It’s always those people.

With no intent to insult the veterans in the audience, let me just say that it my TV listings showed something on premium cable called “The Concert for Valor” on channel 300, I’d immediately start looking for something at least 200 channels away. That’s how much I despise most televised concerts and especially Very Special TV events aimed at veterans.

So I was a half-step behind hearing the kerfuffle over Bruce Springsteen’s choice of “Fortunate Son” for his setlist. Although once you hear the details — once anyone hears that a writer for the Weekly Standard, and the usual idiots at Fox News, were upset over this “anti-American” song — you can pretty much fill in the blanks. Oh oh oh, it wasn’t “God Bless the USA,” so this has to be worth yelling about! and so on.

Roy has a great roundup of links. And Charles Pierce adds a photographic element.

I hate to be in and outta here again, but it turns out the week after the election has been as busy as the week before, and the week of, the election. But it should slow down soon — I hope.

Posted at 9:49 pm in Current events |

66 responses to “It’s always those people.”

  1. brian stouder said on November 12, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    And Cooze is like the 4th or 5th commenter at the linked Alicublog thing.

    I’m about sick to death of our local far-right flying monkey at WOWO (Pat Miller) who flogs and flogs for the “Honor Flights” that take aged vets to Washington to see the monuments. He’s gone on 6 or 7 of them, and plans to go on many more.

    If they didn’t load HIS fat-ass in the plane, they could probably take three or four more veterans on each flight – but as it is, all I hear is – at best – a Walter Mitty guy who wants to cloak himself in honors he didn’t earn; or at worst – a charlatan who begins to believe his own lies.

    For the record, my brother’s father-in-law, who passed away a couple years ago, was an Ohio farm boy who lied about his age to get into the United States Marine Corps, and who then found himself right in the middle of the assault on Iwo Jima. He pretty much never spoke of that, and he’d never seen the memorials and monuments at Washington, and he DID do the Honor Flight thing, and it was very cool indeed.

    I just have no time for people who have no more military experience than I do – which is to say, ZERO! – who revel in gaudy, presumptuous faux-patriotism, and who then think they have the stripes to tell the rest of us what is patriotic and what is not.

    1279 chars

  2. Dave said on November 12, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Yes, Brian, he does go on and on about those flights and about what we ought to do about ISIS and whatnot, I end up talking back to the radio, telling him to get on over there and take up the fight. As for the Honor Flights, if those people want to go, that’s fine. My father wanted to go on one but his health went down too fast to permit it. Not really sure if he qualified, he wasn’t in the war, entering the Navy in late 1945, but spent his time on the U S S Moctobi, a ship that essentially was a tow truck, they towed hulks that hadn’t sunk that were scattered around the Pacific back into ports.

    605 chars

  3. Kaye said on November 12, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Please do not let your disdain for the radio guy become disdain for the Honor Flight program Brian. Sounds like his audience is perfect for attracting both funds and participants to Honor Flight. Guardians pay their own way on these flights, fundraising covers the cost for veterans.

    284 chars

  4. Dexter said on November 13, 2014 at 1:01 am

    Lewis Puller Jr.’s book “Fortunate Son: The Healing of a Vietnam Vet” won a Pulitzer in the early 90s. The book honored his dad “Chesty” Puller, and the book was indeed titled after the Creedence song. I was chatting online with Col. Jack Jacobs , Medal of Honor awardee one night (open chat as Jacobs was promoting a book) and I asked him what was the best Vietnam War book he has read, and he straight-up told me it was this one. (Puller Jr. sank into deression and alcoholism after he lost his legs in combat and he shot himself to death eventually).
    Nobody stormed out last night as the fellas cranked out the Creedence tune. The young sailors and Marines and soldiers and Coast Guard folks were boppin’ and shakin’ where the stood. The military people are tired of the dual wars, tired as any civilian, most have made their bones already by serving multiple tours over there in The Region. The song made everyone feel charged up…then in the morning I heard about the backlash. God, I hope Ms. Underwood is OK…the “cheatin’ an’ ever-thang” seems to be #1 on her mind.
    I carefully watched every nuance of Bruce’s acoustic “Born in the USA” last night as well. As he knew they would, some morons began waving US flags at first mention of the refrain, so he quickly cut to the next verse and did not allow the song to be ruined by dumb asses who still don’t get it at all.
    I was really surprised he did that song, which is a very profound anti-war, anti-misadventure song. That line “…went down to see my VA man, he said ‘Son, don’t you understand?’ ” epitomizes what we ran up against back then…one personal example, we were given a voucher to use for one dental checkup, good for a short while after we got home. The dentist I chose screamed at me for trying to use that voucher and demanded cash. We were really hated in a general way, by most anyway.
    I was disappointed HBO did not show Bruce singing “The Wall”, a tribute to his pal Walter who died in Vietnam…maybe it was cut, maybe he just passed on it. It really is a great song for Veterans Day.

    2126 chars

  5. adrianne said on November 13, 2014 at 5:57 am

    Real soldiers appreciate “Fortunate Son” for the brilliant song that it is. Faux soldier lovers react in predictable, knee-jerk ways to the “unpatriotic” message. Brian, Pat Miller sounds like a pathetic wannabe soldier.

    220 chars

  6. David C. said on November 13, 2014 at 6:57 am

    And the fact of so many veterans being homeless seems to bother them not a bit. How odd.

    88 chars

  7. Sue said on November 13, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Wasn’t that song used to sell trucks a few years back? Or beer or something? I remember thinking they might want to pay attention to the lyrics.

    146 chars

  8. beb said on November 13, 2014 at 8:08 am

    What Brian said. I’d call it a thread win but it’s not a competition.

    Anyone who thinks the Republican party was going to moderate their tone and start acting responsibly now that they control both houses of Congress need only follow this complaint. The Republican party is just too far into the crazy, paranoid, delusional mind-set to ever moderate their madness.

    368 chars

  9. 4dbirds said on November 13, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Didn’t watch it either. Stuff like that bores me. Watched the final table of the World Series of poker. Please send us your positive thoughts. Hubby is having open heart surgery as I type.

    194 chars

  10. brian stouder said on November 13, 2014 at 9:20 am

    4dbirds – here is wishing you strength and patience, as this day unfolds

    72 chars

  11. Snarkworth said on November 13, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Strengthening thoughts to 4dbirds.

    34 chars

  12. Jeff Borden said on November 13, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Conservatives really ought to stay away from pop culture entirely. It’s really beyond them. Remember when the dolts around Ronald Reagan were blasting Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” at rallies, utterly unaware it was about a bitter, angry Vietnam veteran? Or more recently, when the stiffest man in the history of our nation, Mitt Romney, played crappy Kid Rock songs at his rallies? Really, Mitt? You couldn’t get Andy Williams?

    It’s especially rich when the criticisms directed at the musicians are leveled by chicken hawks whose only combat experience is playing “Call of Duty.” Asshats.

    597 chars

  13. Wim said on November 13, 2014 at 9:48 am

    My father, through no real desire of his own, was what they called a three-war veteran. In a fine adolescent flush of enthusiasm and racial hatred, he lied about his age and background to join the Navy immediately after Pearl Harbor. My grandmother tracked him to a formation of flight cadets and metaphorically dragged him home by the ear, and he went to work up in the city in a defense plant and there was apparently lots and lots of fucking in the early Forties, though nowadays no one talks much about it. When he turned eighteen the Navy grabbed him back and put him in the Shore Patrol and if anyone’s Dad or Granddad (or Great Granddad) ever got drunk in Corpus Christi, TX late in the war, my father almost certainly hit him with a stick. After he got out he blew his GI Bill on flight lessons and became a pilot, a dream apparently born in his brief first enlistment. Unfortunately, the country was glutted with pilots of vastly greater experience and making a living at flying was arguable. He went into crop dusting and kept plugging away at it, until–as Dad would say–THAT SONOFABITCH Truman recalled him to duty. If anyone’s Dad and etc. got drunk in San Diego and wherever he was in Japan in the Korean War, my Dad almost certainly hit him with a stick. He went into the Reserves after Korea because money, and he got caught like a rat in the kitchen by the Cuban missile crisis and, before he could get clear, Vietnam. If your Dad or you ever got drunk in Cam Ranh Bay in the mid-Sixties… My brother got kicked out of high school into the waiting arms of the US Army, and he and my father were in-country (as they said) part of the same time. Then in 1978 the records center in St. Louis burned down and it took my father some 25 years to prove he was ever in the Navy.

    I’ll tell you what. If anyone ever thanked my father for his service, I’ll bet he’d have hit him with a stick.

    1917 chars

  14. Deborah said on November 13, 2014 at 9:48 am

    4dbirds, positive thoughts coming your way.

    The grousing right wing haters gotta hate.

    89 chars

  15. brian stouder said on November 13, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Wim for Thread Win!!

    20 chars

  16. Judybusy said on November 13, 2014 at 10:01 am

    4dbirds, I hope all is smooth sailing today. Keep us posted as time and energy allow.

    I haven’t been able to read all the comments lately, but has there been discussion about #pointergate here? Jon Stewart explains. Talk about crazy sh*t. The story doesn’t mention that our Chief of Police (first lesbian chief of any major city!) was also out with our mayor that day. I actually hadn’t seen the original clip until today. It reinforces why I don’t watch local news: it’s so damn sensationalist. BTW, it’s the local ABC affiliate, not even Fox.

    746 chars

  17. Peter said on November 13, 2014 at 10:49 am

    4dbirds, I really hope everything goes well today.

    I haven’t been following you guys much the last few weeks because I’ve had heart problems of my own – my heart’s like my Honda’s engine trying to turn over on a really cold January morning – various episodes of sputtering then high revving. I’m only saying this because it hasn’t bothered me much at all, but my wife is really going through the wringer, so that’s why I really feel for you 4dbirds.

    453 chars

  18. Jolene said on November 13, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Man, that picture of Romney pere et fils is so on target. Such a display of healthy young manhood, and, as far as I know, only one of them has a job that has anything to do with anything other than making money. Ben, the blonde one, is a doctor, but the others are in private equity, sports marketing, and such. Nothing nefarious, but no teachers, no leaders of humanitarian organizations, no one in public office. Hard to imagine a better illustration of what “Fortunate Son” is all about.

    497 chars

  19. Jolene said on November 13, 2014 at 11:25 am

    My best hopes for a good outcome for your husband, 4dbirds. And best wishes to you too, Peter. What is your doctor doing for you/telling you?

    I saw Jon Stewart’s piece re the Minneapolis mayor, Judybusy. As always, smart and funny.

    235 chars

  20. Julie Robinson said on November 13, 2014 at 11:46 am

    My thoughts and prayers to you both for healing and wholeness, Peter, and Mr. 4dbirds.

    86 chars

  21. 4dbirds said on November 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    My husband’s problem is persistent afib. Medications and two ablation procedures haven’t worked so they are cracking open his chest for something called maze. I hope it works as he has been miserable for the past couple years.

    228 chars

  22. Deborah said on November 13, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    I looked up the maze procedure online and Dr. Google results sound promising. Good outcomes. And for Dr. Google that’s unusual. Whenever I have some malady Dr. Google usually scares me to death.

    194 chars

  23. Jenine said on November 13, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you Wim! My dad had great stories about being a game warden at Camp Pendleton. Perhaps his favorite time being a Marine.

    126 chars

  24. Sherri said on November 13, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    4dbirds, I hope all goes well and it stops your husband’s afib. I have a family history of afib, and my mother is currently managing it; fortunately, so far, she’s been able to control it with medication.

    Peter, I hope better things for your heart as well!

    259 chars

  25. Dorothy said on November 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Good wishes all the way ’round for 4dbirds’ husband (and 4dbirds!) and for Peter and his wife. I’m glad both patients have loved ones nearby to help them through this. I’ve been Helper McHelperson for my husband just by putting in his eye drops and helping to tape the patch over his eye after his recent lens transplant (cataract removal) surgery. He’s doing terrific. Last night he was allowed to retire the eye patch and he was so happy. He is laughing at the delight I am taking in coloring in the little circles on the eyedrop reminder sheet the doctor gave him. Four times a day he has to administer several drops, and on the weekends I do all four! Since he went back to work this Monday, he does the noon and 4 PM drops himself, but God love him, he lets me color in the circles at night. It’s become a joke now between us. I’m not REALLY four years old – I just act like it sometimes.

    897 chars

  26. MichaelG said on November 13, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Our thoughts are with you 4dbirds. Best of wishes to you Peter, as well.

    I one time got drunk at an Army chopper base adjacent to Cam Ranh (the name of the base escapes me). Would have been in 1967. Somehow missed Wim’s dad. We were passing through. I can’t stand shows like that concert for fake flag clutchers and chicken hawks.

    I also can’t begin to express my disgust at all that phony “thank you for your service” crap. People don’t mean it, don’t give a shit about GIs and are just saying it because they feel obligated. At least the reaction to returning Vietnam vets was more honest.

    Good story, Wim.

    It’s a wonderful thing to have family when a health issue comes up. Interesting that when I got sick last spring my Ex was the first one there. She’s provided fantastic help and support. We’re having lunch tomorrow and Thanksgiving is going to be at my house with her and our daughter and the grand kids.

    952 chars

  27. Deborah said on November 13, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    MichaelG my Vietnam Vet husband says the exact same things. He hated his time in the service, he was drafted, and he feels like it messed up his life to some degree. He didn’t talk about it for ages. On the plus side he got to go to grad school at Harvard partially on the GI bill, the other parts by scholarship and doing highway construction in the summers.

    Peter, I hope you and your wife get some relief from health related anxiety. Take it easy.

    453 chars

  28. brian stouder said on November 13, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    MichaelG – excellent news about Thanksgiving with the family.

    It’s my favorite biggie holiday, with the most comfortable traditions

    134 chars

  29. Jolene said on November 13, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    People–at least some people–do care about and admire veterans, MichaelG, but they feel awkward about what to say when encountering someone who (a) they don’t know and (b) has been through a complex experience that they might or might not want to talk about.

    For me, the problematic aspect of the concert was not the hyped-up, shallow patriotism but thinking about what many of the veterans present had been asked to do. However lame the justification for Vietnam was, it doesn’t come close in arrogant misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the situation as the rationale that took us into Iraq.

    You can’t blame young enlistees for the sins of military and political leaders, not to mention the combination of fear and thirst for revenge that led the American people to favor war, but you don’t want to celebrate what was done as a result of those misjudgments either, however noble the motivations of those who served might have been or however much they might have suffered.

    987 chars

  30. Jill said on November 13, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Good thoughts to Peter and the 4dbirds family.

    46 chars

  31. Deborah said on November 13, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Good points Jolene.

    Off topic (as usual) maybe this was discussed here and I missed it but what do you journos think about Matt Taibbi leaving First Look? And now another person, only his name isn’t familiar to me and I don’t remember it. What do you all think of the whole Omidyar (spelling?) venture?

    305 chars

  32. Dexter said on November 13, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Does anyone know anything about Yahoo! Mail crashing? I have been getting “error 14” for about 18 hours…ALL my “stuff” in in Yahoo! Mail folders.

    148 chars

  33. Deborah said on November 13, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Dexter, my old account that got hacked was acquired by Yahoo. I don’t use it anymore but I didn’t delete it. I checked it just now and it’s still getting incoming mail, as of recently today.

    190 chars

  34. Jerri said on November 13, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Dexter, reports that Yahoo mail is up but that they’ve had 16 reports of problems in the last few hours. I haven’t had any trouble today, other than the usual lock-up when I sign on, but last week was one problem after another.

    Sending healing wishes to Peter, the 4dbirds family, and MichaelG.

    319 chars

  35. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Wim, thank you! And blessings with you as you watch and wait, 4dbirds.

    WWII vets have told me stories of everything from “I got a parade” to “My train came in at 10 pm and I walked home in the pouring rain; next day the cop on the beat said ‘where ya been?’ and that was my welcome home” and all points in between (including the fact that, as Wim’s dad points out, intercourse had been invented in this country by 1940 if not earlier). More recent vets say they’re relatively underwhelmed but unbothered by the ritual “Thank you for your service,” since they figure it’s a sign of a) the country doesn’t want to repeat the ‘blame the soldier’ mistake of the Vietnam era, and b) it’s one of those things people say like ‘sorry for your loss’ that you just take at face value but don’t put much weight on.

    Office discussion at juvenile court, on which I’d be curious to hear other views (I’ve already lured Dorothy into this conversation on Facebook): it feels to us, in juvenile matters, that in the last year or so anti-anxiety meds and anxiety disorders have become what ADHD & ritalin were not so many years back. We went through the ritalin and Concerta and Adderall and Strattera eras, then the anti-depressants became the norm for over half our kids through these doors, Welbutrin and Cymbalta and Effexor. But now the wave is cresting with Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, and Paxil.

    Do folks think this is a long-standing issue that is only now being diagnosed, treated, and prescribed for, or is it more that “anxiety disorders” as a general thing have become the latest “flavor of the month”? I could read the evidence I have either way. Curious to see what the NN.C community thinks. Dorothy notes the school shooting rolling issue helps to keep this a background drone of fear, as others note that the hum and buzz of 24/7 connectivity could be creating a wave of growing tension. And I always wonder “what new syndromes are the pharmaceutical companies needing to promote this quarter?” but that’s awfully cynical.

    2030 chars

  36. brian stouder said on November 13, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Jeff, I subscribe to your last sentence.

    40 chars

  37. brian stouder said on November 13, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    (I mean – you cannot watch 30 minutes of news, or an hour of any sports broadcast, and not see one message after the next pushing prescription drugs for anxiety, depression, afib, pulmonary problems, and – of course! – “erectile dysfunction”

    241 chars

  38. Sherri said on November 13, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    I’m a little surprised that Cymbalta and Effexor crested ahead of the others, since they’re usually not first line meds (they’re SNRI’s rather than SSRI’s). They’re also a bear to stop taking, because of the short half-life. Nasty discontinuation syndrome (you’re not supposed to call it withdrawal.)

    I guess I come down on the side of “yes.” Yes, to some degree, anxiety is a long-standing issue that is now being diagnosed, treated, and prescribed for, and yes, to some degree, “anxiety disorder” has probably also become the flavor of the month. My problem with loading kids up with these meds is that the meds aren’t magic pills, and the meds have real side effects. The pills don’t make the problems go away, they make it easier to address the problems. I’m concerned that the pills are being used instead of addressing the problems, because the problems are hard to deal with.

    What’s next? Anti-psychotics like Zyprexa and Seroquel? Those have even more serious side effects.

    988 chars

  39. Suzanne said on November 13, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    One of my relatives is very involved with Honor Flight and he’s mentioned that P. Miller is a great supporter. I told that I thought P. Miller is a fool & that his involvement would make me pause to question any support I’d give. I haven’t listened to him in years. I didn’t think WOWO could get anyone worse than Pat White, but they did it!!

    Hope everybody has good health outcomes.

    The big news of the day in my book is that Indiana was dead last in voter participation in the just finished election. Woot! Honest to Goodness, Indiana!

    547 chars

  40. Jolene said on November 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    What Sherri said re the need for both medication and therapy/counseling, especially, I think, for young people who may not have had the opportunity to develop much in the way of coping skills, stress management, and so on.

    These drugs are, by the way, fairly non-specific. Although the diagnoses may have shifted from depression to anxiety, all the drugs you mentioned are used for both disorders.

    400 chars

  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Um, Seroquel & Zyprexa have been pretty constant over the last seven years, so I didn’t even mention them. Not up, not down, not everyone, but I’d guess 20% of our/my caseload. (There’s always an assumption that my caseload is a different profile, since I do almost entirely truancy/attendance cases or family conferencing mediations, but to the degree that I’m into victim-offender or other property offense or status offender cases, I don’t think there’s that much difference.)

    Do I think peds prescribe anti-psychotics way too casually? I’d say yes, but I’m not a clinician, just a horseback family systems therapistic gunsligner for the county. Haven’t seen Haldol on a med list since 2004, thankfully. And yes, the withdrawal is nasty on SNRIs, but new docs just jump in and say “stop that so we can try this” and then the meltdown is bad enough to put kids in care of the county . . . but I think it’s the prescribing (or unprescribing) physician who should have to spend a month in foster care. Fragile families can’t handle the stress of coming down off those, but in-patient beds are rationed like the bars of gold they apparently cost the court.

    1162 chars

  42. brian stouder said on November 13, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Suzanne – that Indiana news is depressing. I was quite happy that Anne Duff won her At-Large seat on the FWCS board of trustees; in fact she out-polled friend-of-NN.c Mark GiaQuinta, which I thought was very impressive.

    On the other hand, the candidate who I thought was insane, and who would have been a disastrous addition to the board, racked up an impressive number of votes and didn’t lose by much

    Nonpartisan Anne Duff 37.9% 20,208
    Nonpartisan Mark GiaQuinta (Incumbent) 36.7% 19,565
    Nonpartisan Jeannette Jaquish 25.4% 13,542


    658 chars

  43. Sherri said on November 13, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    In my experience, doctors, even psychiatrists, are pretty casual about just how nasty withdrawal from the SNRIs is. I’ve come off of both Effexor and Cymbalta, and it isn’t pleasant. My psychiatrist and I still have a disagreement about whether the incredibly sudden and hard relapse into depression I had tapering off Cymbalta was due to underlying disease manifesting or withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes I think docs should have to take and then come off of SNRIs just so they could experience the “brain zaps” that happen when you do so. I take an SNRI because it keeps me sane, and the SSRIs didn’t, but SNRIs shouldn’t be first line drugs. Neither should anti-psychotics.

    So, are there real problems with these kids that the drugs could be helping? Yes, probably so. Are the drugs being using in an therapeutically useful way? Seems unlikely.

    848 chars

  44. alex said on November 13, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Jeff, I’m of the opinion that the real “attention deficit” isn’t kids’ inability to focus, it’s the parents’ inability to parent. Shifting the blame to the children or to some disease is the perfect way to sell product to a large number of people who are in denial about their own shortcomings and are deeply invested in seeing themselves as blameless.

    As one who was an analysand for many years without benefit of psych drugs, it was my understanding that the only ethical use for psych drugs is in conjunction with counseling, and that these drugs should be necessary only for those who are in such severe distress that it would be impossible for them to cope in the counseling setting otherwise.

    In the not-too-distant past I came off of a round of Wellbutrin utilized for the purpose of tobacco cessation and daily I am reckoning with just how much it altered my reality and how embarrassed I am about some of my behavior under its influence. And that’s just a mild drug. We do children a disservice by putting them on this shit, especially while their brains and their social skills are developing, and the general public is not being well served if it thinks you can buy a happy pill and be oblivious to its consequences instead of getting the help that’s really needed.

    Anxiety? It exists for a reason. It’s there to guide us. The only people who are “blessed” with its innate absence are the most cold-blooded of sociopaths. Those who are “cursed” with too much of it need some counseling to help get it into perspective.

    1541 chars

  45. Sherri said on November 13, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Alex, I’ve known kids whose parents worked very hard trying to keep their kids off meds, and finally put their kids on meds and found that everybody’s life got better. Like I’ve said, the pills aren’t magic, but sometimes the magic can’t happen without them.

    I’ve spent many years in therapy and many years on psych drugs. I don’t take them lightly.

    352 chars

  46. alex said on November 13, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    I hear you, Sherri, and don’t want to sound too snap-judgmental. I’m speaking as a kid who had to struggle with growing up gay in the ’60s whose mother put him on Ritalin and then reacted with horror rather than relief when I turned into the vapid automaton she thought she wanted and that she thought I needed to be. I’m glad she took me off it immediately.

    358 chars

  47. 4dbirds said on November 13, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks everyone for the well wishes. I also wish everyone well who is experiencing health challenges. Hubby got through the surgery and is now in the ICU. It looks good. He is awake and they removed the breathing tube. Power kept going off in the hospital. Now that scary.

    278 chars

  48. Dexter said on November 13, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    My Yahoo! Mail came back online at around 6:00. Thanks, Deborah and Jerri for helping. 132 emails. Mister popularity.

    Our family has gone ’round ‘n’ ’round over Ritalin and like drugs. We have two grandsons with ADHD. The parents put both on Adderall. All I know is that these drugs are powerful as hell and please research every aspect before allowing your loved ones to be dosed. I hear the #1 drug, overall, on college campii these days is Adderall, even more of that than the rec-drug “Molly”.

    Glad for your good news, 4birds. I remember seeing my dad just after he was wheeled into recovery after a triple bypass in 1993. I thought “I have just seen the future.” I immediately became a vegetarian, but I only lasted 2 and a half years…a Thanksgiving drumstick was my downfall…bacon and chops soon to follow.

    The snow today was weird, man, weird. It wasn’t even cold, it had so much air in it, and it looked like soap powder flakes. Winter creeping in…it’s 24 degrees here and it feels damn-cold. Indeed.

    1114 chars

  49. Jerry said on November 14, 2014 at 1:49 am

    Best wishes and caring thoughts to all who need them.

    Up early today as it was the first time I’ve used the alarm clock since the clocks went back over here. Guess who checked the time for the alarm but didn’t think to check the time. Duh!

    And once I’d realised my error I immediately thought of my brother who died earlier this year. He would have been 75 today. You don’t realise what you have until you lose it.

    Like I say, best wishes and caring thoughts.

    468 chars

  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 14, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Now, I’ll lob a bomb into this discussion — and I appreciate all the sincere input to date! — and tell you what I think I see, at least amongst my caseload. When “anxiety” is claimed as the reason for chronic absence, and I work into the family dynamic? What I keep seeing are parents, usually single moms, who are anxious and/or depressed (yes, they overlap often; no, they don’t always because sometimes things are more emphatically one way or another), and who are wanting to a) not get up themselves, or b) are wanting to keep their children close to them. Anxiety disorders are a good way to present that . . . but I rarely see, hear, or feel any of that from the child, and usually they say they want to go to school, but the parent is “encouraging” them to stay home. So what I’m addressing is a complex family system — but I do have (sometimes, maybe half, not more than that, possibly significantly less) a diagnosis of “anxiety disorder” for the child. But lacking a doctor signed letter specifying “please excuse the child from classes/attendance when anxiety is triggered”, which I’ve seen twice in the last four years out of a couple hundred cases naming that, the school and I are supposed to affirm the importance of attendance, and in fact to move on to charges on child and parent if absence continues beyond my involvement as a mediator. In short, I’m “told” there’s anxiety often, I see anti-anxiety meds frequently, but I almost never get a doctor letter saying “the condition requires that attendance be excused.” With that: your thoughts?

    1563 chars

  51. brian stouder said on November 14, 2014 at 7:32 am

    So, doctors sign off on Rx’s for ‘anxiety’ (thinking “revenue stream” here) but won’t sign off on a note to the school saying “please excuse the child from classes/attendance when anxiety is triggered”….which is to say – where the revenue stream is dry?

    Makes sense to me!

    281 chars

  52. Deborah said on November 14, 2014 at 9:55 am

    When a parent wants to let the child stay home but the child wants to go to school, there’s a lot more to that story than meets the eye.

    136 chars

  53. Sherri said on November 14, 2014 at 11:25 am

    It’s easier to address the kid’s non-problem than to address any of the real problems.

    Not that people involved don’t see that, or don’t want to address any of the real problems, but that they don’t have any good means of doing so. I could argue that the doctors shouldn’t be handing out anti-anxiety meds, but (1) anxiety can be internalized to a degree that it doesn’t always present out in the open and (2) maybe they think the meds will help the kids cope in a difficult home situation (I don’t know that they think this, nor do I know that the meds do this.)

    Treating the single mom’s depression/anxiety is likely more complicated than just giving her meds, since there are probably very good environmental reasons for her depression/anxiety.

    753 chars

  54. Charlotte said on November 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    My dear departed brother was helped enormously by Ritalin as an adult — but I’m quite convinced his two really serious bouts of major depression in the last year of his life were exacerbated by the drugs. Can’t remember which one he was on, but I think it was Wellbutrin. Ran out of money, didn’t refill his prescription, in January in Livingston when it’s dark and cold and windy. Took me a while to figure out what was up. We got him back on them, but it was the destabilizing episode that I’m fairly sure led to his eventual death in a late night single car wreck. I’ll never know how accidental that wreck was. He seemed to be coming out of it, but all the research I did afterwards shows that can often be the most dangerous moment. I do know that the drugs both helped and harmed him.

    791 chars

  55. Deborah said on November 14, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    I took Paxel for a while about a decade ago when I was having extreme work related anxiety brought about by an absolute asshole client. It helped, but when the client was gone I wanted to quit taking it. I had been on those pills for about a year and boy howdy did I have withdrawal problems, I had uncomfortable brain zaps and it felt like I had the flu for three months. I did it as gradually as I possibly could have. I would not recommend anyone to take Paxel (Paxil?) because of that withdrawal experience even though it did help my anxiety.

    546 chars

  56. Sherri said on November 14, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Paxil has the shortest half-life of the SSRIs, and seems to have the most idiosyncratic response among people. I only took one sub-therapeutic dose of Paxil, was intensely sick for a day (and I refused to take any more), then I was euphoric for a couple of days. After that wore off, I was back to being severely depressed, but reluctant to take any drugs. Eventually I gave in and tried another drug, Serzone, a SNDRI, which sort of worked; it would help, then wear off. It’s not on the market in the US anymore because it can sometimes cause severe liver damage. Effexor was finally able to pull me out of the pit.

    Charlotte, yes, there is a dangerous time when the drugs have given you enough energy to do something without yet pulling you up enough to feel any hope. Depression convinces you that you are going to feel this way forever, that nothing is ever going to change.

    881 chars

  57. Sue said on November 14, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Can someone tell me when these courageous industrialists are finally going to actually ‘go Galt’ and leave us alone? And maybe take Paul Ryan with them?
    I am interested to see how he gets out of this. Because he will. He owns too many people.

    303 chars

  58. Dexter said on November 15, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Love-sparks flying between Rand Paul and Bill Maher. Normally I would have moved right along the channels, but I was waiting for Maher to invite Paul out on a date…the schmooze was about to turn into smootches. Sheesh.
    Paul is a Republican. Maher is whatever he says he is…now he’s a Republican, no doubt about it. Watch last night’s show…you can see for yourself.

    377 chars

  59. Dexter said on November 15, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Well, damn it all anyway, I enjoyed The Concert for Valor…I mean, really, what does Zac Brown really care about patriotism and military “heroes”? Ya jus’ gotsta understand that all that stuff is feel-good fluff.
    I’m talking about the knock-em-dead performance of The Black Keys, who nance has seen a time or two or three as I recall. I never realized how great they are until I watched the TV concert a couple times now. I am now a fan.

    444 chars

  60. Deborah said on November 15, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I’m just back from a long walk doing chores, about 6 1/2 miles round trip
    , but I walked 2 miles this morning too when we went to our breakfast place, Xoco. So it was an 8 1/2 mile day. Damn it felt good, haven’t done that in a while. It’s still cold in Chicago, high was 32 I think, but not windy and even some sun. They were predicting snow for tonight and tomorrow morning but I see that they’ve removed that from the forecast.

    I’m heating up some chili that I made a couple of days ago, I added a few ingredients to make it seem a little different. Good hot food after a full winter’s day (the date in November says it’s fall but it’s really winter already here).

    671 chars

  61. Dexter said on November 15, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    While awaiting the pot roast, I made a salad just now. Two large canned herring fillets, half a turnip, raw, sliced thin…half a red Bell pepper, chopped, half an onion, chopped, 1/2 half cup bow tie pasta, one cup fresh raw spinach,small chunk of cheddar cheese, cut into small pieces, salt, pepper, shot of red vinegar, shot of EVOO, dash of Italian bottled dressing. Good.

    379 chars

  62. Sherri said on November 16, 2014 at 12:39 am

    Apropos our discussion about medicating kids with psychotropics:

    162 chars

  63. David C. said on November 16, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Well this is interesting.

    Pope Francis has invited Patti Smith, the “Godmother of Punk,” to perform at this year’s Vatican Christmas concert, according to The Independent.

    265 chars

  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 16, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Risperdal isn’t one I run into often; that’s quite a combo. As the article notes in a nervous aside, this is a kid who doesn’t have much regularity in his life. Bingo. The problem is that if you try to address it, you run into a double barreled reaction of “hey, don’t blame the victim” (noting that it’s the kid who’s technically the victim here, but nevermind) and both your own inability and the mother’s to change that. The household is what it is.

    A majority of “my kids” are in blended households with a fair amount a variability as to which adults live there, let alone what kids or young adults live there at any given evening. Add in a sequence of moves, both in county and multi-state, and it’s hard not to wonder if treating the geographic and interpersonal instability might be more effective than trying to manage the kid’s cognitive biochemistry. But the scrip is cheap (cheap enough, anyhow), while getting mom some hard skills on top of some soft skills for employment and independence, and chasing away some chronic bill collections, that’s gonna cost some real money.

    Not all, but a significant subcategory.

    1131 chars

  65. Deborah said on November 16, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Here I go again about the weather, it snowed lightly in Chicago this morning, not enough to stick. It was dreary all day and the temp hovered around 30, could be worse. Little Bird texted me a photo of the snow in Santa Fe, not a lot, about an inch on the ground, at least it stuck.

    I’m reading Richard Ford’s latest “Let Me Be Frank With You”. Another in the Frank Bascombe series. I like the book so far. A good day for staying inside and reading and making beef stew.

    474 chars

  66. Kirk said on November 16, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    They’re saying 4 to 6 inches overnight in central Ohio. It’s too damned early for this crap.

    92 chars