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Aimee Copeland…..

This is such a tragic story. It is hard for me to write about it.

I lived in Carroll County in West Georgia, not only during my college years, but in my young adult life up to middle age. It is a beautiful place and I studied Geology and Earth Science at “West College.” I walked the area with my professors as well as with my archeology friends to learn all the ancient stuff. I also took a six pack to relax in its nature, too.  The vegetation is lush and thick, a fairy land. From the time I moved there from Atlanta in 1978 until I left in 1997, playing in the many creeks, rivers and reservoirs was just warm weather fun. Jumping rocks and rope swings to hit the cool water was a natural pastime. Sitting in rapid pools on Snake Creek was my jacuzzi when I had a hard week at the restaurant. But, even in the fall and winter, walking the woods was such a treat and there are plenty places to walk.

Aimee Copeland, obviously, loves the area as much as I do. She did the same fun playing as (I hope) many students at UWG have enjoyed for years. She is a graduate student at UWG Humanistic Psychology Department.  But, an accident on a home made zipline on the Little Tallapoosa River changed all that. She fell and hit something and her wound, at some point, was infected with Aeromonas hydrophila, a flesh eating bacteria.

Her bio from the the College:

Aimee is a masters student here at University of West Georgia Psychology. It is a program that attracts students who are seeking a psychology with heart. With Maslow’s Humanistic Psychology as our foundation, we explore existential-phenomenological and transpersonal, amongst other, approaches to understanding the human experience.  Aimee was attracted to this program because she sees psyche and spirit as inseparable.  She feels that psychology divorced from spirituality is “reductionistic,” and is missing the greater Unity of Existence; that humans are not things or objects, yet rather are an inseparable part of the Web of Life.  We are no different that the leaf which has no separate existence from the tree, from the ecosystem, and from the totality of Existence itself- whatever you may call it (i.e. God, Gaia, All, Cosmos.)

She has lost a leg. She is fighting. Aimee has also lost her fingers.

I don’t know if this is a water quality issue or not. I lived next to and swam in the Little Tallapoosa River for years.But, I bet it is a water issue.

I love her idea about nature and the humans. I have felt that way for a long time, but, I bet she could articulate it better than I could.

Good speed, Aimee….

Liberal arts

Is good for you! Despite snide comments from wingnuts and other wage slaves, a liberal arts education trains you in critical thinking.

Debtors prison

I could be wrong, but I think this law may be unconstitutional. I think it’s pretty settled case law that they have to prove you owe the money – but then again, the world’s turning upside down, so who knows?

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has approved legislation making it easier for debt collectors to go after defaulting consumers and small businesses.
Brewer signed House Bill 2664 into law today. The measure allows collection agencies to use final billing statements as a basis to show amounts owed and interest rates as they seek court judgments and wage garnishments.

The bill was favored by debt collectors, which buy delinquent accounts from banks and credit card companies for pennies on the dollar, but receive only minimal information from those sources. It can be difficult and expensive for the collection companies to get additional information on the defaulting consumers and business owners.

Debt collectors’ business model depends on them collecting money from the account holders whose information they buy. The new state law makes it easier on them if they can obtain final billing statements from the banks and credit card issuers.

Basically, they make shit up. But so much for law and order in Arizona!

Ode to the oligarchs

Long Dead Kings:

Bon appetit

Don’t eat Gulf seafood:

A new study has concluded that the FDA severely underrated the risk of contaminants in seafood following the BP oil spill of 2010, according to Environmental Health Perspectives (via Alternet).

The report, conducted by non-governmental scientists, says that 53 percent of Gulf shrimp samples tested revealed “levels above concern” of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Some cases showed carcinogenic levels up to 10,000 times more than what is considered safe.

This leaves pregnant women, children and big seafood eaters at risk to develop issues stemming from the consumption of these chemicals. Prenatal exposure to PAHs has been shown to lower IQs and increase the risk of asthma, heart malformations and low birth weight.

The researchers at the Natural Resources Defense Council also included internal FDA emails — procured using the Freedom of Information Act — that showed a concerted effort to downplay the effects of the contaminants. Emails also showed decisions to ignore alarms raised by FDA staff concerning this issue.

The report calls on the FDA to update their current risk assessment of seafood.

In response, the FDA says that setting higher protective health measures will “do more harm than good,” since people would have to remove more food from their home than necessary. Both the NRDC and Alternet have noted that there was no scientific backing provided for this claim.


What Lance said.

Jerry Brown

Adapts to circumstance like a cockroach. Now, I’ll point out here that California governors have so many limits on budgeting and tax increases that he may literally have no other option.

America colonized again

America has been colonized by corporations, but Chris Hedges is still counting on Occupy to spark a backlash. More here.

Ethics, Mittens style

Whatever “achievement” a Republican politician brags about, you can be pretty sure there’s more to the story. The Daily Beast has been following Romney’s track record of being brought in to clean up a bribery scandal at the 2002 Winter Olympics, and has found some things that indicate his own ethics leave something to be desired.

As per this new video from the DNC, Mittens oversaw the expenditure of $1.5 billion in government money for the event, making it the most expensive Olympics ever. He bragged about it when he ran for governor of Massachusetts, although he now says most of it was for post-9/11 security:

In his quest for the White House, Mitt Romney has repeatedly made the case that he is a better manager than its current occupant. When his tenure at the helm of Bain Capital came under fire in the primaries, he shifted to stressing his rescue of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Those games had been nearly destroyed by a wide-ranging bribery scandal, and as Romney recounted in his 2004 memoir, Turnaround, he was the CEO brought in after the brouhaha who cleaned it up.

Although no one disputes that the Salt Lake Games were a managerial success that revived his public career, some of the contacts Romney made during that time were key figures in the scandal, yet he remains connected to some of them, and continues to receive their sizable campaign donations. The closeness of these bonds calls into question Romney’s ethical compass.

Last month, The Daily Beast recounted the tale of one circle of Romney donors tied to a tainted Olympic contractor who has given more than a million dollars in campaign donations. After being granted immunity by prosecutors, the contractor, Sead Dizdarevic, admitted making $131,000 in cash payments to Romney’s predecessors. The cash was used, at least in part, to subsidize the IOC gifts. Yet it was Romney, not his indicted predecessors, who awarded Dizdarevic the hospitality deal that’s made him the ticket king of the Olympics to this day.

But Dizdarevic is hardly the only Romney donor with disturbing Olympic ties. David Simmons also testified in the 2003 federal trial of Romney’s predecessors, in a case that was ultimately dismissed. But unlike Dizdarevic, Simmons pleaded guilty to a federal tax misdemeanor as part of a cooperation agreement that allowed him to avoid a multi-count felony indictment.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the guilty plea was connected to Simmons giving a fake job to John Kim, the son of a critical IOC member, to qualify him for a sham visa, and then submitting fraudulent tax and immigration filings to cover up the alleged conspiracy.

Since that time, Simmons and his family have given more than $317,000 to Romney and affiliated campaigns, and business associates of the family have added nearly $160,000 more. Simmons and his wife, Melinda, donated $32,100 themselves, going back to 2006.

“There are things that make your job easier and things that make your job harder,” Romney told reporters who asked about Simmons.

In addition, one Simmons brother provided Romney’s 2008 campaign with a private plane and another led the energy discussion at a policy roundtable fundraiser for Romney in Washington last February. A company whose board of directors consisted entirely of Simmons’s father, all six of the Simmons siblings, and the spouse of one sibling, each one of whom has donated to Romney, was directly implicated in the Olympics scam that led to David Simmons’s guilty plea.

Oh, what’s the big deal? If we started discounting Republican candidates for taking money from shady people, there wouldn’t be a Republican party!

Big Oil

Who’s your daddy?

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