As America completes an eventful political year, it’s increasingly apparent that many members of the Republican Party have lost their senses. December 4th brought PPP polling that revealed, “49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama,” despite the fact ACORN disbanded in 2010. That same day 38 Republican Senators blocked passage of the “UN Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities,” erroneously believing the treaty would allow the UN to dictate US law. -more-
Most persons who have a mental illness are in treatment of some kind. This allows most of us to live with some amount of normality, and to do many of the things that so-called "normal" people do. Because of this, it can be hard for others to understand that we have a psychiatric condition when, for the most part, we are acting normally as well as appropriately. -more-
The Massachusetts ballot initiative to give terminally ill, mentally competent adults with six months or less to live the freedom to obtain a prescription for aid in dying was defeated. The right to be at liberty to die should have been an election issue everywhere. -more-
When I was a child, it was common in large cities to see men carrying hand-written signs that proclaimed, “The end of the world is coming.” These days most doomsayers have blogs, but quite a few are Washington pundits who prophesy, “The fiscal cliff is coming.” It’s clear that “taxmageddon” is a disaster if Congress does nothing. Nonetheless, the crisis offers progressives three opportunities. -more-
Anxiety attacks are common for people with a major mental illness including when not part of the diagnosis. Some people with mental illness believe that they have a mixture of mental illnesses, e.g.; a little bit of everything. Their symptoms do not fit neatly into one or two categories. This is not uncommon and it may be related to being medicated. Anxiety can put a damper into a person's activities. If it is allowed to, anxiety will quickly grow into a giant specter and will take over large parts of a person's life. Anxiety seems to feed on its own energy. -more-
There is increasing sentiment in the U.S. Senate to end or reform the filibuster. Supposedly, all seven of the newly elected senators and newly elected independent Angus King of Maine have pledged support for changing the Senate's filibuster rule. Presently, as we have seen in the last sessions of Congress, a 41-vote minority of Republican senators has effectively bottled up or killed legislation. -more-
From the ice-bound passes of the Hindu Kush to the blazing heat of the Karakum Desert, Central Asia is a sub-continent steeped in illusion. For more than two millennia conquerors have been lured by the mirage that it is a gateway to immense wealth: China to the east, India to the south, Persia to the west, and to the north, the riches of the Caspian basin. Greeks, Persians, Arabs, Mongols, British, and Soviets have all come and gone, leaving behind little more than forgotten graveyards and the detritus of war.
Americans and our NATO allies are next.
It is a cliché that Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires, but a cliché doesn’t mean something is not true, just that it is repeated over and over again until the phrase becomes numbing. It is a tragedy that the US was “numb” to that particular platitude, although we have company. In the past 175 years England has invaded Afghanistan four times. -more-
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, 68 percent of Americans acknowledge, “Global warming is at least a somewhat serious problem.” Nonetheless, it’s unlikely that Washington has the political will to mobilize America to combat global warming. This grim reality is reminiscent of the beginning of World War II, when the US dithered for 21 months until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor forced us to act. -more-
Becoming diagnosed with schizophrenia hurts. Just prior to the diagnosis, a person with mental illness very likely had an episode of psychosis that caused them to be diagnosed. An episode of full-blown psychosis is nothing to sneeze at-it is usually a horrible experience. Being told that you are mentally ill and that you will probably have this problem for the rest of your life adds insult to injury. -more-