United States Army Disabled Veteran, Sergeant Kericia E. Smith Faces Third Heartbreaking Trauma of Her Life

img_1132Many people, born and raised in the United States from an early age adhere to and are taught to pledge our allegiance to the flag, and ultimately our allegiance to America –the red, white and blue, that is, the bloodshed, or the honor and purity of white and of an unstained message; and, a color that results in the blue as like streaming tears that come, however, despite that scripture tell us to love our neighbors.

Our neighbors as those who reside here with us under God. One Nation undivided, in liberty and justice for all. Hence, it is a must that we all consider to look at this message with the question of how does it happen that bad things are a reality in a country so great as this?

How, is it the case, that my country does not have my back, or that, those who live here do not have my best interest and the interest of my family; or the interests of my neighbor at heart? How–can one still love their neighbor, or more specifically, how can my neighbor love me after this, that is, the trauma of the American Dream; and, we ask how does this massacre of U.S. citizenry happen?

Embracing Me as Her Journalist

Sergeant Kericia E. Smith said, “I think you should tell them why you decided to write this story,” and after thinking about it, or rather, after her prompting I have agreed to tell you her story sprinkled with my voice (together we will speak) so that those still asleep abiding in the American Dream can wake up to the travesties of life happening while you are sleeping? I accepted this story without too many reservations, because firstly as Americans we forget that to give does not come in the form of money only, especially when someone faces hardship reaching deep into their heart and soul. I have a heart and to believers, the scriptures tell us “Do not worry…”. Scriptures also tell us that we are to ‘bear one another’s burdens’.

Secondly, I have been trained well to understand that as a journalist I am called to be the proverbial ‘watchdog’ of the government and not only the government but those who connect with it to utilize law, and along with this understanding I see that the more professional journalists (some seemingly) care more about their bosses than a common cause among the people; however, I have no boss except the Most Highest God of this universe. Hence, the excuse is taken away of what will I eat or what I will wear.

Also, in this stance I as a writer, a mother, wife, grandmother and citizen take the pledge to uplift my neighbor in whichever way I can in honesty and fair dealing and I know that this is the Way, and, I believe scripture is true that He will provide. As a reward, I have been trained to help Sergeant Kericia E. Smith through this circumstance. In any case, I am more grateful in this instance that the Most High chose me to serve her. As a result, Sergeant Smith has created a new phrase calling me her ‘freestyle journalist’. It’s catchy would you agree?

We need you to look at this, and notably, this story is for anyone facing the trauma of inadequate care of yourself or a loved one in a hospital and or health care environment, and this message is also helpful for workers who see such horrendous events take place.

The Call for Help

I received a voicemail from Sergeant Kericia E. Smith, founder and CEO of the Association of Veteran Women, Incorporated [AOVW, Inc.] who (in short) explained that she needed a storyteller. Telling me, she was having some troubles, or rather, that she is having a few heartbreaking moments she wanted me to take a look at.

So I do not need to tell you how excited I was and unprepared for even this one. Subsequently, I learned she is named after her best friend pronounced [Ker (ee) sha], and they also share a birth month.

Sergeant Smith is an advocate for all women, but mainly for those women who have risked their life serving their country in the Armed Forces. Ultimately, a voice that until now has gone unheard, and, she is a miracle because I believe she is a groundbreaker and a trend setter for many who have lost hope. Hence, she fits the profile of a fighter, and she does not look like what she has been through. Thus, as divine connections happen she and I have worked diligently and have crafted a story that is beneficial for the public to know. However, before I move on, it is important that you know that Kericia initially called several journalists’, major newspapers and magazines to tell her story, but decidedly they were uninterested because there was no response. Kericia says, that someone told her to search out freelance journalists and she found my website The Dailey Grind where my motto is ‘Reporting what the news won’t.’  She told me, that she prayed and left a message, and I am the only one to respond to help her.

Therefore, I tell you Kericia this is it—the time is now and that God has prepared you for such a time as this! In the words of Ms. Shirley Chisolm, Kericia has decided that she is “Unbought and Unbossed!”  Essentially, she says “My misery has become my ministry!” I agree.

My Best Friend Died

I am Sergeant Kericia E. Smith. I am a disabled veteran diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD], a trauma I acquired while on active duty. I was also my best friend’s primary caregiver, and is the reason why I want to tell you the story about my best friend who was admitted into Arlington Memorial Hospital for dehydration and a urinary tract infection, and who was later admitted to Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital for a bedsore. Moreover, in the process of admitting my best friend I was given admission papers to sign, but now in retrospect suspect there may have been a  Mandatory Binding Arbitration Clause. Nevertheless, I was never given a copy of any document I signed. However, in that case, what I do know is that my best friend was un-necessarily medicated to the point of a medically induced coma. As a result, they did not feed him, but without authorization inserted a feeding tube, gave him steroids and two blood thinners; along with, another drug that also causes bleeding.

In short, on May 16, 2016 at about 10:30 a.m., I walked into my best friend’s room and found him

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Custom Casket Spray

bleeding out severely, and all day long I begged the doctors and medical staff at Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital to transfer him to Arlington Memorial Hospital Emergency Room which is right across the street—they refused. Consequently, around 8:30 p.m., my best friend who was my father was unresponsive, and to my dismay there was no defibrillator available for them to attempt life-saving measures. Hence, my beloved father, a Medicare/Medicaid patient bleed-out and died.

To date, I have not been able to obtain my father’s death certificate because Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital has not filed or recorded it with the City of Arlington, or, Texas Department of Vital Statistics. I would also like to mention that Kloe my service dog was God sent and has done an outstanding job and has been a tremendous help throughout this ordeal—she saved me.

Please note, that if I had not fed my father and inserted a feeding tube, given him steroids, and if I had given two blood thinners; along with, another drug that causes bleeding and allowed him to bleed to death I would be in jail.  Needless to say, I am re-traumatized all over again, because (as mentioned) I was my father’s primary caregiver.  I witnessed my father’s death and it was nothing I could do to help him. Consequently, it is a sad day in America that I served my country since I was 18 years old, and yet, my father had no medical staff including doctors to care enough to let me save my father’s life by answering my pleas to transfer him to the emergency room across the street. I ask how can they continue to receive federal and state funds? These doctors and medical staff took an oath to save lives so how could they just stand by and let my precious beloved father die for no good reason?  

This is not an attack on all medical professionals or providers, and, it is in my personal opinion that there are excellent hospitals, doctors, nurses and other medical staff who give quality care to all their patients. However, at Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital my father did not receive the quality lifesaving treatment that he deserved. [Sergeant Kericia E. Smith, United States Army, and Army Reserve; Disabled Veteran; Face to Face Interview, Thursday, September 15, 2016; 4:30 p.m.].

This is a heartbreaking and touching story. Conversely, as I was writing and recounting her pain it is easy to visualize this scene taking place in the hospital, because for those of us who have lost a parent or both parents we understand grief– but not this way. Moreover, perhaps there is someone who can attest to this type trauma, or, those people who have experienced the trauma firsthand and know the full picture. Hence, here I will recount to highlight some of the facts Sergeant Smith mentioned so that we all will understand better the plight Sergeant Smith and her dad suffered at the hand of medical professionals who take an oath to save the lives of the people they treat.

A Brief Background Check of Kindred Rehabilitation Hospitals

Renamed Kindred Healthcare in 2001–Vencor (1998), was one of the nation’s most prominent healthcare companies, however, the company has a shady and elusive past and is due for a background check if you are considering this source for your loved ones. Kindred Healthcare Corporation is the largest healthcare company in the United States with a net worth of $7 billion (See: Kindred Hospital Annual Reports). Accordingly, Kindred Healthcare works under a plethora of venues, such as, post-acute services; including, transitional hospital care, short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing, home health, long-term care, assisted living,  nursing facilities, palliative care and hospice.

Here is a breakdown of events:

Frederick D. Smith (October 11, 1937 - May 16, 2016)

Frederick D. Smith (October 11, 1937 – May 16, 2016)

   A Last Word from Sergeant Kericia E. Smith

Vencor/Kindred’s long history of wrongdoing seems to always survive and thrive due to Medicare fraud which only adds insult to injury with the loss of my father.  If these Medicare fraud cases were known to the public then our loved ones would be less likely to be put at risk.  Kindred seems to look at ‘profits over patients,’ and our lives are worthless because Kindred medical staff is reckless with our medical care. Additionally, any other business as unethical and abusive would have gone out of business decades ago, yet, Kindred continues to thrive on recklessly committing Medicare fraud. 

Why has the Department of Justice not been more aggressive at informing the public about Kindred’s record of bad behavior? It is the case, that Kindred decayed decades ago from the inside out, and this should send a stench up our noses because the carcasses of our loved ones are not collateral damage and the loss of life should cry out for justice. Nevertheless, we are told ‘If you see something to say something!’ Consequently, I did see something, and I said something, but they did absolutely nothing! It is absolutely appalling! Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital had NO Defibrillator!

I am Sergeant Kericia E. Smith and I approve this message—over and out!
[Sergeant Kericia E. Smith, Electronic Communication, September 21, 2016; 5:31p.m.].

Related Articles and Additional Resources

Also see:

Please stay tuned for more detailed information concerning Kindred Healthcare facilities the Tort Reform and Medicaid/Medicare Fraud (False Claims Act).

For more information on Association Of Veteran Women, Incorporated call:

Sergeant Kericia E. Smith, (817)461-5116. Or send an email to: aovwinc@aol.com

 

kayla-dailey__picKayla Dailey, is a prolific writer whose aspirations include hope of encouraging those who face trials and difficulties in life through the written word. As a student of the word she writes, Kayla has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Ashford University, and holds, a Master of Arts Degree in Organizational Management with specialty in Public Administration. Mrs. Dailey is an advocate for civic and community building issues, African American liberties, equal employment, and now veterans and their families; as well as, advocacy against domestic violence for women, children, abortion and other issues people face.  

© Copyright 2016. The Dailey Grind. All Rights Reserved.

The Good News: Civic Journalism and Building the Community

civic JournalismAn American Journalist and Humorist once wrote, “The Job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. (Steele, 2002, Para. 1). In this view, the role of the reporter is two- faceted: 1) the reporter must shake up those who are comfortable, and 2) the reporter must comfort those who need it by offering a helping hand, or at least educate their public by bringing in new information to those in need of it. According to Executive Director, Pew Center for Civic Journalism there are two key things to know concerning Civic Journalism which says” when the media does its job differently, citizens do their jobs differently, and when you seed innovation into newsrooms you get new ideas”. (Schaffer, 2014). Hence, if reporting today is not bringing affliction and/ or comfort then it is not good news. What can be done about it? Schaffer (2014) makes mention that there a few things to be done which could go beyond diagnosing the problem. Therefore, diagnose the cause but move on and actually change that which has already been diagnosed. Conversely, one would have to see clearly the picture that journalism has portrayed to the masses which means going back to review what the public sees and why they see it that way. Hence, making changes which should be of first priority. Once a problem is identified there should be efforts made which bring improvement and understanding to public thinking that change the relation of the media as a ‘lap dog,’ of the media as an ‘attack dog,’ and ultimately change the media as a ‘watch dog’ to something other than a farce. Essentially, American media must be seen as the “guide dog’ which educates the public on their role to help their own communities and beyond.

A survey conducted by the Pew Center for Civic Journalism reflects journalists’ view of the First Amendment saying that some journalists hold their rights to freedom of press in high regard more than the public did. On the contrary, citizens feel differently toward the media and label the press arrogant, insensitive, biased, inaccurate and sometimes filled with sensationalism. Conversely, “fifty-three percent respondents said they believe the press has too much freedom, forty-five percent respondents said they believe media protects democracy, and thirty-eight percent of the respondents said the media actually hurt democracy.” Additionally, there were people who disapproved of reporting political candidates, hidden cameras, and publishing governmental secrets. (Schaffer, 2014, p.9-10. Para. 7). Consequently, this data might be surprising for some, however, it shows that America citizens are divided in their opinion of the media, and also shows what journalist think of their work is totally off base. Especially, in regards to news gathering as it pertains to truth of how citizens really feel about the news and those who report it which causes resentment for citizens who feel they are unheard.

On April 15, 2014, an accident on Interstate NE Loop 820 shook a community leaving two dead people and others injured in Fort Worth, Texas. (Read: Two Killed in Crash Along East Loop 820). The neighborhood was shaken, not only from the force of the impact, but from the force of the ideal. People witness to the accident or nearby could be seen running from their homes and motorists stopping to help. It is the case that a community came together but was left to pick up these pieces alone, but this has become the norm there. The crash involving three vehicles was the worst incident to happen in the Stop Six community since the notorious “Birthday Party” shootings in 2008 which left a five year old child dead on her birthday; along with, her paternal grandmother, and several other innocent children and adults in attendance. (Read more: 2 dead in birthday party shooting in Fort Worth). In both of the events, the reporters, helicopters could be seen coming from miles around, hovering over people’s homes to gather their stories and taking interviews from witnesses. Notably, once the initial reports were broadcast the neighborhoods were forgotten which leaves one to ask what about the neighborhood? There has not been any attention since for media coverage for the community though there has been plenty newsworthy material such as council meetings where neighbors meet with officials from time to time to discuss issues which have not been met or that need attention. However, these type meetings are generally campaign ventures and sparse. It is the case that the only reports in certain neighborhoods are of a negative undertone, a killing, a domestic issue when someone is killed, a child kills their parent, a sexual offender nearby and so on. Notably, though that type news is necessary people already know that their neighborhoods are not the best and that most are unsafe. Therefore, good news would bring with it an appeal for public support and someone who can report that appeal accurately is needed. To date, there is still no follow up interviews for the families in attendance of the birthday party to know how they fare and this is where media responsibility to update the public is a needed for any mass tragedy of this magnitude. Moreover, there seems to be a drive through type reporting as far as media is concerned. Additionally, though these incidents might seem small concerning the accident and the birthday party this is the type reporting seen in the neighborhoods where reportedly violence is common. Therefore, however common whether an accident or murder no other news seems newsworthy material. Where are the caring journalists to tell the story?
One of the reasons the lack of report might seem difficult in certain communities would be a lack of journalist support and lack of journalistic staff. Typically, one might see minority commentators, anchors and reporters here and there, however, why are they so scare? Concerning BBC and black journalist, Meikle (2014) wrote “A senior black journalist has accused the BBC of” institutional myopia or inertia “over its employment of ethnic minority staff” (Para.1). In this instance, one might wonder what this has to do with the general public and reporting. The problem is confusion in the work place where many journalists find themselves clamoring for rank instead of clamoring to get stories that matter. Hence, instead there are stories of hometown heroes and those deemed fitting for community efforts, but no reports of how to solve eminent or impeding problems. It is the case that with few journalists to work stories, or who find interest to report stories are pushed to quit such organizations as BBC. Of course, BBC being global is a far cry from everyday life in a community; however, one should ask does this type behavior occur everywhere? Therefore, the type of behavior as found in drive by reporting styles may prove a huge factor lacking in community building efforts.
In the article, “The Last Days of Journalism” Nip (2008) employed at a least 6 different ways media could change audience view or to offer a helping hand:
• Listening to the public to help shape the news agenda
• Giving ordinary people a voice
• Covering storing in a way which facilitates public understanding and stimulates citizen deliberation of problems behind the stories
• Presenting news to make it more accessible and easier for people to engage in the issues
• Engaging the community in problem solving
• Maximizing the impact of coverage in the community
Listening to the public is almost non-existent when it comes to some communities. Hence, a great idea would be to gather ideas developed from mingling with people in their communities in times separate from campaigning. Notably, politicians always have a say about certain issues, but what about the communities these bills and policies affect most? It is the case, then, that the only time some citizens have an opportunity to speak is in tragedy, or an election year and those meetings handpicked. Nip (2008) adds, “Listening techniques include conducting polls, surveys, town hall meetings, focus groups, readers’ panels, and organizing intimate living room or kitchen conversations.” (p. 180). Therefore, giving a voice to ordinary people would make a world of difference when people’s input seems important. Thames (2014) wrote “Unlike journalists who earn a living covering politics, voters have a lot of other things competing for their attention — at home and at work. We’ve been quick to misjudge their unfocused nature as ambivalence. Most take their role quite seriously. Times Mirror found last year that 66% of Americans “completely agree” it is their duty to always vote, up from 46% in 1987.” (Line 7). It is the case that the media might take for granted that people casting votes have a voice. For example, one should ask how is it that with all the lines formed during an election is anyone not heard from, except politicians. During campaigning Wendy Williams advocated women’s health issues which included a right to choose and single parenting support. It would have been a great add if during the campaign there were voices heard on the other side of those issues; as like, women who have had abortions to balance out information and give the people an informed decision. Conversely, attack ads make people distrustful and mean spirited which is another reason why the media is not well liked.
Radio is great for community discussions and forums and though good sources of information one should ask are there solutions to come from these? Rudy Vee is on the air and has been a full time Professional Announcer for the COX MEDIA GROUP in Jacksonville, Florida for 22 years. Rudy was asked what issues of a public concern he believed needed the most help from media. He wrote, “Public safety. Especially for women. We, as announcers, are here to educate and inform. That premise has long fallen by the wayside to commercialism. Now, there are insignificant Sunday morning programs to comply to FCC regulations regarding this. Don’t get me wrong, the music IS the star; but radio could be doing so much more. There are a couple of cats, Gregg Street in Atlanta and Jamming Jimmy Olsen in Tyler that are using their shifts for the greater purpose of super-serving the community and kids. But very few are allowed to do this anymore? Also, we could a heck of a lot more in supporting the local artists in the market. But, once again, if it ain’t chartin,’ chances are it won’t get played. we also need to be doing more for the classic artist of our time that are still putting out art. The Con-Funk-Shun’s, the Lakeside’s, the Will Downing’s, the Glenn Jones’, the Howard Hewett’s. The cats are still putting out quality classic art – but to no avail.” (Vee, 2014). Ultimately, more broadcasts and reports need to reflect Mr. Vee’s thinking that the communities need more help from the media. Mr. Vee also added input concerning journalism and good reporters. He was asked, “What is the current state of the radio ‘talent pool?’ Is good Journalism being shelved along with good pay? His response, “WOW! Umph…No comment (Sorry)” That says it all.
Journalist engagement with the community in problem solving is a big issue for some, and education is a key ingredient. In the aforementioned Stop Six area as well as other areas of the city homeowners have found their property taken in  pay arrangements where the city offers one year of payment with balances due at the end of a year. In this, there is no education about the home owner’s right to acquire counsel from an attorney who would give them adequate information about property tax law and their ability to get a longer arrangement. Consequently, without that help many people have faced eviction. It is the case that anyone can find this information in any public record if they knew to look. Therefore, news coverage would benefit the community if those concerned could have their stories told. As a watch dog to government, journalists have a duty to be honest and fair in their reports of government officials concerning corruption. In that regard, Steel (2002) wrote, “Cole Campbell, editor of the Virginian-Pilot, has put into practice various elements of civic journalism. He believes that news organizations must create a different sort of relationship with the public, one that reexamines the journalist’s role to sources and to readers. Campbell (1995) says newspapers must reframe the questions and change conventions about what is news and how it is covered. He says journalism must “cover tension not just conflict, ambivalence not just certainty.” (Para. 6).
CSPAN guest Ed Fouhy (1997) outlines the plight of journalism and community saying, “Civic Journalism needs to be in reformed. One definition of a reformed civic journalism would be to tell the truth so the people can be informed and remain sovereign and gives maximum freedom of choice.” In essence, Mr. Fouhy proclaims that the media should be a guiding force to the people, but instead have become arrogant and have First Amendment Reflex Syndrome where the excuse is always given for freedom of speech. Fouhy adds to that to say, “ Journalist often are inconsiderate to the personal hurt caused by to people and the person through invasion of privacy, and devalue the damage done by media while overvaluing the good that might come from reports.” (Paraphrased). The plight of some communities; or rather individuals broadcast on television is disparaging, because of bias reporting. Last year, in news there were  a string of unfair trials publicized where people were literally getting away with murder. One in particular was a young Caucasian boy of sixteen years who was drunk behind the wheel of a car and ran into and killed people on the side of the road. His psychiatrist labelled him as suffering from so called ‘affluenza’. Conversely, affluenza reportedly, is a dis-ease of the affluent which says a youth’s inability to tell right from wrong is imbalanced. Hence, the punishment for the inebriated lad was ten years’ probation. In that same vain, this year an inebriated black man was drunk and drove his car into a crowd of people. The media coverage had a field day with that and for weeks after followed up with the funerals, the victims and the like. The icing on the cake came when an interview with a deceased teen’s girlfriend said that she wanted the accused dead, and this said with malice against someone of her own race. The media never showed anything afterwards concerning the other drunken individual mentioned, except to say that his parents were settling suits for those families who lost loved ones too. It is bias, because here are two drunks who killed but two totally different reports concerning them. Steel (2002) wrote, “Bill Woo (1995) does not shine a solid red light on public journalism. He raises cautions in the spirit of a yellow light. Woo likes the connections to improving democracy, and he says he is “intrigued by what may lie down that road, beyond the bend.” But he also urges all of us in journalism to listen to what he calls the “old bells ringing for objectivity, detachment, independence, for the courage to print stories that are unpopular and for which there is no consensus. “I hope we listen for them again,” Woo says, “before we grow so old and so wise that they no longer matter.” (Para, 30). One has to question whether the stories reported are objective, detached, and independent when one sided reporting is the case. Additionally, good news would have made at least one of the reports into an angle story, whereabouts; the issue of driving drunk would have been displayed with information to educate and teach. Hence, the guidance factor in journalism would have been at the forefront for youth today to discourage drinking endeavors; but sadly, the message presented was if one is white and affluent one can get away with murder which is surely a form of bias at its peak.
Troubling is the fact that good news has been traded for internet stories and social media scandal done in a rush. It is the case that gone are the days of intimacy where a good newspaper read was a family affair, comics and all. Paula A. Sanford, Currently resides in Galesburg, IL USA and is a Certified Television Producer with Chicago Access Network TV, (CAN TV) 2007-2010 – Produced written copy & public service announcements for the Cook County, Chicago, IL area. Paula also is a Community Relations Coordinator/Public Relations Director: Prayer & Faith Outreach Ministries, Chicago, IL – 2004 – 2010: Made community relations news available to the Chicago & surrounding suburbs, concerning upcoming and ongoing events occurring in the church and community. Paula was asked to give her view concerning the fail of some newspapers and their readership: “Does the decline of newspapers even matter? Could this actually be a blessing in disguise? Her response: Yes, I think it matters that there is a decline of newspapers. To me, it is as imperative to some people to have newspapers, because some baby boomers (and others) may never adapt to social media.” (Sanford, 2014). It is the case that some people would rather read than turn on the television or listen to the radio. Hence, Civic Journalism must be multifaceted in its quest to guide.
In closing, journalism has three approaches to the community, that is the lap dog, the attack dog, the watch dog, and to remove negative stigma every public journalist should take responsibility for seeing the goal of becoming a guide dog to the communities brought forth. In these, there should be different outlooks stemming from the individual journalist who might see their job as a race to higher status and paycheck rather than seeing a community of hope developed. Journalist across the board must re-engage with the community not just entertain communities, because as it is with the homeowner’s plight so it is as Fouhy (1997) points out that “People want to know where the good schools are and how to improve those where they live; as well as learning how their tax dollars are spent. In turn, reports should be a balance between positive and negative where there is ongoing reporting; not just drive by reports. Certainly, there is a need to re-direct the focus of what good news is, because good news shakes up the comfortable and comforts the afflicted. Subsequently, becoming the ‘guide dog’ it was meant to be.

Futuristic Analysis for War on Drugs Proves Positive for Drug Users in Texas

drug testIt’s been a long time coming to stop the rampant drug use which devastates the public welfare system in Texas; and to thwart it Senate gives thumbs up for Drug Testing for Temporary Aid to Needy Families.

TANF, as the program is known became effective July 1, 1997 to replace Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, which had been in effect since 1935.

The problem is not with the program itself; although many tax payers are of the mind that some are abusing the program and with good reason. As past years dictate, changes were brought forth by former President Bill Clinton who gave a time limit of 5 years for those who received the help. Notably, many who were eligible were thus so for years under old law.

According to statistics, the new more effective program, provides poor people with money for food, clothing, housing and other basic needs, distributes about $90 million to more than 100,000 Texans annually. The amount of the payment depends on family size and income.

One would be tempted to believe that the goal of the testing would be more concerned with people’s drug usage, rather than people not working. It is the premise that unless people can stop drug use they might not be fit to work. However, this is not the idea of the testing with regards to those who get aid.

According to a quote by Bill sponsor Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, stating, “”Taxpayer money should not be used to subsidize someone’s drug habit,” and she states further, “”We’re not only going to help them get off drugs, “We’re going to help them get a job.”

With this thought in mind; that is, many people on drugs will be homeless, hungry, and most certainly increased employment efforts.

Consequently, a brief glimpse at crime rise; as well as, more people entering treatment facilities and shelters across the region.

It could be really a taxing situation all around.

Read More: Texas Senate approves drug testing for some welfare applicants

 

Watch: Gov. Perry, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst Call for Drug Screening for TANF, UI Applicants

 

Your Sunday Bread, Lord Help My Unbelief

Awesome word. Yes since we know that God is real and made angels and that He will cast Satan out of the heavenlies, but for now he comes as angel of light to fool and trick us then to turn our lives upside down; it would serve as warning to become more aware of the demons among us.

So yes, amen there are demons and they reek havoc in the lives of believers, so imagine what they are doing to those with unbelief…better ask somebody, because the mental institutions are full of people who are under the attack of the enemy and we call them insane because we don’t believe; it’s not normal behavior to run from something or someone not there. But we know that these are spirits and it makes sense that we don’t see them; we can’t see the devil he is spirit. However, we do see him at work in other people.

So are the people who are able to see them really insane or running scared?

Concerning demonic thoughts, hearing voices,

Mark 9:14-29

‘And when they came to the [nine] disciples, they saw a great crowd around them and scribes questioning and disputing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw Jesus [returning from the holy mount, His face and person yet glistening], they were greatly amazed and ran up to Him [and] greeted Him. And He asked them, About what are you questioning and discussing with them?

And one of the throng replied to Him, Teacher, I brought my son to You, for he has a dumb spirit.

And wherever it lays hold of him [so as to make him its own], it dashes him down and convulses him, and he foams [at the mouth] and grinds his teeth, and he [falls into a motionless stupor and] is wasting away. And I asked Your disciples to drive it out, and they were not able [to do it].

And He answered them, O unbelieving generation [without any faith]! How long shall I [have to do] with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to Me.

So they brought [the boy] to Him, and when the spirit saw Him, at once it completely convulsed the boy, and he fell to the ground and kept rolling about, foaming [at the mouth].

And [Jesus] asked his father, How long has he had this? And he answered, From the time he was a little boy.

And it has often thrown him both into fire and into water, intending to kill him. But if You can do anything, do have pity on us and help us.

And Jesus said, [You say to Me], If You can do anything? [Why,] all things can be (are possible) to him who believes!

At once the father of the boy gave [an eager, piercing, inarticulate] cry with tears, and he said, Lord, I believe! [Constantly] help my weakness of faith!

But when Jesus noticed that a crowd [of people] came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, You dumb and deaf spirit, I charge you to come out of him and never go into him again.

And after giving a [hoarse, clamoring, fear-stricken] shriek of anguish and convulsing him terribly, it came out; and the boy lay [pale and motionless] like a corpse, so that many of them said, He is dead.

But Jesus took [a strong grip of] his hand and began lifting him up, and he stood.

And when He had gone indoors, His disciples asked Him privately, Why could not we drive it out?

And He replied to them, This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.

When we look at this text we can equate this to all bad behavior, because who said that talking to people who we cannot see there takes precedence over killing someone?

Powerful word, and I ask who can drive the demon out except the glory of our Elohim through fasting and prayer.

9th Ward: Minimal Media Help, Maximum Tourism Coverage

Hurricane Katrina, was perhaps, the most devastating and deadly natural occurrence known to the United States at least to those who suffered through it and who lived to tell about it. Who can forget the lines of people waiting for relief to come?

The infants without milk; or the elderly without medical attention, those who died waiting, those who slept in a stadium with without proper sanitation for such a large amount of people, and those relieving themselves wherever and whenever possible; a stench so horrid, the stench of rape, the stench of a people seemingly forgotten.

In my neighborhood even though there are leash laws which protect animals from harm, and while there is protection for these animals facing neglect there is even less help when it comes to media attention on some issues troubling man. Hence, the way I see it; the media is a “Watchdog” chained.

When I say chained; I mean, although they are supposed to put an eye out for wrongdoing in the government which is designed to help the citizens they do for some, but for others they turn a blind eye. Although, Katrina was a national, even worldwide disaster; what people still ask, and what people still wonder is what took the government so long to help those people?

Perhaps, there is something shady going on within the news industry, because one executive said of his station that news is what he says it is. I say, if this thinking is embedded in the industry as a whole it is no wonder; then that, issues go unnoticed, unheard, and ignored by the media.

The media as the Fourth Estate was originally included with the three class statuses: upper, middle and lower. I believe they were originally called the First, Second, and Third Estate; all, which were government intertwined. In other words, the government ran them and decided who got what and where they got it from; if anything during the Medieval Period. Probably, they included the media because they could stir trouble for an ill or poorly run country. With that in mind, the U.S., established the “Fourth Branch” of government and set the media as watchdog to guard them and keep them honest; however, the media is a “watch dog chained.”

New Orleans was hard hit and ravished by what we thought was Hurricane Katrina. However, evidence and eye witnesses have determined that this is not the case. News updates first reported that the levees which held waters to the great Mississippi River collapsed, but someone living nearby called the news stations to report hearing a series of explosions before the flood came, and after the storm had passed.

In the article “Levees Blown Say Eyewitnesses – Media Ignores Them,” Greg Szymanski says this:

“Eye witnesses are starting to come forward, some only a block away from the 17th St Canal levee break, saying they heard a loud, powerful explosion right before water starting gushing in, as they ended up in a matter of minutes floating downstream on their rooftops.”

“Terry Adams, who lives one block away from the 17th St. break, remembers hearing what sounded “like a bomb going off” from where the levee gave-way before rushing water forced him to his rooftop. “Everything was calm, it was late at night, and the storm had passed. I thought we had dodged a bullet and there was no water in my house and I was only a block away from the 17 th St. break,” said Adams, a lower 9th Ward resident, in an extended conversation this week from New Orleans.

“Then I heard what sounded like a bomb go off from the direction of where the levee gave-way and within a matter of minutes I was forced up on my roof where I floated for about a mile into town before somehow getting to safety.”

“Asked if he was sure he heard an explosion, he added: “Water breaking a levee isn’t going to make the noise I heard and besides, the levee should have broke before or during the storm, not afterward. “I heard an explosion and so did a lot of other people. It came right from where the levee broke. What else could it have been but somebody blowing up the levee?”

None of this was ever reported on the news; despite repeated calls to news stations, and it should be noted that today, although some residents still have not been given the call to go home; city officials allow tours through the ruins of what once was someone’s home.

According to the article, “Katrina victims take on hurricane tour operators”, a Fox8 News reporter says this: “About 9 million people visit New Orleans each year, mostly to see its stately homes along oak-lined avenues, dine at its renowned restaurants and take in the jazz and ribaldry of Bourbon Street. But Katrina’s devastation in August 2005 unleashed an unexpected cottage tourism industry, drawing a daily parade of rubbernecking tourists for a close-up look at the city’s hard-hit Lower 9th Ward.”

The article states further that officials “Worried that a flood of tour buses and vans would interfere with clean-up efforts, the City Council approved an ordinance in 2006 banning them from crossing the prominent Industrial Canal entering the neighborhood that received Katrina’s fury.” “Now, tour operators are crying foul, claiming the ordinance had been thinly enforced until recently.” They say a business that is bringing them and the city tourist dollars is being hurt.”

To see more on the tours: Click Here

To read more of the Levee Explosions: Click Here 

  • Watch:Hurricane Katrina: The Drive: New Orleans Lower 9th Ward

Something Else the Government Can’t Fix, Welfare Reform Starts in the Mind

I want to scream, because of the anguish I feel inside right now for my people; not only in America, but in Africa as well. I often find myself wondering what life would have been like for me had not I been born in America; if my ancestors had not been kidnapped from their homes and villages. What; I think, would be my name?

I would undoubtedly be somebody totally different had I been born there; had slavery never taken place. However, this thought is wishful thinking. Dreams and visions of a forest life, far away from life in a nation which can sometimes be so callous towards their own.

Black people have had a rough time here and still do, but now some of it is our own fault; because we have become beggars in our right. Instead of  kings and queens we have become paupers, beggars and borrowers waiting a on a handout; it is time to move on from that, but some of us are too heavy to carry and too paralyzed to carry ourselves.

Can we continue to blame it on the white people? The answer might surprise those who feel as if they too carry a burden too hard. It is difficult to comprehend when you have not the experience of being there. I cannot remember a time in life that someone I know has not needed help at some point in life; however, it is the thought that although help might be needed, is it really the case that we stay there?

This post is more for my brothers and sisters who want out than for anyone else reading now. It is not the case that all do not need to break free, but that all are not ready yet. There are people, both men and women who are praying for a better way of life other than government issued benefits and those are the ones who need this encouragement.

I want to say that it is not the case that prayers have not been answered, but it is that prayers might have been hindered. I cannot say that help is not available; I cannot say that people don’t care, because they do. Maybe not in the way of taking people by the hand but by offering the programs in the first place, and we must understand that no one is going to do any more than they have already put it out there. It is up to us to go get it.

More than going to get it, because some have gotten and continue to get and are in the same frame of mind as at the start; so, what is the problem?

The problem is that:

1) Someone doesn’t know any better, because their parents lived this way, and so do they; hence there is no exposure to something new.

2) Someone sees this thing as a way to get what they can get “free,” doesn’t matter what it is they want it, and will put in a day’s work to get those things which are free. This includes long lines, the drudgery of monthly forms, people prying into your personal life asking very personal questions about everyone in the house. It is not the case that this person will not lie to get that thing free.

3) Someone is lazy, don’t want anything.

4) Someone wants out, has the exposure, but its taking time so they still receive the help. They are educating themselves and taking advantage of every means available to them to move to another level in their mind and circumstance.

5) Someone works but doesn’t make enough money still, but even here there is a tendency not to reach for better.

Notably, #1, 4, can be helped if they reach out, but sadly, when someone hasn’t gotten up to go seek someone will not find it. In the case of all the above examples the government; along with the benefits offers help for school and daycare, jobs, now phones, but if there is no seeking, no asking then there is no help. In reality it requires an awakening. The fourth individual is at the place in their mind where they take “advantage” of the programs offered with the mind of self-empowerment. It’s all in the mind.

I was on a class field trip once and on the van I was riding with a bunch of guys; not only guys but young white guys, a Hawaiian, and my professor who my age. There were other women, but somehow I was the only female with all these men. At 48 years old, here I was, as old as my instructor and on bus full of kids just out of high school; or not far from it.

Somehow the conversation went to the discussion of women on welfare. I know now that it was the place I needed to be, because I had no clue to what people really thought about the women who receive help. Mind you this was no short trip so what I heard I could not run from it; nor could I turn it off. I was forced to sit there and listen to their version of how  Women on Welfare give me the blues.

The Hawaiian guy was very passionate about his lack of desire to put money in the pot for women who don’t choose carefully their children’s fathers. What he said was an eye opener for me because he felt that these women sleep with bums, losers who have no intention of doing anything; except use the women. Moreover, he asks, why does he have to continue to pay for children who are not his? He goes on to say that it; literally pisses him off when he gets his check and he doesn’t have enough money to buy groceries and he sees women loading their baskets with junk, or the baby daddy, boyfriends putting food in and when they get to the register out comes the old EBT card. Conversely, he stated, that he has to suffer when he is sick because there is little money for doctor’s visits and then he has to pay for children; again, not his.

“It’s not fair,” he added,” that me and my wife have no children but have to pay out for someone else’s”.

Wow! I sat there and could barely breath, what could I say to that; isn’t he right? That some of us, Ladies, just keep having baby after baby without a thought of how we will take care of them. Or with the thought that this is more money on my check? I nearly cried when I heard it from someone else.

Now, the intention of this note is not to bash, but to bring awareness of how this thing looks to some people.

Are you really trying to help yourself out of poverty; or, laying down day after day with no way to feed yourself, no plan of action. If you’re not there yet, haven’t even thought about your life; please consider what this means for you. Ask yourself: What if tomorrow or even a year from now they stop all this; what will I do? This should be a consideration the next time a letter comes from the food stamp office or the welfare office sends you a letter to go to find work, or attend a class. Go to school; learn so that your kids can at least know that they can do better. If you don’t know how to read, learn now.

If you just can’t do better that’s one thing, but if you are manipulating, and lying; nobody will suffer more in the end than you. It’s not too late get up! You can do it!

I hope this has helped someone; at least I am encouraged. I want those who feel bad about what’s being said on the news and who watched that video with the woman excited about the free phone to know that you are more valuable than “250 minutes a month”. At least I think so.

Take courage.

Watch: Obama phone Lady

The Cast Down Spirit

“She girds herself  [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.”

(Proverbs 31:17)

Depression can cause spiritual, mental and physical exhaustion. I saw a television advertisement that said, “Depression hurts.” Yes, it does because we can become paralyzed literally in our thinking, becoming so low that some have attempted to take their lives because of it.

Depression is a tool that the enemy uses to stop progress in our thoughts. Thoughts of past hurts, of family woes, financial concerns, and abusive relationships can all take their toll on an already weak mind. When I say weak it is because depression seems to hit hardest when we’re feeling down about ourselves already, low self-esteem and self-hatred dealt cold hands. Sometimes it can go unnoticed, and it might have succeeded if had not been for the ultimate battle that came to claim its victim.

Today I want to talk about THE CAST DOWN SPIRIT, because it is the in-between area that blends in with the happiest of times and the worst of times. However, it is the most hurtful because it is here that this silent enemy almost always wins unless we find strength to fight it. Depression is the number one cause of disability in women, but it affects men as well. We need to talk about it because there are some who even in this day and age with all the medical treatments and therapies available still find it hard to speak out that there is something wrong. This to me is the greatest tool that Satan uses against women and if you were brought up in an environment where secrets were kept makes it even harder to speak out. I want to go in-depth about this silent killer of good thoughts and see what the word is saying to us about gaining strength, but first let’s look at what thing really is doing to our minds.

Take a look:

What is Depression?

Minor depression is characterized by having symptoms for 2 weeks or longer that do not meet full criteria for major depression. Without treatment, people with minor depression are at high risk for developing major depressive disorders.

Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances. However, not everyone agrees on how to characterize and define these forms of depression. They include:

  • Psychotic depression, which occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false beliefs or a break with reality (delusions), or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations).
  • Postpartum depression, which is much more serious than the “baby blues” that many women experience after giving birth, when hormonal and physical changes and the new responsibility of caring for a newborn can be overwhelming. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.1
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. The depression generally lifts during spring and summer.
  • Bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive illness, is not as common as major depression or dysthymia. Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes—from extreme highs (e.g., mania) to extreme lows (e.g., depression).

Symptoms of depression include:

• Little interest or pleasure in doing things

• Feeling down, depressed or hopeless

• Trouble falling or staying asleep or sleeping too much

• Feeling tired or having little energy

• Poor appetite or overeating

• Feeling bad about yourself, that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down

• Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television

• Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed or the opposite in that you are so fidgety or restless that you

Have been moving around a lot more than usual

• Thoughts that you would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way

Women may be more likely to report certain symptoms, such as:

• Anxiety

• Somatization (the physical expression of mental distress)

• Increases in weight and appetite

• oversleeping

• Outwardly expressed anger and hostility

Sometimes these feelings may seem normal, especially when we don’t know anything of a calm environment or may have had them early on. They were noticed then at their first onset, but were unrecognized or ignored. I was 20 years old when I first experienced this sad feeling. As I look back on it now it came in with the thought, “I should be married now.” Wow, what a difference time has made and what a blessing when wisdom comes…Thank you God, Amen. More lessons, yet more wisdom to go.

“Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the help of my [sad] countenance, and my God.”

 (Psalm 43:5)

 Even David was faced with depression because he asks himself, “Why are you cast down, O my inner self?”

 Cast down means to be depress or as/like sinking and this verse gives us where this is taking place in our spirit (KJV says soul). It’s a very hurt feeling that comes along with thoughts but when first experienced it comes on so suddenly that one has to question why? Sometimes there doesn’t have to be anything going on and there it is. It’s reminds me of someone who is baffled about something and cocks their head to one side because they’re trying to figure it out but can’t quite pinpoint it, that’s the response to it; bewilderment.

“And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me?”

I want to point out here two other words that can help us to relate to this condition because sometimes we become sorrowful in our spirit and can’t explain it. We are blessed that God has given us the wisdom to seek after the Him…we should want to know more, because He is showing up the enemy tactics. David use some solemn words to describe what  he is feeling.

Moan: the Strong’s dictionary describes it this way, it’s clamorous, to make a loud sound, rage, tumultuous. There’s this episode of “I love Lucy” where Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel are traveling to California and they have car trouble to stop over at this little rinky dink gas/motel/diner. It’s the middle of the night and their starved and have no other choice but to stay over in this run down roach motel. They pay for sandwiches and the only room available so that the 4 have to share it. While the owner is outside trying to fix their car, they then find out that the cheese on the sandwiches is like rubber so they have to go hungry. So they go to their room and try to get some sleep, but the beds are a mess and uncomfortable, and then when they finally do manage to calm themselves enough to rest a loud train comes through which causes the beds to vibrate and move to the center of the room. Then they try to leave the place and find that their steering wheel has been stolen, and the owner just happens to have one just like theirs for sale; that’s a bad day. Similarly, that scene you’ve just witnessed is what it’s like when we can’t control our thoughts and emotions…seems that everything around us spiraling out of control.

David questions his downcast spirit and then he tells it the solution and what he will do, he says, “Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the help of my [sad] countenance, and my God.”

(Psalm 43:5) 

This is important because this moment of questioning and decision is where Satan uses our sin against us…this is where some will run back to the sin that so easily besets…alcohol and other substance, adultery, promiscuity. Remember that the purpose of the downcast spirit is to tie you up and force you back into to bondage; or keep you there if you aren’t delivered but have walking that way.

Where are we headed? 

 It’s either sink or swim, because we can choose to give in to this trick of the enemy or seek God in the middle of the sinking sand. We can either lay on the couch of the enemy or seek God through this sea of sadness so He can bring us to a place of wealth in our minds. Yes, I say wealth because if we are depressed then something has been severed from the promise of God. So it is the thought of where we are headed that seems most important at this point, so let’s look at the word of God:

“She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.”

(Proverbs 31:17)

 I have to tell you that when I look at the Proverbs 31 woman the way for the woman of God seems auspicious or favorable because God has given us a clear picture of what we will be like as we follow Him to wholeness. But this picture to me or could seem to others who haven’t attained this promise yet…a far reach. I believe that with all else we have to conquer being wives, mothers, students, etc., that we have to be whole in our minds to be anywhere near this woman portrayed here, this is impossible when we are weak in our minds; and most certainly cast down in our spirit. Where are we headed?

To “Gird, “means to put on something, look at this:

Proverbs 31:17, says, “she girds herself with strength in all areas of need.” the result is that she then becomes fit for her God given task. So that we see it as impossible to gain the type of strength needed for anything unless it is God given.

 In all areas of need that are spiritual, mental, and physical. It’s not easy to take time to rest and do all that is expected of us as wives mothers, and employee not to mention if we’ve embarked upon other ventures of independence…”you’ve come along way baby” then has improved avenues of wealth not only has also added to diverse thinking but has brought about stress where there was none before. So if we haven’t gotten ahead or bettered ourselves in terms of that career profession or education then chances is that this too has become more of a hindrance than a help…has this become a cause of dissension in our mind?

 Get help for your mind. Putting on strength means that we seek out those things to help us in our daily life. Some think that more money will solve the problem, and that may be so but if we are weak  in any one of the three areas, I need to mention money will not help. Our source of strength has to be more powerful than we are. Seek God for your spiritual needs.

Here’s some other help:

1. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – With Help Comes Hope

2. Depression Center: Symptoms, Causes, Medications, and Therapies

3. 1on1health.com: Depression

Praying for sound mind and good thinking….be in peace.