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Archive for the ‘emergency’ Category

       I don’t know about you but hearing about the elderly being abused makes me mad.  Yesterday on my home television station there was a terrible story about a elderly woman who was allegedly abused by her own son. 

       She was left on her couch allegedly for approximately three weeks without medical help.  She was so weak from lack of food and fluids that she could not even get up off of her couch.  Her home was so filthy with her own waste that the emergency workers and police who checked on her, became violently ill in the front yard of the home.  It sounds as if the woman’s social security checks were being cashed regularily though.  The news reports say that the woman allegedly did not have a shower/bath for up to one year! 

       The poor woman has had to have surgery…her home was in such disrepair that it was condemned by the authorities.  Where in the world has respect for life gone?  This is a failure of our culture to fail to make sure that all of our older friends and relatives are nurtured, cherished and protected.  Sometimes, the elderly deal with memory issues or mental illness; this is an especially important circumstance to get social workers and medical personel involved with, especially if they don’t have a close supportive family system in place.   It would be bad enough if this was an isolated case in our country; but, it is not. 

         Everyday the elderly are abused and neglected in their homes, in medical facilities, in nursing homes and on the streets.  It is an outrage.  Yes, the elderly require time and attention.  Yes, it can be difficult for the caregiver; as they are loosing their independence and ability to do many of life’s chores on their own and often they resent that fact; however, it is important to take loving care of our elders.  Time is short and spending time with your loved ones is special.   You can never get that time back with them once they are gone.  The difficult and challenging times will pass.   The elders in your community have many memories and experiences to share; take advantage of that time with them to store up knowledge and memories.

         Just showing some caring and concern for the elders can make a difference in the quality of life for them.  Offer to do a kindness for them such as pick up their mail for them; or walk their dog…take them to medical appointments, or grocery shopping.  Some tasks are too difficult for an elderly person who is unsteady or has medical issues; like, going up and down stairs to do laundry or shoveling their walkways or raking leaves.  

         We all will be elderly one day if we are blessed to live long enough.  Please, check up on your elderly neighbors, your parents, your friends; visit with them and help to relieve their loneliness.  If you see someone abusing or neglecting an older person (or any person for that matter) get involved…call the authorities!  You never know…you could be saving a life.   If you suspect elder abuse report it:  http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/ncearoot/Main_Site/index.aspx

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       Breaking news this hour, the Dow soared up 938 points…the highest point climb in a single day ever!  This is following 8 previous days of losses.   It could soar to the moon; but, unless we get things stabilized…that too, could only add to the unrest.  However, getting the the numbers back up into a zone that is positive again is very important to instilling confidence in the market once again. This is good news all around the world as governments have pledged to get behind banking systems around the world.  People are breathing a momentary sigh of relief…as the past week or more has been full of doom and gloom which has only added to the financial anxiety.  Let’s see what happens now!  Will this financial encouragement impact the election at this late date?   Do you think those in charge of safeguarding the future have learned anything in this crisis?

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        Well, the powers that be have failed to pass legislation to authorize the “bailout” of the economy.  Now, we have all been told that something has to happen before the financial meltdown of the economy takes place.  With the failure to pass some kind of resolution, the DOW plunged 777 points as it became increasingly understood that the plan was not going to pass.

         Of course, there is the typical finger pointing on both sides of the aisle…Republican-Democratic each blaming the other.  Get over it, get back to work and get this mess figured out.   We don’t have time for those stupid games that politicians play.   The public is scared, they are angry and they are nervous…this is only going to make the situation worse. 

          The thing of it is..the longer this situation goes on…the worse the situation becomes.  Even those movers and shakers who WERE going to vote for this bailout plan…were saying how awful it was.  You know what that means…none of us are going to like it.  We are going to be hit where we hurt.  Many Americans are already living in the financial equivilancy of a critical care unit. 

           I am imagining it somewhat like a cancer patient who is told…that their disease is going to kill them.  But, aha…there is a treatment for you…it is dangerous, it is painful, it could have serious side-effects that no human being wants to endure…but, maybe, just maybe “You would like to give it a try?”

           What are we to do?   It is time to get back to the drawing board and fix this situation in a way that more House and Senate members can get behind…and soon!   Someone had better get back to work figuring this out…or the election in November is going to take on a whole new significance.  It might just be the election that no-one wants to win; as it could be like being told you get to be the captain of the most elite ship ever built…but, the name of that particular ship is called “The Titanic”.    Who wants to take on that legacy and have their name tied to it for all of eternity? 

          What is going to be the impact of this failure to direct some kind of stability in the financial well being of the United States of America?

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        Another family has made the news by dropping off their children, 9 of them from ages 1 to 17 at a hospital in Nebraska.  It is in my mind, in cases of abandonment, almost as if the children are treated like a litter of unwanted puppies.  In mid July, Nebraska made its own news headlines by instituting a “safe haven law”. 

         Most states in the US have some sort of a safe haven law which is designed to protect children who are either unwanted; or, in unsafe environments regarding living conditions, or in situations of neglect or abuse.  The safe haven laws are meant to allow a safe place for children to be left such as a hospital or a fire station.  What is unique about the new law in Nebraska is that it doesn’t clarify who has the authority to drop off said children…it could be a baby sitter, grandparent, parent, neighbor or what have you.  Another important point, most of the states that implement safe haven laws usually are set up to protect infants.  Nebraska made headlines by not limiting the reach of the safe haven laws to infant only drop offs…it basically says “minors”…leaving the new law open to interpetation.

         The courts will have to clarify the definition of the safe haven law so that the protection of the children and the people who abandon them is more clear.  At the moment, anyone under the age of 19 is allowed to be dropped off in a safe haven.  There will be no legal repercussions as long as abuse or neglect is not involved.  In some ways, this may help those situations where we read about newborn infants born to teen mothers who are dumped in a garbage can or left outside alone.  Maybe in those cases, some children will be saved…but, this new law opens up a whole new set of issues regarding children and their families.

         I know that the law was set up in good faith…to protect the children.  However, you have to wonder about the psychological damage to those same children who are old enough to understand that they have been abandoned by the people most trusted in their lives.  An infant does not comprehend the abandonment until they are older and the information is presented to them…an older child certainly does understand the idea of abandoment and there certainly will ensue emotional and psychological damage.  However, i will say an infant may not understand the full scope of abandonment; but, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t affected by it; when they are affected, it is often called an attachment disorder…where the baby has trouble bonding with their caregivers, either giving or receiving love…sometimes, it is even turned into a failure to thrive.  All human beings deserve to be loved and wanted.

         Studies have been done on babies or infants who have been abandoned in other countries and left in orphanages…if they do not get enough human interaction that shows love or caring…those children can actually die from the lack of human, loving touch.  Don’t think that when an infant is dropped off, even at a safe haven…that they won’t know the difference between being wanted and unwanted.

         People who find themselves in desperate circumstances may be tempted to go the route of the safe haven in a moment of extreme duress.  However, the long term consequences make me wonder whether this is a viable option.  People who abuse or neglect their children willingly or freely are not going to be so very concerned about making sure that the place they abandon their child is considered a safe place.  It would be better to put into place programs that facilitate helping families who are in danger of imploding. 

         Not to mention, those parents or caregivers who are feeling desperate…say…in a financial crisis…they can’t afford to feed or house their children…may think that this safe haven is an option for them.  The consequences of such an action could be considered permanent…even if their circumstances change in time.  Their custody could be forever impacted by that one moment of temptation to abandon the children in a safe place. 

         I wonder if other options are being given as much media & legal attention, such as making a short term placement with social services; for short term foster care in cases where, say a housing or financial need is threatening the ability to keep a family together? 

          Children aren’t like litters of animals…not that animals should be abandoned either!  Being a pet owner or a parent is a huge responsiblity…the demands are serious.  People should not enter into the role of a pet owner or parenting without alot of thought!  Parents need to take their commitment to parenting seriously. 

          If a parent is considering abandoning their children…wouldn’t it be better to work with an agency and make a permanency plan such as adoption?  Definately, if that were the case, doing it in infancy is better than waiting until a child is old enough to be scarred by an emotional and physical abandonment by their parents or caregivers.  At least by making sure that the child/children were placed in a safe and loving home…a child would have a chance to grow up and to be nutured in a loving environment. 

          No one should ever be made to feel unwanted, unloved or unprotected.  Abandonment leaves permanent scares that impact their young lives and often, other generations of lives as well.  What are your feelings on the safe haven laws?

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       With all of the economic shake ups taking place in the United States…i was just wondering…is anyone else feeling a rising, fearful sense of dread and panic?  It has building for the last year and a half with the mortgage crisis, rising costs of food, gasoline, home heating fuels, foreclosures, and job downsizings.  Now on top of all of that…we are seeing the fall of the major financial instutions in our country.

       Some Americans, in portions of our country, have been seeing and feeling the economic sense of dread and panic rising for quite some time.  It started with many job markets closing down or moving out of country (outsourcing) and then we started to see the domino effect from credit card lapses, missed mortgage payments, vehicle repossessions and then, foreclosures of homes that probably never should’ve been financed in the first place.  It has been, and continues to be, a chain reaction.

       The culture of over-indulgence, and pay later, mindset has decided to reveal it’s consequences.  There was no safety net in place to cushion the blow.  Once again in America, our quality of life is being threatened in a way that has the potential to bring our country to it’s knees; similar to the Great Depression that we all studied about in history class as children.  It has gone beyond a wake up call and moved to a place of drastic correction.  How are we going to deal with that as a nation?

      Tonight, President Bush is going to be speaking to the American citizens on the economic crisis that this country faces.  Minutes ago, Sen. John McCain made a statement saying that he is suspending his Presidential campaign to go to Washington to help deal with the historical financial crisis; McCain is calling on Sen. Barack Obama to put the campaign aside for the time being to focus on a bi-partisian solution.  Now is not the time for political game playing.  Anyone who dares go there…will loose the election for sure just because of it.  A commitment must be made to work on the issues that we are facing and stop playing word games and power plays to get attention.

        Time is of the essence at the moment; the impact has the potential to deconstruct the global economy.  Not only are our citizens watching and waiting to find a solution…other countries are doing the same.  Is there any possible way that we can as a nation and as individuals recover from this mess?

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       There was a recent news story that did much to anger those who work with women who have been “date raped”.   Helen Mirren, a British actress, who won awards last year for her portrayal of the Queen, did an interview with GQ in which she claimed to have been raped several times, many years ago, when she was a student.  Helen is 63 years old now. 

         The reason some people have been upset with Helen, over that interview, is that she seemed to down play the experiences.  She said there was no extreme violence, she was not hit…but rather, was locked in a room and made to have sex.  She did not file charges in those incidents.  She also said that if a man and a woman were about to get intimate and the woman changed her mind, and the man continued; that was indeed rape.  However, in that circumstance; she didn’t feel that a woman could then turn around and take that man to court for it.  Those are highly controversial remarks when taken individually or out of context.  To some people…those comments smack of judgementalism…that those situations aren’t worthy of prosecution of a person who sexually assaults another.  Those comments appear inflammatory to many folks.

         Most people are clear that if a stranger attacks another person and forces sexual relations…then that is rape.  It is true enough…it is.  But there are other forms of rape as well that aren’t as clearly defined for some people. (more…)

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        It is time to get out of the way, now!  Don’t wait…find a way to get to safety.  Don’t try to stay to protect your possessions…nothing that can be replaced is worth dying for.  There is a new hurricane threat to the coastal areas along the Gulf of Mexico.  The hurricane named Gustav, is at the moment a category 4 with winds around 150 miles an hour.  It has been pounding Cuba and it is gaining in strength.

         Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin is calling it the storm of the century.  This is frightening…because hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans.  People need to get out of the area now.  There has been a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans ordered by the mayor. 

         To enable the flow of traffic out of the city…the highway is directing all of the lanes of traffic to head away from the coast.  There will be no traffic allowed to travel into the city starting at 4 am Sunday.  Predictions are that the hurricane will become a category 5 by tomorrow.  This is the type of storm no one should stick around to witness.  It is the kind of storm that nightmares are made up of.

          With hurricane Katrina…many people tried to stay and ride out the storm.  The mayor of New Orleans is advising against that…because they will be running the city with a skeleton crew of emergency responders.  There will be no one to help once the storm hits. 

           Remembering the disaster of Katrina…I feel for all of the people of the Gulf.  May God protect them and their homes.  Fear, loss, and depression still lingers from the effects of Katrina.  It is such a terrifying thing to not know what to do or where to go.   It was being reported that some gas stations along the main highways were running out of gasoline to help the people being evacuated out of the area.  We need to pray for everyone who is being affected by this hurricane season.

           Where the Gustav will land is not known at this time…Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and parts of Texas are all under a hurricane watch.  To find out the latest on hurrican Gustav click on the site of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration here: http://www.noaa.gov/

          

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Stand Up To (2) Cancer

        Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer?  Did you know that 1 out of 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime…1 out of 2 men.  So unless you are a family of one, with no friends and you are the luckiest person in the whole wide world…cancer is going to touch someone you care about, at some point.  If you haven’t had to deal with the enemy cancer yet…consider yourself blessed beyond reason.  There is a movement afoot to Stand Up To Cancer.  It doesn’t matter if it is breast cancer, colon cancer, blood cancers, brain cancer,ovarian, or any other kind of cancer…it is a destroyer and needs to be eliminated.  Please join forces to battle a plague on the world that we live in…help fight cancer.

        The goal is to Stand Up To Cancer and understand it…take it apart…so that we can more efficiently battle it and WIN!  That is the end goal.   Cancer is the enemy…it is a thief…it has stolen enough, artists, doctors, mothers, muscians, pilots, cab drivers, babies, teachers, clerks, lecturers, fathers, students, writers, researchers, husbands, factory workers, miners, fire fighters, sons, nurses, daughters, child care workers, politicians, sisters, waitresses, brothers, lecturers, speakers, wives, caregivers, grandparents, role models, athletes, neighbors, librarians, friends, social workers, police men & women, military men and women, designers, dancers, clergy, you get the idea…Cancer is not picky about who it chooses to invade and try to destroy. 

          It could be you next, or someone you care about.  Cancer claims one life a minute each day!  Can you believe that?  One person a minute per day is too many loses! That is 1,500 deaths per day… that is unacceptable.    Protect your health best way that you can, eat right, exercise, protect your environment, take your vitamins, stay away from contaminants, be aware and educate yourself.  Honor those who have fought with everything they have…help out someone in a health crisis with cancer…be a supporter to someone in need. 

          Once cancer strikes…there are many needs, physical,spiritual, medical, emotional, financial, transportation, and daily care needs.  Do what you can to lift someone up!  Life is precious.  Will you make a commitment to be a force to be reckoned with and help make an impact in the fight against cancer?

         For us to win the war on cancer it requires courage, support, awareness, education and funding.  The television networks are joining together to bring those tools to the public and try to create a historic event that will hopefully rev up the odds of winning.  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/StandUp2Cancer/  There are many celebrities who are adding their voice and their talents to the project.  They have a wonderful website that you can view here that will explain more.  In the meantime, look for the program to hit the networks on Sept 5th, at 8 pm.  You can go to the website and read up on the idea here:  http://www.standup2cancer.org/  Let’s not be idle and let others do the fighting…there is something that we all can do…what are you willing to do to help?  Let’s envision a future without cancer!!!

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      Do you have enough money?  How much is enough?  If you are like most Americans then you; are in debt, struggling to pay for your child’s college education, rotating your bills, borrowing against your retirement benefits when in a bind,  and you have little or no savings for an emergency; and, maybe you wrestle with providing care for your aging parents as well.  Times are tough for alot of people…there are very few jobs that have real security for the employees these days.  Employers are picking up and moving out of local areas and many are even setting up shop, out of the country. 

      It is hard to find stability in the job market. The economy is rocky and that filters down to everyday people, like you and I; many of whom are facing foreclosure on their homes because of their financial situations.  

          Do you have enough money to provide yourself with all that you need to survive?  Do you have enough money to live comfortably now; AND, in the future?  If not, you are not alone in your struggles.  There is a system that can help you to place yourself in a better position, so that your future doesn’t depend on some corporate administrator’s latest, cost cutting measure.  http://www.layoffyourboss2.com/ (more…)

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        This week charities received some press time when it was revealed that Leona Helmsley left a whole lot of money for her dog, Trouble, and charities that take care of dogs.   Out of the billions of dollars that Leona left behind…most of it will go to charitable organizations.  That got me to thinking, while animals are important; and, organizations that work towards protecting them and providing them with care are wonderful…hopefully, some of that money could be used towards charities that do the same types of services for human beings. 

       There really are some great organizations and non-profits out there who really try to make a difference.  I love it when someone creates one when their hearts and minds get touched by an experience in their lives or the lives of someone that they care about.

         Today i read about another one that i think sounds wonderful and hopefully, other individuals will be inspired to create charities when they feel moved to do so.  The one i read about today was called, Kid One Transport.  Their website is:  http://www.kidone.org/index.php  (more…)

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