Tag Archives: Arrested development

(2) Obstacles to my prosperity

Dan Rodricks complained that a recent Baltimore City ordinance on panhandling failed to address “the underlying issues.” He has failed to address them either; so, I thought I would. Here are those I personally see:

CHECKLIST

TREATMENT ON DEMAND. Drug and alcohol treatment needs to be available on demand. This doesn’t affect me personally, but does affect panhandling — and prostitution, petty theft, shoplifting, smash-and-grabs, larcenies, and in fact all crime of any type. It’s not just traffic fatalities — half of all crimes are committed while someone is either intoxicated or seeking drug money. Continue reading (2) Obstacles to my prosperity
Advertisements

Alcoholism basics

(A message I sent family on 26 April 2006.)

Disease, or sin?

To the best of my knowledge, the “disease theory of alcoholism” began with Dr. Robert Silkworth, at the time of St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio, coincident with the beginnings of A.A. “Dr. Bob” referred to the condition as an “allergy”; for whatever reason, these folks’ bodies respond to this substance differently than others’ do.

This theory and its ramifications are, today, largely taken for granted throughout the scientific world. Whatever the disease’s cause, behavioral strategies are needed, too, if the subject is to manage the disease and live a normal life. The same is just as true of diabetes or near-sightedness or hay fever.

The competing view, that drinking problems reflect sin or some kind of moral deficiency, still has its grip on the popular mind. The predicaments that problem drinkers create for themselves and for others, are bad enough in and of themselves without the added burden of this stigma. My late father insisted until his last lucid day, that it was all a question of “will power.” I remember visiting Mom at home sometime prior to 1990, and finding on the bookshelf different books by Hazen G. Werner, an Ohio Methodist bishop whom my father fervently admired, and finding certain passages that my father had marked wherein the author discounted the disease theory and blamed it all instead on, as it were, sin. I shook my head at the untold, needless damage such words do.
Continue reading Alcoholism basics

A landmark study

(Originally posted 07/08/15.)

Stress in low-income families can affect children’s learning

I am very excited about this.

This is, as far as I know, the first study to attempt to measure the degree of chaos in the home.

The researchers in an earlier-mentioned study (Related:  Poor children have smaller brains) speculated that “poor families tend to live more chaotic lives, and that stress could inhibit healthy brain development.”  The current study seems to indicate that it is directly so.

As of this writing, my hypothesis has become as follows:  the chaos of a growing child’s environment causes comparatively more resources to be devoted to the limbic system and less to the cerebral cortex, resulting in a body with reduced capacity to learn.

Related:  A MUST-READ CONCERNING JUSTICE AND POVERTY
Related: Chaos overwhelms the poor

Naughty girls ISO the Kingdom

I have been spending lots of time at church during the week. I took to looking askance at two particular neighborhood teens who participate in a number of our programs — garden club, after-school, youth group — because they seem to manage always to be in the wrong place (an unauthorized place) at the wrong time, and Shontay in particular wears this mischievous grin, as if she’s looking for trouble.

One Sunday in mid-November, my attitude toward them changed completely.

Continue reading Naughty girls ISO the Kingdom

Hate speech is normally protected.

That’s the law.

Accordingly, this speech I just heard a mother direct to her one-year old:

“Shut the fuck up.  Yo’ little punk ass always cryin’ an shit.”

First point:  Do I have a right to be offended by that?  Do I have a right to say it offends me?

Second point:  Look at the exact words used.  As with many people I meet from day to day, the words they use indicate conclusively that their lives revolve around their privates.

Related:  The Word of the Day

* A landmark study

Stress in low-income families can affect children’s learning

I am very excited about this.

This is, as far as I know, the first study to attempt to measure the degree of chaos in the home.

The researchers in an earlier-mentioned study (Related:  Poor children have smaller brains) speculated that “poor families tend to live more chaotic lives, and that stress could inhibit healthy brain development.”  The current study seems to indicate that it is directly so.

As of this writing, my hypothesis has become as follows:  the chaos of a growing child’s environment causes comparatively more resources to be devoted to the limbic system and less to the cerebral cortex, resulting in a body with reduced capacity to learn.

Related:  A MUST-READ CONCERNING JUSTICE AND POVERTY
Related: Chaos overwhelms the poor

(Reblogged 10/13/16.)

Where trees thrive, people thrive

This thinking goes back to 1973.

I was a senior in high school, running an errand in the family car.  I must have been listening to WKSU.  This 5- or 15-minute segment came on.  A female spokesperson for the ACLU said that, under the compulsory school attendance law, a minor can only be in one of two places: a school, or a penal facility.  In her view there was no real difference.

I was an honors student and deeply convicted that education is the answer to poverty.  Thus her remarks left me incensed.  More than that, whereas I’ve never been a conservative, it seemed to me that the ACLU and other, like-minded movements were bent on destroying all order in society.  The family unit was under attack.  Marriage was under attack.  The schools were under attack.  Change for its own sake, which seemed to be what these people were after, isn’t good.  Nothing can be built on a foundation of chaos.  A child needs to root oneself in earth that will be in the same place today as tomorrow.  A tree can’t grow in quicksand.

Continue reading Where trees thrive, people thrive

Entitlement(s): Attitude and policy

This is the first of three posts about entitlement:
Today – “Entitlement(s): Attitude and policy”
04/26 – “How I became homeless”
05/03 – “When needs are met”

Let’s get rid of (the term) entitlements

“In 2012, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone represented 44 percent of spending; all entitlement programs were 63 percent. But it’s hard to control entitlement programs because their constituencies are so large.”

It makes sense to me that, as Samuelson proposes, we should discard the term “entitlements” as naming portions of the federal budget that are untouchable. No program should be sacrosanct.
Continue reading Entitlement(s): Attitude and policy

* (2) Obstacles to my prosperity

Dan Rodricks complained that a recent Baltimore City ordinance on panhandling failed to address “the underlying issues.” He has failed to address them either; so, I thought I would. Here are those I personally see:

CHECKLIST

TREATMENT ON DEMAND. Drug and alcohol treatment needs to be available on demand. This doesn’t affect me personally, but does affect panhandling — and prostitution, petty theft, shoplifting, smash-and-grabs, larcenies, and in fact all crime of any type. It’s not just traffic fatalities — half of all crimes are committed while someone is either intoxicated or seeking drug money. Continue reading * (2) Obstacles to my prosperity

* Alcoholism basics

(A message I sent family on 26 April 2006.)

Disease, or sin?

To the best of my knowledge, the “disease theory of alcoholism” began with Dr. Robert Silkworth, at the time of St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio, coincident with the beginnings of A.A. “Dr. Bob” referred to the condition as an “allergy”; for whatever reason, these folks’ bodies respond to this substance differently than others’ do.

This theory and its ramifications are, today, largely taken for granted throughout the scientific world. Whatever the disease’s cause, behavioral strategies are needed, too, if the subject is to manage the disease and live a normal life. The same is just as true of diabetes or near-sightedness or hay fever.

The competing view, that drinking problems reflect sin or some kind of moral deficiency, still has its grip on the popular mind. The predicaments that problem drinkers create for themselves and for others, are bad enough in and of themselves without the added burden of this stigma. My late father insisted until his last lucid day, that it was all a question of “will power.” I remember visiting Mom at home sometime prior to 1990, and finding on the bookshelf different books by Hazen G. Werner, an Ohio Methodist bishop whom my father fervently admired, and finding certain passages that my father had marked wherein the author discounted the disease theory and blamed it all instead on, as it were, sin. I shook my head at the untold, needless damage such words do.
Continue reading * Alcoholism basics