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Member since: Tue Feb 24, 2004, 07:21 AM
Number of posts: 7,679

Journal Archives

Do we know who provided the McCarthy tapes to the NYT?

I’ve been away for a few days. Is the popular assumption that it was Liz Cheney or was it someone else?

Ninety-four-year-old neighbor died last week of

Covid pneumonia. I have no idea of she was vaccinated or not.

It’s not gone away. I will continue to mask and distance.

"Ukraine war: 'My city's being shelled, but mum won't believe me'"

(Looks like some Russian people are like Trump supporters - believers in "fake news" and propaganda):

"When I heard the first explosions, I ran out of the house to get my dogs from their enclosures outside. People were panicking, abandoning their cars. I was so scared," she says.

The 25-year-old has been speaking regularly to her mother, who lives in Moscow. But in these conversations, and even after sending videos from her heavily bombarded hometown, Oleksandra is unable to convince her mother about the danger she is in.

"I didn't want to scare my parents, but I started telling them directly that civilians and children are dying," she says.

"But even though they worry about me, they still say it probably happens only by accident, that the Russian army would never target civilians. That it's Ukrainians who're killing their own people."


My Colombian friend, an educated, wonderful

woman, cannot get a visa to travel into the United States. Why can’t we prohibit Russians from coming in and kick out those who are here now? I’m specifically thinking of the pregnant women who come here to have their babies so that the babies are automatically Americans citizens.

Jan. 6th Commission: "Once you see the data, you can't unsee it."


Denver Riggleman (R-Va) is my former congressman and is in charge of the data for the Jan 6 commission. He’s former NSA. He’s got the call logs and data. My assumption is that what he sees is damning for anyone who was involved.

He was a lousy congressman, dumped from office by a more conservative nutjob who is being primaried by an even more conservative nutjob. He seems to have found his conscience and his backbone. And a sense of humor. From another tweet:

“I would like to be questioned on National TV by all Congressional Republicans who believe January 6th was a False Flag.

“Just me against every single one on the dais.

“I will even wear a JFK Jr for Vice President shirt so everyone is comfortable.”

My husband has Covid.

He tested positive yesterday using an at-home test. We both had two Moderna vaccines in 2021 and a Pfizer booster several months ago.

Son-in-law #1 came here last week on Wednesday and daughter #1 on Thursday to clear out their house for showings as it's for sale. Husband went to North Carolina on Monday to deal with some financial things for his step-mother and Monday night, he started to feel ill and came home Tuesday.

I was away from our home from Sunday taking care of our granddaughter. I asked how he was feeling and he said he "had a cold." Sheesh. When I came home yesterday, I walked in wearing a KN95 mask, brought a test kit and he was positive. Except for cold symptoms and an occasional cough, he feels okay. No trouble breathing. He'll have a drive-through test at CVS this afternoon to confirm and called his doctor just to check in. Son-in-law and daughter both tested negative yesterday. I continue to feel fine.

He's isolating in the lower level and will for at least five days. I'm not going to babysit as usual next Monday out of an abundance of caution and will test at CVS on 2/2 before I go back on 2/7.

Abortion laws vs. Body Autonomy - copied from Twitter and Facebook

By the way, I did not write this, but I have long said that until the "pro-life" politicians write law forcing you to donate a body part, they're full of crap.


"Last night, I was in a debate about these new abortion laws being passed in red states. My son stepped in with this comment which was a show stopper. One of the best explanations I have read:

"Reasonable people can disagree about when a zygote becomes a "human life" -- that's a philosophical question. However, regardless of whether or not one believes a fetus is ethically equivalent to an adult, it doesn't obligate a mother to sacrifice her body autonomy for another, innocent or not.

"Body autonomy is a critical component of the right to privacy protected by the Constitution, as decided in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), McFall v. Shimp (1978), and of course Roe v. Wade (1973). Consider a scenario where you are a perfect bone marrow match for a child with severe aplastic anemia; no other person on earth is a close enough match to save the child's life, and the child will certainly die without a bone marrow transplant from you. If you decided that you did not want to donate your marrow to save the child, for whatever reason, the state cannot demand the use of any part of your body for something to which you do not consent. It doesn't matter if the procedure required to complete the donation is trivial, or if the rationale for refusing is flimsy and arbitrary, or if the procedure is the only hope the child has to survive, or if the child is a genius or a saint or anything else -- the decision to donate must be voluntary to be constitutional. This right is even extended to a person's body after they die; if they did not voluntarily commit to donate their organs while alive, their organs cannot be harvested after death, regardless of how useless those organs are to the deceased or how many lives they would save.

"That's the law.

"Use of a woman's uterus to save a life is no different from use of her bone marrow to save a life -- it must be offered voluntarily. By all means, profess your belief that providing one's uterus to save the child is morally just, and refusing is morally wrong. That is a defensible philosophical position, regardless of who agrees and who disagrees. But legally, it must be the woman's choice to carry out the pregnancy. She may choose to carry the baby to term. She may choose not to. Either decision could be made for all the right reasons, all the wrong reasons, or anything in between. But it must be her choice, and protecting the right of body autonomy means the law is on her side.

"Supporting that precedent is what being pro-choice means."


Liberty "University" leads the way in Virginia

Liberty University has more COVID-19 cases than 4 larger Virginia campuses combined

On Wednesday, Liberty University reported 488 active COVID-19 cases on campus. According to their COVID-19 dashboard, 430 of those cases are students. It's a big increase from last week when LU reported 159 total active cases.

Liberty University also has the smallest on-campus student population compared to the four other universities.

Another difference, all four of those universities require students to get the COVID-19 vaccine and wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. Liberty University doesn't require either.


What we now know about how to fight the delta variant of COVID


Dr. J. Stacey Klutts

1. Like Gorilla Glue. The delta variant (lineage B.1.617.2) has a particular collection of mutations in the spike protein (that knob-like projection you see in renderings of the virus) that make it extremely effective in attaching to human cells and gaining entry. If the original COVID strains were covered in syrup, this variant is covered in ultrafast-drying Gorilla Super Glue (industrial strength).

2. 1,000 times higher. There are two recent publications which demonstrate that the viral loads in the back of the throats of infected patients are 1,000 times higher with the delta than with previous variants. I can tell you from data in my own labs, that is absolutely true. We are seeing viral signals we never saw last year using the exact same assays.

3. Much more infectious. This much higher load plus the ultra “stickiness” of the delta strains for adhering to human cells makes it remarkably more infectious than previous strains. You may have heard of R0 (Pronounced R naught) which is, in a nutshell, the number of people to which an infected person would be expected to transmit the virus. Early versions of the virus had a 2 to 2.5 R0 value. So one infected person would infect two or so people on average. Delta has an R0 of about eight! In the infectious disease world, that’s almost unheard of. Chickenpox and measles are about all we have ever seen that spread that efficiently from human to human. This changes the story line completely from earlier in the pandemic and makes this surge, in many ways, like a completely different pandemic event.

4. Five days. There is another recent publication out of Singapore with data that confirms something we suspected. I will explain more about the “why” on this below when I talk about vaccines, but the gist is this: The viral loads in the throats of vaccinated persons who become infected with delta rises at identical rates as in unvaccinated persons, but only for the first few days. After five days or so, the viral loads in the vaccinated person start to quickly drop whereas those in the unvaccinated person persist. This key set of observations is important for several reasons relating to vaccinated persons serving as vectors for spread.

More good info at link.

It's back to more careful Covid precaution basics for me, though I am fully vaccinated (Moderna).

Oh Saturday I brought a fully vaccinated (Moderna) friend of mine dinner as she, her husband, and her elderly mother-in-law are moving from one home to another a few miles away. We talked a bit outside and then went inside to drop the food. I’d guess we were inside for ten minutes. We hugged and I left.

She called yesterday and said her brother-in-law, who was living with them briefly because of a bad fall and subsequent knee injury, tested positive for Covid prior to surgery yesterday. He was also fully vaccinated (Moderna) and is asymptomatic.

I’ve been wearing either an N95 or KN95 mask to the grocery store, etc. but didn’t think of wearing it Saturday for my drop-off at her house.

We are expecting our first grandchild at the end of July and my husband and I are planning to be tested for Covid two or three days before we are supposed to go stay at our daughter and son-in-law’s house to help with their pets and then help when they come home from the hospital. We assume we will be wearing a mask around them and the baby when they come home.
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