THE PUBLIC EYE: The New Civil War: Who is to Blame?

By Bob Burnett
Friday October 18, 2013 - 11:04:00 AM

America’s continuing budget and debt-limit crises represent more than misguided political tactics. This is a conflict between two different views of who we are, what’s important, and where the US is headed. It’s a repeat of the ideological clash that resulted in the America’s first Civil War. Who started this fight? -more-

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE:Letter From Sofia: Old Tanks & Modern Mayhem

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday October 17, 2013 - 08:56:00 PM

Sofia, Bulgaria—The military museum in this sprawling capitol city consists of a tiny building and a huge outdoor display of weapons that look as if they had been wheeled in fresh from the battlefields and parked, higgledy piggledy: mountain howitzers that shelled Turks in 1912 rub hubs with Cold War era Russian artillery. MIGs, dusty and weather beaten, crowd a sinister looking Luna-M “Frog” tactical nuclear missile. Two old enemies, a sleek German Mark IV Panzer and its dumpy, but more lethal adversary, a Russian T-34, squat shoulder to shoulder. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: A Few Ramblings on Paranoia

By Jack Bragen
Thursday October 17, 2013 - 09:02:00 PM

My wife quoted a nurse she had met at an inpatient ward. Many years ago the nurse told her that if there is a pill that helps you feel better, you should take it and you should not try to be a martyr. -more-

SENIOR POWER: Senior Sexuality.

By Helen Rippier Wheeler,
Saturday October 19, 2013 - 09:31:00 AM

“Of all the passions, the old man should avoid a foolish passion for women.”

Dr. John Hill (1716-1775)

According to The Old Man’s Guide to Health and Longer Life in 1764 England, Dr. Hill decreed that to marry was everyone’s duty except for the aged. Note that Samuel Johnson considered Hill "an ingenious man, but had no veracity."

There is still a certain amount of taboo attached to sex among older people. Another doctor, this one contemporary, when asked whether it is possible to maintain a sexual life responded with chapter 13 “Maintain your sexual life” in his new book, Winning Strategies for Successful Aging. Sex retards aging, if for no other reason than that it is also good exercise. Seventy-eight year old Eric Pfeiffer, M.D. writes that men continue to be interested in sex into their 70s. (Men, that is!). Sex in the nursing home? Yes… sez he, you are still a sexual being at any age. But he also provides “a cautionary note” regarding sexually transmitted diseases. -more-