Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Science post

Science post and the first item is from ALL THINGS CONSIDERED (NPR) yesterday:

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: People who treat eating disorders say they were flooded with new cases and relapses during the pandemic. Treatment centers are overwhelmed with calls for help. And more young people are being hospitalized. Triggers for eating disorders can include isolation, uncertainty and changes in routines, all of which happened on a massive scale over the last year. Nooshin Kiankhooy is an eating disorder specialist and founder of Empowering You, a therapy practice in Maryland.


NOOSHIN KIANKHOOY: Thank you, Ari. Thank you so much for having me.

SHAPIRO: How much of an increase in demand have you seen over the last year?

KIANKHOOY: Oh, my goodness. It's really been disheartening over the past year. Everybody is full. There's nowhere to refer to. And it's been really difficult. And another thing that we're seeing is even when someone finally gets into treatment, they're three- to four-month waitlist to get into an inpatient or residential treatment center.

SHAPIRO: And as people start to get vaccinated and businesses and schools start to reopen, are the numbers still climbing? Or do you feel like the crisis might be starting to subside now?

KIANKHOOY: I think they may still climb because now that everybody, in a way, is coming out of the woodworks, there's going to be more eyes on people. And during the pandemic, most of the referrals we were getting were for teens because mom and dad or whomever they're guardian was had eyes on them. Now as we get out of the pandemic, there's going to be more eyes - friends, extended family, colleagues. And things are going to change, I think. I think that we're just probably at the peak now.

SHAPIRO: Can you talk about warning signs that you advise people to look out for in friends, loved ones or even themselves?

KIANKHOOY: Absolutely. You know, one thing I did want to say is that we have to remember there's a difference between eating disorders and disordered eating. There are people that - you know, they enjoy working out, but they also work out, you know, to burn calories or to look a certain way. Or people that are on certain diets lose weight. That doesn't mean they have an eating disorder. And so I would say, you know, just some of the things we really want to look out for is, has there been a change in their mood, their irritability, a change in their interests? They may not want to socialize around food. Or if they're at a gathering where there is food, they may not have the food. What we really look for when it comes to the difference between an eating disorder and disordered eating is really an impairment in their day-to-day and their functioning.

That's health and science and it is news. I knew about the rise but only because of Elaine's piece back in February in POLLY'S BREW and also from talking to Elaine since. The stress of the pandemic has a large impact on anyone with eating disorders. We were aware that many people gained weight during the pandemic (which is ongoing, by the way) so it shouldn't be a surprise that eating disorders were on the rise or that the number of people who were active in their disease were on the rise.

Eating disorders have to do with many things. Feeling uneasy or like you have no control can contribute as can stress. The pandemic has been a lot rougher than anyone in the mainstream media has ever let on.

NASA notes:



NASA and Boeing Progress Toward July Launch of Second Starliner Flight Test

Technicians prepare Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner for the company’s Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) in the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 2, 2021.
Technicians prepare Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner for the company’s Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) in the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 2, 2021. Part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, OFT-2 is a critical developmental milestone on the company’s path to fly crew missions for NASA.
Credits: Boeing
The Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to be flown on Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) is seen in the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 2, 2021.
The Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to be flown on Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) is seen in the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 2. Part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, OFT-2 is a critical developmental milestone on the company’s path to fly crew missions for NASA.
Credits: Boeing

NASA and Boeing are continuing preparations ahead of Starliner’s second uncrewed flight to prove the system can safely carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

Teams inside the Starliner production factory at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida recently began fueling the Starliner crew module and service module in preparation for launch of Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) at 2:53 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 30. The fueling operations are expected to complete this week as teams load propellant inside the facility’s Hazardous Processing Area and perform final spacecraft checks.

Once fueling operations are complete, teams from Boeing and United Launch Alliance (ULA) will prepare to transport Starliner to the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station for mating with ULA’s Atlas V rocket. Beginning this week, ULA will begin stacking, or assembling, the Atlas V rocket at the VIF during an operation called Launch Vehicle on Stand (or LVOS).

In preparation for Starliner’s next flight, NASA and Boeing have closed all actions recommended by the joint NASA-Boeing Independent Review Team, which was formed as a result of Starliner’s first test flight in December 2019. The review team’s recommendations included items relating to integrated testing and simulations, processes and operational improvements, software requirements, crew module communication system improvements, and organizational changes. Boeing has implemented all recommendations, even those that were not mandatory, ahead of Starliner’s upcoming flight.

“I am extremely proud of the NASA and Boeing Starliner teams as they methodically work toward the OFT-2 mission next month with final checks of the crew module and service module hardware and software as we prepare for this important uncrewed test mission,” said Steve Stich, NASA Commercial Crew Program manager. “Closing all of the Independent Review Team findings for the software and communications systems is a huge milestone for the Commercial Crew Program and included many long hours of testing and reviews by our dedicated Boeing and NASA teams during this Covid-19 pandemic.”

In the weeks ahead, mission control teams in Florida and Texas will continue conducting simulated mission dress rehearsals for the uncrewed OFT-2 and follow-on crewed missions. Starliner’s landing and recovery teams also will perform an on-site checkout of one of the vehicle’s landing zones.

During the OFT-2 mission, Starliner will test its unique vision-based navigation system to autonomously dock with the space station and deliver approximately 440 pounds, or roughly 200 kilograms, of cargo and crew supplies for NASA. Starliner is expected to spend five to 10 days in orbit before undocking and returning to Earth, touching down on land in the western United States.

Providing Starliner’s second uncrewed mission meets all necessary objectives, NASA and Boeing will look for opportunities toward the end of this year to fly Starliner’s first crewed mission, the Crew Flight Test (CFT), to the space station with NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore, Nicole Mann, and Mike Fincke on board.

Boeing currently is refurbishing the first Orbital Flight Test crew module for crewed flight along with outfitting a brand new service module. The CFT Atlas V hardware is expected to arrive in Florida for processing next week as teams prepare for both missions in parallel.

Boeing has designed and developed the Starliner spacecraft in support of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to provide safe and sustainable commercial transportation services for crew and cargo to the International Space Station and low-Earth orbit destinations.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with industry through a public-private partnership to provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station, which will allow for additional research time and will increase the opportunity for discovery aboard humanity’s testbed for exploration. The space station remains the springboard to space exploration, including future missions to the Moon and eventually to Mars.

Last Updated: Jun 16, 2021
Editor: Linda Herridge


So there's some science news. I'm still upset about the climate crisis.  It's depressing and it's angering and everything else.   I wish we had a president who would seriously address it.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

 Wednesday, June 16, 2021.  What progress can the Iraqi government claim and look at Ana Kasparian pretending she's a sister who's been harassed.

Yesterday, the Government of Iraq Tweeted:

Cabinet Spokesperson, the Minister of Culture , holds a press conference in Baghdad to brief the media on today’s Cabinet meeting and developments in Iraq.

And how do you think those briefings go?

Our economy is still oil-based and we are in danger of being left behind should other countries seriously commit to renewable energy.  Part of the reason we fail repeatedly to attract foreign investment that would allow us to diversify our economy is due to our well known rampant corruption throughout the government.  The other part?  People are scared to do business with us.  Arresting and imprisoning Australian Robert Pether is not helping us there.  We have provided no real reason to the world for his arrest.  We have made no serious moves to hold a trial.  It appears to the world as though we just arrested him to either force better terms on our existing contract or to void the contract.  When we resort to kidnapping foreign business persons and throwing them in jail, we get a bad image on the stage?

Think it goes like that?  

Yesterday, DessyMac Tweeted:

Aust Eng Robert Pether & Egypt Khalid Zaghloul TRAPPED AND ILLEGALLY ARRESTED 69 days ago in Iraq. EMPLOYEES held as leverage in a CONTRACT DISPUTE. NO charges. IRAQ IS NOT A SAFE PLACE TO WORK. #FREEROBERTPETHER #zahahadid #iraq #Australia #egypt #Engineer

Think they brought up Chatham House's paper, presented tomorrow, about Iraq's "politically sanctioned corruption"?

When they got around to the issue of  security, did it go something like this?

Iraq continues to maintain a standing army.  Though we have brought the various militias into the military -- guaranteeing a salary for them -- they continue to refuse to recognize the Prime Minister as the Commander and Chief of the military.  At the end of last month, when thug leader Qasim Muslah was arrested, his co-horts responded with threats, they stormed Baghdad and they encircled the Prime Minister's compound.  

#Iraq : Who will win show of force as commander in PMF Qasim Muslah is arrested on suspicion of orchestrating assassination of prominent pro-democracy activist? First top official in Hashd al-Shaabi arrested over wave of killings of activists since October 2019 - #قاسم_مصلح

Mina al-Oraibi Tweeted earlier this month:

Iraq releases top Iran-backed militia commander Qassim Musleh. Courts claim it was due to lack of evidence, yet thousands of innocent Iraqis languish in prisons for YEARS without trial or evidence.


 Adam Tweeted the following:

There is no security&no law to have fair election.Same faces if not worse (militias)will be elected this time. Imagine Qassim Musleh was freed as they provided the Judge with Musleh’s passport that he was in Iran at the time of the killings.They stamped it in the Iranian embassy

Musleh’s has 4000 militia members under his control ,at least 100 members in his death squad . He would certainly send his thugs to commit crimes. He was freed for lack of evidence !!

Where's the progress that they can note at any weekly meeting?  Just not feeling it.


We're due to hold elections in October.  We still don't have basic laws in place though, like how to guarantee security during the election process.  We have, however, disqualified over 135 people from running for Parliament.  We've done little to ensure that Iraq's who have had to leave the country will be able to vote and, honestly, we don't much care about that.  We're really eager that we might be able to just not hold elections since Joe Biden is now US President.  Remember 2010?  We held elections in March of that year.  Nouri al-Maliki refused to step down despite losing.  For over eight months, the government came to a standstill until Joe Biden, then Vice President, oversaw The Erbil Agreement -- a contract that overthrew the election results and just gave Nouri a second term?  We're hoping he does something similar this year but sooner and before we have to hold elections and pay all the costs that will entail.

Over the weekend, THE NATIONAL offered:

Mr Al Kadhimi faces an uphill struggle reining in militias linked to powerful political parties backed by Iran, who gain funds from the Iraqi state and have infiltrated government ministries and the security forces.

These groups, including militias within the state-sanctioned Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), have been working to implement Tehran’s foreign policy in Iraq. These include the ousting of US and other foreign coalition forces invited by the Iraqi government to help fight ISIS.

Iran-backed PMF groups also stand accused of killing hundreds of Iraqi protesters who are demanding an end to Iranian-influence, corruption and poor services

Mr Al Kadhimi’s attempts to hold the groups to account have often stumbled.

In June 2020 the prime minister was pressured to release 14 members of the Kataib Hezbollah militia who were accused of attempting to fire rockets at foreign forces stationed within Baghdad international airport, and had been arrested at the scene by the state's Counter Terrorism Service.

Last week, the Iraqi Higher Judicial Council ordered the release of a PMF commander, Qassem Musleh, who was accused of murdering an activist and running protection rackets.

Militias are using murder and intimidation to force Mr Al Kadhimi into a corner and preserve their powerful role in the Iraqi state.

On June 7, the campaign to undermine his government took a more ominous turn when Col Nebras Shaban, an officer in the intelligence services, was shot dead near his home.

Mustafa al-Kadhimi has been prime minister since May 7, 2020.  As noted earlier, elections are expected to be held this coming October in Iraq.  A month or a couple of months from now, they may have a prime minister.  (2010 holds their longest record for the time between elections and announcing a prime minister-designate -- 2010 saw the process take over eight months due to the political stalemate).  Mustafa has not accomplished much.

His inability to protect the activists or to hold their murderers accountable has led some to say that they will be boycotting the upcoming elections.  Mustafa had a chance to turn it around earlier this month when he ordered the arrest of a militia thug but then the man was released without a trial.

Can he win over the activists -- and the many Iraqis who support the activists -- before the elections take place?  Who knows but Sura Ali (RUDAW) reported:

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi met on Saturday in Nasiriyah with protestors and the families of a number of activists who were killed in the October (Tishreen) 2019 movement, stating violence against activists comes as part of a “battle the state is waging against corruption.”

Kadhimi’s media office said the PM met the mother of protestor Omar Sadoun, one of dozens who were killed in the so-called Nasiriyah Massacre that occurred on November 28, 2019, one day after demonstrators torched the Iranian consulate. 

He also met with the family of Anas Malik, who died earlier in June of this year from wounds he sustained in the massacre two years ago. 

In addition, Kadhimi met the mother of a prominent Nasiriyah activist, Sajjad al-Iraqi, who disappeared on the evening of September 20, 2020, after being kidnapped by unknown gunmen. 

"The absence of activists and the assault on them comes as part of a battle waged by the state against corruption and devastation and the expansion of corrupt abusers…..the youth chose their place in the trench of confrontation with these people from the moment they went out to protest for Iraq," Kadhimi said.

Upcoming elections already carry a great deal of back door negotiating.  For example, Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr already entered a conditional agreement with Mustafa regarding possible partnership and now Moqtada's attempting to seal a similar agreement with the Kurds.  Of elections in Iraq, Guy Burton (INTERNATIONAL POLICY DIGEST)  observes:

There the connection between leaders and society has become weaker. Despite the presence of many political parties and electoral competition, many voters feel disconnected from the political process. The negotiations which take place to form governments after elections provide little space for the public while Iraq’s post-2003 governments have been perceived as distant and unrepresentative. That contributed to growing frustrations in society in relation to the lack of economic opportunities and income, poor public services, and growing public insecurity and disorder. This culminated in an outburst of protests during 2019 and 2020. As a result, when Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi came to power last year, he proposed to bring elections forward.

On the topic of upcoming elections in Iraq, Xofran el-Radi (JNHA WOMEN'S NEWS AGENCY)  reports:

Women were removed from all fields, from politics to social life, from art to economy for centuries. But women have reentered these fields after struggling for their rights all around the world. One of these fields is politics. Women have been struggling to be effective in this field. Women have been removed from this field in many countries. In many countries, women have been actively working in this field by participating in politics with the gender quota system.

In a world where women are murdered, subjected to violence, and to all kinds of injustice, women’s participation in politics is very important. Women’s participation in politics means that more laws will be enacted on issues such as violence against women, femicide, sexual abuse, suspicious deaths of women, and punishment of perpetrators. Last year, the Baghdadi government decided to hold a snap election and announced that the Iraqi parliamentary elections would be held on June 6 but were delayed as the Independent High Electoral Commission asked for more time to organize the elections. Iraqi women activists and members of the media have been carrying out awareness campaigns for the upcoming elections.

Women deal with real issue every day and around the world.  So I'm just not in the mood for bitches.  I'm less and less in the mood for bitches.  In fact, see February's "DUMB BITCHES or SISTERHOOD IS NO EXCUSE FOR PRAISING A BAD BOOK.''

Feminism is not your excuse for doing a sorry ass job.  Feminism is not a cloak that protects you from criticism.

I'm referring to the hideous Ana Kasparian who suffers from toxic masculinity but is now trying to cry and moan that she's been harassed by Jimmy Dore.  It was years ago but poor Ana didn't have the strength to speak up until now. Shudder, cry, sniffle, bad Jimmy, noted that her skirt was so short you could see her thong!  Oh the horror, oh the outrage.  It was like, Ana needs you to know, being raped.

So many ways to reply.  First off, dumb bitch, we aren't as stupid as you hope we are.

Bulls**t.  Thats the call to your claim.  You wore an outfit that was inappropriate.  Not the first time.  You wore it in the workplace.

Ana, you dress like a slut.  That assessment came from one of your co-workers years ago.  I've never spoken to Jimmy Dore, I don't know him.  But I am friends with a woman you worked with.  And you were an embarrassment.  "Slutting around"?  I use that term from time and that friend -- I'm sure you know which woman I'm talking about -- taught me that term and applied it to you.

You came in day after day, while she and other women were trying to get a toe-in at TYT and you'd be dressing like a slut, "goodies on display," as she said and flirting with men, hanging all over them.

That's you, Ana.

And you be you.  But don't turn around and whine that someone made a joke about your outfit. 

It was a pattern with you.

And it's not sexism.  It's you not knowing how to dress appropriately in the work place and not knowing how to keep your hands off men -- including Cenk.

Long before I could even put a face to your lousy name, I knew all about you.  And that was based on the opinion of women, actual feminists, who knew you and who worked with you.

Jimmy made a joke about your inappropriate outfit.  Get over yourself.

And stop pretending you're a feminist.  Your work demonstrates that you are not.

Women deal with real issues every day and you and TYT ignore that.  You offer smutty grabage not real issues and you do nothing for women so just drop the pretense.

Jimmy, a comedian, made a joke.  Get over yourself.

ADDED at 1:32 PM 6/16/21: And, Ana, your use of the term "f*g" not so long ago in the work place is also well known by people who worked with you -- as are your 'jokes' that speak of homophobia, so keep pulling at that strand and see where it lands you.

New content at THIRD:

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