There are good reasons to take vitamin D supplements. This may be the best reason of all."Multiple studies have reviewed vitamin D’s impact on COVID-19, according to Mayo Clinic. A study of 489 people discovered those who were deficient in the hormone were more likely to test positive for the coronavirus than those who had normal vitamin D levels.A small, randomized study saw that only one of 50 people hospitalized with COVID-19 who were administered a high dose of a type of vitamin D, calcifediol, required treatment in the intensive care unit. That’s compared to the group of 26 people who were not given calcifediol in which 13 of them had to be treated in the intensive care unit."www.ajc.com/life/study-vitamin-d-deficiency-found-in-over-80-of-covid-19-patients/A6W5TCSNIBBLNNU...... See MoreSee Less
Conservatives claim to "back the blue" and to support "law and order," but the police and lawmakers were the primary targets of the January 6 insurrectionists. DC police describe their traumatic ordeal.“Everything they did was in a military fashion,” [Cmdr. Robert Glover of the D.C. police] said, saying he witnessed rioters apparently using hand signs and waving flags to signal positions, and using what he described as “military formations.” They took high positions and talked over wireless communications.Authorities would later learn that some former members of the military and off-duty police officers from across the country were in the pro-Trump crowd. Glover called it disturbing that off-duty police “would knowingly and intentionally come to the United States Capitol and engage in this riotous and criminal behavior against their brothers and sisters in uniform, who are upholding their oaths of office.”Following is the harrowing story of the police officer crushed by a door between the mob and fellow officers: D.C. officer Daniel Hodges, assigned to a civil-disturbance unit, entered the Capitol grounds with the riot well underway. He was quickly separated from colleagues, and someone in the mob grabbed his radio.The 32-year-old waded through the hostile crowd, only to be knocked down. Someone tried to gouge his eyes and others piled on top of him before a fellow officer wrested him free. He reached the Capitol and got inside. With no assignment and no way to find his supervisor, he went “looking for work.”He found it at the West Terrace doors. He had a gas mask and put it on, then worked his way to the front of the police line. He tried to hold the rioters back “as best I could,” he said.Shortly after 3 p.m., Hodges got caught between the interior glass doors, sandwiched by rioters pushing forward and by police behind him pushing the other way. His arms were trapped, then his head, on the rioter’s side. “I really couldn’t defend myself at that point,” he said.A rioter grabbed his gas mask from the bottom and shoved upward, tearing it off his helmet. Another took his baton “and started beating me in the head with it.” He took face-fulls of bear spray with no way to shield himself, and a video captured his agonizing groans and twisted face as the assault continued before he was finally freed and pulled back.“The zealotry of these people is absolutely unreal,” said Hodges, who suffered from a severe headache but otherwise emerged unhurt. “There were points where I thought it was possible I could either die or become seriously disfigured.”Still, Hodges said, he did not want to turn to his gun. “I didn’t want to be the guy who starts shooting, because I knew they had guns — we had been seizing guns all day,” he said. “And the only reason I could think of that they weren’t shooting us was they were waiting for us to shoot first. And if it became a firefight between a couple hundred officers and a couple thousand demonstrators, we would have lost.”www.washingtonpost.com/politics/capitol-police/2021/01/07/fa3114b8-5114-11eb-83e3-322644d82356_st...... See MoreSee Less
Fiona Hill was a compelling witness in the first impeachment proceedings. She is a historian with a deep knowledge of authoritarian regimes in Eastern Europe and Russia. Hill was Trump’s top Russia adviser from 2017 to 2019 and also served on the National Security Council. She writes in this article that the idea to storm the Capitol was a "self-coup" planned well in advance."Trump disguised what he was doing by operating in plain sight, talking openly about his intent. He normalized his actions so people would accept them. I’ve been studying authoritarian regimes for three decades, and I know the signs of a coup when I see them. [...]The storming of the Capitol building on January 6 was the culmination of a series of actions and events taken or instigated by Trump so he could retain the presidency that together amount to an attempt at a self-coup. This was not a one-off or brief episode. Trump declared “election fraud” immediately on November 4 even while the votes were still being counted. He sought to recount and rerun the election so that he, not Joe Biden, was the winner. In Turkey, in 2015, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan successfully did the same thing; he had called elections to strengthen his presidency, but his party lost its majority in the Parliament. He challenged the results in the courts, marginalized the opposition and forced what he blatantly called a “re-run election.” He tried again in the Istanbul mayoral election in 2019 but was thwarted.There’s a standard coup “checklist” analysts use to evaluate coups, and we can use it to assess Trump’s moves to prevent the peaceful transfer of executive power. To successfully usurp or hold power, you need to control the military and paramilitary units, communications, the judiciary, government institutions, and the legislature; and mobilize popular support."Read the article to see how clearly this applies to what Trump has done. "As in the case of other coup attempts, the president’s actions have put us on the brink of civil war. Trump did not overturn the election results, but, just as he intended, he disrupted the peaceful democratic transition of executive power.Unless the Big Lie is thoroughly refuted, we can expect more attempts to subvert the constitutional order from Trump’s supporters—and we still have to get through the January 20 inauguration. The president’s actions and his falsehoods have shattered America’s democratic norms, exacerbated its political divisions and put people’s lives at risk. [...]If we are to restore democratic norms and make sure this does not happen again, these congressional Republicans will have to take personal responsibility for their actions in support of Trump’s coup attempt. They must tell the truth to their constituents about the election and what the president tried to do in January 2021. They owe it to the people they represent as well as the country they serve."More from Fiona Hill in the Comments.www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/01/11/capitol-riot-self-coup-trump-fiona-hill-457549... See MoreSee Less
We wanted to finish this week on a positive note. What better way than to share a story about veterans working to clear up DC after the attack on the Capitol?"When Capitol Hill was in chaos on Jan. 6, David Smith was there.Smith, 40, was distributing hand-warmers to homeless people nearby when the siege started. He watched in disbelief as a menacing mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.“It was pretty gut wrenching to see,” said Smith, who retired less than a month ago after serving in the Navy for 13 years.As a veteran, he was especially horrified, he said, to learn that his fellow vets participated in the insurrection, including Jake Angeli, also known as the “QAnon Shaman,” and Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed in the Capitol.“That was a dagger to the heart,” said Smith, who was a combat medic in Afghanistan. “Just because you served in the military doesn’t give you impunity to storm the Capitol building.”On his commute home to Germantown, Md., Smith spotted remnants of Wednesday’s riot strewn around the streets. Trash littered Pennsylvania Avenue and adjacent areas, and signs and stickers with racist and fascist symbols and messages were “all over the place,” he recalled.Smith decided he wanted to do something about it, calling on a group of fellow veterans and volunteers to do a thorough sweep of the area around the Capitol and downtown D.C. Beyond ridding the area of hateful markings, Smith hoped to reinforce that the veterans who participated in the siege do not represent them all.On Jan. 10, close to 200 volunteers congregated at McPherson Square, trash bags in hand. They fanned out and spent two hours collecting “Stop the Steal” and other pro-Trump paraphernalia that had been littered during the riots, and also used scrapers and adhesive remover to peel off signs and stickers featuring logos and symbols from various neo-Nazi and alt-right groups.“There was so much good energy, especially in the fallout of something so negative,” Smith said.Volunteers divided into five groups, each led by a veteran, who guided them along a mapped route to the Capitol.“It was like a massive street sweep,” said Smith. “We left no stone unturned. It was amazing.”Smith arranged the cleanup operation on social media through an organization he started in June called Continue to Serve. His goal is to create a community of veterans who stand up for justice and equality.“We want to empower like-minded veterans to get busy in activism and community service,” he said."This Martin Luther King weekend why not find a community activity you can participate in that will bring you closer to your neighbors? The United Way has events going on all weekend. www.unitedwaytriangle.org/mlk-day-of-service-2021/Or go to Activate Good to see what they have going on this week.https://activategood.org/dignityweek/ ... See MoreSee Less
1. Gallon zip lock bags 2. Trash bags 3. Toilet paper (4-pack) 4. Small dish detergent 5. Cleaning sponges 1. Gallon zip lock bags 2. Bar soap (1 regular bar or 2 small bars) 3. Shampoo (2 hotel size or 2 small bottle) 4. Lotion (hotel size or large container that fits in the bag) 5. Deodorant ( ...
This week, SCOTUS voted to require women to attend an in- person appointment with a doctor in order to obtain abortion drugs. Politica NC believes women have the right to make their own medical choices and that the government should not be involved in those decisions. This legal decision, overruling those by lower courts, is a deliberate attempt to limit women's reproductive options by an increasingly conservative court. We hope that the incoming administration will have a different view.In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justice Elena Kagan, quoted an earlier opinion by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a staunch defender of abortion rights who Barrett replaced on the court."Because the FDA's policy imposes an unnecessary, unjustifiable, irrational, and undue burden on women seeking an abortion during the current pandemic, and because the Government has not demonstrated irreparable harm from the injunction, I dissent," Sotomayor wrote.Sotomayor and Kagan signaled their hope that the Biden administration will "exhibit greater care and empathy for women seeking some measure of control over their health and reproductive lives in these unsettling times."www.cnn.com/2021/01/12/politics/supreme-court-medication-abortion/index.html... See MoreSee Less
The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted the Trump administration's request to reinstate long-standing restrictions for patients seeking to obtain a drug used for abortions early in pregnancy -- with the three liberals dissenting in a potential preview of a new chapter in the court's rulings on the proc...