Archive for November, 2012

Israel approves new West Bank settlements in response to UN statehood vote

 Nov 30, 2012 12:56 PM ET

AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi

AP Photo/Nasser ShiyoukhiPalestinian protesters attached a placard on a wall in front of Israeli soldiers, not seen, during a demonstration in the West Bank village of al-Masara near Bethlehem, marking the recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state by the United Nations, Friday Nov30.

JERUSALEM — Israel approved the construction of 3,000 homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, a government official said Friday, in what appeared to be a defiant response to the Palestinians’ successful United Nations recognition bid.

The United Nations voted overwhelmingly Thursday to accept “Palestine” in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem as a non-member observer state, setting off jubilant celebrations among Palestinians.

Israel fiercely objected to the UN upgrade, saying peace could only come from direct negotiations and unilateral moves would harm that prospect. The Palestinians said UN recognition of a Palestinian state in the territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war was an attempt to salvage a possible peace deal. They said Israel’s settlement expansion on war-won land was making a partition deal increasingly difficult.

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From Alzheimersreadingroom.com

As “Generations” points out the term “elder abuse” is not well defined and can mean lots of different things. Aspects of elder abuse can include financial abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse and neglect (including self neglect).

Abuse can and does take place within the family, especially by immediate family members acting as caregivers for the person with dementia, but also by family members who are not in charge of day to day care (typically financial abuse). Abuse of all types can and does take place in institutions such as nursing homes, assisted livings and memory care communities by care staff, and is overlooked, ignored or even occasionally condoned by management. That is not to say that all institutions allow this to happen, but that some percentage do because of incompetency or something more sinister.

Why does this happen? Generations points out that the traditional answer has been “caregiver stress”. But recent research has discovered that while caregiver stress has accounted for some of the abuse, it really accounts for a minority of it. Caregiver stress far more often shows its ill effects on the caregivers mental and physical health rather than the cognitively impaired care recipient’s health, and we know that to be true, personally. Isn’t that right? What then are some of the reasons this abuse happens?

Research has shown that abuse in families can happen when the caregiver is dependent on the care recipient financially or even emotionally. It can and does happen when the family caregiver is mentally ill themselves, or are a substance abuser. It can happen because of dysfunctional relationships between the caregiver and the care receiver from long ago that are “gunnysacked” and acted on now. Feelings of anger and the need for revenge can go on for years (including anger at other family members not taking responsibility for care being misdirected at the cognitively ill person instead of the others). Also, let us not forget about the inherently “evil” family member, who just does it because they like to.

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“Imagine, Paul said to me once, that the present is simply a reflection of the future.  Imagine that we spend our whole lives staring into a mirror with the future at our backs, seeing it only in the reflection of what is here and now.  Some of us would begin to believe that we could see tomorrow better by turning around to look at it directly.  But those who did, without even realizing it, would’ve lost the key to the perspective they once had.  For the one thing they would never be able to see in it was themselves.  By turning their backs on the mirror, they would become the one element of the future their eyes could never find.”


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from Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason…..”The rule of four”


The snow is coming down much harder than before, so thick that I feel I’m watching the world through patches of static.

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Hostess Out Of Business: Twinkie Maker To Wind Down Operations, Lay Off 18,000

CP  |  By Candice Choi,Tom Murphy, The Associated Press Posted: 11/16/2012 7:41 am EST Updated: 11/16/2012 10:49 am EST

Hostess Brands Inc. says it’s going out of business after striking workers across the country crippled its ability to make its Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other snacks.

The company had warned employees that it would file a motion with U.S. Bankruptcy Court Friday seeking permission to shutter its operations and sell its brands if plants hadn’t resumed normal operations by a Thursday evening deadline. The deadline passed without a deal.

The closing would mean the loss of about 18,500 jobs across the United States.

“I don’t know if they thought that was a bluff,” CEO Gregory Rayburn said on CNBC Friday. He said the financial impact of the strike makes it “too late” to save the company even if workers have a change of heart. That’s because the clients such as retailers decide to stop carrying products when supplies aren’t adequate.

Rayburn said he’s hopeful that the company will find buyers for its roster of about 30 brands, which also include Ho Hos, Dolly Madison, Drake’s and Nature’s Pride snacks and Wonder Bread. The company books about $2.5 billion in sales a year.

In Canada, George Weston Ltd. of Toronto (TSX:WN) counts Wonder Bread among its brands while Montreal-based Saputo Inc. (TSX:SAP) has rights to the Hostess brand but doesn’t include Twinkies in its current lineup of snack cakes.

Weston holds the rights to the Wonder Bread name in Canada independently and company spokesman Geoff Wilson said Friday that it has no interest in acquiring the manufacturing assets or brand names of Hostess in the U.S.

Hostess, based in Irving, Texas, said its stores will remain open for several days to sell remaining products. Operations at its 33 factories were suspended Friday. The privately held company filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, its second trip through bankruptcy court in less than a decade.

The move comes after thousands of members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike last week after rejecting a contract offer that slashed wages and benefits in September. The bakers union represents about 30 per cent of the company’s workforce.

Rayburn said the union’s leadership had misled members into believing there was a buyer in the wings who would rescue the company. He said the union hadn’t returned the company’s calls for the past month.

A union representative did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Hostess had said earlier this week that production at about a dozen of its plants were seriously affected by the strike. Although many workers decided to cross picket lines, the company said it wasn’t enough to keep operations at normal levels. Three plants were closed earlier this week.

Hostess had already reached a contract agreement with its largest union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The Teamsters had urged the bakery union this week to hold a secret ballot on whether to continue striking.

Hostess said the company is unprofitable under its current cost structure, in large part because of union wages and pension costs. Rayburn said in a statement on the company website that all employees will eventually lose their jobs, “some sooner than others.”

“Unfortunately, because we are in bankruptcy, there are severe limits on the assistance the (company) can offer you at this time,” Rayburn wrote.

Hostess, founded in 1930, was fighting battles beyond labour costs. Competition is increasing in the snack space and Americans are increasingly conscious about healthy eating.

—With files from The Canadian Press

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