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Health
05/13/2010
IconI have railed since day one when clinicians started calling bad choices and bad habits "diseases."The good news about calling alcohol and drug abuses "diseases" is that clinicians and others can reap financial rewards by charging insurance for their "medical" intervention.The bad news about calling substance abuse a "disease" is that the individual is robbed of his real ability to exercise choice and self-control , and such labeling puts the onus on society to give that individual a "pass" on taking responsibility for the consequences of the addiction.There is considerable proof that addiction is a choice:' the book "Addiction: A Disorder of Choice," by Gene M. Heyman, Harvard University Press, demonstrates many of them.'For example:' in 1970, it was determined that between 10% and 25% of enlisted Army men were addicted to high-grade Vietnamese heroin and opium.' When they were told they couldn't come home without being drug-free, the vast majority stopped using narcotics as the word of the new directive spread.' The vast minority who were detained for detoxification programs were clean when given a second chance.' Only 12% of soldiers who were dependent on opiate narcotics in Vietnam became re-addicted at some point in the next three years.The point is that calling alcohol or drug abuse a "disease" takes away from the individual the respect for his or her ability to choose.' Every behavior we have is somehow tied to genetics and the brain.' That doesn't make it a disease unless the individual has no choice .' Alzheimer 's disease gives you no choice.' Multiple sclerosis gives you no choice.' Alcohol abuse is a choice.Addicts are drawn to drug abuse to salve depression, anxiety, boredom, and self-loathing.' At the start of their addiction, they feel great, short-term, and they start giving up the joy in work, hobbies, family and friends.' After a while, they need the drug to salve psychic pain (which is now increasing with the collapse of other factors in their lives), suppress withdrawal symptoms, and eliminate the craving.' At some point, when these benefits come to be outweighed by the adverse fallout the balance shifts, and the addict chooses recovery.The concept of disease includes the obliteration of choice-making ability .' Fortunately, addicts can make a choice, and congratulations are in order to those who do! More >>

Tags: feminismHealthSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconRecently, there was a news story about a woman who faced a felony charge of squirting breast milk into the face of a deputy law enforcement officer.The woman, from Kentucky, was arrested for public intoxication. As she was changing into an inmate uniform after her arrest, she squirted a stream of breast milk into the face of the female deputy watching over her.In the press release from the Kentucky Detention Center, the deputy de-contaminated herself from the "bio-hazard" and the woman was charged with third-degree assault.The original charge, public drunkenness, was merely a misdemeanor offense; the assault is a felony charge and a $10,000 bond was set.Of course, the media picked this up, and everyone chuckled at the story. People are debating about whether using breast milk as a weapon should constitute a felony assault case, and there are plenty of laughs going around.The deputy, however, is not laughing.She has to go through months of testing and waiting to see if she has contracted the HIV virus.Sadly (and stupidly, I think), we can't legally test the inmate immediately for HIV - some nonsense about privacy. We have to let the deputy wait, wonder, and worry. That's simply not compassionate and certainly not fair.That this inmate is drunk as a mother seems bad enough, but to intentionally squirt her bodily fluid into someone else's face has the intent to humiliate or harm.A felony charge is appropriate.And that baby needs a better mother. More >>

Tags: BreastfeedingHealthMotherhood-FatherhoodSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconA 44 year-old woman filed a complaint about her doctor after a tense consultation with him in 2009 in New Zealand.' The doctor said "effing" three times to the woman after she told him she didn't like the word "diet," and preferred he use the term "lifestyle."' He insisted that she needed to go on an "effing" diet.' According to the woman, the doctor told her that if she couldn't handle the word "diet," then he challenged her motivation and stated that she would never survive gastric bypass surgery because she was still "bullxxxxing" herself and therefore her thinking was still "effed."The physician, fed up with her, scratched her name from the gastric bypass waiting list.New Zealand's Health and Disability Commissioner said the doctor, who completely admitted using bad language, was reprimanded for being unprofessional and insulting.The doctor WAS unprofessional and insulting AND completely correct!' When people move less and eat more and want magical means to become physically normal and healthy, it does frustrate and exhaust the patience of people who are there to help.' This doctor could just have been having a bad day, but I think it is more likely that he was just tired of the wordplay and mind games of those who simply don't display self-discipline or take serious responsibility for their condition (but who expect respect as though their condition was out of their control - when it is definitely NOT).The doctor should have been reprimanded, but so should this patient! More >>

Tags: HealthSexSexuality
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Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreHealthResponse To A CommentYoga
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05/13/2010
IconI basically don't care about the musical chairs relationships of Hollywood types, but I thought the following story was indicative of our culture in general...and that is not a good thing.'This headline was important enough to show up in the Top 20 stories of Google News recently:' "Alex Rodriguez and Cameron Diaz Get Cozy in Miami."' The piece started out:' "Don't tell Madonna, but New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was spotted getting cozy with Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz at a pre-Super Bowl party in Miami last weekend."' According to this inane report, she was tipsy, flirty, and began "grinding on 'A-Rod', who had just broken up with Kate Hudson.' Clearly, sports is not the only thing for which you need a score card!'Generally, women who have nothing going on in their lives become groupies, because attachment to a star (even in their imaginations, much less their beds) brings them a feeling of importance.' Madonna, Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz are all successful in their own right, so "groupie-ness" is not the issue.' Then what is?' What makes women "give it up" so easily for a guy who is good-looking, successful and has lots of money?' I guess it's the looks and success, and the feeling that even more money is always good.'There is so little dignity left in Hollywood's elite, and many political marriages are also aflame with betrayals.' Our young girls grow up next to young boys who have both misguided values and expectations.' The boys realize that respect and courtship are irrelevant when it comes to getting sex and companionship; the girls think that explosive beginnings mean something deeper.'I had one female caller who was just amazed at my admonition not to have sex as a flirtation, rite of dating, way to get to know someone, or stress releaser.' She actually was surprised when I suggested to her (and her 21 year-old "reality") that scarcity brings value.' While that is an economic issue, it also works for interpersonal relationships.' If the act of sexual intercourse is to mean anything , it has to have a context of love and commitment, and that is a scarce resource.'People wonder why they're depressed, anxious, unhappy, unfulfilled, lost, or compulsive about hookups.' There is an inherent knowledge that meaning and purpose are everything to their psychological well-being, but they are surrounded by the likes of an A-Rod and Madonna world which tells them there isn't any, except for notoriety and sexual flamboyance.'It's sad, really, because there is more to morality than just being a "rule system of the constipated," which, unfortunately, is what too many people believe.' Morality is a means by which we make human beings rise above the rest of the animal kingdom with symbols and actions:' like marriage and commitment, for example. More >>

Tags: AttitudeChildrenHealthMarriageMortalityParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeValues
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05/13/2010
IconIn Port St. Lucie, Florida recently, a six year old was handcuffed (actually, one handcuff was put over both hands - she was a little girl), and hauled off to a mental facility.' The parents were all hysterical and angry that their "little baby" was treated this way.The mother, who works in day care, said "There is absolutely nothing wrong with my child." Her father said that what happened to his daughter was "just wrong." The school contacted this little girl's parents several times about setting up a meeting to discuss her violent behavior in the classroom, but they never showed up.' Hmmmm.'Here's what happened on that particular day:'The kid had yet another tantrum in the classroom after the teacher simply asked her to do something, and the girl was taken to the principal's office.' The principal, 8 months pregnant, endured the kid yelling, throwing things, kicking the wall, throwing a calculator, electric pencil sharpener, telephone, container of writing utensils and everything else on the desk.' The kid then physically attacked the pregnant principal, who called the police.'In my opinion, the police and the principal did exactly the right thing.' Leave it up to the medical authorities to determine whether this girl is being extremely poorly parented or in need of mental health treatment.'There are those who cry over how little this girl is and wring their hands and say that there must have been some other way.' No, there wasn't.' The parents did not take responsibility, and their shame was delivered as arrogance as they sought sympathy (and probably a lawsuit).'The school is supposed to be a safe place.' This girl was, and is, a threat to other students, the faculty, and herself.' I stand behind the school, the teacher, and the principal.' I wish we could arrest the parents for negligence in letting their daughter's behavior get this far. More >>

Tags: AbusecancerEducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthParentingSchoolViolence
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05/13/2010
IconA few months ago, I saw the movie "The Bucket List." It's about these two older guys who, presumably, are terminally ill, and one of them mentions a "kick the bucket list," meaning that you make a list of all the things you want to do before you die (and then, hopefully, go do them).' The movie is interesting and well done, and well worth seeing.' It stars Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.Since then, I've had some thoughts on and off about the concept, and decided that I don't want to have a bucket list when my time comes close.' I want to do and see and say and experience the things that matter to me waaaaay before they become an almost-Last Supper moment.' So I've been going over in my mind what it is that I would put on that list.' And I'm happy to say......nothing.I wanted an adventure on the high seas, so with a crew of experienced sailors, I'm going to be doing just that in mid-March, when we race from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.' It will take about four days or so, and we have to work, sleep, and eat in shifts 24 hours per day of sailing.' It will be grueling, cold, and sometimes scary at night if the winds are up.' The food will be "ucky," and there won't be hot showers or heated blankets.' And yet, I can't wait, because it's an ADVENTURE!' It pushes my limits and challenges me in new ways.' It's good to have adventures, as long as you don't ignore your responsibilities, and enjoy the challenges that are there.Day-to-day experiences and routines can get monotonous - that's just life.' So don't wait.' Come up with your own adventure (camping with the family, training for some physical event or whatever you want) and just do it!! More >>

Tags: AttitudeCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceHealthInternet-MediaInternet/MediaPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeValues
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05/13/2010
IconIf you're a frequent listener to my radio program, you've probably heard me say to someone seemingly immersed in a petty annoyance:' "You must have a charmed and uncomplicated life to have the time and energy to be upset about something that's ultimately so minuscule."'Yeah, I know that sounds snarky, but the point is made.' If your life is filled with the awe of the sky when the sun first comes up, scurrying to do some projects for charity, coming up with ideas to support a friend in emotional need, treating your spouse as though you adored every breath they take, having daily physical activity that makes you sweat and feel great afterwards, taking on a new challenge in a hobby or education at the local community college or adult extension, having a day a week you get together with buddies to play poker, make a quilt or whatever....when your life is filled in such expansive ways, then the quirky disappointments of family and friends will be shrugged off with a small smile and a lack of real concern.'Try activity instead of pouting or letting your anger simmer. More >>

Tags: AttitudeBehaviorCharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceGratitudeHealthPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeValues
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05/13/2010
IconMy birthday was a little over a week ago, and my husband actually got away with setting up a surprise party for me.' I went to the party location under the guise that we were going to use a 'Happy Birthday' coupon for a free dinner.' It was wonderful to see the many people who have meant, do mean, and always will mean something important to me (and the cake and dancing were great too)!I want to mention one particular gift:' a bocce ball set.' I sent out all my gift 'thank yous,' and when it came to the bocce ball set, I said something like ''Thank you so much for the bocce ball set.' I don't know how to play it, but, heck, learning yet another sport is a great idea!' Ha ha ha!'I added the 'ha ha ha' because I hike, I play tennis and badminton, I shoot pool, do yoga, race a sailboat and work out...and do at least one of these daily .' But then I thought about my 'joke' and realized it IS a very good idea to learn yet another 'whatever' all the time.' Part of the joy of being alive (and a large part of what keeps your brain and body healthy and your mood positive) is having purpose in your life and learning something new all the time.People who don't continue to grow, be challenged, learn and be involved in activities tend to 'contract,' have depression problems, and compromise the quality of their aging and actual life span.So, while this blog is not an ad for bocce ball, it is a suggestion (and don't forget who's making it!) for you to constantly challenge yourself with everything from crossword puzzles to chasing butterflies.' The more you are invested in the opportunities of living, the more you will enjoy it and be alert and happy. More >>

Tags: AttitudeCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceEat Less-Move MoreEducationExercisegrandchildrenHealthPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeRelativesValues
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05/13/2010
IconThere's a new study out from San Diego State University saying that children and young adults today are the most anxious and depressed of the last seventy years.I'm not surprised at all.' Having too many choices is chaos.' Morals and values have been sacrificed in favor of infamy and fortune.' When sports heroes are infamous and rich'because they took drugs to increase their performance, that is demoralizing to kids who work hard to aspire to athletic greatness simply by practicing a lot.' When other young people get famous for flaunting drugs and anti-social behavior, it makes it difficult for the kids who simply work hard.When you have a major Hollywood producer/director putting together a movie to excuse and explain Hitler (in context, he says), you have a generation that has no clear understanding of evil.When you have military dying in the fields of foreign countries because we are at war with a religious ideology that wants to terminate western civilization, and one of their combatants is caught and tried only as a common criminal, you have a generation that is confused.When you have a culture that does not support the basic building block of education - the family - we have children turning to equally confused peers and pop culture.When the people in positions of power, authority and fame turn out to be of little character, you have a generation that doesn't know what to respect or whom to emulate.It all matters.Our kids pay the price. More >>

Tags: DepressionFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFearHealthMental HealthMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPersonal ResponsibilityStress
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