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Timothy Ray Brown - first man in history to be cured of AIDS?

  • Posted on: 17 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Just a quick note: according to a piece by Stephen C. Webster on Raw Replay, Timothy Ray Brown may be the first patient in history to be cured of AIDS.

There's a video at the link, from the May 17th broadcast of CBS San Francisco.

The cure was apparently effected through a bone marrow transplant from a donor who was genetically immune to HIV - a rare trait.

Doctors aren't sure how the bone marrow transplant itself triggered the body's elimination of the virus proper.

 

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Epic: Severe weather leads to record water levels and dangerous flooding conditions

  • Posted on: 15 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

On Saturday, 14 May 2011, the US Army Corps of Engineers opened the first bay of the Morganza spillway as part of an ongoing effort to alleviate the swollen Mississippi river and avoid uncontrolled flooding further downriver. Via CNN:

The plan to open the spillway will still impact human populations - including the town of Butte La Rose, Louisiana:

Opening the spillway will redirect floodwaters from the Mississippi River through the Atchafalaya River Basin, which runs between Baton Rouge and Lafayette south toward Morgan City.

There are more than 800 homes in the Butte La Rose area of St. Martins Parish, which sits right in the flood path.

[...Click for more...]

What's worse, the impact of the plan will be felt long after the waters recede:

Roy Dakka, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Center for Geoinformatics at Louisiana State University, predicted it will take weeks to months for the farmland to dry.

"Any existing crops are going to be toast," he said, citing the fields of corn, sugar cane and soybeans that will be covered with sediment. "Plus, God knows what's in the water and what gets deposited."

[...Click for more...]

On the somewhat brighter side, officials are pretty sure that there won't be any failure in the untested system of levees, which could lead to unmitigated disaster.

That's not much comfort to the people impacted by the waters released into the spillway and redirected toward their homes and property, but it is - unfortunately - the best chance that experts have to reduce and mitigate the potential for a far more catastrophic flood in larger population areas.

It's for situations and events like this that our national infrastructure needs to be shorn up, bolstered instead of cannibalized as some sort of political bargaining chip.

This year, in particular, has seen quite a bit of severe weather already, and climate change theories imply that such severity is likely to increase.

 

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Live Action On Abortion - Real Facts, Dissecting the Anti-Planned Parenthood Video

  • Posted on: 8 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

This is an excellent reality-based video by a young Romanian videographer named Christina Rad. Hat-tip to Moby over in the Opinions Unrestrained forum at DelphiForums for posting where I'd find it, and to Stephen at DelphiForums for his initial post on it.

From Moby's post:

Cristina Rad is a young Romanian woman who has independently read the Bible, the Koran and other books on religion. As a result, she became an agnostic, then took the final step to atheism. She's been releasing some pretty intelligent videos discussing various related subjects for about three years. She's got a sense of humor and has fun with her filming and editing skills, sometimes playing multiple characters, dancing, etc.

Thanks to Stephen over at Here Is the News for posting about her.

We need more people to wake up and see through the Right's bullsh!t. Watching more of Christina Rad would be a helpful way to start...as well as a very entertaining and educational one.

Watch and learn...and pass it on:

Cool, eh? -- Yeah, I think so too. Totally Rad, in fact. ;)

 

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Bill Maher - Facts about Republicans and Reality

  • Posted on: 7 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

While I'm not thrilled with the "How many muslims does a black guy have to kill before the crackers climb down off his ass?" - I would have preferred "terrorists" or even "radical muslims" instead of broad-brushing muslims as a whole, the overall takedown of the GOP is otherwise pretty good:

In essence, the GOP is neither a party of fiscal responsibility nor a party that's strong on national defense - it's a party that's strong on fear-mongering, ignorant self-service and self-propagation at the expense of everything and everyone.

 

 

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A heartwarming story that skewers Santorum's bias against gay adoption

  • Posted on: 6 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Sorry for the quick fly-by, but didn't want this to stagnate...

Oh, wow - what a great story, and a perfect rejoinder to idiotic statements like the recent one by Rick Santorum (http://bit.ly/kn9J95)...

Meet the Hams: Two Arizona gay men who have adopted TWELVE children

H/t Ron E. Tunning on FB.

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From HuffPo: US Government Suing Deutsche Bank for $1 Billion

  • Posted on: 3 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

According to an article in the Huffington Post, the US Government is going after Deutsche Bank for at least $1 Billion for fraud:

__________

The Justice Department sued Deutsche Bank AG, one of the world's 10 biggest banks by assets, on Tuesday for at least $1 billion for defrauding taxpayers by "repeatedly" lying to a federal agency when securing taxpayer-backed insurance for thousands of shoddy mortgages.

MortgageIT, a subsidiary of Germany's largest lender, egregiously violated federal rules that came with government backing on more than 39,000 mortgages worth more than $5 billion since 1999, according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court.

__________

This could have an interesting impact on world markets if it's the start of an ongoing accountability initiative...(I know - wishful thinking...)

Keep in mind, Deutsche Bank is one of core members of the Thieves Guild.

The President's Speech

  • Posted on: 1 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

The trailer for "The President's Speech" was introduced by President Obama at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. It's an excellent hat-tip to the movie "The King's Speech" and a great response to those who have obsessed about the President's teleprompter.

Campaign 2012 is apparently off to a roaring start, and if this and if the President's performance at the dinner are any indication, it will be a doozy of a campaign cycle with the ridiculous multitude of conspiracy theories and high-school level hijinks of the Tea Party, the Birthers and the GOP's conservative "leadership" getting schooled for their complete avoidance of real-world problems.

As it should be.

We shouldn't have had to wait until this latest campaign cycle for the Democrats and for the news media to start pushing back against the enhanced levels of Kabuki theater in a Potemkin village that has infiltrated & taken over Washington DC politics. That's something that the media, in particular, should have capably dismissed all throughout the news cycle instead of presenting the conspiracy theories and propaganda as serious issues that reality-based individuals actually debated and cared about.

The media failed, and let a politically motivated messaging machine almost completely supplant the news cycle.

That, alone, is reason enough to put out a call to all those who complain about the traditional media's failure and encourage them to step up as citizen journalists, helping organizations like ePluribus Media bring back the voice and interests of the People, by the People, for the People.

 

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A Response to "Big Things" - The President's Campaign Fundraising Letter

  • Posted on: 28 April 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

I received an email from Barack Obama - well, his fundraising campaign - that cited "big things" as a subject and provided a link that had "begin_again" in the URL.

Nice.

I didn't bother to read it. I have little money to spare - none, actually. The economy sucks; the recovery is slow. Much of this is do to a dual circumstance: the backbone of the GOP's efforts to undermine recovery, and the almost complete and utter failure of the Democrats and the President to effectively push back and expose those efforts as the crappy, un-patriotic shite that it is.

I wrote a response instead, and posted it as a note on Facebook that I shared as a status. (You can find the status here with a link to the note.) Feel free to share it via Twitter and/or FB.

I'm reprinting it below the fold for those of you who'd rather not venture there, and to give everyone the opportunity to comment.

Have at it...

 

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Hilarious WI Recall Efforts By The GOP..."And then there's the booze thing."

  • Posted on: 22 April 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Via AlterNet, a hilarious clip of Rachel Maddow showing the latest GOP tactics in their efforts to launch retaliatory recall campaigns against democrats in the state:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Can you smell the desperation among the snake-oil sweat oozing out the elephantine pores?

 

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And now for something completely different...an eagle steals a ball during a game of fetch

  • Posted on: 21 April 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Yes, an eagle just stole the ball...

That kind of brings the game of "fetch" to a whole new level, doesn't it? (And quite likely either intrigued or annoyed the dog - possibly both.)

Hat-tip Life with Dogs via Facebook.

 

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O'Reilly Factors Out The Donald

  • Posted on: 14 April 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Hat-tip to Katia McGlynn of the Huffington Post for the article, and to Lordrag of Delphi Forums for the catch.

Oh, wow - Bill O'Reilly verbally slams the Birther conspiracy theorists as well as several other Internet-based memes, and Jon Stewart gives him a tip of the yarmulke for it.

Watch:


The Daily Show
Tags: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

Thank you, Jon, and "Nicely Done!" to you, Bill.

That was fun.

 

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Thursday Open Thread: The Taxman Cometh - 2011 Tax Season for Individuals, Extended Filing Time Edition

  • Posted on: 14 April 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

The Taxman Cometh may be a pseudo-popular phrase based partly on the Eugene O'Neill play The Iceman Cometh, but it's a phrase that we hear pretty often around this time of year. For those currently crunching numbers and chasing down receipts, or digging through files for that lost or forgotten receipt in order to get their taxes together before midnight on Friday, there's a slight bit of good news: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended the filing deadline to the 18th; check to see if your state has followed suit. You may be pleasantly surprised. (My state, MA, has extended the filing deadline for personal income tax to the 19th because the 18th is a holiday.)

Of course, none of that changes the fact that you do still need to file, and pay, on time.

Today is Thursday, 14 April 2011 - and this? This is an Open Thread.

 

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Serial Killers: Bodies of Evidence on the East and West Coasts

  • Posted on: 6 April 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

The news out of New York is both grim and grisly:

Three additional sets of human remains have been discovered on the same New York beach where a serial killer is believed to have dumped the bodies of five other women.

Suffolk County police announced the discovery of the bodies today, raising the number of victims to at least eight.

And it gets worse:

The bodies are believed to the work of a serial killer. Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer told ABC News in December, "Four bodies found in the same location pretty much speaks for itself. It's more than a coincidence. We could have a serial killer."

The bodies were discovered as a result of a search for a missing prostitute, Shannan Gilbert, whose body the police expected to find in the same area. Gilbert's body is, so far, not among those found, leaving the possibility of a ninth body to the list of suspected serial killings.

And then there's LA: in a story with an oddly similar body count (so far), LA detectives fear the disappearance of Ayella Marshall may be linked to the work of South Los Angeles serial killer known as "The Grim Sleeper." Lonnie Franklin Jr. is in jail awaiting tried on 10 counts of murder and one attempted murder in the case. What makes Lonnie a credible suspect? Aside from the photos and id of Ayellah and two other missing women found in a refrigerator in Lonnie's garage,

After Franklin's arrest last July, family members brought to the attention of police another four missing women who detectives believe could be additional victims. They have been identified as: Cathern or Catherine Davis, 29, who has been missing since 1982; Rosalind Giles, 27, missing since 1991; Lisa Knox, 29, missing since 1993; and Anita Parker, missing since 1998.

[...snip...]

Detectives Tuesday also asked for the public's help in identifying 55 women who remain unidentified after police released 180 photos found in Franklin's house to try to eliminate them from a victim list. Some of the photos released in December appear to be of women sleeping.
The killer was dubbed the Grim Sleeper because the killings appeared to stop in 1988 and did not resurface until 2002. But [Detective Dennis] Kilcoyne said he believes there are many other victims.

Unlike the suspected New York serial killings, there's at least been an arrest in the Grim Sleeper case.

Let's hope the New York detectives catch a break and can land the east coast serial killer soon.

 

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Cataclysmic - The GOP's "Unlawful Combatant" Master Technique

  • Posted on: 5 April 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

It's a strategy that is used by conservative wordsmiths, con artists and masterfully corrupt politicians. The intent is to use unReason to systematically dismantle constitutionally protected rights and freedoms and further free the conservative mindset from the shackles of truth, justice and responsibility.

The following post sums it up nicely. It was posted as a comment in a recent Daily Kos diary that was reporting on the recent overturning of Brown v Board by our illustrious SCOTUS:

It's "Unlawful Combatant" school funding.

It's the same tactic, I mean. Create a new ambiguous category and use it to allow the parts you like and disallow the parts you don't.

We can detain these guys because they're combatants, but we don't have to give them the POW rights because they're not an official army. We can keep them in Cuba because it's our base, but they have no rights under American law because it's Cuban soil. We can have them tortured by foreign nations at our behest, but no American is responsible because it's not done by Americans. Our military can hire private contractors who aren't liable under civil law for that reason, nor are they liable under military law because they're civilians. Et cetera, et cetera.

We can let people pay into these private school funding schemes with tax money that is thus taken from public schools, but we can't regulate the schools in the same way as public schools because they're private, see?

One nation, indivisible.

by Doctor Frog on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 08:35:52 PM EDT

Here's the link to the main story.

That single comment is a perfect embodiment of how today's GOP is systematically dismantling everything they see as a threat to their primary interests - namely, anything that came out of the New Deal (remember that program, the one which helped pull us out of the Great Depression, which was in a large part created by deregulation and out of control financial speculation?).

The use of the "Unlawful Combatant" technique is a hallmark of the Bush Administration, but its continued use and improvement by conservatives speaks volumes: it's effective, like a masterful martial arts technique. One that we, as a nation, need to develop a defense against, before the Orwellian effects of this unReason truly undermine our nation so completely that we are unable to fight back at all...and all the progress that we made as both a nation and as a civilization are undone.

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