by Bill Schubart We may be finally witnessing the death throes of the conservative “trickle-down” mantra that advocates for lower taxes on “job creators” and “hands-off” government regulation. This philosophy enthralled Reagan’s “moral majority,” who also challenged the rights of women and many non-whites by opposing abortion, birth control, gay marriage, voting rights, and immigration.More recently, ultraconservative factions have championed the unfettered right to carry guns anywhere, isolationism in an international world, limiting voting rights to themselves, and opposition to an inclusive health care plan. No wonder we’re seeing suicide by lifestyle and declining life expectancy among disadvantaged white men and women seduced by this hollow belief system. The question is… what will replace it?If, as Calvin Coolidge says, “the business of America is business,” we’re pretty much there. Under the guise of “free market capitalism,” business now owns a major share of the legislative branch of our democracy. Corporations have been accorded the same rights as citizens and many are concerned that with a narcissistic bully in the White House, the policies of his administration may soon dominate the executive and judicial branches as well.Reducing taxes on the richest Americans has created the greatest wealth-gap since the Depression. Historically, such inequality has been a precursor to revolution –either armed or peaceful. It’s also accelerated the deficit and dashed hopes for needed infrastructure investments.Corrupt lobbying against regulation has led to virtual monopolies in telecommunications, Pharma, airlines, energy, retail and other industries – leaving them free to focus solely on share value and profits, ignoring consumer satisfaction and public safety.Deregulation has wrought havoc in for-profit college education, burdening students with inadequate education and crushing debt. In the energy sector, it’s destroyed whole environments and killed workers. It’s allowed our food supply to industrialize around sugar, nicotine, and chemicals, and in healthcare, it’s casually watched Pharma addict and kill thousands, profit by patent manipulation, and deny government agencies any right to negotiate pricing. America is 5% of the world population and consumes 80% of its opiates.I’m an optimist. I believe we may finally be ready to let go of lowering taxes and reducing regulation in favor of investing in resilient, healthy communities by adopting new government priorities, like access to healthcare, education, jobs, housing, childcare, and infrastructure investment. In so doing, we’ll be heeding other words from Silent Cal, reminding us that “We’re all in the same boat.”This commentary by Bill Schubart was first broadcast on Vermont Public Radio.
Although I adore dogs, I’m surprised when I hear people equate their love for their pets with their love for their kids. Did Cary actually mean to say there’s no differencebetween the depth of love she feels for her daughters and the affection she has for her dog? If so, was that a sign of some advanced and egalitarian perspective on the value of different species? Or was it a sign of insanity? Whatever the case, did Cary really want her daughters to see that in print?Read the whole story: Slate More of our Members in the Media > “Poor dog,” Cary said. “If someone stabbed my dog, that would be like someone stabbing my child. To me, my pets are like my children. I love them the same.” Slate:Casey and I stopped in Sarasota, Florida, to meet Cary, a woman who’d read about my journey and suggested that I come meet her black Lab, Pepe. I told her and her husband, Mike, about Piper, a dog I was going to meet that afternoon in Tampa. Piper had bitten a home intruder two years prior, only to have the robber stab her with a crowbar.
Two E coli outbreaks with unknown causes total 44 cases, 1 deathYesterday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported two separate Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreaks in the United States. Neither has an identified source, and one has already proved deadly.The first outbreak has had 21 cases reported from Jun 6 to Oct 5 across eight states, the most being in California (7) and Ohio (7). So far, there have been eight hospitalizations, including 1 case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, and 1 death.The patients range from 2 to 75 years of age, with a median of 24 years. While no common source has been identified, officials discovered an illness cluster spreading from a restaurant.The other E coli outbreak has 23 cases thus far reported from Aug 17 through Oct across 12 states, with Kansas and North Dakota both having 4 cases, followed by California, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin with 2 cases each. Ages range from 5 to 81 years, with a median of 21.Of the 15 people with further information available, 10 needed hospitalization and 2 have or had HUS. All 13 people interviewed to date reported eating leafy greens, including iceberg lettuce (9), spinach (9), romaine lettuce (8), and mixed bag lettuce (6).Both outbreaks’ strains have been linked to separate romaine lettuce outbreaks in the past, the first having the same strain as a 2018 outbreak and the second having the same as one in 2019, but no conclusions can be made from this, the CDC says. The agency advises people to practice extra hygiene and caution when preparing and cooking food, to avoid unpasteurized products, and to wash hands after using the restroom, changing diapers, and interacting with animals.Currently, the agency is conducting interviews with the ill, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating food sources, samples, and trace-backs. Oct 28 CDC outbreak investigation notice A Oct 28 CDC outbreak investigation notice B Promising phase 3 data for oral carbapenem presented at IDWeekData from a phase 3 trial presented last week at IDWeek 2020 by researchers from Spero Therapeutics show that oral tebipenem was comparable in safety and efficacy to intravenous (IV) ertapenem for treating complicated urinary tract infections (cUTIs) and acute pyelonephritis (AP).In the double-blind phase 3 study, which was conducted at more than 100 hospitals in 15 countries, 1,372 hospitalized patients who had cUTIs or AP were randomized to receive either oral tebipenem pivoxil hydrobromide (TBP-PI-HBr) or IV ertapenem for 7 to 10 days. The primary end point was overall response (composite clinical cure and microbiologic eradication) at the test-of-cure visit on Day 19. The non-inferiority margin was -12.5%.The results showed that oral TBP-PI-HBr met the primary objective of non-inferiority compared with IV ertapenem, with an overall response rate of 58.8% (264 of 449 patients) versus 61.6% (258/419) for IV ertapenem (treatment difference, -3.3%; 95% confidence interval [CI], -9.7% to 3.2%). Clinical cure rates were greater than 93% in both treatment groups, and microbiologic response rates for target uropathogens were comparable.Treatment-emergent adverse events were observed in 25.7% of TBP-PI-HBr patients and 25.6% of IV ertapenem patients, and most were mild. Serious adverse events were infrequent in both groups (1.3% for TBP-PI-HBr patients vs 1.7% for IV ertapenem patients).Spero Therapeutics said earlier this month that it plans to submit a new drug application for TBP-PI-HBr to the FDA in the second quarter of 2021. If approved, it would be the first oral carbapenem to receive approval in the United States.Oct 24 IDWeek 2020 abstract Oct 16 Spero Therapeutics press release H5 avian flu detected at Netherlands broiler farmThe Dutch government today reported a highly pathogenic H5 avian flu outbreak at a broiler farm near the village of Altforst in Gelderland province in the east central part of the country.No other poultry facilities are within a 1 km radius of the facility, and culling is underway among 35,700 birds at the farm. Sampling is being conducted in other poultry flocks in the greater area.Last week, Dutch veterinary officials reported H5N8 in two mute swans found dead in Utrecht province. Over the past few months, Russia and Kazakhstan have reported a small but steady stream of H5N8 outbreaks, and the UK government has warned of the threat of the virus spreading from migratory birds to poultry.Oct 29 Dutch government statement
Alan Van Cleave and Heaven Talachy, members of the 2020 Phi Theta Kappa New Mexico All-State Community College Academic Team from UNM-LA, meet State Rep. Christine Chandler of Los Alamos. Photo by Kathryn Vigil/UNM-LAFrom left, UNM-LA Advisory Board member Steve Boerigter and Chancellor Dr. Cynthia Rooney introduce UNM-LA students Heaven Talachy and Alan Van Cleave to New Mexico Secretary for Higher Education Dr. Kate O’Neill. Photo by Kathryn Vigil/UNM-LAUNM-LA News:UNM-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) students Heaven Talachy and Allan Van Cleave were recognized during the State Legislative Session in Santa Fe as members of the 2020 Phi Theta Kappa New Mexico All-State Community College Academic Team.The competition recognizes students from community colleges in the state for their academic achievements.Talachy and Van Cleave each received a medallion and a certificate of recognition for their academic accomplishments.Talachy of the Nambe Pueblo graduated from the Santa Fe Indian School in 2017 and enrolled in UNM-LA where she earned her Emergency Medical Technician certification, then chose to continue her education in Public Safety. Talachy, who currently works for the Emergency Management Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory, plans to transfer to Eastern New Mexico University to complete her bachelor’s degree in emergency management online.Van Cleave chose to relocate to New Mexico and pursue his interest in science after touring as a musician in a rock band for several years. He enrolled in UNM-LA for the strength of their Science programs, and after receiving his Associate’s degree in Environmental Science in December, he is now pursuing pre-engineering and applying for an internship position through the Community Internship Collaboration. Van Cleave tutors students at the Taos Cyber Magnet School.The program at the Legislature included opening remarks by Dr. Cynthia Rooney, President of New Mexico Association of Community Colleges; Dr. Becky Rowley, President of New Mexico Independent Community Colleges; Dr. Joe Shepard, President of Council of University Presidents; and Dr. Kate O’Neill, New Mexico Secretary of Higher Education. The chancellors and presidents of each school presented awards to their students.As a surprise guest, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham spoke to the students about the importance of higher education and read a Proclamation of Community College Day. Grisham also discussed the Opportunity Scholarship and encouraged everyone in attendance to promote the importance of the Opportunity Scholarship.Earlier in the day, students of Phi Theta Kappa New Mexico All-State Community College Academic Team were introduced to both the House and the Senate sub-committees on education. Accompanied by UNM-LA Chancellor Dr. Rooney; Dean of Instruction Dr. Sharon Hurley; Director of Student Affairs and co-advisor for PTK Kathryn Vigil; and UNM-LA co-advisor for PTK Maryjane Giesler; Talachy and Van Cleave also had the opportunity to meet with local State Representative Christine Chandler.“Being nominated to the All-State Academic Team is an exceptional honor,” Giesler said. “This puts Heaven and Alan in the running for national scholarships offered by Phi Theta Kappa and acknowledges their hard work and dedication to academic pursuits.”Phi Theta Kappa annually conducts a national community college student achievement competition, the All-USA Academic Team for Community Colleges. To qualify for New Mexico’s All-State team, community college students must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or better, demonstrate leadership skills, and participate in community service.UNM-Los Alamos is an innovative, rigorous, and affordable comprehensive branch community college that provides foundations for transfer, leading-edge career programs, and lifelong learning opportunities. More information about UNM-LA is available at losalamos.unm.edu.
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The Grenning Gallery of Sag Harbor hosted Southampton native artist Brian Farrell on Sunday, August 19, at Parrish Art Museum’s Summer Family Party.Farrell said he fell in love with Parrish’s “modern, contemporary architecture,” with collections in line with his artistic aesthetic after being introduced to the museum through friends Andrea and Cristina Geeven.An event unlike others, families had a hands-on opportunity to work directly with Farrell, continuing Parrish’s mission of education. The day was filled with interactive creations and visual experiences geared towards children.From participating in the event, what message do you want to impart to the next generation of artists?Art is not about quickly making something from a stencil or a tracing from the use of a projector. It’s work. It’s thought. It should teach and gain awareness of a certain subject matter. It should capture one’s imagination, scramble their mind, hold space, provoke an emotion or a sensation.Your choice as an artist is not to copy what another is doing because it may be successful, not to copy work from the past. Let that work be. It had its moment in so-called time. Be influenced by it but move forward and do your own thing in present time.Your purpose, as in science, is to help humanity move forward from what has already been discovered, created. If you can’t, then it’s not for you. Adaptation is key. Learn, observe and evolve.What was your first painting?Speaking of “copying,” it was a primitive, not so well done, landscape, influenced by Monet and Van Gogh. It was oil on canvas of a garden I had designed. So, it was still my creation, just not very good.It was a self-taught piece. It sold for $950. Ha. Not bad for a starter.Why did attending New York Academy of Art change your style?Attending this fine academy not only changed my style, I actually learned to draw and paint. It was my first, real, true lesson/education in art. Before that, I’m not certain I knew what I was doing. It was like guessing how expansive the universe is.It brought out my artistic tools and helped me to become a much better organized renderer, painter, artist. I could do any type of work from the fundamentals I learned at the academy.It is a figurative school, but you do not necessarily have to stick with that. The academy gives you the proper tools to move on and develop/enhance your own voice, your own style, your own you.How do you incorporate quantum physics into your work?Quantum mechanics, the particle matter and below atoms, stuff that makes up the universe, that’s what I like to make work from, the fundamentals.I think it’s important for society to know who you are and where you came from, your makeup and how we interact with the environment.In what ways does music influence your work?It’s developed over time. In the past, I listened to a much more aggressive type of music, that’s where my energy was at — Metallica, Tool, Rage Against The Machine, Nirvana. [The music was] energetic, anxious, negative a lot of the time, and it drove what I was creating. Oddly enough, you can see the work at that time has an aggressive undertone to it, a darkness.When you sit in a room with music, at a microlevel, you don’t even realize how it interacts with what you produce. Then I listened to electric: Deadmau5, Kaskade, Avicii, Armin Van Buuren. Now it’s space ambient, with an electric type beat behind it.Is there a particular issue plaguing society today that resonates with you?There are two. I’m most passionate about the environment, especially the pollution of our oceans from millions of tons of plastic, harmful overfishing, and senseless destruction of marine life. The more complex issue is the chaos and/or confusion from misinterpretation of text, speech, and language.I am currently working on a piece that the subject is entropy and it’s a “maze runner” game. There is a start point of equilibrium and an end point of chaos. The state of equilibrium is a word, phrase, or code. It doesn’t really matter because it is represented as a sphere. The object is to get through the maze on parallel sides and maintain that equilibrium. I offer a code that you follow to get through and find that state is not maintained upon exiting.This piece illustrates “fake news,” speech, or the written word being lost, misunderstood, misinterpreted, resulting in a host of issues under the heading of chaos.Grenning Gallery is located at 17 Washington Street in Sag Harbor. It is open Thursday through Monday beginning at 11 AM, or visit www.grenninggallery.com. Brian Farrell’s website is www.brianfarrellart.com or follow him @firstname.lastname@example.org Share
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