Tuesday, January 22, 2019

It’s Snowing Again, It Must be Global Warming

Photo: Ileana Johnson
For the fifth time in seven days snow began to fall in large flakes, cold kisses from heaven that built into a 12-inch blanket of pristine white, wet and heavy carpet of global warming that my husband is going to have to shovel multiple times. It would freeze overnight when the temperatures are expected to dip into low single digits.

My friend Joe K., who spent five years in Romania serving our country during Ceausescu’s draconian regime, commented that “every time it would freeze in Bucharest, water in our radiators would freeze up. We never had heat when we needed it.”
His comment was nothing new to me, we froze all the time in our communist-subsidized reinforced steel concrete and drab grey apartments covered with dingy air pollution. We lived on the fifth floor and radiator steam seldom reached that high up. I was never warm in winter except when I went to see my grandparents in the nearby village.

The village was located about 9 km from the outskirts of town. Even though they were so close, they might as well have lived in the 18th century. They never got electricity until late 70s but they had a wood-burning mud brick stove that kept things toasty warm during the day in the two tiny rooms. Grandpa’s bed was close by the stove which served as a heat source and for cooking over the three eyes with removable and adjustable cast iron covers to fit any size cast iron pot.
Temperatures dropped precipitously at night as the fire died out. We were sleeping snug in sea weed and straw mattresses and heavy wool quilted comforters made by grandma’s hand. We always woke up in the morning flea-bitten to a cold room until grandpa stoked a new fire in the stove and the crackling burning logs warmed us enough to get out of bed and put our warm and scratchy hand-made wool clothes on. The cats came down from the warm attic to be fed; they were the mouse catchers and a constant source of fleas and furry hugs.

We always helped our extended family as we were all equally poor under the boot of communism. The socialist rhetoric was long on failed promises that never materialized and short on providing for the starving and cold proletarian masses.
The arctic air has rolled over our north-eastern area and the Hawk is blowing something fierce. We are snug in the comfort of our homes where we can easily adjust the temperature, have warm water, thick comforters and blankets, and plenty of warm clothes and socks.
I worry about domesticated animals left outdoors to fend for themselves and for our fellow humans who are homeless by no fault of their own and how they are going to protect themselves in these frigid temperatures.

Corrupt politicians on both sides of the isle seem to be more concerned about the welfare of foreign individuals, potential Democrat voters, who are overrunning our borders illegally, than they are about our own poor people, veterans, and the elderly.
I hope there are enough shelters open to protect our homeless population from frigid temperatures. We should provide apartments for them instead of the illegal aliens, who are bussed into our country with non-governmental organizations (NGO) and Democrat taxpayer funding, demanding free housing, healthcare, food, electricity, education, and the right to vote at the expense of Americans.

Poverty exists everywhere and people have a right to seek a better life in a legal way. They also have the responsibility to make their own countries better, especially the men. But they do not have the right to demand welfare from our hard-earned tax dollars.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Expand Pharmacist Roles to Reduce ER Visits

Photo: Alef Perez
Our ERs are vast improvement over this kind of
third world medicine illegals get in their own countries.
As I have recently experienced during a recent ER visit in northern Virginia, many cases presenting themselves are cases of sniffles of illegal aliens and their children who use the ER as their primary physician because ER visits are free to them, paid for by the U.S. taxpayers.  

A seven-year study just released on January 10, 2019, by the University of Waterloo in Canada found that pharmacists could dramatically reduce ER visits by “incorporating them with an expanded scope into the community or hospital emergency departments,” thus reducing the overcrowding of emergency rooms (ERs).

Wasem Alsabbagh and Sherilyn Houle found that “almost one-third of non-urgent Emergency Department (ED) visits in Ontario were for conditions that could potentially be managed by pharmacists with an expanded scope of practice – available in other jurisdictions in Canada.”

“Overcrowding in EDs is a concern most Canadians can relate to, and we know that it can lead to increased mortality and a higher rate of patients who leave without receiving treatment,” said Wasem Alsabbagh, a professor at the Waterloo School of Pharmacy.

He added, “Our findings support that we need to see more pharmacists working with expanded scope in community practice or based in the ED. This may reduce crowdedness and free more resources in EDs to care for more acute patients.”

After the researchers examined data from 2010-2017 of all Ontario hospital Emergency Department (ED) cases, they found that one in five patients who sought emergency care had non-urgent health concerns. Such unnecessary visits could have been potentially managed by a pharmacist.

To ascertain the percentage of non-urgent care, the authors of the study used standard scales that measured the severity of the patients’ symptoms and used statistics to determine which cases could have been managed by pharmacists “working with an expanded scope.”

In the last decade, various provinces in Canada have allowed pharmacists to write prescriptions for minor ailments. Such is the case of Alberta where, since 2007, pharmacists were allowed to write prescriptions for minor illness, to renew prescriptions, to administer injections, and to give vaccinations.

In Ontario, in 2012 and then in 2016 pharmacists’ roles expanded and they could renew prescriptions and administer flu vaccines and others.

“Our study included all expanded scope services in use across Canada when assessing which Emergency Department (ED) cases pharmacists could manage,” said Alsabbagh. “Over the seven years of the study period, we found that pharmacists with an expanded scope could potentially have managed nearly 1.5 million cases in Ontario.”

What conditions could a pharmacist with an expanded scope of practice treat? According to this study, skin-related problems like dermatitis, coughs, and inflammation of the ear canal, nasal passages, and throat were some of the cases that could have been managed by a pharmacist.

The Journal of Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy published Wasem Alsabbagh and Sherilyn Houle’s study called “The Proportion, Conditions, and Predictors of Emergency Department Visits That Can Be Potentially Managed by Pharmacists with an Expanded Scope of Practice.”https://uwaterloo.ca/pharmacy/news/pharmacists-could-dramatically-reduce-er-visits

As more doctors retire in this country, less students study medicine due to its difficult, long, and expensive training, nurse practitioners’ and physician assistants’ roles expand, and more doctors are brought from third world countries and medical schools, could pharmacists’ roles fill the vacuum and expand beyond vaccinations in the United States where Emergency Rooms (ERs) are equally crowded by minor cases? How would they define minor cases? What would the medical licensing boards and medical schools do under such circumstances? Would pharmacist training and medical liability have to change?




Socialist Democrats and their Illegal Alien Brethren

On a print from 1886 of the Statue of Liberty someone wrote, “There is room in America and brotherhood for all who will support our institutions and aid in our development. But those who come to disturb our peace and dethrone our laws are aliens and enemies forever.”

Times have changed fundamentally since 1886. Liberty is comatose and may never come out of its induced final slumber. Liberal Americans and the socialist Democrats of today are fighting the rest of the country to remove our borders, to disarm law enforcement, to pay for illegal aliens’ free healthcare, education, housing, voting rights, and every other benefit American citizens have.
Millennials devoid of common sense and their radical socialist representatives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) are openly calling for transforming our country into a Venezuela. It seems surreal that American citizens would want to live in the Twilight Zone of globalism or in a bad zombie apocalypse movie they so enjoy.

Of course socialist Democrats want open borders; millions of new illegal alien voters will help garner more representatives in the U.S. House and thus control it in perpetuity, with no Republican opposition, a type of California populated by 435 individuals who pretend to serve “we the people,” while silencing 52% of the U.S. population.

USA Today reported that “half of the 600,000 residents aided by NYC Care are undocumented immigrants” and New York City will spend “up to $100 million per year to expand health care coverage to people without health insurance including immigrants in the U.S. illegally.” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/01/09/new-york-city-care-comprehensive-health-care-plan-concerns/2522924002/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=amp&utm_campaign=speakable&fbclid=IwAR0O71yHlujHVPQbUUg-eynNX0u7P_LAU1EYn3A9lZsE3eBuuYfUpT_YWNA

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the federal government expenditures on illegal aliens is almost $46 billion a year, the state and local governments spend approximately $89 billion a year, for a total of roughly $135 billion annually. Illegal aliens pay $15.5 billion in federal taxes, $3.5 billion in state and local taxes, totaling $19 billion.  FAIR estimates that the total economic impact of illegal immigration is a burden of $116 billion annually, money that should be spent on veterans and American low income families.

A one-time cost of $5 billion to build the southern border wall is a small sum when compared with such a huge yearly expense to maintain and provide for illegal aliens. President Reagan had promised this wall when he amnestied 3 million illegal aliens in 1986. But Congress never appropriated sufficient money for its construction. https://www.fairus.org/issue/publications-resources/fiscal-burden-illegal-immigration-united-states-taxpayers?fbclid=IwAR1QGopbIjMDBSTj5dhRkQvA4p_NtIihUKGx4om8DXpLFoOy5K_45uNx6vE

Recently, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) made some bizarre statements on MSNBC. “Every day immigrants commit crimes at a far lower rate than everyday Americans” and illegals on the border “are acting more American than any person who seeks to keep them out will ever be.”

The fact that we need a border wall is most vividly described by Americans who live in the vicinity of the border with Mexico.  A resident of El Indio, Texas, living half a mile from the border wrote about “15 men who pulled a gun on my husband and had a 13 year-old Mexican girl they had kidnapped from Guerrerro. She had blood all over her and had urinated on herself. My husband was able to, with the help of the Border Patrol agents in a helicopter who passed over, get the gun from the Honduran man; they rushed the poor girl to the emergency room for help – she had been in fact kidnapped and gang raped by these men. We are kind people and believe in helping others in need but there have been three attacks on my husband on our ranch in the last three months.”

Schumer and Pelosi talk about “Trump’s manufactured drama with the border.” Adding more security at the border crossing will not help because illegals “are not coming through the borders, they are coming through mesquite and brush,” she added.

A wall will stop most illegal crossers even though some may dig under or escalate it. The Border Patrol needs help, the American ranchers need help, and Americans must feel safe in their own sovereign country.

If walls are “not effective and are socially unjust,” as the Democrats claim, why are rich people and most of Washington, D.C., surrounded by protective walls and barriers? If walls are not effective, why are there walls around prisons? Why do we have billions of dollars of privacy and noise cancelation walls around neighborhoods close to the highway?

There is a limit how many illegal invaders a country can absorb before it is no longer a nation but a socialist hellhole where the invaders vote for their free fair share of our confiscated stuff. As the progressive Mayor De Blasio said in his State of the City address, “Brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world. There’s plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands.” Socialists are very fond of redistributing other people’s money and wealth but not their own. https://nypost.com/2019/01/10/de-blasio-theres-plenty-of-money-in-nyc-its-just-in-the-wrong-hands/

Liberals have asked me why a foreigner like me is against immigration. Illegal aliens are “undocumented Americans” but I, a legal American, am still a “foreigner.”

One problem with that question is that I am a naturalized American who assimilated into this country and learned the language which is something illegal aliens are not likely to do as they reject our language and our culture vehemently, they only want our welfare. They know very little about our country’s history and civics, vote illegally, and thus negatively affect the transformation of our nation into the third world corrupt dictatorship they’ve fled. 

These illegal economic migrants are illiterate, can’t read or write in their own dialects, and are therefore no asset to America, they are not making it better with their presence; they are a drag on society. They depress wages and it costs our society too much money to care for them from cradle to grave. Once here, the chain migration explodes, each new addition becomes a ward of the state and of the taxpayers who must work more in order to pay for them. It is in essence a form of slavery for the American people to support illegals who never assimilate.

The second problem with that question is that I am not against immigration; this country is a melting pot of legal immigrants from all over the world who helped make this country great. Illegal immigration is breaking the law.

Millions of legal immigrants have waited patiently in quarantine at Ellis Island before they were admitted to this country. Being healthy and willing to contribute without the benefit of generous welfare was important for the health of the nation. But now liberals have decided that unvetted, criminal, dangerous, and sick individuals from around the world should come freely into our country infecting our children in schools and the population at large with diseases that had been previously eradicated in this country.

Illegals who manage to get across the border, flood ERs when they get sick, using the system as their primary care doctor since doctors in private practice do not treat people without insurance. Fearing deportation, many with serious illnesses such as TB, do not seek continued treatment and develop drug resistant forms of TB. Their unvaccinated children infect American children in schools, sometimes with strange illnesses that have never been seen in this country but that are endemic in Central America.

By law, illegals must be treated for free and translators must be provided, while veterans beg VA hospitals for their proper and prompt treatment, including care for cancers developed while in service to our country. One case in point, Johnny, was sent back and forth to two VA hospitals, miles away from his rural home, never received proper treatment for his prostate cancer and, once it spread to the rest of his body, one VA hospital offered care, but it was too late. Johnny passed away a few months ago.

According to the Washington Times, at least 50 people who arrive at the southern border each day need urgent medical care, including those with cases of pneumonia, tuberculosis, flu, parasites, and even pregnant women close to giving birth. These people had left their homes sick in hopes that smuggling organizations will bring them in less than a week to our southern border, dropping them off in western Texas and New Mexico, in areas less affected by the flow of illegals pouring into the U.S.

Washington Times cites the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, that “The faster trip also makes it easier for sick people to come, and provides ‘confidence for parents to bring younger children as well.’” He also explains that those who came, “needed help, were ill when they arrived at the border.” If they die in custody, the Border Patrol is blamed for mishandling their care. https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/dec/31/number-sick-kids-soars-border/?fbclid=IwAR0duxXqe3jYdhg8g82QByxurBX8Du2Zv-ZC9zhYEk4P_O3jZvsYlyEB1cg

I am against ILLEGAL immigration. There is nothing wrong with being called an “alien.” I was once a legal alien myself. But illegal aliens have become a protected class sent to the head of the line by progressivism and politicians in this country. Four million LEGAL aliens are awaiting patiently the dispensation of their legal immigration files at the end of the line because the lawmakers, the courts, governors, mayors, and cops in sanctuary cities and states refuse to enforce the immigration laws currently on the books.

President Trump is the solitary wall that is protecting this country in so many ways from a full-blown communist takeover. He has managed to slow down the tide but the march to Sharia Law continues with the election of two Muslim representatives who have made it clear already that they are not necessarily representing their American constituents but the interests of various foreign cultures, imaginary countries, and theocracies.



Saturday, January 5, 2019

Who Wrote the Christmas Classic?

The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY, holds the original poem and Christmas classic, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Who wrote it?

The poem was first published on December 23, 1823 in the Troy, New York Sentinel.
It was first submitted to the Sentinel anonymously, left on the doorstep. With each year of increased popularity, Americans became more curious about the author of this poem.

In 1837 a professor in New York City, Clement Clarke Moore, a Biblical scholar, claimed that he wrote the poem to amuse his nine children. He said, he was inspired by a sleigh ride in Central Park, driven by a plump Dutchman. His creation was meant just for his family’s entertainment but his housekeeper took it without his knowledge and submitted it to the newspaper.

Moore did not think it was appropriate for a Biblical scholar to write such trifle so he kept quiet. His children, however, convinced him to admit publicly that the poem was his creation. He included the poem in an anthology of his writings.

Almost 40 years after his death in 1863, the grandchildren of a former Army major, Henry Livingston Jr., stated publicly that Moore did not write the poem, Livingston did.

The Livingston family claimed that their grandfather was a prolific poet who had recited the poem each Christmas to his children before it was published in the Sentinel. As a support to their claim, they used Livingston’s Dutch heritage. St. Nicholas is a character in Dutch folklore and some of the names of the reindeer, Donner, Blitzen, come from Dutch words.

They also claimed that a teacher had visited their home before the publication of the poem and she took a copy of the poem with her. Later she was employed by professor Moore and she shared the poem with his family.

As to the explanation why the Livingstons did not come out sooner with their version of the truth, they had no physical evidence to support their claim.

Professor Moore’s family vehemently denied the Livingston family’s claim.

The dispute remained unsolved for a century before it was finally resolved in 2016 when a New Zealand literary scholar, Donald P. Jackson, using a computer program he designed himself, compared the poem with the literary works of the two contenders.

Jackson's computer analysis of vocabulary usage, pattern, and structure of sentences of the two authors' prior publications and writings, left little room for doubt. According to this expert, Henry Livingston was the true author of the poem.

Why would Moore take credit for something he did not write? Perhaps it was the money, he wanted to capitalize on the popularity of the poem, and maybe he enjoyed the fame it brought him.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Of Walls, Separation, and Sovereignty

Building the Wall
Photo: Wikipedia
Berlin Wall (Berliner Mauer) was a tall concrete barrier built to divide the city of Berlin into the western sector and the eastern sector controlled by the Soviets. Construction of the wall began on August 13, 1961 by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) authorities in order to cut off by land all of West Berlin from East Germany. The communists called the wall the Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart (Antifaschistischer Schutzwall). The name was reminiscent of ANTIFA pretending to be fighting fascists while engaging in fascistic behavior.

Highly effective, the wall included weaponized guard towers. Wide areas called “death strips” had anti-vehicle trenches, beds of nails, and other devices that were supposedly installed to protect the innocent German population from fascist elements that were colluding to prevent the building of the socialist state called Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR), a state ruled by force, fear, and coercion.

Iron Curtain border
Photo: Wikipedia Commons
The Berlin Wall was meant to keep people in, prisoners to the Stasi police and to the Soviet communists. Stasi, an abbreviation of the official name, Ministerium für Staatsicherheit (Ministry for State Security), was the secret police of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and one of the most hated and feared institutions of the communist government.

As the communists went underground to reorganize in order to emerge later in a more powerful form, the infamous Berlin Wall, a symbol of communist oppression, started coming down on November 9, 1989.

The Iron Curtain, a term coined following the end of WWII, during the dark period of communist oppression, was an actual barbed wire strip of land which separated the free European nations of the west from the communist-enslaved nations of the east, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, USSR, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Albania, and Romania.

On the western side of the Berlin Wall was Checkpoint Charlie manned by three western nations. Many citizens of the communist –enslaved nations attempted to flee across this wall and a few actually made it while others died trying. In remembrance of the daring escapes of those who attempted the impossible and lived to talk about it, a museum was organized in Berlin.

Checkpoint Charlie Museum holds many interesting artifacts used by East Berliners and citizens from other communist countries in their attempt to escape to freedom, such as a car bullet-proofed with concrete and another retrofitted to hold passengers inside car seats. Another museum display holds a small home-made airplane.

The infamous sign, “Halt hier, Zonengrenze,” (stop here, border zone) is a reminder that border walls are effective to protect and preserve a country’s sovereignty despite the weak arguments coming from Democrats who refuse to fund the border wall that would protect our southern border from criminal invasion and drug cartels.

In 1984 a Prague university engineering student from communist Czechoslovakia, was one of those millions oppressed under communism who dreamed to escape to freedom. Ivo Zdarsky was studying aerospace engineering and knew how to build his own homemade airplane.

To an old hand glider, he attached three wheels and a seat, a two-stroke engine salvaged from a car, and a home-made propeller. He tested his plane one night in an eastward direction. Even though he flew low to avoid detection by radar, when he landed, he was arrested by the Czechoslovakian police that was waiting for him in the field. And, to make matters worse, his plane was confiscated.

At the station, Zdarsky explained that his aircraft was a school project and pointed out that no one trying to escape to the west would be crazy enough to fly east towards the Soviet Union. Sure enough, the police believed him, let him go, but they kept his home-made aircraft.

Zdarsky, unable to find more parts to build another plane and desperate for time, returned to the police station and offered them a cash bribe for his plane. As was often the case, officials were bribed all the time for the right price under communism. Allegedly, the police never thought a college student would pose any danger to the national security of a communist nation, so they agreed.

On August 4, 1984, at 3 a.m., Zdarsky flew his plane into the night and landed one hour later at Vienna’s International Airport. Curiously, nobody saw Zdarsky land his “flying lawnmower.” He parked his “3-wheeled craft with a basket-like seat outside an Austrian Airlines hangar used for DC-9 jets and sat there until airport employees spotted him.”

Ivo spoke fluent English and asked to emigrate to the United States or Australia. The 24-year old was granted political asylum after several hours of questioning. He was then taken to the Vienna refugee center in Traiskirchen near the airport.

Zdarsky eventually immigrated to the United States and formed his own company, building airplane propellers.

A Rainy Winter Day

Photo: Ileana Johnson 2019
It’s been raining for three days, the kind of soaking rain that turns low areas into veritable marshes. Small creeks of muddy water are running down slopes, cutting deep ruts into the hills. Tree roots are beginning to stick out of the river banks, dripping chunks of mud into the river. Fast rivulets are draining from under a deep carpet of dead leaves concealing tree veins as thick as my arm.

It is a cold and dreary day of 43 degrees F, and the steady rain cloaks the thick woods into a curtain of fog-like mist which elongates the bare branches of the tallest trees. One solitaire evergreen adds a spot of dark green to the tall and orange grasses covering the ground of the forest.

The birds, normally darting about and chirping happily are nowhere to be seen, save for the occasional red cardinal or a blue jay. High up on a tree I spot two eagles resting in the haze. Even the deer, foxes, and squirrels are taking shelter. The woods seem deserted of life.

Photo: Ileana Johnson 2019
Nature, even in its dormant and rain-soaked state, surrounds me with a beautiful calm and peace. I walk carefully to the pier that stretches far enough into the Potomac that part of it actually belongs to the state of Virginia and the rest belongs to the state of Maryland.  The division of territory is so strange.

My boots sink in murky ground until I reach the wooden walkway to the pier. The sandy beach is saturated with water and covered in dead leaves and branches carried by the rain. The brown water is overflowing its banks and I can see the furious current in the middle bubbling like a boiling cauldron. Should anybody fall into this river right now, it will be unlikely that they would survive the powerful water run.

The river is obscured by a blanket of grey; the sky and the water are an indistinguishable dreary mist from far away. Tall grasses and the occasional evergreen mark God’s perfect painting with natural colors, light orange and dark green.

This time last year the river was crystal clear and blue, frozen solid for a few days, then melted into thick chunks and sheets of ice slowly pushed away from the middle towards the shore by a slower current. If the frigid bluish orange sun hit the ice just right, it sparkled like a chest full of precious diamonds.

The ice had been so thick, blue herons and a few daring fishermen were bold enough to walk on it far away from the shore looking for a break in the ice to fish. In thinner ice spots closer to the banks, the current was moving underneath with determination, trying to crack the ice. The crunching sound underfoot left prints in the frozen ground and crushed the water snails strewn across the sand.

My rubber boots are leaving mud tracks on the wet pavement. A few daring sea gulls flock boldly on the wet asphalt close to me and around the marina where boats normally dock, unafraid of my presence. I take in the crisp and humid air and photograph the forest through raindrops on my camera lens.