Archive - Apr 4, 2013



Sean Hannity defends the ousted Rutgers basketball coach, who hit his players and threw balls at them. I knew it was a matter of time before some right-winger would defend the use of violence by those in authority against those beneath them. It is one of the great right-wing beliefs: The little guy needs beating every now and then just to keep him in line. Kids? Spare the rod, spoil the child. Weirdos? A little bullying goes a long way. Gay kid? Whip him at the right time and all will be well. World problems? Invade countries one-twentieth our size and kill a couple hundred thousand civilians. If it doesn't work to solve the crisis, (which it hasn't) at least it will make us feel better. Criminals? We need more guns so we can have one big shoot-out between the good guys and the bad guys in the school hallway! That'll solve it! 

When right-winger's advocate violence, it is never on a even playing field. It is always the powerful having license to inflict pain on the weak for the good of the weak. It is sadistic. However, when there is the potential for violence and the outcome is in doubt, the right-wing cowards head for the hills. 

Cost of Alzheimer's

Here is confirmation of what should be obvious: Alzhieimer's disease is not only costly, it costs more than heart disease or cancer. 

I worry that we'll just look away. 

The Democratic-led Minnesota House and Senate are proposing $150 million in cuts to heath and human services. For nursing homes, costs go up but reimbursement goes down. Who will suffer? Not just the employees, who haven't had a raise in years, but the residents are going to feel the impact of lower staffing levels and lower morale amongst staff. 

Sadly, I think we are entering grim times in eldercare, particularly for those who are going to enter eldercare instutitions. There is no will whatsoever, even in areas you would usually find the will, to take care of those in need. None. The "all government is evil" mantra has so hynotized politicians (and many citizens) that anybody who brings up the actual pain caused by cuts in services is ignored in the name of fiscal belt-tightening. The tight-wads have won. I don't buy that they are simply looking at fiscal reality. These people who look down at the ground as soon as you bring up human suffering use fiscal matters as an excuse for human coldness, which is what really gives them joy: The opportunity to be cold and mean and have it seem noble and necessary. Some people live for that.

The belt-tightening will fall hardest on those who don't have voice to protest. Alzheimer's patients have no voice. They will suffer most. Other nursing home patients are next. Then come those who work in nursing homes, who have no organization and are generally on the edge of poverty themselves. 

Is it a radical notion that people who do the hard work in a nursing home should be paid well enough to have no problem buying a car, buying a home and taking an occasional vacation? That's the way it was thirty years ago! But no more.