TLDR Not campaigning for re-election. Campaigning against impeachment.

I haven’t written in a while.  I’ve been working, watching, absorbing events, with a growing sense of trepidation coupled with a dissociative internet disorder where, on my days off, I argue pointlessly into the void, drink too much, bitch about the dishes I didn’t make and go to bed dreaming about houses I don’t live in and realities I didn’t create.

But, this is the life I have.

On Saturday, August 12, I drove home from work in the morning listening to the events unfold in Charlottesville.  I had followed the previous night’s events on breaks, knowing men with Tiki torches chanting slogans had surrounded a church, and that there was a rally the next day.  Listening to the events unfold, I knew it was going to be bad.  I knew someone was going to die.  I went home, took a shower, went to bed, and found out about Heather Heyer on a break.  Someone posted the last thing from her Facebook page, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”

So now you’re thinking there is this stupid woman weekday evening quarterbacking about recent events, probably trying to capitalize on them, probably completely unaffected by the reasons or ramifications for said events, sitting thousands of miles away in a comfortable house with a comfortable life worrying about bills and dogs or cats and kids and school or oil changes.  Maybe you are right.  I just completed TCAR (Trauma Care After Resuscitation), two days of intensive training regarding how we nurses care for patients like those who were mowed down in Charlottesville.

After that, and after watching how my “President” dealt with the events in the following days, I do not have much to say.  It has been said before, better, by people who know more than I do, but something bears repeating.  The person currently leading the country is not crazy, and not stupid.  He might be a strategic genius.

I have seen people wondering why in the midst of such chaos he continues to campaign.  What is with these rallies?  Why is he running for President when he is already President?  Why doesn’t he just govern? Because he is playing a different kind of game.  These rallies are not him campaigning for his re-election.  He is solidifying his base.  Take a look:

Trump rally on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, Phoenix, Arizona:  The 2018 United States Senate election in Arizona will take place on November 6, 2018.  Current Senator up for re-election:  Jeff Flake (R)* – an outspoken opponent.  He is being primaried by Kelli Ward (R), among others (Jeff DeWit (R),  Robert Graham (R), Nicholas Tutora (R)), but she was at the rallyAlso running against him are Deedra Abboud (D), Randy Friese (D), Jim Moss (D), Chris Russell (D), Kyrsten Sinema (D), Greg Stanton (D), and Doug Marks (Libt). Who is going to win this mess? Look at who supports him, and who was at the rally.

Trump rally on Thursday, August 3, 2017, Huntington, West Virgina:  The 2018 United States Senate election in West Virginia will take place on November 6, 2018.  Current Senator up for re-election:  Joe Manchin (D)*.  He is being primaried by Deedra Abboud (D), Randy Friese (D), Jim Moss (D), Chris Russell (D),  Kyrsten Sinema (D), and Greg Stanton (D)Who is going to win in this mess?  Probably one of these (look up who supports him and was at the rally): Bo Copley (R), Scott Ernst (R), Evan Jenkins (R),  Patrick Morrisey (R), Jack Newbrough (R), John Raese (R).

Trump rally on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, Youngstown, Ohio: The 2018 United States Senate election in Ohio will take place on November 6, 2018.  Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown is running for re-election to a third term.  Running against him are Mike Gibbons (R),  Josh Mandel (R), and J.D. Vance (R) (look up who supports him and was at the rally).

Trump rally on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  A general election will be held in the U.S. state of Iowa on November 6, 2018.  All of Iowa’s executive officers will be up for election as well as all four of Iowa’s seats in the United States House of Representatives, 25 (half) of the seats in the Iowa Senate, and all 100 seats in the Iowa House of Representatives.  The US senators from Iowa are Chuck Grassley (R)* (safe until  2022)  and Joni Ernst (R)* (safe until 2020).  But look who is in District 4:
Steve King (R)*.  Running against him are Leann Jacobsen (D), Ryan Meyers (D), and Jim Scholten (D).

Trump rally on Saturday, April 29, 2017, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: The 2018 United States Senate election in Pennsylvania will take place on November 6, 2018.  The Current U.S. Senator up for re-election: Bob Casey Jr. (D)*. He is being primaried by Brian Kelly (D) and Ray Uhric (D)Who will win this election? Look up who supports him and was at the rally (there is a hint here):
Paul Addis (R), Cynthia Ayers (R), Lou Barletta (R), Jeff Bartos (R)Jim Christiana (R), Paul DeLong (R), Bobby Lawrence (R),  – Businessman & Trump Campaign Activist, Rick Saccone (R), Andrew Shecktor (R), Dale Kerns (Libertarian).

Trump rally on Monday, March 20, 2017, Louisville, Kentucky: The Current US senators are Mitch McConnell (R)* safe until 2020 and Rand Paul (R)* safe until 2022.  But look at District 4: Thomas Massie (R)*.  Running against him are Sayre Christian O’Cull (D) and Joshua Neace (Amer Solidarity)This was my outlier, until I noticed that McConnell is in the doghouse with the current administration.

Trump rally on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, Nashville, Tennessee: The current US Senator up for re-election is Bob Corker (R)* an outspoken opponent.  He is being primaried by Tim Burchett (R), Larry Crim (R), Andy Holt (R),and  Andy Ogles (R).  Who will win? Look up who supports him and who was at the rally.  The lone Dem is James Mackler. Lamar Alexander (R)* is safe until 2020.

Trump rally on Saturday, February 18, 2017, Melbourne, Florida: The current US senator is Bill Nelson (D)*. He is being primaried by Tamika Lyles (D). Running against him are Augustus Invictus (R), Lateresa Jones (R), Dr. Joe Smith (R), Joe Wendt (Libertarian), Edward Janowski (NPA) and Marcia Thorne (NPA).  Who will win? Look up who supports him and who was at the rally. Marco Rubio (R)* is safe until 2022.

I have said this a lot, but for some unfathomable reason it bears repeating:

We are at the precipice of losing everything we value about this troubled nation.  Everything we stand for, everything we have held dear since the Declaration of Independence was written, is at risk of slipping through our fingers.  We are an imperfect nation, with many sins and grievances to account for, but at no time in our history, save 1860, have we been challenged in this way to bring our nation back from the edge of tyranny.  This moment, this time, this effort, will determine our future as a nation.

This is when we have to take a stand. TLDR, Trump is not campaigning for his re-election.  He is campaigning against impeachment.  This is not isolated, and we are not winning.  Messaging matters, details matter, strategy matters.  When you run ten different Democratic candidates against the Republican incumbent, you will lose.  Pick one.  Quit infighting.

 

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The Weaponization of Psychohistory

January 20, 2017

I had a dream this morning that there was a snake attacking a young cat. I was watching through a window, thinking how I felt bad for the cat. The battle went on for an excruciatingly long time, sometimes the cat would get the upper hand and I would hope it could, by some miracle, kill the snake.

For some reason I couldn’t do anything about it so I just rationalized that it was the circle of life and hoped the best for the cat, hoped that at least the bite would be quick and effective and the cat would be dead if the snake tried to consume it.

After a while the cat became listless, I knew it had been bitten. I turned away for a moment, in sadness or disgust maybe but I really just felt helpless. When I turned back the cat was a baby. I knew the venom was enough to kill a cat but the baby would be suffering for a while. For some reason there was still nothing I could do. The snake was going to eat the baby, alive.

I woke up at 1300 Eastern Time.

According to a source, Asimov wrote about the use big data to manipulate the masses more than seventy  years ago.  I don’t really know, because the limit of my experience with Asimov is his analysis of the Bible. In any case, the rumors of the current administration’s affinity for Strauss and Howe combined with their use of metadata to effect election outcomes has resulted in a great deal of hand wringing in some circles. We watch the news and our news feeds with appropriate consternation  at each new story, new scandal, new outrage that verifies our worst fears. We don’t know what’s coming, but we are sure it will be extraordinarily bad.

Rumor has it the current administration  believes  Strauss and Howe‘s generational theory supports their political strategy. They are  wrong about the coming revolution. Millennials are not going to support their agenda. A 74-year-old man was defeated in the primaries by a 69-year-old woman who was defeated in the general by a 70-year-old man who is installing a slew of establishment elderly to run the country.

The New Right will drive millennials further left, just as the New Left drove Boomers further right. It drove the Boomers so far right that they elected a fascist demagogue to lead this country (way to stick it to your values, hippies). It drove them so far right that an avowed anti-Semite and misogynist with no political experience is considered an acceptable choice for Chief Strategist.

What do you think the Far Left will look like in two years? I have an idea, because my 19-year-old daughter does not share my values. My 19-year-old daughter is an avowed SJW, and while she listens to her father and me in considering her vote (this was her first election) she listens to her friends on social media more. She will be listening to them a lot as she grows, as she refines her individual value system, and as her beliefs mature. As she develops her identity, she will do so in tandem with identity politics. I raised a Democrat (even though I am Libertarian and her father is independent, she is far more liberal that either of us). Trump will raise a Bolshevik.

When the kids currently protesting in the streets are drafted to fight a war, they did not start, in a country far away, while saddled with enormous debt they did not incur, and see more than half of their checks stolen from them to fund a Social Security system they will never benefit from, and a Medicare/Medicaid system they were kicked off of when the ACA was repealed, they will revolt.

There are more millennials than there were Boomers at the height of their generational power. Does anyone remember what Boomers did in the late sixties and early seventies? You think you’re seeing riots now? You ain’t seen nothing yet. These people are more disenfranchised, more ignored, more abused, and they are not all high. Their motto is not “turn on, tune in drop out,” it’s “we will fight them on the beaches, we will fight them on the landing grounds, we will never surrender.” However, they are not fighting Nazis, they are fighting New American Fascism.

We just mandated The Little War. Anyone who read Logan’s Run knows, we all lose.

March 8, 2017

I had this dream that a small fire started in a house. Nobody was doing anything about it. I was in a fugue, unable to act. The fire grew.

I became worried as the fire became quite large, engulfing the room it started in. I know this was bad, and the house could probably not survive. I insisted quite loudly that someone do something. Someone suggested breaking a window, I responded that would just give it more oxygen, and was a bad idea.

I realized nobody was going to do anything, and started to act on my own. I told my daughter to retrieve the animals so they would not burn to death, I told someone else to call 911. I looked around for tools and escape routes, noting where I was in relation to the fire, and the paths that would need to be taken to escape.

Nobody called 911, so I did. They would not answer. When they did they put me on hold. The fire grew.

Somehow, I got the feeling that there was something in the room, in the fire, that I needed to go back for.  The room was fully engulfed.  There was no way that anything of value could have survived, and yet I felt compelled to go back.  I knew, looking at the fire, that I could not succeed, and that I could not survive.  And yet, I decided that I would have to go back into the fire, regardless of the surety of failure and death, there was something there, in that burning room, that was worth my life, to try and salvage, despite having no chance.

And then I woke up.

 

 

So this is why They called a “code triage external” at change of shift. This is why there was no cuddle or lean board meeting or any of the daily partial communication that occurs before we start our shift.

My facility is trying to go “lean.”

A fundamental aspect of “lean” is that front-line workers have a say in operations. So now we have to have a pre-shift “meeting” around the “lean board” which captures nothing related to actual patient care or outcomes, only what has been charted (because that is what is audited). After I rather loudly complained that outcomes were not part of this “huddle” (which we euphemistically call a “cuddle”) they started reporting the number of days we have been without a fall, pressure ulcer, CAUTI, CLABSI, etc.

Like the good old days at the plant. “this is the number of days we have not had a Silkwood event thanks to y’all keeping your mouths shut and not reporting anything!!!

Does anyone with a LSS cert think it’s a good idea to *withhold* information from front-line workers who have to respond to a mass casualty event?

Really? No I am not trying to get fired. I am trying to understand how the one time we need info it is not given, but every other day we have to be 15 minutes late to shift report so we can hear the managers whine about our missed punches.

However, this could get me fired. Even though though it is not political, it is not a HIPAA violation (this is a news report, no patients are identified, my facility is not identified, etc etc), and I am not saying any untoward events happened as a result and thus I am not opening my unidentified facility up to legal scrutiny, I could get fired for this post.

Like when I suggested to the rep for our monitors that maybe the vitals could be integrated into the EHR so that I would not have to spend my entire day doing data entry –fired.

Like when I suggested that simulation does not adequately capture the intricacies of a real life emergency and that strict adherence to unnecessary rules could compromise efficacy in an emergency –fired

Like when I suggested that allowing a patient to die due to inadequate treatment for their MI was not preferable to transferring them to a higher level of care — fired (well I quit on the phone but was reported to the BRN for a fabricated incident anyway).

I still have my license, because I either quit or get fired from every place that is a risk for my license (usually I get fired) .

Rights and responsibilities

I waited to post my opinion out of respect for the dead.

I have seen what people are saying, I can’t wait anymore.

Bear with me for a sec – this is long, try to read until the very end.

Some are saying this is a “Muslim” issue. They impugn an entire religion based on the actions of one deranged individual. We saw it before in San Bernardino. Some person goes on a rampage because he hates his job and hates his coworkers. Oh, he happens to be Muslim. Ban all Muslims. Some person who hates being gay goes on a rampage in the club he frequented. Oh, he is Muslim. Ban all Muslims. Never mind that both men were American citizens born in the United States.

I wouldn’t marginalize an entire religion based on the actions of one self-hating person who shot up the club he frequented and pledged allegiance to Daesh as an afterthought. This was not “Radical Islamic Terrorism.” This was not Durka Durka Jihad. This homicidal maniac hated gay people because he was gay and was taught by his religion he was an abomination. Could have been Amish, Baptist, Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, Jewish, Mormon, or a Scientologist.

I will defend every member of the Islamic faith from the tyranny of the majority. I will also defend every Jew, every Jehovah’s Witness, every Mormon, every Pagan, every Wiccan, every Yazidi, and every Zoroastrian.

Now hear the corollary.

We keep hearing about how this is the “worst terrorist attack.” Many agencies are attempting to modify that so instead of being an outright fabrication it is at least partially true. “Worst attack since 9/11” seems to be the preferred piece of agit-prop to get everyone riled up.

Do you remember the weapons used on 9/11? I do.

Box cutters.

Some agencies are saying it is “the worst terrorist attack since Oklahoma City”

Do you remember the weapons that killed 168 people on April 19, 1995? I do.

Fertilizer and a Ryder truck.

McVeigh still holds the record for “worst domestic terrorist attack” and he was a Christian white nationalist veteran. Sure, Stormfront have distanced themselves from McVeigh but I remember the protests against Waco and Ruby Ridge and the people that were there. My father brought me to those protests.

People screaming, “ban the Muslim,” as well as people screaming to “ban the gun,” have short memories.

Daesh is counting on that.

There are people posting articles from hate groups that only serve as inflammatory pieces of agit-prop. They are making all sorts of inferences and claims about an entire religion based on a site that is no different from Stormfront. I do not see anyone arguing with them as they argue with the people supporting the second amendment.

FYI we have ten amendments in the Bill of Rights. This argument does not just concern the first two.

The First:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

The Second:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed

You eliminate one, you eliminate them all.

Including the Fourth:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

Daesh is counting on that.

And The Fifth:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Daesh is counting on that.

Let’s just do away with The Sixth as well:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence

Daesh is counting on that.

Might as well chuck the seventh:
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Daesh is counting on that.

We don’t really need the Eighth Amendment? Right?
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted

Daesh is counting on that.

They would also like us to forget The Ninth:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people

And The Tenth:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people

We are doing exactly what Daesh wants us to do. We are arguing with each other over semantics and specifics instead of focusing on the system.

You know what Daesh hates? What happened spontaneously in front of Stonewall last night. What happened in Los Angeles.

What happened in Athens, Brussels, London, Paris and Sydney.

Daesh hates it when ‪#‎LoveWins‬. You want to fight Daesh? You want to part of the solution instead of part of the problem?

Be unexpected. Jailbreak the system.

Daesh isn’t counting on that.

So I have been gone for a while because I was involved in IRL stuffs

So I have been gone for a while because I was involved in IRL stuffs.

As a result, I have become involved in various nursing advocacy groups (that are quickly becoming astroturfed, but that is another post).  I came across this gem today and just had to share the fabulous ideas promulgated by “Advisory Board” which appears to be a faceless consulting organization run by idiots with MBA’s who are desperate to pay back their student loans.

UPDATE
A colleague informed me that these fabulous recommendations  came from Steven Berkow.  He has a JD. It was expensive (I will be starting my own shortly, so I know how much debt I will be in) and stressful, because it took all his hair (I love bald guys. My husband is a bald guy).

Anyway, as an engaged nurse who owes $100,000 in student loans for my MSN, I thought I would provide by own scholarly perspective.  Okay in reality I just got off work and I am having a beer (hey it’s three o’clock somewhere) and got on my computer so I could actually address this *bullshit*cough* point-by-point.  In other words, TLDR warning but somebody had to say it.  I will try not to swear.  Promise

Hey – if it’s gets enough views I might make a swanky PowerPoint to make it all professional.

I see how long this is, so here is musical accompaniment.
15 best practices for improving nurse engagement

Translate Market Forces into Frontline Terms

    • Executives host unit-based, town hall forums
      • My facility does this.  Nobody attends because we actually work for a living and they are not paying us to be there. If I am not getting paid I am not getting dressed up to hear Dr. Fancypants w. Alottamoney, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, CENP, CPHQ, FACHE, verb nouns and noun verbs in an attempt to use jargon to obfuscate the fact that she in reality has absolutely no idea what is going on.
    • Staff nurse liaison relays information from senior leaders back to peers
      • Pray tell who is going to be hired for this position?  Nobody.  You are just going to have numerous meetings daily and force the charge nurse (who has actual work to do) to go to these meetings.  Then you will institute a “huddle” at change of shift where the charge nurse will disseminate the same information day after day to the same people who have to be at work early to clock in and sit around waiting for the charge nurse to be done doing the actual work s/he was unable to do while sitting in meetings so that s/he can read a prepared script and mispronounce all the big words.
    • Interactive exercise shows managers how adverse events affect unit budgets
      • if the managers do not know this, they need to be back on the damn floor (oops. I owe someone a quarter).
    • System identifies, addresses rumors circulating among frontline staff
      • this would be great is someone actually addressed the rumors instead of reading off prepared talking points in a disingenuous attempt to placate staff with empty reassurances and bullshit (another quarter, sorry).

Rationalize the Flow of Change OR who comes up with this horse pucky?

    • Limiting organization-wide emails helps minimize change fatigue
      • Actually, if the bloated administrative assistants would quit sending me stupid emails regarding crap that has nothing to do with my job, that would be great.  Also, I do not care what new MLM diet plan that marketing chick is selling.
      •  Get off my lawn.
    • Email color coding indicates priority level
      • no dumbass it takes up valuable bandwidth, just like you.
    • Change events calendar maximizes awareness, minimizes overlap
      • !!!!NEWSFLASH !!!!
      • NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR EVENTS CALENDAR!!!!
      • We are working twelve hours a day, sometimes at night.
      •  No, I am not waking up at 0400 when I WORK NIGHTS so I can commute to a job when I am not getting paid to partake in your heart health/diabetes month/pride parade for patient safety.
      • No, this is not high school and even then I never went to pep rallies. I was behind the bleachers doing important things.

Pursue Quality Ideas Over Quantity (like “work smarter, not harder lol)

    • Structured idea submission form focuses suggestions on organizational challenges
      • WTF does this even mean?  Your organizational challenges revolve around making a profit.
      • We all know this.
      • Quit hiding it.
    • Frontline staff asked to not only identify challenges but also suggest solutions
      • Great idea!!  I tried that. I GOT FIRED.
      • Screw you meatpie I wasn’t born yesterday. I know that if good ideas do not appear to spring from my superior’s heads they will be ignored or sabotaged.
      • I also know that I should curate favor with my superiors by letting it appear they come up with all the good ideas so I can keep my job.
    • Idea progress board allows daily vetting, tracking of potential process improvements
      • This person sounds like they attempted to get one of those karate belts in LEAN and had their ass kicked by Sonny Chiba, Bruce Lee,  and Jackie Chan simultaneously.
      • I have an *EXPLETIVE* MASTERS DEGREE.  I *know* the Toyota way better than you asshole and you are screwing it up (I think I may owe y’all a dollar by now, just run me up a tab).

Build Meaningful Recognition into Leaders’ Workflow (I almost spit my beer out.  I now require another)

    • Frontline recognition kit equips managers to mail staff hand-written notes
      • If my manager gives me a hand-written note it *better* have a Starbucks card attached.
    • Special staff rewards, recognition triggered by specific performance criteria
      • See above. Also, take that Daisy BS and shove it up your ass along with all the nurse’s week crap you keep handing out.  I know that this will only happen when CMS gives the facility full reimbursement, which will *never happen* since CMS regs are *designed to prevent* them from fully reimbursing you greedy corporate whores.
    • Weekly organization-wide email recognizes individual/team achievements
      • *blinks*
      • I thought above you said we were not going to get the bullshit emails anymore.

Broaden Access to Nontraditional Development Opportunities (they do not have an appropriate emoticon for my reaction to this statement. Imagine an angry cactus that is also bewildered)

    • Have staff members build customized professional development portfolios
      • I gave you my fucking resume before you hired me.  If it wasn’t good enough then why am I here?
      • Asshole.
    • Internally train high-potential staff and backfill with new hires to reduce costs
  • I literally laughed out loud at this.”backfill with new hires” like new hires are dirt. Backfill. That’s rich.

    What exactly is a “high-potential” staff? Young, uneducated, and stupid? Or old, over educated and desperate? If the latter, sign me up. I am sick of the bedside.

    Because of crap like this.

Adam Lanza’s mother is at it again

That sinking feeling you get when someone not satisfied with their fifteen minutes shows up on your morning news from NPR as you drive home from work.  We just lost the greatest musician of all time.  Several of them.  In a row.  Our electoral process has reached a level of buffoonery  that makes us the laughingstock of the developed world.  Thousands of people are dying due to a civil war in the middle-east that we helped create. Xenophobia and racism are preventing us from helping those people.  Again.

None of that matters this morning, however, because we have the inspiring story of Liza Long, who struggled mightily with the internet four years ago after her attempt to capitalize on a national tragedy for her own gain.

Interesting that after being ignored for a period of time this woman once again finds a way to use her son to get attention.  I heard the interview on the way home from work today and it brought back the same flood of emotions I had when I first read the viral “essay” penned by what I can only characterize as a narcissistic windbag.  I am glad her son got the help he needed, but since her feelings, her emotions, and her issues are the only things she seems to be interested in, let us discuss those instead.

” ‘I really felt like a failure on that day,’ she says. ‘Here I had this child, he had seen multiple doctors, multiple specialists, numerous medications. Nothing had helped my child, he had been in juvenile detention four times at that point, every time for a behavioral symptom of a brain disease,’ she says…..

Two days later, the news broke out of Newtown.

‘I just put my head on my desk and started to cry,’ Long recalls. ‘I just had this overwhelming sense of empathy for Nancy Lanza. I know at that point people were already blaming her, but instead I could just see in my mind this little boy who probably had needed help.’ ”

“Hey wait
Great smile
Sensitive to faith, not denial
But hey whose on trial?”

In the original essay she wrote

“I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.”

No, you are not.  You have no idea.

“It took a life span with no cellmate
To find the long way back”

“I am Adam Lanza’s Mother” pissed me off.  At first, it drew me in, as I was a desperate working mother supporting her demented mother,  a mentally ill brother, and a aneurotypical child.  I have been supporting my family my entire adult life.  Mental illness runs deeper in us than coal in the Appalachians.  I know mental illness.  I know it better than the “anarchist soccer mom” could in her worst nightmares.  I am writing in hopes that she realizes she should shut her mouth.

Ms. Long tried to drug, and humiliate, and threaten, her son into submission, because she was too busy blogging, on the blogosphere, to be a parent.  When was she planning to bring up her children?  Was she going to do it whilst inebriating them with antipsychotics?  How then would they understand a word she said in the medication induced fog?  Oh wait,
if they did not understand she had them incarcerated.

See, I know about having a child you love arrested.  I know about putting them out on the street.  This piece elucidates the rationale behind the rhetoric.  Long’s whines echo like my own mother’s hyperbole as she shuffles across the floor, bemoaning her life of self-induced oppression, always making the most of any situation, as long as it gets her a sympathetic ear and a way out of actual effort.

“Anarchist soccer mom” – what a wonderful moniker; suggesting that Long actually was just an unemployed housewife trying to score off a national tragedy.  She called herself a “Freelance journalist” – code words for unemployed housewife- and it fell to pieces around her as she realized that her very public lamentations were of no use to those of us who have to accept our responsibility for our families.  Did she divorce her attorney husband who provided her with the excellent lifestyle she repeatedly bragged about because he found some sweet young trophy to take to parties, or did he leave her because she was a useless piece of detritus?

And this morning I heard that boy, just sixteen years old, with his rehearsed answers, fed to him through the lens of psychiatry and the “right medication,” still being used to garner his mother page clicks.  I sincerely hope that young man success in this life.  It will start as soon as he gets away from his mother.

My family has guns.   They have trigger locks that only I have the keys for in a hard aluminum case that only my husband knows the codes for.  We couldn’t even kill each other unless we cooperated.

Instead of furthering the partisan divide, by claiming mass shootings are a “mental health issue” when your son has shot no one, what we should concentrate on is meaningful discourse on how to preserve human rights from a philosophical standpoint as well as our legal rights under the constitution.  When viewed through such an impartial lens, many of our disagreements vanish and it is obvious that the Powers That Be will use whatever suits them from both the right and the left to increase their power at the expense of our rights.  This is the root of conflict theory, is it not?  Those with power will seek to retain control over the disenfranchised.

That is my problem with Liza Long, who claims to be a dead woman  shot by her son because she gave a mentally ill person access to firearms and the means to use them.  Her position supports the ideas that the mentally ill should be deprived of their rights, to life, to liberty, because momma knows what color pants you are wearing.

“why can’t we look the other way?
Why can’t we just play the other game?
Why can’t we just look the other way?”

Be careful who you align yourselves with.  Many of those with a “liberal agenda” are not liberals at all, in that they seek control over my economic freedoms just as those who claim to be conservative seek control over my social freedoms.  The most damaging bills passed by Congress were bipartisan responses to national tragedy that eroded constitutional freedoms for all of us.

 

Priorities

With thanks to The Onion, which I blatantly plagiarized for this piece.

CONAKRY, GUINEA Rio de Janeiro, Brazil —With the death microcephaly toll in West Africa Northeast Brazil continuing to rise amid a new outbreak of the Ebola Zika virus, leading medical experts announced Wednesday that a vaccine for the deadly mildly annoying disease is still at least 50 white people from being developed.

“While all measures are being taken to contain the spread of the contagion, an effective, safe, and reliable Ebola Zika inoculation unfortunately remains roughly 50 to 60 white people away, if not more,” said Tulane University pathologist Gregory Wensmann, adding that while progress has been made over the course of the last two or three white people, a potential Ebola Zika vaccination is still many more white people off. “We are confident, however, that with each passing white person, we’re moving closer to an eventual antigenic that will prevent and possibly even eradicate the disease.” Wensmann said he remained optimistic that the vaccine would not take considerably longer than his prediction, as waiting more than 50 white people for an effective preventative measure was something the world would simply not allow.”

 
Access to birth control in the affected areas will require considerably more affected Caucasians, as the Catholic Church can survive quite comfortably for some time by simply encouraging more irresponsible breeding by the faithful. “It is possible that the number of cases of microcephaly with suspected relationship to Zika will be much less,” said Bishop Cardinal Circenses Maximus Severus Thrax, who added that the church could maintain its revenue stream just by encouraging the impoverished to reproduce more. Asked about the recent pleas by government officials to avoid pregnancy for the duration of the outbreak, His Highness said, “It’s not up to the government; it’s up to God, I don’t think the youth will stop having children,” adding “Are you going to stop having sex?”

Access to safe, legal abortion on demand will require many more cases of microcephaly among people with fair complexions, as it is still acceptable for brown women to face imprisonment or death for not having babies after sex. As cases of Zika continue to spread, news outlets in the United States are trumpeting that “Zika may even be harder to defeat than Ebola,” which was itself only defeated when it affected an unacceptable number of white people. Meanwhile, privileged whites in the Northern Hemisphere are insisting that people can continue to breed indiscriminately, as they attribute the cases of microcephaly to GMOs, or vaccines like that for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.

With all of these confounding factors, a vaccine for Zika will certainly become available before human rights are available to women in the affected areas. Representatives of the church have affirmed, “Morality says that people shouldn’t have that control,” insisting that health, quality of life, and well-being should be determined by a mosquito.

Balancing Discernment with Racism

I was passed this blog post by a friend who requested that it be read. Very interesting perspective. The writer begins by establishing her street cred, stating:

“My family and I welcome refugees to our city by taking them to get their Social Security cards or medical screenings and I teach ESL one day a week. We have also welcomed refugees into our home for meals from many different countries over the past 22 months. We have done our best to befriend these newcomers to our city so that they will have the best possible chance to be integrated into American culture.”

Integrated. Okay, maybe her grasp of the English language is tenuous. I will read on. She talks about friends and family in Germany who have reservations about the refugee situation there. I would argue that that is a uniquely German problem, brought on by decades of guilt for being one of the few countries with the dubious distinction of a history of genocide. Russia also has that distinction, as does Turkey, (although they won’t admit it). The United States also has that distinction.

The Writer quotes Emma Lazarus as if the knowledge of a poem inures her to the one charge that still carries some weight – the charge of racism. I believe say this is the charge that still carries weight because the United States has her own history of genocide. America perpetrated her crime in a unique albeit historical way, one that is not instantly recognizable even by most Americans.   But I digress, let’s move on.

The writer then relates the following story after further establishing her credibility by reporting how she dutifully changed her profile picture on Facebook to signify solidarity with France (apparently a significant achievement). “An Iraqi refugee family that has been living in the U.S. for 18 months (father, mother, 2 grown sons, 2 high school sons) that my own family befriended chose to change their Profile Pics to the colors of the Iraqi flag.”

Newsflash – they have that right.

“Under one of the grown son’s profile pic, his mother (a woman that I have shared many dinners with) wrote in Arabic: ‘Go to hell, America. May God curse America and Israel to hell.’ I replied with a warning to use great caution when making online curses against a country that has taken them in, provided them with refuge, financial assistance and free education.”

Another newsflash – in the United States, we have the right to request that G-D curse whatever we want it to curse that day, in whatever way it sees fit, by whatever means it deems necessary. The Ku Klux Klan has the right to march and rally and assemble. Westboro Baptist has the right to picket funerals. Satanists, both real and imagined, have the right to gather in their covens or whatever they’re calling them these days and call down the four corners or raise the great Cthulhu if they so desire. They are allowed to do this in English or Spanish or archaic Chinese or Pig Latin, they are even allowed to do it in Arabic if they are as fluent as the writer of this piece claims to be.

She goes on “ Up to this point, there was no indication that there were any negative feelings toward the U.S. I took them to be very friendly, engaged, thankful refugees.”

Thankful.

We destroyed their fucking country over imaginary weapons, killed or exiled the men fighting in their armed forces, allowed an impotent government to take over simply because they were willing to provide us with oil, and then got the fuck out of there just as soon as the exiled forces had reconnoitered enough to form a Caliphate that destroyed all the ancient artifacts Hussain had carefully preserved.

They are supposed to be appropriately “thankful.”

The writer then deactivated her fascistbook account, ”but not before screenshotting this damning post and reporting it to the refugee resettlement agency.”

Well, doesn’t that sound familiar, especially to anyone aware of the progroms in the USSR or the Gestapo in Germany or the Red Scare in the US.

In her conclusion, the writer helpfully suggests a new vetting process “What are your thoughts on American culture? Will you be willing to adjust your lives to Western society and teach your children to value our values? Will you promise to learn English as quickly as possible and integrate into your local community? And maybe one of the toughest questions to ask of Muslim refugees: What is your prayer for Israel?”

Why aren’t we asking this of the Vietnamese refugees who came to this country after the last pointless, unnecessary war we waged? Why aren’t we asking it of the Jewish communities in our country who speak Hebrew, send their children to special schools, and live in neighborhoods segregated from the rest of us? And why is it so difficult for Americans to understand the Israel≠Jew?

Then a tell :

“If Syrian refugees would like us to accept them into our country, then they need to be ready to lock arms, neighbor to neighbor, with people groups they may have a cultural or religious aversion to: Christians, Jews and homosexuals. They don’t have to agree with those peoples’ religions and values, but they need to be willing to join this great American melting pot. If refugees cannot do this, then the United States should not be encroached upon to accept them in our midst. It would not mean that we rejected them, rather it would mean that they rejected us.”

 Dude, there are Americans unwilling to lock arms with Christians, Jews, and homosexuals. Last night white supremacists shot up a black lives matter protest. Just last week Asatru terrorists (you read that right) were arrested for plotting to foment a race war for their imaginary friend Odin. Someone is setting churches on fire. People at church meetings were been mowed down for the express purpose of fighting an imaginary war against America. I have more to worry about from the Peckerwoods and Aryan Nations adherents in my own backyard. Someone (not the Vagos) terrorized Hemet in 2010: “Attempts on officers’ lives included booby-traps attached to squad cars, a gas line routed into an office building and a bazooka rocket — which turned out to be a dud — fired from a rooftop.”

How many Syrian refugees have committed terrorist acts? None. Zero. Nada. Should I write that in Arabic?

What is a “Nurse Against Mandatory Vaccines”?

Surgeons against mandatory time-outs.

Aerospace engineers against mandatory pre-flight safety checks.

Animal Rights Activists Against Mandatory Spaying and Neutering.

Okay, that last one might actually exist. The first one results in the wrong limb being amputated. The second results in the Challenger Disaster. Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines (NAMV) is going to result in people losing their jobs, and possibly result in the death of patients.

According to the Google, “Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines was formed to help healthcare workers and other working adults avoid and speak out against forced and mandatory …” (the preview ends there, and I cannot find  those words repeated elsewhere). NAMV had a website, (which appears to be down, but NAMV has a blog that is still active) where “Members pay a $20 yearly membership fee.”  NAMV raised $644 selling t-shirts . NAMV also has a Facebook page that makes for interesting late night reading, especially if you support science based medicine.

As a RN I was disturbed by “Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines,” as anti-intellectualism in nursing is deeply troubling to me. Not wanting to jump to conclusions, I went to the Facebook page and what I found was far worse than nurses who do not want to be told what to do. There is dangerous propaganda on that page and I believe it violates the “Nursing Code of Ethics,” specifically:

“Provision 2: The nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group, or community…

Provision 3: The nurse promotes, advocates for, and strives to protect the health, safety, and rights of the patient.” (ANA, 2001)

So what did I do? I found out who was running NAMV and sent her a message. I explained my concerns, particularly the violations of The Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, with specific examples from the Facebook page. She banned me from the Facebook page, blocked me on Twitter, and started scrubbing her affiliation with NAMV from the internet. This was over a year ago.

Why am I bringing this up now? It is another flu season, and another chance for NAMV to get free publicity, as they did last year when I first became aware of the group. I have seen healthcare workers proudly sporting their refusal to get the flu vaccine on the page. The 2015 campaign is hash-tagged #showmeyourmask. It is a brilliant piece of propaganda, because it is impossible to claim these healthcare workers are endangering patients. After all, they are wearing their mask.

The woman behind this group had a blog that was linked from the Facebook page. That has since been scrubbed, but her status as founder and CEO of NAMV is still available online. This is the person in charge of NAMV. I first noticed that she has not been a nurse for very long, receiving her Associate degree in 2010 after a year at Excelsior. Thereafter she went to Western Governors University, and received her BSN in 2011. She obtained Her MSN from the same institution in 2012. She then attended Kaplan University with the expectation of graduating and an “Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner” in 2015, before switching to Touro University Nevada for her Doctorate in Nursing Practice.

I wondered, how many years of experience does she have working on the floor as a nurse in an acute care setting? What was her specialty? Did she ever see patients on oscillating vents or nitrous due to influenza? I noticed that she was a LPN (license #4703103254) before she became a RN (License #4704282245). I was wondering what she did while taking all those online classes, before becoming an entrepreneur, selling T-shirts. Therefore, I looked up her work history.

She has been a Director of Nursing Education for CHE Trinity Health (2013-2014), a Case Manager for Hospice of Michigan (2012-2013), worked for Spectrum Health at an Urgent care clinic (2012), and worked “with the public inebriate program of Grand Rapids” for Mel Trotter Ministries (2011-2012). She worked for project Rehab (2010-2011) and was a LPN at the Salvation Army (2009-2010). It appears she also worked in Long Term Care, both as a CNA and LPN from 2004 – 2008.

So What? Other social media users regularly advocate against not only the influenza vaccine, but against childhood immunizations as well. They use their professional titles to spread misinformation and pseudoscience, resulting in decreased rates of immunization and increased chances of morbidity and mortality due to preventable disease.

I think it will take more than traditional public health models to combat this misinformation, since traditional models do not include the epidemiological view of social media. In this age, ideas go viral. This results in actual cases of disease transmission, as we have recently seen with pertussis and measles (Leask, 2011; Poland, & Jacobson, 2011; Salathe, & Khandelwal, 2011; ).

A woman with no acute care experience whatsoever heads the organization known as Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines. She has been a registered nurse for less than five years. Meanwhile I have been working in the Intensive Care Unit seeing people die of influenza. It took me three years to obtain my Associates Degree over ten years ago (degree requirements). It took two more years to obtain my BSN at a State University. It took three years to obtain my Masters degree from the same university. The whole time I was employed full time as a Registered Nurse in an acute care hospital. I worked there for eight long years.

There are numerous well-researched evidence-based articles regarding the safety and efficacy of the flu vaccine. There are also valid reasons why healthcare providers should be vaccinated (Crislip, 2014; Cortes-Penfield,2014). The Facebook page “Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines” is perpetuating myths, and silencing critics. This is not professional behavior.

There are physicians doing this as well. have “Doctor Bob” Spears, “Doctor” Gordon, and various other “Doctors” (Reiss, 2015; Tracy, 2015; Lah, & Brumfield, 2015) going on major media outlets, which purport to present the “other side” of the vaccine “argument.” The science says there is no other side and there is no argument (I could develop and cite this thesis but it would be a dissertation- for my Doctorate).

We, as nurses, are used to  advocating for our patients. We need to start doing it publicly (Orac, 2015). We also need to hold our colleagues responsible for spreading misinformation. I once worked with a nurse who said she was not getting the flu shot because she did not want to “put all those chemicals in her body.” I do not work with her anymore, but I wish I had said something when I had the chance. Crislip, (2014) or this (if you do not have a subscription to Medscape) is a good start. I got my first flu shot after realizing that I was one of those to whom Crislip was referring.
References

American Nurses Association. (2001).Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretative Statements.  (2010, November 15).  Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association. Available from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/EthicsStandards/CodeofEthicsforNurses/Code-of-Ethics.pdf

Cortes-Penfield, N. (2014). Mandatory influenza vaccination for health care workers as the new standard of care: A matter of patient safety and nonmaleficent practice. American Journal of Public Health, 104(11), 2060-2065.

Crislip, M. (2014, October 6). Budget of Dumb Asses: 2014 Edition. Medscape. Retrieved from http://boards.medscape.com/forums/?128@@.2a794c48!comment=1

Lah, K. & Brumfield, B. (5 February, 2015). Anti-vaccine doctor Jack Wolfson goes silent. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/05/health/anti-vaccine-doctor-jack-wolfson/

Leask, J. (2011). Target the fence-sitters. NATURE, 473(7348), 443-445.

Orac. (2015, January 27). Quoth Katie Tietje: Stop being mean to non-vaccinators!. Respectful Insolence. Retrieved from http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2015/01/27/quoth-katie-tietje-pro-vaxers-are-so-mean/

Poland, G. , & Jacobson, R. (2011). The age-old struggle against the antivaccinationists. The New England Journal of Medicine, 364(2), 97-99. Retrieved from http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmp1010594

Reiss, D.R. (2015, January 18). Dr. Robert Sears misleads parents about measles and vaccines. Skeptical Raptor. Retrieved from http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/dr-robert-sears-misleads-parents-measles-vaccines/

Salathe, M. , & Khandelwal, S. (2011). Assessing vaccination sentiments with online social media: Implications for infectious disease dynamics and control. Plos Computational Biology, 7(10), e1002199-e1002196. Retrieved from http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002199

Tracy, B. (2015, January 27). Doctor explains why he lets kids avoid the measles vaccine. CBS Evening News. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/doctor-explains-why-he-lets-kids-avoid-the-measles-vaccine/