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IronLionZion

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: PA
Home country: USA
Current location: DC
Member since: Mon Nov 10, 2003, 07:36 PM
Number of posts: 38,934

About Me

If an H-1b has an American accent, they are probably not an H-1b. It's race, not citizenship. Americans are more diverse than you think. Millions of US citizens don't look the way you might expect. This fact is very important and will help us win elections.

Journal Archives

The 3 pandemic metrics that could tell us what's next

https://www.vox.com/coronavirus-covid19/23042779/covid-19-us-cases-hospitalizations-variants-long-covid

Covid-19 case numbers aren’t as reliable these days. How can we keep track of the virus?

As the United States transitions out of a pandemic footing and into a new normal, it is also undergoing a shift in which Covid-19 metrics most accurately tell the story of the pandemic. The old standbys — case numbers, namely — aren’t as reliable anymore. So what’s going to replace them?

At least three data sets are now being watched closely by the public health experts who spoke to Vox. Together, they help shed light on what’s happening now, what’s likely to happen, and how well we’re doing at dealing with what’s already happened over the course of the pandemic.

The first, hospital data, covers the present, showing the level of severe illness in a given area and the strain being put on the local health care system. The second, new data on emerging variants, concerns the future and the potential for radical mutations to send the pandemic spinning out into a dangerous new direction. And the third, data on long Covid, reaches from the past and further into the future, as scientists attempt to gain a better grasp of the collateral damage the virus has left in its wake after infecting roughly 60 percent of the US population in the past two years.

Keep in mind that the most important pandemic metrics have been a moving target since 2020. The percentage of tests that came back positive was watched closely as an indication of how widespread the virus was in a given place at a given time. But nowadays, with so many people taking at-home antigen tests and never reporting the results to anyone, most experts consider that metric now to be unreliable. Case numbers, the raw count of positive tests, were an obvious signal to watch for a long time too; not only did they track the crests and dips of different waves, any growth in cases was predictably followed by a rise in hospitalizations and deaths in the subsequent weeks.


More at the link. Vox is free so no paywall but you can donate if you want.

What's it like to be Sanna Marin, the young female Prime Minister of Finland?

NATO scrambles fighter jets to intercept Russian planes



Russia is testing NATO response times. They are trying to provoke an escalation

Rand Paul echoes Putin's talking points on Ukraine while arguing with Blinken over Russia's motives

https://www.businessinsider.com/rand-paul-says-ukraine-part-of-russia-debate-blinken-war-2022-4

Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday largely blamed NATO for Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
In a fierce exchange with Blinken, he said Russia attacked because Ukraine was "part of Russia...part of the Soviet Union."
"That does not give Russia the right to attack them," Blinken said.


Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday received fierce pushback from Secretary of State Antony Blinken after the Kentucky Republican said that Ukraine was "part of Russia" during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

Paul said there was "no justification" for Russian President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine, but added "it does not follow that there's no explanation for the invasion." The GOP senator cited Russia's qualms with Kyiv's NATO ambitions, which have not advanced in 14 years, and accused the Biden administration of "beating the drums to admit Ukraine" to the alliance.

Blinken rejected Paul's suggestion that the administration was "agitating" for Ukraine's NATO membership, stating that the US was "standing up" for the alliance's open door policy and "a basic principle that one country can't dictate to another the choices it makes about with whom it allies."

Paul then said if Ukraine had been part of NATO when Russia invaded then "US soldiers would be fighting in Ukraine" right now. Blinken fired back, making the case that NATO membership has protected countries from Russian aggression and emphasizing that countries have a right to self-determination.


https://twitter.com/cspan/status/1518985224595685377

Russian Rand strikes again. It's deplorable how many Republicans are siding with Putin on this war even after the many atrocities.

Ex-USAF officer sues consulting firm over alleged sexual harassment

https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/04/19/ex-usaf-officer-sues-consulting-firm-over-alleged-sexual-harassment/



A retired U.S. Air Force officer who worked at a consulting firm with more than $100 million worth of federal government contracts has filed a lawsuit, alleging in court documents and an interview that his female boss abused him while entertaining clients at District nightspots.

Kyle Reinhardt, who retired as a lieutenant colonel, accused Kim Cirka, a partner at Guidehouse, of presiding over “a freewheeling sexual culture” at the firm, the complaint says. His lawsuit also offers a glimpse into how federal consultants and other contractors woo government officials in the hopes of getting a piece of Uncle Sam’s business.

The pleading — which was filed in D.C. Superior Court on Feb. 2 — alleges that Cirka habitually harassed him, bothered his girlfriends, and flirted and engaged in other unwanted sexual behavior during social gatherings. During one night of heavy drinking, the lawsuit says, his boss sexually assaulted him.

Whenever Reinhardt complained to Cirka about inappropriate behavior, she brushed him off, making clear that Reinhardt had to “play the game” if he wanted to keep his job and advance in the company, the lawsuit alleges.


Glad this is making the news. Abusive employers need to be exposed regardless of the genders involved.

These airlines are making masks optional after mandate struck down

https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/18/business/airlines-masks/index.html

(CNN Business)After a federal judge in Florida struck down the Biden administration's mask mandate for airplanes and other public transport methods, airlines are starting to act.

Several US airlines announced Monday that masks are now optional on their aircraft — Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) says it is making masks optional, and warned travelers they "may experience inconsistent enforcement during the next 24 hours as this news is more broadly communicated."

"Given the unexpected nature of this announcement, please be aware that customers, airline employees and federal agency employees -- such as TSA -- may be receiving this information at different times," the airline said.


Plenty of weak excuses at the link. Masks are still required for most international flights. Many city transit systems dropped their mask mandates including DC's metro.

If anyone has a list of airlines still requiring masks, please post it to DU.

Why Russia gave up on urban war in Kyiv and turned to big battles in the east

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/interactive/2022/kyiv-urban-warfare-russia-siege-donbas/?itid=hp-top-table-main

“They decided [to withdraw] because they had no other decision to make,“ said Jeffrey Edmonds, the former director for Russia on the National Security Council.

“It wasn’t like, ‘Well, we can take the city, but it’s going to cost us too much,’ " said Edmonds, who also served with the U.S. Army in Iraq. “They just couldn’t do it.

Russia began pulling its troops from Kyiv in late March, sending some north to Belarus and others to the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine. The energy-rich region on Russia’s western border is held in part by allied separatists, offering Moscow safer territory from which to launch attacks and resupply its forces.

The open terrain is better for Russian armored units, experts say. Near Kyiv, they were forced to use roads, putting forces on a predictable route vulnerable to ambushes and attacks from the air.


Excellent interactive multimedia and graphics at the link. It really visualizes the impossible challenge of trying to take a city of 3 million creative and very determined Ukrainians.

'Neptune' missile strike shows strength of Ukraine's homegrown weapons

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/15/neptune-ukraine-moskva/



Soon after Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, a Ukrainian defense firm used an arms show in Kyiv to unveil its latest project: an anti-ship cruise missile it called “Neptune.”

The new missile drew little attention at the time. But now it is in the spotlight after a U.S. defense official said Ukrainian forces used Neptune missiles to strike and sink Russia’s flagship Moskva war vessel in the Black Sea.

The strike on Wednesday marked a major boost for Ukraine — not only for its war effort but also for the homegrown arms industry, even as it relies on weapons donated by Western allies.

“For the Ukrainians, if they were able to sink this ship or damage it with their own Neptune missiles, that’s a point of pride, first, and a useful military capability in that they will be able to keep the Russian fleet at bay,” said Mark Cancian, senior adviser for the international security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


I was curious about Neptunes and wouldn't underestimate the Ukrainians. Ukraine has a long history of arms manufacturing and exporting going back to Soviet times.

Suspect in Brooklyn subway attack taken into custody

Source: Washington Post

BREAKING NEWS: The suspect accused of opening fire on a Brooklyn subway car was taken into custody in New York on Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the matter. The suspect will be charged in federal court with terrorism-related offenses, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the arrest was not yet publicly announced. This is a breaking news story that will be updated.

Authorities on Wednesday continued searching for the attacker who they said shot 10 people on a subway train in Brooklyn a day earlier, setting off panic and a sprawling investigation.

Police on Wednesday morning said that a man sought in the investigation was now considered a suspect, after they had previously called him a person of interest in the case.

According to law enforcement officials, an attacker donned a gas mask and then flooded a subway car in Brooklyn with smoke before opening fire on Tuesday morning, striking 10 people. Five of them were left in critical but stable condition, officials said, and none of the wounds were believed to be life-threatening.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/04/13/manhunt-continues-brooklyn-subway-attacker-who-shot-10-people/

Multiple shots fired, man shot just before 10pm at 14th and U St, NW. Shots Fired in Park View.

Multiple shots fired, man shot just before 10pm at 14th and U St, NW. Shots Fired in Park View. Multiple Carjackings reported Tues. night

https://www.popville.com/2022/04/dc-tuesday-night-crime/



Mike first reported at 9:54pm “heard shots fired around U st and 14-15 area. Rapid fire for like 20 seconds”

From MPD: “Alert: Shooting Investigation in the 1400 block of U Street NW. Lookout Gray Range Rover last seen traveling northbound at 14th and U Street NW.”



“Another shooting. Straight on 14th and V. It was like 20 shots”

MPD also reported (1:42am) shots fired in Park View:

“Officers patrolling the area heard the sounds of gunshots in the area of the 700 Block of Princeton Place NW. A canvas of the area found one damaged vehicle and several shell casings.

A dark colored sedan was reported fleeing the area.

If anyone witnessed this event or has information, please call 202-727-9099, or send an anonymous text to 50411″


Violent crime is out of control
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