Monday, December 24, 2007

The Eve of Christmas Eve 2007

Last year at this time, I was worrying about my mother, and how to take her out of the hell that was the nursing home where I had placed after a short illness left her confused, disoriented and unable to care for herself.

Mom was 91, and had been doing quite well until she fell in Nov. She developed a pleural effusion, which made her breathing more difficult. Fluid was drained from outside her lungs twice, with relief noted, as far as breathing. The thing that was her undoing, was removing her from her familiar environment, which made her confused. Added to that, was the uncaring attitude of nursing professionals who could not believe (even me, her daughter) that she did not come to the hospital from a nursing home. It is sad to think that nursing professionals could not believe that 91+ women can actually function and perform self-care tasks by themselves. I guess because they only see the ill, they don't realize that there are a whole host of elders out there in the world functioning just perfectly, thank you, that don't end up in a hospital until some minorish illness fells them, and they then need care.

Wake up people! They are elders that do quite well until they are felled by minor illness and that minor illness then leads to their downfall, inability to care for themselves and then death. As a health care professional, I want my fellow nurses to wake up and realize that we need to ask families questions about levels of functioning, and find how we can best help the elder to improve and get back to independence. If we do not, we fail as professionals.

As my mother descended into the hell of inability to care for herself and into confusion, she passed away. With all I knew, and all I tried to do, nothing helped.

I hope others have a better outcome. I hope that Social Workers, Nurses, and discharge personnel will help you, but I am afraid that won't happen.

God bless of all you who take care of your elderly parents at home. We know how hard it is, and how little support there is. Hang in there!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas greetings from the Obama family

Articles of interest

Innocent Icelandic Woman Chained, Held, Tortured by Homeland Security at Airport
link



Paul Krugman Has Housing Bubble News That Will Scare the Crap Out of You
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/#71319


Obama and Me.
by icebergslim
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/12/21/101348/30/142/424982

Electronic bracelets and criminal checks before evacuation in Texas

Texans seeking to escape the next hurricane or state emergency by evacuation bus will first be submitted to criminal background checks, the state's emergency management director says. link

This is another affront to civil liberties. What's more, once they scan you and tell you which bus to get on, what will they do with you? Minorities one place, elderly another, etc. What a nifty way to disappear people.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Volunteers needed on Dec. 21 at Audie Murphy VA Hospital

I am passing out phone cards to veterans on Dec. 21st at Audie Murphy VA. Time will be 2 pm. We will meet at the volunteer center, which is the small building to the right of the main entrance. Contact me if you wish to join in! I did this last year and it was a wonderful experience.

The bad and the ugly... is there any good news out there? Nah

Some random things I found today. The information from Alternet is not complete, I seem to be having great difficulty accessing Alternet at home. Wonder if GVTC is blocking access or if there is another reason? It's the only site I have trouble getting to load.
Any way, these items are just a sampling of the things that are bugging me. It's just tougher and tougher to get our salaries to stretch through the month, and we have even decreased expenses. We don't go out, we don't rent or buy movies, and rarely buy more than groceries. What the hell will retirement be like? I shudder to think.

The American Dream is Alive and Well ... in Finland!
By Joshua Holland, AlterNet.

But new research suggests the United States' much-ballyhooed upward mobility is a myth, and one that's slipping further from reality with each new generation. On average, younger Americans are not doing better than their parents did, it's harder to move up the economic ladder in the United States than it is in a number of other wealthy countries, and a person in today's work force is as likely to experience downward mobility as he or she is to move up.

Moreover, the single greatest predictor of how much an American will earn is how much their parents make. In short, the United States, contrary to popular belief, is not a true meritocracy, and the American worker is getting a bum deal, the worst of both worlds. Not only is a significant portion of the middle class hanging on by the narrowest of threads, not only do fewer working people have secure retirements to look forward to, not only are nearly one in seven Americans uninsured, but working people also enjoy less opportunity to pull themselves up by their bootstraps than those in a number of other advanced economies....
Americans enjoy significantly less upward mobility than citizens of a number of other industrialized nations (some of the studies can be accessed here, here and here). German workers have 1.5 times the mobility of Americans, Canada is nearly 2.5 times more mobile and Denmark is 3 times more mobile. Norway, Finland, Sweden and France (France!) are all more mobile societies than the United States. Of the countries included in the studies, the United States ranked near the bottom; only the United Kingdom came in lower....
Roughly speaking, the decrease in relative mobility from generation to generation correlates with the rise of "backlash" conservatism, the advent of Reaganomics and the series of massive changes in industrial relations and other policies that people loosely refer to as the "era of globalization."...
Sawhill looked at the relationship between education and mobility (PDF) and concluded that "at virtually every level, education in America tends to perpetuate rather than compensate for existing inequalities." She pointed to three reasons for that.

First, we have a relatively weak K-12 system. "American students perform poorly on international assessments," she wrote. "Colleges are forced to provide remedial work to a large share of entering freshmen, and employers complain about workers' basic skills." A society with a weak education system will, by definition, be one in which the advantages of class and family background loom large.

Second, the U.S. education system is largely funded through state and local property taxes, which means that the quality of a kid's education depends on the wealth of the community in which he or she grows up. This, too, helps replicate parents' economic status in their kids.

Finally, Sawhill notes, in the United States, unlike other advanced economies, "access both to a quality preschool experience and to higher education continues to depend quite directly on family resources."...The decline in organized labor and solid, good-paying manufacturing jobs is another factor. Those jobs once represented a ladder;...

SNIP---

The article below is true and sums up my feelings that we are being had by ALL the politicians.

Why the Democrats Could Lose

But the smug Democratic hierarchy may be inviting defeat, again, by ignoring the fact that many Americans want leadership that appeals to them on the higher plane of principle. Instead, Democrats often treat Americans more like consumers than citizens, selling them new social programs rather than articulating an uplifting national cause.

Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York summed up this consumer-over-citizen approach when she announced her health care plan on Sept. 17:

"We can talk all we want about freedom and opportunity, about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but what does all that mean to a mother or father who can't take a sick child to the doctor?" [Boston Globe, Sept. 18, 2007]

Perhaps a different question might be: why would a presidential candidate see the founding principles of the United States as somehow at odds with the desire of parents to want health care for their children?

With her dubious dichotomy, Sen. Clinton suggests that it’s an either-or situation – and that the founding principles must take a backseat to health-care policy.

One outgrowth of this pragmatism-not-principle approach is that national Democrats have shied away from rallying the American people around the ideals of the Republic, even when they have been under assault by Bush and his administration.

These Democratic leaders don’t seem to think that ephemeral notions – like checks and balances, the rule of law, and inalienable rights – matter that much to the average Joe. In this view, health insurance and other social benefits should trump all.



SNIP----
And then this....and I am old enough to remember recession.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks sank on Tuesday after the Federal Reserve trimmed interest rates rather than slashing them, letting down investors who fear the economy might slip into recession unless the central bank becomes more aggressive.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The hell with the NIE, more negativity on Iran

This is the validation that will be used over and over to make Bush's case to invade Iran in 2009. Mark my words.
The quote is from Secy Gates:



He said "since that government now acknowledges the quality of American intelligence assessments, I assume that it also will embrace as valid American intelligence assessments" that Iran is funding and training of militia groups in Iraq; deploying lethal weapons and technology to both Iraq and Afghanistan; supporting terrorist organizations -- like Hezbollah and Hamas -- that have murdered thousands of innocent civilians; and continued research and development of medium-range ballistic missiles that can carry weapons of mass destruction.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I was listening to the Ed Schultz show this morning and something a caller said really struck me. She stated that her 23 yr old daughter had decided to support Dennis Kucinich for President because he touched her. When she asked her daughter what she meant, her daughter told her that she remembered her mother's story about how she cried and cried when President Kennedy was shot, and that she wanted to have a President like that in her life time, a President that people could love and and a President that touched her as Kennedy had touched her mother. That was why she was supporting Dennis.

Well, that sure made me think. In my lifetime, what President ever gave us hope, puled us together, and rallied us to greatness as a nation? Besides President Kennedy, I don't think so.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran That the White House Doesn't Want You to Know

For those of us who are TCU grads, we can be happy that Mr. Leverett, actually remembered one value hopefully reinforced at TCU....ethics. At least he finally saw the light.

Below, the introduction to the article, please use the link read the remainder of the article.

In the years after 9/11, Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann worked at the highest levels of the Bush administration as Middle East policy experts for the National Security Council. Mann conducted secret negotiations with Iran. Leverett traveled with Colin Powell and advised Condoleezza Rice. They each played crucial roles in formulating policy for the region leading up to the war in Iraq. But when they left the White House, they left with a growing sense of alarm -- not only was the Bush administration headed straight for war with Iran, it had been set on this course for years. That was what people didn't realize. It was just like Iraq, when the White House was so eager for war it couldn't wait for the UN inspectors to leave. The steps have been many and steady and all in the same direction. And now things are getting much worse. We are getting closer and closer to the tripline, they say.


Link to article