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TheNutcracker's Journal
TheNutcracker's Journal
June 26, 2015

Rep. Richard Corcoran calls for a meeting re Pasco Charter move

This may be why:

LTE to the Tampa Bay Times

Charter move is for the people


Actually, I didn't ignore a thing, just paid attention. I am completely aware of the dog and pony show hatched behind closed doors and its intent.

All that we have done is illuminate Rep. Richard Corcoran's own words calling for a citizens initiative to create an independent and autonomous charter commission. Certainly, Rep. Corcoran was aware of what it was he was calling for, and it was not a nonbinding citizens advisory committee, as is further evidenced in his letter to Pasco commission Chairman Ted Schrader.

So what this boils down to is this: Is Rep. Corcoran a man of his word or not?

If a diverse group of Pasco citizens drafts a charter, it will mean government of the people, by the people and for the people. Something most of us want, tea party or liberal.

Clay Colson, Land O'Lakes
Thanks, peace and be well,
Clay G. Colson
Board Director and Water Issues Chair
Citizens for Sanity.Com, Inc.
Public need over corporate greed


June 25, 2015

St. Petersburg is feeling the Bern! Pot Luck for Bernie, call-in with Key Vermont staffer/supporter

St. Petersburg is feeling the Bern! Pot Luck for Bernie, with Key Vermont staffer/supporter

S. Pinellas Friends of Bernie are feeling the Bern! Invite you to find out/connect with it too! (Sanders for President)

When: June 27, 2015 Pot Luck Lunch: Noon to 3:00 pm

Where: Ed and Adrien Helm’s House: 2900 68th Ave. S. St. Pete

Featuring: Talk with key Bernie Vermont staffer/supporter,
Jenny Nelson, his MC at his Burlington Campaign kick off.

Please RSVP to (727) 600-0050 to be sure we have enough food.

On display will be one of the infamous ‘hanging chad’ voting booths from Palm Beach County Florida (as a warning and reminder to all ! ) Mark Twain is rumored to swing by reminding people why he was Vice Chair of the Anti-Imperialist League. Chris Brudy is expected to perform amazing and energizing music. We are expecting Pinellas Dem. Party Chair Susan McGrath as well.

Hosts and Co-hosts include: Seminole City Councilor Patricia Plantamura; Dr. James (Jim) Jackson; Former UAW Local Pres. Tom Tito; Candi Jovan; Eddie Pringle; Renne Proulx; Lauren Hallahan; Mark Scogman; Kim Diaz; Winnie Foster; Terri Weeks; Carmen and Dan Fittro; Adrien and Ed Helm; St. Petersburg Councilman Wengay (Newt) Newton (partial listing)

Come one, come all! Just call....and RSVP!

June 24, 2015

The Hidden Mental Health Impacts Of Climate Change


by Marlene Cimons -- Guest Contributor Posted on June 23, 2015 at 12:49 pm

The last few months have been unnerving for Laurie Nadel, who lost her Long Beach, New York home in 2012 during the violent onslaught of Superstorm Sandy.

“Although I was calm during the storm itself, in recent months I have had several flashback dreams in which I am standing in my old house as the water breaks in through the floors and the walls,’’ she said. “I wake up screaming or crying.’’

As a professional psychotherapist — and one who runs support groups for survivors of Sandy — Nadel recognizes what is happening as a delayed anxiety reaction not uncommon among those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

“It can take three to five years for the psyche to metabolize the overwhelming horror and helplessness of a catastrophic event,’’ she said. “Heavy wind shrieking outside my window triggers gastrointestinal spasms,’’ she said, adding: “I wish my psyche was done metabolizing it by now.”

We expect that over 200 million Americans will have some mental health problem because of climate change

What Nadel has been experiencing is a thus far little-acknowledged but serious consequence of climate change, the emotional toll carried by survivors in the aftermath of extreme weather events and other natural disasters. These destructive and often deadly events can prompt persistent and often debilitating mental anguish among their victims.

If the planet keeps warming at its current pace, experts predict a steep increase in the number of Americans — and others around the world — who will suffer mental anguish as a result of climate-induced events, such as hurricanes, heat waves, drought, and flooding.

“It will get very bad,’’ said Elizabeth Haase, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, who is working on a documentary about the mental health impact of climate change. In this country alone, “we expect that over 200 million Americans will have some mental health problem because of climate change.”

The authors of a new landmark report in the Lancet described mental health disorders as among the most dangerous of the “indirect” health effects of global warming.

The report, which was published Tuesday by the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change, said that victims of natural disasters often suffer elevated levels of anxiety, depression and PTSD, as well as “a distressing sense of loss, known as solastalgia, that people experience when their land is damaged and they lose amenity and opportunity.’’ Moreover, “these effects will fall disproportionately on those who are already vulnerable, especially for indigenous peoples and those living in low resource settings,’’ the authors wrote. These effects not only include the emotional reaction to physical illness and destruction of property, but involuntary “displacement” that forces people to move elsewhere in order to survive.

The Lancet report said that experts already have identified such reactions in people who have experienced floods, and even among those suffering from slow-developing events, such as prolonged droughts. The report noted that emotional impacts include chronic distress and even increased incidence of suicide. “Even in high-income regions where the humanitarian crisis might be less, the impact on the local economy, damaged homes and economic losses may persist for years after,’’ the Lancet report said.

Similarly, an earlier report released in 2012 by the National Wildlife Federation’s Climate Education Program and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — which focused only on the mental health effects of climate change in the United States — predicted a sharp rise in mental and social disorders resulting from climate change-related events in the coming years. These effects included depression and anxiety, PTSD, substance abuse, suicide, and widespread outbreaks of violence.

The NWF report said the elderly, the poor, members of the military, and children were among the most vulnerable. It compared the climate anxiety children are experiencing today to the stress suffered by American and Russian children over the nuclear bomb threat of the 1950s Cold War era. Moreover, it said that the nation’s counselors, trauma specialists, and first responders currently are ill-equipped to cope.

“When you have an environmental insult, the burden of mental health disease is far greater than the physical,” said Steven Shapiro, a Baltimore psychologist and former chair of the program on climate change for Psychologists for Social Responsibility. “I am truly dissatisfied with the role mental health professionals of all ilks have been playing in climate change issues in our nation, and beyond. If we don’t develop collectivist means to deter the harmful processes stemming from how our minds operate, we are in trouble,” he added.

Right now, we are all living with the dread that something bad could come randomly, suddenly, or insidiously

Compounding the problem is the fact that many Americans also are in denial about the health consequences of global warming. A national survey conducted in October, 2014 by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication found that seven in 10 respondents said they had given the issue little or no thought. Moreover, with the exception of respiratory problems and extreme weather-related injuries and death, fewer than 5 percent identified any of the other health consequences of climate change, including mental health.

“We don’t like to talk about mental health in general,’’ Haase said. “We don’t like losers. When we see someone suffering, no matter how unjust the cause, we tend to think ‘they must have done something to contribute.'” Hasse added, however, that this is beginning to change as people start to have “direct experiences of climate change.”

Experts have paid considerable attention to the physical results of climate-related events, but “we must not forget that people who are physically affected by climate change will also be suffering from the emotional fallout of what has happened to them,’’ said Lise Van Susteren, a forensic psychiatrist who co-authored the NWF report. “And the psychological damage is not only over what is happening now, but what is likely to happen in the future.’’

To be sure, many people already are feeling some pre-traumatic climate anxiety, according to Haase.

“Right now, we are all living with the dread that something bad could come randomly, suddenly, or insidiously,’’ she said. “We have many models for this kind of anxiety: things like living under a military dictatorship or with domestic violence, living with the risk of a cancer relapse or the outbreak of a disease like the Ebola virus, or living close to a nuclear reactor, a wildfire area, or, as in the case of Iceland, chronic volcanic activity. With chronic pre-traumatic anxiety, there are things you could do, but you feel powerless and there are forces defeating you. It causes helplessness, depression, and is more likely to pit people against each other than join them in common purpose.”

As a result, some people engage in self-protection, such as hoarding money or living for the moment, or unproductive or obsessive behaviors, Haase said.

“One of my patients compulsively reads about climate change, stays up late with intrusive thoughts of climate events that could hurt him or his loved ones, enacting obsessive-compulsive rituals, such as making to-do lists to try to plan for this future,’’ she said. “Another sabotages one relationship after another by refusing his lovers children because he could not bear to bring children into a life of such suffering.”

A healthier response to pre-climate anxiety — any anxiety, really — is to suppress excess fear, yet feel enough of it to be vigilant, Haase said. “In Iceland, every citizen lives with the daily risk of a major volcanic eruption,” she said. “It frightens them enough to monitor volcanic activity every day, but they suppress enough fear to take this information the way we take the weather report.”

However, if the world’s nations fail to mitigate the growing dangers of a warming planet, “we will have to deal with the reality that we are living in unpredictable, unstable and volatile times when it comes to climate change,’’ Nadel said.

Otherwise, “with climate change comes everything else that leads to depression and anxiety,’’ Haase said. “This means possible loss of your home, change of your job…health issues. People have trouble thinking through the…steps to get to the awareness of this: ‘I will lose things.’ ‘I will struggle to replace things.’ ‘Other systems in my life will fail.’ ‘And my stress level will rise.'”

Marlene Cimons, a former Los Angeles Times Washington reporter, is a freelance writer who specializes in science, health, and the environment.

June 23, 2015

As a taxpayer I say NO to taking any money from Medicare for Obama's awful trade deal.

No no no. They know its a job killer! Why not take money from Pentagon budget? Why not tax Exxon Mobil??? Medicare??? No fuggin way!

June 23, 2015

Check out Clay Colson on Bay News 9 - Pasco charter initiative to form a Charter Commission

Watch Clay Colson nail down this interview!


Back in January of this year Representative and house speaker elect Richard Corcoran told the media that there was a Citizen's Initiative to form a Charter Commission (CC) to establish home rule through creating our own Charter. He proposed to do so by collecting the 45,000 signatures, 15% of the electorate, necessary to create the CC under FSS 125.61* Charter commission.

Instead Pasco's BOCC, feeling threatened, chose to create a Charter Advisory Committee (CAC) under FSS 125.82** Charter adoption by ordinance, it is powerless and non-binding, intended only to make recommendations to the BOCC on which of the 3 forms of home rule in the FSS 125.84*** (County charters; optional forms), if any, they should choose. This is a dog & pony show intended to give credence to a power grab by the development/special interests in the state and our BOCC has reserved the exclusive right to be the ones to choose it. Who among us wants their present form of government choosing its potential replacement?

Pasco Citizens Charter Coalition is drafting a petition and collecting the 45,000 signatures required under the Charter Initiative to form a Charter Commission. Once the Charter is complete it must be placed on the ballot within 45 to 90 days of its submission. to the BOCC. The Charter will be put before the voters without change, amendment or modification for the citizens to decide, completely insulated from the influences of the Legislative Delegation (LD) and BOCC.

June 22, 2015

Jeb Bush’s Florida Lost 500 Kids - Where are they all?



06.22.155:15 AM ET

As governor, he inherited the worst foster-care system in the country and tried to change it. For some of the most vulnerable, it was too late.

Everything about Rilya Wilson’s death was horrific. She entered the Florida foster system a bright-eyed toddler, and disappeared when she was about 4 years old. And it took the state Department of Children and Families—responsible for vulnerable children like Rilya—two years to realize she was gone.

A witness in an ensuing criminal case said the girl’s caretakers locked her in a dog cage, beat her with switches, and tied her to her bed at night. Authorities never found her body. And an uncontroversial conclusion emerged: that these horrors destroyed Rilya because of the failure of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Jeb Bush was the governor during Rilya’s disappearance and death. Now that he’s campaigning to be president, he talks often about the importance of taking care of society’s most vulnerable.

In his announcement video, he said that his core beliefs “start with the premise that the most vulnerable in our society should be in the front of the line, not the back.”

And in a June 19 speech to social conservative activists, he mentioned the state’s child welfare system and then said his administration “put the most vulnerable in society at the front of the line, guided by my faith.”

Few are more vulnerable than foster children, and as governor, Bush oversaw some sweeping policy changes that angled to get those kids better care.

And though the governor seems to relish all the wonky minutiae of immigration and education policy, he rarely if ever discusses foster care on the trail in any detail (none of the potential presidential candidates do).

Bush inherited one of—if not the—worst foster systems in the nation, and he changed it. A lot. But in the state, there’s still deep disagreement over whether or not he rectified the wrongs that let Rilya vanish and die.

When Bush became governor, Florida was a horrible place to be a foster child. Timothy Arcaro, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University, wrote a detailed and gut-churning paper in 2001 laying out the enormity of the system’s flaws.

In his report, Arcaro cited one 1998 grand jury report that said, “[T]he problems facing the Department are extensive and so systemic that the children in the custody of or under the protection of the Department are in peril.”

Broward County’s foster care system was particularly bad.

“In addition to physical, emotional, and mental abuse, foster children in Broward County also suffered sexual victimization,” Arcaro wrote. “[A]n eight-year-old child forced to commit sex acts in foster placement; an eleven-year-old girl lured away by another foster child and then gang-raped by several men; a sexually aggressive teenager placed in a foster home with three younger children subsequently charged with sexually abusing one of the younger children, a four-year-old girl; foster parents gave a child a whistle to blow if older children in the foster home tried to sexually molest him.”

That grand jury report concluded that the children for whom the Department of Children and Families was responsible were “in peril.”

In other words, being ‘protected’ by the DCF was dangerous.

When Bush became governor, he made Kathleen Kearney the secretary of the department. And she wasn’t coy about its problems.

“We are on the Titanic,” Kearney, a former circuit-court judge, told the Sun-Sentinel editorial board. “We’ve been on it for decades.”

But the editorial board wasn’t impressed with Kearney’s plan for making things better.

“She’s showing skills better suited for re-arranging deck chairs on her favorite luxury liner,” they opined, concluding that her plans weren’t impressive and that she “may well become the next DCF secretary to go down with the ship.”

They were right.

After Rilya’s case became a national scandal -- Bill O’Reilly tore into Bush over his connection to it -- Kearney gave the governor her resignation. At the time, the department didn’t know the whereabouts of 500 of the children supposedly in its care. Comparing it to the Titanic might have been generous.

And during Bush’s first years in office, observers said the department’s problems metastasized.

“It has gotten worse over time,” said Dr. George Rahaim, a psychologist who worked with the department, in May of 2002. “It is worse now, in my opinion, that it ever has been.”

The department had an epidemic of caseworkers lying about checking in on the children in their charge. The Miami Herald reported that in the years before 2001, the department’s performance “in virtually every category” got worse, even though its budget had grown.

“[F]oster children continue to be abused at alarming rates,” the paper noted.

Observers couldn’t overstate the situation’s grimness.

“There is no place in the country where it is worse to be a foster child than Florida,” Richard Wexler, director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, told Time in May of 2002.

Bush seems to have known it. Emails show him and staff going back and forth—in a very limited fashion—about foster kids’ deaths. At one point, he forwarded spokeswoman Katie Muniz the text of an AP story about 16 children dying while in the department’s care in 2001.

“let us discuss,” he wrote.

“sigh,” replied Muniz.

Twenty minutes later, he fired back.

“I would like an explanation of this,” he wrote.

In another email, he told Muniz to have Kearney call him. That phone conversation obviously wasn’t public record—as his emails are—but one could speculate it was tense.

Foster children weren’t without advocates, but their efforts often came up short. In the summer of 2000, children’s rights advocates sued Bush, Kearney, and the Department of Children and Families in federal court. The case, Foster Children Bonnie L. v. Bush, charged that the state showed “deliberate indifference” to the children’s rights. The plaintiffs also charged that the department treated black foster children worse than their white counterparts, and put less effort into trying to find them adoptive homes.

“One toddler from Flagler County is now partially paralyzed after being beaten by a foster parent,” reported the Sun-Sentinel, describing more details of the suit. “Two sisters from Manatee County were tied by their wrists and ankles to their beds by their adoptive parents and made to sleep on concrete surrounded by a brick cage. A 14-year-old Hillsborough County girl lived for a nearly a year in an overcrowded foster home where children were punished with hot sauce on their tongues and head dunkings in toilets.”

The suit also said that one plaintiff, 14-year-old Tanya M., shared a bedroom and a single dresser with seven other children and suffered “harmful weight loss” because she didn’t get enough to eat. Tanya eventually ended up back with her biological parents, and her father assaulted her and broke her arm. She then went back to an overcrowded shelter, and her caretakers planned to put her in a wilderness program designed as a “moderate risk delinquency commitment program”—in other words, a program for troublemakers —“even though she is not delinquent and has not committed any violations of law.”

Tanya ran away. She was one missing kid out of hundreds.

Ultimately, the United States Florida District Court dismissed most of the plaintiffs’ claims on the grounds of states’ rights, wrote John Pardeck (who was Professor Emeritus in Missouri State University’s school of social work) in Children’s Rights: Policy and Practice.

The lawsuit’s small win was a promise from the Department of Children and Families “to reinforce a nondiscriminatory policy toward African Americans and older children,” Pardeck wrote. The attorneys appealed the dismissal of the other charges, but the Supreme Court refused to take the case.

So Bush won in court. But he knew things still needed to change.

His predecessor, Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles, had overseen the beginning of a movement towards privatizing the Department of Children and Families, which oversaw foster care.

On this front, Bush went all in. In a 2001 speech to the Dependency Court Improvement Program Summit, Bush proclaimed that his state was “leading the nation in the quiet revolution of child welfare reform.”

That revolution doubled the funding for the state’s child welfare services, privatized the state’s entire child welfare service system and subcontracted out the work of caring for foster kids, Robert E. Crew, Jr., an associate dean of Florida State University’s College of Social Sciences, wrote in Jeb Bush: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida.

These actions essentially moved all the responsibility for the provision of child welfare services to the private, non-profit sector, said Michael Dale, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University in Florida and an expert on juvenile and children’s law.

Each area of the state got a community-based corporation, or lead agency, to provide services, conduct evaluations, provide social workers, and subcontract further with other private providers.

The state agency’s role shrunk dramatically, limited to contracting with private agencies, conducting oversight of them, providing lawyers for the department to litigate cases involving abuse or neglect, and handling the initial investigations in new cases.

Dale said he wasn’t impressed with the outcomes of Bush’s changes and he doesn’t think privatization was the right move.

“I don’t think it was a good idea, because it promised things that didn’t happen,” he said. “There is no evidence that it has succeeded in doing what it was supposed to do.”

Others defend Bush’s changes. Buddy MacKay, a Democrat who ran against (and lost to) Bush in 1998 and later spent a few months helming the department, praised the governor’s move.

“I think it's one of the finest things that has happened,” he told the Sun-Sentinel in 2011.

And that paper reported that Bush’s move to privatization brought good outcomes.

“By many existing yardsticks, the private agencies are doing better than the state did,” the paper reported in 2011. “Adoptions are up 200 percent, kids are being returned from foster care to their families faster and fewer children are harmed again once they go home, statistics show.”

Dale said he’s skeptical of any analysis like that.

“There have been public changes in policy after every major visible public event,” he said, referring to situations like Rilya’s disappearance and death. “I can tell you that to my knowledge, there has never been an objective evaluation of the impact of any of these things that have been done.”

And Rilya’s death was far from the last. In March of 2011, the Palm Beach Post reported that more children’s deaths had spurred debate about the wisdom of a privatized system.

In February of 2011, ten-year-old Nubia Barahona was found dead in her adopted father’s truck. Her adoptive parents have been indicted but not yet convicted. And the Department of Children and Families has drawn scorching criticism for failing another child.

Two weeks after Nubia’s death, the bodies of two more kids—Jermaine McNeil and Ju'Tyra Allen—were found. A community-based corporation was responsible for making sure they were safe in their home, but the Palm Beach Post noted that it never ascertained that the children were living with a convicted felon who could have been putting them in danger. The Sun-Sentinel reported that man’s case is underway.

The reality is that Florida has failed a lot of kids. Though Bush’s oversight and innovative policy-making might have helped protect children, the data isn’t clear. And more vulnerable Sunshine State kids are likely to face the same fates as Rilya, Jermaine, Ju’Tyra, and Nubia.

But that’s not good campaign trail material.

Additional reporting by Alexa Corse
And every since, they have shuffled and reshuffled DCF Chiefs while kids continue to 'get lost' in the system. I believe they are trafficked. There, I said it. Just google Dyn Corp child trafficking scandal!
June 20, 2015

ABC news said Hillary and Bernie attend, only show Hillary

Just wanted them to know we're watching. More corporate media shenanigans.

June 18, 2015

people stripped of subsidies cannot afford to look for a plan!

Are they nuts? And why is the Supreme Court even taking a case over gourds? Absurd as all hell!

June 17, 2015

Is is a sad fact, Hillary helped to organize the TPP

While David Brooks is a scathing, unrelenting conservative, it does not change this fact. Of course this is why she is so quiet. Her campaign was also 'politi-facted' that she was 'clear on her position of TPP' as untrue. So few like this agreement. I'm not happy with how it's gone for democrats. David Brooks is so full of shit here on trade agreements and how they have 'helped, but the one fact here about Hillary, is very, very sad. THIS is why her husbands term comes into play now, another question her supporters are asking why. It is because we are living in Bill's NAFTA, end of the Glass Steagall Act world. It takes time....but here we are!


The arguments Democrats use against the deal are small and inadequate. (BS) Some Democrats are suspicious because it was negotiated in secret. (They seem to have no trouble with the Iranian nuclear treaty, which is also negotiated in secret.) They work for us, so why a secret?

Others worry that the treaty would allow corporations to sue governments. But these procedures are already in place, and as research from the Center for Strategic and Internatioanl Studies has demonstrated, the concerns are vastly overblown. They mostly protect companies from authoritarian governments who seek to expropriate their property.

In reality, the opposition to the trade pact is part of a long tradition of populist reaction. When economic stress rises, there is a strong temptation to pull inward. The Republican Tea Partiers are suspicious of all global diplomatic arrangements. The Democrats’ version of the Tea Partiers are suspicious of all global economic arrangements.

It would be nice if Hillary Clinton emerged and defended the treaty, which she helped organize.

June 17, 2015

Donald Trump basically said Bernie Sanders was right....


"So JEB can brag all he wants about having 90 million dollars, because I've got 9 BILLION!"

Like Bernie said, it's all about the Billionaires.

What the democrats are ignoring is what else Trump said.

"I was invited by all my good friends on Wall Street to attend events for Hillary, Wall street LOVES Hillary, and Hillary LOVES them too."

This was from the 970.0 WFLA Tampa Bay radio show today with Sean Hannity! It was hilarious!


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