Yo voté

Nov. 2nd, 2010 11:57 am
petmoosie: (braids)
The governor's race and the ballot question about ambulance fees are probably the closest issues today. I wonder why the Senate race isn't closer. I guess because Maryland has a certain vision of itself in terms of international affairs and federal government arrangement that is very, very stable (yes, feeding at the trough might describe it). In terms of local businesses and taxes and public services, the vision is more fluid.
petmoosie: (Default)
The Economist asks this with a picture of President Obama with a bandage wrapped around his head.

I keep getting emails from environmental groups, saying, "We're next."

There are other priorities, such as approving a arms-limitation treaty (usually a no-work effort, but who knows in this Congress), another stimulus/jobs bill, immigration reform (and there has been another march in Washington to ask for this), and dealing with Iran.

I agree that an environmental bill needs to be done and may well be the item farthest along and most ready for Congressional/presidential attention.
petmoosie: (braids)
We'll find out what the school system thinks about this storm.

Emily got her report card today. Mostly 3s and 4s (3 is good and 4 is above and beyond; 4s are not necessarily achievable in every subject). One 2 in "Understands the role of the individual and the group in the political process". I'm not exactly sure what lies behind that standard.
petmoosie: (dc)
We're planning to watch at least a tiny bit. With Emily. The sad thing is that we're on the East Coast, and we need to get to sleep much earlier than the speech will be over.

I'm back

Dec. 8th, 2009 11:51 am
petmoosie: (braids)
And I got "And the Band Played On" from the library. it is a classic now, but it was a barn-stormer for research into AIDS and for press coverage of AIDS in the 1980s.

There is a biomedical book club that I am hoping to join. That is the book for December. Some of the other books will be more recently printed (and hence, harder to get at the library).

I will be trying to read a reasonable amount in the coming year (including some fiction). It's not good to give up on something that was an important part of my life.

Another non-fiction work that I am interested in is "Reflections on the Revolution in Europe" by Christopher Caldwell. It's about the integration or lack of integration of Muslims into modern Europe.
petmoosie: (braids)
I'm a Democrat.

Emily, [livejournal.com profile] mrmoosie and I went to a march  an event in support of the public option for health insurance reform. We were late, the bulk of the people were later. Eventually, the group paraded around the fountain. The group had had a sponsor for parading on the Mall, but at some point (maybe when it was clear that there would not be many people) the sponsor pulled out. It is probably just as well, the group would have been dwarfed by the size of the Mall. [livejournal.com profile] mrmoosie is trying to convince himself that there were 300-400 people there. I'm thinking 200. We "thronged" with them for several revolutions of the fountain. Emily was given a preprinted sign ("Standing together for Health Insurance Reform" on the front and "Thank You" on the back). We worked up a bit of a sweat (good for our personal health) and got a bit of a sunburn (bad for our personal health). Eventually, a PA system was brought out and people told their own health care horror stories.

The same group is going to try something bigger in October.

petmoosie: (dc)
The Red Line Metro train struck a person at Gallery Place. Although we only want to go as far as Union Station, mayor delays are in progress.

I am trying to convince [livejournal.com profile] mrmoosie to take a bus. He HATES the idea.

Our goal is to be near the Senate at 11:30am. It's a protest.

petmoosie: (Emily)
The technical difficulties were pretty severe, so they only *saw*, not *heard* the speech. I'm not sure that it was worth it for them.
petmoosie: (bad guy)
And I still have gardening I *want* to do today. I guess I'd better plan on doing other stuff today. Should add "good weather" tag to Things to help organize my todos.

I'm going to watch Obama on C-Span today. That'll be fun, I guess.
petmoosie: (shoes)
There seem to be hundreds of people (all civilians of one sort or another) going there, coming from there or getting ready to go there. I wonder (to myself) how many people have cycled in and out of there in the 8 years the USA has had a military presence there. Is anyone keeping track of the civilians there?
petmoosie: (braids)
"I would hope that a wise woman with the richness of her experience would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion. What is better? I … hope that better will mean a more compassionate and caring conclusion."--Sonia Sotomayor, 1994.

I would say that "better" means more likely to stand the test of time. For example, the Dred Scott decision did not stand the test of time. Laws passed after it basically reversed it. Lily Ledbetter was essentially reversed by legislation this year.

Of course, the judge's opportunity to make a decision like that is small. Most cases won't much impact beyond the people in the actual case. But the Supreme Court is supposed to be all about hearing the cases that change things.
petmoosie: (braids)
CDC has gone to Mon-Wed-Fri reporting. They expect to go to weekly reporting soon. It makes sense. School will soon be out (those disease vectors with legs will soon be separated). The warmer average temperatures will result in less effective spread. There is a need to analyze smaller data sets to figure out risk of death/hospitalization and transmission rates in different environments.

I would have done one more daily update to clear the backlog from the three-day weekend, but maybe tomorrow will be the first time that they can actually clear that backlog. The state of Wisconsin (for example) has a much higher number on its public health webpage than CDC is reporting for it.

Rift Valley fever predicted by satellite. The transmission (from mosquitoes) is so weather-dependent that satellites can observe and protect people from the disease (if they follow the advice).
petmoosie: (braids)
I am listening to the press conference about the school closing. One of the big issues is that the SATs were scheduled for this school on Saturday.
Another issue is that student privacy is being probed pretty hard, since the media would like to report the epidemiology to give an idea of the risk.

Dr. Weast just stood up and gave a strong, strong defense of student privacy. Good man. He compared it to some of the reactions in the early 80s to AIDS cases.

The medical officer explained the difference between suspect, probable and confirmed cases. She also mentioned that Atlanta is still the only place that MD can get probable cases turned into confirmed cases. The CDC was aiming to have test kits to the states on Friday, but MD doesn't have one yet and is assuming a delay at the CDC in confirming the accuracy of the test kits.

School

Apr. 30th, 2009 12:55 pm
petmoosie: (Science)
Maryland today kept two schools open. In each of those schools, there has been one probable case. (if you live near here and want details, look at Maryland's Health Department page). Each probable case has a two-step connection to travel to or from Mexico. This is probably the right call.

If schools are closed, they are advised to remain closed for 7 days.

I am still waiting for the complete testing of the school in New York. It may be that transmission was unusually easy in that environment, for some reason.


More information is available May 1.
Maryland has closed one school.
School closings are advised for 14 days. Cleaning of railings, buttons, phones and door handles is advised before reopening. (CDC).
The testing at St. Francis is not going to be complete. 88% of those tested were positive for the virus. Only severe cases or people with underlying risk conditions will be tested in NYC. CDC has a report on that cluster at its website under latest news.

petmoosie: (Science)
CDC is going to finish preparing for the seasonal flu, and develop the seed strain for the H1N1 strain. Then they will decide if they are going to ask for it to be made for the fall. They are, of course, hoping that transmission is stopped soon.
petmoosie: (bad guy)
Maryland has passed a new law, establishing two tiers of driver's licenses. One if you are in the country legally and one if you can't prove that. However, the beginning of the two-tier system isn't until June 1rst. Some of the state Senators believe that this provides a window for illegals to get a proof of residency before that date.

"Everyone east of the Rockies knows you've got until June 1rst to get a driver's license in Maryland." said Sen. Andrew Harris (R-Dist. 7).

I'm not sure I understand this. All the licenses before June 1rst, 2009 will not prove it one way or the other. When they come up for renewal, you will be asked to prove legal presence (I suppose, there was a bill for grandfathering in renewals, but the way the article was worded, I think it failed).

Nail-biter

Apr. 22nd, 2009 05:04 pm
petmoosie: (Default)
The special election is close. There is only a separation of 87 votes and 500-600 absentee ballots to be counted tomorrow.

Voting

Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:11 pm
petmoosie: (Default)
Yesterday was the special election in our district for County Council. Turnout may or may not have reached the 10% mark. It was pouring down rain for much (but not all) of the day.
petmoosie: (Default)
See this report on lead levels and SAT scores. Most of the lead levels discussed were legal under the laws in place, which have been tightened over time.

I believe that this implies that we (as a society) have not reached the full benefit available from restricting lead in the environment and eliminating lead that was applied in an earlier time. And the lead toys problem is going to be with us for a long time, even if no more toys are imported. The old toys have to be gotten out of the stream, not regifted. The paint has to somehow be removed and sequestered, not get into the regular trash stream.

Well, if we are looking for a beneficial place to spend our stimulus, removing old lead paint from buildings will be one of those.

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