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Richard Mellor / Puerto Rico Teachers in the Front Lines
« Last post by Richard Mellor on Today at 06:01:06 AM »
Puerto Rico Teachers in the Front Lines

Mercedes Martinez
Puerto Rico news from Mercedes Martinez teachers union leader. FFWP hopes the translation is accurate and apologizes for our linguistic limitations. We hope to keep folks up to date on these developments in Puerto Rico.
Admin

Siete  verdugos, nombrados por el Congreso de EEUU para imponer medidas de  austeridad severas sobre nuestra gente acaban de votar a favor del Plan  Fiscal.
Siete miembros de una  Junta que no fueron electos por nosotros. En cualquier país a eso le  llaman dictadura, pero aquí no...aquí le llaman democracia.
Una junta que acaba de aprobar
Despidos de maestros, oficinistas, secretarias, conserjes, empleados de  comedor en el DE, cierres de 307 escuelas, elementales con 330  estudiantes y secundarias con 700.
Eliminación de bono de Navidad  para empleados públicos y privados, eliminación o reducción de la  aportación patronal al plan médico a empleados públicos.
Eliminar  el sistema de pensiones vitalicios y pasar a TODOS los maestros a un  sistema de aportaciones definidas 401k, recortar las pensiones de 10 a  25% a nuestros jubilados.
La pregunta es: ¿nos vamos a quedar golpeados, o vamos a luchar?


Seven  Executioners, appointed by the U.S Congress to impose severe austerity  measures on our people, have just voted in favour of the fiscal plan.

Seven members of a board who were not elected by us. In any country  they call it dictatorship, but not here... here they call it democracy.

A board you just approved

Layoffs of teachers, clerks, secretaries, janitors, dining-room  employees, 307 schools, elementary with 330 students and 700. Students.

Elimination of Christmas bonus for public and private employees,  disposal or reduction of employer contribution to the medical plan to  public employees.

Remove the life pension system and move all  teachers to a defined 401 k input system, cut pensions from 10 to 25 %  to our retirees.

The question is: are we going to get beaten, or are we going to fight?

Tonight is a sad night in our island.  The dictatorial Oversight  Control Board approved its fiscal plan.  A plan that  creates draconian  mreasures against the working class and  retirees of our country:
$466.5 million dollar cut in the DOE's budget progressively from 2019-2023
 $124.5 million dollar in savings, through lay offs of secretaries, janitors, cafeteria workers and other workers from the DOE.
 $194.5 million dollar saving in teacher lay offs
 $14 million dollar saving in 283 school closures
 elimination of the Christmas bonus
 elimination of the pension system and transfer all active public workers to a 401k system
 cut from 10 to 25% of the current pensions of retirees
 The government approved Law 85, which will allow charters and vouchers.
 They want our people to pay a $72 billion odious debt, that was not created by us.
 They want to use our kids for profit through the charter and voucher systems.
 They approved the privatization of PREPA
 They approved to reduce the minimum wage for youth workers of 25 years of age or less
 This is what disaster capitalism in steroids looks like!
 We have no way out
 But fight fight fight!!!!

Source: Puerto Rico Teachers in the Front Lines
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AlterNet / Why Marijuana Fans Should Not See Approval for Epilepsy Drug As a Win for Weed
« Last post by AlterNet on Today at 06:01:00 AM »
Why Marijuana Fans Should Not See Approval for Epilepsy Drug As a Win for Weed


Healing, but no high?


 

A Food and Drug Administration panel recommended approval of a drug made of cannabidiol on April 19 to treat two types of epilepsy. The FDA is expected to decide in June whether to accept the panel?s 13-0 recommendation to approve Epidiolex, which would would become the first drug made of cannabidiol, a compound in the cannabis plant, to gain approval from the FDA.

While the panel?s unanimous decision is not binding, the action will no doubt heighten public debate about the use of cannabidiol, medical marijuana, medical cannabis and hemp oil. Should cannabidiol, or CBD, or marijuana be legalized for medical purposes? What is the evidence that these products are beneficial? Are these products safe to use?

Those who support the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes might have found the timing of the panel?s ruling interesting. National Weed Day is April 20.

But weed is not cannabidiol, even though both come from cannabis.

As a professor of pharmacy with a special interest in epilepsy, I find it important that CBD may be a new option for the treatment of epilepsy. This new use has led me to carefully study published literature on CBD and discuss it as an option with patients who have epilepsy. Additionally, I have been involved with the American Epilepsy Society?s ongoing review of CBD as a possible treatment for epilepsy. From this perspective, I believe that CBD may offer benefits for patients with some types of epilepsy and possibly other disorders.

The cannabis plant produces hundreds of different compounds, many of which have differing effects in the body. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the substance that is most known for its psychoactive effects, or the ?high? associated with marijuana.

However, there are many other substances from the cannabis plant that also produce effects in the body. Many of these differ from THC in that they are not psychoactive ? and they do not produce a ?high.? Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of those substances.

Cannabidiol is a complex molecule that is produced by the cannabis plant. Cannabis has been proposed for centuries as a medicinal plant. Only recently has CBD been studied scientifically for various disorders.

Compared to THC, CBD works at different receptors in the brain and other parts of the body. In this way, CBD is very different from THC and may offer new mechanisms of treatment. For this reason, CBD has received a great amount of attention as a possible treatment for many different disorders.

CBD has been proposed as a cure or treatment for many disorders and diseases, including epilepsy, chronic pain, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig?s disease) and insomnia. Some of these uses are based on science, but others are proposed by advocates of CBD and medical marijuana. Several anecdotal reports, case reports, case series and small studies have reported on CBD for many of these disorders. Information from these reports is conflicting. Case reports, case series and small studies are considered insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the safety and efficacy of a drug or treatment. This is because these studies are usually unable to distinguish between the effect of a drug and a placebo effect, or the patient thinking the drug is working when it really is not providing benefit.

However, there are two well-designed, large studies that indicate CBD is effective in two different epilepsy syndromes. In these studies, about 40 percent of patients taking CBD had a significant reduction in specific types of seizures.

Epilepsy is the only disorder where there is solid scientific evidence demonstrating that CBD is safe and effective. This does not mean that CBD will not work for other disorders, but epilepsy is the only one where we have clear, well-documented evidence that CBD helps.

Results from these studies show that CBD does have side effects. The most common ones are drowsiness, nausea, intestinal cramping, bloating and diarrhea. More serious side effects can occur. In one of the studies in epilepsy, about 10 percent of patients taking CBD had an increase in laboratory tests of liver function. These tests commonly indicate damage to the liver. About 2-3 percent of patients taking CBD had to discontinue it due to large increases in certain liver enzymes in laboratory tests, showing possible liver damage.

We are also learning about drug interactions that occur with CBD. In these studies, CBD slowed the metabolism of several drugs that are commonly given to individuals with epilepsy. The interactions between CBD and other drugs patients were taking caused side effects. It is unclear if these side effects were due to CBD, the other drugs, or a combination. Doses of the other drugs were reduced, due to the interactions.

The mechanism for these interactions indicate that there are likely several other interactions between CBD and other common medications. Cannabidiol needs to be used cautiously in combination with other medications.

Issues beyond effectiveness.

There are several other factors to consider in regards to CBD. Cannabidiol does not dissolve well in water. For this reason, oral products of CBD are made with an oil, often some type of vegetable oil. It is important that the right oil is used.

Also, less than 20 percent of an oral dose of CBD is absorbed. This makes it difficult to produce a CBD product where CBD is reliably and consistently absorbed.

An FDA study of unregulated CBD products available on the market shows these products are frequently contaminated with things like pesticides, herbicides, fungus or bacteria. Additionally, the FDA found that over 50 percent of CBD products may not contain the amount of CBD on the label. This is especially true in states where CBD products are not regulated by the state. In 17 states where there is regulation, there is much better control on product quality and purity.

Finally, there are two pharmaceutical-grade CBD products that have been studied for production by a pharmaceutical company. One is Epidiolex, approved by the FDAD panel on April 19, and the other is still being studied. Epidiolex would be approved only for use in two types of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

The ConversationSo far, the evidence is that CBD is safe and effective for specific epilepsy syndromes. There is insufficient scientific evidence to indicate that it is effective or ineffective for other disorders. Information from well-designed studies do indicate that CBD causes important side effects and drug interactions that must be considered. Individuals who wish to use CBD should be managed and monitored by health care professionals familiar with its use.

Timothy Welty, Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Drake University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

 

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Source: Why Marijuana Fans Should Not See Approval for Epilepsy Drug As a Win for Weed
3
Barbara Bush. Katrina "Worked Well" For the Underprivileged.

The Architects of Death



 Barbara Bush on Katrina

Like the British Royals, the matriarchs and patriarchs of the ruling families in the US often live long lives. With the best health care, housing, and all other requirements for leading a healthy life including an absence of unhealthy working conditions while having to maintain a family as well.They generally do no productive labor at all and we could say that they have what socialism can provide but they don't want it for the rest of us.

I did not wish Barbara Bush dead. But I don't mourn for her. Why would I? She is part of a family group that has blood on its hands. She is the matriarch of one of the dominant ruling class families of US capitalism. Her husband has blood on his hands with the interventions and assassinations the CIA has carried out in South and Central America (See The Panama Deception). He bombed the tiny country of Panama when his friend Noriega got a bit too independent. Her son, the imbecile president before Obama is a mass murderer and war criminal responsible for the destruction of Iraq as a nation state, a country that never threatened the US in any way. He is responsible  for the death of some one million people. Her other offspring are crooks and wasters in one way or another. As a bourgeois woman she has a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of her sex. As a bourgeois and a willing partner in the exploitation, massacre and destruction of workers and working class lives, she is as guilty as the rest of them.

Her comments on Katrina above show how detached people from her class are.

She has not condemned the war criminal Madeline Albright who said on US television that the death of some 500,00 Iraqi's due to the US imposed sanctions was "worth it." These deaths were mostly women and children. Why should workers not have anything but contempt for a representative of the ruling class who, in an unguarded moment said ?Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? It?s not  relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like  that?? when talking about the news and the unpleasant consequences of one of her family's wars. Yes, the news is distressing. Her son went on to kill a million or so people after that comment and eventually rounded up their old friend Saddam Hussein and had him killed too.

I remember a scene in that excellent film Gosford Park  about the British class system set in the 1930's and directed by the American Robert Aldrich. A British factory owner throws a weekend shooting party and many influential guests attend with their maids. This scene showed two of the maids rooming together and talking about their owners. The maids were often the means by which the wealthy------a mixture of industrialists and feudal aristocratic landowners with very Victorian attitudes------found out about the private lives of their equally wealthy and socially connected competitors.  The ruling class was quite conservative except when it came to impregnating working class women that worked for them and when a pregnancy arose, shipping the product of the rape off to the workhouse. But what these maids were talking about was how they lived their lives through their owners. Their lives had no meaning except when they were talking about their owners.

It was as if they had no life but work.

The maids were talking about their owners and one of them raises this, that their lives are so constructed, so controlled in a way that as maids they live their life through the people they served. This is the same with the likes of the Bush's the Obama's and even more so with celebrities whose sex lives and dress tastes dominate the media.

We can see the class solidarity from all sections of the US ruling  class at the death of one of their own, the matriarch of an old Anglo Saxon ruling  family, a murderous bunch if we just think for ourselves for a moment. All kissing each others asses and united when it comes to exploiting workers at home and abroad.

The Obama's were full of praise, "the rock of a family dedicated to public service." the Obama 's said according to the media, I guess they both spoke at the same time.      

"We'll  always be grateful to Mrs. Bush for the generosity she showed to us  throughout our time in the White House," they continued, "but we're even more  grateful for the way she lived her life ? as a testament to the fact  that public service is an important and noble calling; as an example of  the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American  spirit."

We don't need to wish the death of our most powerful enemies as individuals, we want to rid humanity of the system that produces them; that they govern. Socialists and all workers wanting to change society aren't driven by personal hatred or revenge. A friend of mine ignorant of my motivation for my political views accused me of "hating people with money" because I criticized a family member of one of the Arabian Shiekdoms who owns Manchester City football club. In the process of a workers' revolution and the struggle to build a democratic socialist society some of these people can be reformed and some will join with us; the rest, we'll fight.

Think about what Barbara Bush said above about working class people, almost entirely people of color who suffered under the market driven katrina disaster, a catastrophe that could have been avoided and her son could have avoided it. It will take great events to rehabilitate someone with that mindset.

No, we don't gloat at the death of a prominent member of the global ruling class, but we don't mourn either.

Source: Barbara Bush. Katrina "Worked Well" For the Underprivileged.
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AlterNet / Rosenstein May Be Using a Legal Technicality to Protect the Russia Probe
« Last post by AlterNet on Yesterday at 06:08:12 PM »
Rosenstein May Be Using a Legal Technicality to Protect the Russia Probe



 
 
 



A new report suggests that the deputy attorney general may have found a way to save his and Robert Mueller's jobs, for now.


Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein may be using a legal technicality to persuade President Donald Trump not to interfere in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, according to a new reportThursday.

According to Jennifer Jacobs and Chris Strohm of Bloomberg, Rosenstein recently told Trump that he is not the "target" of the investigation. helping to calm the president down after the offices of his attorney Michael Cohen were raided by federal agents.

It has previously been reported that investigators told the president's legal team that he is not a "target" of the probe. However, in it's strict legal definition, this simply means that the investigators have not at this point determined that they expect to charge him with a crime. Trump is reportedly a "subject" of the investigation, which means his conduct is being reviewed for potential criminal violations.

Rosenstein might be relying on this subtle distinction to confuse Trump or lull him into a false sense of security in order to prevent the president from interfering in the investigation.

"Rosenstein?s message may have been based on a technicality. Trump may not officially be a target, but Mueller hasn?t ruled out making him one at some point in the future, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the unfolding investigation," the reporters wrote. 

In other words: Trump may not be out of legal jeopardy yet, but it's best that he thinks he's safe.






 

Related Stories


Source: Rosenstein May Be Using a Legal Technicality to Protect the Russia Probe
5
Inter Press Service - Labour / FAO and El País Launch Series of Books on ?The State of the Planet?
« Last post by Inter Press Service on Yesterday at 06:08:11 PM »
FAO and El País Launch Series of Books on ?The State of the Planet?

Today the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) hosted an event at its headquarters in Rome, to present a set of eleven books jointly realized in collaboration with the Spanish newspaper El País. ?El Estado del Planeta? (?The State of the Planet?) is a unique series of 11 books that will be published one at a […]

The post FAO and El País Launch Series of Books on ?The State of the Planet? appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Source: FAO and El País Launch Series of Books on ?The State of the Planet?
6
Inter Press Service - Labour / Brexit Reopens Old Wounds in Northern Ireland
« Last post by Inter Press Service on Yesterday at 06:08:11 PM »
Brexit Reopens Old Wounds in Northern Ireland

In less than 12 months, the United Kingdom will leave the EU. One of the hardest issues to solve is how to handle the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Border shop employees are particularly worried about what's going to happen with their jobs.

The post Brexit Reopens Old Wounds in Northern Ireland appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Source: Brexit Reopens Old Wounds in Northern Ireland
7
Here Are 16 of the Dumbest Things Americans Believe -- And the Right-Wing Lies Behind Them



 
 
 



We?ve gone beyond Stephen Colbert's' truthiness' into a 'truth-be-damned' environment.


Americans are often misinformed, occasionally downright dumb, and easily misled by juicy-sounding rumors. But while the right wing is taking full advantage of this reality, the Left worries that calling out lies is "rude."

Remember when Congressman Joe Wilson stood up during Obama?s State of the Union address and shouted ?You lie?? He was chastised soundly by the pundit class. But mostly he drew heat for being impolite, and was compared to Kanye West and other famous interrupters.

Revisiting Wilson's foolish tirade underscores the state of our upside-down political world. Wilson shouted ?you lie? in the face of truth, but President Obama is hesitant to speak up when he?s being slandered with bald, glaring untruths. The dark irony will continue as the Republicans take over the House this winter and the rumors and insinuations from extremist right-wing pundits keep circulating. It feels like no one with a loud enough megaphone has the courage to call a spade a spade, or more accurately a lie a lie.

We?ve gone far beyond Stephen Colbert?s ?truthiness? into a more ?truth-be-damned? environment; what Rick Perlstein described in the Daily Beast as a ?mendocracy. As in, rule by liars.?

Here are some examples of recent ways we have made inroads in ignorance:

  • Polling data during and after last week?s midterm elections suggested that many Americans genuinely believe President Obama has raised their taxes -- even though the reality is that our president actually lowered them for most of us. This means that people trust pundits like Rush Limbaugh, a major force behind spreading that lie, over the numbers on their own tax returns.
  • Another recent phenomenon? Half of new Congressmen don?t believe in the reality of global warming. It?s not that they don?t just disagree on the source or the severity of the problem. They flat out don?t think the world is getting warmer--despite the evidence outside their windows.
  • The new Congress will probably try to restore millions of dollars of funding for scientifically inaccurate, largely disastrous abstinence-only curriculum in schools, many of which have been shown to spread lies like "condoms don't work" and "abortion causes cancer." 
  • News outlets picked up a wildly inflated and completely outlandish claim from an Indian blog that Obama?s trip abroad cost $200 million a day--and listeners have swallowed it. (In this case, the White House flat-out denied it.)

The scary thing is, these kinds of rumors have a way of taking root in the popular consciousness. Just as the election season began heating up earlier this year, Newsweek published a list of ?Dumb Things Americans Believe.? While some of them are garden-variety lunacy, a surprising number are lies that were fed to Americans by our leaders on the far-Right. This demonstrates that media-fed lies can easily become ingrained in the collective memory if they?re not countered quickly and surely. Newsweek?s list included the following 12 statistics taken from recent and semi-recent polls and surveys. The first half are directly related to right-wing rumormongering.

  • Nearly one-fifth of Americans think Obama is a Muslim. Thanks, Fox news, for acting like this was a matter of opinion, not fact.
  • 25 percent of Americans don?t believe in Darwin?s theory of evolution while less than 40 percent do. Consider the fact that several of our newly elected officials, specifically newly elected Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, share that belief.
  • Earlier this year, nearly 40 percent of Americans still believed the Sarah Palin-supported lie about "death panels" being included in health care reform.
  • As of just a few years ago, about half of Americans still suspected a connection between Saddam Hussein and the attacks of September 11, a lie that was reinforced by none other than Dick Cheney.
  • While a hefty amount of this demonstrable cluelessness gets better as the respondents get younger, all is not well in the below-30 demographic. A majority of ?young Americans? cannot identify Iraq or Afghanistan--the places their peers are fighting and dying--on a map.
  • Two out of five Americans, despite the whole separation of church and state being a foundation of our democracy thing, think teachers should be able to lead prayer in classrooms. So it seems those right-wingers clamoring to tear down the wall between church and state aren?t the only ones who don?t know their constitutional principles.
  • Many Americans still believe in witchcraft, ESP and other supernatural phenomena. Does that explain why Christine O?Donnell was so quick to deny her ?dabbling??
  • Speaking of antiquated religious beliefs, about a decade ago, 20 percent of Americans still believed that the sun revolves around the earth. That's just sad, considering that even the Vatican has let Galileo off the hook for being right.
  • Only about half of Americans realize that Judaism is the oldest of the three monotheistic religions. Other examples of wild misunderstanding about religion and the separation of church and state can be found in this fall?s Pew survey on Americans? religious knowledge.
  • This one made a huge splash when it appeared. In 2006 more Americans were able to name two of the ?seven dwarves? than two of the Supreme Court justices. And that was before Kagan and Sotomayor showed up. To be fair, Happy and Sleepy are easy to remember.
  • More Americans can identify the Three Stooges than the three branches of government--you know, the ones who are jockeying over our welfare.

So what to do in a political and cultural landscape in which well-told lies have more validity than fact-based truth? Perlstein explained how this environment gets created by explaining what happened on Election Day this year:

?...by a two-to-one margin likely voters thought their taxes had gone up, when, for almost all of them, they had actually gone down. Republican politicians, and conservative commentators, told them Barack Obama was a tax-mad lunatic. They lied. The mainstream media did not do their job and correct them. The White House was too polite?"civil," just like Obama promised?to say much. So people believed the lie.?

We?ve entered a bizzarro world in which calling out lies is considered rude, says Perlstein, so liars are allowed to sit tight and dominate the discourse. This gels with Bill Maher?s critique of the Rally for Sanity, that calling for ?balance for balance?s sake? ignores two important aspects of news reporting: facts and evidence.

Blaming Americans for being ignorant unwashed masses--or taking potshots at an education system that doesn?t teach critical thinking-- would be the easy answer to this conundrum. 

But the reality is that if messaging has such a big effect on Americans, then messaging matters. Folks on our end have to counter the lies with well-told, unabashed unironic, truth-telling. And we have to demand that our media, and our politicians, call out the other side. As Perlstein notes, ?When one side breaks the social contract, and the other side makes a virtue of never calling them out on it, the liar always wins. When it becomes 'uncivil' to call out liars, lying becomes free.?

Even worse, once lies begin to spread, they become more than rumors--they become permanent beliefs.






Source: Here Are 16 of the Dumbest Things Americans Believe -- And the Right-Wing Lies Behind Them
8
Jimmy Kimmel Trolls Trump Over Stormy Daniels' Conspiracy Using a 3rd-Grader to Explain 'Fake News'


The ABC host shared Trump's early morning tweet that read, ?A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!?


 

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel ridiculed President Donald Trump on Wednesday night for retweeting a fan's post on accuser Stormy Daniels claim that she was attacked by an associate of his, calling it a "con job," when it turns out the fan has a history of running con jobs of her own.

The ABC host shared Trump's early morning tweet that read, ?A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!?

?Turns out this meme came from a supporter of his in Scotland, Shenna Fox, she's a fanatical Trump fan,? Kimmel explained. ?Believe it or not she is actually guilty of a con job herself. Last year she was convicted of stealing money from her church choir to pay for a trip to meet Trump in New York. And this is who he's retweeting, someone he should probably have a restraining order against.?

?Even the idea that Trump is scrolling ? the president is scrolling through Twitter looking for things to retweet is nuts. It is absolutely nuts!? the host added. ?Reportedly his advisers tried to convince him that he would only make things worse if he addressed this on Twitter. But you know that's like telling a 4-year-old with a squirt gun not to shoot you with it. You?re going to get wet.?

Kimmel then explained that Trump was in need of some schooling on what really is fake news, so he invited "local third-grader named Noah to break it down with him."

You can watch the video below via ABC:


Source: Jimmy Kimmel Trolls Trump Over Stormy Daniels' Conspiracy Using a 3rd-Grader to Explain 'Fake News'
9
Richard Mellor / A Toilet Can Be a Precious Thing. It's Not a Rest Stop
« Last post by Richard Mellor on April 19, 2018, 06:08:29 AM »
A Toilet Can Be a Precious Thing. It's Not a Rest Stop

Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

Well here's a little bit of information for you. What struck me when I first came to the US 44 years ago was the absence of public toilets. Here I was in New York City in 1973 and they were very hard to find. Another thing that really pisses me off is restaurants that ply you full of food and beverages, coffee and the like and have one toilet
for 80 or more patrons. I use this term "toilet" as we don't "rest" "bathe" or generally "powder" anything in there. 

This has become more of an issue with me in my later years. You see, when we get older, our muscles are not as strong. Muscles are an important tool of the human body including in the elimination of waste. I know this is not a very sexy subject my young friends with the holes in your jeans, phones in hand and pants a sagging.  And while I may be a very sexy individual, I am not owning up to any leakage here that I can't control under healthy conditions, but I sure as hell can't control things the way I used to.  It's more common for me these days to have about 20 minutes, 30 max,  from the first tender moment the need is brought to my attention to the final crescendo. And I can share this with confidence------I am not alone, in fact, I am one sole example of millions.

I know this as like anything in life, when something happens to us personally we had never given a second thought to, we start finding out that there's lots of people in the same boat.  I'll often be talking about some person for whatever reason and might say "You see that old lady over there" and then it dawns on me that I'm the same age or older---but I never think of myself as old until my body or some other external event like looking in a mirror reminds me.

But back to the toilet.

I was having breakfast a few weeks ago and was chatting with my friend over coffee after the food had gone down, and my body began giving me some early warning signs. As we do when we're young and involved in something, we put such signs off for a bit but that's not such a good idea these days. I got up and went to the toilet but there was a line outside and the guy in there was on a long visit.  After about 10 or 15 minutes I began to get a bit desperate.  

There was a table next to where I was standing and there was a party of 6 or so sat around it, all old folks come from church looked like. I was becoming somewhat agitated and as anyone who knows me can testify, when I am afraid, shy, agitated, concerned, I verbalize. I started complaining like I do about a place that feeds 80 people but only provides one toilet; "They have no problem encouraging me to put food or liquid in but very stingy on providing me a way of getting it out. " I said. That's because there's no profit in it you see. A toilet takes up space and that means a table where a commodity is sold has no place to go. Toilets hurt profits for businesses unless they charge to use them.

So these other old folk started complaining about it too. One guy waxed eloquent about almost losing it one day (not literally) because of the lack of a toilet, it made me realize how prevalent this issue is and how such a demand is crucial in organizing. I worked in the streets and sometimes finding a toilet was impossible if businsses wouldn't let you in.  I couldn't wait any longer and walked up to the counter and told the manager if he doesn't find a toilet for me I'm going to crap my pants in his establishment. Turns out the employees have one upstairs and they sent me up there. What a relief.

I came back down and agitated a little with the other aforementioned older folks and we all agreed how age discrimination is so prevalent in our society. In all aspects of life, including homelessness, the aged suffer more than most except infants. 

This is a political question like everything else in life. It is more accurately an economic one as well. There are laws that determine whether an eating establishment, bakery, coffee shop has to have a toilet, a waste elimination plant. It's probably based on how many tables, customers or whatever. These laws are passed by capitalist politicians in capitalist parties who are bribed by associations representing the restaurant industry. We often hear talk about "big labor" in relation to the national federation of organized labor, the AFL-CIO. But structurally, big labor is minuscule (not in the potential power of workers organized or not) when compared to the thousand upon thousand of organizations representing various branches of industry. And of course, they control the state and the two capitalist parties represent their interests.

I do not believe a small local business serving  food and drinks should have to provide toilets for the public at large any more than I believe that health care for employees should be their responsibility. But if they serve food and beverages they should provide adequate toilet facilities. Public toilets are another matter and like any other crucial social needs, access to good health care for example, should be provided by society at large through the state, we have the money, resources and ability to do so.

Don't get me wrong. I prefer being older than the alternative. I don't want to die yet and few people do want to die plus as an atheist I am not concerned with heaven or hell and I am happy after 1000 years or so, a pope says hell doesn't exist. Of course, we knew that all the time and so did they.  I love life and the beauty of nature, the wonderful potential of humanity and of course, beer.

Speaking of beer, I gotta go.



Source: A Toilet Can Be a Precious Thing. It's Not a Rest Stop
10
AlterNet / NPR's David Folkenflik's brutal takedown of Fox's handling of Sean Hannity
« Last post by AlterNet on April 19, 2018, 06:08:23 AM »
NPR's David Folkenflik's brutal takedown of Fox's handling of Sean Hannity


Hannity 'does seem to be beyond sanction in some ways for Fox.'


From the April 17 edition of MSNBC's MTP Daily:

CHUCK TODD (HOST): I feel like by basically saying Sean Hannity is not accountable to any standard whatsoever of journalistic ethics that we would hold others to, does it send the message that those that are professional journalists at Fox News are nothing but cover for Sean Hannity?

 

[?]

DAVID FOLKENFLIK: You?ve got a thing that where he causes pain time and again and the thing is he does seem to be beyond sanction in some ways for Fox, they have doubled down on the Trump presidency and Trump?s success at a time of crisis and controversy.

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For those journalists who are there it is painful to watch these antics from one of the most popular host.

[...]

At this point the decision to identify the network so strongly with Trump means that when you have somebody who himself is so connected to Trump, so tethered to the president, Sean Hannity not only talks to the president on the phone, dines with him, counsels him, advises him, and the president tells us so on his Twitter feed, this is a connection that Fox can ill-afford to lose.

 

 


Source: NPR's David Folkenflik's brutal takedown of Fox's handling of Sean Hannity
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