Maine Writer

Its about people and issues I care about.

My Photo
Location: Topsham, MAINE, United States

My blogs are dedicated to the issues I care about. Thank you to all who take the time to read something I've written.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Syrian refugee crises is growing with mortality increasing but the Evil ISIS is consuming news

NPR - Weekend Edition anchor Scott Simon broadcast a radio essay this morning August 30th, succinctly explaining the horror in the Iraqi-Syria horrible upheaval. Simon reports that the evil Islamic State (aka "ISIS") terror threat is growing while 3 million displaced Syrians are living in a morbidity producing environment in refugee camps, because of their nation's humanitarian crisis caused by a brutal war. Syrian refugees aren't receiving enough humanitarian aid. As a result, they are dying by increasing numbers, especially children, as a result of their hopeless displacement. Meanwhile, the evil ISIS movement is producing social media videos showing mass executions while innocent Syrians are hardly mentioned on international media. This Syrian degradation of the human condition is being totally ignored by the world while the Islamic terror state recruits terrorists from all over the world, including from Great Britain and the United States! These two international crises are contributing to an unbelievable upside down world order.  

It makes no sense for men (and who knows, maybe some women OMG! but I hope not) to leave their national origin to join a group of terror nomads. These ISIS fiends are obsessed with creating mayhem, regardless of the consequences to innocent people.

Unfortunately, President Obama gave a less than convincing response to the growing ISIS terror threats during his recent press briefing at the White House. Many are critical of the President's low key statements in response to the ISIS terror, as well as a few who made irresponsibly demeaning comments about the color of his jacket and tie. Nevertheless, none of the self appointed pundits, including Congressman Peter King of New York, can offer an alternative about what to do to oppose threats facing free people in the Middle East including Syria, Iraq and let's include the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, too.

Obviously, there are no strategic responses to terror without risk. Yet, there are opportunities for the world media to emphasize the terror of living in a Syrian refugee camp. Moreover, nations must block the recruitment of ISIS terrorists by restricting travel for anyone who cannot demonstrate a viable reason for travel to the Middle East.

As the evil ISIS network continues to terrorize the Iraqi people, the refugees in Syria are dying while President Assad assaults his own people with unrelenting oppression.

Each day brings more desperation to the world order. Cable news cycles are consumed with polarized pundits, providing advice about how to fight ISIS, like the evil network is an opposing football team, rather than a hate filled terror movement.

In the vacuum of a strategic response to the denigrating world order, including the humanitarian crisis in Syria, the world is literally postponing the inevitable. It's only a matter of time until the ISIS recruits from the US and Great Britain wind up doing harm in our own neighborhoods. It's time for Americans to join Great Britain in support a strategic response to the dangerously changing international world order.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Marketbasket: a foiled takeover and failed corporate greed

When Marketbasket employees stood against a management takeover of the company against the original owner, the statement by the employees was a shot over the bow for those who follow harbingers of labor changes. If Marketbasket employees can influence the management of a successful food retailer, then other employees can have the same leverage in family owned businesses.

Employees of Marketbasket knew what the greedy outcome of their company would be if the majority company share holders prevailed in firing the original owner of the company. In firing the minority owner, the corporate board would be free to obtain the votes required to negotiate a takeover sale of the company to the highest bidder. Eventually, and probably shortly after the proposed sale, the corporate board would walk off with the profits from the sale of the company while the new investors would cut costs to increase profits. This is the model for most entrepreneurial takeover initiatives. They buy a good company and slash the cost of the management of the company to increase profits to the takeover investors.

But, the Marketbasket employees saw this coming.  Most other employees, however, don't have a company minority owner like Arthur T. Demoulas, who they can rally behind. Typically, owners of companies that allow for such entrepreneurial takeovers are complicit in the sale.  Mr. Arthur Demoulas was willing to stand with his employees. Several weeks of Marketbasket turmoil eventually resulted in the minority owner of Marketbasket negotiating a buy out of the majority owners.

Although this outcome was a victory for the Marketbasket employees who stood behind their minority owner leader, the overall long term result of this story has yet to be understood.  

If employees of a corporation can influence the ownership of a company, what does this mean for the future of family owned businesses?  We don't know.

Nevertheless, in my opinion, Marketbasket employees have created a new level of labor-management relations. In the post- Marketbasket management change world, the employees and management are on the same side of the labor world, rather than on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Regardless of how the foiled Marketbasket takeover eventually turns out (in other words, will the company become profitable again?) the fact is, the corporate greed takeover was usurped by the employees. 

Marketbasket is a harbinger of a new era in management - labor relations. It might be possible for Marketbasket to  begin a trend in management and labor alliances. A new normal?

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ebola causing panic and under reporting cases appears dangerously preventing isolation and infection control

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes Ebola. It first appeared in 1976, in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter was in a village situated near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

Unfortunately, the only known way to prevent the rapid spread of the deadly Ebola virus is to identify those who have the infection and to isolate them while they are treated with fluids.  

Instead, what's happening in African nations where Ebola is spreading is that governments are in panic mode, while access to infection control and isolation treatments are hard to identify. 

In the absence of preventive interactions, like universal precautions and isolation, the disease will continue to spread and kill people who have no access to curative treatment. In fact, there is no definitive curative treatment for Ebola; but at least fluid monitoring and isolation can prevent secondary infections and reduce the risk or the virus from infecting others.

Now, more health care workers are at risk for contracting Ebola because the universal precautions required to reduce their exposure are not available. There are reports of universal precautions, like rubber gloves and masks being unable to reach those who need them, probably the result of corrupt customs officials looking for bribes. For whatever reason, the supplies are not getting where they are desperately needed.

CNN reports: CNN) -- "It's even worse than I'd feared," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday of the Ebola outbreak rampaging through West Africa. "Every day this outbreak goes on, it increases the risk for another export to another country.

"The sooner the world comes together to help Liberia and West Africans, the safer we will all be."

Frieden spoke to CNN's Nima Elbagir in Monrovia, Liberia, where fear and anger over the largest Ebola outbreak on record has grown as health officials put up quarantines around some of the capital city's poorest areas.

More than 2,600 people have been infected by Ebola in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria since the outbreak began in December, according to the World Health Organization. Nearly 1,500 have died.

A CDC staff member was recently flown home to the United States on a private charter after spending time in close proximity with another health care worker who tested positive for Ebola in Sierra Leone.

The CDC worker is reportedly healthy and has shown no symptoms of the deadly virus. He or she is simply rotating back to the United States as previously scheduled, according to the CDC. It is CDC policy that people who have been exposed to Ebola and are traveling long distances do so on a private plane in the three weeks after exposure to lower the risk of spreading the infection.

"We think it's the right thing to do, to bring them home," CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said. "They want to come home. Their tour of duty was up, and we've made it crystal clear that if they go over there and have something like this happen and want to go home, we're going to bring them home."

The staff member will be monitored for 21 days -- the longest known incubation period -- for Ebola symptoms, but he or she currently "poses no Ebola-related risk to friends, family, co-workers, or the public," the CDC said in a statement.

Inside the Ebola outbreak with the CDC

The other health care worker, who tested positive for Ebola, has been flown to Germany to recover, Skinner said.

The World Health Organization said Monday that 120 health care workers have died in the Ebola outbreak, and twice that number have been infected.

Public health experts say several factors are to blame, including a shortage of protective gear and improper use of the gear they do have.

The fact that the disease has killed so many people working to care for infected patients is making it increasingly hard to combat the virus in West Africa, WHO said.

"It depletes one of the most vital assets during the control of any outbreak. WHO estimates that in the three hardest-hit countries, only one to two doctors are available to treat 100,000 people, and these doctors are heavily concentrated in urban areas."

Another outbreak

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health for the Democratic Republic of Congo notified WHO of another possible Ebola outbreak.

Health officials say a woman in the Central African country became ill with symptoms of Ebola after butchering a bush animal that had been given to her by her husband. She died on August 11. Since then health care workers, relatives and other individuals who came in contact with her body have developed symptoms and died.

Between July 28 and August 18, a total of 24 suspected cases of an unidentified hemorrhagic fever, including 13 deaths, have been identified, WHO said.

Samples have been sent to laboratories to confirm that these illnesses are being caused by the Ebola virus and to identify the strain. As none of the people involved has been to the four countries affected by the other Ebola epidemic, health officials believe this to be a separate outbreak.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has seen six smaller Ebola outbreaks since the 1970s, according to the CDC.

Unfortunately, the African governments are incapable of coordinating a response to this deadly Ebola. It's impossible to say if the virus is infecting people outside of the identified cases in Western Africa, because of reports that people are actually hiding the victims.

Consequently, while universal precautions are not finding their way to those in desperate need, and governments are incapable of coordinating a response, while under reporting includes hidden victims....the outcome of this deadly trivecta are clear. Ebola will eventually spread to become a pandemic, maybe it has already reached this threshold, fueled by panic and governments unable to coordinate a pandemic response.  Ebola infections are growing while the world response is one of recoil from effective prevention.
In a world already totally consumed with war in the Middle East and millions of refugees, the Ebola virus has not received much attention.....but it's going to keep killing people until something is done to stop the spread.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Interactive: population change in Maine towns, 2010-2013

Interactive: population change in Maine towns, 2010-2013

In Maine's upcoming mid terms and gubernatorial election, the loss of population is not an issue except for one Independent candidate who speaks about keeping kids jobs in Maine.  Nevertheless, with population loss, there may be fewer young people to keep in Maine.  My husband and I it could be just a matter of time before Maine becomes one big national park. Sustainable work force issues in Maine are not being addressed.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Leadership means doing what's right - Merkel may be a political genius or a brilliant world leader or both

I'm a reticent Angela Merkel fan, because her leadership style has been mysterious to me. Nevertheless, this response, reported in the Christian Science Monitor, to the ISIS terror, is certainly setting her apart from less courageous colleagues.

Germany to arm Kurds against Islamic State in test of stronger global role.  Nearly two-thirds of Germans disagree with Chancellor Merkel's decision. Merkel counters that Germany cannot afford to ignore the threat that IS poses.

BILBAO, SPAIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a backlash at home as Germany flexes a more muscular foreign policy, most recently with a controversial decision to arm Kurdish forces in Iraq.

The decision to bolster Kurds fighting the self-declared Islamic State (IS) is opposed by nearly two-thirds of Germans. And while Ms. Merkel has been a master at tapping the public mood, even when that has meant U-turns on issues from energy to the minimum wage, she is now pushing Germany to be more assertive, both because of its growing world clout and because international crises have erupted so close to home.

“Germany is basically being forced to take on a new role in Europe,” says Toby Matthiesen, an associate fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. “The European Union cannot have a foreign policy if Germany does not have a foreign policy, or if its foreign policy tries to keep involvement in international affairs as limited as possible.”

In my opinion, Ms. Merkel is privileged to high level security information from her own and NATO sources.

Therefore, if Ms. Merkel is sending arms to the Iraqi Kurds, in spite of public opinion to refrain from involvement, this response by the German Chancellor is an important indication of her access to information, which she likely cannot publicly share  In other words, ISIS, the Black Islamic State, is far more dangerous to Western security than what American intelligence is telling us.

I believe Ms. Merkel knows what she's doing.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Putin takes on MacDonald's hamburgers but where's the Kraft Super Bowl ring?

Rather than build Russia's disastrous fiscal outlook, the egotist Vladimir Putin has decided, instead, to take his "tit for tat" economic sanctions campaign to the Moscow McDonald's Restaurant.  

Putin's tantrum and "whining" campaigns closed the doors on the restaurant because of sanitary issues, reports The Guardian

Rather than engage in a petty act of desperation, Putin's government, instead, should have insisted that Putin return Robert Kraft's Super Bowl Ring. Now, that would've been a statement with substance!  

Unfortunately, Putin appears to be obsessed with keeping the coveted Super Bowl ring (he "forgot" to return), but hamburgers, apparently, are not his particular dietary favorite.

It's hard to imagine how many Russian restaurants could pass a McDonald's level inspection. 

Nevertheless, Putin's government only hurts the nation's spiraling unemployment rate by closing a restaurant, regardless of how the sanitary regulations were violated. 

Moreover, it's customary for restaurants to receive notice of sanitary violations prior to a shut down. 

Obviously, there's no evidence of this customary protocol notice for the Moscow McDonald's, but I doubt any other eating establishments in Russia's capital city would be given the same abrupt treatment. Clearly, McDonald's didn't produce enough "bribe" money to protect the establishment from closure.

Putin and his ambitious expansion into the Ukraine has caused his nation economic harm, caused by the US led sanctions to help protect further encroachments into Eastern Europe. 

Rather than fix the problem, by pulling back on Ukraine ambitions, Putin has made a strategic decision to close down the Moscow McDonald's Restaurant. This absurdly immature response hurts hard working people who earn a salary by working at the restaurant and others who, likely, might find it to be a convenient place to eat. 

The Guardian reports:
Russia has shut down four McDonald's restaurants in Moscow for alleged sanitary violations in a move critics said was the latest blow in its tit-for-tat sanctions tussle with the west.

The federal monitoring service for consumer rights and well being announced on Wednesday that the offending outlets included the famous restaurant on Pushkin Square that opened just before the fall of the Soviet Union. The body said the eateries were being shut down for "sanitary violations" discovered during inspections this week.

Of course, when One Russian ruble = $0.28 cents; at this rate of exchange, it's hard to understand how ordinary Russians can afford a Whopper.

The Russian "well being" agency has a history of banning food from countries out of favour with Moscow, and the move will almost certainly be taken as a political statement in the sanctions war. It has previously banned wine from Georgia and dairy products from Belarus after those two countries began to improve relations with the west. This summer, it has banned canned vegetables, fruit, fish, juice and certain beer and vodka from Ukraine.

Earlier in August, President Putin ordered an embargo on meat, poultry, fish, dairy and produce from the United States, Canada, Australia, Norway and the European Union in response to those countries' economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis.

I challenge President Vladimir Putin to return Robert Kraft's Super Bowl Ring to demonstrate his misplaced outrage toward western and US led economic sanctions!

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, August 22, 2014

ISIS is an enemy to all Muslims: the evil must be eliminated and destroyed

ISIS is the black robed self proclaimed Islamic state with evil ambitions to destroy, kill, suppress women, create horror and promulgate terror

RT (Russian-American) News reports:

In their diabolic quest to indiscriminately decimate any symbols not to their liking, ISIS blew up the tomb of Jonas.

The shrine of Jonas – revered by Christians
 and Muslims alike – has been turned “to dust” near Iraq’s Mosul. 

Footage of the event was posted online, and witnesses said it took ISIS militants just an hour to stuff the mosque with explosives.

“ISIS militants have destroyed the Prophet Younis (Jonah) shrine east of Mosul city after they seized control of the mosque completely,” an anonymous security source told the Iraq-based al-Sumaria News.

The extremist group ISIS changed its name from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) to just the Islamic State (IS), after formally declaring a new caliphate in Syria and Iraq at the end of June.

Muslims know the tomb as the shrine of Younis, whereas Christians refer to it as the tomb of Jonas.

Jonas is renowned for having been swallowed by a fish or a whale in the Bible’s Old Testament, with a similar story being present in the Koran. The site upon which the mosque had been built dated back to the eighth century BC.

The official said it took the Sunni extremists an hour to rig the shrine with explosives. After evacuating people from the area, they blew it up in front of a large crowd.

Though several religious sites have been destroyed in recent days – with the official citing the Yahya Ibn al-Qassem, Aoun al-Din, and Prophet Daniel shrines as most important – “the worst destruction was of Nabi Yunus, which has been turned to dust.”

Thirty shrines and 15 hussainias and mosques in the Mosul area have been destroyed by IS (Islamic State) in recent months.

As a mainewriter comment and observation, I simply can't imagine the international calls for retribution against the USA if our nation was, in any way, involved in desecration of religious shrines of any denomination, especially those with a Judeo-Christian heritage.

Meanwhile, the USA executed an attempted rescue of the now martyr and executed journalist James Foley, without facing even one challenge about the invasion into Syria, resulting from the raid. Although ISIS must have somehow moved Foley, foiling the rescue, the fact of the matter is, there was no retaliation against any attack on ISIS as a result of the US invasion of Syrian air space. 

Is it possible the ISIS terrorists were as angry at Syria as the US, when the executioner made sickening bravado about his deadly mortal act?

Evidently, ISIS is too evil for even the most nefarious perpetrators of murder and terrorism in Syria, like President al-Assad.

It's only a matter of time before Muslims destroy ISIS. Nevertheless, the horrific terror ISIS is generating while the group is in the path of ultimate annihilation is beyond anything the world has ever seen, equal or exceeding the genocide of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and Nazism in Germany.  

All evil groups must be destroyed.

Tragically, the James Foley execution has focused our nation on the ISIS evil and the brutality that will be required to eliminate those who are spreading their incendiary hatred.

Labels: , ,

Museum L-A features Mini Maker Faire September 6 in Lewiston

Museum L-A features Mini Maker Faire September 6 in Lewiston

This is a terrific example of connecting the history of Franco-American work ethic to the potential for future entrepreneurs.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Protecting American middle class while income disparity grows

Visiting Northern Maine's St. John Valley, my husband and I met a Canadian married couple who asked why Americans are so poor? Yes, that's right, she asked me why Americans are so poor?

This particular Canadian lady based her question on the observation of the differences in the quality of life she saw when comparing the American and Canadian communities along the international borders. She saw Detroit MI compared to Windsor Canada, and the differences witnessed by driving through the border at Niagara New York and looking across Maine's St. John River to Edmunston, New Brunswick Canada. On the US side of these crossings, the American side of the equation is bleak, when compared to the Canadian communities, usually located within a stone's throw of the border.

Obviously, I couldn't answer the unexpected comparison question.

Nevertheless, the lady's question raised awareness about the eroding American middle class. Canadian middle class are supported by the economic theory of income distribution while the US policy seems determined to take way from the middle class. Conservatives have somehow used a smoke and mirror gimmick to convince the middle class that it's somehow wrong to share in income prosperity, unless they personally earned every penny of their own money. Meanwhile, to earn enough money to live the American dream, young people are absorbing the burden of a lifetime of student loans while the minimum wage is an unsustainable income, especially if a family must pay medical expenses along with the cost of living.

What's more disturbing than the Canadian observation is how Americans are not making the same observation as the visitors. 

Americans must wake up and realize how income distribution through progressive tax policies will improve the quality of life for the deteriorating Middle Class.

Otherwise, international towns and cities on the Canadian and US border will be the quintessential comparison between governments. Canadians, obviously, care about supporting the middle class as compared to the US, where income disparity continues to grow and, sadly, it shows. 

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

James Foley a modern martyr to raise the reality of ISIS evil in the world

The evil perpetrated by the tragically brutal slaying of journalist James Foley is a horrible way to remind Americans about what's at stake if the ISIS terror in the Middle East continues.  It must be stopped and eradicated.

Foley's death is close to home for New Englanders, where his home and family in Rochester New Hampshire are close to the border with Southern Maine. Moreover, because Foley's family lives near many news media centers, the story of his slaying gets maximum news attention.  

Although the ISIS statement, demanded at the execution, is one of retribution against American intervention in the Iraq and the Middle East, the slaying of the journalist should, instead, affirm US resolve to destroy the heinous ISIS force of evil. 

Possibly, if ISIS can be destroyed, the eradication of this terror group could, potentially, bring a slim legacy of hope to the dozens of others held captive by the evil doers among them. In a tragic way, Foley's martyrdom could focus energy on the eradication of this black mark on history. 

Foley's murder is a sign that ISIS (Muslim nation) is stressed by American intervention in their progress toward creating a "black Muslim nation" in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the tragedy of the modern martyr is also a brutal reminder of how it is that the world is confronted with the horror of ISIS. This disgusting group of evil perpetrators is an outgrowth of social upheaval in Iraq, resulting from the failed leadership of Al Maliki. Worse, Al Maliki's failure is the result of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, under the false premise of finding weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which never existed.  

Nevertheless, transgressing beyond past wrongdoings, the ISIS evil begets more evil.  Indeed, ISIS must be annihilated, in the same way Nazism was destroyed in Hitler's Germany and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia was eventually destroyed.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Presidential vacations perspective by The Week editor William Falk

"No one on his/her deathbed ever wishes they'd spent more time at the office."

It makes no sense in our "real time 24/7" social networking and cable news world for people to criticize President Obama, or any other president, for taking a vacation with his family. In reality, there is no vacation for the person known as POTUS, in twitterdom.  
Nevertheless, news media sources raise issues about President Obama's "vacation" on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., and the federal government's response, or lack thereof, in tumultuous Ferguson, Missouri. Somehow, President Obama was supposed to have some influence over violent events in Ferguson, following the mortal incident where a young black man was shot to death by a local police officer. Obviously, violent street demonstrations in Fergeson erupted after the incident, independently of anybody's vacation, including the President of the United States.

William Falk writes a comment on the "presidential vacation" issue in the August 15, 2014 issue of "The Week":

"It's August, which means it's time for the presidential vacation on Martha's Vineyard. By now, everyone knows the drill: President Obama plays golf, hangs with friends, and eats ice cream cones with Sasha and Malia, while his critics fulminate over the leader of the free world chillaxing while the U.S. careens toward World War III, or even worse, toward no wars at all. But, such carping is not new (see Best U.S. columns). Democrats heaped scorn on President Reagan for his extended horsey vacations at Rancho de Cielo and on George W. Bush for escaping with great regularity to his Texas ranch, where he blew off steam, in his shiny pickup truck. Swilling white wine with the swells or playing cowboy in the sagebrush: To each his own."

"No one should be shamed for taking a vacation. To get away is restorative, and essential to mental and physical health. Only in America do we equate workaholism with virtue and view time spent at the shore or in the mountains or in the desert as time wasted- as evidence of laziness. Americans work more hours and take less vacation than citizens of any prosperous country in the world; most workers in Europe (including the highly productive Germans) get six paid weeks off. Whole countries shut down in August. This is sensible and, indeed, civilized. As the saying goes, 'No one on his deathbed ever wishes he'd spent more time at the office.' Summer is passing quickly, my friends; may I suggest you take a hint from Barack, George and the Gipper, and give yourself a well-deserved break from whatever you do to pay the bills. The world will be no worse when you return, but you'll be better."

In other words, there is no evidence of presidential vacations having any impact on the outcomes of world or domestic events. This correlation is largely a media fabrication.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mourning the death of Robin Williams

Robin Williams 1951-2014

August 11, 2014 is the day when comedy was stopped by the startling suicide death of the talented actor and comedian Robin Williams. Perhaps it's an over reaction to his suicide on my part, but I find the endless video clips of Williams causing uncontrolled hilarity, postmortem, to be over the top.  Williams died by suicide because he was the victim of mental illness and that's absolutely nothing to laugh about.

Some rare people seem like they're so charismatic and talented that they'll live forever.  Robin Williams was a personality with boundless energy, like he could live forever on sheer adrenalin. 

Unfortunately, Williams also, apparently, lived on the edge of a proverbial "black hole" in his universe of fame, because on August 11, 2014, he fell victim to a negative energy and he killed himself leaving a world of mourners.

Robin Williams in skits causing non-stop hilarity on stage, TV and movie screens is absolutely not the way the talented actor and comedian ended his life.  His tragic suicide on August 11, 2014 in California was a final, and definitive statement about the seriousness of his mental illness and despair.

Neverhteless, the enormous out pouring of love and support from a universe of fans somehow just wasn't enough to raise Williams out of the darkness of intense depression. As a nurse who has cared for the mentally ill, it's my opinion that this final deadly act by Williams was, more than likely ,not his first suicidal attempt. Certainly, he exhibited suicidal ideation in the past because, clinically, these horrible deaths seldom happen without some previous history.

Consequently, it's beyond sad to hear Williams being mourned via endless comedy clips from his performances.

In fact, what we know is that Robin Williams had a clinical disease named clinical depression.  

This disease is sad and not a subject for comedy.

Although our instincts react to Williams untimely death by remembering him as a talented and creative comedian, the fact is, his life ended in an extraordinary act of desperately deadly depression.

We should not remember Williams in endless comedy clips. Rather, let us honor his creative life by providing support for the treatment and care for people with mental illness.

Labels: ,

Monday, August 11, 2014

Islamic State wants to paint the Middle East black: genocide has another evil perpetrator with Hitler, Po Pot etc.

Horrible litany of genocide continues in the evil tradition of Adolf Hitler's Nazism in Germany and Po Pot's Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.  

Even Osama Bin Laden and his evil legacy seems to pale in the wake of the evil perpetrated by Abu Bakr as-Baghdadi.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, CEO

On 4 October 2011, the US State Department listed al-Baghdadi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and announced a reward of up to US$10 million for information leading to his capture or death. Only Ayman al-Zawahiri, chief of the global al-Qaeda organization, merits a larger reward (US$25 million).

As a perpetrator of unmitigated evil, Abu_Bakr has perpetrated, genocide and random slaughter of people deemed not to be Muslim enough. It appears he has even put forth a strategic plan for the group ISIS.  In a nutshell, his plan succinctly reported by Al Jazeera is to turn the entire Middle East "black". In other words, Abu Bakr wants the evil of ISIS to be displayed in black robes, endless yards of bleak women burkas and even painted on the faces of retail manikins.  

When Nazism engulfed Europe in the 1930s and 40s , the reaction of the western world was to eradicate the evil by destroying the entire movement. After the war, a relentless routing of Nazi war criminals became an obsession.

Likewise, when the Khmer Rouge murdered millions of Cambodians, the result was for the East Asian nations, including Vietnam, to destroy the evil. Nevertheless, little has been done to prosecute the perpetrators of the genocide after the Cambodian monarchy was reinstated.

It's difficult to understand how Muslims will stand up to one of their own, even when the demon is as horrifically evil as Abr-Bakr. Meanwhile, Christians and Jews are the most vulnerable to the horror of advancing and radically evil ISIS terror.  

Nevertheless, just like the Europeans had to eventually confront Nazism and the Asians had to oppose the Khmer Rouge,  evil in the Middle East must be decimated. Otherwise, ambiguity in the face of evil is like a welcome mat for ISIS to move forward with even more horrific reports of beheading violent acts against humanity. 

ISIS must be destroyed and thereby prevented from declaring a Muslim Black Nation. It will take a strong and united Middle East leadership coalition to accomplish what must be done before the sheer terror of ISIS consumes the Middle East, like a firestorm.  

Unfortunately, Americans came to think the world was rid of evil when Saddam Hussein was toppled, and Osama Bin Laden was captured and killed.  Instead, those two evil monsters seemed to have begot a bad  seed progeny in the person of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Obama: No American solution to Iraq's crisis - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Obama: No American solution to Iraq's crisis - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Tragically the genocide in Iraq continues with ISIS, a militant murderous organization, killing untold thousands of people. Unfortunately, in the absence of a responsible Iraqi government or military, there's little America can do to reverse this unspeakable carnage, occurring in the wake of our US led occupation.  

Perhaps there are some resistance efforts the US military can support, especially among the Kurdish people who live in Iraq.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Ebola Virus and caring for patients with compassion and competence

As a registered nurse, I'm especially proud of the Washington Post Op-Ed article by Susan M. Grant, who is  the chief nurse at Emory Medical Center, where two patients with the infectious Ebola virus are receiving treatment in an equipped isolation unit.

Nurses care for people 24/7 who have a myriad of infectious diseases. Although Ebola is a strange disease in America, as far as we know, no documented incidence has occurred here, the principles for treatment are the same regardless of the circumstances of the illness. In other words, the patients who need care are entitled to receive compassionate expertise in the safest possible environment, especially if they're also improving our knowledge of how to control this particular infectious outbreak.

Following is Grant's op ed as printed in the August 7, 2014 Washington Post:

"We can fear, or we can care."

"I’m the head nurse at Emory. This is why we wanted to bring the Ebola patients to the U.S."

A second American infected with the potentially deadly Ebola virus arrived at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, on Tuesday, from Africa, following the first patient last weekend. Both were greeted by a team of highly trained physicians and nurses, a specialized isolation unit, extensive media coverage, and a storm of public reaction. People responded viscerally on social media, fearing that we risked spreading Ebola to the United States.

Those fears are unfounded and reflect a lack of knowledge about Ebola and our ability to safely manage and contain it. Emory University Hospital has a unit created specifically for these types of highly infectious patients, and our staff is thoroughly trained in infection control procedures and protocols. But beyond that, the public alarm overlooks the foundational mission of the U.S. medical system. The purpose of any hospital is to care for the ill and advance knowledge about human health. At Emory, our education, research, dedication and focus on quality — essentially everything we do — is in preparation to handle these types of cases.

Further, Americans stand to benefit from what we learn by treating these patients. (Bound by federal law, Emory cannot name the patients. The HIPAA Privacy Rule forbids health-care institutions from releasing identifiable health information.) Ebola won’t become a threat to the general public from their presence in our facility, but the insight we gain by caring for them will prepare us to better treat emergent diseases that may confront the United States in the future. We also can export our new knowledge to treat Ebola globally. This pathogen is part of our world, and if we want eradicate these types of potentially fatal diseases before they reach our shores uncontrolled, we have to contribute to the global research effort. Today, diseases do not stay contained to one city, country or even continent.

Most importantly, we are caring for these patients because it is the right thing to do. These Americans generously went to Africa on a humanitarian mission to help eradicate a disease that is especially deadly in countries without our health-care infrastructure. They deserve the same selflessness from us. To refuse to care for these professionals would raise enormous questions about the ethical foundation of our profession. They have a right to come home for their care when it can be done effectively and safely.

As health-care professionals, this is what we have trained for. People often ask why we would choose to care for such high-risk patients. For many of us, that is why we chose this occupation — to care for people in need. Every person involved in the treatment of these two patients volunteered for the assignment. At least two nurses canceled vacations to be a part of this team. They derive satisfaction from knowing that, after years of preparing for this type of case, they are able to help, to comfort and to do it safely. The gratitude they receive from the patients’ families drives their efforts.

As human beings, we all hope that if we were in need of superior health care, our country and its top doctors would help us get better. We can either let our actions be guided by misunderstandings, fear and self-interest, or we can lead by knowledge, science and compassion. We can fear, or we can care.

Labels: , ,

Acadian history: Longfellow’s relevance of Evangeline

Acadian history: Longfellow’s relevance of Evangeline

Acadians continue to find themselves in the myth of Evangeline.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Iraqi government is useless the Middle East is deteriorating at every turn

When George Bush 43 launched his illegal American led invasion of Iraq, he sincerely believed his order for the assault was in response to a higher calling. President Bush believed he was destined to eliminate a cruel President Saddam Hussein from his tyrannical control over his Iraqi nation. So, Saddam Hussein was eliminated, but the dictator's "weapons of mass destruction" did not exist. America invaded a sovereign nation without cause and killed the leader Saddam Hussein, labeled as evil, because we said so. 

Oh, and by the way, Americans also protected the Iraqi oil fields from being destroyed and burned down.

Now, in the absence of weapons of mass destruction, the real evil in Iraq has erupted in the presence of a group named ISIS (whatever that means). What I know of ISIS is that it's a dark euphemism for unbelievable evil, perpetrated on innocent people who are not them. In other words, ISIS is taking over anything and everything in their relentless path towards annihilation of whatever they want to destroy. ISIS is the weapon of mass destruction George Bush never found, only more unbelievably destructive and evil. These ISIS evildoers take no prisoners. Rather, they kill indiscriminately.

Evil is consuming the Middle East as I write this blog, while the Iraqi government cowers in the American taxpayer paid for "Green Zone", inside the nation's capital of Baghdad.

What all this evil and accompanying destruction boils down to is that the US invasion of Iraq, where thousands were killed and tens of thousands of civilians were slaughtered, was a  colossal failure. Moreover, the war was a total waste of human lives and obscene waste of tax payer money, ie, like 2 trillion dollars of waste. 

Meanwhile, the American government has been unable to claim any victory whatsoever in Iraq, except for the day when Saddam Hussein was toppled during a symbolic gesture of tearing down his statue.  

Tonight, August 8th, President Obama announced the launching of American military air attacks to defend our nation's interests against an implosion of the Iraqi government. Also, we want to help protect an innocent and ancient religious cult, who are being slaughtered by ISIS. 

In other words, America is at war again in Iraq. This carnage will not end until a coalition of Middle East leaders determine how to live in peace. It's a huge challenge because ISIS is just like the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Nazis in Germany. They must be eradicated, once and for all.  Unfortunately, as Americans enter these heinous conflicts, the local people sit back and watch the outcomes. Therefore, at some point, Americans must either eradicate our enemies or leave them to their own destruction. In other words, "fish or cut bait".  

After too many years engaged in a failed Iraqi War, it's time for Americans to figure out what it is we want to do. Sadly, I submit we just don't have an answer.  

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Putin continues to up the ante now blocks imports but ruble still = 34 cents

Well the Russian ruble has just reached the value of about 34 cents on the $US dollar. That's a spike since the last time I checked the value at 28 cents on the $US dollar.

Nevertheless, even with this measly increase in the ruble's value, Russian President Putin announced a "tit for tat" embargo on imports, to retaliate for economic sanctions imposed on his nation by the USA. Rather than save the Russian economy billions in costs to fund a military build up to test Ukrainian resolve and the cuts being imposed via economic sanctions, Putin puffed up his ego yet again and announced a block on imports.

Who's hurt by a block on imports? It's always the middle class who are impacted because the cash heavy rich can access whatever they want want on the black market.

Moscow (CNN) -- President Vladimir Putin has banned food and agricultural imports from countries that imposed sanctions against Russia because of its actions in Ukraine.

Putin signed the decree Wednesday, calling it an order "on the use of separate special economic measures aimed at ensuring the security of the Russian Federation."

The move comes more than a week after the United States and European Union increased economic sanctions on Moscow for supporting pro-Russian separatists fighting Ukraine government forces in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, along the border with Russia.

Meanwhile, CNN also reports that the search for the tragic victims of the Malaysian air MH17 has stalled, because Russia
doesn't want the international community to find proof of how the airliner was shot out of the sky by a surface to air missile.

Moreover, it's certainly an intentional assault on US corporations involved in the economic sanctions Putin is retaliating against, that over one million email access passwords were corrupted by Russian computer hackers.

At the end of this "tit for tat" litany, Putin is acting like the gorilla in the zoo who wants attention.  Regardless of what the western nations do to prevent Russia from creating havoc with the Ukraine, Putin, will simply beat his chest and howl like Tarzan in the jungle.  

Meanwhile, as Putin forces his import embargo on the people of Russia, the rich will seek out black market supplies without regard for the costs. A healthy black market already exists in Russia but now it will balloon into a sub cultural illicit corporation.

And the Russian ruble is still worth a measly 38 cents.

It's time for somebody to teach President Putin about economic 101. In other words, he can't sustain his nation's economy on nearly worthless ruble.  

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Texas border innocents - refugees, immigrants and orphans

Oddly enough, we Americans are the ones who are the illegal immigrants. Indeed, the ancestors of the Central American refugee immigrant orphans (in Texas) were in America for centuries before the first European settlers ever claimed any boundary between North American nations.  

Refugee children desperately seeking asylum in Texas because of fear of gang violence and assasinations in their Central American homelands are, arguably, also orphans. Unless the children who make the treacherous journey to Texas alone can explain who their parents are, and how to locate them, they're technically refugee orphans. In my experience, relating to three years living in the Philippines, this particular status for children, who are not American citizens, might qualify them for adoption by US families.

While living on the US Navy Base in Subic Bay, Philippines with my family, we witnessed many humanitarian adoptions of young Filipino children, when their parents essentially gave them up, leaving them, technically, as orphans.

Obviously, while I'm not an adoption attorney or an immigration expert, I know what I saw in the Philippines. I'm even familiar with many of the families who adopted orphaned Filipino children.

Therefore, I submit the following hypotheses about how the immigrant refugee orphans, currently being processed by immigration in Texas, might receive humanitarian care.

Because the US "do-nothing-congress" did nothing to help these tragic refugee immigrant orphans, and, moreover, being that the parents of these children obviously gave them up to the journey they undertook to escape Guatemala, then, they're, technically, eligible for adoption by US families. That's my opinion.

Moreover, I submit that many of the children are already being screened for adoption, given the above criteria, ie, they're unable to identify their parents.

While observing children eligible for adoption in the Philippines, in the groups I knew, virtually all were, eventually adopted by US families. There's little doubt, in my mind, that the same phenomenon is happening in Texas.  If immigration can identify the children as orphans, they will be adopted by US families.

Unfortunately, many deserving children will also be returned to Central America. This is sad because, frankly, the children who are returned to their origins will be sent back as a "message" to parents to stop the flow, because it won't be tolerated. 

Nevertheless, many other children will, more than likely, find a way to remain in the US. Evidently, the children's families were willing to risk sending their children on a dangerous journey to the US, to offer them the opportunity for a better life than what they expected in their violence ridden homelands.

God Bless the people helping the immigrant refugee orphan children, with some mothers among them, who are seeking asylum in the US, by crossing the Texas border. Americans opposing this asylum are denigrating their own immigrant ancestors, who came to the United States for the very same reasons as the refugee immigrant orphans and their families.

Oddly enough, we Americans are the ones who are the illegal immigrants. Indeed, the ancestors of the Central American refugee immigrant orphans were in America for centuries before the first European settlers ever claimed any boundary between North American nations.  

Compassionate Americans are, no doubt, providing refuge for as many of the innocent refugee immigrant orphans from Central America as possible. Probably, many Americans are already making inquiries about the possibility of adopting the children.

Nevertheless, given the volume of children at risk for refugee, immigrant, orphan status, it's irresponsible for the US Congress to adjourn for a 5 week summer vacation while continuing to do nothing to resolve our nation's inadequate immigration policies. 
American taxpayers should be refunded the salaries collected by Congress, while they are doing nothing.

Labels: , , , , ,