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Hometown: GA
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 12,005

Journal Archives

The proposed spaceport would have a devastating impact on the Cumberland Island wilderness.

UPDATE 9/18/20 (Southern Environmental Law Center) — SELC filed ammended complaints in its ongoing lawsuit against Camden County and Spaceport Camden consultant Andrew Nelson for failing to meet requirements under the Georgia Open Records Act. This follows years of ignored requests for public records. Click here for more details.

As proponents of Spaceport Camden continue to push the controversial project forward despite mounting questions concerning public safety and environmental impacts, local residents are demanding answers about the potential dangers to nearby communities and sensitive ecosystems.

Today SELC filed suit on behalf of One Hundred Miles in Camden County Superior Court against Camden County and Spaceport Camden consultants for failing to meet requirements under the Georgia Open Records Act (GORA).

After refusing to grant repeated requests for specific documents, including debris field maps and an analysis estimating the number of human deaths that could occur if a rocket explodes on the launch pad or in the air, the county has continued to forge ahead with Spaceport Camden.

- more at link: https://www.southernenvironment.org/news/camden-county-ga-sued-over-documents-withheld-about-spaceport-risks/

For further information:
Camden County, Ga. sued over documents withheld about Spaceport risks - Southern Environmental Law Center

How to Comment Effectively on the Proposed Spaceport - https://wildcumberland.org/how-to-comment-effectively-on-the-proposed-spaceport/

WildCumberland.org links - https://wildcumberland.org/spaceport/

Organizations standing together against the spaceport - https://wildcumberland.org/organizations-standing-together-against-the-spaceport/

While Kemp and Perdue battle, Stacey Abrams wishes you, 'Merry Christmas'

(Cross-posted to Georgia forum)
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dec. 20, 2021

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams puts coal in the stockings of Republicans who want to paint Dems as waging the "War on Christmas" in the Peach State. As the article notes, Abrams, the daughter of two Methodist ministers, doesn't hesitate to wish her fellow Georgians a "Merry Christmas."

While Gov. Brian Kemp and former U.S. Sen. David Perdue batter each other with scathing attacks, Democrat Stacey Abrams keeps trying to stay above the fray.

The latest example of that comes this morning, with a new radio ad that wishes Georgians a “Merry Christmas.” It continues:

"The past year has been too hard for too many. But I have faith… faith that with the right leadership we can build a Georgia where all have the opportunity to thrive. Next year and beyond, regardless of your zip code, your background or access to power, I’ll be fighting for you."

The ad will air statewide for 10 days, and will play mostly on Black, gospel and rural radio stations. Some of the stations have conservative-leaning audiences, a reminder that Abrams can afford to branch out beyond her base without a Democratic primary to worry about.


It’s so positive, in fact, it may remind you of the days when a pair of puppy ads from now-Sen. Raphael Warnock proved that keeping it positive can get you elected in Georgia, especially if your opponents spend most of election season slinging mud at each other.


Bordertown (updated)

First episode introduces a story line involving brutal misogynistic murder. No thanks. Didn’t even finish the first episode. I know many disagree. This is a popular series. Many reviewers found it “edgy.”

I don’t mind stories that include violence and evil — kind of hard to avoid in a murder mystery. But this is in a different headspace, very disturbing with way too much lovingly depicted detail.

On edit -- This reviewer ("Charlotte," posting on netflicks.tv on Oct. 11, 2020) expresses my viewpoint pretty closely:
Charlotte October 11, 2020, 5:20 am

I agree with other reviewers that Bordertown is an excellently crafted show within the obesely large cliched police crime drama genre with its own version of the flawed but brilliant individualist hero. There is no doubt that it is well-designed to draw you in with enough complexity and variation on this overdone genre to maintain interest (just). HOWEVER, I found the characters and plot lines shockingly misogynist for this day and age. I kept watching the series in part out of a fascination with whether my initial impression panned out, and it has. So be warned.

While on the surface the characters appear to reflect modern gender equality aspirational norms, it doesn’t take long for the plot-lines and voyeuristic sexual violence to reveal a nasty, aggressive anti-women streak. This show is not some hard-hitting realist depiction about domination and violence lurking in the underbelly of Finnish society, which includes violence against women (as the show would have you believe). What makes the show sexist and not conciousness-raising or even neutral is: 1) the way it depicts (young) women being assaulted that allows the viewers to adopt the perspective of the dominators and take voyeuristic pleasure in these scenes (more naked women than men of course); 2) the ridiculous proportion of women who are also violent serial assailants (Midsomer Murders style); and 3) the clear lack of appreciation by the show designers of the trauma that sexual and other kinds of assaults have on people – most of the victims of course being women (another reviewer has already pointed out how remarkable and implausible this is). Moreover, once you recognise this theme of allowing pleasure in women as objects of abuse it then becomes hard not to also notice the inferior roles the female characters play relative to the males in the show – despite a veneer of modernity. Even the tough middle-aged Russian character, Lena, has to be portrayed as a bad, insensitive mother (of course), the female boss is portrayed as bureaucratic, passive and largely useless in relation to detective work whilst deferring to our male hero for solving cases and the wife heroine (read Madonna figure) is of course passive, sickly and largely used as wallpaper to normalise the weirdo hero.

One of the laughably implausible plot-lines is the (nb) ‘flat-chested’, petite, 20-something caring social worker killing all of the primary school classmates who had bullied her at school, one-by-one. Yeah right. Who does that? So as a general technique, the show usually transplants the gendered nature of violence perpetration (whether intimate, acquaintance or strangers) in real life – overwhelmingly male in any country I know – to make it out that women are just as likely, or perhaps even more likely to be perpetrators of serious criminal violence. Now what would be the point of that? That is not realism. It is either plain Midsomer Murders laziness (don’t know how to make reality interesting) or the show designers really truly would like to believe that violence is not gendered and/or has nothing to do with toxic masculine sub-cultures (which we all suffer from, including males) but rather some psychologised BS about some universal deranged behaviour response. Good 'ole psychology of course has a lovely large archive of such tricks. Curious to know what others think.

- source: https://www.nextflicks.tv/review/bordertown/ (scroll down to see comments)

Documents with personal information found in Decatur dumpster

Documents with personal information found in Decatur dumpster - Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dec. 6, 2021

Failure to properly dispose of records is a crime, but it’s not clear who’s at fault
Sonya Hooks was putting her junk papers into a bin at a popular recycling center on a recent Sunday in Decatur, when she couldn’t believe what she saw inside: Documents with names, phone numbers, a photocopied driver’s license, and Social Security numbers.

“I was just in shock,” Hooks said, noting the paperwork was related to services for senior citizens. “And they’re the most vulnerable... Somebody can take this information and come to some elderly person’s house and take advantage of them.”

Privacy experts say both federal and Georgia laws were almost certainly violated when the records were discarded. No local or state government or agency has taken responsibility for the documents.

Under federal law, whoever is responsible for dumping the documents improperly can be fined up to $50,000 per violation, and each victim could be counted as a violation.

The papers were left in the paper recycling bin at the Your DeKalb Farmers Market, which is open to the general public. To recycle paper, people climb a stepladder to reach a window at the top of a dumpster, where they find themselves looking inside.

More at link: https://www.ajc.com/news/documents-with-personal-information-found-in-decatur-dumpster/FBEJ6X7XURCGHOUKFXXDD5WHO4/

Probably best to listen to epidemiologists.

For example, here's an update from one reliable source -- The Omicron variant's reinfection risk "appears to be three times higher than two earlier variants," according to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota:
The team at CIDRAP stress that we are in the early stages of assessing this variant, so the risk profile is evolving.

There is much to learn about this latest wrinkle in the COVID saga. Until we have reason to regard it as no worse than previous variants, it just makes good common sense to be cautious about Omicron.

Meanwhile, we have enough trouble from the previous iterations of the virus:
"Delta surge remains strong as world sizes up Omicron threat" -- https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2021/12/delta-surge-remains-strong-world-sizes-omicron-threat

There is a lot in flux globally, and with winter coming on in the northern hemisphere, and lots of unvaccinated people around the world, there's plenty of opportunity for new variants to emerge as we continue to deal with repeated Delta surges.

"Kyle Rittenhouse Has Gotten Away With Murder--as Predicted"

- Rittenhouse’s acquittal is not a “miscarriage” of justice, as some might claim. It is our white justice system working as intended.
by Elie Mystal, 11/19/2021, The Nation

Kyle Rittenhouse, who was 17 years old when he shot three people, killing two, officially got away with murder. A jury of his white peers ruled that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense when he illegally acquired a gun, traveled across state lines, lied about his status as a medic, pointed his gun at protesters, and then used it to kill others.

The verdict is not surprising, if you are familiar with how the criminal justice system works for white people. Wisconsin Judge Bruce Schroeder, who presided over the Rittenhouse trial, consistently made rulings in the best interest of the white gunman. He refused to punish Rittenhouse for violating the terms of his bail; excluded evidence of Rittenhouse’s behavior before and after the shooting that spoke to his intent and lack of remorse; allowed the defense to mischaracterize the people Rittenhouse killed as “rioters”; yelled at prosecutors in front of the jury; dismissed an illegal gun charge against the gunman; and had the jury clap for one of Rittenhouse’s expert witnesses.

Others might want to argue about why Schroeder was biased toward the defendant (I think the judge’s MAGA ringtones and off-color jokes tell you all you need to know about why he was sympathetic to a white gunman who shot up anti–police violence protesters at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement). But that he was biased towards Rittenhouse was obvious to those watching the trial without blinders.

Still, a sympathetic judge and a predominately white jury are just standard gifts the criminal justice system gives to white boys accused of criminal violence. Rittenhouse also enjoyed hero status among white supremacists and Republicans as well as favorable media coverage from Fox News and The New York Times.

More at link: https://www.thenation.com/article/society/kyle-rittenhouse-verdict/

Third leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020,

after heart disease and cancer. (Source: CDC.)

Total U.S. gun deaths in 2020 were 43,634 (all causes, with suicide being the highest). With 37,149 deaths from gun violence so far in 2021, we're on a similar trajectory. (Source: Gun Violence Archive).

So we're currently seeing about the same number of COVID deaths every month that we see from gun violence in an entire year. It's all in how you look at the numbers.

Your point is well taken, though. In a recent episode of Andy Slavitt's In the Bubble podcast, Dr. Ashish Jha pointed out that in a lot of areas across the country (and among more privileged demographic groups everywhere else), it's easy to ignore COVID danger, because most people within these fortunate populations personally know few or no COVID victims.

Antibalas - Gold Rush

Tip: Search DU with DuckDuckGo instead of Google

As many of you know, DuckDuckGo is a great alternative to Google for the privacy-conscious. But did you know that you can use DDG to search DU instead of relying on the Google-driven search bar at the top of the site?

Just follow these steps:
  1. Open a new window or tab in your browser, and navigate to https://duckduckgo.com .

  2. In the search window, enter
    searchterm site:democraticunderground.com

    For example:
    penumbra site:democraticunderground.com

I decided to try an odd search term just to see what would happen. Interestingly, I got a list of DU posts with the word penumbra somewhere in the post, not necessarily in the subject line of the post.

I haven't run extensive comparisons with DU's Google site search, but my initial impressions are that the DuckDuckGo results will be useful for my purposes.

So that's one less Google intrusion on my life.

Beautiful and inspiring.

You may also be interested in the “Ideas from Africa” series from the excellent podcast To The Best Of Our Knowledge:
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