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IdaBriggs's Journal - Archives
Posted by IdaBriggs in General Discussion
Fri Mar 18th 2011, 10:27 AM
Well, to be fair, I want it to be a Matthew 19: 18-19 version, which values are pretty consistent in all of the major religions (and yes, he is talking about the commandments) -

(snip) {18} Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, {19} Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Now, what do we get from this passage?

No murder. No adultery. No stealing. No lying about other people. Behave so your parents can be proud, and take care of them in their age. Watch out for your neighbors, and help them out.

Since we are in fantasy land at the moment, let's take a moment, look once again at those values, and examine what our laws and national budget would look like, if we were to practice those preachings.

= A prudent people keep an army for defense, but not go into other countries to kill for no reason or to steal the resources of others; we would be out of Iraq and Afghanistan, or at the very least, not allowed to kill people there. (Hmmm. Armies that are supposed to help, instead of kill? TALKING about issues, instead of shooting at people? This seems a tad preposterous already!)

= Neighbors helping each other out, as well as taking care of our elderly, would involve medical care, and ways to provide dignity for those who need assistance, as well as a common sense policy making sure everyone has access to adequate nutrition, good roads, schools/education, clean water, housing, etc.

= "No stealing" would mean strict enforcement of guarding our national assets (parks, wildlife, etc.). A liberal interpretation would have oversight put in place to make sure corporations don't "steal" the health and well-being of the public with shoddy or unsafe practices.

= No bearing false witness would require either a simple return of the Fairness Doctrine, or a new one called "Quit Lying Your Assess Off" and the air pollution of Fox and Limbaugh would go away. Facts would be the starting point of news discussions, and opinions on how to solve problems would be discussed. "News" would actually be relevant, instead of nasty gossip about other people....

Well, the reality is, we aren't a Christian nation, and the folks in power (especially the Republican party) wear the sheep's clothing of professing these beliefs, while being ravening wolves beneath. (See Bush Jr. presidency, and then refer to Matthew 7:15-20 "where by their fruits ye shall know them.")

I guess the problem is our leaders are rich men, and I'm willing to put a bet on how many regularly give a percentage of their wealth to the poor, let alone follow Matthew 7:21 -

21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. -

And a poor man can't afford to get into office (and we would realistically question his judgment on how to manage his career/finances, depending on what was going on, since we do not respect "poor" people).

If our leaders (and us, by default) aren't following the teachings of Jesus, or Mohamed, or Moses, or Buddha, or Krishna, or any of the great and wise lessons on how to be decent this world has been gifted with (including Kindergarten), I can only conclude we worship the Almighty Dollar instead. Heaven knows most of us spend our lives chasing it!

I wish we were a "Christian" Nation instead....

(EDIT: for grammar issue - sorry!)
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Posted by IdaBriggs in General Discussion
Tue Dec 28th 2010, 07:05 PM
This one is actually happening to my step-brother. His mother passed away after a very short bout of pancreatic cancer. Her house is underwater. There is no estate. He called Bank of America (the mortgage holder) to make arrangements to turn the house over to them. (He is on the title, but not the loan.)

They won't take it. They want him to try to sell it. He explained the house is several hours from his home, and he'd already turned off the utilities *and* winterized it for them *and* wasn't going to be sending them any money from the non-existent estate, so who should he turn the keys over to?

They told him it has to go through the foreclosure process.

He repeated that the homeowner WAS NOT ALIVE and the "estate" is willing to hand it over to them immediately because there is NOTHING in the estate.

They told him it has to go through the foreclosure process anyway, and he needs to put it up for sale for a minimum of three months before they can even *TALK* about taking it back.

So, now a deeply underwater home, owned by a woman who has passed away, is sitting vacant until the bank pays attorneys to foreclose on it - when the heirs / estate are trying to turn it over to them FOR FREE.

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Posted by IdaBriggs in General Discussion: Presidency
Fri Dec 03rd 2010, 08:45 AM
ON EDIT: Also would have helped the news folks / increased employment opportunities there (who would have run with the story 24/7), increased the chatter/public discussion on AMERICAN VALUES and the price of the abuse of power for future generations, and allowed Obama to actually get things done whilst the Republicans were busy paying attention to the "frontal attack on their Party" while the elected (Obama) administration accomplished the rest of their stated campaign goals.

This was an opportunity wasted, and I for one, believe at the very least a *MORAL* corruption / backroom deal is the reason why.

If Obama had done what Bush and Cheney did, I'd be all for prosecuting him for War Crimes, etc. as well. This isn't a "party" issue; its about what is acceptable behavior from those in TEMPORARY leadership roles in our government.

Our taxes are not their private bank accounts. Our armed forces are not a private mercenary service. Our federal watchdogs on health / safety / food / labor / education / etc. aren't supposed to be toothless rubber stamping agencies.

And if doing the right thing would have provided political cover for "the rest of the American agenda" (which is what competent politicians should have managed), then even better.

End Lecture.
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Posted by IdaBriggs in General Discussion: Presidency
Sun Nov 21st 2010, 07:56 AM
to keep me "safe."

I just can't do it.

Strip searching children, demanding to see breast prosthetics, bursting colostomy bags - it just keeps getting worse every time it comes up.

My family is scheduled to fly from Michigan to Florida in late January. If this isn't resolved by then in a sane, sensible manner, we won't go. I've managed to get through my entire adult life without having "naked pictures" taken, and I intend to do my best to keep that streak (pun intended) alive, and I will not consent to a stranger groping around either my groin or breasts, let alone let them near my 3 year olds.

If Bush was doing this, I'd be in open street revolt. I'm tempted to go the same way with Obama. If he and his people can't keep me "safe" for normal everyday activity - travel - without humiliating me, then I don't want him or his people in office because they are incompetent assholes.

The TSA folks who are being required to do this as part of their job have my sympathy, but at the same time "its just my job" has been used for millenia as an excuse for enabling inappropriate behavior; it doesn't fly (again, pun intended). I suggest they simply *STOP* and see what happens. My guess is nothing, but that comes from some pretty basic common sense.

So, this is my official notice: Obama - the information president who knows how to use GOOGLE - needs to start doing so. I don't know who is telling him this is "necessary" but they need to be fired. This is "the land of the free and the home of the brave" and we'll take a lot of crap to be "supportive" but Naked Pictures and Groin Checks are officially *MY* limit before I start seeing the TSA as terrorists, instead of a reasonable line of defense.

ON EDIT: (Made in a Comment, but really belongs in main post): If TSA has to see me naked or grope my private areas, you know what - I'm not safe. Job Fail, and You're Fired.
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Posted by IdaBriggs in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Apr 13th 2010, 05:54 AM
This is my little essay on the three most important "unwritten" rules in business.

1) Don't make your boss look bad. / Make your boss's life easier by your being there.

What does this mean? Well, don't "correct" your boss rudely in front of others (thus undermining their authority and/or perception of expertise), don't show up late for work (which makes your boss look like they can't control you/don't know how to pick team players), and make sure that when you do your job, it actually provides a benefit to your boss (by providing a valuable skill or expertise or knowledge they need). Employees who "get this" usually get protected more than employees who don't.

2) Do your job CORRECTLY.

Yes, mistakes happen, but if you aren't competent at your skill set, you are going to get replaced. Conversely, don't assume that doing your job well let's you blow the other rules. (It might be true in the short term, but not the long.)

3) Play nicely with others.

This goes along with Rule #1 - the "make life easier". If you can't get along with someone - EVEN IF THEY ARE THE PROBLEM - and your boss has to keep dealing with it, then *YOU* become part of the problem. If there is regular "drama" coming from your cubicle, you start looking replaceable because now you are a headache. In these cases, the squeaky wheel is just plain annoying. (This applies to *personal* issues; if you are having a problem with someone because they aren't doing their job, which you need for *your* job, then document, escalate, and handle it because now they are making *YOU* look bad, which makes you look REPLACEABLE.)

Please keep in mind these are "common sense" rules, which means they are bendable: if you've got information your boss needs for decision making, don't keep your mouth shut; there is a difference between "correcting" and providing data (and if you think about it, you know that sometimes, its all in the tone of voice, not the actual words). Folks who are extremely valuable at their skill set will sometimes be accommodated with tardiness issues (usually until someone starts complaining about unfair treatment, since other skilled workers are expected to abide by the company timeliness policies, for example). Occasional disputes aren't that big of a deal; its the chronic and/or persistent personality conflicts that waste valuable time that annoy the shit out of your boss, who has other responsibilities than playground monitor.

So, there you have it, folks. There are other rules, of course, but these are the ones I think (at the moment) are the most important.

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Posted by IdaBriggs in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Feb 02nd 2010, 04:20 PM

Obama chief of staff’s 'retarded' insult brings fallout, Palin criticism

Dating back to the time he worked in the Clinton administration, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has developed an almost notorious reputation in Washington for being a brash personality with a penchant for profanity-laced diatribes. Conversely, his intense nature, in addition to his sharp mind, are what many attribute to his success and effectiveness as a Washington power player. But a remark he made recently in a closed-door meeting attended by White House aides and leaders of liberal special-interest groups has irked many, prompting him to issue an apology.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Emanuel, exasperated upon learning that liberal special-interest groups were planning to run ads against conservative Democrats not supportive of health care reform, blasted the plan as "f------ retarded" over the summer. Naturally, some outrage ensued after Emanuel's words came to light, with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin taking to her Facebook page to call on President Obama to fire him for what she saw as the equivalent of a racial slur.


In response to the outrage expressed by Palin and others, Politico reported today that an administration official informed them that Emanuel had already reached out to Special Olympics chairman and CEO Tim Shriver, who recently launched a campaign to end the use of "the R word."

"Rahm called Tim Shriver Wednesday to apologize and the apology was accepted," the unnamed official said.

It should be noted that Emanuel, who is rumored to have once mailed a dead fish to a former coworker he disliked, has not offered any apology to the liberals his slur was aimed at, and it's highly doubtful that he ever will.

(end article)

Seriously, PALIN can get an apology from the PRESIDENT'S CHIEF OF STAFF from a remark in a CLOSED DOOR MEETING, but the people being INSULTED can't get one because they are (politically correct) MENTALLY DISADVANTED?

Incompetent or whatever: apparently a nobody ex-governor is worthy of respect, but the President's SUPPORTERS (with legitimate issues) are (politely) STUPID.

Good to know what kind of respect our money buys. Maybe if we *all* become Republicans, we might get some of what we want, and/or treated with respect.

Free lobotomies, anyone?
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Posted by IdaBriggs in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Dec 15th 2009, 04:55 PM
of deeds you've done that you are incredibly proud of, even when you weren't sure you could do them.

I am in the middle of a project that is just mentally overwhelming, and I need some encouragement. I know many people here have picked up "impossible projects" and made a positive difference in the world, and folks, I need to hear from you.

Please tell me a story, and help me through my small crisis of faith in myself and my own judgment.

Pretty please?
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Posted by IdaBriggs in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Sep 01st 2009, 09:31 PM
= Its true! Canadians are DYING IN THE HALLWAYS at their local hospitals because health care is rationed. (Or so I was told by folks who were earnestly trying to convince me of the evils of providing health care for everyone.)

= Obama and Hitler are synonyms, because Hitler wanted socialized medicine before World War II.

= The Civil Rights Movement destroyed Detroit. (I asked that guy if he was a racist, and he blustered NO. Turns out he is a Libertarian.)

= Canada, England and France are DICTATORSHIPS where people are not allowed to choose their own doctors. We should not, however, try to liberate them from this horrible state of affairs because how they destroy their own country is none of our business.

= We can't afford health care for everyone; conversely, everyone who needs health care can already get it.

= Anyone without health care is lazy and doesn't work for a living.

= Jesus said to teach people to fish, so we shouldn't give them health care, but instead, teach them how to perform their own appendectomies.

= Real patriots were silent during the Bush years because they supported him and the war on terror; now they have to come forward and save us all from OBAMA-CARE because it pays for abortions.

= No one ever dies from a lack of health care in this country.

ON EDIT: (Forgot this one) Most of the 45 million uninsured AMERICANS are illegal aliens (so they don't count).

And last, but not least, I learned --


It was fun. I didn't even try to change minds; I just antagonized the beans out of some of these people. I did have some good conversations with some people -- we "shouted" at each other because we couldn't hear very well. I got there half an hour before it was supposed to start, and couldn't get in. There were probably a thousand people all wanting to get in to voice our opinion, and frankly, despite the idiot brigade, it was nice to see people actually participating in the discussion.

But the bottom line is what I gleefully gloated in telling the folks who oppose reform:


It was more fun than it should have been.

On Edit: Nope, I'm not a nice person sometimes. I can live with it.
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Posted by IdaBriggs in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Aug 04th 2009, 03:42 AM
And this post is going to have some faith stuff in it, so if you can't cope with the concepts, move along, please.

Yesterday was notable for two things: the first being my mother, after suffering with "unexplained" excruciating back/hip pain finally went to a chiropractor (more on that in a second), and secondly, for my conversation with a noted veterinarian/doctor, who calmly explained why what we had done for my premature twins made perfect sense, why it worked, and a little bit of why I can't get anyone to pay attention.

I'm going to start with the story about my mother. She's in her sixties, and about six months ago, her hip started bothering her. She has been previously diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and my father (deceased) worked in the auto industry, so she's always had good insurance, which means she went to the doctor. She told them her hip was hurting her, and they told her it was from her back. They gave her physical therapy, cortisone shots, muscle relaxers -- you name it, she tried it.

FOR SIX MONTHS. And nothing helped. Sometimes the pain was so bad, she was near tears, and could barely get out of bed.

I told her to go see a chiropractor, specifically, one I have a lot of experience with who "fixes" problems and doesn't milk it (because yes, there are actually both kinds out there -- no insult, and your mileage may vary).

Anyway, for six months she suffered, and I would periodically offer up what I thought was a logical solution; in my opinion there is a time and a place for all kinds of medicine, but this one seemed pretty clear cut. But she wasn't comfortable with the idea, and frankly, "you can lead a horse to water" etc.

Finally, in pure desperation, she agreed to go. And he took an x-ray of her back/hip (the first time anyone had done that, despite her saying the same thing over and over to all of the doctors and specialists), and it was pretty freaking obvious on the x-ray what was going on, and he "whacked" her back/neck, and BOOM.

She was fine. Stood up, right there on the spot, FINE. He told her he'd see her in a month to make sure the adjustment "held" and also told her that a lot of people ended up with hip-replacements when their (blah blah doctor stuff -- yeah, my eyes glazed over; I turn the engine and my car works; I see the doctor, and he does doctor stuff, and my body works better -- its the middle of the night, and I want to get to the rest of my story).

After we left, we had a discussion on the spiritual aspect of the situation: she'd been praying for six months for help/relief of the problem she was experiencing, and I'd been telling her about the solution, but because she was afraid, she hadn't been willing to listen. In essence, I joked, I was a Messenger from God. "But I didn't recognize you as such," she played along.

"Yeah," I told her. "I get that a lot." And we laughed. Only I was a little serious. Its not easy watching someone you love be in pain, especially if you are convinced it is unnecessary and easily fixable.

Which brings me to my second story, and the mission I've been on for the last couple of months.

My twins were born prematurely. (I've talked about that here before. ) And they've been "caught up" since they were four months old Actual/two months old Adjusted. Its unheard of -- most preemies catch up, but usually it takes them a couple of years.

Mine did it in two months.

And yes, it appears they are going to be "special needs" but only because it looks like they are going to be little geniuses. (Don't all 2-1/2 year old kids count in multiple languages? Insert eye roll here.)

Anyway, I am pretty convinced I know exactly what we did to achieve this "miracle" and it involved a $20 bottle of minerals. My pediatrician and preemie clinic have all been appropriately stunned, but are caught up in the day-to-day stuff, and aren't investigating, so I trotted off with my information, and have spent the last two months trying to find someone to investigate. (I am not a medical professional; neither is my husband.)

I have been in contact with the March of Dimes, the formula makers, doctors from noted institutions, the folks who keep the stats on infant death rates (prematurity = #1 cause), and a host of others. My story makes people happy, because most preemie stories don't end with "my special needs are happy, healthy, top of the growth chart genius babies," and they smile, and MOVE ON to their normal lives.

If I wasn't a stubborn woman, I'd have thrown up my hands in disgust, and MOVED ON myself. After all, I've got my healthy babies, and all I have to do is forgot the rest of the folks in the NICU.....

And then I pick up the phone, and find someone else to call. Sigh.

Yesterday I spoke with a noted veterinarian/doctor, who very calmly explained that, in essence, I had a small litter (he said RUNTS!), and that by addressing their nutritional needs, I caught them up. He said it was something vets see all of the time, and I found myself nodding, because, after all, we did puppy rescue work (87!), and I saw the "runts" catch up, as long as they didn't have to compete with their larger siblings for food. Heck, anyone who has ever seen "Charlotte's Web" should get it!

But the very folks who pray for ways to help preemies aren't listening to me (or the good doctor I spoke with yesterday, who has apparently been trying to get through to them for 40 years that NUTRITION IS IMPORTANT).

They don't see me as a "Messenger from God." Or, if they do, it just sounds too easy: 1/2 a teaspoon, once a day, and BOOM! Problem solved.

Don't get me wrong: I am not naive enough to think this stuff will fix birth defects, brain damage, or fight infection -- I just know that larger lungs meant winter colds were inconvenient, instead of life threatening; muscles meant they could hit normal milestones, instead of having to play catch up, and feeding their brains probably helped with my genius problem.

But the first thing that has to happen is for someone to "investigate" (which means do a scientific study) to determine whether or not we are "just" miracles, or whether this miracle is the best kind -- the repeatable one.

And folks, I'm getting stumped as to how to get the attention of the person or people who can do that study -- someone credible, who has access to the resources to track the participants (which is apparently going to be the hardest part!), and knows how to get through the hospital review boards with all of the paperwork associated, plus the recruitment of the participants (because telling preemie parents you want to "experiment" with giving them some nutritional supplementation can be pretty darn scary) and half a dozen other logistical issues, especially when they are dealing with other important things --

Yeah, its going to be a challenge. Not an impossible one, but a big one. I guess most life changing things are that way, and for a whole bunch of preemies, this is going to be important. Someday, it will most likely be just "common sense" -- ("of course you provide trace mineral supplementation for preemies"), but right now, I'm just a woman in the wilderness, jumping up and down yelling, "HEY, MAYBE SOMEONE SHOULD COME TAKE A LOOK AT THIS!"

Like I said, its not easy being a "Messenger from God". But I asked, I was answered, and I've been blessed. Maybe I'll shut up later. But for now, I'm going to hit "Post" and politely ask this community --

Are any of you holding the answers I'm looking for? How can I get this information to the people who need to see it? Can anyone help me get a medical study done on "Trace Mineral Supplementation and the Premature Infant"?

I am a woman of faith. And I am grateful for the gifts I have received. I know the answer is out there. Can any of you help me, please?
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Posted by IdaBriggs in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Jul 23rd 2009, 05:14 AM
Her relationship wasn't taken as seriously as a marriage because It Wasn't One. Its not "so why did it matter that a priest/judge/rabbi/pastor hadn't presided over our union?" Its the fact that they didn't stand up in front of their friends and family and say, "we are going to do everything in our power to stay together through thick and thin until death do us part. We expect there will be sickness and health, better and worse, richer and poorer -- and knowing that, we are going to do everything in our power to STAY TOGETHER because we have made a PUBLIC COMMITMENT to BE TOGETHER. And, we expect your support."

The officiant is just the person who walks you through the ceremony; it doesn't matter who (priest/judge/rabbi/pastor/grocery store clerk) has the microphone, its the PUBLIC COMMITMENT that makes a marriage.

Yes, folks can obviously have committed life long relationships (one of my dearest friends has a live in girlfriend of decades, but they've never publicly tied the knot, and they have legal documents drawn up to give each other 'rights' in the event of sickness/death), but despite their PRIVATE commitment, they aren't married, and that means if they decide to walk away, its going to be "easier" than if they had made their commitment "legal" -- they ARE boyfriend/girlfriend, not husband/wife.

Marriage is a choice. It doesn't make a good relationship bad or a bad relationship good; it is simply two people promising to do their best because they CHOOSE TO BE TOGETHER. Its about taking the "easy out" option OFF the table, and acknowledging the importance of the other person in your life. Its about saying, "this is more than sex, more than like, more than money, more than temporary -- this is who I want to be with for the rest of my life; we are partners in life's journey, wherever it takes us."

The truth is that a bad marriage can literally kill you, while a good marriage can extend your life, so people need to pick their life partners with wisdom; that awesome boyfriend who keeps getting fired probably isn't going to be a good guy to hitch your financial future to, while that cute girlfriend who can't be bothered to go to class in high school because she's spending all of her time on her hair might not have the same priorities about attaining job skills, which again, is a big warning sign about your financial future. I personally know of one couple where the wife financially screwed her husband over WHILE HE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL undergoing life threatening surgery -- he's currently living in a car, while she of little loyalty is shacking up with the new boyfriend.

Marriage doesn't change your character; a slacker, scammer, liar, thief, cheat, fill-in-the-blank is still going to be that same person, while a trustworthy, hardworking, honest, loving, supportive, partner/spouse/best friend is still going to be that as well. Interpersonal conflicts will arise, and if you don't have or learn the skills to resolve them, folks can be miserable until they work through them.

Everyday, marriage is a choice. The fancy dress on the big day isn't "marriage" and the party afterwards doesn't mean a couple will be together in two weeks. Marriage is planning on spending the rest of your life together. What the folks IN that marriage decide that means (where they live, if they have children, how many, how they will be raised, etc.) is between the two of them, and hopefully, both will be happy with where the relationship grows. Legally, there will be benefits acknowledging the "public contract" and also responsibilities.

I believe in marriage, and I believe it should be available to same-sex couples. If only we could convince the idiots to take it seriously when they pick their partners....Sigh.
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Posted by IdaBriggs in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Jun 29th 2009, 09:48 AM
(Yes, it looks like a Michael Jackson thread -- but get over it and READ, please.) Lawyer: "Jackson's doc didn't give excessive drugs"

(Blah, blah, blah -- its not my fault -- snip)

Jackson still had a faint pulse and a warm body when Murray found him in bed and not breathing Thursday afternoon, Chernoff said in the AP interview.

Chernoff said Murray was at the pop icon's rented mansion when he discovered Jackson in bed and not breathing. The doctor immediately began administering CPR, Chernoff said.(my bold)

Folks, you DO NOT ADMINISTER CPR to folks with a heartbeat. If someone is not breathing, you give RESCUE BREATHING, but NOT CPR. And doctors are supposed to know this, so either a) the lawyer is lying, ignorant, or stupid, or b) the doctor is a complete screw-up.

Let me walk you through this slowly:

The ABCs of emergency are Airway, Breathing and Circulation (with a quick scan for life threatening levels of bleeding).

A is for Airway: -- If the person isn't breathing, you tilt the head, and give two quick rescue breaths. If the air does not go in (because the chest does not rise/fall), you retilt the head. You don't go any further until the airway is not obstructed.

B is for Breathing: -- If the person isn't breathing on their own, you give the two breaths (referenced above and stop there if you can't get air to go in), and then check for a pulse. If there is a pulse, you continue rescue breathing until help arrives. This allows oxygenated blood to continue flowing through the body -- and you also periodically double check to make sure the pulse hasn't stopped while you are waiting.


C is for Circulation: -- If there is no pulse, you begin performing CPR, which is a combination of Rescue Breathing and Chest Compressions. If you have it available, you may also utilize an AED device (which is an automatic electronic defibrillator). You continue doing this until help arrives.

Let me repeat this:

The purpose of chest compressions is to force oxygenated blood through the body so it doesn't die. The rescuer provides the oxygen via the Rescue Breathing, and then forces the blood to circulate via the chest compressions. It is physically exhausting, and you *always* call for help.

So for a doctor/lawyer/newspaper to say "Jackson still had a faint pulse" and "The doctor immediately began administering CPR" is flat out WRONG. You give RESCUE BREATHING to someone who is not breathing but has a pulse, and you give CPR to someone who doesn't have a pulse.

Are we clear on this? Are there any questions?

Why am I ranting about this? Because casual misinformation like this KILLS PEOPLE; folks who haven't taken the classes but watch television think they are HELPING when they start pounding on someone's chest willy-nilly, and never realize they are causing damage (which is what giving chest compressions to someone with a heartbeat will usually do, which is why we INSIST you take the full 15 seconds to feel for a pulse in an emergency situation). This stuff matters, people. There is a difference between "rescue breathing" and "chest compressions" -- and for the record, I think everyone on the planet should be educated on basic first aid, including how to deal with the ABCs.

End Rant.

Ida Briggs
10 year Instructor for the American Red Cross (Retired Since Katrina)
Standard First Aid, CPR & AED -- Adult, Infant and Child
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Posted by IdaBriggs in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Jun 07th 2009, 06:41 AM
My twins were born almost two months early, and came home from the hospital after relatively brief stays in the NICU. My son was there 13 days, and my daughter 19. They seemed to be "recovered" from being preemies and were on normal growth charts by the time they were four months old (an amazing feat, considering they were born and stayed under 3% for several months first), and at some level, those days seem like a distant, sleep deprived memory.

ON EDIT: Because they are now almost 28 months old! LOL! Tired mommy!

This morning my beloved son was awake at 6:30 in the morning. I had hopes a quick diaper change and some cuddling would encourage him to go back to sleep so his tired parents (that would be my husband and I!) could sleep in a little ourselves. (SPOILER ALERT: I'm typing this at a little after 7:00 a.m. -- it didn't work! LOL!)

Anyway, as usual I unzipped his sleeper, pulled his legs out, and then unwrapped the new diaper. As usual, it took me a moment or two to unwrap the diaper, and because there was a bit of a chill still in the morning air, my son finished waking up from his 'not really still sleeping drowse' and gave me a reproachful look. I laughed, and then stopped --

Why had I pulled his legs out *first* before unwrapping the diaper?

The answer: Habit.

You see, in those early days, we had to wake the babies up Every Three Hours to feed them regardless of whether they wanted to be woken up or not. The doctors explained it to me as "they were too small to have developed the I'm Hungry" reflux, and their tiny tummies couldn't hold enough food to sustain them past three hours. It was absolutely imperative we feed them Every Three Hours until they were large enough (between 8-9 pounds) to go "on demand" because they were developed enough "to demand."

Tired babies didn't always want to wake up just because the clock said it was time to feed them, so we learned "tricks" to speed the process along -- change their diaper before feeding, pull their legs out first so the temperature change would help 'wake them up' and talking to them while we were doing all of this (sometimes necessary to help keep us awake, to be fair!). It was an exhausting couple of months, as we went through these exercises 16 times a day....

And now, over two years later, I still automatically "change diapers" with "legs out before I unwrap the diaper". I don't even think about it -- its an auto pilot thing. And my son's reproachful look this morning gave me pause to reflect on this unconscious habit.

Now, why am I typing this small amazing moment of self-reflection to the good folks on DU early on a Sunday morning while my babies (both now awake) watch Plaza Sesamo at my feet? Well, it occurs to me I'm not the only one out there who has developed important survival habits that are really no longer relevant to my life -- and this board is a perfect example of it.

For eight YEARS, there wasn't a policy decision out of Washington that didn't have a feel of corruption, contempt and incompetence. For eight years, anyone who actually looked at who and how our government -- by the people, for the people -- was being run, had no choice but to assume the interpretation had been changed from the implied "by ALL the people, for ALL the people" to "by we really rich people, for us alone, and screw the rest of you."

Eight years. Eight YEARS of knowing anything "nice" was probably just a cover for something bad, while the "blatant in your face bad" stunk to high heaven, and made it nearly impossible to even look elsewhere. From our national security and the misuse of our troops, to the raping of our national treasures and treasury -- oh heavens! The list is too long, and most people can provide their own examples, and Plaza Sesamo is almost over.

President Obama is *NOT* the previous inhabitant of the Oval Office. I believe he is an honorable man; while I do not agree with everything he and his folks have done, I need to get out of my knee-jerk force of habit cynical reaction that he's out to screw people. I need to give him some time, even though sometimes it feels like there isn't any time left. I need to TRUST HIM -- and its not going to be easy, because to be frank, I am out of the habit of trusting the folks in Washington.

Perhaps I am being naive, and perhaps I am wrong.

But I'm going to try to change this habit anyway. At least for a little bit.

Good Sunday Morning to All -- Best, Ida
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Posted by IdaBriggs in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue May 26th 2009, 10:34 AM
Its their second Memorial Day, and let me say, it was grand. I took them (again) to the local Memorial Day Parade; the weather was perfect, and the company wonderful -- the parade was filled with local people: our local VFW Hall, several fraternal organizations (Eagles, Shriners, etc.), Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownies, two high school marching bands, the local Harley Davidson club, and representatives from churches, dance schools, boating clubs, vintage cars and fancy corvettes -- you name it.

I won't lie: I got choked up when the parade started and the Veterans began the walk with a slow, measured drumbeat, flags aflying, and uniforms pressed/polished. I think we had some men who served in WWII, and every engagement in between, along with obvious family people who were carrying signs in honor of our missing. "We stand up," I told my children, who really are too young to understand, "to show them we honor them, and appreciate their sacrifice, and their service to us all." My son, who is addicted to flags, proudly shouted out, "FLAGS!" and I smiled through my tears at his simple joy.

What my children loved best, because they are too young to understand, was all of the candy that was thrown. Hordes of laughing children, including mine, scrambled to collect the tootsie rolls and hard candy and bubblegum that were thrown our way. We had some lovely young children next to us who made sure my toddlers got their fair share, and several times I dived after my excited daughter who was willing to run as close as possible to the parading people to get her hands on the candy -- she *got* the whole 'chase the candy thing! -- while my son quickly grew annoyed because he wanted to join in the parade, and we, being evil parents, made him stay close to us instead. LOL! My daughter looked immensely cute in a red, white and blue dress, and I know there was quite a bit of candy thrown directly at her due to her amazing adorableness, and she diligently picked up as much as she could reach, and put it into a bag, while my son, who didn't quite get the whole concept, picked the candy up, and tried to throw it, too, just like the marchers. At the end of the day, the children who were being so kind to my kids were given an unexpected reward -- my babies can't have half the stuff they collected (bubble gum, jaw breakers, fireballs), and so we emptied the bag, and handed over half the loot; their proud parents tried to give us some of theirs, but honestly, it was more about the chasing than the candy at this point. That, and the laughter, and the shouting, and the cheering.

Yes, I made a point of cheering everyone -- even the Republicans. Yesterday was about being an American, and I wanted my children to see me yelling my appreciation and "yeahing!" all of the people who serve this country, even if I don't agree with their positions. I yelled hardest of all for the Democrats, to be fair, including Gary Peters, our new Democratic House Representative who replaced a Bush Republican. He made a point of coming over and gave each of my kids tootsie rolls, which they promptly tried to eat on the spot, while I laughed, and told him we were proud of him, and to keep up the good work supporting Obama. It was a brief exchange; I like to think my twins are somewhat memorable, and I once took them to a local 'stuff envelope' event before they could crawl, so we've started their activist career early! LOL!

It was a good day. The weather was beautiful, the crowd was friendly, and my throat hoarse by the end of it from cheering; my children won't remember the beginning of the parade, if they remember any of it, but I hope the joy of the day is a bit of love that stays in their hearts forever. And when they get older, I can only pray I will be able to explain the tears in my eyes at the beginning of the parade, and how we honor those who are there, as well as those who aren't, and how we are all members of one family, and how someday, it will be their job to guard those same brothers and sisters who guard us -- with wisdom, compassion, and care, by only asking them to put themselves in harms way as an absolute last resort, and then, to remember forever, even when it is easier to forget.

It was a good day, and we got a lot of candy.
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Posted by IdaBriggs in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu May 14th 2009, 01:24 PM

Amendment V

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.

Amendment VI

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.

(I posted this Fri Oct 26th 2007, 08:44 AM -- it is still relevant.)

Johannes Junius' Letter
Many hundred thousand good-nights, dearly beloved daughter Veronica. Innocent have I come into prison, innocent have I been tortured, innocent must I die. For whoever comes into the witch prison must become a witch or be tortured until he invents something out of his head and--God pity him--bethinks him of something. I will tell you how it has gone with me. When I was first time put to the torture, Dr. Braun, Dr. Kötzendörffer, and two strange doctors were there. Then Dr. Braun asks me, "Kinsman, how come you here?" I answer, "Through falsehood, through misfortune." "Hear, you," he says, "you are a witch; will you confess it voluntarily? If not, we'll bring in witnesses and the executioner for you." I said, "I am no witch, I have a pure conscience in the matter; if there are a thousand witnesses, I am not anxious, but I'll gladly hear the witnesses." Now the chancellor's son was set before me ... and afterward Hoppfens Elsse. She had seen me dance on Haupts-moor. . . . I answered: "I have never renounced God, and will never do it--God graciously keep me from it. I'll rather bear whatever I must." And then cam also--God in highest Heaven have mercy--the executioner, and put the thumb-screws on me, both hands bound together, so that the blood ran out at the nails and everywhere, so that for four weeks I could not use my hands, as you can see from the writing. . . . Thereafter they first stipped me, bound my hands behind me, and drew me up in the torture. Then I though heaven and earth were at an end; eight times did they draw me up and let me fall again, so that I suffered terible agony. . . .

And this happened on Friday, June 30, and with God's help I had to bear the torture. . . . When at last the executioner led me back into the prison, he said to me: "Sir, I beg you, for God's sake confess something, where it be true or not. Invent something, for you cannot endure the torture you will be put to; and, even if you bear it all, yet you will not escape, not even if you were an earl, but one torture will follow after another until you say you are a witch. Not before that," he said, "will they let you go, as you may see by all their trials, for one is just like another. . . ."

And so I begged, since I was in wretched plight, to be given one day for thought and a priest. The priest was refused me, but the time for thought was given. Now, my dear child, see in what hazard I stood and still stand. I must say that I am a witch, though I am not,--must now renounce God, though I have never done it before. Day and night I was deeply troubled, but at last there came to me a new idea. I would not be anxious, but, since I had been given no priest with whom I could take counsel, I would myself think of something and say it. If were surely better that I just say it with mouth and words, even though I had not really done it; and afterwards I would confess it to the priest, and let those answer for it who compel me to do it. . . . And so I made my confession, as follows; but it was all a lie.

Now follows, dear child, what I confessed in order to escape the great anguish and bitter torture, which it was impossible for me longer to bear. . . .

Then I had to tell what people I had seen . I said that I had not recognized them. "You old rascal, I must set the executioner at you. Say--was not the Chancellor there?" So I said yes. "Who besides?" I had not recognized anybody. So he said: "Take one street after another; begin at the market, go out on one street and back on the next." I had to name several persons there. Then the Zinkenwert--one person more. Then over the upper bridge to the Georgthor, on both sides. Knew nobody again. Did I know nobody in the castle--whoever it might be, I should speak without fear. And thus continuously they asked me on all the streets, though I could not and would not say more. So they gave me to the executioner, told him to stip me, shave me all over, and put me to the torture. "The rascal knows one on the market-place, is with him daily, and yet won't name him." By that they meant Dietmayer: so I had to name him too.

Then I had to tell what crimes I had committed. I said nothing. . . . "Draw the rascal up!" So I said that I was to kill my children, but I had killed a horse instead. It did not help. I had also taken a sacred wafer, and had desecrated it. When I had said this, they left me in peace.

Now, dear child, here you have all my confession, for which I must die. And they are sheer lies and made-up things, so help me God. For all this I was forced to say through fear of the torture which was threatened beyond what I had already endured. For they never leave off with the torture till one confesses something; be he never so good, he must be a witch. Nobody escapes, though he were an earl. . . .

Dear child, keep this letter secret so that people do not find it, else I shall be tortured most piteously and the jailers will be beheaded. So strictly is it forbidden. . . . Dear child, pay this man a dollar. . . . I have taken several days to write this: my hands are both lame. I am in a sad plight. . . .

Good night, for your father Johannes Junius will never see you more. July 24, 1628.

Dear child, six have confessed against me at once: the Chancellor, his son, Neudecker, Zaner, Hoffmaisters Ursel, and Hoppfens Elsse--all false, through compulsion, as they have all told me, and begged my forgiveness in God's name before they were executed. . . . They know nothing but good of me. They were forced to say it, just as I myself was. . . .
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Posted by IdaBriggs in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon May 11th 2009, 10:13 AM
are documented traditions that are thousands of years old. As we explore the (real) world, our adventures/fantasies have to expand into alternate universes / outer space / alternate-realities-where-magic really works / etc. to create a place where protagonists (heroes) can wrestle with real life / moral quandaries / coping with bad things without obvious 'modern' fixes. Historical fiction can also be a valid setting for these adventures, as in, 'someone died of something that a modern antibiotic would have rendered easily curable', but as our knowledge of the real world grows, creating a literary world with its own set of rules is easier when we want to suspend disbelief.

For example, 100 years ago, the 'average' person did not have a clear picture of 'deepest, darkest Africa,' so Edgar Rice Burroughs was able to utilize the myth of it as a backdrop for an entertaining series about an orphan child (Tarzan/John Clayton/Lord Greystoke) who then had to wrestle with 'what makes a person civilized / how deep does a veneer of barbarian coat the true inner character / what makes a person noble and decent / how does the human heart and brain differ from the animal / what makes a person DECENT / how does environment impact on such concepts as self-sacrifice, courage, and empathy / etc.'

All wrapped up in an adventure tale that has captured the hearts of people for decades, and been retold in visual mediums multiple times, as well as print.

Like any good story, there is the surface of the tale, and then, when you look closer, there is the undercurrent. How does the character change / grow? What choices were made? Who am I, in relation to my environment? How do I feel about the choices the character makes? What choices would *I* make, given the same situation?

As I said, Africa was the great unknown; nowadays, we can easily google the place, and some of the 'mystery' is gone, because we 'know' that apes behave one way, and elephants another, and since Burroughs didn't have the benefit of google, or one hundred years of anthropology (plus he was a screaming racist, which was normal for his society), his 'aliens' were animals which we can now view in the local zoo. He could just as easily have placed his young orphan on another planet (yes, I know about John Carter of Mars - we are talking about Burrough's examination of nature vs nurture with his Tarzan series, thank you!), and that was Africa At The Time -- almost like an alien planet to the average person.

Now, back to your questions about Star Trek / X-Men: one of the MANY reasons they are enduring is because they have built their own layered mythology, based on characters who experience tragedy and triumph. Some of the tales are lightly concealed morality plays (how do we treat those who are different? what makes us 'better' than other people? what is civilization? what is courage? what is self-sacrifice? etc.), with human beings who might look different (green, adamantine claws, working in outer space, gifted with something that sets them apart from normal, etc.) but are REALLY US.

Think about it: you are going about your business, and all of a sudden, WHAM! You are different. You can do something that no one else can do. (See any adolescent walking the road between childhood to adult!) You can walk through a wall, control the weather, survive a fall from a ridiculous height -- fill in the blank, because once that initial moment of freak out passes, now you have to accept the fact you ARE NOT A GOD, and get about the business of living. How do you do that? And honestly, if someone can pick themselves up after having their family killed in front of them (which happens in 'real life'), then maybe a person unexpectedly in a wheelchair, or with a broken home, or whatever the problem is, can find the courage to pick themselves up, too, and if they can then commit themselves to trying to make the world a better place, then double yeah, because its hard to think outside of yourself when you are in pain, which is a pretty standard human condition.

I also think one of the reasons particularly bright people love these stories is because they deal with being different. If one accepts the fact that an IQ of 100 is 'normal' (50th percentile), that means half the population is above that number, and the higher the intelligence factor, the lonelier a person can be. As one wise person once said, 'its not how smart you are that counts, its what you do with it,' and the fantasy heroes with special abilities are just like us (only thinly disguised). Sometimes its easier to relate to the villain, and that is okay, too. We can intellectually explore the ideas, then put them aside while we deal with the real world, and that is fine.

For the Star Trek fan, there is also another bit: just like we know Africa today, or are still exploring the world under our seas (thanks to the inspiration of tales of mermaids and submarines), the idea of space travel as a normal part of the job is inspiring to some of our greatest minds. Yes, there are difficulties in the mechanics of it (E=mc2), but once one moves past the obvious problems, one begins to work on the solutions, until a probe exploring Mars (which looks nothing like Burroughs envisioned, by the way) seems plausible, and then normal. A space shuttle is nothing, and a space station is acceptable. Our writers and readers and storytellers have already been discussing some of the problems small crews will have as they deal with the new normals (small spaces, unexpected problems, and people with real personalities who don't always get along), and those of us in the know already understand that once we get past the mechanics of space travel, we will still be people -- and we will be the ones who define who a person is.

People can be white, or black, or green with pink polka dots. They can be hetero, homo, or multi sexual beings. They may believe in one god, or a thousand. Their ideas of family and how to treat each other may be the same, or different.

Either way, we will be richer for the knowing.

In the meantime, our imaginations will continue to ask the same questions we have been asking and answering for millenia.

Who are we? How did we get here? Why are we here? What makes us unique/special/different? What is courage? What is self-sacrifice? How should we behave?

Who are we, anyway?

End Note: For more information, I highly recommend reading any work by Joseph Campbell, including "Hero with a Thousand Faces," and my personal favorite, "The Power of Myth." Plus, of course, seeing the latest Star Trek and X-Men: Wolverine movies! LOL!
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