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Your feel good story for this Saturday...

"...According to Buzzfeed, members of the religious group – also known as the The Religious Society of Friends – have formed an organisation called the Friends New Underground Railroad (FNUR) to help smuggle gay people out of Uganda.

Working with 10 Ugandan “conductors”, the US-based group has funded passage out of the country for around 107 people.

The refugees travel in small groups, first making their way to safe houses in neighbouring countries.

FNUR say that at least 12 people have reached safer countries including South Africa and Sweden, while unconfirmed reports suggest as many as 30 have escaped to Europe....(more)"

It's so refreshing for me, when I see religious groups stepping up in big ways to help the LGBT community around the world. Especially when it's surrounded by a cacophony of hate from the evangelical right that seems to pour out daily targeting that same community.

What is happening there is unacceptable to say the least, and I applaud this groups success at protecting these men and women and I hope them many, many more.

Update: Rec Listed?! I didn't expect to wake up and see that! Thanks!

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With the coming health care reforms, many states are going to be hit with an increased demand for primary health care providers. Kentucky, is one of those states, with much of it's population living in rural areas where the number of primary care providers is particularly low. In areas like these, health care professionals such as Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who are trained diagnosis and treatment can assist in meeting the growing demand. But there is a problem. APRNs are graduate educated registered nurses who have passed a board certifying examination in their speciality (Family practice, Acute care, Adult or pediatric care, etc) and are licensed by their state. Rules governing what a APRN and different from state to state, with the majority of states not allowing them full scope of practice to reflect their education and training.

For weeks, the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives has been engaged in an effort to expand their scope of practice to be more representative of their educational training, by removing what is called the CAPA-NS collaborative agreement requirement. What this means is they would not have to have a contract with a physician for prescriptive authority over non-scheduled medications here. As current law is, a APRN needs one for non-scheduled and another for scheduled medications. These collaborative agreements in no way make a physician legally liable for the actions of the APRN, nor do they mandate that the physician supervise or even review a single chart. Should a physician end the contract, lose their license or die, the APRN loses their ability to prescribe until they can get another, and their patients are left to suffer that.

This has been a recent battle in the Kentucky legislature. If you are curious about more, or how to help, keep reading below.

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For three weeks, the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives have been pushing to improve health care access in the Commonwealth without costing the state or the taxpayer a single dime. How? Through trying to get our state senate Licensing and Occupations committee to pass Senate Bill 51, which I discussed in depth in a diary last week.

And since Feb 5th, there it has sat, in our Republican controlled Senate's Licensing and occupations committee, with the Kentucky Medical association trying to pawn more regulations on NPs by MDs as some sort of "compromise", Senate Bill 94, which just further limits APRN practice by keeping them reliant on, and regulated by, physicians. Nurses should regulate nurses, not doctors, but I digress. Weeks of calling and tweeting this issue and trying to get people to call their message line in support of SB 51 (1-800-372-7181 if you are in Ky and have time this week), so when I read this, I really just wanted to scream...

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    The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a high poverty state, with an estimate of 18.1% of families living below the poverty line, and the majority of those individuals living in rural areas of limited economic opportunity & health care access. In a time where health care reform is increasing the number of people with access to health care services, we are seeing a continued decline in primary and family practice care physicians in settings like these, due to desires to specialize and the economic issues involved in working with such populations. Less than one in five medical graduates choose primary care, and that number is declining.

     PBS did a short but informative report regarding the potential for Nurse Practitioners to help in the shortage of primary care services, the video below (transcript in link)...

Watch Are Nurse Practitioners the Solution to Shortage of Primary-Care Doctors? on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

     Kentucky, is having one of these battles regarding the scope of practice for APRNs. And if you are in Kentucky, or even if you just care about improving access for rural communities to well trained individuals who can meet their more basic health care needs, we could use your help. We need people on both sides of the aisle to support this.

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I support certified Nurse practitoners ability to prescribe nonscheduled drugs.

93%15 votes
6%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes

| 16 votes | Vote | Results

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But apparently, you can be a teacher and make stupid statements like that one...

"....This story comes out of Kentucky where a  South Laurel High School teacher, Ms. Kendra Baker wrote on the top of her school board all nice and pur-ty, “You can’t be a democrat & go to heaven.”

Now, Superintendent Doug Bennett  told the Sentinel- Echo that the statement was made by a student & then the teacher wrote it on the board and that it was innocent.

“It should not be in the classroom at all,” says Mary Gilbert, a parent of a South Laurel Student who claims that she was bullied after trying to combat the statement in class. Gilbert fears that even the teacher may have been bullying her daughter as well as the other students. “What happened, should not have happened…. You don’t send them to school to have someone else’s opinion shoved down their throat and demand they agree with it. It’s appalling. it’s wrong.” Gilbert went on to say that her daughter is now requesting that she no longer attend the school and wants to attend Home School.

Upon investigation, district officials found the the teacher in violation of a district policy that charges teachers with the responsibility to maintain positive learning environments that are fostered by mutual respect and trust. Bennett says that Baker, who has been a high school teacher for 17 years, was reprimanded for her actions, but will continue teaching in her classroom......"

This is by far one of the more annoying aspects of our political environment, and I don't just mean in regards to here in Kentucky. This notion that somehow, the discriminatory, bigoted and misogynistic GOP has the patent on morality in any form, especially religious. What, you can tell the uninsured "should have been more responsible, so just die already" and the hungry "tough luck, we can't afford that, we got CEOs to keep up", and still think you can have some touch of morality to those views?

Wonder what gems of knowledge this high school teacher will unload for the next election cycle.

More on this:

Via HuffPo.

Via The Inquisitr.

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Acceptable conduct in public schools?

0%1 votes
95%108 votes
3%4 votes

| 113 votes | Vote | Results

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Earlier in the week, I wrote about the Ashley Judd run potential against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and said that I was concerned on three major points: Judd's coal activism (which I agree with her on, but doesn't do her favors of popularity in the Southeastern region of the state), her being tied to our President (a strategy they have used since his election, and which was used to unseat  Democrat Ben Chandler), and her inexperience.

Mitch has confirmed one of these strategies now...Below the orange cloud.

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Can we do it?

67%65 votes
20%20 votes
0%0 votes
12%12 votes

| 97 votes | Vote | Results

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By now, many have already heard the rumor of an Ashley Judd potential against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), previously discussed by dailykos diarist dot farmer and who's statement regarding the rumor was noted by Meteor Blades. The statement said...

I cherish Kentucky, heart and soul, and while I’m very honored by the consideration, we have just finished an election, so let’s focus on coming together to keep moving America’s families, and especially our kids, forward.

But there are some hurdles, serious ones, that make me, as a Kentuckian question her ability to win. More below...

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Do you honestly think she could win?

22%45 votes
22%44 votes
17%35 votes
20%41 votes
16%33 votes
0%0 votes

| 198 votes | Vote | Results

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A year has hardly passed since the city of Hazard, Ky was last in the LGBT spotlight for the two developmentally disabled men being ejected from a public pool, and now the city is back in the news once again. And in another anti-LGBT light.

This time, it's the law enforcement under the microscope...Details below.

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Since Obama and the NAACP have announced their support of same sex marriage, the religious fundamentalists with a bigoted chip on their shoulders have come out of the wood work. I wanted to share one more locally, not to the scale of "put the gays in concentration camps" but one that bothers me still. One of a local pastor playing politics of hate & bigotry.

From WYMT news:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A Washington-based watchdog group says an
eastern Kentucky Baptist pastor violated federal law when he urged
his followers to vote President Barack Obama out of office in
November.

Pastor Ronnie Spriggs of Hager Hill Freewill Baptist Church said
during a May 13 sermon that he wants Obama voted out of office
because of the president's support of gay marriage. Spriggs said
"this country can't afford that kind of ideology."...(More)

You know, that "equality" ideology....

WTF is wrong with these people? The preacher even went so far as to post it online according to the letter sent to the IRS, but apparently they have now hidden it from public viewing. And what I find particularly discouraging, is the positive response such actions that should have these churches stripped of their tax exempt status receives. Getting so tired of tax exempt hate...

For more on this:

Press Release from the Americans United For Separation of Church & State.

The Story Reported by Kentucky.com.

Fox News threw their two cents in...

Poll

Surprised to see more of this

0%0 votes
100%15 votes

| 15 votes | Vote | Results

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Aren't you just sick as hell of hearing about things like this? I know I am.

http://www.lex18.com/...

A Lexington Catholic High School student claims she was barred from prom because she planned to bring a date of the same sex.

Hope Decker, 18, told LEX 18 administrators sat her down Friday and told her she could not attend with her girlfriend, Tiffany Wright, who is also a student at the school.

"What I experienced in the Dean's Office was blatant homophobia," said Hope Decker, a senior at the school. "We were told that this school has catholic principles and so they couldn't let it happen."

"At first I was really upset," said Tiffany Wright, Decker's date for the dance. "I mean, we both cried and then I was like, this is ridiculous. There's gotta be something we could do about this."....(more + video)

According to the piece the students had their own "prom" outside, and have started a petition with 107 supporting students signing it.

Change.org has a petition demanding apology from the school, if you feel the same, you can sign it here.

Picture of the outside pro-equality group made me smile a little though. More out there than I expected to be honest.

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Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:13 PM PDT

'Austerity' Found Me This Week.

by ekyprogressive

Forgive the rant, but I am down today. This has not been a good week, as I found out that my contract with my employer would not be renewed due to educational "Budget cuts" across the board. Now, if the cuts had come with something other than an Ark Park, that might soften the blow. Big might.

Austerity has come for me, as a public employee here in Kentucky. And with bad timing.

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You know the first time the Kentucky Tea Party sold these tee-shirts, one would hope that they would have gotten a little bit of heat for having done so, felt a little bit of shame, maybe even decide not to ever do anything like this again.

Here is what they had to say when asked about it last year...

So did they decide that this year they would not do it again???

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