“It really is unusually early for patients to be this miserable,” says Derek Johnson, medical director of the Fairfax Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Clinic. “The mild winter has resulted in very high pollen levels in February and early March, when they’re typically very low or negligible.” In fact, he points out that tree pollen counts on Feb. 23 were 365 grains per cubic meter, compared with a mere 2.88 a year before. He also notes that because it has been so sunny and warm in the past few months, people have spent more time outside, increasing their exposure to such allergens.
The weather from here on out can change things, but all of the experts I spoke with say they expect the untimely effects to linger. “In past years, we’ve had a very compact, heavy-hitting allergy season, but this is shaping up to be a long slog,” says Gaithersburg allergist Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, who explains that while evergreen trees, such as cedar, cypress and juniper, have budded prematurely, other species will likely bloom at their regular pace, leading to “more of a slow, grand parade” between now and late April to early May, when pollen counts typically peak. “It’s not like because it started early it’s going to end early.”
Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess has issued a permanent injunction against Wisconsin’s new photo ID law. In doing so, Niess became the second judge in less than a week to strike the new law, but the first one did so on a temporary basis.
Four lawsuits have been filed against the law requiring people to present a valid government-issued photo identification card in order to receive a ballot. Monday’s ruling was in response to the suit the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin filed. It contends the provision violates Wisconsin’s constitutional protections for voters.
[…] Voters had to follow the law during February’s primary and no major problems were reported. Election officials were making preparations for Wisconsin’s April 3 presidential primary when a much bigger turnout is expected.
The Supreme Court turned away a challenge to the Indiana voter ID law:
The 65 page PDF file, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, the main opinion said ” Valid neutral justifications for a nondiscriminatory law, such as SEA 483, should not be disregarded simply because partisan interests may have provided one motivation for the votes of individual legislators.”
JUSTICE SCALIA, joined by JUSTICE THOMAS and JUSTICE ALITO, was of the view that petitioners’ premise that the voter-identification law might have imposed a special burden on some voters is irrelevant. The law should be upheld because its overall burden is minimal and justified.
This morning, I could not cruise through the internet as I usually do. So I decided to do a “fly by” to Len Hart’s site The Existentialist Cowboy. I hadn’t visited in a while as he is my favorite “Truther.” But, he keeps his eye on other things as well. He’s a Texan on a mission.
This little screed titled “Eff the New York Times” (intentional misspell on my part) was linked one of the posts regarding civil liberties. There was no date on this post, but, it had a link to the “Stranger” site out of Seattle. From the links on this, I guess it was originally posted in 2004 (?), maybe? Take a look down “Memory Lane.”
The links were similar a “greatest hits” list of eroding freedoms and civil liberties right after 9/11. Remember all the concerns about Diebold? Warrantless wiretaps? FISA? (Oh. He voted for it as a Senator, didn’t he.) The disregard for the Geneva Convention was done in such a cavalier fashion.
Our local police forces are being militarized. Gratuitously equipped for what? Tasers are used instead of common sense and interaction. ” To serve and protect” has a new meaning, now.
I drove through Forsyth, Jawja; the home of GPSTA (Georgia Police State Training Academy) in I-75. This is where police people go to train to pull people over for driving violations, shoot a gun and all that police stuff. One can witness an educational police exercise in how to search a car almost anytime one drives through there. A lot of the time it looks like someone being pulled over for “driving while brown.” No joke.
I can’t even remember how many years it’s been since I lived in the Hellmouth, when I used to take the train downtown to the office. One morning the train was late, and I got into a conversation with another woman at the station.
She asked me what my job was, and I told her I worked for a political consulting firm. She looked at me as if I were slightly dotty and responded proudly that she was a Republican. “Really?” I said. “I could never be a Republican. All those people who insist they want the government out of their business, and instead they want it in mine.”
I remember she said she would “never” have an abortion, so it didn’t concern her. “They’re not stopping at abortion,” I said matter-of-factly. “They’re going after birth control, too.”
“Oh, that’s crazy,” she said. “They wouldn’t do that.”
“Not only are they going after birth control, they want to stop married couples from using it,” I said. I started to tell her about Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court ruling that decided married couples had a right to privacy that allowed them to purchase birth control, but you could tell she thought I was a wacko. When the train finally came, she sat in the next car.
Now we have Rick Santorum running for president, a man who has often said he’d like to overturn Griswold. But it doesn’t really matter which Republican, because even the ones who aren’t crazy have to placate the forced-birth wing of their party.
I wonder if she ever remembers that conversation. I wonder if it ever sank in that her daughters won’t have the same rights we did.
Just arrived home from the week in Savannah. Had to find Scout the Kitty. Went outside and shook cat food bag. She showed up fast.
I’ve been road trippin’ lately. I got to travel with Daddylonglegs to Americus, Jawja. The little town was the 3rd in the U.S. in the early 1900’s for agribusiness. Now, it’s claim to fame is a real nice old hotel and it is close to Plains, Jawja. Just a short drive to Billy Carter’s gas station.
This place is always busy. No more billiards, but, still some darn good hotdogs (if you are into that kind of thing.)
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The blood tests were all normal (or what passes for it in American medicine), which I figured they would be because I started to feel good again the day after I had them. I guess it was just one of those mysterious viral things that come and go. (Plus, the well-known magical healing power of blood tests, akin to taking your car to the mechanic’s to diagnose a persistent funny noise, which of course immediately disappears.)
The doctor told his nurse to tell me to “take Vitamin D.”
“Tell him I already take Vitamin D,” I told her. So much for the personal touch!
Anyway, that’s good. It means I can go back to the gym again without any problems. I’ve been riding my exercise bike and doing squats at home, but there’s nothing like having my Latina trainer yell at me: “Come on, chica, one more set!” (Bitch. No, really, I like her. She hates yuppies.)