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Another Tale of Two Cities
Author: BobR    Date: 02/20/2008 13:05:00

Perusing some headlines about Iraq and the deplorable conditions there, I was becoming more and more disgusted. We have turned a once modern city (and country) into a 3rd world cesspool. What lack of vision and leadership allowed this to happen?

At the same time, I was getting this creeping feeling of familiarity. All at once it struck me - Atlanta is creeping towards a microcosm of the situation in Iraq! Allow me to explain:

Medical Care Problems:
This was the Iraq headline, and the quotes: Iraqi Medical System Wrecked by War
Already a troubled system, Iraqi medical care has fallen to the brink of collapse since the U.S.-led invasion five years ago..... Specialists are hard to find. At one point, Baghdad — a city of more than 5 million — had no neurosurgeon, said Dr. Hussein al-Hilli, director of the Ibn Albitar Hospital in Baghdad.... Like so many areas of life in Iraq, the health care crisis is vast and complex, and there is no quick solution to improve conditions for doctors and patients.

This was the Atlanta headline, and the quotes: Grady near bankruptcy
The state's largest public hospital is near bankruptcy, struggling to pay its bills and overrun with faulty budget strategies.... Grady treats the lion's share of metro Atlanta's poor. In 2000 alone indigent care cost Grady $172.9 million, according to Agwunobi's report....

Not the same thing? True, although the end result could well be the same. Okay, let's try...

How We Treat The Poor:
Iraq: Iraq police to round up street beggars
The Iraqi Interior Ministry has ordered police to round up beggars, homeless and mentally disabled people from Baghdad's streets so insurgents can't use them as suicide bombers.... The people detained in the Baghdad sweep will be taken to social welfare institutions and psychiatric hospitals that can provide shelter and care for them, Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Abdul-Karim Khalaf said.

Atlanta: Atlanta Lawmakers Approve Panhandling Ban
ATLANTA — A ban on panhandling near downtown Atlanta's (search) tourist attractions was approved by the City Council (search) on Monday, despite hundreds of protesters who called the measure an attack on the poor.... the plan — approved 12-3 — sparked opposition from activists for the poor and civil rights groups, who complained the ban would unfairly affect black males....


Hmmm... in this case, it actually seems like Baghdad is doing better than Atlanta... One more:

The Water Supply:
Iraq: Half of Baghdad without water
Power failures and maintenance have disrupted running water supplies to almost half of the capital, Baghdad, home to nearly 6 million people.... A Baghdad Municipality source said the project supplying drinking water to Rasafa, the eastern half of Baghdad, was temporarily idle.... The source, refusing to be named, said running water supplies may not resume for a few days.

Atlanta: Do I need to even bother posting a link? We all know about Atlanta's water woes.


As a disclaimer, I am not trying to trivialize the suffering in Baghdad. Certainly it's in its own league that NO American city can ever understand. Rather, I am trying to raise points in the hopes that they will provoke thought. What are the similarities?... What are the differences? The biggest that stand out to me are that GA is run by Republicans (like the Administration that invaded Iraq)... and Atlanta didn't get to where it is by being bombed.

We have the option of voting the bums out on election day. What are the Iraqis' options?

228 comments (Latest Comment: 02/21/2008 04:33:25 by livingonli)
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Comment by Will in Chicago on 02/20/2008 13:19:01
FIRST!!!



BobR, today's blog entry reminds me of a story that was reportedly first told by Confucius.



A man saw a family on the road, and asked where they were going. The head of the family told him that they were going to another province.



The man said "Wait, they have tigers there!"



"Yes, they have tigers there." the head of the family replied. "However, we have bad government here. Bad government is worse than tigers."

Comment by Will in Chicago on 02/20/2008 13:25:11
And now for something truly evil and horrid. One of the members at UNN posted this.



Iraq war vet faces trial on charge of raping 3-month-old girl



I don't know anything beyond what is in the story, but maybe some counseling would have found some problems in this man and this tragedy could be prevented.

Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 13:50:19
Good blog Bobr. Sad but very good.



I would however venture to say that the lower 9th ward may be able to compare or at the very least identify, to baghdad tho... here we are probably the richest country in the world... aww hell, you know what I mean...

Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 13:51:51
Quote by will in chicago: And now for something truly evil and horrid. One of the members at UNN posted this.



Iraq war vet faces trial on charge of raping 3-month-old girl



I don't know anything beyond what is in the story, but maybe some counseling would have found some problems in this man and this tragedy could be prevented.
my god.



words fail me.



Comment by Will in Chicago on 02/20/2008 13:57:23
Quote by Raine:
Quote by will in chicago: And now for something truly evil and horrid. One of the members at UNN posted this.



Iraq war vet faces trial on charge of raping 3-month-old girl



I don't know anything beyond what is in the story, but maybe some counseling would have found some problems in this man and this tragedy could be prevented.
my god.



words fail me.





Same here, save that I am keeping that poor child in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that she can recover from her injuries.



The UNN Daily Headlines are taking shape.





Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 14:04:12
We are watching the space shuttle landing.

Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 14:11:54
Momma hanging out with some real A listers last night! :clap:

Comment by m-hadley on 02/20/2008 14:13:53
Quote by Raine: Good blog Bobr. Sad but very good.



I would however venture to say that the lower 9th ward may be able to compare or at the very least identify, to baghdad tho... here we are probably the richest country in the world... aww hell, you know what I mean...




Raine, BobR, Will, and others,

I must nominate the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota as a depolrable example of third world conditions within our own borders. If you all haven't already read Paul Krugamn's column in Monday's NYTimes (Poverty is Poison) I highly recommend it, but have a box of kleenex nearby, if you are anything like me, it will make you cry. Also if you'd like to see some vivid images of life on Pine Ridge, I recommend Aaron Huey's web site - he has some amazing photos (not just of Pine Ridge, but of other countries, too). Mornin' everybody - Obama's on a roll... :)

Comment by Will in Chicago on 02/20/2008 14:17:34
I will read it, m-hadley.



Sadly, we have failed to live up to our true promise as a nation. Yet, we can always try to work towards fulfilling that promise.



Comment by Will in Chicago on 02/20/2008 14:19:27
If Producer Chris speed it up, the man would have sounded like Dino from the Flintstones.

Comment by m-hadley on 02/20/2008 14:23:35
Quote by will in chicago: I will read it, m-hadley.



Sadly, we have failed to live up to our true promise as a nation. Yet, we can always try to work towards fulfilling that promise.





Will,

Please just call me faye or MF Thanks mucho!

Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 14:23:53
Right Wing Hater, who usually posts over on C&L is a member here at Four Freedoms as well. RWH has given us permission to post his daily headlines.



"Obama wins big in Hawaii: Huge turnout overwhelms Democrats." From the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. - http://starbulletin.com/breaking/breaking.php?id=6743

With 100 percent of precincts counted, Obama had 28,347 votes, or 75.7 percent, to 8,835, or 23.6 percent, for U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

The tally totaled more than 37,000 votes, showing that turnout far surpassed even the highest estimates of Democratic Party officials.



Barack Obama is the Winner in Wisconsin by 17 Percentage Points. That's Nine in a Row. He Also Crushes Clinton in Hawaii (With Around 75% of the Vote), Which Makes It Ten. Hillary, Don't Destroy the Democratic Party, Please.

Take a Seat on the Supreme Court in an Obama Presidency (How Does Chief Justice Sound?) Or Become the Majority Leader of the Senate, And Let's Move On. We Need to Get the Republicans Out of the White House.

- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23232655/



Hillary Clinton for Supreme Court Justice - http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/editorblog/051

And John Edwards as Attorney General, and Al Gore as Senior Adviser to Energy Secretary, Biden/Richardson as Secretary of State



Deval Patrick: "I asked Obama to use my words" - http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Deval_Patrick_I_asked_Obama_to_0219.html

Can we stop with his ridiculous 'plagiarism' nonsense now??? Our attention should be on the 'hula hoop express'....



Why solar? The numbers add up for solar power, whether you're in Seattle or Albuquerque. - http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/2/17/184235/277

Solar cheaper than coal and falling - http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/12/23/2919/8613



What should the next (Democratic) president do about Cuba? - http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/election08/080

Reason #142,857 why we need a Democratic president in 2009: The possibilities of Cuba. As you may have read this morning, Fidel Castro will not accept a new term.

The next U.S. president has to walk lightly on a number of issues (while ignoring the rabid old-time Cuban presence in southern Florida that has dominated U.S. politics for the last, well, 50 years), but reaching out a hand to Raul Castro and his successor. And John McCain as president would stall or destroy any chance of progress.



The Right Strengthens its Hold on McCain, the Media Refuse to Notice - http://http//www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/the-right-strengthens-its_b_87231.html

What is it going to take for the corporate media to snap out of its starry-eyed -- stuck in 2000 -- view of John McCain? Despite an avalanche of evidence showing that McCain the Maverick has long ago been replaced by McCain the Pandering Pawn of the Party's Right Wing, the press refuses to believe its own eyes.

Its a classic, the right wingnut noise machine villifies McCain...and then suddenly they'll 'have a change of heart' at the 'prospect of a (insert slander BS here) as president'..... their followers are exactly who PT Barnum referred to 'There's a sucker born every minute'



Homeland Security Won't Explain Why the Mexican Border Wall Bypasses the Rich and Connected - http://www.alternet.org/story/77320/

TX resident Eloisa Tamez wants to know why her land is getting a border wall, while a nearby golf course and resort remain untouched.While the border wall will go through her backyard and effectively destroy her home, it will stop at the edge of the River Bend Resort and golf course, a popular Winter Texan retreat two miles down the road. The wall starts up again on the other side of the resort.

In this area everyone knows the Hunts. Dallas billionaire Ray L. Hunt and his relatives are one of the wealthiest oil and gas dynasties in the world. Hunt, a close friend of President George W. Bush, recently donated $35 million to Southern Methodist University to help build Bush's presidential library. In 2001, Bush made him a member of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, where Hunt received a security clearance and access to classified intelligence.



Under Republican Rule: US Cops Go Out of Control; US Citizens No Longer Safe - http://existentialistcowboy.blogspot.com/2008/02/us-cops-go-out-of-control-us-citizens.html

I grew up believing 'police officers' were sworn to 'protect and serve'. Since the GOP believes it has installed a dictator, the US has become 'Thug Nation', defending and practicing torture abroad while, at home, cops run wild and out of control. They apparently believe that martial law is a 'done deal' though Bush's prediction --a terrorist attack that will make 911 'pale by comparison' --hasn't yet come to pass!



Legacy of the Big 5 Corporate Media Kingdoms: Media Work Force Sinks to 15-Year Low; 'U.S. media employment in December fell to a 15-year low (886,900), slammed by the slumping newspaper industry'; How is the media supposed to cover the bad guys with fewer people? - http://adage.com/article?article_id=125141



Right Wing Commentator Supports Lieberman as McCain Vice Presidential Candidate - http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080219/COMMENTARY/879984502



Give Dennis Kucinich His Due: 'In the US, more than 100,000 people came to New York City to challenge the Bush/Cheney rush to war--and one of the speakers, one of the very few elected officials to speak that day, was Dennis Kucinich.' - http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080303/cobble



Bush Crime Family Legacy: The head of the audit and investigative arm of the US Congress announced his resignation Friday, citing "real limitations" on what he could do. "As Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO, there are real limitations on what I can do and say in connection with key public policy issues, especially issues that directly relate to GAO's client -- the Congress," Walker said in a statement. He did not elaborate but Walker last year issued an unusually downbeat assessment of his country's future in a report that drew parallels with the end of the Roman empire.

- http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iff8NFNVugqI5oukb-nd55ai2SAw



Children Are Forty Percent of Cluster Bomb Casualties. Hillary Clinton Voted Against a Senate Amendment to Ban the Use of Cluster Bombs in Civilian Areas. Barack Obama Voted to Ban Them. Which Vote Better Represents Feminist Values and Caring About Children? - http://www.tv3.co.nz/News/NationalNews/Childrenarefortypercentofclusterbombcasualties/tabid/184/articleID/46598/cat/64/Default.aspx



Latest Poll: McCain Beats Clinton, Obama Beats McCain - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-wiener/latest-poll-mccain-beats_b_87213.html



The Bush Big Oil economy: Crude Oil Prices to soar Above $100 a barrel - http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/business/AP-Oil-Prices.html?_r=1&oref=slogin



Reid, Pelosi Keeping Congress in Pro Forma Session, Preventing Bush End-Run on FISA, and Orwellian 'Protect America Act' BS - tp://www.politico.com/blogs/thecrypt/0208/Democrats_set_pro_forma_sessions_to_avoid_special_session_on_FISA.html

Remember House members....you run in 08 again....

Comment by Will in Chicago on 02/20/2008 14:24:45
As we could use some positive/interesting news, here is a story from the Christian Science Monitor: Across the Milky Way, more planet Earths?

Comment by velveeta jones on 02/20/2008 14:27:25
Good morning.



Oh, Will, that story you posted has truly depressed me. Gads! If true, I do hope that man rots away in a dark stinky prison in hell!! And I pray that child recovers.

Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 14:28:42
Michelle obama was born in 1964? Wow. She is young.

Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 14:30:18
I saw that interview with Chris Matthews it was very insulting. HE really attacked the person like a dog going in for the kill.. I think he even drooled more than usual.

Comment by velveeta jones on 02/20/2008 14:33:19
Faye, that article also depressed me.



Ya'll are dead set on keeping Velveeta close to the fainting couch this morning! And I start my first day of *actual* work for *actual* money later this morning.



*As opposed to the laying about on the porch, sipping tea and doodling kind.

Comment by BobR on 02/20/2008 14:37:38
Quote by velveeta jones: Good morning.



Oh, Will, that story you posted has truly depressed me. Gads! If true, I do hope that man rots away in a dark stinky prison in hell!! And I pray that child recovers.


I read that wondering how much of his actions were a result of his experiences in Iraq.

Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 14:39:56
CAller ... :Joe Biden: NO



poor momma no KO for her.

:P

Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 14:41:18
Quote by velveeta jones: Faye, that article also depressed me.



Ya'll are dead set on keeping Velveeta close to the fainting couch this morning! And I start my first day of *actual* work for *actual* money later this morning.



*As opposed to the laying about on the porch, sipping tea and doodling kind.


HEre is something to cheer you up:



Daffodils and Forsythia are blooming here in Atlanta!


Comment by Will in Chicago on 02/20/2008 14:43:16
Maybe Dick Morris can bet some toe nails and O'Reilly can beat a loofah or a falafel. (I hear he is still trying to figure out which is which. Here is a clue - a falafel does not work well for bathing and a loofah really has no taste. But then again, the same can be said for Dick Morris and O"Reilly.)

Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 14:43:35
Oh, the fake Michelle obama outrage... :rolleyes:



I love how Billo is tell people what they should be proud of now. What a tool.

Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 14:44:54
Brit hume is really losing it!!!

Comment by m-hadley on 02/20/2008 14:49:43
Quote by velveeta jones: Faye, that article also depressed me.



Ya'll are dead set on keeping Velveeta close to the fainting couch this morning! And I start my first day of *actual* work for *actual* money later this morning.



*As opposed to the laying about on the porch, sipping tea and doodling kind.






Velveeta,

Good luck as you start your new job - I hope it goes really well and proves to be more than just a paycheck (as all good jobs should be.)



Cheers,

mfaye

Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 14:57:16
New information! Momma in DC?!?!?!

Comment by velveeta jones on 02/20/2008 14:57:24
What? When?

Comment by velveeta jones on 02/20/2008 14:58:12
Could it be......................



APRIL 26

APRIL 26

APRIL 26

APRIL 26



(keep repeating that so it sinks in to Chris)

Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 14:58:53
Well Mala, you will certainly have to represent us!

Comment by shelaghc on 02/20/2008 14:59:50
G'morning all.



I need to adjust my commute to add a looooong walk across the parking lot every day.



The lot here is set up for all cars to park in a line and leave their keys for the attendants. The upside is that at the end of the day you have the chance of your car being near the front of the lot even when you leave if you parked at the back in the morning. The downside, generally, is that you have to find your keys and your car when you leave.



Unless, like me, you have a car with a broken seat that's very hard to adjust forward if it's been released all the way back. I put a little sign that says "don't move the seat" on the dashboard to keep that from happening.



For me, the upshot is that the parking guys don't like to move my car so they save me a parking place behind a pole so they don't have to move it all day long. It's out of their way and I take my keys with me.



The pole is waaaaaaay on the other side of the lot so I have to add at least five minutes to my commute daily just for getting from the car to the door. On cold snowy days, that sucks rocks.



OTOH, I guess I get a little exercise every day, eh?



Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 15:00:20
3/12/2008 - Steph Visits 3WT in Washington, DC!

BlackFinn Restaurant and Saloon

4901 Fairmont Ave

Bethesda, MD 20814

(202) 895-5000

6pm to 9pm

BlackFinn Restaurant and Saloon in Bethesda, MD



:kickcan:

Comment by shelaghc on 02/20/2008 15:01:12
Quote by velveeta jones: Could it be......................



APRIL 26

APRIL 26

APRIL 26

APRIL 26



(keep repeating that so it sinks in to Chris)




If that happens, I won't need to go to Ohio next week or feel badly if I can't afford it (which it's looking like I won't).



Woohoo!



Fingers crossed!



EDIT:



Uncrossing fingers.



:(



Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 15:01:40
:cry:



Why can't atlanta have ANY progressive Radio???

Comment by livingonli on 02/20/2008 15:01:59
Good morning everyone.



Was very sleepy last night and am still sleepy.



Ah, second shift is brutal if you want to sleep at a normal hour.



AAP is still down. It was briefly back up last night. I have to coax mgm to come over and join us for the party.

Comment by livingonli on 02/20/2008 15:03:24
Quote by Raine: 3/12/2008 - Steph Visits 3WT in Washington, DC!

BlackFinn Restaurant and Saloon

4901 Fairmont Ave

Bethesda, MD 20814

(202) 895-5000

6pm to 9pm

BlackFinn Restaurant and Saloon in Bethesda, MD



:kickcan:






Doesn't help me. It's in the middle of a week I'm working. I already got my April vacation time approved. Today I better get down to looking at hotels.

Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 15:05:23
Mala will be our Fourfreedoms REP!

Comment by wickedpam on 02/20/2008 15:06:08
Quote by Raine: Mala will be our Fourfreedoms REP!






What am I repping?





Morning btw - :hug:

Comment by BobR on 02/20/2008 15:07:47
Quote by shelaghc: G'morning all.



I need to adjust my commute to add a looooong walk across the parking lot every day.



The lot here is set up for all cars to park in a line and leave their keys for the attendants. The upside is that at the end of the day you have the chance of your car being near the front of the lot even when you leave if you parked at the back in the morning. The downside, generally, is that you have to find your keys and your car when you leave.



Unless, like me, you have a car with a broken seat that's very hard to adjust forward if it's been released all the way back. I put a little sign that says "don't move the seat" on the dashboard to keep that from happening.



For me, the upshot is that the parking guys don't like to move my car so they save me a parking place behind a pole so they don't have to move it all day long. It's out of their way and I take my keys with me.



The pole is waaaaaaay on the other side of the lot so I have to add at least five minutes to my commute daily just for getting from the car to the door. On cold snowy days, that sucks rocks.



OTOH, I guess I get a little exercise every day, eh?



Probably not the most scenic walk, but it will be good for you in the long run.

Comment by wickedpam on 02/20/2008 15:07:57
Quote by Raine: 3/12/2008 - Steph Visits 3WT in Washington, DC!

BlackFinn Restaurant and Saloon

4901 Fairmont Ave

Bethesda, MD 20814

(202) 895-5000

6pm to 9pm

BlackFinn Restaurant and Saloon in Bethesda, MD



:kickcan:




damit! I can't get to Bethesda! Why couldn't it be in VA! :grumble:



Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 15:07:59
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Raine: Mala will be our Fourfreedoms REP!






What am I repping?





Morning btw - :hug:
Momma is going to DC on March 12. Details below!



Comment by BobR on 02/20/2008 15:08:22
Quote by livingonli:





Doesn't help me. It's in the middle of a week I'm working. I already got my April vacation time approved. Today I better get down to looking at hotels.


I thought we already picked the Holiday Inn @ Key Bridge?

Comment by wickedpam on 02/20/2008 15:08:57
Quote by livingonli:
Quote by Raine: 3/12/2008 - Steph Visits 3WT in Washington, DC!

BlackFinn Restaurant and Saloon

4901 Fairmont Ave

Bethesda, MD 20814

(202) 895-5000

6pm to 9pm

BlackFinn Restaurant and Saloon in Bethesda, MD



:kickcan:






Doesn't help me. It's in the middle of a week I'm working. I already got my April vacation time approved. Today I better get down to looking at hotels.






I thought we decided on a hotel

Comment by wickedpam on 02/20/2008 15:11:10
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Raine: Mala will be our Fourfreedoms REP!






What am I repping?





Morning btw - :hug:
Momma is going to DC on March 12. Details below!





I saw that - unfortunatly I can't make that. I wish they had picked a weekend and something not so Maryland.



Comment by livingonli on 02/20/2008 15:11:26
Quote by BobR:
Quote by livingonli:





Doesn't help me. It's in the middle of a week I'm working. I already got my April vacation time approved. Today I better get down to looking at hotels.


I thought we already picked the Holiday Inn @ Key Bridge?


Oops. Silly me. Still waking up. Still looking for the best deal for that hotel. Of course with AAP down, I can't PM HBK and remind her to pop over here again and give her my details since I probably would be driving her at least one way.

Comment by Will in Chicago on 02/20/2008 15:12:06
I understand that Senator Clinton moved up her speech to time with Obama's speech, so she should not complain if the networks went to the speech of the winner. Mind you, I am sure she will grumble.

Comment by wickedpam on 02/20/2008 15:12:28
Liv - I'm guessing AAP is still down?

Comment by shelaghc on 02/20/2008 15:12:32
Quote by will in chicago: As we could use some positive/interesting news, here is a story from the Christian Science Monitor: Across the Milky Way, more planet Earths?




For anyone who hasn't yet, you *must* rent a TV series called Firefly and/or a movie called Serenity ASAP. Considering the state of things with our debt to China and this article it really does seem as if Joss Whedon, the creator of both, is either extraordinarily insightful or frighteningly prophetic.

Comment by wickedpam on 02/20/2008 15:14:05
Lilly Tomlin!



From Search for Intelligent Signs in the Universe - Saw that at the Kennedy Center it was Awesome!

Comment by Will in Chicago on 02/20/2008 15:14:28
Quote by livingonli:
Quote by BobR:
Quote by livingonli:





Doesn't help me. It's in the middle of a week I'm working. I already got my April vacation time approved. Today I better get down to looking at hotels.


I thought we already picked the Holiday Inn @ Key Bridge?


Oops. Silly me. Still waking up. Still looking for the best deal for that hotel. Of course with AAP down, I can't PM HBK and remind her to pop over here again and give her my details since I probably would be driving her at least one way.




Over at UNN, I did a thread on AAP's problems and rolled out the welcome mat. If HBK pops in over at UNN, I will ask her to contact you.



Comment by Raine on 02/20/2008 15:16:34
HEya Will, what about you? Any chance we can get you to DC?

Comment by livingonli on 02/20/2008 15:18:48
Quote by wickedpam: Liv - I'm guessing AAP is still down?


It was up briefly last night but when I got home it wouldn't load up again.



HBK is a member of Admiral Rican's board. It may not be active but I may still be able to PM her there.