors who break the law.

This sudden change in political tone has left many in Republican states feeling unsafe. A survey this year found that 50% of LGBTQ+ Florida parents wish to move, particularly in the wake of HB1557 – otherwise known as the “don’t say gay” bill – passed in March 2022, which bars teachers from educating children between kindergarten and third grade on sexual orientation or gender identity. Under the law, a Florida teacher was recently investigated for showing students a Disney movie featuring a gay character.

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