Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Social Wellness’

Say “No” Without Guilt

December 13th, 2011 No comments

“One key to successful relationships is learning to say “no” without guilt,

so that you can say “yes” without resentment.”

~ Bill Crawford

A New Year is Here

January 1st, 2010 1 comment


ar119895516288958Happy New Year!

At this time, a week after the celebration of Christmas, we find ourselves gearing up for one more round of parties, celebration, and perhaps some deep reflection and quiet contemplation.   And we carry on a tradition of making , what many people call, New Year’s Resolutions.

I was pondering this word on the night of the solstice- when the light begins to return for longer periods than the darkness- and it dawned on me (no pun intended!) that the evening of the solstice felt more like “New Year’s” to me than anything.  A new year was beginning for me that night, as the darkness would be given less time to linger, and the light would be filling our days moreso.  What a great way to think about how we are moving into a new chapter in our lives.  The chapter of 2010-

But the meat of what I got to pondering, on that cold, crisp night here in Minnesota, where I live… was the word “resolution”; what’s with this making new year’s resolutions stuff?  I find there is a lack of feeling and motivation behind this word, resolution.

I wondered how many other people hear that catch-phrase and imagine the plethora of topics that are common in our country:  eating healthier, going on a diet, losing weight, getting in shape, paying off debt, quit smoking, quit drinking, quit this, quite that, stick-to-this, follow-through-on-that, etc.  These things can sound like such a CHORE!  And then it hit me:  the very word itself, resolution, implies there is something to be resolved, and if something is to be resolved, then we must first have a “problem”.

Well, I don’t like the word problem. When we take into account the Bigger Picture, I feel that here, there are no problems.  A problem is a matter of perception.  They are just a sign-post that something is simply out-of-whack in our mind and our heart, and thus is spills forth into our outer lives.  So we must bring it into the light, where it will be TRANSFORMED, brought back into alignment, and returned to us as a fresh perspective, a right outlook, a new energy that will fill us and point us in the direction of where we would like to be going.

After all, nothing can truly be destroyed, extinguished, or ended.  ALL is energy, ever changing, in a state of flux, shifting and moving and altering form as it naturally evolves or as we come along and perceive it and project our energy onto it.  So it’s not that bad habits need to be cut out of our lives- in fact, this can prove to be quite difficult!  Going “cold turkey” just usually doesn’t work that well.  But if we offer it to the Light, it will be transformed and shifted in the way that is most effective and perfect for us.

We are not here to resolve our lives or “fix” the world- WE ARE HERE TO TRANSFORM IT.

And Oh!  What a grand opportunity that is.

May you know that you,

right here, right now,

are FULLY  EQCUIPED to do just that-

Read more…

The USA Way – Spend More, Get Less Healthcare

December 13th, 2009 No comments

A series of news stories were published based upon a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, (OECD), that showed that the United States spent the most on healthcare, yet was not doing well when compared to other wealthy nations in several key areas of health measurements.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development issued a report on December 8, 2009 called the “OECD Health Data 2009: Statistics and Indicators for 30 Countries” which included a detailed study on the US healthcare system. The portion of the report specific to the US called, “OECD Health Data 2009, How Does the United States Compare”, has with it some telling statistics about the US healthcare system and the results we get for the money spent.

Some of the interesting facts uncovered by the report are the following:

The United States ranks far ahead of other OECD countries in terms of total health spending per capita, with spending of $7,290 . That represents almost two-and-a-half times greater than the other nations average of $2,964 in 2007. The next closest nation is Norway which follows, with spending of $4,763 per capita, followed by Switzerland with spending of $4,417 per capita.

The US spends 16% of its Gross Domestic Product on healthcare, compared with France, Switzerland and Germany, which allocated 11.0%, 10.8% and 10.4% of their GDP to health respectively.

The US pays a smaller portion of the health care bill from public funding than other nations. Only 45% of healthcare expenses are paid by public funds which is a much smaller amount compared to an average of 73% for other OECD nations.

Infant mortality in the US is at 6.7 deaths per 1,000 live births which is well above the average of 3.9 per 1,000 live births.

Life expectancy at birth in the U.S. was 78.1 years in 2007 which is a year less than the OECD average of 79.1, and puts the U.S. just ahead of the Czech Republic, Poland and Mexico. Norway and Switzerland have a 2 to 4 year longer life expectancy over the US.

The study also noted that drug spending has increased everywhere with the US leading the way. According to the report, per capita spending on pharmaceuticals rose by almost 50 percent over the last 10 years in OECD countries, reaching a total of $650 billion in 2007. The U.S. was the world’s biggest spender on pharmaceuticals, spending $878 per person, with Canada next at $691 per person and the OECD average at $461.

Winona LaDuke – Added to Seeking Wholeness’s “Best Of”

November 15th, 2009 No comments

winona_ladukeWinona LaDuke, is an Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band of Anishinaabeg and is the mother of three children. Winona is the Program Director of Honor the Earth and Founding Director of White Earth Land Recovery Project.

Leading Honor the Earth she provides vision and leadership for the organization’s Regranting Program and its Strategic Initiatives.  In addition, she has worked for two decades on the land issues of the White Earth Reservation, including litigation, over land rights in the 1980′s.  In 1989, she received the Reebok Human Rights Award, with which in part she began the White Earth Land Recovery Project.

In 1994, Winona was nominated by Time Magazine as one of America’s fifty most promising leaders under forty years of age, and has also been awarded the Thomas Merton Award in 1996, the Ann Bancroft Award, Ms. Woman of the Year Award (with the Indigo Girls in 1997), the Global Green Award, and numerous other honors. A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities, she has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues.

Her books include: Last Standing Woman (fiction), All Our Relations (non-fiction), In the Sugarbush (Children’s), and The Winona LaDuke Reader.

To show respect to all of her work, I post this article about Winona LaDuke under the Best Of category.

For more information, visit: http://nativeharvest.com.

We Already Have Death Panels: California’s Death Panels

September 4th, 2009 No comments

An article title We Already Have Death Panels was posted on seeking wholeness .com on August 26, 2009. You can find it here.

A few days ago, on Wednesday September 02, 2009 the California Nurses Association released another sobering study that shows clearly the so called death panels are the norm. The claims denial rates by leading California insurers were just …  (I will leave this a blank for you to fill).

Here are the percentages of denied claims:

* PacifiCare — 39.6 percent
* Cigna — 32.7 percent
* HealthNet — 30 percent
* Kaiser Permanente — 28.3 percent
* Blue Cross — 27.9 percent
* Aetna — 6.4 percent

Find the CNA/NNOC research results below:

For Immediate Release
September 2, 2009

California’s Real Death Panels: Insurers Deny 21% of Claims PacifiCare’s Denials 40%, Cigna’s 33% in First Half of 2009

More than one of every five requests for medical claims for insured patients, even when recommended by a patient’s physician, are rejected by California’s largest private insurers, amounting to very real death panels in practice daily in the nation’s biggest state, according to data released Wednesday by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee.

CNA/NNOC researchers analyzed data reported by the insurers to the California Department of Managed Care. From 2002 through June 30, 2009, six of the largest insurers operating in California rejected 47.7 million claims for care — 22 percent of all claims.

The data will be presented by Don DeMoro, director of CNA/NNOC’s research arm, the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy, at CNA/NNOC’s biennial convention next Tuesday, Sept. 8 in San Francisco. The convention will also feature a panel presentation from nurse leaders in Canada, Great Britain, and Australia exploding the myths about their national healthcare systems.

“With all the dishonest claims made by some politicians about alleged ‘death panels’ in proposed national legislation, the reality for patients today is a daily, cold-hearted rejection of desperately needed medical care by the nation’s biggest and wealthiest insurance companies simply because they don’t want to pay for it,” said Deborah Burger, RN, CNA/NNOC co-president.

For the first half of 2009, as the national debate over healthcare reform was escalating, the rejection rates are even more striking.

Claims denial rates by leading California insurers, first six months of 2009:

  • PacifiCare — 39.6 percent
  • Cigna — 32.7 percent
  • HealthNet — 30 percent
  • Kaiser Permanente — 28.3 percent
  • Blue Cross — 27.9 percent
  • Aetna — 6.4 percent

“Every claim that is denied represents a real patient enduring pain and suffering. Every denial has real, sometimes fatal consequences,” said Burger.

PacifiCare, for example, denied a special procedure for treatment of bone cancer for Nick Colombo, a 17-year-old teen from Placentia, Calif. Again, after protests organized by Nick’s family and friends, CNA/NNOC, and netroots activists, PacifiCare reversed its decision. But like Nataline Sarkisyan, the delay resulted in critical time lost, and Nick ultimately died. “This was his last effort and the procedure had worked before with people in Nick’s situation,” said his older brother Ricky.

Read more…

More Suicide News From Fort Campbell

May 28th, 2009 No comments

A few days ago I wrote an article where I mentioned how I’ve been hearing more suicide news recently. Yesterday and today, it seems most the suicide news in the media is about Fort Campbell. Here you will see snippets from three recent news articles on this topic:

Fort Campbell holds ‘suicide stand-down’
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky., May 27 (UPI) — Fort Campbell, Ky., home to the U.S. 101st Airborne, began a three-day ‘suicide stand-down’ Wednesday after 11 soldiers took their own lives this year.

The “training event” is the second one in 2009, CNN reported. It began with a speech from Brig. Gen. Stephen Townsend to all the enlisted men and officers in the division, Kelly Tyler, a spokeswoman said.

With 64 suicides so far in 2009, the U.S. Army appears likely to pass the record of 133 reported last year. There were 115 suicides in 2007, the highest number since the Defense Department began tracking military suicides in 1980

Source: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/05/27/Fort-Campbell-holds-suicide-stand-down/UPI-73121243453994/
Despite prevention efforts, soldier suicides at Fort Campbell continue to rise

By Associated Press

3:03 AM CDT, May 27, 2009
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — Despite previous efforts to stop suicides, the number of Fort Campbell soldiers who have killed themselves has continued to increase.

Fort Campbell leaders have ordered the entire installation to stand down for three days starting Wednesday in response to the 14 suspected suicides since Jan. 1, including two this month.

The installation participated in an Army-wide suicide prevention campaign in March that included training soldiers and commanders to look for signs of stress and depression.

Source: http://www.whnt.com/news/sns-ap-tn–fortcampbellsuicides,0,6850567.story

Families Affected by Suicide Feel Sting on Memorial Day

Mary Clare Lindberg’s son, Army Sgt. Benjamin Jon Miller, was home in Minnesota on leave from Iraq in June when he shot and killed himself

In March, Lindberg made a pilgrimage to Fort Campbell, Ky., to visit the post where her son served with the 101st Airborne Division. While it was comforting to meet with the soldiers with whom her son had served, Lindberg was upset when she saw the unit memorial. The names of two soldiers from her son’s brigade who were killed in combat were on the memorial, but Ben Miller’s name was not.

“Because my son was a suicide home on leave, his name was not on the memorial wall at Fort Campbell, and that’s just not right,” said Lindberg, who said her son was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from his experiences in Iraq.

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/24/AR2009052402142.html?hpid=topnews

U.S. Has The Highest Child Poverty, High Fertility But Low Life Expectancy

May 22nd, 2009 No comments

According to a new report released by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), happiness levels are highest in northern European countries.

Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands rated at the top of the list.

Outside of Europe, New Zealand and Canada also made the top 10. The U.S. did not.

The U.S. ranked the highest for child poverty and obesity among the western nations polled.

Other Very Interesting Findings include:

Adult height: Americans are not getting taller. The United States is the only country in the OECD where men and women aged 45-49 are no taller than those aged 20-24 years old, indicating no improvement in health and social conditions determining gains in height.

Health care: The United States spends the most per capita on health care, but despite their high levels of health spending the Unites States has relatively low life expectancy.

Net National Income: The United States is one of the richest countries in the OECD. In 2006, the United States had a per capita National Net Income in excess of USD 35 000. Only Luxembourg and Norway were higher.

Fertility: The United States has a much higher fertility rate than most other OECD countries of 2.1 children per mother, compared to an OECD average of 1.65.

Child poverty: Child poverty has fallen since the mid-1990s but one in five US children still live in poverty, a rate exceeded only in Poland, Mexico, and Turkey

Social protection: The United States is the fourth lowest in the OECD in terms of income shares of public social spending. However, when tax breaks for social purposes and private social spending are also considered, social spending in the United States rises above the OECD average of 28% to 31% of income.

Eating time: Americans spend around an hour and a quarter eating every day, slightly more than only Canadians and Mexicans but less than half the eating time spent by the French. Despite this limited time spent eating, their obesity rates are the highest in the OECD.

Leisure time of men and women: American men have nearly 40 minutes more leisure time than women per day.
Find the report here: http://www.oecd.org/document/24/0,3343,en_2649_34637_2671576_1_1_1_1,00.html

Let me ask you,

  • Are we a nation of Me’s or a nation of We’s?
  • How can one justify that it is more important to have a fetus develop into a baby and then be born than to give that new born baby and child health coverage or keep them from poverty?

We may make more money per capita in the US but we spend most of it on health insurance and other ‘fees’ – These are what I call hidden taxes.

These hidden taxes go to corporations not to benefit other citizens; they suck money up the ranks to make the rich richer, making huge profits and paying CEO’s millions of dollars that are basically denied health care reimbursements to you.. In other words, money from your pocket to theirs.

Taxes are used by governments (i.e. we the people) to benefit the population at large, these fees are simply how some corporations (after lobbying congress) dip their hands in your pockets and ‘steal’ your money.

Read more…

Oceti Sakowin: The People of the Seven Council Fires – Trailer

January 17th, 2009 No comments

Watch Trailer:

Watch the trailer for the documentary entitled “Oceti Sakowin: The People of the Seven Council Fires” below.

Read more…

The People of the Seven Council Fires – Documentary Summary pt4

January 17th, 2009 No comments

This is part 4 of the series of articles entitled “The People of the Seven Council Fires – Documentary Summary“. Find part one here, part two here, part three here.

This article is about Family and the new way of life the Oyate were forced into.

Relationships are very important to the Oyate. If you were an Oyate you can make new relatives, by adopting someone as a relative, as a mother, son, sister or brother.

Social structure

The social structure is one of an extended family.

The men assume the role of the protector, provider and leadership.

Women

Women maintain the household. Women are viewed as nurturers & educators.

Women educate the children until a certain age, when boys go with men mentors and women stay under the womens’ mentorship

Grandmothers are usually the educators of the young

Women owned the house and tipi

Ethnic Cleansing

The Lakota were men of peace, lived in balance with creation and addressed all creation as relatives, they were relatives with the white buffalo

The Lakota was the last of tribes to resit the US military, odds and numbers were against them and eventually they worse faced with a new way of life.

Treaties were made and broken. Land was taken. People were forced into farming, and into boarding schools that were basically functioning in a Catholic school system. Further, families broken apart and separated, men and women and children separated.

Their roles were taken away. The women could no longer teach and nurture their children who were taken away from them; the men had no buffalo to hunt and mentoring to give.

The rationale for the boarding schools was, as Carlisle founder Richard Henry Pratt often said, to “kill the Indian and save the man.” But the actual reason was economic: By taking away the children, the U.S. government was able to take away and maintain control of the Indian land base.

Alcohol & drugs came into their lives when reservations started; the buffalo was replaced by rations as part of a government ration system.

The Oral tradition ended; now Cathlic nuns taught children and provided the children protection, someone else was providing for the children.

It was against the law to be Lakota from 1880 to 1978 !!!

In the 1950′s 100% of the Lakota denied their indiannes and they did not speak in Lakota.

Read more…

The People of the Seven Council Fires – Documentary Summary pt3

January 16th, 2009 No comments
28 support poles around the sundance arbor

28 support poles around the sundance arbor

This is part 3 of the series of articles entitled “The People of the Seven Council Fires – Documentary Summary“. Find part one here, part two here.

This article talks about numbers. Numbers are sacred to the Oyate people.

The Number Seven

The numbers 7 and 4 are sacred thus are integrated in everything.

Seven (7) is used for social units or the structures of things
Four (4) is used in ritual
4 multiplied by 7 = 28.

The number twenty Eight (28) combines both ritual and social. The Oyate have 28 sundance lodges (or 28 support poles around the sundance arbor – sorry I’m a little confused about this particular one), 28 divisions in circle, and the months have 28 days (since they are lunar months)

The number 7 can be broken into 1, 2 and 4 , giving each of these numbers some significance.

Stay tuned for part 4 which will talk about Family

This series of articles are categories under “Religion / Atheism” and are tagged with “Ancient”.

End of part 3

Note: These articles were written in recognition and in high respect to those who inhabited these lands before me, to those who coexisted and protect the land, and to their spirituality, culture and legacy. My small contribution to bringing the truth out about what happened to the original inhabitants of North America.