Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Diabetes and nutrition and nurses strike in Massachusetts

Stan and I were talking about diabetes, he's recently diagnosed. He has an endo doctor and he's seen a nutritionist. Nutritionists? Some are better than others. I know of one who put someone on a diet that no one could survive on. The carbs for one meal was what she told him for the entire day. She didn't last long because she kept telling that story and laughing. Why? When he showed up at her office, she said, "I think I know you." They'd had a bad date and, as she kept telling co-workers, she got her revenge. It didn't take long for administration to hear about her revenge and she was let go about four weeks after she stated.
: There are also good, very good nutritionists. If you're constantly hungry, you might need to seek out a different nutritionist. You can also find diabetic groups where people discuss their issues. You can also find online resources. But you need to exercise caution as you would with anything. Stan had a suggestion from a co-worker to try Canary Seed For Humans. I told him he should talk to his endo doctor about that. I have heard of it. I don't know anyone personally who it has worked for.
: And, to be clear, we were talking as friends. I am a nurse. I am not a doctor. My father is diabetic as is one of my brothers. So far, none of my children have diabetes but I do have 2 nephews and 1 niece with diabetes. So I do know about food.
: Cottage cheese is good for diabetes. We wee talking about snacks and Stan's got bags of pork rinds. Those are better for you than potato chips or corn chips. They generally are zero carb or no carb. (Carbs turn to sugar, diabetics have to watch the carbs). Beans are good because they have protein and fiber. Lentils are something I really love and they are good for diabetes. I have them at least once a week. Every Saturday, my father comes over in the afternoon and I make sure I have a pot of lentils on the stove.
: Let's talk about lentils for a moment. Young people and people who are just starting to cook often e-mail about dried beans. It can be confusing. I usually use the stove top although I do have a pressure cooker and the pressure cooker option on my instapot. With most dry beans, you'll need to soak over night (or use the quick soak function on the package which I don't recommend). Then you rinse them (using a colander). You put them in a fresh pot of water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover. Let it cook for however long the package recommends. I usually cook lentils for 30 minutes after I bring them to a boil. You should check them periodically -- any dried beans -- when they are cooking covered to make sure they have enough water. If they don't, just add water. You don't need to reboil, just add water.
: I use a salt substitute on Saturday lentils because my father has high blood pressure. I often chop up an onion and cook that with the beans. Sometimes some carrots or celery. I love lentils. I also love to cook garbanzo beans, black eyed peas and navy beans from dried beans. My grandfather was a great cook. He learned that in the navy. And, growing up, he would always have beans on the stove, usually navy beans. I always think of him when I have a pot of navy beans on the stove.
: Okay, this is from WSWS:
: More than 700 nurses who have been on strike at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, for nearly two months have overwhelmingly rejected the latest contract proposal by the multinational hospital giant Tenet Healthcare. The nurses walked out over unsafe staffing levels, demanding a one-to-four nurse-to-patient ratio on medical/surgical floors and telemetry units, as well as increased staffing in the emergency department and ancillary support in each unit.
: The deal, which was nearly identical to the previous offer that the nurses rejected, was presented to striking workers by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) on Monday. The only difference was Tenet’s proposal to set up a toothless committee to “review” the issue of staffing ratios on a quarterly basis.
: Even after manning the picket lines with no strike pay for more than seven weeks, nurses overwhelming rejected the deal. David Schildmeier, MNA director of public communications, told the Worcester Telegram that on Monday afternoon the union presented it to the striking nurses via Zoom and their “reaction was quite negative. ... They were saying words I can’t repeat. They were all yelling at once on the Zoom, ‘No, no!’” He added, “They were devastated, angry and insulted.” The MNA did not, however, say why it brought this insulting offer back to nurses.
: The defiant stand by St. Vincent’s nurses is indicative of the growing mood of militancy among workers in the US. On Monday, 2,000 graduate student workers at New York University walked out on strike to demand higher wages and better health care and childcare. Also, on Monday, striking steelworkers at Allegheny Technologies Inc., on strike since March 30, overwhelmingly rejected management’s demands for wage and health care givebacks. More than 1,100 coal miners at Warrior Met Coal in Brookwood, Alabama, are continuing their month-long strike after rejecting a deal brought back by the United Mine Workers by a vote of 1,006 to 45. More than 3,000 Volvo Truck workers are also on strike in Virginia.


This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday:

 Wednesday, April 28, 2021.  The failure of the Iraqi government continues to garner attention following Saturday's hospital fire in Baghdad, an Australian man is being held in a prison with no reasons for his arrest being provided, and much more.

In a desperate attempt to stop protests following the fire at Ibn al-Khatib Hospital in Baghdad on Saturday, Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi had declared three days of official mourning. It may have caused some to cease protesting but protests have taken place this week and they continue to take place such as in Basra today.  ANADOLU AGENCY reports:

Hundreds of Iraqi workers shut the main headquarters of the Electric Power Production and Transmission Company in the southern city of Basra on Wednesday in protest of delaying their salaries.

Protesters say the company has refused to pay employees with temporary contracts for the past six months.

Demonstrators prevented employees from entering the building and threatened to stage an open-ended sit-in in front of the company if they were not paid, according to eyewitnesses.

The hospital fire has yet again exposed the corruption in Iraq.  At least 82 people died with 110 more left injured is the official count from the Iraqi government.  The official count.  The actual number may be much higher.   Sura Ali (RUDAW) reported earlier this week:

The death toll of a massive fire that ripped through Baghdad’s Ibn al-Khatib Hospital Saturday night has risen to around 130, according to Iraq’s human rights commission.

A report released following a fact-finding mission by the government-funded Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights reports a higher number of casualties than the government’s previous toll, on Sunday, of 82 deaths. It notes that many of the bodies have yet to be identified due to being burned beyond recognition.  

Regardless of the number, this is on the government of Iraq which is supposed to protect the people.  It hasn't protected them.  It hasn't protected protester, it hasn't protected widows, it hasn't protected anyone.  This is part of the corruption -- a direct result of the corruption in Iraq.

This wasn't ''Oh, how sad a fire resulted in all of these deaths."  This is not just a tragedy, it is an injustice because it could have been easily prevented had the government followed written safety measures.  This is a governmental failure and the Iraqi people are expressing outrage.  Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi came to power in May of last year.  Like all of the post-2003-invasion prime ministers, he pledged to end corruption.  He did not.  And now the same interests involved in the corruption that led to the loss of so many lives in Saturday's fire?  Mustafa needs their support if he's to remain prime minister  after this year's election.  Julia Marnen (NEWSWEEK) notes:  

A deadly fire raged Saturday at the Ibn al-Khatib hospital's coronavirus ward in Baghdad, Iraq, where medical officials said the building was a firetrap with safety shortcomings such as blocked emergency exits and broken fire extinguishers, the Associated Press reported.

[. . .]

Doctors have warned of widespread mismanagement in Iraq's hospitals, citing concerns over safety rules, particularly regarding oxygen cylinders, and a lack of smoke detectors, according to AP.

Samer said if a fire safety system was in place, lives would have been saved.

The  Iraqi people have every right to be outraged, the government is not representing the Iraqi people and it is ot protecting their interests.  One of Iraq's militias, The Hezbollah Brigade, is demanding the government resign.  To try to protect his own position, Mustafa has publicly insisted that the blame falls on health officials.  He forgets to note that the blame falls on him.  He's been in office for 11 months (May 7th, 2020 he became prime minister).  He is the head of the government, the buck stops with him.  He can try to push it off on underlings but why were the issues not addressed by the government once Mustafa became prime minister?  He was informed of this problem on two occasions -- one by health administrator in June of last year and again by two doctors in November of last year.  Real concerns were expressed directly to him.  Why didn't he act?

The deaths are an injustice and the blame goes to the government -- the one that Mustafa is the head of.  Shame on him for trying to push the blame off on others.


Staying on the subject of government's not serving their own citizens, Robert Pether.  We noted him in yesterday's snapshot..  Steve Jackson (THE AUSTRALIAN) explained, "An Australian father of three has been able to speak to his family for the first since he was seized by Iraqi police and thrown in prison three weeks ago after being tricked into attending a fake business meeting with one of the country’s leading institutions."   Today, Christopher Knaus (GUARDIAN) reports:

Mechanical engineer Robert Pether, 46, was arrested in Baghdad roughly three weeks ago, after travelling to Iraq from Dubai to attempt to restart work on the construction of a new headquarters for the Central Bank of Iraq.

After roughly four years of work, the project became mired in a contractual dispute between Pether’s employer and the bank.

Pether, originally from Sydney, was invited to Iraq for a “meeting” by the bank, which indicated the dispute was over and the work could be resumed.

His wife Desree Pether, speaking from Ireland, said the bank was, in fact, laying a trap.

“He and his colleague had their suits on and got arrested immediately,” she told the Guardian. “There never was any resolution and there was never any meeting scheduled. It was trap.”

Her husband has been thrown into an Iraqi prison.  They have limited any contact she can have wth her husband.  She reaches out to the Australian government -- which hasn't even issued a statement publicly.  Brittany Chain (DAILY MAIL) reports:

Ms Pether has sought answers from the Australian embassy, but claims she has been told she is not authorised to liaise on his behalf. 

'They have no idea how to help him,' she said. 

'They just keep repeating that they can't discuss the case with me without consent from my husband. There is no support for me at all.' 

Daily Mail Australia understands consular staff are not able to communicate with family and friends unless they are a nominated contact. But Ms Pether claims given she is the one who reported his arrest, and that her husband has been so hard to contact, she should be informed of any updates.

She is his spouse, that alone makes her the nominated contact.  This is beyond ridiculous, it is beyond a bad policy or practice.  This is an example of a government failing the people it is supposed to represent. 

Vedank Tweets:

One of my friend’s father is trapped in Iraq for no reason whatsoever. Twitter, do your thing. Help #RobertPether and his family. This needs to be addressed.

Public pleading is what Robert's family and friends have to resort to because the Australian government is not doing anything.  Desree and Robert live in Ireland.  The Irish government has done much more for Robert than his own country has.  THE JOE FINNEGAN SHOW Tweets:

Taoiseach says they will everything they can to help Robert Pether and his family

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