Trucking and Busing: Undermine Free Government in Liberia

first_imgSince the inception of the voter registration exercise on February 1, 2017, there have been multiple complaints from applicants attending the process ranging from inadequate logistics, defective cameras; complaints of insufficient voter registration centers (VRCs) thereby causing potentials registrants to walk long distances to register; attempts by non-Liberians to register; busing and trucking of people from one district or county to another; incompetent registration personnel and poor contractual arrangements with registration workers; absence of security officers (LNP & BIN) at VRCs; alleged tribal and religious discrimination against certain applicants, etc.As a former chair of the National Elections Commission (NEC), who presided over the 2005 general elections, the above-listed complaints and/or issues raised are not strange to me, as we were similarly confronted with nearly all of them. The difference, however, between the 2005 process and the current process is in the handling and resolution of the misunderstanding or concerns. Considering that the nature of elections is adversarial and extremely competitive, the commission must exert every effort to address concerns of participants in a timely manner and in accordance with the relevant guidelines, regulations and laws. Election staff must apply the rules and laws neutrally in order to avoid the imputation of corrupt motives to them. The allegation of tribal and religious bias, for instance could have been obviated by posting at each VRC the criteria for eligibility to register. Beyond all the issues and concerns raised, however, the phenomenon which is of paramount concern to me is the trucking and busing of people from one locality to another which I called “contract voters”. This practice is becoming or has become a part of the Liberian electoral culture. The practice does not only distort true democratic elections, the essence of which is the expression of the free will of the electorate in choosing their leaders, but the practice also constrains an impoverished and vulnerable people to surrender their free will to the richest or wealthiest politicians in exchange of a bag of rice, US$5.00, US$10.00 or US$20.00. Thus, the realization of the promise contained in Article I of the Liberian Constitution which states, inter alia, ‘All free governments are instituted by their authority and for their benefit and they have the right to alter and reform the same when their safety and happiness so require,” shall remain a mirage for a long time to come, because there can be no free government without a free people.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

James Appleby Know Your Dose

first_imgby, James Appleby, special to ChangingAging.orgTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesGetting older is one of life’s inescapables, although life is certainly better now for older Americans than at any other time in history. We live longer, more active lives than our parents and grandparents certainly did – today’s average 65 year-old man and woman can expect to live to be 81 and 85, respectively – and science has proven that we’re still able to learn new things, even if we don’t learn as quickly as we did in our younger years. These are all things to celebrateTry as we may to slow down the process, however, the clock keeps ticking and eventually, the aches and pains of aging will catch up to all of us. Among the many new things older adults need to learn is how best to manage these pains safely.  The most common self-care issue for older adults is pain relief, and older Americans experience chronic pain more than other age group. Learning how to use nonprescription medicines commonly used to relieve the aches and pains of aging is of particular importance. Know Your DoseMost people don’t realize that one of the common links across pain medicines is acetaminophen–the most common drug ingredient in America. It is found in more than 600 over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Acetaminophen is used to relieve pain from conditions such as arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, and headaches, but what most people don’t realize is that it’s also an active ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter medicines used to provide relief from pain, allergy and cold symptoms, cough, and reduce fevers.While acetaminophen, like other nonprescription medicines for pain, is safe and effective when used appropriately, it is possible to take too much.  This can happen if you use more than one medicine for pain relief, and then need another for relief from a different condition, such seasonal allergy symptoms. Taking too much acetaminophen is an overdose and can lead to liver damage.All Americans, regardless of how old they are, need to be aware of how to use pain relievers safely.  In the case of acetaminophen, a new campaign called Know Your Dose boils it down to three steps: Know your dose. Read medicine labels and follow instructions, and never take more than the label says. Know if your medicines contain acetaminophen. Check the active ingredients on the medicine label, especially if you take multiple medicines. On prescription labels, acetaminophen is sometimes labeled as “APAP,” “acetam,” or other shortened versions of the word. On over-the-counter medicines, the word “acetaminophen” is highlighted and listed on the front of the package or on the bottle and in the active ingredient of the Drug Facts label. And never take two medicines that contain acetaminophen at the same time. Our bodies change as we get older, and in some cases, our bodies metabolize acetaminophen differently. Health care providers and community pharmacists are important resources. They may seem busy, but they want to help.  It’s important to take the time to ask for their advice.View a list of common medicines that contain acetaminophen at KnowYourDose.org and access tips on reading over-the-counter and prescription medicine labels. Related PostsBreaking the Reframe on AgingThe reframing aging movement must demand a decent quality of life for the millions of older adults who were good workers, neighbors, taxpayers and citizens and came up short through no fault of their own.Wise Up: Study AgingI am certainly not blind to how fortuitously my interest in aging aligns with the needs of an aging world—and I certainly don’t need additional convincing that my decision to forgo law school was in equal measure, wise and slightly prescient. But maybe you do.The Six Assets of AgingThe deterioration-decline meme that defines aging in our culture originates in a narrow perception of the lifespan that is blind to the priceless assets we accrue as we add years to our lives.TweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: acetaminophen drugs knowyourdose Pharma Questions: Aginglast_img read more