Friday, August 10, 2012
I have not posted here at NIAFS in just over a month. This has been for two reasons: one, I am working on another book project, and two, I have completely had it with American politics and with American voters in particular. This post is about Reason #2.
My wife is one of those people who was prescribed Ambien as a sleeping aid many years ago. I discovered about a decade back that she was occasionally exhibiting strange, semi-conscious behaviors after taking this drug. My conclusion after observing several such instances of sleepwalking-like behavior was that Ambien was truly one of the most dangerous drugs I had ever encountered. Although my wife never tried to drive a car under the mysterious influence of this drug, she did try cooking and other household tasks numerous times. Being the psychologically oriented person that I am, I tried several tactics to show my wife the dangerous behavior of which she was completely oblivious at the time, but none actually worked, at least not in the real time in which the strange behaviors were occurring. Gentle persuasion never registered in her conscious brain. I tried getting in her face with strong words and emphatic language. I tried taking her by the hand or arms and physically guiding her back to bed. I ordered her to cease what she was doing and return to bed in the most insistent manner I could muster. Nothing worked, at least not to her conscious mind at the time. Of course I was able to shut off the range or whatever other hazardous equipment she was operating and guide her belligerent body back to bed, but not once did she ever recall a conscious memory of the event the next morning. She continued to think that I was just exaggerating or overreacting to her use of the drug. I repeated the stories every time there was an incident, but her conscious memory remained blank.
Ambien works beautifully as a sleep-enhancing drug. There are two common over the counter drugs that are marketed as Ambien competitors. Simply Sleep seems to have little effect on some people, such as myself, and Sominex can have a full twenty-four-hour hangover effect on some people, also such as myself. Ambien seems to work without either negative. After several years of forbidding my wife to use Ambien for obvious risk to her health, I discovered the simple truth. Ambien affects people who feel driven to accomplish a certain task, whether that is cooking breakfast or driving to the supermarket. Obsessive-compulsive personalities should stay far away! If you are not one of these people, or if you are, but you are certain at the specific time you wish to take the drug that you are completely relaxed and not subconsciously compelled to complete a certain task within a given timeline, Ambien will help you sleep without its dangerous side effect.
The Ambien example is a state of mind, a psychological determination appropriate for each individual. The drug company controlling and distributing the drug will never tell you the truth about it because the truth is inconvenient for them, specifically for their financial income. The company cannot control lawsuits effectively if the truth is stated on the bottle, that the danger applies to certain personality types or to particular mood swings of any potential user. The whole concept is entirely too messy for an entity who cares only about the money. My wife and I no longer have any trepidations concerning her use of Ambien. The answer is simply to always have a person present who is aware of the potential side effect, a person who has the wherewithal to stop the ingestion of Ambien by a user who is wired up at the time of potential usage. If sleep is desperately sought during such a state of mind, take Sominex or Simply Sleep instead.
Our political leaders and their media henchmen have become like the producers of Ambien. They have no intention whatsoever of telling us the truth or acting in our best interests. The key to this nightmare does not lie with the politicians or the media personalities. The real culprit is the American voter. The politicians, no matter how despicably you may see the issues of individual ones, are doing nothing more than chasing the big numbers in the voting booths of America. If anything, the media personalities are probably even more guilty than the politicians themselves. It is the media who benefits the most financially from close races and endless slap-fights between political correctness and racial religion. The last thing they are interested in telling the voters is how patently absurd these issues are, particularly in the relentless faces of global warming, exploding population, demographic nightmares, and most of all, extreme income inequality.
The Republicans took over America with a long-range plan that began in the '70's. Their plan centered around the population sectors that were growing, the Southern states. They took voters from the Democratic side and moved them to their side. Here we are nearly forty years later and the Democrats are still acting as if elections are won in America by simple vote count. They are acting as if population shifts to the Southern and Western sections of the country mean nothing. Ditto for the many Republican redistricting plans. I have a news flash for the Democratic leadership. You are either idiots or assholes; which is it? It will be a cold day in a global warming hell before you overpower the Republican juggernaut with minorities of race, religion, or sexual orientation! You must at least begin a long-range plan to take our country back from the nuts. You must make the pendulum swing back to sanity, and there is only one way you are going to do it. You must start a long-range plan to recover the Southern and Western voters you began to lose with your support of the civil rights legislation of the '60's. I am not saying that you must change any of your essential policies, but I am saying that you must change the perceptual attitude toward those issues. You must build a coalition of the 99% around the central cause of all our misery, poverty and income inequality, and you must begin by publicly telling the truth concerning the driving force behind this cause, population.
Class warfare is precisely what America needs most. Class has been hammering us all into the ground since The Reagan Revolution and it is far past time to start doing something about it. Elizabeth Warren has been awarded the warmup speech for Bill Clinton at the upcoming convention. That's not good enough. She should have the same keynote speech opportunity that Barry got in 2004. Yes, of course I know they are giving this opportunity to an Hispanic mayor. We already got America's first African-American President. How's that working out for you? Of course he's a hell of a speech maker, and obviously an intelligent, compassionate man, but his relentless sellout to Wall Street should have already shown you that he is not exactly what America needs to overpower the Republican madness and at least begin to address global warming and income inequality in a meaningful manner. As always, my wife and I shall be the first in line to cast our votes for Barry's second term, as well as punching the button for all Democrats. The problem is that this is simply not good enough.
The whole circus is depressingly predictable. Just because I live in Texas, I nearly always vote for the eventual loser. President Obama may well secure a second term of do-nothing actions against the Republican juggernaut, but every other Democrat I shall vote for in 2012 will be the usual lost cause. I used to live in Mississippi, where the result was the same. I lived briefly in Tennessee as a young adult, and you can guess the result in that state, too. The same can be said of most states in which the voters from large expanses of small and medium-sized towns outnumber those in central cities. Outsiders may think of Austin as being solidly blue, but that is not the whole story. Only the central city in Travis County is blue. The highly populous suburbs and exurbs located in several surrounding counties are as red as Mitt's face whenever his tax returns are mentioned. The two monstrous populations of Texas, the DFW Metroplex and the Houston metro area are much the same way. What is Sarah Palin's favorite place in Texas? The Woodlands, a very rich suburb of Houston, is where she has made several key speeches to her faithful power brokers.
Democrats, I have a little advice for you. Shut up about Chick-fil-A! Shut up about gay marriage. Stop the bashing of churchgoers in particular and religion in general. Stop calling everyone from the South racists. Cease the relentless promotion of diversity at all political cost. Stop calling all Republican voters idiots. As I stated previously, I am not asking that you change any of your policies on the issues. I am simply asking that you cease participating in the endless slap-fight! It takes two to fight a relentless war. You cannot continue to call yourselves the rational, intelligent ones as you continually trade epithets with the really crazy ones! You cannot take our country back from the crazies without swinging a substantial number of white, rural and Southern voters back to our side. You must take voters from your opponent. They have the organization. They have the media. They are the juggernaut. To move this nation forward, we must disable the effectiveness of The Southern Strategy. We must convince a substantial portion of their voters to switch sides. They did it to us and we can do it back to them, but not by antagonizing their voting bloc.
The media is making far too much money off the slap-fight of relentlessly close elections. As with the Big Pharma that distributes Ambien, Big Media will never tell us the truth. What people think is true is often a more powerful persuader than the truth itself. Millions of Republican voters of various flavors observe the actions of the Democratic media, politicians, and voters. They do not see the similarities of the 99%. They see the Democrats as the party of minorities of many sorts, while they are the majority. The key is that although we may be the majority of potential voters, they are the majority of actual voters. These are the people we need on our side. We can explain the intricacies of political issues to them after we have secured their votes on a consistent basis. The real truths about Ambien and most political issues cannot be explained in a sound bite. We all need a dose of responsibility for our own actions, both private and political.