Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Damn The Torpedoes, Full Steam Ahead"

Just read the blog "Crusty Middle Age Woman" and was reminded how I need to personally connect within my own blog.

Obviously, I do like to post information about my passions and causes.  Now it's time to write. 

With some hesitancy, I've applied for advertising to be put on my blog.  I feel a little sleazy doing it, like I'm selling out...much like I felt about the Beatles when I heard their music being playing Muzak-style in the grocery store.  But what the hey...a bit of extra income would be greatly appreciated.  If I don't like it, I'll drop it.  Of course, my blog is so lacking in popularity right now, maybe nobody will want to advertise.  That would be OK, too. 

We've had what seems like a year of grey, rainy cold, dank, unappealing, useless weather.  It always leaves me restless and cranky and demented.  Need some full-spectrum light.  No, I need to fulfill my desire to move to Florida.  The sun, the fresh fruit and veggies, the smell of the ocean, sand in everything, Marineland, sunset classes, turtle watches, identifying the flukes of migrating dolphins and whales.  That's the life for me.

What stops me from being there...from getting there...where's my plan?  I'm floundering with my focus and my action steps.  I am so self-destructive in this grey mood.  That realization alone is enough to get me off my "arse" and into consistently putting my action steps into...wait for it...MOTION!  *"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead."  

*Admiral David Glasgow Farragut (1801-1870), the first senior officer of the U.S. Navy at the time of the American Civil War.  Aboard the Hartford, Farragut entered Mobile Bay, Alabama, August 5, 1864, in two columns, with armored monitors leading and a fleet of wood ships following.  When the lead monitor Tecumseh was demolished by a mine, the wooden ship Brooklyn stopped and the line drifted in confusion toward Fort Morgan.  As disaster seemed imminent, Farragut gave the orders embodied by these famous words.  He swung his own ship clear and headed across the mines, which failed to explode.  The fleet followed and anchored above the forts, which now isolated, surrendered one by one.  The torpedoes to which Farragut and his contemporaries referred would today be described as tethered mines.

[Hearn, Chester G. Admiral David Glasgow Farragut: The Civil War Years. (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1988): 263-265. According to the book by Admiral Farragut's son, The Life of David Glasgow Farragut, First Admiral of the United States Navy, (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1879), pages 416-417, Admiral Farragut said "Damn the torpedoes! Four bells! Captain Crayton, go ahead! Joucett, full speed!"]  (From WikiAnswers)


Drugs and Suicides in the Armed Forces 

In 2006, The Philadelphia Enquirer reported that soldiers and veterans groups had found drug use was an increasing problem in Iraq, especially because medics were generously handing out prescription medications that were being abused.[1]

Bruce E. Levine, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and author of Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic, said that in February 2009, “Americans heard about a dramatic rise in suicides among U.S. soldiers.” Army statistics, which include the Army Reserve and the National Guard, confirmed 128 suicides (with 15 more deaths under investigation). Suicides for the Marines also increased, with 41 in 2008, up from 33 in 2007 and 25 in 2006.[2]

In an article published by Best Syndication News on April 17, 2009, suicides among Iraq war soldiers were reported to be twice that of other wars.[3] The number of soldiers who committed suicide during January 2009 actually surpassed the number of soldiers who were killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan during the same time period, the article said.[4]

One of the suggested reasons for the high suicide rate is that with so many troops being labeled with “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” (PTSD), many of them are prescribed drugs that didn’t exist during other wars, especially antidepressants known to cause suicidal thoughts and feelings.[5]

In March 2004, an FDA Public Health Advisory about these antidepressants, warned: “Anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, impulsivity, akathisia [severe restlessness], hypomania [abnormal excitement, mild mania] and mania [psychosis characterized by exalted feelings, delusions of grandeur and overproduction of ideas], have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants…both psychiatric and non-psychiatric.”[6]

Dr. Levine pointed out: “While treatment for emotionally troubled soldiers increasingly consists of antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft, recent investigations show that these drugs are no more effective than placebos and can actually increase suicidality.”[7]
California neurologist, Dr. Fred A. Baughman, Jr. investigated a series of veterans’ suicides in 2008 and believes that they actually died from psychiatric drugs inducing cardiac arrest. All seemed “normal” when they went to bed. All of them were prescribed a cocktail of antipsychotics and tranquilizers. On January 15 2009, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that antipsychotics double the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.[8]

It was reported in June 2008 that 89% of veterans labeled with “PTSD” are given antidepressants and 34% antipsychotics. “A third, then, are exposed to the additive potential to cause sudden death,” Baughman stated.[9]
“In order to prevent even more suicides, both the research and basic common sense instruct is that we need less psychiatric drugs and more political courage,” adds Dr. Levine.[10]

Think They Don’t Electroshock People Anymore? Think Again–Even toddlers and pregnant women are being shocked

By Dr. John Breeding, author of The Wildest Colts Make the Best Horses

Ask the average person about the use of electroshock treatment in today’s society and 9 out of 10 will respond, “They still shock people?”

They do. It’s estimated that more than 100,000 Americans are electroshocked each year; half are 60 and older, and two-thirds are women. In Australia, it was recently revealed that psychiatrists had electroshocked 55 toddlers age four and younger. In the UK, three year olds have been brutalized with it. And one of the country’s leading mental health “patients’ rights” groups—the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI)—recently endorsed the use of electroshock on pregnant women. One would wonder why a patients’ rights group would endorse such an obviously harmful procedure if not for the fact that the group has recently been exposed as a major front for the psycho/pharmaceutical industry.

The FDA reports pregnant women miscarrying following ECT, while studies show that in addition to the risk of death, the fetus can suffer malnutrition, dehydration and violent injury. Electroshocking children, pregnant women and the unborn is tantamount to torture and should not only be banned but those administering it prosecuted.

Given the factual truths of sending up to 360 volts of electricity searing through the brain – the obvious question is why the “treatment” has not gone by the wayside like its psychiatric sister treatments during the 1940s and 1950s, insulin coma shock and lobotomy.

Electroshock was indeed challenged, and its low point pretty much coincided with the release in 1975 of the Academy Award-winning film version of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the feisty Randle Patrick McMurphy. The horrible scene of his undergoing “unmodified” shock treatment, i.e., without anesthetic and muscle-paralyzing drugs, along with his reduction to a vegetative state was seared in the public’s mind. This, together with public exposure of the shameful state of psychiatric institutions, certainly gave electroshock treatment a bad name—so much so that the treatment was renamed Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). The bad publicity caused its use in public institutions to fall sharply, and its overall use was also considerably diminished. It would be naïve, however, to think that this curtailment was strictly due to increased public awareness about the brutalities of the procedure. The advent of neuroleptics (nerve-seizing drugs) was perhaps the major factor in this development. The indiscriminate use of these drugs replaced the indiscriminate use of ECT as the primary means of subduing and pacifying inmates who resisted incarceration and wouldn’t cooperate.

In the last two decades, however, electroshock has made a comeback.
Most electroshock is insurance-covered. ECT specialists on average have incomes twice that of other psychiatrists. The cost for inpatient ECT ranges from $50,000 to $75,000 per series (usually 8 to 12 individual sessions). Electroshock is a multibillion-dollar-a-year industry—yet its damaging effects are well known to those who endorse it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

This Is The Fun Part of Staying Home - Visiting Neighbors

Sadie, the white (American Bulldog??) often gets a visit from Jake, our neighbor.  She is in 7th heaven when she's with him!


Monday, January 18, 2010
I’m reading a lot about non-judgmental,
non-duelistic thinking or feeling. Embracing the all of reality. Complimentary to what Byron Katie does with The Work. I like both.

(note: non-judgment is not addressing the subject of stopping at red lights, crossing the street, or if you want the red shoes or the brown boots…got it?)

My world is divided these days, Democrat/Republican; rich/poor; right/wrong; a loving God/a spiteful God; happy/sad; exempt/non-exempt. On and on it goes.

I’m choosing to pause before I decide. Consider the other point of view. Question the emotions that may arise within. Embrace the unknown. Accept what I will…what I can, on this winding path.

There is no "me" and "you." There is only us.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Richard's Daily Meditations


Question of the Day:

How do I evade Jesus’ teachings?

How is it that after two thousand years of meditation on Jesus, we’ve managed so effectively to avoid most of what he taught so unequivocally? This is true of all the churches. The most we could usually do is emphasize one or the other part of his teaching, and still call ourselves orthodox or “Bible based”.
All of us, for example, have evaded most of the Sermon on the Mount.

All of us have evaded the unmistakable teaching of Jesus on a simple life-style, non-status-seeking, non-greed.

All of us have evaded Jesus’ teaching on non-violence (except for the Amish, the Quakers, and the Mennonites).

All of us have evaded his straightforward teaching on loving our enemy.

Jesus is just too much for all of us!

Adapted from Simplicity, pp. 161 - 162
Mantra:  Blessed are the peacemakers

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Gift of Contemplative Prayer

Daily Meditation -  Jan 16, 2010 

Question of the Day:  What is God trying to teach me through what is,  right here, right now?

 Simone Weil said, “It is grace that forms the void inside of us and it is also grace that fills that same void.

Without grace we will not enter into the void, and without grace the void will not be filled. All we can do is try to keep our hands cupped and open and ask God to teach us how to keep our hands cupped and open. The events and experiences of life teach us how.

Great religion seeks utter awareness and full consciousness, so that we can, in fact, receive all, even the sadness and tragedy of the world.

Everything belongs and everything can be received. We don’t have to deny, dismiss, defy, or ignore anything.

What is, is somehow, on some level, okay. What is, is always the great teacher. From that initial surrender, you will find what you can and should do to change things. You have to say yes before you say no. Sounds like a big paradox, doesn’t it? It is.

Adapted from Everything Belongs, pp. 46, 53, 54-55
by Fr. Richard Rohr

Center For Action and Contemplative Prayer