Anita Hill, I’d Like to Join Your Fan Club

After seeing the trashing of a woman, again, all over my television and computer screen I felt it time to say something substantial.  School has me wrapped up in a lot right now with cardiac tamponades and tension pneumothoracies, EKGs and spinal cord injuries, so it takes something a big deal to pull me away from my pit of nursing school.

I think about it this way, “What would I do?”  I’d probably go Bjork on his wife and land myself in jail.  Anita Hill has dealt with the entire ordeal, from the moment her story was leaked through this very second with dignity and grace, publicly anyway, I have no idea what she does at home but I would venture to guess, it involves punching bags (or it would if it was me).  So Anita Hill deserves something more than just our respect, she deserves a defensive wall of Progressive women shielding her from further attack.  If we allow the abusers to continually abuse this will never end and Anita Hill will just be another name on the long list of those women who spoke up and paid for it.  She deserves public apologies from the Republican Party, “Justice” Thomas, AND most importantly now his clueless wife.

Anita Hill, I’d like to put my name in for your fan club.  For you and many women who have suffered like you, it is time we say “Enough!”

Harvest and the Thinning of the Veil

It is October and as history tells us, harvest season brings many treats, feelings, and festivals.  Along with the orange, red, and yellow leaves are pumpkins, squash, and apples.   The beautiful glow that inhabits the northern hemisphere in fall precedes the dull, long winter.  I always think of a scene from ancient Europe with jack-o-lanterns and parades for the dead.  The community was brought together to harvest the food and appease the ancestors.  Things seemed to be much more intertwined back then, now we live anonymous lives where we are too busy to even take stock at the world of nature around us.  Besides the crisp cool air and the presence you feel around you is an interesting combination that is unlike any other time of year.  With modernity has come an ability to have pumpkin pie in May and in some ways its’ specialness has been eroded.  My favorite Sunday afternoon treat in October is a piece of that warm, spicy, flavorful pumpkin pie with a mug of apple cider – homemade of course.  Something about those flavors and sensations fill you up, preparing you for the long slog of the dead winter.  Mother Nature yields the bounty from her bosom and her children fill up to make it through those long cold nights.  I stand in my back yard in wonder, we have 1 and 1/2 acres of land and although it is in the city proper, two of the lots are still completely wooded.  Seeing all of the trees changing, smelling the clean crisp air, and feeling the cool earth under my feet give me a feeling that is hard to describe in words.  It is as if Mother Nature reaches from deep within and fills me with an energy that reaches from my toes to my head and beyond.  As this energy surges upwards, it heals and satisfies me.  I feel happy, healthy, and whole.  Watching the squirrels rolling around in the grass and chasing each other up the trees makes me giggle.  Then you realize the veil, between the different dimensions of time and reality have thinned, old memories of relatives that have left this life abound, it’s as if you could touch them and they are there with you.  Nothing can compare to this time of year.  Having fun with our Mother as she gives us the life sustaining food we need compares to none.  Thank you Mother Nature, may we all work tirelessly to hold you dear.

Socialism of the Highest Order

As many of you know, I am a nursing student.  In fact in December after taking my boards I will be a Registered Nurse so I’m pretty close to being an official “expert”.  There are a lot of things nurses do, one of the most important functions is education.  Imagine my laughter when I find out that an initiative to educate on healthy eating is “Socialism of the highest order.”  Here’s the thing:

1. Socialism is an Economic system.

2. There are multiple forms of Socialism that differ greatly.

3. There is no means of production to be owned in a healthy eating program.

4. People who use buzzwords usually do not know the meaning of them.

So by this logic, all nurses, teachers, doctors, and anyone who teaches people something are all Socialists since they educate people, specifically nurses because they do focus on nutrition for health promotion and protection.  Man, I wonder what this makes a Nutritionist, Weight Watchers, and Jenny Craig?  See there are Socialists in our midst and they all want us to lose weight and eat healthy!  They hide behind fruits and vegetables.  Those evil Socialists with their healthy eating, strong hearts, and healthy bodies!

I guess this also means the Cookie Monster has now flipped and became a Socialist.

At least if you are going to make a ridiculous claim, pick up a dictionary and look up the words you are trying to use to scare people with.

Suicide and the Hate That Drives It

Upon reading a story of a young man, Tyler Clementi, who took his life after being not only taped without his permission of a private act but then outed on Facebook with the video by his roommate, I was shocked, horrified, painfully traumatized, and outraged.  How can this society continually permit this terrible treatment of people for who they are?  This young man was a classically trained violinist, a freshman at Rutgers who was just beginning his life not only just finding himself like every other person his age.  What sick, twisted individual terrorizes someone to the point that they believe suicide is the only remedy to the pain of life?  How can the actions of his roommate be justified?

Tyler’s isn’t the only story, recently three other young people committed suicide for being bullied.  Bullying has been taken to a new level with the Internet and text messages.  How can one feel good about themselves hurting someone, mocking them for being who they were born to be?  How can the parents of the person who bullies be even a tiny bit proud of their child?

I sincerely hope we wake up soon and will personally speak up and out about this injustice.  Bullying needs to stop before we lose many more beautiful people to hate and bigotry.  This is evil, this is horrid, and this is unjustifiable.  The little pieces of shit that think this is okay or try to downplay the effects of their actions should pay a dear price.  I ask the Universe to give a special rush on Karma for those that hurt these kids.

The Short Term Memory Loss of Americans

Roughly two years ago the American people were in utter shock and dismay. 401Ks were cut in half, the value of homes fell overnight, and hundreds of thousands of workers were handed pink slips. We were told exotic financial products that consisted of high risk home loans given to anyone with a pulse were bundled as “securities” and that those bundles were then speculated on as to whether or not they would prove to be good investments. Basically loans were used as poker chips made out of potato chips that got wet and were valued at nothing, who wants to eat a wet potato chip?

After the initial shock of the collapse of the housing market, everyone wanted to know “Who did this?” Blame can be handed out all around, the banks who gave out the loans, the investment companies not governed by financial laws giving out mortgages that had outrageous interest rates with a promise that one could refinance, people who bought the homes not questioning how magically they could be approved for a loan when 10 years prior with the same finances no bank would have even given them the time of day. The American dream was in full swing, home ownership was on the rise. We were told an “ownership” society would make America great. But who owned what? Thus the myth of deregulation was exposed. It’s pretend benefits being that a free market is a just market and will correct itself. Those touting the benefits of such a market were taking great credit in the vast amounts of wealth being seemingly spread to the middle class, in the form of a home. People stopped saving, if they needed money they could borrow against their home and the cycle began.

Middle class living was built on credit, not jobs, not steady gains in wages by any means as the cost of health care rose and employers handed the burden to their employees. Any raises obtained were quickly obliterated by those rising costs to the point where workers brought home less with each passing year for less and less benefits. Yet they always had their home.

Just about everyone knows someone who is or has faced a foreclosure in the last couple of years, the devastation cannot be multiplied in dollars and cents. The economy has only rebounded for the same traders who raided the war chests of our grandchildren and yet the rates of poverty for those who will have to pay it back are at new highs. So where did the jobs go? In an increasing globalized economy, the jobs went to the lowest bidder.

Conglomerations run the world and are able to exist outside of laws governing the people who inhabit certain borders. I fear it is too late to take the reins of power back. Sure I’m mad as hell and there are a lot of people to be angry with. What is necessary to fix it will take decades as the system itself is broken. This is not Capitalism as Smith dreamed up, this is Corporatism where the biggest, strongest, most lucrative survive. It is financial Darwinism and no one has a viable option to really get us out. We need a new system. Unfortunately the American people have forgotten a lot, not only the history of the country but the history of a few short years. They are too busy listening to glitzy ads degrading the character of a candidate instead of demanding the necessary changes so that we can give a better society to the grandchildren who will be paying this debt. Not only are Americans forgetful and demented, we are selfish and any attempts to re-institute those into power who wrought havoc on this nation is truly insanity. Trust me, you will not get a different result.

Confabulation

Confabulation is the act of creating a false event to fill in the gaps of missing memory and is a hallmark sign of dementia. Of course confabulation does not have to be limited to those with dementia, as one could unintentionally create false events as well, it has been described as a blurring of reality with fantasy. It can also be applied to the false interpretation of memories which is different from lying in that the person does not intentionally wish to deceive. It seems our political narrative has been taken over by confabulation. Many have noticed the rewriting of history (i.e. Reagan decreased the size of government, Obama’s administration developed TARP) that flies in the face of facts. It could very well be that the short-term memory loss sustained in the rabid, power hungry minds of those who retell history incorrectly isn’t intentional. Maybe there is some organic biological reason for their distortion of the facts. Perhaps they do not look to the facts at all, they just focus on memory alone. This phenomena is seen in eye-witness testimony where three people can tell very different sets of facts, they are all telling the truth to their ability, but their memories are not made the same. (As far as the politicians go though, I highly doubt it is unintentional but maybe instead of saying “You lie!” We could say “You confabulate!”)

Confabulation can be proved, as it is deemed unintentional, who could argue that when faced with facts. On the other hand for a lie to be a lie, you have to prove intent of deceit. It may open up the dialogue for fact-finding instead of fault-finding. With all the confabulation going around by the far-right Tea Party candidates, we need something, some phrase that will open up the narrative for further discussion. So when the facts are being misinterpreted or misrepresented, I will say “I believe you may be confabulating _ (events, facts, etc.)” sure they may not know what it means, but it is less offensive than calling someone a liar. It may open up an opportunity for teaching, who knows? It also happens to be one of my new favorite words.

Christine O'Donnell: You Have Made a Personal Enemy Out of Me

As a staunch advocate for the community afflicted with HIV, I took personal offense at Christine O’Donnell’s remark that we should not call HIV patients “victims”, excuse me? For one lady, you have no idea what it means to care about people, not judge them, and effectively prevent disease let alone promote health. I just love this pretend Christian righteous indignation and “ideas” about how to treat/prevent terrible diseases such as HIV using their religion when we have scientific proof at what does work. Anyone who thinks people will ascribe to celibacy is moronic, at best. We are beings that are programmed to procreate, we will mate even if that means we do not intend a pregnancy or that it is with someone who we can get pregnant. The thing about consciousness is our sexuality has morphed into something beyond just mating but we really cannot resist that urge that evolution has ingrained in us. You cannot go against biology, we have seen what celibacy does to the human psyche just look at the Catholic church, sorry but that is my interpretation. No one is “at fault” for contracting HIV, it is a terrible, horrible disease that destroys lives, communities, and frankly nations. The fault lies in the fact that prevention efforts have been thwarted by social Conservatives who believe their view on sexuality should trump others, even when it flies in the face of proven scientific facts. We know that comprehensive sex education makes a big difference in not only transmission of sexually transmitted infections but unintended pregnancies. Vancouver was known for its HIV epidemic due to IV drug use, they now have clinics that do needle exchanges and allows a safe place to use their own drugs, offering rehab when they are ready. I challenge Christine O’Donnell to meet the sex workers who have no choice but to use their bodies to feed themselves, the IV drug users who desperately want to stop but cannot, and the children who had no choice but to nurse from their mother’s breast therefore exposing them to the virus. Christine O’Donnell you make me sick!

Superbugs: How Does This Happen?

Just today news reports confirm a new strain of antibiotic resistant bacteria that has been detected in three individuals living in the United States. The speculation as to the reason this happens ranges from people saving antibiotics and self treating, not finishing antibiotics so resistant strains develop, over-use of antibiotics for viruses which they are ineffective against, the food supply in the United States pumped full of antibiotics to prevent infection (these are the same antibiotics given to humans), and the conspiracy theories also abound including plans to control the population with as much success as bubonic plague in the Middle Ages and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918.

Now first I’d like to stress, before getting into the nitty gritty the intensely important need to wash your hands, often. Avoid antibacterial soaps too, they also help to create superbugs. Good old fashion soap and warm water, scrubbing in between your fingers and under your nails for 15-20 seconds is sufficient. We tell people to sing the ABC’s or Twinkle Little Star, any short song that lasts at least 15 seconds. You would be amazed the amount of bacteria present on fomites (inanimate objects that people touch and are a source of transmission of bacteria or viruses). Another problem is hand washing after using the bathroom, many of us wonder how anyone could leave the bathroom without washing their hands but you would be surprised. E. coli for instance is transmitted via the fecal-oral route and is a normal flora in the human large intestine, contaminated food is usually grown in contaminated water but you can also get it from touching a surface after someone else didn’t wash their hands and then you forgot to wash your hands and ate a sandwich. Also E. coli is the biggest culprit in urinary tract infections so females should wipe from front to back and be sure to shower daily (avoid baths you are truly swimming in bacteria). Now this bacteria is a hospital acquired bacteria (or nosocomial infection) so chances are you don’t have to worry about this affecting you unless you go to the hospital sometime soon. Back to the story at hand…

Continue reading “Superbugs: How Does This Happen?”

Looks Like the DNC Took My Advice

Today while watching MSNBC I saw a story that featured the use of Bieber Fever to get out the vote. I was a little surprised and highly amused since its been about a week since I posted a blog at TPM, when reader posts were allowed anyway, that called for a Justin Bieber for the Democrats. Well they decided to use the Bieber to get the young vote out. Not sure if it would be effective unless he actually makes an ad saying “Hey guys, go vote.” We shall see but with 18 somethings voting you do wonder what side they’d vote for considering many of their parents are Republican. We would have to hope, even though he couldn’t vote here if he was 18, that his support for the Dems could cull votes. Not sure how you can gauge it but it would be an interesting experiment in the power of pop culture.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – M. Gandhi