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Duncan Grant

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Northern California
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 7,895

Journal Archives

"Nation of Idiots" has become my refrain in recent years.

This may come as a surprise but there are people in this country who only believe their personal belief system. No matter the evidence, it can always be interpreted to fit their analysis. They evade the truth like it was a bill collector. If they found the truth, they’d burn it and file a claim.

And some of them can afford very expensive guns.
Posted by Duncan Grant | Thu May 7, 2020, 12:31 PM (1 replies)

The big lie. Illusory truth effect. Propaganda.

A reminder to us all that evil people know exactly what they’re doing — and he knows what he’s doing.
Posted by Duncan Grant | Tue May 5, 2020, 02:31 PM (1 replies)

The Timothy McVeigh contingent of gun-humping political "victims".

Summation: A group of anti-social white supremacists and anti-semites who know themselves to be constitutional scholars and the true patriots of liberty and freedom. With cognitive abilities so underdeveloped they cannot articulate coherent thought or comparative analysis. Spitefully imbecilic and contemptibly stupid.

Consequently: Guns. Lots and lots of guns.

Requires a caption for $500, Alex. (It's the Daily Double!)

Morality test for photographers

This takes less than one minute and is incredibly accurate...well worth the little bit of effort.

This test has only one question, but it's a very important one. By giving an honest answer you will discover where you stand morally.

THE SITUATION:

You are in Miami with chaos all around you caused by a hurricane. There is a flood of biblical proportions. You are a photojournalist working for a major newspaper and you're caught in the middle of this epic disaster. You're trying to shoot career-making photos. There are houses and people swirling around you, some disappearing under the water.

THE TEST:

Suddenly you see a man in the water. He is fighting for his life trying not to be taken down with the debris. You move closer. Somehow the man looks like...good heavens - it's Donald Trump! At the same time you notice that the raging waters are about to take him under forever.

YOU HAVE TWO OPTIONS:

You can save the life of President Trump OR you can shoot a dramatic Pulitzer Prize winning photo, documenting the last minutes of one of the world's most powerful men.

THE QUESTION:

Would you

A) select high contrast colour film,

OR

B) go with the classic simplicity of black and white?

How does coronavirus kill? Clinicians trace a ferocious rampage through the body, from brain to toes

Source: Science Magazine/News

How does coronavirus kill? Clinicians trace a ferocious rampage through the body, from brain to toes

What follows is a snapshot of the fast-evolving understanding of how the virus attacks cells around the body, especially in the roughly 5% of patients who become critically ill. Despite the more than 1000 papers now spilling into journals and onto preprint servers every week, a clear picture is elusive, as the virus acts like no microbe humanity has ever seen. Without larger, prospective controlled studies that are only now being launched, scientists must pull information from small studies and case reports, often published at warp speed and not yet peer reviewed. “We need to keep a very open mind as this phenomenon goes forward,” says Nancy Reau, a liver transplant physician who has been treating COVID-19 patients at Rush University Medical Center. “We are still learning.”

The infection begins
When an infected person expels virus-laden droplets and someone else inhales them, the novel coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2, enters the nose and throat. It finds a welcome home in the lining of the nose, according to a preprint from scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and elsewhere. They found that cells there are rich in a cell-surface receptor called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Throughout the body, the presence of ACE2, which normally helps regulate blood pressure, marks tissues vulnerable to infection, because the virus requires that receptor to enter a cell. Once inside, the virus hijacks the cell’s machinery, making myriad copies of itself and invading new cells...

Buffeting the brain
Another striking set of symptoms in COVID-19 patients centers on the brain and central nervous system. Frontera says neurologists are needed to assess 5% to 10% of coronavirus patients at her hospital. But she says that “is probably a gross underestimate” of the number whose brains are struggling, especially because many are sedated and on ventilators...

Reaching the gut
In early March, a 71-year-old Michigan woman returned from a Nile River cruise with bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Initially doctors suspected she had a common stomach bug, such as Salmonella. But after she developed a cough, doctors took a nasal swab and found her positive for the novel coronavirus. A stool sample positive for viral RNA, as well as signs of colon injury seen in an endoscopy, pointed to a gastrointestinal (GI) infection with the coronavirus, according to a paper posted online in The American Journal of Gastroenterology (AJG).

Protest song - worthy of Bette Midler. (NSFW: NC-17)

The Coronavirus Called America's Bluff (The Atlantic)

The Coronavirus Called America’s Bluff
Like Japan in the mid-1800s, the United States now faces a crisis that disproves everything the country believes about itself.
-Anne Applebaum

The United States, long accustomed to thinking of itself as the best, most efficient, and most technologically advanced society in the world, is about to be proved an unclothed emperor. When human life is in peril, we are not as good as Singapore, as South Korea, as Germany. And the problem is not that we are behind technologically, as the Japanese were in 1853. The problem is that American bureaucracies, and the antiquated, hidebound, unloved federal government of which they are part, are no longer up to the job of coping with the kinds of challenges that face us in the 21st century. Global pandemics, cyberwarfare, information warfare—these are threats that require highly motivated, highly educated bureaucrats; a national health-care system that covers the entire population; public schools that train students to think both deeply and flexibly; and much more.

The failures of the moment can be partly ascribed to the loyalty culture that Trump himself has spent three years building in Washington. Only two weeks ago, he named his 29-year-old former bodyguard, a man who was previously fired from the White House for financial shenanigans, to head up a new personnel-vetting team. Its role is to ensure that only people certifiably loyal are allowed to work for the president. Trump also fired, ostentatiously, the officials who testified honestly during the impeachment hearings, an action that sends a signal to others about the danger of truth-telling...

As a nation, we are not good at long-term planning, and no wonder: Our political system insists that every president be allowed to appoint thousands of new officials, including the kinds of officials who think about pandemics. Why is that necessary? Why can’t expertise be allowed to accumulate at the highest levels of agencies such as the CDC? I’ve written before about the problem of discontinuity in foreign policy: New presidents arrive and think they can have a “reset” with other nations, as if other nations are going to forget everything that happened before their arrival—as if we can cheerfully start all relationships from scratch. But the same is true on health, the environment, and other policy issues. Of course there should be new Cabinet members every four or eight years. But should all their deputies change? And their deputies’ deputies? And their deputies’ deputies’ deputies? Because that’s often how it works right now.

All of this happens on top of all the other familiar pathologies: the profound polarization; the merger of politics and entertainment; the loss of faith in democratic institutions; the blind eyes turned to corruption, white-collar crime, and money laundering; the growth of inequality; the conversion of social media and a part of the news media into for-profit vectors of disinformation. These are all part of the deep background to this crisis too.


New CDC guidance says older adults should 'stay at home as much as possible' due to coronavirus

Source: CNN Health

Amid a coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging older people and people with severe chronic medical conditions to "stay at home as much as possible."

This advice is on a CDC website that was posted Thursday, according to a CDC spokeswoman.
Early data suggests older people are twice as likely to have serious illness from the novel coronavirus, according to the CDC.

A Trump administration official tells CNN that the US Department of Health and Human Services "is in the process of doing targeted outreach to the elderly community and those that have serious underlying health conditions."

The CDC guidance comes as two top infectious disease experts with ties to the federal government have advised people over 60 and those with underlying health problems to strongly consider avoiding activities that involve large crowds, such as traveling by airplane, going to movie theaters or concerts, attending family events, shopping at crowded malls, and going to religious services.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/06/health/coronavirus-older-people-social-distancing/index.html

United Methodist Church Announces Plan to Split Over Same-Sex Marriage (NYT)

United Methodist Church Announces Plan to Split Over Same-Sex Marriage
Under an agreement to be voted on in May, a new “traditionalist Methodist” denomination would continue to ban same-sex marriage and gay and lesbian clergy.

The United Methodist Church is only the latest denomination to be roiled with intense and exhausting theological disputes over the place of L.G.B.T. members and clergy. Such fights have led to an exodus of congregations from Presbyterian and Episcopal churches in recent years, and pushed young evangelicals and Catholics to leave the pews as well.

Representatives from the Methodists’ wide-ranging factions, including church leaders from Europe, Africa, the Philippines and the United States, hammered out the separation plan during three two-day mediation sessions held at law offices in Washington. The negotiations largely centered on how to allocate the church’s significant financial assets and how to craft a separation process.

Once the agreement is written in more granular detail, it must be approved when the denomination meets for its global conference in Minneapolis in May. The initial response from some conservatives and liberals after the announcement suggests its passage is likely.

“The solution that we received is a welcome relief to the conflict we have been experiencing,” said the Rev. Tom Berlin, who represented groups that opposed discrimination against L.G.B.T. people in the mediation. “I am very encouraged that the United Methodist Church found a way to offer a resolution to a long conflict.”


Many of us (me included) are not members of organized religions but I have to say my progressive Methodist friends are some of the most inspiring people I have ever known. If you have progressive Methodist friends, talk with them about this. One can’t accuse them of hypocrisy - they have walked the walk on behalf of LGBTQI people.
Posted by Duncan Grant | Sat Jan 4, 2020, 04:10 PM (1 replies)
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