Friday, October 14, 2011


I love Rachel Maddow for her energetic freshness, intelligence, down-to-earthiness. But nowadays, if I tune her in, I change the channel.

For me, right now, there's
too much bam-wham- slam, scratch, jab, punch, and coo.

Coo? Yes, the knowing, comforting tone, the sigh that's telling me "that's the way the cookie crumbles."

Too much news, and too many others are on me and at me, plastering me with info, opini
on, their personal point of view (POV) -- and coo.

Right now, I like Lawrence O'Donnell -- he's slower, wearier, and much less everything. His realistic, sort of sad, pained demeanor suits my tired, weary, sad mood. Maddow's perkiness, her positive, passionate, seemingly un-stoppable flow of information, and her marvelously mixed but balanced personal reactions are exhausting.

Rachel tires me out? Yes! I don't want to be revved up by her.

The Ed Show, Piers Morgan, Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Chris Matthews ... mmm ...Lots of good words in the wind with information that I can grab onto, or ignore but ... well ... I get restless listening to them . Piers is interesting but mostly does interviews. Chris Matthews' politics -- I am not interested in the IFS, and MAYBES on candidates. (Not now-- maybe in nine months I'll pay attention.)

Scott Pelly? The CBS anchorman that replaced Katie Couric? Dull! And the other whatshis-her names? They make me sleepy.

Now Charles Grodin -- golly, like Scott Pelly, he was a commentator on 60 Minutes for a while -- what fascinating fun he was on that show as well as in so many movies! Grodin has a sense of humor and -- for me, right on the money -- clean, sharp, fresh political observations. Hey, if Charles Grodin were the guy on CBS Nightly News, or anywhere, I'd glue myself to the channel and listen, chuckle, oggle, and be -- well, maybe I would be influenced!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


He's in the dumpster, more or less, with quite a few other famous names.

We often throw out our heroes after we've put them high above us on pedestals, because of who they are, what they did, said, or accomplished.

John Edwards, before and after running for vice president with Senator John Kerry, has created and supported many important projects that helped people socially and economically. He was certainly someone to consider as we were looking over Democratic candidates, along with Hilary Clinton and Obama.

Despite the fact that Elizabeth Edwards, his wife, had cancer, she stood bravely, lovingly by his side. While they were campaigning -- and they were a powerfully sympathetic couple.

John had an affair. The details made salacious headlines. The woman got pregnant. He lied and said it wasn't his baby; later, he admitted it was. Meanwhile, wife Elizabeth, who'd published a first book about finding solace after the death of their son and her struggle with cancer, published "Resilience," about living with an incurable cancer, and becoming a victim of her husband's adultery.

What's the story behind her story? We'll probably never know, but maybe the years of sadness and woes parched John Edwards sexually, and made him vulnerable and desperately needy. Yes, clearly he lied about his love life, and also, he apparently, finagled with campaign financing. His selfish, recklessly irresponsible behavior devastated his dying wife, and their children, and hurt his mistress and their child.

At the moment, in Raleigh, N.C., Wade Smith, one of Edward's lawyers has withdrawn from Edwards' defense team because Smith himself has a conflict of interest. The trial is scheduled for January 2012 . Edwards could be fined $1.5 million for misusing funds, and could go to jail for 30 years. Also, heavy, heavy hanging over his head is what he did to Elizabeth and their family. .Now she's dead and their children live with their grandparents. Does he see them, I don't know.

What about his extraordinary record -- all the good deeds he's done for people with medical problems, money woes -- all the money he's donated, and money he's raised for those who desperately need it?

Can we, can the world, can you and I ever trust a man who has lied the way Edwards lied? No. I don't think John Edwards can return to politics, but he could be helping people as he did before he toppled off his pedestal. This man has skills and enormous knowledge, expertise -- like Tiger Woods, like Eliot Spitzer -- he does not belong in the dumpster.

What's my personal feeling about all this?

I am hoping that one of these days John Edwards will be out in the world, back in the world working -- working harder than ever -- helping people and redeeming himself.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Kids? What's happening to them?

They're being studied, measured, medicated, tested, taught how to play, and communicate with other kids and adults.

A kid with communication problems, who doesn't pay attention or talk, or reach out to play with other kids, is said to have "Asperger's." In 1944, Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger, who studied thousands of patients, published a paper defining people who are "autistic" as impaired in social interaction.

Okay, back then it was a major, fascinating new idea.

In the 70's and 80's the theory emerged that these disorders had to do with females -- mothers, who were college graduates, marrying college graduates -- that people of similar temperament were mating. By the 90's, the categories of unions that produced autistic children were proved by statistics that showed (are still showing today), that those who have higher than average levels of autistic traits, without any full blown disorder, are marrying and having children at a higher rate than ever before -- thus, we have more autistic children.

Okay, autism was affecting a lot of people, and more and more research was important, and being funded.

Today, there are tons of articles, photos, advice, pills, and talk about autistic children and why, nowadays, there are more autistic children. Is it chemicals -- stuff in the air, in the home, in everything -- in furniture? cars? food? pets, clothes. toys,. games, electrical outlets? Do kids get it from watching television?

Wise men -- doctors nad, scientists -- have come up with diagnoses: Hyperlexia, Dyslexia, Angelman Syndrome, Autism Dementia; Alexia, Rett Syndrome,- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. (OCD), etc. etc.

Hmm. Do I have Asperger's? I'm verbally adept, and definitely impaired socially -- I don't like parties, have very few friends -- write them -- rarely, hardly ever, even chat with them on the phone for more than a minute.

I can't help mentioning my personal mother/wife, experience -- and EM logic. It seem to me that as you're growing up, you make choices about who to play with, what's fun, what interests you. The choices you make very early on are what you see, hear, and feel from your parents and family.

Is Asperger's like Altzheimer's -- a disease that can be seen in MRI brain scans? Or is it an affliction that's been created by medical doctors and scientists attempting to explain, treat, help people -- make, in fact, a big business over what happens to people as they grow up in today's world?

Yes, MRI's, scans have been made. Thus far, Asperger's is not seen, not yet diagnosed by brain scans.

Could autism be normal functioning of a certain type of mind? While I'm asking myself this quietly, I read about the Director of the Autism Research Center of London's University of Cambridge, Simon Baron Cohen. He said that autistic behavior can been seen in any group of people who have had strong math, science and tech skills, people who can be sorted out by socio-economic standing, relationships, and psychiatric profile -- people with depression, bi-polar disorders, and substance abuse issues.

Cohen reminded his colleagues that their tendency to mate with others of similar background is also typical -- birds of a feather, flock together.

Other scientists, with high ranking credits, agree. Others are horrified by this idea.

I feel like a kid -- I'm trying to figure out if "autism" is a real disease?

I feel (don't know, just feel) that many fears, many things that depress us and haunt us have been created by what we see, feel, hear, watch, use, buy, crave, participate in, learn from observing, identify with in our everyday more complicated, confusing world.

Yes, I think we have created "autism."