Tag Archives: Congress

Get Set for a Healthy Winter Season


While contagious viruses are active year-round, fall and winter are when we’re most vulnerable to them. This is due in large part to people spending more time indoors with others when the weather gets cold.

Most respiratory bugs come and go within a few days, with no lasting effects. However, some cause serious health problems. People who use tobacco or who are exposed to secondhand smoke are more prone to respiratory illnesses and more severe complications than nonsmokers.

Colds usually cause stuffy or runny nose and sneezing. Other symptoms include coughing, a scratchy throat, and watery eyes. There is no vaccine against colds, which come on gradually and often spread through contact with infected mucus.

Flu comes on suddenly, and lasts longer than colds. Flu symptoms include fever, headache, chills, dry cough, body aches, fatigue, and general misery. Like colds, flu can cause a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes. Young children may also experience nausea and vomiting with flu. Flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. A person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it.

Flu season in the United States may begin as early as October and can last as late as May, and generally peaks between December and February. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • More than 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized from flu-related complications each year, including 20,000 children younger than age 5.
  • Between 1976 and 2006, the estimated number of flu-related deaths every year ranged from about 3,000 to about 49,000.
  • In the 2013 – 2014 season, there were in the U.S. 35.4 million influenza-associated illnesses, 14.6 medically attended flu illnesses, and 314,000 flu hospitalizations.

 

Prevention Tips

Get vaccinated against flu.

With rare exceptions, everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated against flu. Flu vaccination, available as a shot or a nasal spray, can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, missed work and school, and prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

It’s ideal to be vaccinated by October, although vaccination into January and beyond can still offer protection. Annual vaccination is needed because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may need to be updated, and because a person’s immune protection from the vaccine declines over time. Annual vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for developing serious complications from flu. These people include:

  • young children under 5 years, but especially those younger than 2.
  • pregnant women
  • people with certain chronic health conditions (like asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease)
  • people age 65 years and older

Vaccination also is especially important for health care workers, and others who live with or care for people at high risk for serious flu-related complications. Since babies under 6 months of age are too young to get a flu vaccine, their mother should get a flu shot during her pregnancy to protect them throughout pregnancy and up to 6 months after birth. Additionally, all of the baby’s caregivers and close contacts should be vaccinated as well.

Wash your hands often. Teach children to do the same. Both colds and flu can be passed through contaminated surfaces, including the hands. FDA says that while soap and water are best for hand hygiene, alcohol-based hand rubs may also be used. However, dirt or blood on hands can render the hand rubs unable to kill bacteria.

Try to limit exposure to infected people. Keep infants away from crowds for the first few months of life.

Practice healthy habits.

  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Exercise.
  • Do your best to keep stress in check.

 

Already Sick?

Usually, colds have to run their course. Gargling with salt water may relieve a sore throat. And a cool-mist humidifier may help relieve stuffy noses.

Here are other steps to consider:

  • Call your health care professional. Start the treatment early.
  • Limit your exposure to other people. Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay hydrated and rested. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated products which may dehydrate you.
  • Talk to your health care professional to find out what will work best for you.

In addition to over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, there are FDA-approved prescription medications for treating flu. Cold and flu complications may include bacterial infections (e.g., bronchitis, sinusitis, ear infections, and pneumonia) that could require antibiotics.

Taking OTC Products

Read medicine labels carefully and follow the directions. People with certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure, should check with a health care professional or pharmacist before taking a new cough and cold medicine.

Choose OTC medicines appropriate for your symptoms. To unclog a stuffy nose, use nasal decongestants. Cough suppressants quiet coughs; expectorants loosen mucus; antihistamines help stop a runny nose and sneezing; and pain relievers can ease fever, headaches, and minor aches.

Check the medicine’s side effects. Medications can cause drowsiness and interact with food, alcohol, dietary supplements, and each other. It’s best to tell your health care professional and pharmacist about every medical product and supplement you are taking.

Check with a health care professional before giving medicine to children.

See a health care professional if you aren’t getting any better. With children, be alert for high fevers and for abnormal behavior such as unusual drowsiness, refusal to eat, crying a lot, holding the ears or stomach, and wheezing.

Signs of trouble for all people can include

  • a cough that disrupts sleep
  • a fever that won’t respond to treatment
  • increased shortness of breath
  • face pain caused by a sinus infection
  • high fever, chest pain, or a difference in the mucus you’re producing, after feeling better for a short time.

This article appears on FDA’s Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

Updated December 23, 2014

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On this Day … Moby Dick Published


On this day in 1851, Moby-Dick, a novel by Herman Melville about the voyage of the whaling ship Pequod, is published by Harper & Brothers in New York. Moby-Dick is now considered a great classic of American literature and contains one of the most famous opening lines in fiction: “Call me Ishmael.” Initially, though, the book about Captain Ahab and his quest for a giant white whale was a flop.

Herman Melville was born in New York City in 1819 and as a young man spent time in the merchant marines, the U.S. Navy and on a whaling ship in the South Seas. In 1846, he published his first novel, Typee, a romantic adventure based on his experiences in Polynesia. The book was a success and a sequel, Omoo, was published in 1847. Three more novels followed, with mixed critical and commercial results. Melville’s sixth book, Moby-Dick, was first published in October 1851 in London, in three volumes titled The Whale, and then in the U.S. a month later. Melville had promised his publisher an adventure story similar to his popular earlier works, but instead, Moby-Dick was a tragic epic, influenced in part by Melville’s friend and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, neighbor, Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose novels include The Scarlet Letter.

After Moby-Dick‘s disappointing reception, Melville continued to produce novels, short stories (Bartleby) and poetry, but writing wasn’t paying the bills so in 1865 he returned to New York to work as a customs inspector, a job he held for 20 years.

Melville died in 1891, largely forgotten by the literary world. By the 1920s, scholars had rediscovered his work, particularly Moby-Dick, which would eventually become a staple of high school reading lists across the United States. Billy Budd, Melville’s final novel, was published in 1924, 33 years after his death.

history.com

Packing & Cracking ~~ a repost and reminder


Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), American statesman
Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), American statesman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

just another rant … 

Time to deal with old outdated complicit relationships that need to change

It is time to take Republicans onto the floor of Congress and wipe up the floor with their ideologies.

The things on my mind while Congress continues to take a few days here there … called a congressional recess? seriously

The information below is a history and time line regarding the Census and Gerrymandering or Packing & Cracking rules

In December 1975, the Congress passed Public Law (P.L.) 94-171. This law requires the Census Bureau to make special preparations to provide redistricting data to the 50 states no later than April 1 of the year following a census (so April 1, 2011, for the 2010 Census). P.L. 94-171 specifies that within 1 year of Census Day, the Census Bureau must send each state the small-area data the state will need to redraw districts for the state legislature.

P.L. 94-171 sets up a voluntary program between the Census Bureau and those states that wish to receive population tabulations for voting districts and other state-specified geographic areas.

Under this program, those responsible for the legislative apportionment or redistricting of each state may devise a plan identifying the voting districts for which they want the specific tabulations and submit it to the Census Bureau.

Beginning in 2005, the Redistricting Data Office of the Census Bureau met with state officials in 46 states. These meetings explained the timeline and programs available for the 2010 Census, providing states the time to prepare and allocate resources in advance of the census. The states also provided the Census Bureau with valuable feedback on census program planning.

The 2010 Census Redistricting Data Program is a five-phase program. During Phase 1 (2005–2006), the Census Bureau collected state legislative district boundaries and associated updates to tabulate legislative districts. This phase also included an aggressive 2010 Census communications plan, with visits to state capitals, to make sure the states were informed and prepared for the upcoming census.

Phase 2 (2008–2010) consisted of the Voting District/Block Boundary Suggestion Project (VTD/BBSP) in which states received TIGER/Line® shapefiles and the MAF/TIGER Partnership Software (MTPS) to electronically collect voting district boundaries, feature updates, suggested block boundaries, and corrected state legislative district boundaries. Both Phase 1 and Phase 2 are voluntary programs that include a step where the state verifies the submitted data.

Phase 3 constitutes the delivery of the data for the 2010 Census. The Census Bureau will deliver the geographic and data products to the majority and minority leadership in the state legislatures, the governors, and any designated P.L. 94-171 liaisons. Once bipartisan receipt of the data is confirmed, the data will be made available online to the public within 24 hours through the American FactFinder. For this census, the P.L. 94-171 data will include population counts for small areas within each state, as well as housing occupied/vacancy counts.

After the Census Bureau provides the data, the states will begin their redistricting. States are responsible for delineating their own congressional and legislative boundaries and their legislatures. Legislatures, secretaries of state, governors, and/or redistricting commissions carry out the process.  

Go to www.census.gov for the complete article …

Republicans on the floor of Congress continue to stall, block, scale down bills, and or add nasty amendments no one could vote for in good faith while providing misinformation and misinterpretation to the public any chance they can. We the People, cannot afford to vote for politicians who put Political Party and Money over doing the People’s business; though Republicans would have the public believe it is in our best interest. We must remember that Speaker Boehner said, his main concern was jobs jobs jobs among other things… the question is how many jobs bills did Republicans bring to the floor, how many Senate jobs bills were rejected and how many awful amendments were attached. Yes, this voter is biased, but I don’t think it’s in the best interest of Americans to side with the party of no; people need to make the effort to listen to what and how bills are handled by Republicans.

We need and must move into the 21st Century if we plan to get back on track and to do so Republicans must accept that PBO won a second term, has earned the right to govern … Americans … 53% of us said YES to his ideas, policies and desire to move forward.

However …

Instead, POTUS continues to spend time on cleaning up the crap the House of Bush left …Sadly,  we will never ever know exactly what all Barack Obama had planned for our country,but if you dissect the moves the votes the actions of Republican members of Congress … you might think hmmm  what was their intent?

Contrary to what went on in both Chambers of Congress, it is obvious that this is NOT what President Elect Barack Obama had in mind when he ran for office ~~ Think about it,  Republican leaders met& decided to be the Party of NO. POTUS either gets no reporting on his accomplishments or has to battle with the Media and it hasn’t been POTUS friendly reporting! I ask folks to contrast&compare it to the primaries because the media gained the reputation of having a love fest with Obama … was that ever true or

For your information, wiki states, “Gerrymandering is effective because of the wasted vote effect.

So, what does Packing and Cracking mean to you …

 

~ Packing opposition voters into districts (concentrate as many voters of one type -( maybe party&race ) means they already win and by …

~ Cracking the remainder among districts where they are moved into the minority (increasing votes for eventual losers), the number of wasted votes among the opposition can be maximized. Similarly, with supporters holding narrow margins in the unpacked districts, the number of wasted votes among supporters is minimized.

The Etymology

First printed in March 1812, the political cartoon above was drawn in reaction to the state senate electoral districts drawn by the Massachusetts legislature to favour the Democratic-Republican Party candidates of Governor Elbridge Gerry over the Federalists.

The caricature satirises the bizarre shape of a district in Essex County, Massachusetts as a dragon-like “monster.”

Federalist newspapers editors and others at the time likened the district shape to a salamander, and the word gerrymander was a blend of that word and Governor Gerry‘s last name.

Resources: www.Census.gov
 and Wiki

 

 Hopefully members of Congress have heard their constituents voices about Gun Safety, understand that  ACA is the law of the land,  respect Women and their reproductive rights, find courage to end governmental shutdowns, find the compassion to implement save or reform Paycheck Fairness, Immigration and Medicaid just to name a few. Lest we forget that Republican Governors continue to pass, ridiculous Family Values bills while squashing social service programs for the poor.

I also hope the constant racial comments by people voted into Public Office, which, sadly is slurped up by people who seem to be listening and following like lemmings  not only affects people of colour ends. It shows the World how primitive we truly are while our constitution, civil and human right achievements seem like documents and sensibilities with absolutely no value or power.  The public needs to stay informed; elections suffice it to say have consequences. The fact is midterm elections are just as important as the National Elections, especially in years when gerrymandering or as they say ,when redistricting goes into full effect which lumps, separates, destroys diverse communities and robs some of their voting rights allowing more extreme tea party members onto the Congressional floor.

~~ Nativegrl77

Voters who believe in Equality in all its forms …
We Must Stand & Stay in LINE
Mid-term2018ElectionsMatter
~~ Nativegrl77
written 4/7/2013
 

Is talk cheap ~ or just the talker


elephant talk
elephant talk (Photo credit: gin_able)

just another rant …another 2017 Republican budget is out in the airwaves …again!

Americans, bombarded with a whole lot of crazy talk lately. While some of us may gasp at most or all of what members of Congress are throwing out at us; no doubt it should open the eyes of all those trying to decide which side of the aisle and or what side of history they want to people to read about. It is clear to me.

They say talk is cheap but until you actually listen and read between the lines or walls of words do you find out what exactly is in any budget designed by Ryan Budget.  While some say rep.Paul Ryan is a dapper smooth talker they forget that Americans have heard his failed budget plans at least 4 times, somebody should let him know that renaming it will not do a thing to sell it. The fact is no matter what you call it … the Paul Ryan pathway to prosperity only seems to accept and cover the wealthy. In fact, Mr. Ryan seems to promise to save Medicare by closing loopholes and of course cuts spending by trillions. The problem is, if you read the real words or talking points it will be off the backs of Seniors, Minorities, low income and the poor.  It still amazes me that the Republican Party of No is so callous to think Americans don’t see Mr.1% in full effect, but then again cheap words can mask the most blatant of realities.

In the congress of 2014, it only took one to filibuster The Middle and Lower classes leaving them to suffer on the way toward that conservative mission to cut slash and burn public service jobs while handing out tax breaks. It’s now 2017 and while voters voted against their best interests …again!

We all need to ask when the light will be bright enough to see this Republican budget is a reworked failure …

If you have heard  Mitch McConnell or Rep.Paul Ryan talk about budgets lately,  you know the mission is still the same …. the talk is still cheap and at the expense of the middle/lower classes.

~ Nativergrl77

Women’s Rights : past present future …challenged everyday


oh yeah, it’s a rant …

keepabortionlegal

a repost from `2013 tweaked

So,  here we are in the 21st Century, Women have a constitutional right to have an abortion yet folks like Rep.Trent Franks act as if they know what is best for all Women, just think about that and ask yourself … why is a healthcare panel made up of men considering women’s health who keep making strange comments about our lady parts then throwing ALL Women into one basket?

The fact is Women lead very different lives, make individual decisions every minute of the day ~just like men … duh and an abortion or any other procedure is just one of several health care issues Women may have to encounter.  The best solutions are Birth Control in all its forms as well as safe affordable legal constitutional right to an abortion. I find it beyond offensive to hear Republicans infer that an abortion is chosen carelessly and for those who seem to think birth control in all its forms is a federal or states right issue actually use it as a Republican political football.  The fact is that Republicans with Women in their lives forget that their position pushes up against 98% of those who use birth control and they need to stop forcing their “family values” on women, focus on Jobs, Immigration, ending any idea of income inequality and Climate Change among just a few. I say until republicans come to their senses, which honestly doesn’t look at all possible, vote for the Democratic Party that supports upward mobility as well as the middle lower classes and the poor = equality

In 2016, I came across an article by Dave Thompson from The Denver Post  ~~ It appears as though the mission to demean control and or shutter a Woman’s right to choose is alive and well as North Dakota‘s Senate successfully passed what is called the” heart beat” bill, my first response was … say What?  We have just entered the twilight zone or maybe daylight savings has caused some chaos in North Dakota but then I read on and found that …   “Senators also approved a second bill that bans abortions based solely on genetic abnormalities, the first state ban of its kind if signed into law. The bill would also ban abortions based on the gender of the fetus, which would make North Dakota the fourth state to ban sex-selection based abortions.”  again, republicans tell voters they believe in smaller government yet the reproductive system and the rights of women seem to be their expertise?

Call republicans and ask why they assume Women are ill-equipped, silly, naïve or would put up with abortion bans without a fight ? least we talk about how hard a decision like abortion is NOT easy or done willy nilly!

Read more: North Dakota Senate approves “heartbeat” abortion ban – The Denver Post

Hey, whatever happened to taking” liberty” under the Bill of Rights and “freedom” under Civil Liberties seriously -or does this only apply to men and are now at risk for women?

On Sunday, January 22, 2012, President Obama released a statement letting Women know that he is reaffirming his promise to protect a woman’s right to choose.    Announcing that  “After evaluating comments, we have decided to add an additional element to the final rule  Nonprofit employers who, based on religious beliefs, do not currently provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan, will be provided an additional year, until August 1, 2013, to comply with the new law. Employers wishing to take advantage of the additional year must certify that they qualify for the delayed implementation. This additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule. We intend to require employers that do not offer coverage of contraceptive services to provide notice to employees, which will also state that contraceptive services are available at sites such as community health centers, public clinics, and hospitals with income-based support. We will continue to work closely with religious groups during this transitional period to discuss their concerns.”

There have been changes to the announcement above as well as big changes to health care for women … in a good way and more to come. If you don’t know,  please know that because of the new health care law women can now look forward to less discrimination and you do not have to be poor to benefit … can I just say that again, women will NOT be discriminated against anymore.  We know some in the insurance field, doctors and or hospitals will try to beat the system, but the law is there to refer to now and covers All Americans not just some. It is hard for me to believe pro-lifers do not understand that every part of a woman’s health is subject to being penalized and that includes reproductive health care, which includes a wide range of health care issues.  It is bad enough that lawmakers actually would subject women to demeaning practices like undergo a transvaginal scope; make them wait 72hrs, but to make doctors liable for jail time too.  I have to say that among other ridiculous laws that need a vote in Congress, The Hyde Amendment requires a vote every year …   the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions with exceptions for incest and rape.[1] It is not a permanent law, rather it is a “rider” that, in various forms, has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976. The Hyde Amendment applies only to funds allocated by the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. It primarily affects Medicaid. wiki

I also admit that it pisses me off that the latest group of people in office are still getting away with saying one thing in front of a camera yet voting another way on the floor of congress, includes spewing and or forcing their “family values” platform/ideology on what I thought were free Americans. What year is it again?  If the Republican Tea Party now the Nationalist party truly wants smaller government, they should stop trying to control women, their bodies and or change laws for the sake of that “family values” platform which is definitely the epitome of big government and an invasion of privacy.Npelosiwomenshc

The right seems to be aligning their demands for stricter abortion laws one state at a time. I cannot be the only one tired of the “Do as we say Not as we do Political Party of NO. It has my blood boiling. Now, Tea publicans running for President and some media folks are saying it is time to move on from nasty politics. I say if you want to become President of the US of A give Americans full disclosure. Women need to know if you support unnecessary procedures like a transvaginal scope  … Yet; the same people accuse President Obama of withholding information from the public or being un-American get offended when asked to provide personal information.  We are their constituents; we all deserve to know how these people will vote on issues of religion, race, gender, and or abortion. The beliefs of members of Congress dictate to how the vote will affect our constitutional rights. If you were listening, for three years conservative politicians, some conservadems ramping up of vitriolic “family values” rhetoric pushing the discussion of women’s rights, religion, race and gender preference up to the surface to rile their base. It is obvious now that Republican Governors had a plan to take the rhetoric a step further by passing anti-abortion legislation all over the country in fact as stated by NWLC – “Ninety-two. That’s the number of anti-abortion measures passed into law across the U.S. in 2011. In addition, in case you are wondering, yes, that is a record — in fact; it is over 2.5 times the previous record. “

Bad enough that in the year 2014, Women must continue to fight for our rights let alone for safe affordable access to reproductive health care. Now, as we move into 2017 with the trifecta that is trump and Congress, controlled by Republicans who decided to vote on a right to reproductive rights on the anniversary of Roe V Wade in 2015.  This move by men in Congress was is always incredible since there are more female members of Congress now, approximately 101, yes, mostly tea party members who say they are fiscally conservative, want less government in their (our) lives.  Yet, topics like abortion, stem cell research/experiments and religious freedom get them flustered,their undies in a bunch about abortion funding and seem to prefer that abortion be outlawed altogether if possible. I could not vote for a woman who feels I am not qualified, mature enough or have a “right to choose” no matter what side of the political aisle they sit. The fact is, women who choose to have an abortion, do so with trepidation not because they are heartless but out of viable options or the fetus is not viable or at risk or both mom and fetus are at risk and FYI the decision is discussed with a counselor and a doctor before any procedure. The choice to have an abortion is not an easy one and offering a safe place, an affordable procedure is better than having a woman or women desperate enough to take actions that could put her life at risk- is the right thing to do. The idea that any member of Congress would want to control a woman’s body is ludicrous at best and again, the epitome of BIG Government and they should accept The Hyde – Amendment as the law. It makes me want to scream hey, stay out of our lives we are in the 21st Century. The conservative ideology, clearly barbaric; spews old school dogma and not only crosses the line, has solidified a need, a call for an unprecedented effort for a grassroots movement to keep our Democracy safe

If you live under a Republican controlled State and need or know someone in need of safe affordable healthcare with limited funds, your life has got to be beyond difficult.    Now, imagine the impact that repealing, replacing and eliminating access would have on ALL our families, friend’s or co-workers. Let alone the idea that some Republicans want to go back to a time when women and people of colour had no rights; seen but  not heard and yes it sounds silly but before you laugh, take some time and listen to congressional members led by republicans and those running for office closely.

Just when I thought we were all moving into the 21st century … sigh

Resource : wiki on 1) 1

Nativegrl77