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Friday, October 22, 2021

An internal evaluation of Twitter's recommendation algorithms concluded they amplify right-leaning political content more than left-leaning, company researchers announced Thursday, undercutting allegations by many conservatives who contend they are being censored on the platform. read more

Monday, October 18, 2021

Nick Rolovich is out as the Washington State football coach after refusing to become vaccinated against COVID-19 - a requirement for all state employees - the school announced Monday evening. Assistant coaches Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber are also out, the school said ... read more

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, the first African American to serve in the post, died on Monday at the age of 84 due to complications from COVID-19, his family announced in a statement. The family said the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had been fully vaccinated and was receiving treatment at Walter Reed National Medical Center. read more

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Approximately 90,000 covid-19 deaths could have been avoided over four months of this year if more U.S. adults had chosen to be vaccinated, according to a study published on Wednesday, as the disease caused by the coronavirus became the second-leading cause of death in the United States. read more

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The pace of the economic recovery hinges in part on workers returning to jobs that involve dealing with an unpredictable public. But many of those workers say increasingly combative customers - angry about everything from long wait times to mask mandates - have prompted them to quit. read more


Rolovich was the highest-paid state employee with an annual salary of more than $3 million in a contract that runs through 2025. He has been asked repeatedly for weeks to expand upon the reasoning for his refusal to get vaccinated but has declined to provide clarity.

"While much has been made of the relatively small number of university employees who are not complying with the Governor's mandate, we are immensely gratified that nearly 90 percent of WSU employees and 97 percent of our students are now vaccinated," said Washington State president Kirk Schulz. "WSU students, faculty, and staff understand the importance of getting vaccinated and wearing masks so that we can safely return to in-person learning and activities. I am proud of all those members of our community who have set the example and taken the steps to protect not just themselves, but their fellow Cougs."

How can you ask men to play for one another when failing to live by the same code? By refusing to put the public good (which is government's implicit prime directive) over your own, you're saying that YOU are more important than everyone else depending on you to practice what you preach and take the social responsibility of mitigating the spread of the virus for those most susceptible to likely life-threatening harm if they become infected. You coach young men to sacrifice their bodies and brains by taking part in dozens of violent collisions every game and contact practice yet you won't take a shot in your arm that billions of humans already have with only a tiny sliver of them having any serious adverse reactions to?

I just don't see any intelligence in a decision that your conscious is more important than a $3.5 million job during a global pandemic which has killed almost 3/4 million Americans over the last year and a half.

The investigators noted several trends among survivors, such as:

*General well-being: More than half of all patients reported weight loss, fatigue, fever, or pain.

*Mobility: Roughly one in five survivors experienced a decrease in mobility.

*Neurologic concerns: Nearly one in four survivors experienced difficulty concentrating.

*Mental health disorders: Nearly one in three patients were diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorders.

*Lung abnormalities: Six in 10 survivors had chest imaging abnormality and more than a quarter of patients had difficulty breathing.

*Cardiovascular issues: Chest pain and palpitations were among the commonly reported conditions.

*Skin conditions: Nearly one in five patients experienced hair loss or rashes.

*Digestive issues: Stomach pain, lack of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting were among the commonly reported conditions.

"These findings confirm what many health care workers and COVID-19 survivors have been claiming, namely, that adverse health effects from COVID-19 can linger," says co-lead investigator Vernon Chinchilli, chair of the public health sciences department at Penn State University.

"Although previous studies have examined the prevalence of long COVID symptoms among patients, this study examined a larger population, including people in high-, middle-, and low-income countries, and examined many more symptoms. Therefore, we believe our findings are quite robust given the available data."

Recovering from COVID is far different that recovering from the common varieties of annual flus. Based on the above research, billions and billions of healthcare dollars will be spent on long COVID suffers and many may never realize the same quality of life that they had before being infected with the virus.

Just another reason to stay COVID-free - if possible death and painful debilitating hospitalization weren't already reason enough.

You define "selfishness" as opposing what certain people demand you do to your own body.

No I do not and I never have. Thanks for confirming that you indeed are a stunod.

People have every right to do whatever is within the law - in the confines of their own homes where their decisions affect no one but themselves. People do not have the right to enter public spaces and potentially infect others with a widely preventable disease when the government will pay for preventative medicine that almost insures the disease will not be spread further - particularly to those who cannot take the preventative medicine due to their own health conditions.

Our government was formed to protect and promote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is what regulating public health is completely about - life and health.

In your parlance, actively trying to stop suicide would qualify as an authoritarian overreach by government.

And let's be straight for the last time: People have every right to control whatever they put into their bodies. People DO NOT have the right to enter into public spaces and endanger the health and welfare of others who are taking reasonable precautions to protect themselves from getting sick or dying from a novelcoronavirus that has killed 700,000+ Americans over the last 18 months. You have the freedom to stay at home. If you want to enter public spaces then government has the right to protect vulnerable citizens from the recklessness and selfishness of those who'd willingly continue to publicly spread a virus by refusing to voluntarily protect themselves and others.

Again, settled law, not authoritarianism, it's government's responsibility. It's incredible that those like you continue to talk about rights without ever speaking to responsibilities. What responsibility does any individual have to the rest of us in society? None?

If those unwilling to mitigate (notice, non-vaxxed can wear masks and take non-medical precautions to also stop the spread of disease, but most don't) want to talk about their freedom, then they should take sole responsibility for their fates should them become infected - eschewing all medical/pharmaceutical help and/or paying for all of their care themselves since they refused the recommended preventative care offered to them for free.

What price should those exercising their freedom be forced to pay because I'm sick and tired of paying for it with my own inability to safely and freely traverse public spaces due the health decisions they make for themselves which might negatively impact me?

This issue is more nuanced than it appears. The author mentioned important facts that better illuminate the current situation. Since the pandemic hit, many people with the means have either stopped going out to retail establishments or will only visit places where they feel safer - ie. businesses that put public health at the forefront of their practices. I and millions of other Americans have now become accustomed to having almost everything delivered to our homes due to the very reason we see how the "freedumb" crowd has now claimed it their "right" to inhabit most public spaces sans mitigation, places I refuse to be around.

So yes, a great deal of the open hostility shown to workers dealing with in person customers is an offshoot of the same "freedumb" movement underpinning anti-vax sentiments, claiming public spaces as their god-given own regardless of their effect on other people - whose rights they no longer care about nor consider when doing so conflicts with their own desires.

The emphasis on the individual - amplified during this crisis which affects everyone to varying degrees - has seeped into normal aspects of public life in general, and it's driven by the same selfish ethos - what "I" want or desire supersedes the concerns of others that might be affected by my actions and decisions. Comity, community, and even common decency have become optional depending upon how any individual feels in any given moment.

And yes, in many ways our law enforcement authorities have not only shown no interest in upholding laws and regulations, they themselves exhibit the same behaviors and ethos found in those acting aggressively in public often without suffering any immediate consequences whatsoever.

Such is how societies break down into social decay leading to eventual widespread unrest.

Aggressive and violent clashes between customers and service workers over COVID safety protocols over the past nearly two years have led to prison sentences, fines and deaths.

Businesses have shut down in support of their employees. Some industries have provided self-defense classes and banded together on public awareness campaigns.

Workers in restaurants, bars, hotels (6.8%) and retail (4.7%) businesses quit at a higher rate in August than the record national rate (2.9%), new data from the Labor Department on Tuesday showed.

What they're saying: "I was extremely lucky to work in a place where the employer treated the employees well and everyone made excellent money. ... [Customers] did make me quit," former bartender who goes by Ash in West Virginia, tells Axios Today.

"What really hurts is that the same people whining about people on unemployment were the same people who would come in and treat the people actually working like [crap]," she continued, saying that she also moved to Michigan.

"[As] an essential business - [we] continued to work tirelessly through the entire pandemic ... All we ask for in return is empathy, courtesy and understanding," says Casey Carville, who runs a group of nonprofit veterinary clinics in Texas.

If consumer behavior doesn't improve, more workers may leave, putting the workers who stay at more risk of abuse and placing even greater challenges on businesses to operate.

Workers' fears would likely abate if more Americans get vaccinated and the risk of getting infected on the job declines. That would also allow businesses and local governments to ease up on mask mandates that workers are often tasked with enforcing.

The anti-vax/anti-mitigation crowd is actively sabotaging the US economy by terrorizing many front line workers, causing millions of people to choose their own sanity and safety over pulling in a paycheck that now feels like underwhelming combat pay. The abject selfishness and entitlement of folks like these are rotting away what's left of any notion of comity and community as they blindly assert the personal right to be outright -------- towards other Americans simply trying to serve them for a living.

Until their elder son started kindergarten this fall, Jessica and Matt Lolley paid almost $2,000 a month for their two boys' care - roughly a third of their income and far more than their payments on their three-bedroom house. But one of the teachers who watched the boys earns so little - $10 an hour - that she spends half her time working at Starbucks, where the pay is 50 percent higher and includes health insurance.

Democrats describe the problem as a fundamental market failure " it simply costs more to provide care than many families can afford " and are pushing an unusually ambitious plan to bridge the gap with federal subsidies.

The huge social policy bill being pushed by President Biden would cap families' child care expenses at 7 percent of their income, offer large subsidies to child care centers, and require the centers to raise wages in hopes of improving teacher quality. A version before the House would cost $250 billion over a decade and raise annual spending fivefold or more within a few years. An additional $200 billion would provide universal prekindergarten.

"This would be the biggest investment in the history of child care," said Stephanie Schmit, a child care expert at the Center for Law and Social Policy, a research group that supports the measure. "For too long, parents have had to struggle with the high cost of care, while child care providers have been incredibly undervalued and underpaid. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to do right for everyone."

As Democrats describe it, child care is an issue not just of family finance but of macroeconomics (parents need it to join the work force); brain development (much of which happens before children start school); and racial equity (the low-paid work force is disproportionately composed of minorities).

And Republicans universally oppose these efforts by touting their usual false troika of boogeymen; socialism, regulation, and inflation. Yet again - mainly due to Republican recalcitrance - the United States finds itself near the bottom of countries who support young child care.
In the developed world, the United States is an outlier in its low levels of financial support for young children's care - something Democrats, with their safety net spending bill, are trying to change. The U.S. spends 0.2 percent of its G.D.P. on child care for children 2 and under - which amounts to about $200 a year for most families, in the form of a once-a-year tax credit for parents who pay for care.

The other wealthy countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development spend an average of 0.7 percent of G.D.P. on toddlers, mainly through heavily subsidized child care. Denmark, for example, spends $23,140 annually per child on care for children 2 and under.


Just another example of US exceptionalism at the wrong end of the metrics. And be sure to thank a Republican for keeping us there while cutting taxes for millionaires and billionaires continues to be their main obsessive focus.

Until you make restitution, you should not get any rights restored.

Did you read the details at all? First, the people's amendment - which affirminately received 2/3rds of the vote - contained no such stipulation. The legislature inserted their own will to blunt what the voters actually passed because they deemed the new law would hurt the Republican Party at the ballot box. This is not a valid reason for passing laws. The law does not serve the Florida people, it only serves the GOP's political objective to limit ballot access to who they perceive as likely voters for other parties.

Second, Florida never had a comprehensive database or systems that kept track of these debts, making it impossible for many former convicts to even find out how much and to whom they owe money. If there are no or incomplete records, what is a person supposed to do?

Third, many of these debts have been turned over to debt collection companies which have tacked on exorbitant fees and interest onto some tabs pushing them into 10s of thousands of dollars. Not to mention that each additional court appearance adds further fees to their totals when ex-convicts try to adjudicate their new legislature-dictated situations.

Fourth, having your freedom taken away IS paying for your crime. If lawmakers are actually interested in restitution then they should create work opportunities for convicts still incarcerated to pay off their debts during their confinement, not actually add the additional sentence of being an indentured servant even after completing prison stints.

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