Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for September 17th, 2020

More gone wrong with Trump’s ICE

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Judd Legum and Tesnim Zekeria report in Popular Information:

The Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC), a Georgia immigrant detention center operated by LaSalle Corrections, is allegedly subjecting immigrant women to nonconsensual hysterectomies, according to a whistleblower complaint released on Monday. The complaint, which was filed by Dawn Wooten, a former nurse at ICDC, in collaboration with the activist group Project South, accuses the facility of “jarring medical neglect.”

The complaint also alleges that a high number of women at the facility have been forced to receive hysterectomies from a particular gynecologist outside the facility. “Several immigrant women have reported…their concerns about how many women have received a hysterectomy while detained at ICDC,” Project South states.

Wooten echoed these concerns, describing the gynecologist in question as “the uterus collector.” She noted that “everybody he sees has a hysterectomy––just about everybody. He’s even taken out the wrong ovary on a [detained immigrant woman].”In some cases, these procedures were reportedly performed without the informed consent of the women.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has since disputed “the implication that detainees are used for experimental medical procedures.” According to ICE, “since 2018, only two individuals at Irwin County Detention Center were referred…for hysterectomies.” But the number of hysterectomies referred does not indicate the number of hysterectomies received. Yesterday, Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), who has been in contact with attorneys representing ICDC detainees, told Vox that these reports are “likely part of a pattern of conduct.”

“[I]t appeared that, at minimum, 17 or 18 had been subjected to unnecessary gynecological procedures – often ‘with the clear intent of sterilization’ and without obtaining proper consent,” writes Vox.

The complaint also accuses LaSalle Corrections of . . .

Continue reading. There’s much more.

The descent seems to have no bottom. I wonder if this the healthcare plan Trump repeatedly says he has available.

Written by Leisureguy

17 September 2020 at 5:12 pm

Trump’s town hall and the flailing GOP

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Heather Cox Richardson writes:

Last night, Trump joined an ABC News “town hall” hosted by George Stephanopoulos in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. He faced ordinary Americans, who asked basic questions about health care, mask wearing, and so on, and delivered his usual litany of self-aggrandizement and lies. But he seemed cornered and unable to control the narrative the way he did in 2016. The White House has been doing damage control from the event all day.

The president promised to protect the ability of people with pre-existing conditions to get healthcare coverage and accused Democrats of trying to kill that rule. Of course, the opposite is true: the Trump administration is trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—that protects such people, while Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden promises to expand and strengthen the law.

When Stephanopoulos fact checked him, Trump insisted that he is going to protect people with pre-existing conditions through his own forthcoming new health care plan. Stephanopoulos pointed out that he has promised such a plan repeatedly since he took office, but none has ever appeared. Today White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said there was a plan in the works but told reporters that if they wanted to know what it was and who was working on it, they should come work at the White House.

Trump claimed there would be a coronavirus vaccine in three or four weeks, although scientists say the earliest possible date is early 2021. Today, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Congress that a vaccine will not be available until next spring or summer. When asked why his prediction was so different than that of the CDC, Trump said that Redfield had “misunderstood” the question and “made a mistake.” “Under no circumstance will it be as late as the doctor said.”

Speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden said, “I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump.” When Trump contradicted Redfield, Biden tweeted the video clip and added, “this is what I meant.”

This afternoon, a spokesperson for Redfield appeared to bring the doctor’s comments more in line with Trump’s statements, but then retracted the retraction.

Trump defended his own reluctance to wear a mask by saying that “a lot of people think that masks are not good,” and then, when asked which people think that way, he said “waiters.” He criticized Biden for not issuing a national mandate for wearing masks. Biden promptly tweeted a fundraising message: “Just to be clear: I am not currently president. But if you chip in now, we can change that in November.”

The president almost never leaves the bubble of friendly interviewers on the Fox News Channel, and it showed. He seemed confused, out of touch, unable to budge off his talking points, even when they have been thoroughly debunked. He insisted that, far from downplaying the dangers of coronavirus as he is on tape admitting, he had “up-played it,” and that his response had been so good there was nothing he would change about it. When Stephanopoulos reminded him that the U.S. has 4% of the world’s population and more than 20% of the Covid deaths, Trump nonsensically blamed the statistic on testing. Today, Trump praised his own response to the coronavirus by saying that “if you take the blue states out, we’re at a level I don’t think anybody in the world would be at.”

The town hall was bad enough that Fox News Channel personality Laura Ingraham tweeted it was an “ambush.”

Trump’s floundering seems to have hardened Attorney General William Barr’s determination to keep control of the government. Tonight, speaking at conservative Hillsdale College, Barr rejected criticism from career prosecutors in the Justice Department that he is skewing cases to benefit Trump. “What exactly am I interfering with?” he asked. “Under the law, all prosecutorial power is invested in the attorney general.” He compared prosecutors to preschoolers, and denied they should have freedom to handle their cases without his interference.

Barr railed against what he called the “criminalization of politics.” “Now you have to call your adversary a criminal, and instead of beating them politically, you try to put them in jail,” Barr said, and he claimed that the United States was starting to resemble an Eastern European country.

But it was Barr who last week told federal prosecutors to think about prosecuting violent protesters for sedition—that is, for rebellion against the government. The attorneys who leaked the story did so anonymously, because they are afraid of retribution. Barr also asked prosecutors in the Justice Department to look into bringing criminal charges against Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan for letting protesters set up a “protest zone” in the city. Durkan is a former U.S. Attorney.

And today we learned that  . . .

Continue reading. There’s more, including the links for her report.

Written by Leisureguy

17 September 2020 at 5:05 pm

Five months of Esperanto

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I just passed the five-month mark of daily study, and I feel it’s starting to come together. One thing that has helped is my fairly extensive revision and extension of the content of the Aniki “cards” (their terminology is “notes”) that I study. (This effort is not particularly onerous since I revise only the cards for the current day. Gradually, over the coming months, I’ll get around to all cards, but doing a few a day seems the best approach.)

I began doing this with the Kontakto deck (see this post — the update describes the process), but I now do the same thing with my own deck, “1 Daily Words.”I enter the basic word and also words derived from or related to it, so I get a cluster of words related to some idea.

As I describe in the linked post, I used Lernu.net’s dictionary, but I find more and more that I’m using the online Plena Ilustrita Vortaro (PIV). It offers many more derivatives, more detailed definitions, and examples of the words in use.

Of course, since it’s totally in Esperanto, a definition often includes one or more words I don’t know, so I look those up, and so on. It brought back memories of doing this in elementary and junior high school, when I would spend hours tracking things down in the dictionary.

Update: It occurs to me that I could not have comfortably done this at the start. One reason the word clusters are comfortable is that so much in them is recognizable: standard affixes, standard endings, common words I already know — for example, the words below are easier because I recognize “brak” (brako = arm), bebo (baby), el = out of and ĵeti = throw, faldi = to fold, and feki = to shit. /update

Example: “seĝo” means “seat, chair.” On the Esperanto side the note now reads:

seĝo
aposeĝo, brakseĝo
beboseĝo
elĵetseĝo
faldsegô
fekseĝo

And the English side:

seat, chair
armchair
baby seat, baby chair
ejection seat (in an airplane)
folding chair
potty seat

That particular card is from the Kontakto deck and those derived words are all from PIV.

As a result of my growing vocabulary, I now can read — albeit somewhat haltingly — Esperanto in actual use (not as an exercise). Right now I am reading things in an issue of Belarta rikolto (“Fine-arts harvest”). Augmenting the words shown in the Anki decks has definitely helped. And — of course — when I encounter new words in Belarta rikolto, they (along with derivatives) go into “1 Daily Words.”

I’m getting close to the end of the Duolingo course and will finish it within the next two-three weeks. I’ll then continue my studies using resources listed in this post.

Written by Leisureguy

17 September 2020 at 12:42 pm

Posted in Education, Esperanto

Colonia and the Progress on anther dark day

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Thanks to Chris R for pointing out the delay function on my camera: by using it, I click shutter release, step away, and in two seconds the photo is taken — in this case with a pretty long exposure: 1/4 second. But thanks to tripod and my not touching the camera, the image still is crisp.

And the sky really is dark — AQI today shows 144 for PM2.5 (down for 237 earlier), “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” So another day inside with windows closed and air filter running. Could be much worse, as those in California, Oregon, and Washington know.

Colonia’s lather is quite pleasing and lightly fragranced — a slight smell of soap — and the Solar Flare brush did a great job.

My Progress is set just right for me, and left my face perfectly smooth, ready for a splash of Diplomat, an aftershave I like a lot. It didn’t prove popular when offered here (it is a Czech product), which I believe is due to the dated label design. Certainly the aftershave itself is not at all lacking.

Written by Leisureguy

17 September 2020 at 9:58 am

Posted in Shaving

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