Category Archives: Political

We Need To Get On A Better Footing

At the end of the year, there are many more religions celebrating holidays than just  Christians.  trump is following his alt-right supporters in trying to eliminate all religions, other than Christians, in our country, by pushing the idea to retailers, etc., that, instead of displaying signs that say, “Happy Holidays,” they should announce, “Merry Christmas.” This will never happen. The only thing that IS happening, is that the white supremacists are coming out of the woodwork and doing their best to push their policies into government laws.

trump needs to step down – of course he isn’t going to do that. The only other alternative is to impeach. 

There is more going on than is necessary for Congress to impeach. Congress is filled with too many COWARDS. They are more focused on their political careers than on the needs of a nation.

Looking forward to next year’s mid-term election, when we have the chance to VOTE and throw out those Repubs.  Many voters (too many) normally stay home during mid-terms, but it is IMPERATIVE for these voters to get to the polls and help our country get on a better footing; a better place than where we find ourselves under the current administration and current members of Congress.  The majority of our representatives are not representing the best of our nation. 

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Headed in the Wrong Direction

Today’s tweet rants by our “illustrious un-leader” are absurd and indefensible. I am not happy about the direction in which our un-leader is taking our country. The saddest part is that, so far, the House has shown only some guts to push back. The Senate has shown more IMHO.  Hopefully, the House will open their eyes wider, and look into the future and wake up.  Stemming the tide against the media that our un-leader loves to spout, will show Americans that perhaps we still have some semblance of a democracy. 

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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MY OPINION: Letter To Senators Requesting Opposition To The GMO Labeling Bill

gmo1

I’m writing to tell you that I strongly oppose the Roberts-Stabenow compromise language on the GMO labeling bill.

I ask that YOU also oppose it.  This legislation would overrule Vermont’s consumer-friendly GMO labeling law, and prevent states from passing similar laws, and would create a confusing, misleading and unenforceable national standard for labeling GMOs.

Instead of a uniform labeling standard like Vermont’s law, the language allows text, symbols, or an electronic code to be used. This is intentionally confusing to consumers, and the information may be entirely inaccessible if the consumer does not have access to the internet.

Perhaps most shockingly, this bill imposes no penalties whatsoever for violating the labeling requirement, making the law essentially meaningless. Thus, this is a weak bill, full of loopholes, without any requirement to comply.

A law is meaningless and harmful if there are no penalties for not adhering to its requirements.

Are our Senators and Representatives so weak, that they are willing to have themselves and their families and children and friends eat food that may not be safe, in order to submit to the BIG CORPORATION LOBBYISTS?

The overwhelming majority of Americans favor GMO labeling. People have a right to know what is in the food they eat. The Senate shouldn’t stop states from passing laws that let that happen. Please oppose the Roberts-Stabenow GMO labeling bill.

HERE AGAIN, WE HAVE LAWS PASSED WITHOUT REPRESENTATION OF THE MAJORITY.  Remember the Boston Tea Party?  Why did the patriots dump the tea into Boston Harbor?  Because we were being taxed without representation in Britain.

The Congress passes too many bills into law without the majority of the citizens’ desires in mind.  The seats that Congress occupies on Capitol Hill can be filled with other individuals who are more willing to vote in favor of what the citizenry wishes.

This is a time of political upheaval.  More voters will be voting in this upcoming presidential and congressional election than in any other election.  There are a greater number of registered voters who have left the two major parties or registered Independent or are just totally confused as to which candidate for whom to vote.

 

[Cartoon image from bingdotcom}

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CNN Town Hall For Green Party Video

For those who missed the Green Party Town Hall on CNN on Wednesday… Dandelion Salad America today news on Aug 17, 2016 CNN hosts Green Party town hall on Wednesday night with the Green Party’s nominee Jill Stein and presumptive running mate Ajamu Baraka. Source: Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka: CNN Town Hall

via Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka: CNN Town Hall — Rcooley123’s Blog

 

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Are You Happy With The Status Quo?

 

I’m not.  This is my first (and maybe the only) post about the upcoming election.

Bernie

I changed my party affiliation from Independent to Democrat only because I wanted to vote for Bernie in the primary.  It was a decision that I did not make lightly:  I felt strongly that Hillary was not the one I wanted to represent me during the next four presidential years.

bernie 2I firmly believed (and still do) that our country needed a change – not the one that Barack promised and was not able to deliver – but a REAL CHANGE.  A change that encompassed all of our societal strata.

bernie 4Just because Bernie did not win the primary, does not mean his supporters will throw up their hands in defeat and turn away.  His supporters are as strong as ever, and for the most part, will not vote for the presumptive nominee(s).

bernie 7It was said somewhere at some time, that Bernie was “not the politician for the job.”  And, that someone who wants to run for the presidential office needs leverage.

Leverage?  [Take a look]:

● 12 million votes.
● Victory in 22 states.
● 45 percent of pledged delegates.
● A history-making small-dollar fundraising campaign that out-raised his well-heeled opponent.

That was all while facing one of the most powerful Democratic clans in history, rejecting big-money donors, and challenging one of the most famous people in the world as a leftist outsider.

bernie 3Leverage? Consider the trend line: Twelve months ago Bernie Sanders was all but unknown nationally. He didn’t fit the typical “politician” profile in age, style, or rhetoric. He was a self-described democratic socialist. And he faced overwhelming obstacles erected by the party machinery at all levels.

bernie 5

This election is not about just the next four years, it’s about our current and future generations.  As I see it, the problems with which our nation and the world have to wrestle, are seemingly insurmountable.  We need new ideas and strategies from our more savvy younger citizens.  The old guard should be retired.  And, at 78, I can say this with some degree of experience.  I admire our young people.  They are vigorous and full of new ideas that are waiting to be put on the table; unlike many of our “tired, old fogeys” who say they represent their constituents, but in reality, represent themselves with their self-interests.

The polls I’ve seen have shown that Bernie had a better chance at defeating Trump than Hillary did.

I look forward to the upcoming Democratic Convention.  It is going to be veerryy interesting, I expect.

I refer you to the following links:

https://ourfuture.org/20160620/bernies-leverage-isnt-going-anywhere-deal-with-it?utm_source=progressive_breakfast&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pbreak

bernie 8

https://ourfuture.org/20160619/peoples-summit-attendees-leave-determined-to-keep-the-bern-alive

[Bernie images from bingdotcom]

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Discrimination By Insurance Companies Against The Chronically Ill

 

Despite the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly called “Obamacare,” and its requirement that medical insurance companies accept those with pre-existing conditions, insurance companies have found ways to deny services while keeping their eyes on the bottom line at the expense of those patients who are the most vulnerable.

An article by Angela Ostrom, published in Newsweek, points to the denial of quality coverage to patients with epilepsy, cancer and a host of other chronic conditions.  New and creative ways are found in which medical insurance companies could “skirt around” the lawful charge and focus of the ACA.

“One common strategy is to design plans so that medications for conditions like epilepsy, cancer [ME, fibromyalgia, lyme disease and others] and HIV/AIDS are all but unaffordable.”

“Federal rule makers are set to change that. They’re attempting to prevent insurance companies from denying quality coverage to patients with epilepsy, cancer and a host of other chronic conditions.  If they succeed, they’ll have, at long last, achieved one of the ACA’s most important goals:  ending discrimination against sicker patients.”

It is widely known that Big Pharma is getting rich upon the backs of unfortunate sufferers of chronic and/or serious and life-threatening illnesses.  These patients have huge medical and prescription costs – a greater percentage than those of us who are blessed with good health.  The more ill the patient is, the higher their cost of medical care, of course; however, the more ill the patient, the less income.  A paradoxical situation, but that’s the truth of it.

“The ACA bans insurers from outright refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, that provision didn’t actually stop insurance companies from turning away chronically ill patients—it just forced them to find new and creative ways to do so.

Cutting back on prescription medication.  It's too expensive.

Cutting back on prescription medication. It’s too expensive.

“Insurers place many or all medications for a particular condition on the highest “tier” of their drug formularies—the lists of medicines patients are allowed to take, or off the formulary altogether. For medications in the highest tier, individuals are often required to cover 40 percent—or more—of the total cost.”

“Sadly, this technique for raising the cost of essential and often lifesaving therapies is now standard.”

There are other tactics that medical insurance companies use in order to make it more difficult for very ill patients to get the medication and care they need.  Too many patients don’t buy the medication they need.  It’s too costly.  Many patients cut back on their dosage of medication, trying to make it last longer, but while doing this, they render the medication useless as it then has no beneficial effect.

On another note:

Assistance from governments – state and/or federal – is like trying to trudge through a mud slide several feet deep, while going against the slide’s direction of movement.  Not a good picture.

Social Security Disability applications go through an automatic first denial.  One applicant’s application was denied along with the explanation for denial that had totally nothing to do with the applicant’s reason for applying for financial relief.  It was evident that the federal employee didn’t take the time to actually read the application and accompanying documentation.  Or, he/she was under orders to automatically deny.  This tactic sounds more reasonable, since Social Security Administration keeps complaining about its bottom line.

As with too many federal agencies, the weakest keep getting pushed “under the rug.”

[Pill box image from bingdotcom]

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Flush and Plunge

 

gender neutral restroom

I am getting so tired of the media’s fixation on the states that have passed the “bathroom” laws.  Sure, there’s good reason for that:  Discrimination is yet again raising its ugly head into the fabric of American society.  Laws, pushed through by prejudicial politicians in the name of their “religious beliefs,” and “protection of our children,” are causing havoc in many sections of our citizenry.

The only thing media can do is report; they cannot out-rightly take sides – not if they want to keep their jobs and avoid lawsuits.

“A majority of Americans in a new poll say they oppose President Obama’s order telling schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity, rather than biological sex, according to the Washington Times.”

Yesterday morning, I heard there are 11 states that are suing Pres. Obama because of his order telling schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity, rather than biological sex.

“Americans overwhelmingly believe the federal government should not be involved in regulating school bathroom access, with just 24 percent supporting regulations issued from Washington. Another 25 percent said the matter is best left to state governments, while a plurality, 41 percent, said it’s a matter best left to the local government.”

I believe President Obama is wrong.  He should butt-out.  The Obama administration should not have became involved in the issue IMHO.

The Federal government can, and I hope will, withhold aid to public schools in the states whose legislatures believe it is right to restrict bathroom use in schools to students who are transgender.  These states have gone back to Victorian beliefs.

The politicians in the legislatures are afraid their children and grandchildren will become the victims of predators.  This is a stupid reason and just an excuse,  which is evident to people with intelligence.

There’s one good thing that I can see coming out of this ridiculous situation:  The states in which these idiotic laws were passed, should be hiring monitors to sit by the bathroom entrances and check the students’ birth certificates and make sure they are of the “correct” sex, upon examination.  There will be an increase in the jobs reports.

And there will be an increase in requests for certified birth certificates, I suppose.  The county and/or state offices will be inundated and they will have to hire more people to take care of the need ASAP.   After all, the students will have to use the bathrooms at some point during the day.

Yes, I can see it all now.

 

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Dog Racing in Florida

Information about dog racing in the city of Miami and other parts of the state of Florida. Approximately thirty percent of the greyhound racing track in the United States are located in the state of Florida.”

The above quote prefaces the list of dog racing events and activities in the Miami area:  racing tracks and associations, etc.  Included in the list is a link to a website for the Florida Greyhound Association which represents breeders, owners, kennel operators, etc. and they are represented by a lobbying group in Tallahassee.

This is what happens when things go right.

This is what happens when things go right.

In fairness, there are some tracks that do show they care about the dogs.

This is what happens when things go wrong.

This is what happens when things go wrong.

On the other side of the coin, is a coalition of animal advocates, which just recently announced that it’s forming a political action committee called, “Committee to Protect Dogs,” which has as its purpose, to place on the ballot, reforms and a phasing out of greyhound racing in Florida.

There is also an advocacy group called, “Grey2K USA.”

“Greyhound racing in [Florida] is regulated by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.  In May 2013, GREY2K USA lobbied successfully for an animal welfare rule that contained several greyhound provisions and required that all greyhound deaths that occur at track facilities be reported.  Florida remains one of two states, along with Alabama, where greyhound injury reporting is not mandated.”

In today’s Sun-Sentinel, reporter Dan Sweeney posted his article, “Tougher Rules Sought For Racing Industry.”  The advocacy groups are slowly, surely, lobbying for better racing conditions and better holdings areas, and for the reporting of not only deaths, but also for injuries that befall these mistreated dogs.  Treating injuries means expenditures; killing the injured dogs is a viable option with some owners and trainers.

The best fulfillment of the advocacy would be for the dog racing to end; however, given the ingrained mentality of gambling and racing in general, here in Florida, this is not likely for the time being.  The gambling and racing enthusiasts and the tourism trade probably would not make it doable at this time.  The only possibility, as I see it right now, is for better and humane treatment, until there is a turnaround, and the dog racing institution will be closed down.

[Dog racing images are from bingdotcom]

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What Is Bernie Sanders’ Foreign Policy?

 

Today, I came across a blog named, “People’s War.”  It is the first time that I have seen anything – in newspaper and magazine articles or anywhere on the Internet – where Bernie Sanders’ ideas about foreign policies have been mentioned.  Although the video shows Bernie addressing the House of Representatives in 1991, it is apparent that he has always had these fervent beliefs and there is no reason to assume he has changed his opinion.

I strongly urge those of my followers who are interested in what Bernie has to say about his ideas of the world and world powers, and how methods other than war could solve the serious problems around the globe, rather than with human suffering and bloodshed.  His predictions of spending for all the necessary armaments will be increased exponentially, was proved right.  He also predicted that in order to pay for the war (Gulf War), there would be cutbacks on social services that aid our citizens.  It all came true.  This video was filmed in January 1991 in the House of Representatives’ chambers.

As an introduction to this video, let me quote from “People’s War“:

“Shortly after Sanders was first elected Vermont’s sole representative in the House of Representatives in 1990, he took a stand on his first major war as a Congressman — the 1991 Gulf War. He voted against authorizing the use of military force against Iraq despite acknowledging that Iraq had no right to invade and occupy Kuwait and that Saddam Hussein was a brutal tyrant. For Sanders, these two facts were not sufficient reasons to go to war. Instead, he supported renewing diplomatic efforts and imposing sanctions on Iraq as non-military means of reaching the same outcome — ending Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait.

Sanders worried in 1991 that the Gulf War would be “laying the groundwork for more and more wars for years to come,” a prophetic statement given the subsequent U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and the current war on ISIS. Although the 1991 Gulf War ended after a few weeks in a U.S. victory, Americans and Iraqis continued to pay with their lives for that victory in the years that followed. U.S. soldiers, possibly because of exposure to depleted uranium munitions or Iraq’s destroyed chemical weapon stockpiles, developed a range of illnesses collectively dubbed Gulf War syndrome. Sanders was at the forefront of the fight to win U.S. government recognition of Gulf War syndrome and get affected veterans the help and support they needed. At the same time U.S. soldiers were developing Gulf War-related illnesses, over 500,000 Iraqi children died as a result of crippling post-war economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations.

Sanders’ record on Iraq-related issues over the past 25 years is entirely consistent with his core values as a democratic socialist: namely, that working people — in the U.S. and around the world — are entitled to a decent standard of living in conditions of peace and freedom. Whatever action furthered that outcome, he supported; whatever action impeded that outcome, he opposed.

But if the guiding principle of the Sanders doctrine is simple, the struggle to the advance[ment of] that principle amid the world’s wars and complex conflicts is not.”

 

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