Groningen kweekvijver van zorgvernieuwing ~ Aanzetten tot vermaatschappelijking van de zorg

Foto: goudoudinwarffum.nl

De ouderenzorg in Groningen komt steeds meer onder druk te staan door de vergrijzing en bevolkingskrimp op het platteland. Maar Groningers zijn inventief in het bedenken van oplossingen. Met innovaties die de zorg verbreden, welzijn bevorderen en technologische vernieuwingen introduceren. Zappend langs innovaties die de zorg veel meer dan nu integreren in het dagelijks leven van ouderen.

Het is nog maar zeer de vraag of de ouderenzorg in Groningen de komende decennia nog wel toegankelijk en bereikbaar is. Met die waarschuwing luidde Zorgverzekeraars Nederland (ZN) in het voorjaar van 2017 de noodklok. Ook de landelijke overheid, het provinciebestuur van Groningen en diverse gemeenten lieten weten dat er hoog nodig iets moet gebeuren. Niet alleen vanwege de demografische veranderingen, want er is in deze provincie meer aan de hand dan alleen krimp en vergrijzing. Het rumoer rond de aardbevingen en hoog oplopende discussies over het dichtdraaien van de gaskraan waren een wake up call om deze keer de boel niet op zijn beloop te laten. Zeker niet in een provincie waar sociaal economische statistieken rood kleuren als het gaat om werkloosheid, inkomen, opleidingsniveau en gezondheid. Kortom, er is werk aan de winkel in Groningen.

Een zevental zorgaanbieders in deze provincie reageerde slagvaardig. In een intentieverklaring bepleitten de zeven een ouderenzorg die het menselijke perspectief voortaan als maatstaf neemt. En zich minder aantrekt van knellende wet en regelgeving die een goede zorg in de weg staat. Ze stelden dat de overheid veel meer rekening moet houden met verschillen tussen afzonderlijke regio´s en de lokale omstandigheden. Een jaar later blijkt dat hun wensen helemaal in lijn zijn met de aanbevelingen in het onlangs gepubliceerde rapport De juiste zorg op de juiste plek van een Taskforce op initiatief van oud-VWS minister Van Rijn. (Zie: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/de-juiste-zorg-op-de-juiste-plek)
De samenstellers hiervan noemen de problemen in de ouderenzorg taai en complex, met het risico dat standaardoplossingen de plank volledig mis slaan. Met andere woorden; de gewenste vernieuwingen in het zorglandschap laten zich niet van bovenaf regelen met uniforme landelijke akkoorden. De overheid kan dit proces van vernieuwing volgens de Taskforce wel faciliteren en versnellen door ruimte voor veranderingen te creëren met flexibele kaders en randvoorwaarden.

Groningen is fundamenteel anders
Het provinciale fonds Zorgvoorzieningen en regionale zorgprojecten is een voorbeeld van zo’n faciliterende overheid die een duwtje in de goede richting wil geven. Dit fonds is een jaar geleden door het provinciebestuur in het leven geroepen om, zo staat te lezen in het uitvoeringsprogramma, iets te doen aan de knellende regelgeving en te stimuleren dat de zorg meer over de grenzen van de eigen sector heen kijkt. Wat dit laatste punt betreft geeft het provinciaal bestuur zelf alvast het goede voorbeeld, want formeel heeft de provincie geen directe verantwoordelijkheid op dit beleidsterrein. Gemeenten en zorgaanbieders gaan hier primair over. Het provinciebestuur rechtvaardigt deze interventie met het argument dat de omstandigheden in de provincie Groningen fundamenteel anders zijn dan in de rest van Nederland. Met een budget van ruim drie miljoen kunnen voorzieningen in de ouderenzorg experimenteren. En maken burgerinitiatieven aanspraak op een, zij het bescheiden, subsidiebedrag zodat ze zich kunnen mengen in de wereld van zorg en welzijn voor ouderen. Tot wat voor projecten leidt dit? En wat levert het op? Read more

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Maeve McClenaghan ~ A Hundred Homeless People Have Died Since October But No-One Is Asking Why

It has been almost two years since Cardon Banfield’s partially-mummified body was found in a tent, just metres from a public footpath in Worcester.

The homeless 74 year-old, who settled in the UK from the Caribbean in 1961, part of the Windrush generation, was so badly decomposed that the coroner was only able to identify him through DNA testing.
In the intervening years, campaigners and local charities have pushed for an official review into how an elderly man came to such an ignominious end. But despite public pressure, the local Safeguarding Adults Board – the body tasked with exploring possible social care failures – refused to do an official review.

This week Worcester City council published an informal review into Banfield’s death. Now, those that called for the review say it fails to fully address the issues and are calling again for an official review.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal that homeless deaths are hardly ever reviewed in England and Wales, with, on average, just one official review a year being logged since 2010.
With no official count of deaths and very few reviews being commissioned, experts are concerned that officials simply do not know how and when homeless people are dying.
In this climate, the Bureau has launched Dying Homeless, a project to record deaths on UK streets.

Read more: https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/hundred-homeless-people-have-died

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Are Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaigns Working? A Conversation With Economist Robert Pollin

Prof.dr. Robert Pollin

Is fossil fuels divestment an effective strategy in tackling climate change? A newly released study by the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst suggests that this strategy is not sufficient on its own in affecting the global battle against climate change and that new approaches are needed. Robert Pollin, a distinguished professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, co-director of PERI and co-author of the study spoke to C.J. Polychroniou about the limits of the movement to divest from fossil fuels and the need for fresh approaches and a more holistic type of action for combatting climate change.

C. J. Polychroniou: Climate change is one of the most significant threats facing human civilization today. According to some projections, there is a very high probability that temperatures will rise by several degrees in less than 100 years. In that context, and given that the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions stems from burning fossil fuels, mitigating the effects of climate change demands a transition to clean energy sources. Yet adapting to climate change does not seem to be an easy undertaking for modern societies, although the hidden costs of climate change run already into hundreds of billions of dollars a year. In your view, why is it that we are ignoring the costs associated with climate change?

Robert Pollin: I don’t think it is accurate to say that “we” are ignoring the costs associated with climate change. The evidence on the effects of climate change are widely known and are getting increasingly understood with time. Millions of people around the world are committed to disseminating valuable information and advancing policies to dramatically cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which is the most significant factor driving climate change. Certainly, the experience in the US and the Caribbean last summer and fall, with three severe hurricanes in short order — i.e. Harvey, Irma and Maria — made even more people aware of the reality that we are playing Russian roulette with the climate.

There is, rather, one fundamental reason why policy makers in most countries throughout the world are unwilling to cut their CO2 emissions sufficiently, notwithstanding the ever-mounting ecological threat. It is because the only way countries can achieve serious CO2 emissions cuts is to stop burning so much oil, coal and natural gas to produce energy. Confronting this reality in turn creates three problems that are distinct but interrelated.

The first is that workers and communities throughout the world whose livelihoods depend on people consuming fossil fuel energy will face major losses — layoffs, falling incomes and declining public-sector budgets to support schools, health clinics and public safety. The second is that profits will fall sharply and permanently for the colossal fossil fuel companies, such as Exxon-Mobil, Shell and the range of energy-based businesses owned by the US mega-billionaires David and Charles Koch. The world’s publicly owned energy companies — such as Saudi Aramco, Gazprom in Russia and Petrobras in Brazil, which together control about 90 percent of the world’s total oil reserves — will take still larger hits to their revenues. The third problem pushes us beyond the fossil fuel industry itself and into broader issues of jobs and prospects for economic growth. According to most analysts, economies will face higher energy costs when they are forced to slash their fossil fuel supplies. It will therefore become more expensive to operate the full gamut of buildings, machines and transportation equipment that drive all economies forward. Read more

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Philip Roth ~ The Plot Against America

About The Plot Against America
Set in Newark, New Jersey, in the early 1940s, The Plot Against America tells the story of what it was like for the Roth family and Jews across the country when the isolationist aviation hero Charles Lindbergh was elected president of the United States. Roth’s richly imagined novel begins in 1940, with the landslide election of Lindbergh, who blamed the Jews for pushing America toward war with Nazi Germany. Lindbergh’s admiration of Hitler and his openly anti-Semitic speeches cause increasing turmoil in the Roth household, and in nine-year-old Philip, as political events at home and abroad overtake their daily lives. Alvin, the orphaned nephew the family has taken in, runs away to Canada to fight the Nazis. Sandy, Philip’s older brother, ascribes his parents’ fears to paranoia and embraces Lindbergh’s Just Folks program, which sends him and other Jewish children to live in the “heartland” for a summer. Philip’s mother, Bess, wants the family to flee to Canada before it is too late to escape. But his fiercely idealistic father, Herman, refuses to abandon the country where he was born and raised as an American. Overwhelmed by the tensions around him, Philip tries to run away. “I wanted nothing to do with history,” he says. “I wanted to be a boy on the smallest scale possible. I wanted to be an orphan.” But history will not let go, and as America is whipped into a deadly frenzy by demagogues, the Roths and Jews everywhere begin to expect the worst. In The Plot Against America Philip Roth writes with a historical sweep and lyrical intimacy that have rarely been so skillfully combined. As the novel explores the convulsive collision of history and family, readers take a chilling look at devastating events that could have occurred in America–and consider the many possible histories existing beneath the one that actually happened.

About Philip Roth
In 1997 Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House, and in 2002 received the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction, previously awarded to John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, and Saul Bellow, among others. He has twice won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 2005 Philip Roth has become the third living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America.

Source: http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/

The Plot Against America – PDF-format: https://m.reddit.com/theplotagainstamericabyphiliproth/

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Noam Chomsky On Donald Trump And The “Me First” Doctrine

Noam Chomsky ~ Photo: en.wikipedia.org

President Trump’s sudden cancellation of the upcoming denuclearization summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is just the latest example of Trump’s wildly erratic approach to foreign policy.

While Trump’s domestic policies seem to be guided by clear objectives — increasing corporate profits, undoing every policy made by the Obama administration, and appeasing Trump’s anti-immigrant base — the imperatives driving US foreign policy under Trump remain something of a mystery.

In this exclusive interview, renowned linguist and public intellectual Noam Chomsky sheds light on the realities and dangers of foreign relations in the age of “gangster capitalism” and the decline of the US as a superpower.

C. J. Polychroniou: Noam, Donald Trump rose to power with “America First” as the key slogan of his election campaign. However, looking at what his administration has done so far on both the domestic and international front, it is hard to see how his policies are contributing to the well-being and security of the United States. With that in mind, can you decode for us what Trump’s “America First” policy may be about with regard to international relations?

Noam Chomsky: It is only natural to expect that policies will be designed for the benefit of the designers and their actual — not pretended — constituency, and that the well-being and security of the society will be incidental. And that is what we commonly discover. We might recall, for example, the frank comments on the Monroe Doctrine by Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of State, Robert Lansing: “In its advocacy of the Monroe Doctrine the United States considers its own interests. The integrity of other American nations is an incident, not an end. While this may seem based on selfishness alone, the author of the Doctrine had no higher or more generous motive in its declaration.” The observation generalizes in international affairs, and much the same logic holds within the society.

There is nothing essentially new about “America First,” and “America” does not mean America, but rather the designers and their actual constituency.

A typical illustration is the policy achievement of which the Trump-Ryan-McConnell administration is most proud: the tax bill — what Joseph Stiglitz accurately called “The US Donor Relief Act of 2017”. It contributes very directly to the well-being of their actual constituency: private wealth and corporate power. It benefits the actual constituency indirectly by the standard Republican technique (since Reagan) of blowing up the deficit as a pretext for undermining social programs, which are the Republicans’ next targets. The bill is thus of real benefit to its actual constituency and severely harms the general population.

Turning to international affairs, in Trumpian lingo, “America First” means “me first” and damn the consequences for the country or the world. The “me first” doctrine has an immediate corollary: it’s necessary to keep the base in line with fake promises and fiery rhetoric, while not alienating the actual constituency. It also follows that it’s important to do the opposite of whatever was done by Obama. Trump is often called “unpredictable,” but his actions are highly predictable on these simple principles. Read more

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Verwerping van de Westerse waarden

Sultan en de lokroep van de jihad – Johan van de Beek en Claire van Dyck – Uitgeverij Balans – 2017 – ISBN 9789460034886 (Paperback) ISBN 9789460034893 (E-Book) & The Middle East in Europe and Europe in the Middle East (2008- I Have a dream- Felix Meritis en MEXIT)

In ‘Sultan en de lokroep van de jihad’ beschrijven de onderzoeksjournalisten Johan van de Beek en Claire van Dyck het radicaliseringsproces van drie jonge Maastrichtenaars, die in 2014 vertrekken naar Syrië. Sultan Berzel, oftewel Abu Abdullah al-Hollandi blaast zich kort na zijn vertrek op op het Nisourplein in Bagdad en neemt 23 mensen mee in de dood.
Sultans Koerdische vriend Rezan, die hem vergezelt, sterft op het Syrische slagveld. De derde jihad ganger, de bekeerlinge Aïcha, voorheen Lina geheten en net als Berzel en Rezan afkomstig uit Maastricht (wijk Wittenvrouwenveld) weet te ontsnappen en keert terug naar Nederland. Zij gelooft nog steeds in de jihad.

De onderzoeksjournalisten proberen te achterhalen waarom deze jonge mensen besluiten deel te nemen aan de Islamitische Staat. Hadden ze tegen kunnen worden gehouden? En is er, na het kalifaat, een blijvend gevaar van radicalisering en terreur in Nederland?

Sinds 9/11 wordt er driftig gezocht naar een patroon, een universele theorie die kan verklaren waarom jonge mensen “het oerinstinct tot overleving uitschakelen en kiezen voor een gecombineerde zelfmoord/massamoord”. Gevoelens van onrecht, discriminatie, gebroken gezinnen, zoektocht naar identiteit, armoede, eenzaamheid, opvoedingsproblemen, het verkeren in kringen waar afkeer van democratie en verwerping van westerse waarden worden gepredikt, kunnen niet alles verklaren: de zelfmoordterrorist blijft ongrijpbaar.
Terrorisme blijkt vooral een bourgeois aangelegenheid: islamitische terroristen vormen hierop geen uitzondering. De zelfmoordterrorist is vooral angstaanjagend omdat hij onvoorspelbaar is.

Via een zoektocht naar het begin, de reis terug, proberen de journalisten antwoorden te vinden. De levens van de drie jihadisten worden uitgebreid beschreven en diverse onderzoeken en auteurs worden aangehaald. Zoals de Franse jihadismekenner Gilles Kepel, die ‘de burgeroorlog binnen de islam’ benoemt, waarbij de linies niet alleen langs ideologische breukvlakken lopen, maar vaak ook tussen jong tegen oud.

Terror in France: The rise of Jihad in the West with Giles Kepel

Over the last two years, France has been the target of multiple brutal terrorist attacks. What caused the radicalization of young French Muslims? Why did governments across Europe fail to address it?

Jihad betekent ‘zware, onzelfzuchtige inspanning voor het geloof’ niet per se gewapende strijd, maar zoals gematigden zeggen, meer een strijd tegen het kwaad in de eigen ziel. Maar de meeste bronnen beschrijven de jihad als strijd tegen de ongelovigen.
Voor de drie jonge Limburgers is de oorlog tegen niet-moslims de enig correcte. Martelaarschap is het grootste offer dat je kunt brengen. Zelfmoordterroristen zijn geen zelfmoordenaars maar ‘moedjahedien’ die hebben besloten om alles en zichzelf op te offeren ten diensten van Allah. Read more

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