Those are astronomical numbers. I’m floored,” said Dr. William Graf, a pediatric neurologist in New Haven and a professor at the Yale School of Medicine. He added, “Mild symptoms are being diagnosed so readily, which goes well beyond the disorder and beyond the zone of ambiguity to pure enhancement of children who are otherwise healthy.”
And even more teenagers are likely to be prescribed medication in the near future because the American Psychological Association plans to change the definition of A.D.H.D. to allow more people to receive the diagnosis and treatment. A.D.H.D. is described by most experts as resulting from abnormal chemical levels in the brain that impair a person’s impulse control and attention skills.
Source: More Diagnoses of Hyperactivity Causing Concern – NYTimes.com.
The whole idea of medicating kids who are a little different is very disturbing to me but it seems like this is becoming more and more common. I am sure that if I were born fifty years later than I was I would be one of those drugged kids sliding through life. Are we really medicating out a large degree of creativity in this next generation? I really fear that is the case.
I’m sure severe cases of A.D.H.D. are about chemical imbalances in the brain but like many things today that diagnosis seems very much abused. I hope that it is not the teachers who are promoting this new pattern. Maybe they are just tired of that over rambunctious kid in their class who disturbs the normal class flow. Just who is behind this dramatic increase in drugging our kids?
I am very aware that through numerous media the drug companies are trying to increase their sales by having patients go to their doctors asking for certain drugs. I know that I am currently on five different medication to deal with various health issues I now have. Am I being drugged more for a beneficial effect or to increase a drug companies profits. One pill I take that is still under patent protection costs more than the other four combined.
Viagra is one of those cases of obvious abuse in my mind and no I don’t take that one. It supposedly produced to help older men maintain a satisfying sexual life but has since morphed into a drug to be used by every male who is seeking and enhanced sexual thrill. I’m sure that Bob Dole is no longer the typical user of Viagra.
Getting back to the original thoughts on this post are we drugging creativity out of our kids in order to obtain increased conformity in our society. That is the fear I have…..
We’ve lost something as a nation when we can no longer look at one another as people, as Americans, and — for people of faith — as brothers and sisters. Differing opinions have become worst enemies and political parties have devolved into nothing more than petty games of blame….
It is not about Right and Left — or merely about partisan politics — but rather about the quality of our life together. It’s about moving beyond the political ideologies that have both polarized and paralyzed us, by regaining a moral compass for both our public and personal lives — and reclaiming an ancient, yet urgent and timely idea: the common good.
Source: On God’s Side: For the Common Good – Jim Wallis | God’s Politics Blog | Sojourners.
I always look forward to the weekly emails from Jim Wallis about our times. The words above from his March 29 emailing which I believe strike at the heart of our current problems. They seem to be the core cause and solution to our problems today. We are no longer able to view those who differ in their political views as Americans like us. Our politics has devolved into nothing but a petty game of blame. I don’t know exactly how this happened but I kind of have an idea of some of its causes.
Rush Limbaugh came on the national political scene in 1988. His rhetoric shocked many of us as blatant bigotry and hatefulness. He is plain a simply a school yard bully on the national scene. But it seems bigotry and hatred sells as his most recent contract was for $400 million for an eight year period. That money has spurned hundreds of look-alikes over the years. I simply can’t understand how Mr. Limbaugh became a major spokesman for the GOP. I can’t understand how so many who call themselves conservatives are so fearful of denouncing his rhetoric? He has been married four times; seems to have no family values, and shows a putrid disrespect for almost everyone. Is that really the face that conservatives want to be identified with? I think not but they seem still listen to him in great numbers and “ditto” almost anything that spews out of his vulgar mouth.
Fox New came on the national scene in 1996. It is very obvious that Rupert Murdoch who owns this media is very much in the same mindset as Mr. Limbaugh. MSNBC came into existence in 1996, some say as a response to Fox News but in a much smaller framework. These three things I think are the major contributors to the reason we can no longer look at one another as fellow Americans but instead now as the enemy. I like to call these contributors the “Limburger Affect”. It put a putrid stink on all our political processes!
I pray that something can happen to allow us to get back to looking at the quality of life in both our personal and public lives. If only we can get back and “reclaim an ancient, yet urgent and timely idea: the common good.
Source: TV icon Dick Van Dyke: ‘I don’t get the comedies today’ – TODAY Entertainment.
“It seems to me that relationships are what’s missing. I think back to ‘All in the Family,’ when you knew what those relationships were and the comedy that came out of that. Today it’s just one line after another, and they seem to try to cover too much in the way of story in a short time. Then I think they signal when they’re trying to be funny, and the minute I catch someone trying to be funny, then I won’t laugh.”
I am not one to frequently look back at the “good old days”. But when it comes to comedy TV shows I, like Dick Van Dyke above, just don’t get most comedies today. I think he is right about relationships are what is missing. I don’t know who to lay the blame on for this. There are a number of possible reasons.
- Facebook/etc where one line jokes are the norm — Facebook and Twitter are the current social media and they basically only lend themselves to short messages. It seems like most comedies in TV are just a string of tweets strung together
- Kids short attention span — I know kids today need to be constantly entertained. At least that is the message I get from so many of the retired teachers that visit my site. Short attention spans necessitate short jokes I guess.
- Poor writers — Could it be that the writers of today just don’t have the skills and life experiences of those of yesteryear? I know spelling and grammar are almost out the window now with number one above. Maybe the ability to tell funny stories is going with it?
- It’s just what the younger audience wants. — Maybe a string of one-line jokes spread out over a half hour (actually 17 minutes) is just what the kids want now days. We all know that the 17-25 year olds are the target groups for most TV shows.
- Middle is good, many are not — I do like the comedy “The Middle”. It has the one liners but at least it carries through with a story line. But give me a Newhart any day.
- Even the one with Betty White is short of relationships — Betty White’s new show entitled ” Hot in Cleveland” is really no exception to the one-line strings. They really struggle to put in a theme every week.
- When did the constant sexual message become funny? – I have been searching around the cable companies for new shows and am somewhat surprised to see so many with a strong sexual theme. It almost embarrasses me to watch some of them. They are just gross to me, but what do I know.
I don’t know, maybe I am just becoming one of those old fogies that complains about everything. We all need something to laugh about and most of us used get that relief from comedies on TV. If anyone can suggest some good ones please let me know. I sure could use some…
I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow. — Woodrow Wilson
I know Ben Franklin said to be neither a lender or a borrower but simply speaking he was just plain wrong about that when you put it in context to the Woodrow Wilson quote above. When you borrow wisdom from others it is definitely not a bad thing. That’s called pragmatism and in my mind that is definitely a good thing. But this is an area that we Americans have a LOT to learn. We just can’t seem to learn from other’s wisdom or experiences. Particularly those beyond our shores.
The rest of the world has pretty much figured out how to contain their healthcare costs but we in the United States stubbornly refuse to learn from them. Instead we blame our bloated healthcare costs on Medicare and those seniors who are gobbling up our health dollars.
I was up until almost 3:00am last night watching the returns and speeches. Being one to pretty much get up when the sun comes up I didn’t get a lot of sleep. I hope to make that up with a longer than usual afternoon nap. So forgive me for any typos on these very unusual write and immediately posted words. Here is what I brought away from the past twenty-four hours. More…
I am putting aside my usual Sunday post about things that inspire me in order to tell you about two milestones that are happening today in my life.
The first milestone is that today is my 66th birthday so I have officially survived my first full year of single-payer system health insurance. I have to tell you that it was great. More…
Tonight is, thank heavens, the last debate for this presidential season. It will be on foreign policy. I can tell you in advance what will happen. Each side will tear into the other saying their opponents foreign policy will assure the total destruction of the United States. There will be little of anything but put-down and counter-put-downs.
If I were running for president I would give you very clearly what I would proudly call RJ’s Doctrine: More…
When you put down the good things you ought to have done, and leave out the bad ones you did do well, that’s Memoirs. – Will Rogers
I think almost all of us who have ever put pen to paper so to speak have thought about writing our memoirs. But it seems that only those folks who are famous ever actually get theirs published and I have a sneaking suspicion that many of even those are actually ghost written. I guess I have sort of written my memoirs in that I have been keeping a journal for about twenty years now. The girls call them a diary but a journal is a much more manly word for mine. But some of the things I write in the journal are not to be seen by anyone but me. More…
I can’t seem to shut my brain off with all this change talk the last few posts. Hopefully this is the last post in this area. Here are some more basic things that need to change in our country in order to go forward with a least a small hope of getting better. I will admit that a some of the items on the current list are said more in jest than seriousness.
- Schools should be free as long as a kid wants to learn – We are becoming a third class country in regard to the number of our citizens with college degrees. A good part of this is due to the expenses being beyond what many can afford. We should make learning a right rather than a privilege of only those that can afford it. If a kid wants to be a doctor or any other profession lets pay for his tuition to do that. When we finally get universal healthcare like the rest of the world he would be making a little less “big bucks” to pay off twelve years of learning. The definition of “kid” here is anyone between the ages of two and two hundred. More…
I have always been a person who is constantly saying “Why?” Here are some whys that have been spewing off the top of my head lately. :) They are too small for an entire post so I am just going to throw it out here and in no particular order:
- Why do fifteen percent of the population think they are in the top 1% ?– So there are fifty times more people worried that their taxes will go up if President Obama is re-elected. We all want to believe that we are somehow special but 1/6 of the population just won’t fit in the one percent tub. No way, no how…..
- Why don’t people understand that if you want to live like a Republican you must vote like a Democrat? – It is a known fact that if you had invested $10,000 in only Republican administrations for the last eighty years it would now be worth $11,733. If you had invested in only Democratic administrations it would be worth $300,671! (source Wolfram Blog : Stock Market Returns by Presidential Party.) So why do all the money hungry folks continue to align with the Republican party?
- Why do so many women seem to want to be six inches taller than the height God gave them? –This trend toward wearing six-inch heels really confuses me. I believe that women have come a long ways in the past few decades. They have asserted themselves in the business world. They are now the primary earner in many families. There are now many shows on TV where they are in charge now. You certainly didn’t see that even a decade ago. So why do so many women continue to fall in line with the latest fads no matter how absurd they seem to be? I want to predict a huge increase in demand for podiatrists in the future to treat all those future bunions out there.
- The major focus of the country is currently on unemployment. It seems to be driving much of this political season. If you believe the hype everyone is either unemployed or underemployed in this country. But what happened this week seems to directly counter that belief. Across the country were millions of people standing hours in lines to pluck down up to $600 for a new iPhone5? It is obvious that not everyone has been affected by the economic downturn. Many if not most of the people in these long lines already have an iPhone 4 that is still very functional yet they have enough disposable income to update to the latest thing. I just don’t understand it?? But then again in reality only one out of every twelve of us can’t find a job….
I pride myself in frequently looking outside my box in this world. Yes, my life’s experiences pretty much, like everyone else, defines who I am but we must also try to look at things from a different perspective on a regular basis. That brings up the topic of this post. The typical voter and that certainly includes me seems to want to elect a person for president who we think could be a “best buddy”. That seems to be the primary reason that Mr. Reagan was twice elected and it certainly was one of the critical factors that got Mr. Obama into the Oval Office.
But maybe we got all our reasons backwards. Maybe we should be looking at who can get the job done in the current environment. I am a lifelong U.S. history buff and have read literally hundreds of books on the topic. It seems that after a president dies some of the less noble things about him come out.
That was certainly the case with President Johnson from the 1960′s. He was really a brute of a man who bullied people to get what he wanted. In private almost every other word was a curse word. He was just not a very pleasant man to be around. But when we look back at history he probably got more accomplished than almost any president in the 20th century. Along with personally making sure that there were thousands of six foot deep reservoirs built in his home state of Texas he accomplished among other things the monumental voting rights act and started Medicare for senior citizens. And he did both of these bills right not just a piecemeal attempt as the current healthcare bill seems to be.
I was pretty much a naive Republican when Johnson was president so I never voted for him and if I had known his personality I’m sure I never would have voted for him. They say hind sight is always 20:20 so now I can see that he actually was the best man for the job.
So many people today want the equivalent of their best friend in office. Maybe we should be looking for people like LBJ instead. The person that comes to mind in this current generation is Rahm Emanuel who recently left the chief-of-staff job to become Chicago’s mayor. Insiders say he is a pretty vulgar guy. Maybe he is what is needed to really make things happen. I know my “best buddy” Barak has let me down in what he has been able to accomplish. I guess he is just not nasty enough for the job. Maybe we can get him “nasty classes” before he starts serving his second term.
Besides wanting our buddy as president it seems some will only vote for a person that agrees with them on a single issue. For some it is gay rights, for others it is their guns and then there is abortion. Abortion is another sole reason that many, particularly the evangelicals among us, vote for the president. Whoever speaks the loudest against abortion has their vote. And like Mr. Bush when they end up really doing nothing to change the number of abortions they get re-elected anyway! Go figure….
When will we ever learn what it takes to be a good president?
Maybe you read here that I recently bought a new Chevy Sonic to replace my twenty year old truck. Of course that also meant getting insurance for it. It turns out that since it has such a high safety rating that the insurance is actually cheaper than our four-year old HHR. I was certainly pleasantly surprised by that!
But getting insurance got me to thinking about all those commercials we see about them on TV. It seems that every company claims that if you buy their insurance you will save $xxx a year in premiums. How can they all make that claim? The one thing that started all the spiraling CEO pay was a thing that raced across corporate boards that said “We have an exceptional CEO so we will pay him 20% more than the average CEO pay”. Statistically it is impossible for every CEO to receive 20% more than the average. That very fact caused a race for the top in CEO pay.
You might think I got off track here but really I didn’t. Like the CEO pay every insurance company statistically can’t give a $500 savings if you switch to them. Somebody has to charge more. I am not much of a conspiracy theorist but I can see this possibility only if all the insurance companies got together and set up a bogus company that charges outrageous rates. Then when some fool was stupid enough to actually buy from them they notified the next company in line to offer to insure him at $xxx savings per year. I know this gets kind of complicated but most conspiracies are like that. Is there some ABC Insurance company out there that charges much higher rates than anyone else? That is the only way all the claims can be true…
I imagine the highest paying jobs, besides CEO and corporate boards that is, is probably the spinners or whatever their official name is. These are the guys to take any situation and spin it into something complete untrue but factually not entirely wrong. Of course the epitome of this is in the political realm but these guys exist in almost every business now days. Many of them are now called lobbyists. Their purpose is to make an outrageous claim that can’t be entirely disproven.
Ok, silly Thursday is done now….
These very hot summer days are getting to me. In past years I have always rationalized having to endure the cold winter days so I could get some pleasant summer ones. I know last winter was probably the mildest one I have seen in at least twenty years so maybe these super hot summer days are in contrast to that. When I first rented a house in my bachelor days of the 1970s I hated having to mow the lawn. The lawn was no more than fifty by one hundred feet but it was the fact that I HAD to do it that got to me.
Now in my senior years mowing the lawn is something that I actually look forward to. I must admit that the equipment is quite a bit different from the old push mower I used in my earlier days so that might have something to do with it. I now have over two acres to mow with my 56″ cut Craftsman Garden Tractor but when I mow it seems to loosen up my right brain and I start thinking about all kinds of creative things. I enjoy mowing if nothing else for the thoughts it creates.
A couple of weeks ago I dusted off the garden tractor and mowed the weeds in my lawn. That seems to be the only things that are alive in it right now besides small patches of green in the front year. As Erma Bombeck said “The Grass is always greener over the septic tank”. I will have to find a copy of that book again. As I remember it she was hilarious. But getting back to the point. Now when I walk across the lawn it is crunchy. I hate crunchy.
Hopefully this and last summer is not the beginning of a long-term trend due to global warming but I would not be totally surprised if it were. I guess the only thing I can look forward to now weather wise now that the summer is pretty much wasted is a mild fall season. It sure would be nice to be able to do some projects around the homestead where I could work all day instead of having to quit at 10AM due to the heat. With Fall comes the leaves so I guess that will have to take the place of the lawn mowing this year.
While on vacation recently we ate at a five-star restaurant at Mesa Verde. When the meal came all the food was stacked in the middle of the plate. I know I frequently see that on the food cable channels but I never actually see people eat that food. I know the stacking is done because it is supposed to look better that way but how is it supposed to be eaten? Are you supposed to un-assemble it so that it can be eaten or are you supposed to somehow pick through the layers to get what you want? I don’t eat at those types of restaurants often so I don’t know the answer to that question.
I grew up in the typical Midwestern family where each portion of supper resided on its own real estate on the plate. That way you could go to your left to get a piece of meat and to your right for a portion of potato. The vegetable almost always resided on the top portion of the plate. Grampa Walters, who as a life long pig farmer, was famous for starting out with the traditional plate but then he proceeded to use his knife and fork to thoroughly mix everything together! He said it was all going to the same place so why shouldn’t it start out that way.
So, here I am faced with how to eat something that looks more like the Eiffel Tower than a dinner plate. Do I push everything over to where it “should” be or just what am I supposed to do with this artistic creation? I ended up moving things to their proper places on the plate. I hope the chef didn’t see me do this as I’m sure he would have been very disturbed that I didn’t respect his artistry.
By the way, the food tasted absolutely great once I got it where it was supposed to be…..
The one thing a man can do better than a woman is to grow a beard - John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley)
I am not used to pulling quotes from my hero John Steinbeck. That duty usually fall to my other hero Will Rogers. But when I came across this quote in Steinbeck’s book Travels with Charley recently I knew I had to include it here.
My wife, like most of you guys out there already know, thoroughly believe that she can do absolutely everything better than I can. She has made a life out of constantly bringing up my faults at least as she sees them. She says she does it to make me better. It seems to be another life goal for wives is to improve their husbands. That starts on the wedding day and usually doesn’t end until “death due us part”. If my wife dies before I do I have no doubt she will give me a long list of items I am to read daily about improvement for the next ten years.
So when I gave her the above quote it stopped her dead in her tracks! She just did not have a comeback for that one. Thanks John for letting me win at least that one.
For that’s all there is to success is satisfaction. – July 29, 1928 Will Rogers
It really is as simple as what Will says here. If you are satisfied with your life and what you do then you are a success.
- Some people equate success with how much money they earn.
- Some, especially those in Washington and corporate boardrooms equate it with how much power they have.
- Some say it is the number of Face book friends you have
Most definitions of success are based on material goods. Having the right car, home, money in the bank is what most of us think we need to be satisfied. The trouble with basing success on material things is there the definitions of enough is constantly changing. If we accumulate $200,000 then we think that $500,00 will give us satisfaction. It becomes a never-ending spiral and success is never really attained.
It is unfortunate that it takes many years to come to the realization that Will got it straight. You are a success when you are satisfied with what you have. The journey is really a minor part of the success battle. We old-timers, like everyone else, usually learn this lesson after the fact.
But then again if you are satisfied with only a few accomplishments are you aiming too low and depriving society of your contributions? Ahhh, there’s the rub…..
But what do I know….
I woke up this morning with a song attached to my brain. I know I dreamed about it last night but since I almost never remember what my dreams are I can’t give you the context. Here is the lyrics of the song; I hope I don’t cause you to be humming it all day as I likely am:
Sing, sing a song,
Sing out loud,
sing out strong,
Sing of the good things, not bad,
Sing of the happy, not sad
. . .
Sing, sing a song,
Make it simple, to last your whole life long,
Don’t worry that it’s not good enough,
For anyone else to hear,
Sing, sing a song . . .La, la la la la . . .
I looked it up and found that it was originally sung by Perry Como and was later recorded by the Carpenters. Yeah, I know anyone under 60 probably don’t know who either of these were. Since my mind version of the song sounded like a duet it must have been the Carpenters that I remember.
After humming and singing the song to myself (at least I think it was to myself but since I don’t hear my own voice I can’t verify that ) I thought that this is also my current goal for this blog site. Just replace the word “sing” with “blog” and that is where I am right now. I have given up most of the “dark side” of life here, at least temporarily, to concentrate of happy not sad.
Enough for now. I just had to get this song out of my head….
I got a tattoo recently. It is a really neat one of the 1960s style peace logo. I have always wanted a tattoo. I’m surprised I waited as long as I have. But this one I just couldn’t resist. I know some people look down on tattoos and can’t understand why anyone would get one. Others will think it is foolish for a sixty-five year old to be getting a tattoo but I really don’t care. Maybe I was an old fuddy-duddy like that once but not anymore. This tattoo I really like.
Oh, I think I left out one small detail here and that is the tattoo I got is for the new car I will soon be getting Some of you would probably call it a bumper sticker but I like the new term of car tattoo. I never had a mid-life crisis so maybe getting an orange Chevy Sonic is my “late-life crisis”. I decided I wanted something that I really didn’t absolutely have to have but wanted it just for the fun of it and I have decided to decorate it with some pretty outrageous things, at least for me.
I had never heard of a car tattoo before I started looking into them recently. They come in a wide variety of names including probably the most popular one called a car wrap. My first tattoo isn’t large; it is only about four inches in diameter but I know exactly where it will be placed. I am on the lookout for more tattoos that can be applied in the future but haven’t settled on any except for this one. Whatever I choose must be “just right”.
I know I am going to sound like an “old guy” here but I seem to remember the same thing happened as shown by Mr. Stahler’s cartoon above with math. I was in college when the first calculators were invented so I remember the hours and hours I spent in my grade school days learning multiplication and long division. Although I was somewhat proficient at it I was never that keen on math so memorizing the multiplication tables was not a favorite thing for me but I did learn them. My teacher drilled me back and forth on them.
When I went to college to get an engineering degree the math got quite a bit harder. It could not be done in your head anymore so I purchased my trusty slide rule. This was a bamboo stick with a sliding center rail with numbers all over it that somehow gave answers to things like logarithms and such. As I was about to graduate the calculator was born. The original one could only do addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It would be a few years before my trusty slide rule was replaced. I remember the furor this little device caused in the school system. Teachers seemed to be frustrated that a kid now had something that eliminated the need for all that memorization. In fact for the first decade or so of its existence they were banned from the classroom during testing times. It would be years before they found common acceptance among elementary school teachers.
Of course spelling was the next elementary school chore that was tackled by the techie crowd. The first spelling checkers were available soon after the Macintosh and PCs were invented. They were not as sophisticated as they are now but they did catch the grossest errors. Of course now they seem to be able to correct just about any word you type and many go on to look at syntax and sentence structure and give their recommendations in that area.
With the recent introduction of the iPhone 4S we have an app called Siri. It seems you can ask Siri just about any question and it will come up with an answer. I would not be at all surprised that Siri could actually do what is shown in this cartoon! That brings up another difficulty for the education crowd. What will they teach Junior now that he seems to have all the answers available to him via these gadgets? Is there anything that he needs to just keep in his head? Of course there are all kinds of answers to that question but I will leave that for future posts or maybe some of your comments.
History ain’t what it is. It’s what some writer wanted it to be. – Will Rogers
Ok, I’m a writer, not a very well-known one but a writer just the same. So, I am hereby proclaiming that all this political stuff has disappeared for the next week or so. At least you won’t find any of it here during that time. I need a breather from all that stuff. Today I voted in our primary (as if it really means anything now) and now it is on to boycotting this stuff at least a week. I have done my civic duty and now it is time to shut down for a while.
Who knows I might enjoy the absence of politics so well that I never go back to it. But then again, if I do that then half of my joke material for this blog will disappear! About twenty some years ago I did the same thing with sports stuff and as a result have not watched a sporting event since. I just found better use of my time. Maybe the same will be true this time around?
As soon as all those yahoos have their conventions this summer it will be very hard to miss all the mud-slinging that I’m sure will happen. I don’t look forward to it but it will come whether I like it or not. If you want to join me in this week of political ignorance you are welcome. I think I will concentrate of what other folks have to say about growing old. Not much more enjoyable but at least it is different.
But what do I know…..