I am fairly sure 54% of all statistics are made up 75% of the time.
Even so, I bring you a few recent Heartline Maternity Center stats. These stats are not made up, but I don't expect you to blindly take my word for it. Photos hopefully help provide proof. Here are some free of charge statistics.
As of the beginning of this week we had 72 pregnant women in our Prenatal program. Since Monday five have delivered.
Sophia started the week off with a baby girl on Monday.
On Tuesday we had our Post-Partum Moms and Babies class.
On Wednesday something changed in the atmosphere and the uteruses started warming up.
On Thursday morning we had one early morning transport. Then we had PreNatal Class and Prenatal Consults.
In the last 24 hours - 4 baby boys were born in this program.
Of the last four births, C/S rate was 25%.
(One C/S after a transport due to position of baby and three deliveries at Hearline M.C.)
Of the four baby boys, three of them were the first baby born to their Mommas. One was the 8th child to a 40 year old Mom.
One of the four Mothers came at 37 weeks with severe pre-eclampsia with all the necessary management required. She'll be monitored non-stop for 24 hours or more. She arrived yesterday with a slightly elevated BP, before long she was very very sick and an induction began. She was the second delivery of the four babies.
Timeline Thursday early Morning to Friday early Morning:
Marie Elda -Transport at 4am - C/S at 12:30pm
Junette - Induction at 4pm - Baby at 11:30pm
Nerlande - Baby at 5am Friday
Sarah S - Baby at 5:25am Friday
This is the first time we have ever had four babies in the same 24 hour period. Three was the previous record.
Names of babies in order of birth: Angelina, still unnamed, David, still unnamed, Kervenson
Total number of babies that have died this month or year - 0
Total number of moms that have died this month or year - 0
Grateful for the prayers and support you all give --- and thanking God for these stats and His protection over this place and these women.
Wherever you live, whatever your environment and culture, we all become accustomed to our norm and therefore become inured to the aspects of our lives that are not so palatable.
For example, when someone that has never been to Port au Prince visits us, they point things out that I really do not see any longer. I have been sitting in this traffic and driving these roads for so long, some of what goes on around me is simply white noise. It takes fresh eyes to be reminded of what I used to notice.
Oh, a live giant pig strapped willy-nilly across the back of a moto is odd? Okay, if you say so.
On the flip side, this happens to me every time we go to the USA. I see things that I think are ridiculous and I find myself wanting to note it and ask around - "Hey, friends, is this totally ridiculous or am *I* the weird one?"
I'm not talking about the "Is it normal now to pay $14 for a plate of air at a restaurant" variety of question. Feel free as birds (you're eating like them anyway) to go to those important restaurants without food if that's your jam. I have come to understand that being hungry and paying a lot for it is cool in your land. In Haiti, it's not cool to be hungry and folks can be hungry without spending the fourteen bucks. I promise, I am not talking about that again. Today I am on to other things.
Right now the thing that seems super odd to me about America is the desperate need, scratch that, the consistent demand to never have to wait for anything. Waiting is not okay for a lot of people. I observed it with my own two eyes.
Because honesty matters, as a disclaimer it must be noted we are basically white-lab-rats being used in a world-wide study to prove that patience can be learned.
If you subject a rat named Tara to enough waiting and sitting and waiting and delays and lines and "not this week" and "maybe next month" responses, the rat eventually accepts that everything is always going to be BS and nothing will ever get done quickly.
It is to the point in the lab experiment that I am participating in that if on some amazing day I wait less than 90 minutes in a line or business office, I think I just kicked all the ass and dominated at existing.
Perhaps, I am too conditioned to wait patiently to be the one speaking to America about America and the apparent refusal to ever have to wait for anything. However, that won't stop me from forcing you to endure my obloquy today.
While at the Baltimore airport we learned that there are many ways to get to your gate.
Not only can you stand in regular TSA line, as a regular line person, you can also be luckier than those fools and be a person with TSA Pre-Check status for a shorter, faster line. That's good I suppose, for the frequent-travelers that spend their lives in those lines. Maybe we can even agree it is nice that they have an option to be pre-screened and deemed safe. Over time that TSA PreCheck line has grown longer of course, as people seek to be approved to skip the regular TSA line.
Far be it from me to understand what an acceptable wait time is, I claim ignorance!
Now, if the TSA PreCheck line is too slow you can also pay a $179 per year to go into a line that is faster than TSA Pre-Check. It is true. The lady at the BWI airport attempted to lure us into a 30 day trial. Troy and I stood there frozen for a moment. It was like a little red devil-guy was standing on our shoulder whispering, "You can be better, you can have the knowledge now if you just skip this line."
The new line is called "Clear". Get it? You are clear of being a person that will wait. Basically, if you have money to toss around, you never ever have to wait because you are too dang important to wait.
You are a special, special being. Because of your specialness, and your wallet, you will not stand still in a line.
My question is, WHERE DOES THIS END?
I guess once everyone pays the fee and has Clear status, there will be a new program called SUPER DUPER CLEAR for $329 a year for those that don't have time to deal with the growing popularity of Clear.
Once SUPER DUPER CLEAR is popular, there will be an option called Special Snowflake. In the SS program you will be able to enter the back side of the airport and come into the gate area for $729 per year. Once that fails, I have no idea how we will all feel important and not have to wait. We know the goal is to forever and ever and ever keep from waiting in a line like a mere commoner.
- OR - maybe at that point the normal TSA line will be super short again and we can all head back to that line.
Don't get me wrong. I am being a jerk. Of course I prefer not to wait. I rather love walking up to a counter with no waiting line. I'm just generally curious if other people see this change happening in America.
It was not like this 10 Or even 5 years ago, it is a new demand.
I wrote this post while waiting on a baby with expectant Momma, MarieElda.
I guarantee you the baby is not coming anytime soon.
Troy said to our two young daughters, "Well, girls, Mom will be traveling a lot for work and that is going to be new for us. Change is really difficult. I don't like it."
Paige, about 5 years old at the time, responded with, "Yeah, I hate change...I like dollars."
The more things change the more they stay the same change.
We just traveled and traveling always reminds us that we do not understand our world or the changes.
We're with 5 year old Paige. We hate change.
Our very quick trip to the US of A was a tiny bit disconcerting. While we were connecting flights at JFK we went into a place where there were hundreds of ipads everywhere. Zero humans greeted us so we wandered in to stand awkwardly looking for a person to interact with - eventually we chose our table and tried to see each other over the iPads.
WHAT tha, we wondered?
After our bewilderment at seating ourselves and ordering our food from an iPad, we were shocked when a robot approached the table to place the food in front of us.
Just kidding. It was a guy. He just had the personality of a robot.
The interview with Stefanie, the way overqualified teacher, went very well. We both kept Eye-fiving during the lunch because we both knew if she wants the job, she is the one we need.
After lunch she gave us a little walking tour of her town. As we were walking around I suddenly had the worst headache. I grabbed Troy and said, "We gotta go." We said goodbye to Stefanie and hailed a ride back to the apartment.
Once there, the fullness of illness set in. I curled up on the bed and hated myself. I then broke out in alternating hot and cold spells followed by tingly hands and lips, followed by much toilet usage of all varieties.
I last had a similar illness in September when I went on a date night with Troy and came home violently ill. That time, I assumed I had food poisoning from bad shrimp. At the lunch with Stefanie, I ordered shrimp again for the first time since September.
Can a person be so unlucky as to get food poisoning twice in a row from shrimp in two countries eight months apart?
I was thinking yes, I can easily be that unlucky.
My friend KJ who is a very smart young person said: "That sounds like a shellfish allergy." A quick search of the Google confirms that adults get new allergies to shellfish after having no allergy in the past. Seems true to me. I will never ever test this theory because it would require so much vomiting to prove it. I am done with this experiment ka menm (no matter what).
Stefanie is thinking over the job offer and the massive pay cut she has to take in order to say yes, and we await her final answer. We are so totally chill about it. Not worried. No stress.At.All.
That's a lie and I desperately hope she takes it because she is exactly what we all need going into the high school years with the big kids.
At the conclusion of ShrimpaloozaVomiFest it was Sunday and we had 24 hours to walk around and be married people that communicate well and do the talking and the listening and then also try for some va-va-voom moments too.
Haiti stress, sadness, sweat, and bugs really do cut back on the va-va-voom of life.
We took those 24 hours seriously. The only non marriage enrichment thing we did was write thank-you notes but we were doing them together at the same table so it probably counts too.
For dinner we walked to a place that was recommended to us and immediately wanted to put the brakes on and rewind our way out of the booth we were conspicuously seated in with three servers staring at us. I so wish I just would've said to the tiny-little-hipster-bearded waiter with the 28"waist - "You know what? I apologize for sitting in your booth with my normalish size butt. The thing is, I need to leave. I cannot pay these prices for these things that don't sound like food."
Instead we glanced at the prices and said, "We are just here for an appetizer."
Sadly, the artisanal appetizers were created for baby bunnies, gerbils, mice, or pygmy marmosets.
Because asparagus is not a veggie we can easily have in Haiti and we both love it, we went with that.
When it arrived it was hard to see any asparagus and it led us to move things around and count the actual asparagus stalks on the $14 plate. We are not millennials so maybe we don't see well or comprehend well or something but we know for sure it was not a lot of asparagus, because the normal weird urine smell after eating asparagus did not even happen. That has to be part of the test to determine if you've had a sufficient amount of asparagus. Yes?
On top of the 8 pieces of asparagus, we were served an farm-fresh-egg filled with liquid gold, or at least priced as if it were. It tasted just like the old non-farm eggs we normally eat.
After sufficient mockery and scoffing, we paid our waiter and left the faux restaurant to head to a place that serves food for 150 pound + people. It was delicious and $29 total. I may have wept with joy and gratitude for the sufficient calories at a fair price.
Once we were properly nourished, we walked back to our place.
At some point during the date yesterday, Troy made a profoundly troubling statement, probably meant as a sexy compliment ...
That would be so wonderfully special to hear, if I was not currently sitting and waiting to get onto an airplane to return to Haiti, where I apparently no longer have skin that will feel amazing.
So, as we fly off to the land of no asparagus or amazing skin, we pray for Stefanie and the big decisions she has to make and we look forward to hearing from Isaac about his week at Veterinary Medicine Boot Camp. He got home after we left for the interview.
Our friend KJ told us she made a chicken while she was with the kids and when Lydie saw it she said,"What?! That's really what a chicken looks like? Its legs sticking out and everything. I thought that was only real in Amelia Bedlia books!" (Obviously our whole family is far from realizing or even recognizing farm to table utopia)
Stefanie has a lot to teach these kids.
When I think of a secret, I tend to think of something a friend might have told me to keep to myself for a short time, or maybe a fun little plan Troy and I have made to surprise one of our kids.
Secrets are not easy for me, even when they are super light and easy. Whenever I am carrying a big secret, I am half insane and I walk around feeling dishonest for knowing something other people don't know. I actually need a counselor to talk to if I am going to be holding big insane off-the-wall secrets.
I was not made for that stuff.
Truthfully, I would rather you never tell me something that I am supposed to hold by myself and not speak to anyone else about.
I'm bad at it.
You don't want to have to spend all your time making your plans to end my breathing in and out for the breaking your confidence, so just don't tell me anything unless I am allowed to at least tell Troy-Boy.
Secrets are a thing in Haitian culture.
It causes me to hyper-ventilate thinking about the secrets people carry here.
Right now, the precious 14 year old Sarah I have written about, the Momma of chunky Sophia has a cray-cray secret. Sarah's Dad has no idea she had a baby in January.
Last June she was living with her Dad for a time and going to school near his house. She saw him daily during the week. Her Mom would see her on the weekends. When she was raped and became pregnant as a result of the rape, she stopped visiting her Dad. Once she started to show and her belly grew round her Mom just changed up the plan and she stopped living with her Dad.
When I asked, Sarah said, "No, he's not suspicious." They talk on the phone almost daily.
Since June of 2016 Sarah has not seen her Dad and her Dad has no idea that she grew another entire life in her womb and gave birth to it on January 14 of this year. He has no idea she was assaulted. I keep asking, "So does he know yet about Sophia?" I get the same response every time. The literal translation of what she says is, "No. He does not yet know."
Last month Jenny had a baby. While she was in postpartum care her Dad flew into Haiti from wherever he was in the USA. She got all nervy and strange and distant. The Midwives couldn't understand what her deal was. Apparently she needed to be picking him up from the airport and visiting him while ALSO hiding her four day old baby and she was stressing out about it all.
I asked Sarah, "So why can't your Dad know?"
She said, "He will be angry."
I said, "But you were raped and you are not to blame. You are the brave one."
Sarah said, "He won't think that."
I always find this a fascinating thing. What is the end game? Can a human being remain a secret their entire life? What good does hiding a baby do now if you hope to always have that baby/person in your life?
These are the questions I ask, sometimes until it is entirely unclear who is the most frustrated, me or the person I am asking.
The international media's coverage of Venezuela comes down to caricatures that have been spread by Venezuela's opposition.
A reporter from one of the largest international media outlets contacted me recently because she was considering doing a story about how Venezuela’s TV networks have covered the protests that have raged since April 4. The quote I gave her (who knows if any of it will be used or if the story is ever written) stated the following:
The protests and the leading opposition leaders’ take on the protests are being extensively covered on the largest private networks: Venevision, Televen, Globovision. If people abroad sampled Venezuela’s TV media directly, as opposing to judging it by what is said about it by the international media and some big NGOs, they’d be shocked to find the opposition constantly denouncing the government and even making very thinly veiled appeals to the military to oust Maduro.
There are valid free speech concerns raised by the censoring of foreign outlets in Venezuela. However, there are also grave free speech concerns raised by the international media’s lopsidedly hostile coverage of Venezuela for the past 15 years. It speaks volumes about that coverage that Bernie Sanders’ campaign, for example, would call Hugo Chavez a “dead communist dictator.” That could never have happened if there had been remotely balanced coverage over the past 15 years.
One of the big NGOs I had in mind, Human Rights Watch (HRW), inadvertently illustrated my point about the international media's coverage by listing a deluge of newspaper editorials from around the word on its website that all reinforce the U.S. government/HRW view on Venezuela. The international media's coverage of Venezuela comes down to caricatures that have been spread by Venezuela's opposition. The editorials HRW listed have titles like “Maduro’s dictatorship,” “Maduro’s Venezuela becomes a dictatorship,” “Venezuela is officially a dictatorship,” “Venezuela’s descent into dictatorship,” and so on. Good luck finding a dissenting view in any significant U.S. newspaper, never mind a TV network. The same applies to Canada, the U.K. and numerous Latin American countries with right-wing governments.
In contrast, let’s consider an op-ed that just appeared in one of Venezuela’s leading newspapers: El Universal. The New York Times’ Venezuela reporter Nick Casey claimed last year that El Universal “tows a largely pro-government line” — I suspect without ever reading the newspaper.
The op-ed from May 14 that caught my eye was one by Luis Vicente Leon, who is one of the more moderate opposition people who are all over Venezuela’s TV and print media. He is head of the polling firm Datanalisis which has been widely cited in the international media for many years.
His piece sought to explain why opposition protests are dominated by middle and upper class participants. He claims the poorest Venezuelans aren’t protesting because they are afraid of pro-government gangs and because they fear disruption of government food deliveries known by their acronym in Spanish: CLAP. He accuses the government of “assassinating 40 of its adversaries” and of “creating a huge fuss if one of their own is scratched.”
There have been 11 pro-government people murdered so far in protest-related violence in cases that strongly implicate anti-government protesters or snipers. Another four people have been killed as a result of the extremely unsafe conditions created in the streets by opposition protests. Eight people who died from electrocution while trying to loot a bakery have also been counted as protest-related deaths. That accounts for over half of the 44 protest-related deaths. Five of the deaths have been strongly linked to the security forces and have led to arrest and indictments of police officers, but Luis Vicente Leon, in one of Venezuela’s largest newspapers, accuses the government of assassinating 40 people.
Over the past two months, Luis Vicente Leon has appeared on the major private Venezuelan networks Globovision, Televen, Venevision as he has for years.
In a lengthy interview on Globovision on May 2 he argued that Maduro’s initiative to convene a constituent assembly to revise the Venezuelan constitution is a plot to stay in power without the support of voters. He said, ominously, that Maduro faces “infinite costs” if he loses the next presidential election and that the constitution is his “worst enemy.” At the end of a long interview on Televen, he clarified the “infinite costs” even further by explaining that some within the opposition want to not only defeat the government at the polls but totally criminalize it. He says he is not in favor of “infinite costs,” but he increasingly depicts the government as criminal and whitewashes opposition violence.
Aside from citing NGOs hostile to the government who portray the opposition as being shut out of the media, Venezuela’s media landscape has also been distorted by amplifying the voices of disgruntled journalists (who hate the government of course) or by otherwise echoing their complaints (not enough “live” coverage of protests, not enough “in studio” interviews with opposite people etc..) — anything to distract from the fact that people like Luis Vicente Leon, and others even more aggressive, have always had all kinds of media access. Combine that with countless editorials calling Venezuela a dictatorship and it really becomes impossible for most people to know better unless they undertake a research project.
President Maduro vowed on May 12 that “in 2018, rain or thunder, there will be presidential elections in Venezuela. Temer does not govern here. Here the revolution governs.”
Temer is the unelected president of Brazil who took power after the elected president, Dilma Rousseff, was ousted in a parliamentary coup. Temer has floated the idea of not holding presidential elections until 2020. Brazil’s prosecutors are trying to throw the front-runner, former President Lula de Silva, in jail. Don’t bother looking for long list of editorials from around the world denouncing Brazil as a dictatorship even though, for tactical reasons, Lula was once lauded as part of the “good left” in Latin America.
Contrary to much fantasy, the Venezuelan media will never let Maduro forget his recent vow. The “international community” (the U.S. government and whoever is corrupt enough to play along) do indeed seek to impose “infinite costs” on political movements, leaders, and democracies that it doesn’t like. The western media is a powerful weapon that it uses to impose those costs.
Joe Emersberger was born in 1966 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada where he currently lives and works. He is an engineer and a member of the Canadian Auto Workers union.
Last week US President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. The president immediately came under heavy criticism, accused of obstructing justice, as the FBI is currently investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. Two weeks earlier, in Haiti, President Jovenel Moïse fired the director of the country’s financial crimes unit (UCREF). During last year’s elections in Haiti, UCREF produced an investigative report on Moïse, raising questions of possible money laundering. No charges have been brought, but the investigation appeared to be ongoing.
While Trump’s moves have spurred increasing calls for impeachment ― or at the very least an independent investigation ― in Haiti, the move occurred with scant international attention. Local human rights groups, however, have sounded the alarm. Unlike in the US, where the president actually has the power to fire the head of the FBI, it appears as though the Haitian president had no such legal authority to fire the head of the UCREF.
The UCREF has been the recipient of millions of dollars in international support for years, much of which was from the United States. UCREF, however, has failed to produce many measurable successes. In 2016, the State Department reported:
The country’s financial intelligence unit (FIU), the UCREF, has continued to build its internal capabilities and to do effective casework. The UCREF has fifteen open cases but has not forwarded any cases to the judiciary in 2015. Continued issues in the judicial sector mean the UCREF’s progress is not yet reflected in conviction rates.
In recent years, Haiti has come under pressure from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) to make improvements to its safeguards against money laundering. If improvements are not made, CFATF has threatened to recommend member states impose restrictions on banking transactions with Haiti. Moïse took office in February 2017 already under a cloud of suspicion for his own alleged involvement in money laundering, and the hollowing out of UCREF’s independence will likely only exacerbate this, with potentially serious economic consequences.
In early May, the Haitian Parliament approved a new law on UCREF. Previously, UCREF’s director general was selected in a process directed by five representatives from independent bodies. The new law reportedly gives the president the ability to approve three of the five representatives, granting the executive de facto control over the entity.
But Moïse didn’t even wait for the new law’s approval to act. On April 19, he replaced UCREF Director Sonel Jean-François, just one year into a three-year term. A replacement, reportedly picked by Moïse, was supposed to be installed last week, but that process has been postponed indefinitely.
Maxime Rony of the Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations told the media that Moïse’s barely four-month presidency was based on a “governance of revenge,” noting that, in addition to the new law on UCREF, one of the first acts of the new Parliament ― controlled by Moïse’s allies ― was to pass a harsh defamation law. Haiti’s largest newspaper, Le Nouvelliste, wrote that since the UCREF report was released last year, its director had been “in the sights” of Moïse and his political allies.
Pierre Esperance of the National Human Rights Defense Network pointed out that the law governing the UCREF outlines a clear process for selecting a new director general, and that Moïse’s decision was “contrary to the law,” and “an extremely serious matter.”
La scène politique des États-Unis a subi un lifting dans le but de rétablir la légitimité décroissante de la classe capitaliste à orientation transnationale. Cette transformation s’est caractérisée par une droite qui a cherché à se représenter comme étant économiquement nationaliste afin d'élargir le soutien de la classe ouvrière (principalement, parmi la classe ouvrière blanche) dont la stabilité économique a diminué au cours de l'ère néolibérale.
Pourquoi cela ?
À partir des années 1970, face à la baisse des taux de profit et d'accumulation, ainsi qu'à l'augmentation de la concurrence internationale, le capital devait se libérer des contraintes nationales qui lui avaient été imposées pendant l'ère de « nouvelle donne » fordiste-keynésienne. L'une de ces « contraintes » avait été la responsabilité d'assurer la reproduction sociale de sa main-d'œuvre nationale. La globalisation a permis aux capitalistes d'éliminer cette préoccupation, car ils pouvaient puiser dans un groupe mondial croissant de travailleurs marginalisés.
Montée de la globalisation capitalisteÀ la fin du XXe siècle et au début du XXIe siècle, les nouvelles technologies et les progrès organisationnels ont permis aux entreprises d'opérer plus facilement à travers les frontières. De nouveaux réseaux transnationaux de production et de finance ont commencé à se former.
La globalisation capitaliste a eu un impact majeur sur les travailleurs, pas seulement dans le sud global, mais également dans le « monde développé ». Comme c'est souvent le cas, les travailleurs les plus marginalisés ressentent les effets des politiques anti-travailleurs plus tôt et plus profondément que ceux qui ont des postes plus stables et mieux rémunérés. Pourtant, à mesure que la globalisation s'est approfondie, elle a également commencé à ébranler plusieurs industries syndiquées qui étaient stables dans le passé.
Cet ordre néolibéral a abouti à une nouvelle réalité pour de nombreux travailleurs blancs, à qui, auparavant, une série d'avantages était garantie et à laquelle ils s'attendaient (avantages à la fois matériels et idéologiques). Pour beaucoup d’entre eux, le capitalisme global et les politiques néolibérales ont entraîné l’insécurité de l'emploi et la stagnation des salaires, mais aussi la réduction des « salaires de la blanchité » : le sentiment subjectif de supériorité sur les groupes négativement racialisés (l'un de ces salaires était la colère contre les travailleurs provenant d'autres parties du monde qui étaient perçus comme étant les coupables).
La scène politique des États-UnisSur la scène politique américaine, dans les années 90, les establishments conservateurs et progressistes développèrent de nouveaux mécanismes d'accumulation de capital tout en ébranlant le pouvoir des travailleurs, comme l'ALENA (l'Accord de libre-échange nord-américain). Du côté conservateur : les candidats xénophobes, comme Pat Buchanan, et les dirigeants d'entreprises anti-ALENA, tels que Ross Perot, furent mis à l'écart. Du côté progressiste, les dernières fortes voix en faveur des travailleurs furent réduites au silence. Un grand marché fut conclu entre l’establishment militariste conservateur et l’establishment progressiste qui a épousé une sorte de multiculturalisme anti-travailleur (avec son acceptation identitaire croissante des peuples issus de différentes ethnies et avec diverses orientations sexuelles, tout en voyant les travailleurs comme des rouages qui devaient s’intégrer dans une nouvelle économie globalisée). Dans ces conditions, les bénéfices ont considérablement augmenté pour le capital transnational (aidé notamment par de nouveaux mécanismes financiers). Pendant ce temps, les travailleurs faisaient face à la stagnation, la dépossession et l'insécurité de l'emploi.
Dans le sillage de la crise financière la plus grave depuis des décennies (2007-2008) et avec les guerres en Irak et en Afghanistan faisant rage (2001-), l’establishment progressiste a échoué à apporter des ajustements substantiels. Plutôt que de modifier le cours (ou l'idéologie), la réponse de l’establishment progressiste a été de s'engager dans un multiculturalisme amplifié sous l'égide du système : pour faire appel à l'espoir, pour s'engager dans des réformes limitées (comme la loi sur la santé abordable, qui, bien que ce fût un premier pas positif, n’a fait qu’une petite avancée vers l'accès aux soins de santé dont la population a besoin). Même ces réformes (pour compenser en partie le caractère non abordable croissant des soins de santé pour les Américains à faible revenu) se sont heurtées au rejet des forces conservatrices. Sur d'autres questions, telles que la politique étrangère, les Démocrates au pouvoir étaient largement en accord avec leurs homologues républicains pour promouvoir les politiques interventionnistes à l'étranger et les tentacules gonflantes d'un appareil de renseignement global.
Cela nous amène à la candidature de Hillary Clinton en 2016 et à son enthousiasme pour les politiques d'interventionnisme militaire et les nouveaux traités supranationaux (comme le TPP, le Partenariat Trans Pacific). Cela a essentiellement positionné sa campagne en tant que défenseuse du statu quo, ce qui a été stratégiquement exploité par la rhétorique xénophobe de la campagne de Donald Trump. Tout en ayant perdu le vote populaire à trois millions de voix près, l'arène électorale (la meilleure que l'argent puisse acheter) s’est jouée dans le système antidémocratique du collège électoral (elle fut aussi affectée par des décennies de propagande électorale et la suppression en masse de votes), ce qui a permis le retour étonnant au pouvoir du Parti Républicain ; avec le retournement de seulement quelques districts de la région industrielle en déclin qui fit pencher la balance en faveur de Trump.
Il est important de comprendre comment les forces derrière Trump (et leurs mécanismes idéologiques) fonctionnent à présent sur la scène politique américaine. C'est dans ce contexte que nous devons donner un sens aux retournements politiques qui ont eu lieu pour l'establishment démocrate et à la domination actuelle des Républicains sur les branches fédérales du pays.
Nous argumentons que la raison pour laquelle le slogan de Trump « Make America Great Again » (Redorer le blason de l’Amérique) et sa rhétorique ont fait écho chez tant de classes moyennes et travailleurs blancs est parce que le terrain idéologique était, en partie, déjà préparé pour cela. Le terrain dans lequel Trump plantait la semence de la xénophobie et de la haine parmi les blancs avait été cultivé par le néolibéralisme et fertilisé avec l'argent des frères Koch, de Rupert Murdoch et d'autres élites dirigeantes. En fait, cela provient également de l'histoire formative de la nation, à travers la violence contre les populations négativement racialisées, notamment contre les Amérindiens et les Afro-Américains. En ce sens, le slogan et la campagne de Trump promettant de « Redorer le blason de l'Amérique » ne sont pas nouveaux ni originaux, mais simplement l'itération la plus récente du plan du Tea Party de « reprendre le pays », ce qui puisait dans le même sentiment de droit lésé.
La droite de Trump mêle également à ce sentiment une critique populiste de droite de la globalisation. Pourtant, l’élection de Trump ne représente pas une rupture mais plutôt une continuation des stratégies déployées par la classe capitaliste transnationale (CCT), sous une autre forme.
Sous la surface du système politique américain, il est possible de voir comment le pouvoir est ancré. Le cercle restreint de Barack Obama était composé en grande partie des membres du Conseil sur les Relations Etrangères, alors que la campagne d’Hillary Clinton a été soutenue par les magnats des finances « éclairé » et les secteurs de la CCT penchant vers les faucons libéraux, comme Warren Buffett, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg et d’autres. Alors que la rhétorique populiste du cercle restreint de Trump peut sembler plus contestataire, ses membres sont manifestement ultra-élitistes et ont tous des intérêts commerciaux mondiaux.
Avec les récentes guerres américaines impopulaires et désastreuses, au cours de sa campagne électorale, Trump a critiqué certaines des guerres et interventions entamées sous George W. Bush et Obama. Il a fait une différence entre ce qu'il a décrit comme les guerres « intelligentes » et les guerres « stupides ». Il y a eu une brève lueur d'espoir dans la possibilité de détente avec la Russie, où les deux puissances nucléaires importantes dans le monde auraient pu commencer à baisser les tensions. Cependant, sans cesse critiqué par ses adversaires progressistes et dans les médias traditionnels comme étant la « marionnette de Poutine, » au bout du troisième mois à son poste, la politique étrangère de Trump s’est largement conformée à l'appareil d’état-sécurité militaro-industriel.
Aujourd'hui Trump se vante d'améliorer la vie des travailleurs américains, mais il y a peu de preuves sur son intention d'améliorer sensiblement les conditions de toute personne autre que ses copains élitistes au pouvoir (exactement le contraire, en fait), car les plans qu’il propose cherchent à verser des milliards en plus dans le budget du Pentagone, tout en éliminant les repas subventionnés par l'état pour les jeunes pauvres, privatisant l'éducation et retirant à des dizaines de millions de personnes à faible revenu les soins de santé subventionnés.
Pourtant, sa victoire électorale dans les états de la région industrielle en déclin était une indication du mécontentement de beaucoup de travailleurs blancs. Pour conserver ce soutien, il devra les garder à bord. Ici, il semble essayer de convaincre le capital, non seulement avec sa rhétorique mais aussi avec divers allégements fiscaux et des subventions pour se livrer à des compromis limités de capital-travail dans la région industrielle en déclin, dans le Michigan, l'Ohio et même dans le Wisconsin. Avoir ces états pourrait aider les victoires du Parti Républicain au niveau national pendant de nombreuses années à venir. La stratégie du collège électoral dans le sud, le mid-ouest et la région industrielle en déclin semble être visiblement la meilleure stratégie gagnante du Parti Républicain.
Le populisme de droite comme stratégie pour contrebalancer la crise de légitimité chez les travailleurs blancs lésésLa classe dirigeante est engagée dans diverses stratégies idéologiques pour renouveler sa légitimité. Certaines des plus importantes sont les mécanismes idéologiques de division et désorganisation des classes ouvrières, y compris le racisme classique qui a fait ses preuves, la xénophobie et le chauvinisme. Et, comme sous Trump, une aile de l'élite à orientation transnationale chante les louanges du protectionnisme pour désorienter les gens et recruter. Avec cela à l'esprit, son administration tente de faire des incursions avec les syndicats, en particulier ceux qui sont présents dans la région industrielle en déclin.
Les pressions et les caractéristiques structurelles de la scène politique américaine penchent fortement en faveur du capital, et en particulier le capital transnational. Les dirigeants des états doivent avoir accès au capital, et le capital est entre les mains des gens d'affaires transnationales liées à l'économie globale. Les politiciens doivent toujours faire appel à leur public dans leur région d’origine, par des déclarations constantes de patriotisme et autres exagérations. Ceci est la jonglerie constante des principaux acteurs politiques du pays : tenter de maintenir une légitimité tout en approfondissant les pratiques qui permettent la rentabilité continue du capital transnational.
Dans une contradiction apparente, la stratégie de Trump du rejet du TPP a aidé à le faire passer pour un « nationaliste économique », un combattant pour les travailleurs américains. Ce fut la clé pour qu’il emporte la région industrielle en déclin, où tant d'emplois de la production industrielle ont été éliminés au cours des dernières décennies, un grand nombre d’entre eux avaient été occupés par des travailleurs blancs.
Le TPP symbolisait la tentative la plus ouverte des élites transnationales d'imposer des politiques sur de nombreux pays (dont les États-Unis) où les principaux bénéficiaires sont les sociétés transnationales. Est-ce que l’opposition de Trump au TPP signifie qu'il s’oppose au capital transnational ? Bien au contraire, c’est une stratégie alternative : bien que ce soit une façon partielle de freiner, en même temps il étend beaucoup d'autres facteurs bénéfiques au TCC (baisse des impôts, éviscération des règlements et protections de l'environnement, expansion des contrats de prisons militaro-industrielles, tout en favorisant de nombreux nouveaux accords bilatéraux qui peuvent aider l’accumulation transfrontalière). Tout cela implique de reproduire l'ordre dominant, et sous une idéologie conservatrice remise à neuf.
La crise grandissante sur la légitimité est maintenant mise en évidence par l'émergence de différents courants politiques, et pas seulement à droite. Au premier rang de ces nouvelles entités se trouve le mouvement qui a évolué autour de la candidature présidentielle du sénateur du Delaware, Bernie Sanders (soutenu par les politiciens anti-guerre tels que Tulsa Gabbard), qui a montré qu’un social-démocrate pouvait obtenir un grand nombre de voix aux Etats-Unis. La campagne de Sanders a été une source d'inspiration à bien des égards, cependant, il n'a pas réussi à faire une critique systématique du militarisme américain. En outre, alors qu'il a critiqué le « capitalisme de copinage », il lui manquait, bien entendu, une critique structurelle plus profonde du capitalisme.
Pourtant, le sort de l'élection présidentielle 2016 provint en partie de la crise, plus large, sur la légitimité du capitalisme global. Comme Clinton et Obama furent les porte-drapeaux du statu quo, Trump a pu exploiter ce sentiment avec sa rhétorique populiste de droite et critique du globalisme.
Au début de 2017, après la défaite de Clinton dans le collège électoral, le courant progressiste de Sanders, enhardi, tenta de s’emparer de la direction du parti. Pourtant, l’establishment au sein du parti prévalut ; un establishment qui peut se moquer de Trump, mais ne peut même pas fournir une alternative sociale-démocrate. Les gens d’influence dans le Comité National Démocratique parient que la révulsion croissante au sujet de Trump, alors que son faux populisme est révélé, suffira à les rajeunir et que semer la peur et culpabiliser conjureront tout défi provenant de gens comme Sanders.
Les appels à reprendre le pays (à « redorer son blason ») se font absolument, et non par hasard, au détriment des groupes déjà opprimés racialement et au détriment des femmes et des enfants qui seront touchés par les compressions dans les programmes sociaux. Il est important de créer des boucs émissaires sur la scène politique américaine, d'autant plus que la classe capitaliste transnationale n’inversera pas facilement les politiques qui leur profitent. La droite de Trump a cherché à compenser la perte des salaires matériels des travailleurs blancs par une hausse de leur « salaire public et psychologique » (tel que W.E.B. Du Bois le décrivait) à travers la promotion du racisme et de la xénophobie.
La rhétorique anti-migrants s’intensifie, comme cela se traduit par la montée d'une « alternative droite » néofasciste, et le but d'augmenter la valeur de la citoyenneté et la blanchité peut s’observer lorsque l'on compare les politiques d'immigration d'Obama et Trump. On appela Obama le « Déporteur-en-chef » parce qu'il a déporté tant de gens. Il est possible que Trump déporte plus de gens qu’Obama, mais, même s’il ne le fait pas, il le fera d'une manière beaucoup plus visible et spectaculaire (comme ce qu'il a tenté avec l'interdiction de musulmans). Les effets de ces politiques auront des conséquences réelles pour les migrants, tout comme celles d’Obama, mais une grande partie du préjudice proviendra d'une normalisation plus manifeste du sectarisme.
ConclusionEn se fondant sur des mantras recyclés de xénophobie et nationalisme, la droite de Trump cherche à détourner la crise de légitimité du capital transnational. Cependant, au lieu de proposer une alternative au capital transnational, ils proposent une stratégie alternative pour le reproduire. Les menaces de guerre de plus en plus fréquentes sont aussi déconcertantes car des groupes néo-conservateurs (lourdement impliqués dans les crimes de guerre américains de ces dernières décennies) semblent avoir réaffirmé leur influence sur la maison blanche.
Les mouvements sociaux, progressistes et de gauche aux États-Unis doivent construire sur les succès du passé, ainsi que les dépasser, en prenant, par exemple, une position plus proactive contre le militarisme et une critique plus profonde du capitalisme. En tendant la main à travers les séparations raciales et les séparations de genre, les ouvriers et les personnes à faible revenu, un tel mouvement ne peut se permettre de tomber sous l'hégémonie des acteurs politiques corporatistes. Au contraire, il doit être un projet qui fournit un véritable combat contre la droite de Trump et l'état de guerre permanente dans lequel elle réside.
Salvador Rangel et Jeb Sprague-Silgado sont au Département de Sociologie de l’Université de Californie à Santa Barbara.
Annnnd, I am not even old enough to know about Three Dog Night.
New Post at Heartline Blog - Read it here.
If you're sick of life and down in the dumps, go read the post meant for laughing that was posted here Sunday. And then don't continue with today's post. I am serious about this. If you are sad, stop here.
Okay. You didn't stop. I don't know why. Are you not sad? Know this, I am only implementing the noise abatement procedure for your own good. Last warning. There are happy things on the Internet if you need a lift.
The rest of this post is not one of the happy things.
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.” ― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
I don't suppose it is necessarily any worse than any other time, maybe it is just the I'm-older-age-now-fatigue making it seem worse.
It is true that your mid 40s are nothing like your mid 30s, I'm here as a witness to that fact. Stay 35 if you can.
Right now I am sick and tired of sadness and broken spirits and broken bodies. I question if my SSRI is working because I just feel sad and tired -- or sometimes tired and sad.
One Mom we know has HIV and fights against taking her medicines daily because she feels so sick after taking them. We push her and beg her and sometimes force her to take them. The HIV program she is in is supposedly the best in the country, but they seem unwilling or unable to do a good job. (Never assume conspiracy when incompetence explains everything.) They see her once a month and hand her several packets of pills haphazardly wrapped up in paper, poorly labeled without proper instruction, education or explanation, and they send her away. We work to communicate with them and serve the client with excellence and coordination. They are clearly not into that sort of thing.
Because they wouldn't give it to us in advance, on the day her baby is born, a Midwife drives to get the very important medicine the baby needs. They act like giving the newborn baby medicine on a Saturday is some sort of impossible feat. They make it difficult and unpleasant. They exist to help the country with HIV. They are "the best" but showing up there and watching them work breaks you of any fancy ideas about what being "the best" means here.
This Mom has not been loved and valued. Her life is full of loss, neglect, and abuse. She is struggling to take care of things and make good decisions for her son, and we ask ourselves - 'WELL, why wouldn't she struggle?' The whole situation is painful and beyond easy answers. Next week we'll visit an orphanage with her to see if placement for adoption is something she wants to consider. We work hard to keep Moms and babies together. Until sometimes in horrible situations, we don't.
Another Mom is back in our prenatal program a second time. Her 2014 birth was with us. We don't typically take the same woman twice; because the more women that have a chance at the education piece of the program, the better.
However, a woman who lost newborn twins in 2007 and then in 2016 lost her 10 year old son and a 12 year old niece to kidnapping - WELL - she gets to be in the prenatal program twice or two million times.
Her church raised ransom money to get the kidnapped kids back. They had over 5K raised. They showed up at the arranged meeting point to pay the fee, but the kidnappers did not come. It is believed her son and her niece were stolen and trafficked, to this day they have never been found - dead or alive. They have been gone since February 2016.
Now seventeen weeks pregnant, she comes each Thursday for Prenatal program. Her eyes are hollow, like a person might look while walking around dead.
We went for a staff retreat day. We planned team building exercises. The first activity was to share some important dates in life on a time line. We hoped to get to know each other even better. We anticipated birthdays, graduations and anniversaries. Perhaps, some of the joyful things. However, every single staff member instead shared trauma and loss on the time line. The day as a teenager that their parent died. Their unfaithful husband. Their divorce. Their abuse. Their abandonment. Their rape. The team building exercise turned into a chance to lay bare the wounds and losses each nurse and midwife on staff has experienced.
Thieves came over the cement walls and into our house in the night Sunday. Smart guys, they took down the motion lights first, used the rain noise as cover and once in the window they found and used our keys to open the back door for a quick exit later. They came within inches of our precious sleeping teenage daughter. They went under our bed to get the safe where we keep passports and important documents as we slept. They looked in drawers and bags and found what they wanted to take. This happens to most middle class people that live here very long. We're not necessarily being singled out, we just got lucky it took so many years before it happened to us. We slept. We slept. We slept. And that saved us from God knows what. Thank you, Lord.
Sarah, the 13 year old that was raped and had her baby girl (Sophia) with us in January is a great Mom - like, A REALLY great Mom. It's stunningly beautiful how well she is doing. However, her own mother is always making things harder. A month ago she came to lie to to us about being kicked out of their house. The story was long and meant to put us in the position of offering them money or maybe a place to live with us. Once we realized it wasn't true - and that their home was not being taken away, she (the mom of the teenager) just stopped interacting with us.
This month she is picking at Sarah and being critical and feeding the baby things that the baby should not eat. She is arguing with her daughter that the baby needs more than breast milk. (Have you seen how fat that baby is?!?!? She needs nothing else.) Sarah sneaks things she doesn't want her Mom to give to Sophie out of the house and into my hands for safekeeping.
When I am tired like this, I think, "What exactly is the point? Nothing gets better. This is shit. It will probably always be shit."
C.S. Lewis says things about grief that sound so right to me. He says, "grief gives life a permanently provisional feeling."
He says, “Not that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not 'So there's no God after all,' but 'So this is what God's really like. Deceive yourself no longer.”
I guess grief takes the path it takes and the time it wants and maybe it will be a really long time before a deeper lasting hope is born again. Maybe not though. Maybe very soon I will wake up done with feeling dread -- and ready to believe things can be good - or at least they can be better.
We will see, I suppose.
Short explanation of plot of this story for those of you that have been dead since 1988 -
A boy gives a cookie to a mouse. The mouse asks for a glass of milk. He then requests a straw (to drink the milk), a mirror (to avoid a milk mustache), nail scissors (to trim his hair in the mirror), and a broom (to sweep up his hair trimmings). Next he wants to take a nap, have a story read to him, draw a picture, and hang the drawing on the refrigerator. Looking at the refrigerator makes him thirsty, so the mouse asks for a glass of milk. The circle is complete when he wants a cookie to go with it.
Saturday, May 6, If You Give Your Son a Haircut ....
If you give your son a haircut, you're going to have to get the clippers all oiled and taken apart and put back together and working well. If the clippers are all oiled and working well, you're going to decide it is a good day to give the dog a haircut too. If you give the dog a haircut, you're going to find a worm in his butt. If you find a worm in his butt you're going to get itchy and feel like gagging. While you're itchy and feel like gagging, your kids are going to be more motivated and keep helping you give the dog a haircut. If your kids keep helping you give the dog a haircut the dog might get a tiny bit of his ear clipped with a scissor on accident. If the dog gets clipped on accident the kids are going to cry and the dog is going to bleed. If the dog is bleeding a little bit you're going to have to calm your kids and tell your Veterinarian. When you tell your Vet she is going to say, "I'll come take a look at it." When she comes to take a look at it she is going to say, "Let's put a stitch in that." If she says, "Let's put a stitch in that" she is going to decide the dog needs to be sedated. Once she sedates the dog she is going to ask if she can just take off his nuts since he's already asleep anyway. If she asks if she can just take off his nuts you're going to say, "Sure, why not." If she takes his nuts off and fixes up his ear you're going to need to be right there watching and learning. While you're watching and learning she says, "You are going to need to burn your trash tonight. These nuts will stink tomorrow."
Keep this in mind next time you decide to give your son a haircut.
With or without knowing it, they are constantly at risk of losing the support that feeds and educates their children and allows them to be working and loving/serving abroad.
Truthfully, if someone disagrees with our position on birth control or baptism or health care or immigration, it is not uncommon to lose support. That's a weird reality to live in.
It's almost as if you have to choose whether you stay out of the fray in order to keep a low profile and keep your support coming, (which is just kind of dirty) OR, risk offending any number of people that might love your work in Haiti but decide they don't at all like you and your politics or opinions and might therefore stop supporting the work. (also kind of dirty - right?)
Haiti has changed us. We are not the same people that left Zimmerman, MN in late 2005. Poverty and daily face to face interaction with it MUST change you --- or you are doing it wrong.
We know that we've lost the right to say anything about what is happening in the USA after 11 years in Haiti, but even so, we grieve and feel concerned.
Thad is a good friend of ours that said it well, we share his words below...
Yesterday at 5:07pm ·
I've never advocated for the ACA, which I find deeply flawed, so: not the point. And I'm a pastor, not a politician, so I can't and won't argue policy details. Not my territory. But this is: I am eager to hear the plan Christian lawmakers and their advocates have for leading the way in personally caring for people who (literally) become "the least of these" as a result of new legislation. I don't presume it's the government's job to care for everyone in need; I do presume Jesus meant it when he said the people who love and serve him are the ones who love and serve those in need. As always, I'm less concerned with how a Christian votes than I am with whether or not the obvious priority of any Christian is love of God and love of neighbor over self (including self's money). So I don't identify political conservatism as a sin. I am, in fact, still pretty conservative on a number of fronts. But I am deeply troubled by self-described Christians of any party prioritizing partisan agendas and victories without demonstrating a conspicuous concern for and personal commitment to caring for those made more vulnerable by those agendas and victories. So are lots of people looking on, forming opinions about what actually matters to Christians. Counterfeit gospels aren't only created by familiar heresies or by prosperity preachers. They are spun by anyone claiming Jesus whose loyalty to another cause or message eclipses or contradicts the cross-shaped proclamation of good news to the poor, freedom for the prisoners and oppressed, recovery of sight for the blind, and favor from God and his people.I'm not accusing every conservative or Republican of this error, of course. And liberals are just as capable of it. And both labels are mostly meaningless and useless to me these days. But I do think it's hard to locate much identifiable sincere interest in outcomes for the least among those hell-bent on "anything but Obama's plan" at the moment; and so it has been for much of the last several months. And it shouldn't be so hard. Frankly, it shouldn't be hard at all to hear that from Christians, even as they pursue more fiscally conservative policies. What should be hard to locate among professing Christians is apparent indifference to those who inevitably suffer as a result of even the most well-intentioned of our political efforts.I can't summon an adequate vocabulary of ambivalence to express just how disinterested I am in whether Christians are politically liberal or conservative. I don't care whether we get more of us voting Democrat or Republican. I'm not looking for ACA to defeat AHCA or vice versa. But for the love of God and humanity, the love of God and humanity has to assume its rightful place as our greatest commandment - and therefore our unmistakable greatest articulated and lived commitment, no matter our choice of policies - or the world will have to find Jesus somewhere other than among so many people calling themselves Christians. Cue the singing rocks.