EBOLA: On American Soil

WTF!!

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This Ebola situation in America is becoming a CF (cluster-fuck)!! I mean really. First we have an African from Liberia, Thomas Eric Duncan, who had contact with an Ebola patient in Africa and flies from Africa to Dallas, TX and in a matter of days he dies from Ebola. Unfortunately, a nurse who was caring for Duncan has Ebola, another nurse who cared for him is fighting Ebola and now a lab employee who may have handled Duncan specimens is being quarantined on a cruise trip. I think we should take a closer look at the CDC who we have counted on to protect us from lethal viruses and mysterious lethal whatever that invades America.

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Well, there are other areas in Africa and in the world who are on the chart of the CDC Ebola Distribution Map. There is one in Nigeria, two in Spain and now two in Texas. These were folks traveling to these areas from West Africa. OK folks, the smart thing to do is ban air travel for those who could’ve been exposed. Texas, you are wrong for not quarantine the entire staff that worked with him. CDC, you should have banned any type of travel and quarantined these folks. Now, we have folks that got to be quarantined in Cleveland, OH because a nurse who worked with Duncan flew to Cleveland to plan her wedding and now she is sick. This is like a bad movie!! Unfortunately, the money markets might be effected by these Ebola anomalies’ that now we have a third Ebola victim here in America. Everyday air travel is being effected by Ebola bad decision making. I won’t be traveling by plane anytime soon or taking a cruise.

So, what I’m sayings is we will have to protect ourselves because the CDC has proven to me that they are not the agency we need to keep us safe. We must be diligent and mindful of our environment and surroundings in order to keep ourselves safe. OMG, Cleveland is less than two hours away!  I have started to avoid all folks who look like immigrants. Yes! A friend who works for a state immunization told me such diseases like Tuberculosis and whooping cough is on the rise because we are not doing du-diligences at our borders to keep the rest of us safe from disease and mayhem. Now, I know that to be true with this Ebola virus in America. The $64,000.00 question is how did these health workers become infected? And, what chance do we have if the experts don’t know how they became infected?

 

Secrets from the Hood: Chitlins

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Chitterlings, chitlins , chit’lins.  Whatever you call them, some Black folks find them a delicacy of southern soul food and a must at a holiday celebration.

The History of Chitlins:

During slavery, the slaves had a very poor diet.  According to several writings from actual slaves, a slaves’ diet included molasses, chitlins, hamhocks, corn meal, Indian corn, black-eyed peas, very little vegetables or fish, and some birds.  Whatever their masters in the plantation did not want or threw away, THAT is what the slaves consumed…them and their children.
bucket of chitterlings

And, you only cook chitlins in the months with an ‘R’ in it.  That’s the old rule.

Did you know there are women who you can pay to clean chitlins?  Yes, its true that there are women who are know for cleaning chitlins for others for pay or they will clean a bucket for a bucket.

Cleaning chitlins, I know from first hand experience, is a daunting task that takes hours to clean.  Even-though we have been told how bad chitlins are for our health and the fact that this is considered slaves food we still cook and eat it. There are families who expect chitlins to be part of the Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.

How wonderful to have them cleaned by someone that has a reputation for adequately cleaning chitlins!  Now, the cooking is on you and that’s a much easier process than cleaning.

chitlin dinner

Bon Appetite!

Being 100

This is one of my favorite Bloggers. And this post is of such a serious nature, I have to re-post it on my blog.  I’m feeling the brotha and if I could do something about his plight and concerns I would.  My point of view on this is that every America should have access to health coverage.  I have heard too many horror stories about someone having to pay $8,000.00 before they will start treatment for cancer.  That’s BULLSHIT!

My Mom Is Dying Of Fucking Cancer, And You Want To Shut Down The Fucking Government? Fuck You

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My mom was named after Vivien Leigh. She started her freshman year at Carnegie Mellon University at 16. She likes Steely Dan, Jill Scott, and Marvin Gaye, but her favorite musician is Ivan Lins. She had a fro in the 70s, and a jeri curl in the 80s. She met her husband (my dad) on a blind date. She makes the best French toast I’ve ever had. She wants to be Tina Turner when she grows up.

My mom has lung cancer. This cancer is terminal. She was diagnosed a year ago. The initial prognosis gave her four to six months, but a couple rounds of chemotherapy, an avalanche of love and support from friends and family, and her own zest for life has allowed her to outpace it. She is, in every sense of the word, a cancer survivor.

My mom’s cancer has metastasized. Her tumors have spread, and there is nothing the doctors can do about that. Her treatment is now directed towards helping her deal with the pain so she can be (relatively) comfortable. This is called “managing symptoms.” She is home, but under hospice care. A nurse comes a few days a week. As does a chaplain. Friends and family come often. I’m there four or five days a week. My sister catches two buses after work to come some days. My dad is always there.

My mom has good days and bad days. On good days she’s able to walk around, cook, water her plants, and even occasionally leave the house. Aside from her weight and hair loss, on good days my mom seems, for lack of a better term, healthy. She even went to church two weekends in a row. On bad days, pain flares up her legs and back, and she is very limited in movement and activity. She needs assistance walking, sitting down, standing, showering, and getting dressed. When this occurs, she takes extra doses of her pain medication. This helps with her pain, but it affects her lucidity.

My mom has more good days than bad days right now. She had a bad day yesterday. Hopefully she’ll have a good one today.

My mom hasn’t been able to work in over a year. She worked as an insurance adjuster for Walgreens before she got sick. Walgreens extended her health benefits for a year. That year recently ended. She applied for an extension. The status of that application is pending. We are confident she’ll receive it.

My mom, a real person living a real life and experiencing real pain, is who I think of when reading and/or watching news about our government shutting down because of one party’s opposition to the president’s universal health care plan. I know how expensive her medication is. Without the aid of insurance, most families—mine included—would not be able to afford it. I also know there are thousands of real people out there—mothers, fathers, daughters, sons—who are experiencing the same type of very real pain, but are uninsured and unable to manage their symptoms. These people do not have many good days.

I will not pretend that I know all of the particulars of the Republican party’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act. It sounds and feels like they’re just opposed to anything President Obama plans to do, but I do not know. I am neither a policy wonk nor a politician. I was in Washington, D.C. last weekend, but I am not an insider. I am, however, a son. A son who has been able to spend some good and some bad days with his mom this year. A son who knows that his mom’s quality of life is directly correlated to how well we’re able to manage her symptoms. A son who wishes to say one thing to those intent on denying American citizens an assurance that our terminally ill loved ones will be able to afford to manage their symptoms as well:

Fuck you.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

The State of Mental Health

JACK NICHOLSON IN "THE SHINING"

Every time we hear of another mass shooting in public venues like the show, mall, school or work where people are killed or injured, we fear if not for the grace of
God it could’ve been me. And, usually these killings are by a mentally deranged person, usually male.  It’s sad!  The state of mental health in this country is terrible.  It’s very difficult for the mentally ill to get help.

Unfortunately, in the 1960s the mental health industry moved away from inpatient institutionalization to community based mental health facilities through federal funding known as the Community Mental Health Act (CMHA) of 1963. I don’t think its working too well and it should be reconsidered.  The states were eager to get rid of the state mental health hospitals because they were expensive to run.  In my area we had 3 mental health hospitals and various hospitals who admitted the mentally ill but that’s not the case since the CMHA Act.

Now, we see the mentally ill downtown roaming the streets or living under bridges and they are scary.  I observed a Black mentally ill man directing 5 o’clock traffic in the heart of downtown.  He was dressed in army fatigues.  As we were standing at the crowded bus stop, he walks up to an older, tall and distinguished white man in a suite and gives him a nose to nose salute and walks away.  The white man was cool and calm never made a move or said anything.  I was glad to know my car would be fixed the next day and I don’t have to witness such craziness up close.
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We need to address mental health in this country.  Usually, someone knows the person is crazy before they go and commit a mass murder.  Are these people hands tied to do anything?  Like the parents who tried to get help for their 18 year old son and the facility put them off.  Within days, this 18 year old stabbed his twin brothers killing one of them.  I had a friend whose boyfriend had mental issues.  She and his sister took him to a mental health facility and they didn’t want to admit him as an inpatient.  The women knew he was in a bad way so they sneaked out and left him there.  Later that night, the hospital gave him a cab to get home and he went to a bar and tried to throw the junk box across the room.  He was arrested and place in the county jail where they eventually sent him to a mental health facility.
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I know the mentally ill have rights but don’t we have rights too!

Black Infant Mortality Rate ……

Why is infant mortality rate among Blacks in Pittsburgh so high?

Unfortunately, your baby is more likely to die if you are Black and pregnant and live in Pittsburgh.  Yes, the Black infant mortality rate in Pittsburgh is 5 times more likely than whites.
What is the infant mortality rate and why is it important?  Infant mortality rate is defined as the number of infant deathspregnant (one year of age or younger) per 1000 live births.  If the child mortality rate is a true indicator of the health of a country, the new report then puts a serious question on the U.S. healthcare system.  Cuba has a better rating than the US.  Is it because Cuba is a socialist country?  Probably.
Black infant death has been happening for a while and there has been no concern.  The government has tried to solve the problem with a program here and a program there but when its time to cut budgets these are the programs that get cut
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Here is excerpt from The New York Times, By Timothy Williams – Published: October 14, 2011
In Pittsburgh, where the unemployment rate is well below the national average, the infant mortality rate for black residents of Allegheny County was 20.7 in 2009, a slight decrease from 21 in 2000 but still worse than the rates in China or Mexico. In the same period the rate among whites in the county decreased to 4 from 5.6 — well below the national average, according to state statistics. Figures for the past two years, which are not yet available, have most likely increased the gap significantly, county health officials said.preemie

Now in 2012, the infant mortality rate is for Blacks is 13.1 double that of whites.  And, it doesn’t matter what your socio-economic background is.  Even affluent black women with college degrees are included in these statistics.  Age isn’t a factor either.  Black mothers across all range of child-bearing years are losing their babies.  Doctors are now pointing the finger at the one thing these women have in common. Race.

The following text is from an online site Roland Martin Reports:
In a 2007 study, researchers in Chicago compared infant birth weights of babies. Low birth weight is a key indicator of infant mortality and a newborn’s health. Infants born to white women had an average birth weight of 7.5 pounds. Infants born to African and Caribbean immigrants new to the United States had an average birth weight of 7.3 pounds. So, the average birth weight of babies in the two groups were nearly identical, but the same study found that babies born to the next generation — the daughters of black immigrants — had dropped to the same average weight as African-American children: about 6.8 pounds, almost a full pound lighter than white babies.
Doctors, at a loss to for a scientific explanation, now believe the everyday stress of being a black woman in a mostly white society is the cause. One researcher said constantly dealing with racism is like revving a car’s engine without easing up on the gas. The stress takes its toll in the lives of unborn children.

Does this mean that Pittsburgh is more racist than any other part of the United States?

Racial Bias Seen in Study of Lead Dust and Children (New York Times)

New York Times headlines shocking.

The New York Times reported that the Kennedy Krieger Institute is involved in a class action  law suit filed in Baltimore for knowingly exposing young Black children between the age of 12 months to 5 years old. The incident goes back to the 1990’s and definitely reminds me of the Tuskegee Experiment where Black men were exposed to Syphilis for research purpose and never given the cure.

How sad, present day we are still experiencing the same behavior.  Why are we expendable? I’m sorry, experimenting on our babies is going too far.  I remember when we received a notice about my grandson’s lead levels being high.  I ask the question, “Why are they contacting you about this?  Did you have him tested?”  The answer was no.  So now I’m wondering, did these experiments happen in other places?  I don’t remember there being any meds prescribed.  Other than, have the landlord paint again.  Now, I’m real curious.

They say this occurred in poor families in poor neighborhoods with the cooperation of landlords to not completely clean up the lead levels.  Kennedy Krieger offered no treatment. 

The Root reported that, “Children were enticed into living in lead-tainted housing and subjected to a research program which intentionally exposed them to lead poisoning in order for the extent of the contamination of these children’s blood to be used by scientific researchers to assess the success of lead paint or lead dust abatement measures,” said the suit, filed in state court in Baltimore, according to the Times. “Nothing about the research was designed to treat the subject children for lead poisoning.”

“According to the lawsuit, Kennedy Krieger helped landlords get public financing for lead abatements and helped select families with young children to rent apartments where lead dust problems had been only partly eliminated so that the children’s blood could be measured for lead over a two-year period, according to the lawsuit.”(New York Times)

Science has already determined that lead poisoning causes permanent neurological damages to young children.  So, what was the real reason to expose our Black children?  I feel a conspiracy to do our seed harm.  Was this done in your community?