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Zorro's Journal
Zorro's Journal
December 31, 2022

Their Mothers Were Teenagers. They Didn't Want That for Themselves.

Teen pregnancies have plummeted, as has child poverty. The result is a profound change in the forces that bring opportunity between generations.

JENNINGS, Mo. — Brittnee Marsaw was born to a 15-year-old mother in St. Louis and raised by a grandmother who had given birth even younger. Half grown by the time her mother could support her, Ms. Marsaw joined her three states away but never found the bond she sought and calls the teen births of preceding generations “the family curse.”

Ana Alvarez was born in Guatemala to a teenage mother so poor and besieged that she gave her young daughter to a stranger, only to snatch her back. Soon her mother left to seek work in the United States, and after years of futilely awaiting her return Ms. Alvarez made the same risky trip, becoming an undocumented teenager in Washington, D.C., to reunite with the mother she scarcely knew.

While their experiences diverge, Ms. Marsaw and Ms. Alvarez share a telling trait. Stung by the struggles of their teenage mothers, both made unusually self-conscious vows not to become teen mothers themselves. And both say that delaying motherhood gave them — and now their children — a greater chance of success.

Their decisions highlight profound changes in two related forces that shape how opportunity is conveyed or impeded from one generation to the next. Teen births have fallen by more than three-quarters in the last three decades, a change of such improbable magnitude that experts struggle to fully explain it. Child poverty also plunged, raising a complex question: Does cutting teen births reduce child poverty, or does cutting child poverty reduce teen births?

December 30, 2022

Teary Bolsonaro calls loss unfair, condemns violence, flies to Florida

Source: Washington Post

Two days before leaving office, ending a tumultuous four years as the race-baiting, Amazon-developing, coronavirus-downplaying, vaccine-skeptical leader of Latin America’s largest country, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro remained defiant in a teary farewell address on Friday, defending his record and saying the election that led to his ouster was not impartial, but condemning violence against the result.

Then he flew to Florida, Brazilian media reported, where in the past he has met with former president Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago. He apparently planned to skip the inauguration of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Sunday, when the outgoing leader traditionally presents the presidential sash to his successor, a ceremony intended to reaffirm the country’s young democracy.

Bolsonaro’s remarks, live-streamed for nearly an hour Friday morning, were his most extensive since he lost the election in October. He still has not conceded the race, but acknowledged that a new administration would take over on Sunday.

“Nothing is lost,” he told supporters. “Brazil is a fantastic country, and Brazil doesn’t end on January first.”

Concern is growing over security around Lula’s inauguration in Brasília on Sunday. Bolsonaro supporters have camped outside army installations since his Oct. 30 defeat to call for a military coup to keep him in power. A group of radical bolsonaristas set fire to buses and tried to invade federal police headquarters in the capital this month after the arrest of a Bolsonaro supporter who was accused of having “expressly summoned armed people to prevent the certification of elected” officials.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/12/30/bolsonaro-farewell-florida/

Florida. Mar-a-Loco. Figures.
December 30, 2022

Andrew Tate to Spend New Year in Jail After Court Approves 30-Day Detention

Sexist troll Andrew Tate will be welcoming the New Year in a Romanian “detention center” after prosecutors were granted a 30-day hold following his arrest on Thursday. The American-British kickboxer/influencer was detained in Romania along with his brother, Tristan, after his house was raided as part of an investigation into rape and human trafficking, authorities said. Two others were also taken by Romanian law enforcement, Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) said. A judge in Bucharest approved the extended detention on Friday afternoon. “The four suspects... appear to have created an organized crime group with the purpose of recruiting, housing and exploiting women by forcing them to create pornographic content meant to be seen on specialized websites for a cost,” DIICOT said in a statement.


Too bad, so sad...

December 30, 2022

Kevin McCarthy would do anything to be House speaker. That's the problem

Leave aside the opposition to House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy from a few right-wing lawmakers whom even far-right pundit Mark Levin calls “boneheads.”

McCarthy should not be speaker of the House.

Just days before the new Republican-majority House is set to choose its speaker, McCarthy still lacks enough votes. The party defectors vow to join all Democrats to oppose the Californian for reasons not altogether clear — and Donald Trump’s endorsement notwithstanding.

Yet no plausible alternative is running, and certainly no Republican who’d be a better choice than the spineless, shape-shifting McCarthy. My guess is his lieutenant, the second-ranking House Republican, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, might be dragooned for the job, much as a reluctant Paul Ryan was in 2015. Back then, McCarthy was the favorite to replace beleagured Speaker John Boehner, but he couldn’t muster the votes amid a similar right-wing mutiny.

For now, most money remains on McCarthy. Yet since his rebuff seven years ago, he has only made it more clear that he does not deserve to hold Congress’ highest office and stand second in line to the presidency.


December 30, 2022

The congressman who 'embellished' his resume long before George Santos

Douglas R. Stringfellow was the future of the Republican Party. In 1952, the GOP gained control of the House, Senate and White House for the first time in two decades, and Stringfellow was among the new arrivals. The Utahn was young (30 years old) and charismatic (a former radio DJ) and had a résumé most politicians could only dream of.

On electrifying speaking tours and at campaign events, he recounted his World War II service, for which he had been awarded a Silver Star. He had joined the OSS, the precursor to the CIA, and while behind enemy lines on a secret mission, he had captured the German physicist Otto Hahn, thus stopping the Germans from developing a nuclear bomb. He was captured by the Nazis and tortured in a concentration camp before escaping. He was the sole survivor of his OSS unit. Then, toward the end of the war, he stepped on a land mine, leaving him permanently disabled; he met his future wife, a USO performer, while recovering in a military hospital.

Only the parts about the land mine and meeting his wife turned out to be true.

Today, Rep.-elect George Santos of New York is under fire for running on a résumé that appears to be largely invented. Santos has called his lies about his educational background, professional experience and family ancestry “embellishments” and has so far resisted pressure to step down. House Republican leadership, set to gain a narrow majority in the next Congress, has been largely silent amid calls to expel Santos.

Unlike Santos’s, Stringfellow’s fabrications were mostly focused on one thing: his war service. And there was a kernel of truth inside his fake story. He really did enlist in the Army in 1942, and he really was grievously injured by a land mine, for which he was awarded a Purple Heart. He returned to Utah with his bride after the war, eventually gaining the ability to walk short distances with the aid of a cane. Stringfellow began telling his fake wartime story in church soon afterward, long preceding his political career.


December 30, 2022

Far-Right Activist Ammon Bundy Threatens 'Shotgun' Standoff Over Hospital Lawsuit

He’s being sued for a harassment campaign on a hospital. If he loses, he says he’s not paying up.

Six years after his last armed standoff with law enforcement, far-right leader Ammon Bundy appears to be threatening another armed action—this time over a lawsuit from an Idaho hospital he’s accused of harassing.

“They’re suing me for defamation. They’re probably going to try to get judgments of over a million dollars and take everything they have from me,” Bundy told the conservative Idaho Dispatch in a livestream video this week. “And I’m not going to let that happen. I’m making moves to stop that from happening. And if I have to meet 'em on the front door with my, you know, friends and a shotgun, I’ll do that. They’re not going to take my property.”

Bundy, who recently and unsuccessfully ran for governor of Idaho, rose to national fame during tense confrontations with federal law enforcement at his family’s Nevada ranch in 2014 and at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016. Following those standoffs, Bundy launched the People’s Rights Network, a far-right activist group.

Bundy, the People’s Rights Network, and other associates are defendants in a lawsuit by St. Luke's Meridian Medical Center, which accuses the right-wing network of defamation.


Here's another asshole who's way past due for a serving of justice.
December 29, 2022

Anti-feminist social media personality Andrew Tate 'arrested' in Romania on human trafficking charge

The self-styled misogynist internet celebrity Andrew Tate has reportedly been arrested in Romania on human trafficking charges.

British-American Tate, 36, has amassed a huge following of young men via Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

He and brother Tristan were arrested in Bucharest and will be detained for 24 hours, according to Romanian newspaper Gândul.

It reported that the US Embassy received a complaint that a woman with American citizenship was being held at their home without consent.

A former policewoman also accused of involvement in the alleged trafficking has also been arrested on the same charges.


Seems like picking a fight with Greta Thunberg opened up the lead for Romanian police to locate this dipshit.

Karma. (Heh)

Maybe he'll use his Bugatti to make a getaway.
December 28, 2022

An Old Diabetes Drug May Protect You Against Long COVID

Clinical trial findings offers promise to the millions at risk for symptoms.

Prescription drugs have a funny way of surprising us with new side effects—even if they’ve been on the market for decades. Viagra started as a treatment for high blood pressure before it was discovered to have stimulating effects for men. A common liver drug was recently found to help protect against the coronavirus. Now, another drug that protects against long COVID might soon join its ranks.

Researchers from across the U.S. published a pre-print on Dec. 24 that found that metformin, a commonly prescribed diabetes drug, might greatly reduce your chances of getting long COVID by more than 40 percent. While further research is needed to verify the clinical trial findings, it could help shed light on a very effective method of preventing the pernicious post-COVID symptoms that currently impact 1 in 13 adults in the U.S..

The researchers wanted to see if it was possible to identify any medications that might be able to prevent the onset of long COVID symptoms from manifesting even after the virus had been eradicated from the body.

The team landed on three: metformin, ivermectin, fluvoxamine. The three drugs have exhibited anti-viral properties in past studies, though mostly with lab animals like mice and rats.

December 26, 2022

As Republicans inch away from election denialism, one activist digs in

Harry Wait ordered ballots in the names of others to show voter fraud is possible. Now facing up to 13 years in prison, he is undaunted in his crusade to change Wisconsin’s voting laws.

RACINE, Wis. — Harry Wait marched into the courthouse, walked through a metal detector and planted himself on a bench in the ornate lobby. His supporters, some wearing bright yellow “Free Harry” T-shirts, chatted amiably as they followed him inside.

Emboldened by former president Donald Trump’s false election claims, Wait in July had ordered absentee ballots in the names of others for the purpose, he said, of exposing what he considers flaws in Wisconsin’s voting systems. Now, on a warm September afternoon, he was using the resulting voter-fraud charges against him — which could land him in prison for up to 13 years — to amplify his argument that absentee balloting should be severely restricted.

“I’d do it again in a heartbeat because to save the republic, soldiers have to draw blood and blood be drawn,” Wait said as he sat on the courthouse bench.

For two years, a large segment of Trump supporters has embraced discredited claims that the 2020 election was stolen. The strategy of cultivating anger over supposed voter fraud proved politically disastrous this fall, when election deniers lost high-profile races from Arizona to Pennsylvania.


Dumbass, thy name is Harry Wait. And Kimberly Zapata. Throw the book at both of them.
December 25, 2022

Dave Barry's 2022 Year in Review

The best thing we can say about 2022 is: It could have been worse.

For example, we could have had nuclear Armageddon. This briefly appeared to be a possibility, at least according to the president, who broke the news in October at (Why not?) a Democratic Party fundraiser at the home of a wealthy donor in New York City. That must have been an exciting event! One moment everybody’s standing around chewing hors d’oeuvres, and the next moment WHOA WHAT DID HE JUST SAY?

The next day, after the news media ran a bunch of scary headlines, the White House Office of Explaining What the President Actually Meant explained that the president wasn’t suggesting that we were facing Armageddon per se, but was merely, as is his wont, emitting words, one of which happened to be “Armageddon,” and everybody should just calm down.

So we dodged a bullet there.

And there were other positive developments in 2022:

— Millions of Americans on social media realized — it took them a while, but they finally got there — that nobody wants to know how they did on “Wordle.”

— For the 13th consecutive year, the New York Yankees failed to even get into the World Series.

— Best of all, the looming apocalyptic threat of catastrophic global climate change was finally eliminated thanks to the breakthrough discovery that the solution — it has been staring us in the face all this time — was to throw food at art.


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