Sunday, January 14, 2018

Downfall of Richard Nixon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo7KWzOgnf8

Why We Still Love Betty Ford

Why We Still Love Betty Ford

     I was just talking with a friend in Palm Springs, California about our former First Lady, Betty Ford.   She is a heroic figure, having taken alcoholism and drug abuse out of the realm of shame, and placing it front and center as a medical problem rather than a weakness, a self-imposed illness, or a character defect.

     One of her greatest achievements was establishing the Betty Ford Clinic for alcohol and drug abuse in California.  The Clinic was founded in _____ and has helped ____ toward recovery.  In fact, Betty was the first woman to bring alcoholism out of the closet and into the twentieth century as a major health problem that is treatable.

Her history with alcohol and drugs.   I recall when Mrs. Ford made the announcement that she had a drug problem.  This took so much courage.  One of the biggest challenges to treatment had always been the reluctance of people to come forward and admit they had a problem.  When Mrs. Ford made headlines with her announcement, it gave many other Americans the courage to be honest.  If the President's wife could make such a claim, this serious disease could affect anyone.

betty ford american dance festival
PBS  the real deal  on betty ford

     While her husband, President Gerald Ford, hoped that his Administration would be most admired for candor and transparency, his wife actually brought this to fruition.  An early supporter of the Equal Right Amendment, she consistently ranks as one of the most outspoken First Ladies, next to Eleanor Roosevelt   (Candor and Courage, John Robert Greene).  But it was her open declaration of being an alcoholic that will make her endure as the great campaigner for health advances in the field of addiction.

      On 




Addiction





     A new book out called "The Unbroken Brain" takes a look at addiction and why "though love" doesn't work.  The author, an addict between the ages of 17 and 23, presents is definitely on point here.


     Tough love, interventions and 12-step programs are some of the most common methods of treating drug addiction, but journalist Maia Szalavitz says they're often counterproductive.
"We have this idea that if we are just cruel enough and mean enough and tough enough to people with addiction, that they will suddenly wake up and stop, and that is not the case," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
Szalavitz is the author of Unbroken Brain, a book that challenges traditional notions of addiction and treatment. Her work is based on research and experience; she was addicted to cocaine and heroin from the age of 17 until she was 23.
Szalavitz is a proponent of "harm reduction" programs that take a nonpunitive approach to helping addicts and "treat people with addiction like human beings." In her own case, she says that getting "some kind of hope that I could change" enabledher to get the help she needed.

Interview Highlights

On her criticism of 12-step programs
I think that 12-step programs are fabulous self help. I think they can be absolutely wonderful as support groups. My issue with 12-step programs is that 80 percent of addiction treatment in this country consists primarily of indoctrinating people into 12-step programs, and no other medical care in the United States is like that. The data shows that cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy are equally effective, and they have none of the issues around surrendering to a higher power, or prayer or confession.
I think that one of the problems with the primary 12-step approach that we've seen in addiction treatment is that because the 12 steps involve moral issues, it makes people think that addiction is a sin and not a disease. The only treatment in medicine that involves prayer, restitution and confession is for addiction. That fact makes people think that addiction is a sin, rather than a medical problem. I think that if we want to destigmatize addiction, we need to get the 12 steps out of professional treatment and put them where they belong — as self-help.
On the efficacy of maintenance treatment
Buprenorphine and methadone are the two most effective treatments that we have for opioid addiction, and that is when they are taken indefinitely and possibly for a lifetime. So these medications are opioids themselves. They each have slightly different properties ... but what they do is they allow you to function completely normally. You can drive. You can love. You can work. You can do everything that anybody else does. ...
The way they are able to do that is because if you take an opioid in a regular steady dose every day at the same time and the dose is adjusted right for you, you will not experience any intoxication. The way people with addiction experience intoxication is that they take more and more and more, they take it irregularly, the dosing pattern is completely different. But if you do take it in a steady-state way — which is what happens when you are given it at a clinic every day at the same time — you then have a tolerance to opioids which will protect you if you relapse, and will mean that the death rate from overdose in people who are in maintenance is 50 to 70 percent lower than the death rate for people who are using other methods of treatment, and that includes all of the abstinence treatments.
So maintenance is a really important treatment option for people with opioid addiction. It should be the standard of care. No one should ever be denied access to it. Unfortunately, we have this idea that if you take methadone or buprenorphine, you are just substituting one addiction for another.
On using harm reduction instead of tough love to help addicts
We do know from looking at the data that if you are kind and supportive and empathetic — if you do things like provide clean needles, provide opportunities for people to reverse overdose, provide safe injecting spaces — those things do not prolong addiction. And if tough love was the answer, and the idea was you shouldn't enable addiction, if that theory was correct, those things should all prolong addiction, and the exact opposite is true. When you go into a needle exchange, one of the most amazing things is people are just treated with dignity and respect. And when you're an active drug user, when you are injecting, everybody crosses the street to avoid you. And here you're just seen as a person who deserves to live, and you deserve a chance. And it's that that gives people hope. And it's that that shortens the period of addiction.
Maia Szalavitz is a journalist who has been covering addiction and drug related issues for nearly 30 years. She writes a column for Vice and has been a health reporter and columnist for Time magazine.
Ash Fox/St. Martin's Press
On not serving any time in prison after being caught with 2.5 kilos of cocaine when she was 20 years old
I have to say that being white and being female and being a person who was at an Ivy League school and being privileged in many other ways had an enormous amount to do with ... why I was not incarcerated and why I'm not in prison now. I think our laws are completely and utterly racist. They were founded in racism, and they are enforced in a thoroughly biased manner. I was extraordinarily lucky to have an attorney and a judge that saw that I was getting better, and that allowed me to avoid that.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

This Is So Wrong!

     Twenty years after she was sexually assaulted by her youth pastor in Texas, a woman recently spoke about her experience.  Not long after that, her perpetrator told his story to his congregation in Tennessee, and got a standing ovation!   Go figure.

here is the story --  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2018/01/10/pastor-gets-standing-ovation-after-apologizing-for-sexually-abusing-teen-girl/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Monday, January 8, 2018

Einstein

     Einstein figured out the Theory of Relativity, that time slows down the faster an object goes, or something to that effect.

     He said that his "happiest thought" was in 1907 when he....

T. S. Eliot's First Published Poem

Eliot's first published poem was The Lovesong of J. Alfred  Prufrock, published in the June, 1915 issue of Poetry Magazine.




The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

        S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats        5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….        10
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,        15
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,        20
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;        25
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;        30
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go        35
Talking of Michelangelo.
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—        40
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare        45
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,        50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
  So how should I presume?
And I have known the eyes already, known them all—        55
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?        60
  And how should I presume?
And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress        65
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
  And should I then presume?
  And how should I begin?
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets        70
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!        75
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?        80
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,        85
And in short, I was afraid.
And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,        90
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—        95
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
  Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
  That is not it, at all.”
And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,        100
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:        105
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
  “That is not it at all,
  That is not what I meant, at all.”
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
        110
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,        115
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old … I grow old …        120
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.        125
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown        130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.











https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/issue/70350/june-1915

Sunday, January 7, 2018