Obama: The Best Person for the Job?

Obama: The Best Person for the Job?.

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The Ugly Side of America, Part 6: Teen suicide, teen drug abuse and teen bullying.

Substance Abuse

It appears that there is a lack of intervention by our society/culture regarding the current epidemic of teen suicide, teen drug abuse and teen bullying.  Many teens are in serious trouble mentally and emotionally.  They feel hopeless, helpless, abandoned, neglected, misunderstood, unloved, and many parents are unaware of the thoughts that are percolating in their children’s minds.  America’s love affair with drugs and alcohol, violence, sex and money are ruining the lives of teens. Add poverty to the mix, absentee parents and physical or sexual abuse, you will quickly see that the future of these children is not a bright one. Without a societal intervention, children will continue to engage in high risk behavior that often ends in death. Mental illness exists at alarming rates. Without diagnosis and treatment, children will eventually self-medicate with drugs, alcohol, sex, or seek a way out of their misery by killing themselves. Teen cutting is another problem that is happening mainly among teenage girls. This is sometimes a precursor to suicide, if left unchecked. The stress of middle school appears to be  one of the main problems that children have trouble coping with. Trying to belong, to fit in as well as meet the expectations of their parents and the schools they attend often are too much for many children to handle.  The pressure of drugs and sex is also prevalent.  Social networking adds another dimension that has caused many of these problems to reach crisis proportions. The internet has brought about the kind of exposure to children that they never had before.  Internet usage is not as closely monitored as it should be by parents. Many parents have no idea what their kids are doing on the internet.  There is so much sex and violence on the internet that many kids do not know what to do with so much information.  They can’t possibly process it much less understand the ramifications of being exposed to so much.  Kids feel powerless as they try to make sense of their world and exercise control over it.  It is indeed a scary thought that this is the future generation.  Priorities are not what they should be. Families are in crisis. Parents are working too much and are unavailable emotionally to their children.  Children are looking for structure, guidance, presence, attention, love, understanding and a healthy relationship with their parents.  Since the expansion of the internet and violent video games, teen suicide rates and teen violence against others has increased.  If mental illness is present and goes undetected, the potential for disaster is a given.  An example is Columbine, Virginia Tech and more recently Tucson, Arizona.  Many parents don’t see the signs, are in denial, or don’t know what to look for. Some parents minimize their children’s symptoms and are then surprised when tragedy strikes. We are still afraid to talk about mental illness.  We need to start the dialog and look at our own family histories of depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia as well as suicide.  Most mental disorders can be treated with successful outcomes. But they have to be identified as soon as signs and symptoms present themselves.  The community needs to play a larger role in taking care of its families.  The family is in peril but it can be turned around through education about mental and emotional disorders, family interventions such as therapy and hospitalization if necessary.  The stigma about mental illness needs to be removed so that people can get the help that they need.  Family meetings help children and their parents talk about problems and come up with solutions.  Spending quality time with children helps children feel valued and important.  Learning effective parenting skills is also helpful as no parent has all the answers and as the saying goes “children don’t come with instructions”.  Children need to grow in an environment of love, acceptance and nurturance.  If they feel no one cares about them or that they are not being listened to, they will seek attention wherever they can find it and not always in the right places. Nothing can replace time spent with a child. Many children are not hopeful about the future.  Hope, possibility and goal setting need to be instilled.  This is difficult to achieve if parents don’t have a positive outlook themselves.  The violence, drugs and sex in our culture is truly at epidemic proportions.  Heroin use is up among middle school and high school students along with prescription drugs, such as painkillers, and alcohol.  Overdosing is common as well as death from overdosing or car accidents due to being under the influence.   Let’s not throw away the next generation. Let’s all do something now.

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The UGLY Side of America, Part 5: The Wild, Wild, West is Alive and Well

The sheriff got it right:  Arizona has become the mecca for bigotry and prejudice. However, it had the reputation long before the recent events. Anyone remember Barry Goldwater?  He was a supreme bigot.  But I really think the larger issue is violence.  There is so much violence in our culture that it feels like the wild, wild west. Lawlessness, blatant lawlessness and a complete disregard for human life is another ugly side of America. America loves its guns and they are so easy to obtain.  The sheriff got it right when he also indicated how unstable people take violence to the next level. I think that we are no longer a civilized world.  Is it time to leave this planet?  Does anyone see the escalating violence?  Children are being raised on violence, from violent video games, violent movies and television, violence in the news, domestic violence, bullying, gang violence, and there is no end in sight.  The shooter in the recent violence in Arizona has a troubled past, according to the news reports.  The scary part is that no one can predict what a person is going to do just by the way they act or what they say.  But certainly there were strong signs that Loughner was troubled in very dangerous ways and that there were strong indicators for his potential for violence.  Guns need to be regulated more stringently; the mental health of individuals needs to be monitored more closely, especially if they display bizarre behavior or make bizarre statements. Family members and friends need to play a larger role in getting people help that are mentally unstable as well as notifying authorities of statements made by those individuals. We are living in a very scary time.  It is not just here, it is everywhere. But we can do better than we are doing.  We can take more responsibility also for what we say and do. Saying the wrong thing can obviously get us caught in the “cross hairs”. Freedom of speech is fine but not without responsibility.

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I Have a Hunch

President Barack Obama and Senator Ted Kennedy...

Image via Wikipedia

I have a hunch, and it is just a hunch, that the Health Care Reform Bill was the idea and dream held by the late Edward Kennedy and by Hilary Clinton. Remember how Hilary’s health care bill died?  Remember also the 18 million voters that Hilary delivered to Barak Obama?  Remember the private meeting that they had, supposedly to offer her either VP or Secretary of State? I wonder what that was all about?  It is just a hunch, but in my opinion the health care bill was the deal.  I think from the beginning Barak Obama was ill-advised,  as all Presidents usually are.  It is just a hunch.

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