Category Archives: Human Rights

Welcome To The Swamp

What happened to draining the swamp?  He’s draining ours and filling up his own.  It’s what he meant all along.  Liar, liar – pants on fire.  Remember that one from our childhood?
It seems to me, that the Trump administration is wont on locking up our democracy in a box, burying it way underground and throwing away the key. What is going on in the Oval Office is extremely scary. In his Executive Orders, Trump does not want any Federal workers to communicate with the Press. They can’t be interviewed, cannot write on their blogs, etc. If found out, they would be fired.
An authoritarian is what we have leading our country.  We don’t want to follow.  The path is the wrong one.  He’s scary.  And I believe he has all his followers in DC scared as well.  He’s unpredictable.  They (and we) don’t know what he will do next.  He’s preparing a wall – yes, a wall around himself – with the religious fanatical conservatives who will do whatever it takes to bring our democracy, including our “inalienable rights” down to a level we don’t want.
Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer, berated the press corps for [their] accurately reporting the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration, then warned them that the president will hold them “accountable” for this kind of reporting in the future.  On Sunday morning, Trump’s team blacklisted CNN.  (www.moveon.org)
Our constitutional freedoms are being stifled. The Press Secy cuts off the reporters from completing their questions and snipping at them, saying, “You asked your question,” and pointing to someone else.  Blacklisting media outlets?  Banning Press members from Press briefings?  Pressing down the Press?  That’s what gives the Guy his jollies.
Is it because we have been “spoiled” by the past occupants of the White House? Or is it because the current occupant is erasing too many of the good things in American life for the majority of citizens?
Taking away a small discount for mortgage insurance for first-time home buyers is a really smart move in helping(?) out these people.  It was extremely important, because it was the first thing Trump signed in his Executive Order spree.  He’s giddy.  He’s undoing Pres. Obama’s Orders.  Hurray!  The party has started.  And it goes on.
There is to be a halt on grants as well. Grants are very important – they make important scientific research possible that wouldn’t be accomplished without government help.  There are a great many illnesses and diseases that are wanting for treatments and cures.  These will be stifled.
Human rights are women’s rights.  Remember that?  He want to take them away.  Human rights are LGBT’s rights.
Remember the part of our Constitution about separation of Church and State?  Arch-right, alt-right, evangelicals and fundamentalists want everyone to adhere to their beliefs.  Some states have passed laws pushing religious beliefs over basic human rights.
The government benefits that have helped so many, who suffer with chronic illness, disability, job cut backs, etc., will be cut back.  Who knows what will become of Social Security, education, healthcare, etc.  Privatization of schools is something I would not like to see; instead, the salaries of good teachers should be increased, get rid of bad teachers, get our public schools up to a level in which all children will get a real good education, and not just the drabs due to poor funding.  It’s a shame that teachers have to take money out of their own low salaries to furnish the necessities of a classroom because the state and federal governments do not provide enough money for this.
The big hullaballoo that is taking the media by storm is Trump’s claim of losing the popular vote because he claims “between 2.5 and 2.9 million were illegally cast.”  This claim is totally false.  There is no proof, and Trump’s own counsel agreed the claim has no basis; however Trump is pushing for a “major investigation” to find out how this fraud was perpetrated.  Trump is using this as a diversion, I believe, to take away from the fact of his signing Executive Orders to bring us back to the 19th century.  I never saw a pen fly so quickly on paper.  And, true to his showman and egotistical nature, he holds up his large signature for the world to see – so proud is he.
IMPEACHMENT should be begun. I think it’s not going to do our country any good to wait until we are ruined (“let’s give him time, let it play out” say the ones who are not looking into the future and seeing what this Hitler-like president is doing and bent on accomplishing).  I’m sure the billionaires would not agree with me. They are laughing up their high-end expensive shirt sleeves, partly because the DOW Jones has finally reached and passed 20 thousand, and now this man has made them extremely joyous.
Extreme isolationism is on the horizon as real as the setting sun.  Don’t you see it?  He’s pushing away so many of our global friends with all his negatives and high tariffs – questioning our trade policies.  China will be taking up the niche we are leaving open by abandoning the agreements in the treaties.
As quickly as he can, he is whittling away our rights, our democracy, our enthusiasm and creating a large population that is extremely divisive, puzzled, angry, and worried that we will never be the same country, after he and his cronies are finished with it.
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The Election Isn’t The Only Thing On My Mind

 

At the top of my priority list is my daughter.

It was about 25 years ago, that she started noticing symptoms of loss of stamina, unusual tiredness, lots of pain, and seemed to be fighting low-grade flu-like symptoms every so often.  They were the types of feelings that we all just dismiss (was I really feeling so bad?) and go on with our lives, hoping those body signals of something “just not right” will go away.  And, to a point, they did, and no more thought was given.

But, every so often, they were there again.  Most times, they were almost unnoticed; other times, enough to force her to go about her daily activities of caring for her children, working full time, being a thoughtful, responsible person, by “pushing through” those symptoms, and then just falling into bed, exhausted.

This went on for so many years until about 15 years ago, when she was already living close by in Florida.  She came over for dinner one Sunday, with her then husband and her two daughters.  They arrived in late afternoon, before dinner time, and she told me she needed to lie down.  She was completely exhausted and just had to go to bed.  It was like an emergency, and I hurriedly prepared the guest room bed for her, and she practically fell into it as I closed the blinds.  She couldn’t move; and slept very soundly for hours.  When she got up, she didn’t feel refreshed, but she was able to dine with us and then they went home right afterwards.  It was from that point, that the symptoms would become more frequent and noticeable.

Going to work was and is not an option as of this past January 2016.  She really should have stopped work at least a year before.  Looking back, she kept up her pace with great difficulty because she was a single mom and her younger daughter was totally dependent on her, and she worried about finances.  She was living a physical, mental, stressful nightmare.

My daughter suffers with the disease that is the reason for the letter below which is circulating in the House of Representatives on behalf of MillionsMissing (a global movement for health equality) and is addressed to Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health.

Francis Collins, Director
National Institutes of Health
1 Center Drive, Room B1-126
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0001

Dear Dr. Collins:

We write to thank you for your attention to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), and encourage you to continue to strengthen the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) efforts in ME/CFS biomedical research.

As you know, ME/CFS is a complex, debilitating, and chronic disease afflicting 1 to 2.5 million Americans. It costs individuals, the U.S. health care system, and our economy an estimated $17-$24 billion annually. Yet, as the Institute of Medicine noted in its report, “Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness,” there has been “remarkably little research funding” to date to discover its cause or possible treatments.

A number of us sent you a letter in March of 2014 to express support for ME/CFS research and are heartened by your commitment to advance diagnosis, treatment, and a cure for ME/CFS through a reinvigorated Trans-NIH ME/CFS Working Group (Working Group) housed within the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and new intramural and extramural research programs that will bring new investigators into the field.

We encourage the Working Group to consider in a timely manner the input received through its recent Request for Information (RFI) regarding emerging needs, opportunities, and strategies for ME/CFS research and research training. We also ask that you provide us with the current status of this planning effort and the specific intramural and extramural activities planned for the rest of FY 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Thank you for your attention to these critical issues. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Zoe Lofgren                           Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress           Member of Congress

The U.S. House of Representatives is currently circulating the letter asking the NIH to strengthen ME/CFS biomedical research efforts. NOW, is the time to contact your representative to ask him or her to sign the letter.  Representatives have only until Wed., Aug. 31 to agree to sign the letter so action must be fast.

Here is a “Prevalence of Well-Known Diseases” comparison chart by state, which compares the number of people in each state that suffers from ME, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s (PD), and Multiple Sclerosis MS).  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is quite short-changed as far as NIH funding, research and timeliness is concerned.

The following websites will be helpful if you had or will contact your U.S. Representatives:

http://www.meaction.net/wp-con tent/uploads/2016/08/Script- and-How-To-1.pdf

https://drive.google.com/file/ d/0B8cZyk4UDCJkQkhfWHJRbU1BZlU /view?usp=sharing

https://docs.google.com/forms/ d/e/1FAIpQLSd3mTxetR874PxJjDA1 AwLDPna9fSNcaKoIx- YnldwGxEerCA/viewform?c=0&w=1

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The Physically Disabled in the US Are Overlooked by Colleges

dis clip art

Psychology students in U.S. colleges are educated about the minority group of the disabled, the least.  Oh yes, the mental illnesses are the main focus, but according to a study published by the “Society of the Teaching of Psychology,” and authored by Kathleen Bogart, an assistant professor of psychology at Oregon State University:

“We are not properly preparing students to interact with this group.”

“Overall, the study found that all of the colleges in the analysis offered classes on psychiatric disabilities, but just eight had courses focusing on physical disabilities though such issues are more common.”

“Courses tended to take a medical approach, focusing on diagnosis, treatment and cures rather than looking at social issues like coping, acceptance, prejudice and policy implications.”

When a disabled person seeks to join the mainstream of life, he/she does so with the expectation of being accepted for what he/she can do, not for what they cannot.  Unfortunately, whether the disability is obvious or not (hidden – “you don’t look sick”), the majority of the “normal” population is sidelined and doesn’t know how to react to people who are considered “different.”

Not all disabled persons are outwardly disabled – they don’t wear a sign saying, “I am disabled.”  There are many diseases that humans suffer that cannot be discerned just by looking at the patients.

When the disability is found out, a series of circumstances or occurrences can begin to happen.  People will stare; they will be afraid to have conversation; they will ignore; they will assume the disabled person cannot behave or converse in a “normal” way; they lose trust and confidence in the person’s ability to perform the tasks.  The worst part is that the disabled person can be made to feel like a pariah; a person who is unworthy; a person who is not a person at all.

Many disabled persons seek the assistance of psychologists, or “counselors” or “therapists” in order to discover ways to deal with their disappointment, and the prejudice, the discrimination, and yes, the open hostility.

If psychologists are not taught how to counsel people with physical and medical disabilities, in addition to mental problems, when confronted with the above reactions to their disabilities, how can help be forthcoming?

There are many areas lacking attention in the U.S. universities’ educational programs, and more attention and a proactive approach by the psychology and medical advocacy communities should be given to this problem.

[Header image from:  http://www.freewebheaders.com]

[Disability clip art from:  bingdotcom]

 

 

Is ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) A Hidden, Mysterious Disease?

 

It isn’t.

It might seem like it, according to the treatment it gets from our highly-regarded Health & Human Services Department (HHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other sub-departments of the huge HHS.

It seems like there is a vendetta against ME patients in the U.S., and also in other countries, where very ill patients are diagnosed and treated for psychosomatic illness, when they are really suffering from a multi-symptom, extremely painful and debilitating disease.

The whole body is affected.  Not just nerves; not just the brain, not just the lymph nodes; not just the immune system; not just the muscles, not just the major organs of the body – BUT ALL.

Another thing:  Approximately 80% of patients who are suffering with ME are women.  Some scuttlebutt I’ve heard has suggested that, since such a huge percentage of patients are women, some governmental entities may not put as great importance on funding for research for ME as they would if the disease was weighted differently.

The other 20% is comprised of men and children.  Yes, children!  Also, it is not unusual for members of the same family to fall ill with ME.  Outbreaks have also been reported within communities.

blue ribbon for me

Unraveling the “mystery” about ME:

 

  • Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is a debilitating, often disabling, illness recognized as a neurological disorder by the World Health Organization since 1969.

  • After an outbreak in Nevada in the 1980s, the CDC coined the term “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”

  • There are no FDA-approved treatments and no diagnostic tools for ME.

  • Between 836,000 and 2.5 million U.S. residents are afflicted with ME, with 84 to 91 percent not yet diagnosed. True numbers are highly under reported

  • ME-related medical expenses and lost productivity cost the U.S. up to $24 billion annually.

  • In research funding, ME receives less money for research than hay fever, and ranks far below similarly disabling illnesses; such as:

  • 1) ME: About $2 per patient per year in NIH funding ($5 million in FY2015);

  • 2) Multiple sclerosis: About $250 per patient ($103 million in FY2015); and

  • 3) HIV/AIDS: About $2500 per patient ($3 billion in FY2015).

  • Patients with ME score more poorly on quality of life surveys than patients with multiple sclerosis, stroke, diabetes, renal failure, lung disease, heart failure and various cancers.

  • At least one quarter of ME patients become housebound or bed bound, often for years. Many become unemployed.

Loss of job as disease progresses has dire economic consequences for patients, families, and the country as a whole, when considering the loss of productivity.

Ask most any person in the medical community if they heard of “ME” or “Myalgic Encephalomyelitis” and, guaranteed, almost all will answer, “No.”  Ask if they’ve heard of “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” or “Chronic Fatigue” and more often than not, they will say, “Yes.”  But, they really have no idea at all what it is.  I speak from my own personal experience.  The many doctors I’ve visited over the last year, when asked, had the identical response.  Also, this type of response is reported by patients when questioned about their doctor visits.  Too often, they encountered uninformed and uncaring doctors.

Medical schools should begin instituting information about ME in their curricula.

Thank the CDC representatives for that great faux pas 30 years ago in Nevada, while investigating an outbreak, when they imprinted “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” (CFS) on all patients, and which, unfortunately, stuck.

The ignorance shown in the face of a “mysterious” disease 30 years ago is continuing.

 

[Indented information is from #ME Action]

[Image is from bingdotcom]

TED talk: Jimmy Carter Why I believe the mistreatment of women is the number one human rights abuse

I had no idea that Jimmy Carter was a supporter of Women’s Rights. It was a pleasure to listen to him on this video.

Thanks To Jim Obergefell, Lead Plaintiff

 

Same Sex Marriage is Legal in all 50 States

 

Bans on Same-sex Marriage is Unconstitutional

An historic day in America

.Jim was interviewed by CNN’s Pamela Brown and said, in part:

“I don’t feel worthy…it’s hard to let it sink in.”

His decision “was based on Ohio’s refusal to list my name on the death certificate of my husband, John.”

President Obama called Jim on his cellphone, congratulated him, and said, “You have helped change our country.”

After a few minutes, President Obama made a statement from the White House on the same-sex marriage Supreme Court decision.  Parts of his statement, as I took notes while he spoke, follows:

“A thunderbolt…guarantees more equality…equal protection under the law…ends patchwork system of legal marriage in some and not in others…offers same-sex couples dignity…victory for Jim and other plaintiffs and gay/lesbian couples and their children to have respected lives…victory for America…we are all free…seemed slow for so long; shift has been so quick…for all our differences, we are one people…how you love and who you love is possible now…we’ve made our union a little more perfect…this is the consequence of small acts of courage of millions of people across decades who stood up and came out…who love their children…believed in themselves and who they were…ordinary people do extraordinary things.

America should be very proud.”

Yes, indeed.