Tag: How We Live Now

Quantifying Hospice Chaplain Productivity

‘Spiritual Care Drive-Bys’
IN THE FIRST MONTH after joining the group of hospice chaplains in Minnesota, the Rev. Heather Thonvold was invited to five potlucks. To endure the constant sorrow of the work, the more than a dozen clergy members ministered to one another. Sometimes the cantor in the group played guitar for his mostly Protestant colleagues. There was comfort in regarding their work as a calling, several of them said.

In August 2020, the productivity revolution arrived for them in an email from their employer, a nonprofit called Allina Health.

“The timing is not ideal,” the message said, with the team already strained by the pandemic. But workloads varied too widely, and “the stark reality at this point is we cannot wait any longer.”

Allina was already keeping track of productivity, but now there would be stricter procedures with higher expectations. Every morning the chaplains would share on a spreadsheet the number of “productivity points” they anticipated earning. Every evening, software would calculate whether they had met their goals.

But dying defied planning. Patients broke down, canceled appointments, drew final breaths. This left the clergy scrambling and in a perpetual dilemma. “Do I see the patients who earn the points or do I see the patients who really need to be seen?” as Mx. Thonvold put it.

The Rise of the Worker Productivity Score
Across industries and incomes, more employees are being tracked, recorded and ranked. What is gained, companies say, is efficiency and accountability. What is lost?
By Jodi Kantor and Arya Sundaram
Produced by Aliza Aufrichtig and Rumsey Taylor

HarperCollins Strike – July 20, 2022

More than 200 unionized HarperCollins employees are on strike today following months of contract negotiations, which began in December 2021 and which, they say, have not yielded a fair agreement for workers.

HarperCollins, based in New York City—where the median rent recently reached $4,000 a month—offers a starting salary of $45,000, and unionized workers make an average salary of $55,000. Employees are calling for a pay increase along with more family leave benefits, improved efforts to diversify the company, and “stronger union protection,” while currently working without a contract, according to a press release.

Employees are currently holding a picket line in lower Manhattan, where others have joined them in support.

HarperCollins workers are on strike today
Corinne Segal

Rainbow Family’s 50th Annual Gathering

In the Main Meadow of the gathering on Independence Day, a shirtless man with long silver hair sat in the grass with his partner, watching the celebration of dancing and drumbeats unfolding before them. He said his name was Kadag, giving an alternative moniker that many at the gathering refer to as their “Rainbow name.”

Kadag traveled to Northwest Colorado from Chico, California, where he is a father and business owner. After attending his first gathering in 1992, he tries to get to the event every year, “if life makes it possible.”

“It’s a declaration of interdependence,” Kadag said. “Living on the land, you know how to care for one another. You get into an environment like this and you see love, you see random acts of kindness all the time, everywhere, from folks you wouldn’t expect it from.”

“That renews my faith,” he continued. “Coming out here to pray for peace in the cathedral of Mother Nature.”

Rainbow Family’s 50th annual gathering draws thousands
Forest Service officials estimate that about 10,000 people were camping near Adams Park on July 4.

The C-Minus Lifestyle

Of course, everyone is still busy — worse than busy, exhausted, too wiped at the end of the day to do more than stress-eat, binge-watch and doomscroll — but no one’s calling it anything other than what it is anymore: an endless, frantic hamster wheel for survival.

You’ve seen all the headlines about the Great Resignation — “Gen Z and Millennials Would Rather Be Unemployed Than Unhappy in a Job,” Business Insider reported, nervously. Even the youth of China are embracing the virtues of sloth, with the lying-flat and sang movements. On YouTube, the faux guru Self-Help Singh exhorts, “Do nothing.” Millions are now pursuing what a punk guitarist I know called “the C-minus lifestyle.” And it’s no longer just a subcultural rumble: Companies in Britain are now experimenting with a four-day workweek.

It’s Time to Stop Living the American Scam
Tim Kreider

Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; states can ban abortion

It’ll be illegal to have an abortion in about 50 percent of states in a week. Including if you were raped. This is a dark day.

Edit: as of now, it is illegal in Kentucky, Louisiana , and South Dakota

Edit 2: now illegal in Missouri

Edit 3: not all trigger laws go into effect this second. Some will take a week or a month.

Edit 4: NPR

Edit 5: some states that have a trigger are waiting for the AG or other state actor to certify the laws. Hints why not all trigger laws went into effect immediately

Edit 6:

Abortions are illegal today: Kentucky , Louisiana , Missouri Oklahoma and South Dakota.

Bans that will absolutely come in the next days and weeks as a result of trigger laws are: Idaho , Mississippi , North Dakota, Tennessee , Texas, Utah, Wyoming

Weeks or months: Alabama , West Virginia , Arizona , Florida, Georgia , Ohio, South Carolina.

States with no incest or rape exceptions: Kentucky ,Louisiana , Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee,

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/us/abortion-laws-roe-v-wade.html -provided by u/supaZT

Mega Drought in Western US

But bring up the American West’s worst drought in 1,200 years and their reverie turns to head-shaking anxiety and disgust. They may have more water than most — hundreds of miles from fallowing farms in Arizona or browning lawns in Los Angeles — but they know that on the Colorado River system, the massive, unchecked demand for water downstream is threat to everything upstream.

“It takes millions of gallons of water for a golf course,” Tharrett said. “It’s going to reach a point when people have to decide, ‘Do I survive or do I play golf? Should I have a lawn in the desert or pay a $100 for a basket of berries?'”

“How long can we do this?” Williams said of the Flaming Gorge releases. “It’s limited to a few years. The rest of it is going to depend on how long do we persist in the drought, and where does our water use go? We’re going to have to learn to live with the water we have, and the use we’ve sustained for the last several decades is going to change.”

The Southwest’s unchecked thirst for Colorado River water could prove devastating upstream

Getting an Abortion in Texas – Travel to New Mexico

Under Texas law, insurers are forbidden to cover abortions unless the woman’s life is at risk. At the New Mexico clinic, the appointment to get a sonogram and obtain the five abortion pills would cost the family seven hundred dollars. And, because the trip was so long—ten or eleven hours by car—they would also have to leave a day early and pay for somewhere to spend the night. The previous month, the father had ransacked his savings to make a five-thousand-dollar down payment on a three-bedroom house—a step up from the decrepit rental where the family had lived for five years. After renting a U-Haul truck for the move, paying utility deposits, and buying pots, pans, and a toaster, all he had left was fifteen hundred dollars—his emergency stash, “something to fall back on,” he said. He felt sick at the thought that he’d now be using that stash to secure a legal abortion for Laura in New Mexico.

The father understood intimately what teen-age parenthood entailed. Laura was born when he was a high-school sophomore. She was, as he always told her, a wanted child. But, after his relationship with Laura’s mother imploded and he found himself raising their daughter and, later, two younger girls, it had taken him a decade, and at times three jobs, to get his family off public assistance. If Laura had a baby, they might find themselves slipping back into the food-stamp life they’d left behind. More than that, though, the pregnancy threatened a particular dream he had for Laura: that she would press through this hard phase of her adolescence childless, and enjoy some of the fun, silliness, and high-school dance parties that he had missed.

One in four girls and women in the United States will, at some point in her life, seek an abortion. Yet, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, which, in 1973, established a woman’s constitutional right to the procedure, the long journeys to oversubscribed clinics that have become a fact of life in Texas will almost certainly become the norm throughout much of the country.

A Texas Teen-Ager’s Abortion Odyssey
The Heartbeat Act is forcing families to journey to oversubscribed clinics in other states—offering a preview of life in post-Roe America.
By Stephania Taladrid