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Dec 03, 2004 - 11:35 AM
Action Figure vs. The Super Heroesby Douglas Heller
On Wednesday, thousands of Registered Nurses converged on the state capitol building in Sacramento in an angry and defiant protest against the Governor's decision to cut the number of nurses that must be on duty in the state's emergency rooms and operating rooms. (Click here to see the 11/5 weblog.) Never mind that state law requires adequate nurse staffing; the hospital lobby doesn't want to have to pay for the nurses and, with $1.6 million in health care industry money in his pocket, Arnold doesn't care either, even if people die as a result.
Joining the nurses in Sacramento was Arnold Watch's own Harvey Rosenfield. With a Terminator doll in tow, Rosenfield told the protesting nurses (the Super Heroes) the real story of the "action figure" gov who has bent over backwards to please the corporate special interests. He explained:
"California needs leadership. But what we've got is the chucklehead politics of the celebrity Action Figure, where everything is "fantastic." But saying everything's fantastic doesn't make it so in real life. Ask the person in a hospital emergency room who's waiting for hours to get someone to examine her little girl; just ask the person trying to pay the utility bill, buy food and cover the cost of health care. Ask them and they'll tell you things aren't 'fantastic.'"
And as for those nurses who marched on the Capitol and do so much more for Californians in a day than most politicians do in a lifetime, Rosenfield added:
"You're overworked, underpaid and understaffed, and you battle every day on behalf of your patients. You're there long after the doctors go home for the night. You are the superheroes in this real-life drama, where lives are at stake and the Governor's decision to slash the number of nurses in the Operating Room and the Emergency Room means the termination of real human beings... Let's be clear. This is an action figure [holding up Schwarzenegger doll]. As we know, if you have enough money, you can buy him. But you are the superheroes."
Click here to read the full speech by Harvey Rosenfield. (Warning: these remarks are not for the faint hearted... or the star struck.)
And to add your voice to the protest against the slashing of the state's nurse staffing ratios e-mail the Action Figure at firstname.lastname@example.org and learn more about Arnold's dangerous healthcare decision from the California Nurses Association at: http://www.calnurses.org .
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