Trump and Macron Don’t Have a ‘Bromance’—It’s a Power Struggle, CNN Reporter Says

The two presidents were unusually affectionate. But one observer said that showed aggression, not congeniality.

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron's excessively friendly interactions on Tuesday revealed something much closer to a power struggle than a true friendship, according to CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins.

The two world leaders held hands, embraced, and gave each other kisses on the cheek during their public events Tuesday, leading many observers to label the relationship a “bromance.” At one point, Trump even plucked a piece of dandruff off Macron's suit and complimented his appearance.

But Collins astutely pointed out that these ostensible shows of affection weren't actually about friendship. 

“This is not a bromance—it's who can outdo the other,” she said on “The Lead” with Jake Tapper. “I'm speaking purely about physical interactions, not what they said about the Iran deal.  But if you watch them, they're constantly trying to outdo each other. When they were on the Truman Balcony earlier, they were trying to out-wave each other, see who could be the last to wave to everyone standing on the South Lawn.”

She continued: “Earlier, when they were walking to the Oval Office after they welcomed everyone on the South Lawn, Trump was essentially was like dragging Macron … it's an aggressive power-move there, trying to outdo each other physically.”

Watch the clip below:

 

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Activists may argue pipeline shutdown was necessary due to climate change, court rules

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Monday that four climate activists facing criminal charges may use an unusual “necessity defense” over their efforts to shut down a pair of tar sands pipelines owned by Enbridge Energy.

“Valve turners” Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein were charged after shutting off the emergency valves on the two pipelines in October 2016. Johnston and Klapstein, and the two defendants who filmed them, argue their actions to stop the flow of the polluting bitumen were justified due to the threat of climate change.

The action was part of Climate Direct Action‘s plan to shut down five pipelines across the U.S. that deliver tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada.

The pipelines targeted were Enbridge line 4 and 67 in Leonard, Minnesota; TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline in Walhalla, North Dakota; Spectra Energy’s Express pipeline at Coal Banks Landing, Montana; and Kinder Morgan’s Trans-Mountain pipeline in Anacortes, Washington.

The case now heads to trial in Clearwater County later this year. This court’s decision allows the defense to call on climate scientists and other experts to explain the threat of climate change during the trial.

“The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld our right to present the facts on the ongoing climate catastrophe, caused largely by the fossil fuel industry, to a Minnesota jury,” Klapstein told the Associated Press in a statement. “As a retired attorney, I am encouraged to see that courts across the country seem increasingly willing to allow the necessity defense in climate cases.”

The activists face felony charges of criminal damage to property and other counts.

In October, a district court judge ruled that he will allow the pipeline protesters to present the necessity defense for the charges. State prosecutors challenged the decision and the Minnesota Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in February.

According to the Associated Press, the three-judge appeals panel ruled 2-1 Monday that the prosecutor failed to show that allowing the necessity defense will have a “critical impact” on the outcome of the protesters’ trials.

However, Appeals Judge Francis Connolly wrote in a dissenting opinion that the necessity defense does not apply “because there is no direct, causal connection between respondents’ criminal trespass and the prevention of global warming.”

“This case is about whether respondents have committed the crimes of damage to property and trespass. It is not about global warming,” Connolly wrote.

This is not the first time a court has dismissed charges against a group of protesters using the defense. Last month, a Boston judge sided with 13 climate activists who were arrested for protesting the West Roxbury Mass Lateral Pipeline. The protestors argued the threat of climate change necessitated their civil disobedience.

The post Activists may argue pipeline shutdown was necessary due to climate change, court rules appeared first on NationofChange.

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Trump and Macron share an awkward handshake and a kiss – video

The US president, Donald Trump, and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, exchange a vigorous handshake at the White House. Macron is the first leader to be accorded a state visit since Trump came to power in January 2017 

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US politics | The Guardian

ICE has ‘become the most brutal kind of national police force’

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) isn’t just federal immigration agency, it’s become a political arm of the federal government. Candidate Donald Trump made plenty of promises and has broken plenty of them, but one he’s kept as president is to make life for America’s immigrant families as miserable as possible—and he’s done it with the weight of an unleashed mass deportation force:

ICE’s 40 percent increase in arrests within the United States after Trump took office is now closely associated with the president’s political priorities. His sweeping executive orders on immigration broadened the focus of enforcement beyond serious threats to public order. Arrests of immigrants without criminal convictions have spiked. Routine “check-ins” with ICE officials can end with handcuffs and deportation. “Sanctuary cities” — a recurring presidential political obsession — are being targeted with additional personnel. Hundreds of children have been removed from parents seeking asylum and detained separately — compounding their terrible ordeal of persecution and flight. ICE recently announced a new policy that makes it easier to detain pregnant women. Asylum seekers have often been denied “humanitarian parole” while their cases are decided, effectively jailing them without due process.

“The attitude of President Trump toward federal law enforcement is, to put it mildly, mixed,” columnist Michael Gerson continued. “The FBI refused to bend to his will. But Immigration and Customs Enforcement has passed the loyalty test”.

Daily Kos

Melania Trump Keeps Showing That She Wants Nothing to Do with Her Husband’s Disastrous Presidency

The first lady is a case study in subtle undermining.

Melania Trump is a cipher, a more elusive woman than any other First Lady in memory. She chooses to remain in a different residence than her husband while exuding body language that many believe indicts she is less-than-totally supportive of her husband.

Because Melania Trump says so little, people are left to wonder what she really thinks. Is her anti-bullying campaign a sly diss of Donald or a Trumpian meta-troll? Is she totally miserable because she’s married to a cheating lout or because the press is pushing into her private life and examining the legality of her parents’ immigration?

An expert quoted in the Los Angeles Times says that we should look at what Melania is not doing—namely, helping her husband. Robert Watson, an American studies professor at Lynn University in Florida, has studied first ladies and says that Melania is softly undermining her husband.

“The first lady can be a secret weapon and … Melania could soften his image,” Watson said, but instead she has chosen so far to do “the absolute minimum necessary.”

The Times also talked to Ohio University professor Katherine Jellison who said that she believes Melania Trump just wants no part of the divisive politics her husband practices because she doesn’t want to endure ridicule in return.

“Trump critics can point to Mrs. Trump and say she’s been an enabler or she’s a victim of the Stockholm syndrome,” she said. “I think if she did have a more upfront role, in an effort to soften his public image, she’d come in for more slings and arrows. Part of the reason she is more popular than her husband is that she is lower profile.”

Melania Trump did not call in outsider helpers to plan the Tuesday state dinner, which seemed like a low-conflict situation. And that’s what we will see more of, according to Jellison.

“I think what we see now is what to expect the remainder of his time in office,” said Jellison, who has studied first ladies. “We’re going to see a woman who does not want to be involved politically much, and sometimes does not want to be in the fishbowl at all.”

 

 

 

 

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Chaco Canyon, Chaco earth

A bitter wind whipped down the 10-mile-long Chaco Canyon, kicking up swirls of dust among the thorny greasewood and sagebrush bushes. I ducked behind one of the towering sandstone walls in the three-acre ruin, or Great House, known as Pueblo Bonito, to escape the gusts. I was in the section of the 800-room complex where burials took place. Treasure hunters and archaeologists have uncovered in these ruins and tombs delicate white-and-black painted ceramics, flutes, ceremonial sticks, tiny copper bells, inlaid bone, macaw and parrot skeletons, cylindrical jars with the residue of chocolate that would have been imported from Mexico, shells and intricate turquoise jewelry and sculptures. From this vast, bureaucratic and ceremonial complex, the Anasazi – a Navajo word meaning ancient ones or possibly ancient enemies – dominated the Southwest from about the year 850 until the society collapsed in about 1150.

The Chaco ruin, 6,200 feet above sea level, is one of the largest and most spectacular archeological sites in North America. It is an impressive array of 15 interconnected complexes, each of which once had four-to-five-story stone buildings with hundreds of rooms each. Seven-hundred-pound wooden beams, many 16 feet long, were used in the roofs. Huge circular, ceremonial kivasreligious centers dug into the earth, with low masonry benches around the base of the room to accommodate hundreds of worshippers – dot the ruins. It rivals the temples and places built by the Aztecs and the Mayans.

Radiating from Chaco is a massive 400-mile network of roads, some 30 feet wide and still visible in the haunting desert landscape, along with dams, canals and reservoirs to collect and store rainwater. The study of astronomy, as with the Aztec and the Maya, was advanced. Petroglyphs and pictographs on the canyon walls often record astrological and solar events. One pictograph shows a hand, a crescent moon and a 10-pointed star that is believed to depict a 1054 supernova, and one of the petroglyphs appears to represent a solar eclipse that occurred in 1097.

A few thousand priests and ruling elites, along their retainers and administrators, lived in the Great Houses or palaces. They oversaw the trade routes that stretched to the California coast and into Central America. They maintained the elaborate network of lighthouses whose signal fires provided rapid communication. They built the roads, the long flights of stairs carved into the rock formations, the bridges, the wooden ladders to scale the towering cliffs, and the astronomical observatories that meticulously charted the solar observations to determine the equinoxes and solstices for planting and harvesting and for the annual religious festivals when thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, would gather. The buildings in the complexes were oriented to solstitial or cardinal points, a difference the anthropologist Stephen H. Lekson believes denoted not only competing cosmologies but competing political ideologies.

“Chaco was the political capital of a well-defined region that encompassed most of the Four Corners country, with more than 150 outlying Great Houses scattered over an area about the size of Ireland,” Lekson writes.

But this complex society, like all complex societies, proved fragile and impermanent. It fell into precipitous decline after nearly three centuries. The dense forests of oak, piñon and ponderosa pines and juniper that surrounded the canyon were razed for construction and fuel. The soil eroded. Game was hunted to near-extinction. The diet shifted in the final years from deer and turkey to rabbits and finally mice. Headless mice in the late period have been found by archaeologists in human coprolites – preserved dry feces. The Anasazi’s open society, one where violence was apparently rare, where the people moved unhindered over the network of well-maintained roads, where warfare was apparently absent, where the houses of the rich and powerful were not walled off, where the population shared in the spoils of empire, was replaced with the equivalent of gated, fortified compounds for the elites and misery, hunger, insecurity and tyranny for the commoners. Dwellings began to be built in the cliffs, along with hilltop fortresses, although these residences were not close to the fields and water supply. Defensive walls were constructed along with moats and towers. The large, public religious ceremonies that once united the culture and gave it cohesion fractured, and tiny, warring religious cults took over, the archaeologist Lynne Sebastian notes.

Lekson, a professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado in Boulder, believes the Anasazi rulers during the decline increasingly resorted to savage violence and terror, including the public executions of dissidents and rebels. He finds evidence, much of it documented in Steven A. LeBlanc’s book “Prehistoric Warfare in the American Southwest,” that “Chaco death squads” were sent out across the empire. LeBlanc writes that at Yucca House, a Chaco Great House near Mesa Verde, as many as 90 people were killed and tossed into a kiva and at least 25 showed signs of mutilation.

“Chacoan violence, concentrated and brutal, appears to represent government terror: the enforcement of Chaco’s rule by institutionalized force,” Lekson writes in the article “Chaco Death Squads” in Archeology magazine. “Violence was public, intended to appall and subdue the populace. Chacoan death squads (my term, not LeBlanc’s) executed and mutilated those judged to be threats to Chacoan power, those who broke the rules.”

The anthropologist Christy G. Turner, who specialized in osteology, the study of human bones, in his book “Man Corn” cited “cannibalism and human sacrifice as conspicuous elements of terrorism.” In short, as Lekson writes, “the death squad killed you, cut you up, and then ate you in front of your relatives and neighbors.” The term “man corn” comes from the Nahuatl word “tlacatlaolli,” which Turner defined as a “sacred meal of sacrificed human meat, cooked with corn.” Debra Martin goes on to argue in a paper titled “Violence Against Women in the La Plata River Valley, A.D. 1000-1300” (located on the periphery of the Chacoan empire) that there is evidence of battered women who were perhaps slaves.

The Anasazi elites, no longer willing or able to provide social services or competent governance and plagued by shortages of natural resources, kept extracting unsustainable tribute. They resorted to harsher and harsher forms of repression. By the end, they were hated. The civilization suffered a severe drought in the year 1130. It was the final blow. The impressive structures would lie abandoned until they were discovered by the nomadic Navajos some 600 years later. The Navajos did not reoccupy the buildings, many of which contained skeletal remains, because they believed them to be filled with evil spirits.

“Parts of Chacoan society were already in deep trouble after 1050 as health and living conditions progressively eroded in the southern districts’ open farming communities,” David E. Stuart writes in his book “Anasazi America.” “The small farmers in the south had first created reliable surpluses to be stored in the great houses. Ultimately, it was the increasingly terrible living conditions of those farmers, the people who grew the corn, that had made Chacoan society so fatally vulnerable. The farmers simply got too little back from their efforts to carry on. Thus, great-house society emphasized other trade partners and supported new, lower-cost suppliers on its northern tier. This final trade network likely was focused on the continued well-being of the elites rather than the general welfare of its regional society.”

As the economic and social situation deteriorated, the elites accelerated the building of roads and Great Houses. They held more elaborate rituals and built more kivas. This is typical of decaying societies. The great Mayan city of Tikal was constructed over a period of 1,500 years, but its most impressive temples and towers were erected during its final century. These grandiose projects and spectacles were meant to project power and immortality. They exacerbated, however, the suffering of the impoverished farmers and workers and the decline of diminishing natural resources.

“At the bitter end of the Chacoan era, many elites remained in their great houses, probably trying to hold on to the past, rather like Scarlett O’Hara trying to hold on to Tara in Gone with the Wind,” Stuart writes. “But the farmers who had brought in the corn harvests were long departed, like the slaves who had supported Tara before the Civil War. Chacoan society collapsed, the framing pillar of its once great productivity shattered. The beleaguered Chacoan farmers had buried their babies one last time. Then they abandoned Chaco Canyon and most of its outlying great houses.”

“Prosperity, social integration, altruism, and generosity go hand-in-hand,” Stuart adds. “Poverty, social conflict, judgmental cynicism, and savagery do, too.”

Collapse, as Joseph A. Tainter points out, is “a recurrent feature of human societies.” Complex societies create centralized bureaucratic structures that exploit resources until exhaustion and then prove unable to adapt to scarcity. They create more sophisticated mechanisms to extract depleted resources, evidenced in our own time by the decision of the Trump administration to open up the lands around the Chaco Culture National Historical Park to fracking. In the end, the technologies and organization that make the rise of complex societies possible become the mechanisms that destroy them.

The fate of the Anasazi replicates the fate of all complex societies. The collapse came within one or two decades after the peak. As Jared Diamond writes in “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed,” the trajectories of complex societies “are unlike the usual course of individual human lives, which decline in a prolonged senescence. The reason is simple: maximum population, wealth, resource consumption, and waste production mean maximum environmental impact, approaching the limit where impact outstrips resources.”

“Civilization is an experiment, a very recent way of life in the human career, and it has a habit of walking into what I am calling progress traps,” Ronald Wright writes in “A Short History of Progress.” “A small village on good land beside a river is a good idea; but when the village grows into a city and paves over the good land, it becomes a bad idea. While prevention might have been easy, a cure may be impossible: a city isn’t easily moved. This human inability to foresee – or watch for – long-range consequences may be inherent to our kind, shaped by millions of years when we lived hand to mouth by hunting and gathering. It may also be little more than a mix of inertia, greed, and foolishness encouraged by the shape of the social pyramid. The concentration of power at the top of large-scale societies gives the elite a vested interest in the status quo; they continue to prosper in darkening times long after the environment and general population begin to suffer.”

We in 2018 are beset with signs of impending collapse. The droughts, wildfires, flooding, soaring temperatures, crop failures, poisoning of the soil, air and water, and social breakdown from global warming are leaving huge segments of the world’s poor without adequate food, water and security. Desperate migrants are fleeing the global south. Crisis cults carry out nihilistic acts of terrorism, often in the name of religious beliefs. Our predatory elites, who have retreated to their own versions of Anasazi Great Houses, with access to private security, private education, private medicine, private transportation, private sources of water and food and luxury items that are unavailable to the wider population, have walled out reality. Their hubris and myopia, as well as blind obedience to an ideology – global capitalism – that benefits them but accelerates social and environmental destruction, mean they have only bought a little more time before they succumb like the rest of us.

The poet V. B. Price, surveying the Chaco ruins in his poem “Time’s Common Sense,” understands the urgent message these stones impart. He writes, in part:

At Chaco I know I am not alone
I know I have heard even Homer
Weaving the tides of his stories,
And Sappho singing lullabies alone in the night,
Heard the footdrums in Rinconada
Like ancient surf through the stone.

This is the place
Where the past remains.
Utterly changed,
the landscape
is the same.

The future happens so fast,
It’s too fast to dread.
And now
the future is as good
as already over again.

There is one crucial difference between the Anasazi and our complex society. The collapse of past civilizations like the Anasazi’s was localized. There were always new lands to conquer, new natural resources to plunder and new peoples to subjugate. Our age is different. There is no new world left.

We can no longer live on the capital of the natural world and instead must learn to make do with the interest. This means the end to reliance on fossil fuels and the animal agriculture industry. It means adopting a simplicity that rejects the ethos of capitalism and the hedonism and gluttony that define the consumer society. It means a communal society in which inequality and income disparity are not extreme. If we continue to live as if the future does not matter, our society, like that of the Anasazi, will fracture and die. We will vanish from the earth in an act of global suicide.

The human species faces its greatest existential crisis. Yet, our elites replicate the imbecility, arrogance and greed of past elites. They hoard wealth. They shut us out from circles of power. They use brutal forms of repression to maintain control. They exhaust and poison the ecosystem. The longer the corporate elites rule, the longer we fail to revolt, the less chance we have to endure as a species. Settled or civilized life is less than 10,000 years old. Our peculiar human social construction is but a nanosecond to the universe. It may prove to be a brief and fatal experiment. Perhaps, as Franz Kafka wrote, “There is hope; though not for us.”

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Macron pitches new Iran deal to sweeten existing agreement for Trump

French president’s offer seems calculated to appease Donald Trump’s discontent with the current ‘bad deal’ on Iran’s nuclear programme

Emmanuel Macron has proposed negotiations on a “new deal” aimed at curbing Iran’s military power and regional activities, to exist alongside a three year-old agreement that restricts the country’s nuclear programme.

Related: The Trump-Macron minibreak makes for some fantastique photographs

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US politics | The Guardian

This Afghanistan vet spent his 40th birthday in Mexico, but only because he was deported there

U.S. military veteran Miguel Perez, Jr. spent his 40th birthday in Mexico, not because it was a trip of his own choosing, but because he was deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last month. Perez had been detained since 2016, after getting his green card revoked over a nonviolent drug conviction. Perez “said that what he saw and experienced in Afghanistan sent his life off the rails,” leading him to struggle with PTSD and addiction. He needed help.

Instead, the Trump administration deported him, “homeless and penniless in a dangerous place, without food or money or clothes or needed medications,” said Rev. Emma Lozano, one of his advocates. “This is an intolerable way to treat a man who fought bravely for this nation”:

Perez was deported last month after a year-and-a-half-long battle with the immigration court system. He said he was left in Matamoros, Mexico, a border city across the bridge from Brownsville, Texas, without money or clothes. Perez says he was given a few doses of Prozac and two other medications that he takes to treat his PTSD. A fellow veteran traveled from Chicago to Matamoros to help Perez get to Tijuana, where he has been living since.

Perez, Jr. spent his birthday there and called it “great” because he was “free” from detention. But he misses Chicago, his home. “I’m still fighting to get back home,” he told Latino USA. “My family, friends and my community are there.”

Following his deportation, the Chicago Tribune reported that “Perez is one of many veterans, some of whom sustained injuries and emotional trauma during combat, who have been decorated for service, then confronted with the possibility of deportation after committing a crime”:

As with many others, Perez mistakenly thought he became a U.S. citizen when he took an oath to protect the nation. He discovered that was not the case when he was summoned to immigration court shortly before his release from a state penitentiary.

Daily Kos

We Need to Do a Better Job Protecting the Safety of Health Care Workers Who Save Lives

Health care workers are more likely to encounter violence in the workplace than any other profession.

Working in a hospital, nursing home or ambulance is dangerous—sometimes fatally so. It’s not so much that a worker might catch a communicable disease, although that happens. The real danger comes from violent patients, volatile family members and sometimes even vengeful co-workers.

Last June, Dr. Henry Bellow, 45, a New York City physician who had been forced to resign, returned to the facility with an assault rifle and opened fire, killing a doctor and injuring five other health care workers and a patient.

A month later, after Indiana physician Todd Graham refused to prescribe opioids to a female patient, her husband lay in wait for the doctor and shot him to death in a medical center parking lot.

These slain health care workers will be honored on Workers Memorial Day, which is Saturday, April 28. We should honor the dead, as labor activist Mother Jones (that is, Mary Harris Jones) instructed. But Mother Jones followed that directive with the admonition that we also “fight like hell for the living.”

In the case of health care workers, who are more likely to suffer violence on that job than those in any other profession, we must fight like hell for a federal safety standard to ensure that more of them return home after a day’s work without broken bones, bruises, bite marks or gunshot wounds.

The union that I lead, the United Steelworkers (USW), represents 50,000 health care workers including doctors, pharmacists, paramedics, registered nurses, and nurses aides, and we are pressuring Congress and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to improve on standards already enacted by states like New York and California.

We do that with both damning statistics and dreadful stories. OSHA’s records show that the highest number of violent incidents at work occur in nursing and residential care facilities followed by hospitals. Together, those two categories account for nearly three times as many incidents as the next two employer groups combined. The most likely perpetrator of violence in any workplace is a patient. Not an infuriated boss or disgruntled co-worker or aggrieved customer. A patient.

That means, of course, health care workers’ awful stories are legion.

A member of the USW, John Bryan, who is a certified nursing assistant working for the Kaiser-Permanente hospital system in California, told his story to federal officials at a hearing last year on health care safety standards in Washington, D.C.

John Bryan. Photo by Steven Dietz, Union Pix, courtesy of USW. 

Bryan was helping a patient in his early 60s get to the bathroom. When Bryan reached across the patient’s bed, the man suddenly kicked him, knocking him to the floor. Bryan fell on his elbow, fracturing it.

Later, when hospital officials asked the patient why he kicked Bryan, it was clear that the man was confused and disoriented. He thought he was in his own home and kept asking where his wife was. He told the hospital officials that when a black guy leaned over him, he had to defend himself.

Arm in sling, Bryan was out of work for several weeks. When he returned, he still had to undergo painful physical therapy for another month so that he could regain full use of his arm.

Earlier in his career, Bryan, who has worked as a certified nursing assistant for 25 years, helped rescue a nurse who was being choked by a patient. That patient yelled racial slurs at the African-American nurse before climbing out of the bed and grabbing her by the neck. Bryan heard the commotion and pulled the guy off the nurse, allowing her to escape the room.

The worst case Bryan recalls occurred in a Los Angeles hospital. A doctor there told a patient that he had cancer. The patient left, got a gun, returned to the physician’s office and shot and wounded the doctor.

In May last year, a county jail inmate who had been taken to a Geneva, Illinois, hospital by two officers grabbed a handgun from one guard, then took two nurses hostage and beat and raped one. When police shot and killed him, they also wounded the already-injured nurse.

A couple of weeks after that, across the country in Massachusetts, Elise Wilson, a 40-year veteran nurse, was attacked by a knife-wielding patient in the emergency room and barely survived. A 24-year-old man, who would later be diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, punched her in the face, then stabbed her in the neck and arm 11 times. Her screams alerted a security officer, who stopped the assault. She spent two weeks in intensive care.

Elise Wilson. Photo credit: Massachusetts Nurses Association.

Too often, nurses view abuse as just part of the job. A patient spits on them, kicks them, punches them or a family member berates or shoves them, and health care workers just take it. Bryan said he was not angry at the patient who kicked him. Geraldine Stella, a member of the USW who is an occupational safety and health specialist, explains it this way: “Health care workers are, generally, selfless. It is ingrained in them to put patients’ needs ahead of their own. ”

Stella cites as an example a New York psychiatric nurse who had been so badly beaten by a patient that the bones in both of her eye sockets were broken. Stella told the nurse that she should have no contact with the patient when she returned to work. The nurse protested, saying, “But I can help her.”

Stella, who works for the New York State Public Employees Federation, tells health care workers at training sessions that they must look out for their own safety as well as that of patients. She will deliver that message this week at the USW Health Care Workers Conference in Kentucky.

She will also teach the health care workers risk assessment skills. Although it might seem impossible to reduce risks posed by violent criminals, psychotic patients or dementia sufferers, some changes in equipment and architecture can help. Health care facilities can give every worker a portable panic button, like those “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” devices advertised on television, so workers can summon help easily.

Loose equipment, such as IV poles and water jugs, can be made stationary, preventing use as a bludgeon. Time can be set aside so that one shift can report to the next patients’ hostile or unusual behavior. Hospitals can forbid workers to deal with dangerous patients alone.

After the knife attack in Massachusetts, Elise Wilson’s hospital installed metal detectors. Within the span of just a couple of weeks, guards confiscated nearly a dozen knives.

At Bryan’s hospital, patients with a history of violent or disruptive behavior receive a color-coded wristband, and their beds are covered with color-coded blankets. The blankets go with patients when they are moved for x-rays or other tests.

Bryan serves on his hospital’s safe patient handling team, which includes both management and workers as members and works to ensure that the hospital has the proper lifting equipment and training so that both worker and patient are safe.

In years past, Bryan said Kaiser had safety observations, but those were not as effective as the current safety conversations. In those, labor and management discuss incidents and how to prevent injuries.

Stella said that kind of collaboration is important in preventing health care workers from becoming health care victims.

But national standards are essential to protect health care and social service workers, not just at enlightened facilities, but across the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Totalitarian dream: Fatherland/homeland

If one recalls, the Nazi regime running Germany in the 1930s and 40s came up with the word Fatherland for their nation. As many should know, words and phrases can have deepest meaning in the worlds of both advertising and propaganda. Actually, propaganda is advertising. It advertises what the masses should be feeling about actions by and upon their country. Remember this from Herman Goering: 

“Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY.”

–Goering at the Nuremberg Trial 

That quote should be enshrined in some Hall of Fame for the truth about the masses. The sad reality is how it resonates so well nowadays in Amerika. Hitler knew that the ‘Big Lie’ was the best lie. Why? Well, if it was so out of bounds then it must be true! The 9/11 Truth movement has done its best, through countless research and investigation, to dispel the Big Lie, or should I say lies, about the ‘Who’ and the ‘How’ of the Twin Towers (and Bldg. 7) going down. Then we have the other ‘Big Lie’ as to the (so-called) connection between 9/11 and Iraq. You get my drift? Read the books by David Ray Griffin (# 1 is  9/11 The New Pearl Harbor) as a start to get educated on the hundreds of facts that make the case against the 9/11 Commission  Report. Oh yes, and the Warren Commission Report was truthful in that the lone gunman did it because he was a Commie dog. Where is that bridge in Brooklyn I have for you to purchase?

Let’s just focus on my country, the one I dearly love. In the early 20th century, there were a myriad of small newspapers and newsletters that covered a whole spectrum of political thought. Socialists and even Communists ran and won elected office throughout our country. In 1920, after the socialist movement had been hammered down by the pro-war/ anti-Bolshevik forces that controlled our nation, Eugene Debs ran once again for president from the Socialist Partyfrom prison… and received one million votes, or 3.5 % of the total… as Convict 9653! So what happened to our populace since then, so that nearly one hundred years later we are in a worse shape politically? As Ralph Nader calls them, the Two Party/One Party system gives the public the choice between Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. If someone dares mentions being a Socialist, not even a Marxist or Communist, they are looked at like one sites a leper. Of course,  the embedded with empire mainstream media only allows discourse from writers and citizens who express within the spectrum of the Republican & Democratic parties. Occasionally they will put in front of the camera only totally almost near crazed people and ideas as the only offering to the status quo. This assault on the minds of my fellow citizens has been going on for generations.

The public schools are increasingly underfunded, and the curriculums are set up in primary and middle schools to ‘teach for the testing’ and not for rational thinking. Overt and covert militarism has flooded our schools, our local governments and of course our media. All of these institutions make sure to drum home that ‘We are at war’ and to ‘follow the flag’. The Pentagon is so infused with our educational system that they use our schools and scholastic sporting events as recruitment material. How many times must we see soldiers in camouflage marching on the fields of play before or during games? They cover the football field or basketball courts with giant flags, right out of the Goebbels playbook.

Finally, every student in our nation’s high schools should be made to read Orwell’s 1984, and then discuss it in depth. The parallels to our current Amerikan empire are astounding! This writer thought it a bit obtuse when in 1984 each home and apartment had cameras that could see all that someone was doing. Well, the 21st Century surveillance state has arrived! Scary isn’t it? In Orwell’s book he shows how the nation Oceania was in a state of what the late author Gore Vidal called Permanent War. How fitting. Of course, what Goering revealed about the propaganda of war-making also fits too well now. W.C. Fields said it best: “Never give a sucker an even break.”

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