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Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: GA
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 9,330

About Me

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Journal Archives

Georgia Innocence Project: GA Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Joey Watkins & Johnny Lee Gates!

From Georgia Innocence Project website:
Johnny Lee Gates has spent 43 years imprisoned for a crime he did not commit; 26 of those years were on death row. Learn more about Mr. Gates’s case here.

In 2018, Georgia Innocence Project and our co-counsel at the Southern Center for Human Rights successfully argued to Muscogee County Superior Court Senior Judge John Allen that Mr. Gates deserved a new trial for a number of reasons, including new DNA evidence, Brady violations, destroyed physical evidence and race discrimination. After a multi-day hearing, Judge Allen granted Mr. Gates’s Extraordinary Motion for New Trial, holding that the new exculpatory DNA evidence, when considered in light of the other evidence in the case, probably would have produced a different verdict at trial.

Judge Allen also made searing findings regarding new evidence demonstrating undeniable and profound race discrimination by the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office in several death penalty trials in the 1970’s and 1980’s in order to secure all white juries.

From GIP email received today:
Joey Watkins was convicted in 2001 of a murder he did not commit. He was 21 years old and has spent almost 20 years wrongfully imprisoned. Learn more about Joey’s case here, check out this great 11 Alive news clip explaining his innocence, or listen to the entire fascinating Season 2 of Undisclosed podcast.

In 2018, GIP and co-counsel Ben Goldberg argued at a habeas hearing that Joey Watkins should be released from prison because of recently discovered juror misconduct, Brady violations, and prosecutorial misconduct. But instead of hearing the merits of the claim, Walker County Judge Don Thompson dismissed Joey’s habeas petition at the State’s request, finding that Joey was too late to bring his claims and that he could not bring them in a second
habeas petition.

We asked the Georgia Supreme Court let us appeal and to correct Judge Thompson’s erroneous order.

After reconsidering their initial decision denying our request, the Georgia Supreme Court not only heard our appeal - which Ben Goldberg argued this fall - but sided with us on all issues!

Johnny Lee Gates

Joey Watkins

Mrs. Betty Bowers for the win:

If Trump is going to call COVID-19 the "Chinese Virus," I was going to call it after him. But "Swine Flu" had already been taken.


Well, I survived -- something

I'm just coming off a week with flu-like symptoms. Since I never developed pneumonia and I don’t “fit the profile” of covid-19 suspects (no recent foreign travel or contact with anyone who's recently visited high-risk countries) — and I’m not a well-connected Republican official — I haven’t been tested.

So I don’t know if the novel coronavirus is what hit me, but the symptoms are sure similar:
- persistent dry cough (not gone yet)
- fever for 5 days — spiked to 102.3 the second day
- weariness
- weak appetite for almost a week
- vomiting one night, mild diarrhea for a couple of days, and
- some difficulty breathing (improved now).

I had a phone appointment with my doctor’s office on the third day. Nurse Practitioner recommended Mucinex (cough suppressant + expectorant), as well as Tylenol or ibuprofen to reduce fever if necessary. The NP called in an order for a chest X-Ray, which I can use any time in the next several weeks in case of severe congestion or shortness of breath.

I elected not to take a fever reducer, since my temperature never got alarmingly high, and I know fever is one of the immune system’s tools for fighting a virus.

I'm doing fairly well nine days after this started, thanks to a week of bed rest, lots of fluids, and -- most important -- the patient and diligent support of my wonderful wife. And I have a son living nearby, who’s helped us out greatly with trips to the store.

My wife and I are retired seniors, both in reasonably good health, and we each got both a flu shot and a pneumonia shot within the past few months. We’re habitually careful about germs and don’t get colds that often. And we almost never get the flu. So this was a surprise. So far she’s staying healthy, knock on wood.

We'll continue to self-quarantine for at least a couple of more weeks, and will keep to ourselves most of the time as suggested, until the experts say as a society we no longer need social distancing.

I hope at some point to find out if I did have covid-19, because if I have immunity -- and if the virus doesn't mutate -- I could be in a position to help patients or others at higher risk without fearing for my own safety.

Stanford group wants to use your computer to help researchers study the coronavirus

Long-time DUers may recall that we once had a DU "Folding@home" team, joining thousands of others around the world in commandeering our personal computers' unused number-crunching capacity to help the Stanford University Folding@home project research diseases.

Well, the Stanford group is still doing this work. To date, the Folding@home project has focused primarily on cancer and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Now, as they march toward one million members worldwide, they're asking for volunteers to support their research into COVID-19!

In fact, I checked their list of teams*, and there is still a Democratic Underground team -- Team 48157. You can participate anonymously, or create a user name to get credit as an individual or as a member of the team!
* Note: This file has a bz2 extension, so you'll need to use a zip extractor to open it.

The way it works is that participants download the Folding@home software to their Windows, Mac, or Linux computers and then run it in the background. To quote from the project web site: "The Folding@home software runs while you do other things. While you keep going with your everyday activities, your computer will be working to help us find cures for diseases like cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Influenza and many others."

In this video, participant Hannah Samara explains why she joined the effort:

Reading to join me and start folding? Go here: https://foldingathome.org/start-folding/

Here's some more info on the program:

Folding@home leverages unused computing power from idle machines
By Kim Lyons Mar 2, 2020, 6:25pm EST
The Verge

Stanford University’s Folding@home distributed computing project is seeking volunteers to help researchers develop treatment therapies for the novel coronavirus.

Folding@home (FAH) uses the processing capacity of networked computers to simulate the complex process of protein folding, which helps determine how to treat diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer, and SARS, another coronavirus. A brief explainer from Folding@home:

For both coronaviruses (the current 2019 nCoV and SARS), the first step of infection occurs in the lungs, when a protein on the surface of the virus binds to a receptor protein on a lung cell. This viral protein is called the spike protein ... Proteins are not stagnant—they wiggle and fold and unfold to take on numerous shapes. We need to study not only one shape of the viral spike protein, but all the ways the protein wiggles and folds into alternative shapes

Studying how the protein folds could eventually help researchers develop drugs that could treat infections of the virus.

This kind of research requires substantial computational power, which FAH generates by tapping into volunteers’ CPUs when they’re idle.
To participate in the coronavirus project, download the FAH software, and your computer’s unused resources will go to the Folding@home Consortium, “where a research team at Memorial Sloan Kettering is working to advance our understanding of the structures of potential drug targets for 2019-nCoV that could aid in the design of new therapies,” according to FAH’s blog post.

From the "About" page of the Folding@home project web site:
Folding@home (FAH or F@h) is a distributed computing project for disease research that simulates protein folding, computational drug design, and other types of molecular dynamics. As of today, the project is using the idle resources of personal computers owned by volunteers from all over the world. Thousands of people contribute to the success of this project.

The Pande Lab is the founding scientific group of Folding@home. Directed by Professor Vijay Pande, Ph.D., the lab is part of the Departments of Chemistry and of Structural Biology, Stanford University and Stanford University Medical Center, and works on theory and simulations of how proteins, RNA, and nanoscale synthetic polymers fold.

We founded the project, developed methods for using distributed computing to study long timescale dynamics, pushed its application to protein folding, and wrote the client software and server code for the Folding@home project. The members of the group involved with Folding@home are listed on our web page.

For more information:
- Start folding now!
- Folding@home project home page
- Folding@home takes up the fight against COVID-19 / 2019-NCOV
- Folding@home Consortium -- other research labs collaborating with the Stanford team
- Folding@home Support Forum

Great interview with Stacey Abrams

Noah Feldman has an enlightening conversation with the electrifying Georgia activist, politician, and author on his podcast “Deep Background” — well worth a half hour of your time:

Or find it on your favorite podcast app.

The library offers serendipities not available on the Internet.

One of my favorite library activities is just wandering around to see what interests me. I've also made many worthwhile discoveries grazing through the unshelved books carts.

The other crucial thing about the library is that the collections are curated. Some expert, or group of experts, has assembled a smorgasbord of fascinating materials that fit into a coherent pattern, and I'm sure to find many things of interest every time I go. And each book or periodical is professionally edited, so it's had to go through some vetting and review process. Joe Blow's blog or YouTube channel, not so much.

It's also much easier to focus in the library, when I'm not pulled in 20 directions at once by all the joys and temptations of the computer and the Internet.

Another important aspect of the building itself is that the library is a crossroads of people from various socioeconomic groups and generations, one that's not replicated many other places.

I hope this wonderful place, and many more like it, will always be available. The prospect of the library's obsolescence is deeply distressing to me.

Trump's latest rally stunts are designed to get you to surrender

(Washington Post)
By Greg Sargent, Opinion writer -- Feb. 11, 2020

In the end, many of President Trump’s ugliest degradations — the nonstop lying, the constant efforts to undermine faith in our political system, the relentless delegitimization of the opposition — often seem to converge in some sense on a single, overarching goal:

To get you to give up.

To give up on what, exactly? On the prospects for accountability for Trump, via mediating institutions such as the media, or via other branches of government, or even via the next election, and more broadly, on the very notion that our political system is capable of rendering outcomes that have not been thoroughly corrupted to their core.

Trump displayed all these pathologies at his rally in New Hampshire on Monday night:
  • Trump predicted that “a lot” of Republicans will cast crossover ballots (which GOP-leaning independents could do in this state), for the “weakest” of the Democrats in Tuesday’s primary. Trump didn’t merely encourage this; he said it will happen, which seems designed to sow doubts among Democrats about the outcome, and to get them to fear Republicans’ ability to tamper with it.

  • Trump again shouted the monumental falsehood that he lost the state in 2016 only because of enormous numbers of illegal voters. This doesn’t merely prep Trump’s voters to see a 2020 loss as illegitimate. It also lets Democrats know that Trump has prepped Trump Nation not to accept a loss, and thus to lose faith in the likelihood of a peaceful transfer of power even if Trump is legitimately defeated.

Trump is a weak candidate, as demonstrated by the Democrats' stunning margin of victory in the 2018 mid-term election. Now is sure as hell not the time to give up.

More from the article:
None of this is to concede magical powers to Trump. He remains vulnerable for reelection. And we don’t have to succumb to any of this. As Jurecic says, the impeachment asserted that the Constitution matters in the face of nihilism.

What’s more, the enormous fact record produced by impeachment and the special counsel’s investigation has tremendous inherent value — not just as statements in the face of such nihilism that presidential corruption, accountability and facts themselves matter, but also as road maps for further revelations.

Similarly, the success of House Democrats in assembling this fact record under tremendous duress — and the parade of patriotic witnesses who smuggled out the truth at grave risk of retribution, which Trump openly advertised truth tellers will face — reminds us that public service matters, as well.

Whether by instinct or design, Trump and his propagandists plainly see their successful sowing of doubt in the integrity of our political system — their sowing of a kind of sneaking dread that Trump is successfully corrupting everything in sight — as being in some basic sense a positive for him.

But we don’t have to succumb to any of it.

- more at link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/11/trumps-latest-rally-stunts-are-designed-get-you-surrender/

I have the Democratic Primaries Forum on Full Trash, so why do some threads show up on the home pg?

For example, today I see "Hillary Clinton's candid review of Bernie Sanders..." from that forum under the "Trending Now" banner on the DU home page. "Full Trash" means (as it says on the "My Account" Trash Can page) "Selecting this option removes the forum or group's threads from the Latest page and the Greatest page and also removes the forum or group entirely from the the Forum & Groups page and from the navigation column on the left side of most pages."

Shouldn't "Full Trash" cause a forum or topic to be, you know, fully trashed everywhere, or does that not apply to the DU home page? And if so, why would only some OPs with lots of Recs from that forum be displayed on the home page and not others?

Pink Floyd: "Grantchester Meadows," 1970, KQED

Source: https://laughingsquid.com/pink-floyd-astronomy-domine-kqed-1970/

I've always loved this song. Once when I was looking out of an airplane window I saw a river below glimmering in the sun for an instant, and then it disappeared beneath the trees. I instantly thought of this song from my youth.

Just finished my iPad sudoku round in 13:13 on Friday the 13th.

It's gonna be a great day!

I've always had a good feeling about Friday the 13th, even more since one of my kids was born on one (and has had a pretty fortunate life so far).

Here's the Thelonious Monk Orchestra playing his composition "Friday the Thirteenth," live at Town Hall -- recorded on February 28, 1959:

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