Time for another meme dump

CPS paper draft #1

          Policing in America changed in the 1980s, marked a return of the beat cop and the involvement of the community. The idea was to return officers to community contact. Under the paradigm of community policing officers would work routinely in the same communities. Familiarity between officers and the communities they work in builds a partnership between officers and members of the community. Stakeholders such as parents, churches, community organizations and the business community are all invited to get involved. These partnerships are a powerful tool in stopping crime. Members of the community have a big stake in the protection of their community and their cooperation with police is in their best interest and the results can be powerful. All the positive gains made through decades of community policy are now at risk as communities’ scramble to adjust for the future of community policing around factors such as the YouTube effect, social media and persistent concerns of racism.
            A hallmark of community policing is that officers physically move within the community. The change that occurred at the beginning of the 1980’s had a lot to do with officers getting out of their cars. The move out of the car and into the neighborhood was the genesis of a new connection to the citizens of a neighborhood. The car had become a fortress. The relatively small numbers of police officers were bolstered by members of the community. Officers could not see everything that was happening in a community but the people who lived there could see a lot more. By connecting them to officers that worked the community their knowledge of local happenings became an asset to law enforcement. This cooperation is at risk and one of the biggest threats is what has been coined the YouTube effect.
            The YouTube effect is the name given to a phenomenon that centers around the public recording everything to video with their phones. The idea is that officers fear the risk of becoming the next victim of social media exposes. How many times have we seen a video of an officer making an arrest under the headline of police brutality? The problem is, some of these videos have exposed legitimate overstepping of police officers but just as often, if not more often, these videos give very short versions of long stories. Often the brutality being exposed is just the highlights of a legitimately performed arrest. By the time one of these videos goes viral there is little room for an explanation, the public has already been convinced of the officers wrong doing. Officers know these risks are growing every day and the fact is that the public can make an issue out of anything with a video attached. Officers often don’t have the opportunity for their voices to be heard. The defense of an officer’s action is drowned out by social media calls for justice. Faced with these possibilities, officers are less likely to get out of their cars where they have their own sources of video to help protect them. Policing done from the car does not create a connection with the community.
 FBI Director James Comey is quoted in the Washington Post saying that this effect (the YouTube effect) is responsible for the first increases in violent crime America has seen since 1994 (Davis 2015). As the public views more and more of these videos the effect is solidified. No longer are these videos met with incredulity, they have become so commonplace and the stories so predictable that they are accepted at face value all across the country. If we are to believe FBI director Comey, these homemade phone cam videos are the single biggest reason for the increase in violent crime that is sweeping across America. The YouTube effect coupled with social media is interrupting all the gains made by community oriented policing in the last three decades.
            Social media can spread information, wrong or right, at the speed of light. At no time in history have more people been more connected than in today’s world. When we discuss the YouTube effect we also have to discuss the power of its main thoroughfare into the hearts and minds of Americans and the world. Social media can spread a video to millions of viewers within minutes. As these videos spread, their speed grows exponentially. Videos are not the only aspect of social media that affects policing in America. Social media becomes a rallying point for anti-police rhetoric and a bulletin board for social actions such as protests, riots and gang fights. An occurrence that is becoming more and more common is groups of youth being rallied by tweets and exchanges on Facebook. It is nearly impossible for officers to respond quick enough to halt these explosive situations. These calls start with a small circle of people and then messages spread to a broader and broader group. As these groups grow, officers are often the last to show up and when they do arrive it is a faceoff with groups of youth that could number in the dozens. Destruction of property, fighting and assault are often the focus of the group. Officers who respond are also arriving to large groups of phone camera wielding citizens just waiting to capture something that can be perceived as police brutality or institutionalized racism. Officers across America have often misspoken and this has bolstered the citizenry to look for slip ups and demoralized officers to retract from community oriented policy.
            The real coupe de gras that is contributing to the YouTube effect is the racism baring its teeth all across America.  American police officers have always been accused of some racial bias, this was very apparent during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Complaints of institutionalized racism were often brought up with a photograph or a series of documents and followed by an investigation. The FBI warned of infiltration of white supremacists into Americas law enforcement as recently as 2006(White supremacist infiltration of law enforcement.2006).  Now these accusations are brought directly to the public with sound and video at the speed of 110 megabytes per second. There is potentially no greater threat to community policing as the idea of institutional racism firmly implanted in the structure of Americas police department. The proof does seem to be in the pudding as of late, there appears to be little plausible deniability on behalf of the police. Could this all be just the perception of an ill-informed public? That question has been being asked a lot lately but it isn’t answered very effectively by the police. The actions of heavy handed officers seem to be the only voice loud enough to be heard in the din of social media. The right doings of the police need to be 10 times louder than the wrong doings for the public to notice. Every time an officer does something that can be perceived as racially motivated it is pushed through the internet pipeline to eager absorbers of anything anti-police. A YouTube video like that of Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting a 17 year-old black male in the street will be shared, viewed, re-shared and reviewed countless times (DNAinfo Chicago, 11/24/2015). Anyone with Facebook will see a given video many times in a day and seeing a story unfold is compelling and creates a lot of  personal interest. Just like advertising, when you see something ten times it becomes a recognizable brand. If police officers aren’t trying ten times harder to be seen as good, then the actions of a single bad arrest carry the day. This idea does not seem to be making it through the defensive lines police departments have in place. Often the first comments made publically are denials made by the police unions. These denials become the first and loudest thing heard by the public. The tone has been “nothing to see here” and “he had a gun” by default. Ronal Serpas said on N.P.R., as a response to the idea of the Youtube effect, “ …I do not think that police officers miss the opportunity, as a body, to be professional and noble and do the work they know they can do” (Siegel, 2015).  The public knows there have been cases of police wrong doing, so the same old police union rhetoric is less than believable. The shootings, beatings and suspicious deaths of young black men will be the nail in community oriented policing’s coffin  if the perceptions of the public are not changed. These perceptions won’t be changed if the police department doesn’t show a will to turn these sets of circumstances. Former police chief Anthony Bouza of Minneapolis stated there was unquestionable racism in the ranks of Minneapolis police officers and these statements cannot be left unheard (Chin, 2013).
            One thing on the horizon with the potential to do good in this climate of video persecution of officers is the body cam. Laws and rights around these cameras are being battled over right now across the country. If these discussions come up with the right answers these cameras could be the tool that empowers police officers to move back into the community. These tiny cameras could show the public once again that every cop is not to be feared and racism is not part of every arrest. Many people see these cameras as ways to collect evidence, as if they are eyes looking out onto bad guys but the truth is the best way for these cameras to be seen by the public is as a watchful eye to rebuild trust with its peace officers. Body cameras, if handled right could be the ace that police officers have needed for a while. These cameras can be the voice that speaks up on behalf of the bedraggled police. An officer is unlikely to be heard over the tumult of social media unless he brings his own viral video to do his talking for him.
            Community oriented policy was the finest step made by law enforcement in the history of America. The building of strong community connections not only helped the police realize their mission to protect and serve but it also improved the communities beyond just making them safer. As officers move into communities they bring with them assets of education, resources for neighborhoods and feelings of safety. Police need to partner with all aspects of the community; the assistance of parents, churches, community organizations and other stake holders like local businesses make law enforcement possible (Hess, Orthmann, & Wright, 2013). Communities thrive under these conditions and crime shrivels up. Social media, the YouTube effect and institutional racism have chased officers out of communities and back into their cars. From the fortress of the car the officer becomes alienated from the community and the community in turn sees the officer as something less than an ally. A scenario has been playing out over and over in America; an officer is caught in a video, the video is portrayed out of context or not and it goes viral providing evidence of police wrong doing in the minds of a public who needs less and less to convince them every day. This scenario in turns keeps officers at a distance, violent crime goes up and the situation continues to repeat itself. Body cameras could be the wedge that splits this cycle open. As a camera has caused a story to only have one side, a camera can be used to add another voice. If the laws are handled well and cameras are used not just to convict but also to inform, they have the potential to empower officers to move out of their cars and back into the community providing service to the neighborhoods they work in.


Writing Assignment #4 Summary of, Tourism Things: The traveling performance of the backpack. Kind of a dumb assignment.

Writing Assignment #4
Summary of, Tourism Things: The traveling performance of the backpack.

            Neil Walsh and Hazel Tucker write about how a backpack is more than just a material object, their idea is that it not only enables “backpacking” as a tool to carry all the possessions and equipment needed; but because of its presentation and how it is perceived it actually controls part of the wearers journey. This article, from the journal Tourist Studies; lays out their ideas around the semiotic and functions of the backpack using the actor-network theory (ANT) for their framework. They explore the premise that the backpack is not only a material object that enables the mobility of the backpacker but that the backpack also has a part in the direction of the backpacker’s journey.
            The actor-network theory describes the possibility that objects can act as part of social networks. The network part of this theory is the setting for all the components of a situations to come together and the actor is what is causing or being affected. Walsh and Hazel want to show that in a scenario around backpacking, the back itself can do as much talking as those carrying it. The authors, Walsh and Tucker use personal narratives to demonstrate ANT:
“I was wearing my backpack and searching the narrow alleys of Banglampoo, the Khoa Sarn Road area of Bangkok – a well-known backpacker district, for a small hostel recommended by a friend. I was repeatedly asked if I wanted a taxi to the airport, and approached by local touts for discounted accommodation and onward travel. Once I found my hostel, I was relieved to take my pack off. Life was always a little easier without the backpack. I went out into the street and was approached for other things. Did I want to go sightseeing? Did I want 2 for 1 beer? Did I want a meal?” (256)
The narrow alleys of Banglampoo and the Khoa Sarn Road area of Bangkok are part of the backpacker’s network and the backpack is acting in this network by signaling to everyone this is a backpacker, a person who might want a taxi, discount accommodations or onward travel.
            Walsh and Tucker explain part of the way backpacks are social actors is what the backpack says about the people carrying them. A backpack made out of high tech materials could speak to how much money the wearer has or how into gadgets they are. The way a backpack is loaded or decorated could point to the savviness of the traveler. Patches from out-of-the-way destinations could point to a very experienced traveler. As the backpack begins to show how worn it is, it provides a dialogue of your credibility to the network you are in.
            The backpack can also guide the wearer. The authors talk about the backpack being the deciding factor in where he would stay, “I wanted to get out of my pack as soon as possible. There were average looking beach-huts scattered behind the first line of Palm trees nearby, I settled for them.” (Walsh & Tucker 233) Even though the perfect accommodations could be seen, they were too far to suffer the weight of the pack any longer. So the author settled for the closer dingier beach huts.
            The author’s premise that the backpack is always acting as part of the social-network is backed up by many examples of times when it was the presence of the pack or the look of the pack that directs the future choices made. This could be done by earning the respect of a new group of travelers encountered because of how seasoned the pack looks or by reactions of bystanders based on the presence of the pack. These ideas are all part of the weight given in design and styling of backpacks, for the tourist, the first impression may be given by luggage rather than anything said or done.

Works Cited

Walsh, Neil & Tucker, Hazel. "Tourism 'Things': The Travelling Performance of the Backpack." Tourist Studies 9.3 (2009): 223. Print.


Raisin Hell Draft

A Raisin in the Sun is about the American Dream and how it was limited for the Younger family by race and heritage. Beneatha represents the ability to make one’s own dreams come true in America in spite of being black.  The character of George represents the tradeoffs that can be made for a piece of the pie; while the character of Asigai represents the heritage that is lost with those tradeoffs. In The American Dream, Cullen says that the Homestead Act was a reminder of General Sherman’s promise of “40 acres and a mule” and this promise was one that African Americans never forgot. I feel by the time the 1950’s hit Chicago, Beneatha wasn't looking to collect on that promise anymore, because she did have bigger goals in mind. Many of the ideas around Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun see Walter Lee and Mama as the main characters; however, it is Beneatha’s hope and optimism that are the real main themes of the play and because of this the introductions of the characters of George and Asigai are paramount to the play.
A Raisin in the Sun tells the story of the Younger family. It takes place in 1950’s Chicago in a poor part of town. The setting is a noticeably lived in a too small apartment that shares a bathroom with the other apartments in the building. The Younger family is being awarded a $10,000 life insurance payment for the death of Big Walter the patriarch of the family. The check is coming to Mama (Lena) but the whole family is looking forward to the kinds of changes this money can bring. Ruth and her son Travis have dreams of a home, while Ruth’s husband Walter Lee imagines the check as seed money for opening a liquor store. Beneatha is Walter Lee’s sister and Lena’s daughter and she states early on “That money belongs to Mama, Walter, and it's for her to decide how she wants to use it. I don't care if she wants to buy a house or a rocket ship or just nail it up somewhere and look at it. It's hers. Not ours, hers” (Raisin in the Sun 1.1).  When the check is finally delivered Mama does make her own decision, she does what she feels is best for the family and buys a home.
By the end of Act 1 and the beginning of Act 2, we have been given all the details about the world the Younger family lives in as well as being introduced to George Murchison and Joseph Asigai, the two characters that represent the future of being black in America as Lorraine Hansberry imagined it. The Younger family is poor, they struggle to survive and they work hard to do it. Ruth lets us know how much $.50 is to the younger family when she tells her son Travis, “I ain't got no fifty cents this morning” (Raisin 1.1). Walter Lee tries to play it off but he later reinforces that Ruth is right about the value of $.50 when he asks for money for himself. Mama lets us know just how used to hard work she is “Ruth. We just plain working folks” (Raisin 1.1). It is Beneatha that really represents the future though. The check will bring the Younger family up, but Beneatha is the only one who can attain real upward mobility and security. Every character in the play is there to show how far Beneatha has come and how she is able to move past all the obstacles of being a black woman in 1950’s (at least she hasn't been convinced otherwise). The true mobility we see in Beneatha is shown by her suitors.
Beneatha is going to college to be a doctor; she will be a notable measure of success by any measure in the black community of Chicago in 1950’s. She will be empowered to be more than just a wife. She will have the education to show she did not stop at being a nurse; she will have the title of Doctor, a title of respect. With a title like doctor anyone can buy the American dream, and Beneatha would not consider anything less, “I am going to be a doctor and everybody around here better understand that” (Raisin 1.1). The character of Beneatha symbolizes hope and other motifs such as optimism and resignation. Not all the characters see that yet. Her brother won't even say the words, in the beginning his only recognition of her future at all is “If you so crazy 'bout messing 'round with sick people then go be a nurse like other women or just get married and be quiet...” (Raisin 1.1). Ruth seems ambivalent to her; her concerns are focused on preserving her marriage and raising Travis. Mama doesn't doubt Beneatha's ability to be a doctor but her love and confidence is that of a mother, her heart would have to break to feel doubt in Beneatha.
George represents the true American dream, not the dream of moving up and having something like a small home, but the real American dream of status and wealth. In the scene where he is introduced it is made clear George is so successful that even the label of assimilationist won't stick to him. In the scene where we meet George he says, “Black brother hell!” (Raisin 2.1). He didn't come across a check that made him flush with cash enough for impulse purchases like a small family home, he comes from a family with money. His heritage isn’t Africa it is the American Dream.  George signifies all the privilege that comes with money too, college, trips to New York “offhandedly A few times a year.” (Raisin 2.1), a beautiful car and a lofty position to look down on others from. George is like George Jefferson, he is movin’ on up and he is looking for his Weazy in Beneatha. In the eyes of Momma and Ruth, George is even a bigger catch than a $10,000 check.
George's Success is so important to the play because he illustrates just how far Beneatha moves from just the basic dreams of struggling African Americans in 1950’s Chicago. She might not realize it when George enters in the first act of scene two but buy the time the last scene rolls around she signals to the audience that the gifts and money of a character like George Murchison aren't big enough to be   part of her dream. She tells us early that George is boring, stiff and not forward thinking enough for a strong independent woman like Beneatha but we don't have enough reason to believe it yet. George’s character is the pivot of the scale we use to measure Beneatha. If she can be persuaded to give up her Doctor dreams and be the marrying type for a man like George than we would see her dream is no bigger than her family’s. We would then know that here medical school ambitions are the same as her ambitions to play guitar because “I just want to, that’s all. “(Raisin 1.1), to be a photographer or jump horses to “express” (Raisin 1.1) herself.
The other character we measure Beneatha by is Joseph Asigai, the dreamy Nigerian suiter who woos her with the mystique of her heritage and pet names like “Alaiyo” (Raisin 1.3).  We seen in the first act Joseph Asigai represents the true black world. Not the oppressed people who jump at a chance to live next to the Jones's. He listens to music that connects with the soul of the Younger’s, music that was even able to reach inside of Walter Lee and show him “THE LION IS WAKING… OWIMOWEH!” (Raisin 1.3). He is exotic; he knows how to wrap an Iro. He can see past the trappings of the Western domination such as the way Beneatha wears her hair. And he sees Beneatha as a powerful woman, not the westernized Hollywood woman but “a queen of the Nile.” (Raisin63). In many ways he sees her as an equal, this is showed to us when he proposes to Beneatha but does so while integrating her dream of being a doctor into his own future with her.
It is important to realize that Joseph financial circumstances are not equal with Beneatha’s, he doesn't look down at her and everyone else but that is because “--he is an intellectual.” (Raisin 1.1). He is from Nigeria and he is Yoruba, that denotes an amount of wealth and status especially considering he has some very fine Iro sent from his home to Beneatha. Hansberry did not mean for the details of Asigai to be overlooked, her uncle was a professor at Howard University who taught African culture and history, she wants us to see his nobility. He is a prince charming and his behavior in his first scene is very princely.
George and Asigai both represent good choices for a young woman growing up poor in 1950’s Chicago. It is important to make the point that both of these young men are very wealthy. By contrast both of these men are extremely wealthy compared to the financial status of the Younger family. Both of these men are educated and in a position where being black hasn't held them back. George has no issue with being an assimilationist and Asigai can't even see what assimilationism really is he is so far above it. Both of these men could provide a life for Beneatha beyond what she has ever known and beyond even what the Younger family can aspire to with a $10,000 check. And that is why these two characters are so important.
These scenes where George and Asigai are introduced give us real insight into Beneatha. Her interests and politics are developed by her dialogue about and with these two men. These two men also show us the true measure of Beneatha's convictions. If they didn't enter the play out image of Beneatha would be a flighty, bratty little sister. Her opening dialogue with Walter Lee, “I dissected something that looked like you yesterday.” (Raisin 1.1) would be the standard to judge her by, it Would be our lasting impression of her. All we would know is that she tried horse jumping, she tried photography and now she is trying guitar and we know from Ruth and Mama this hobby will probably end the same way as the other two, mama says, “Why you got to flit so from one thing to another baby?” (Raisin 1.1) If there was no dialogue about George in the first act, we would have never gotten out first taste of Beneatha’s true mettle, “... I am going to be a doctor and everybody around here better know that!” (Raisin 1.1).
In the last scene the family is preparing to their new home, and it has been a big progression to get to that point. They have fought each other, institutionalized racism and each other again to get to that point. They are on the cusp of Big Walters dream; they are going to move into their own home. Travis will grow up in a house with his own room. Walter Lee will be able to wake up and move right into the bathroom without any wasted sleep. Mama will be able to rest her tired bones and have a garden and Ruth can raise her child in a home. This home is the culmination of the American dream for all these people, but not Beneatha. Beneatha at that point has already progressed past the dream of home ownership; she knows that it is now possible. In all the excitement about the new home, Beneatha chooses that time to tell them about Asigai's proposal. In the middle of all the action she says “Mama, Asagai asked me to marry him today and go to Africa— “(Raisin 3.1). The family is so excited about their tiny little dreams that they can't take in the scope of Beneatha’s progression past the old dreams thought up by slaves and the sons of slaves, she is past being okay with servitude to get her piece she is bigger than all that. She is the future that Hansberry envisioned; she is Hansberry herself in so many ways.
None of Beneatha's daring would have been anything more than the fancies of a young girl if George and Asigai weren't there is show us. Jim Cullen writes about the years from 1955 to 1960 by saying “One could argue that even [such] anger was a luxury for black folks is those years…” (22). Beneatha was beyond that; she just didn’t see it that way. She was old enough to be oppressed but she hadn’t been beaten down yet. Her motif of hope has evolved into promise.  Maybe Beneatha's name has significance, the old dreams, the handme down American dream of home ownership, the dream that got realized by the settlers, the Irish, the Italians, the Germans and finally was wrung out and offered to urban black America was beneath her.

Works Cited
Cullen, Jim. The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea that Shaped a Nation. Oxford University Press, New York, NY.  2004. Print.
Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. Vintage Press, New York, NY. November 2004. Print.


Taken a meme dump

What do you think about labeling children or ability grouping them?

Brian Rose
Psych of Edu

3. What do you think about labeling children or ability grouping them?  What are the pros and cons?

  Labeling is very complex and often misunderstood, it is not a universal good or bad, there is depth and nuance to be considered. At first thought the idea of labeling being bad is self evident. Emilie Durkeim and George Herbert Mead told us so very early on, their labeling theory states that self identity can be swayed in the direction of the label given. This principle is the reason youth are juvenile delinquents instead of criminals and they are petitioned instead of arrested in America, we do not want them to live up tho the labels they are given. There is a flipside to labeling, the idea that young people can find pride and motivation in a label and that education can sweep away the negitives of a label a child may have inherited through no fault of their own.

  It is important that we do not stigmatise young people by putting a label on them that can lead to being a self fullfilling prophecy in the lives. When a young person is caught in response to a crime they have committed there is a very clear path in statute that they shall not be arrested or charged with a crime or labeled as a criminal in their record. Minnesota statutes, section 260 and 260B make it very clear juveniles are petitioned and if found guilty they are found to be ajudicated. The terms charged and criminal already carry the baggage of adult offenders, it is believed that putting them on young people will cause two things to happen. Firstly they will live up to their label, they will see themselves as a criminal, an example of the problem associated with this is the prestige of the “criminal” in the culture of urban America, simply turn on the TV. A criminal is an anti establishment hero. Secondly, the oppertunities of young people are greatly diminsged when these labels are stuck to them. A young person never gets to address their label when the school or hirer sees “Criminal” or “charged” on their public record.

  The otherside of labeling is the empowerment that can come from being part of a group. Young boys and girls who are non-hearing and hard of hearing take ownership of the lable deaf. Their pride in their culture and supercedes any negitivity the hearing world attributes to this label. Among students who are deaf their first expierence of this is often when they go to schools for the deaf for the first time. A student who is deaf in a public school will often shy away from identifying as deaf, but when they move to “the institute” or Gallaudet they are taught that this is their team colors and pride swells. The label becomes an emopwering force to those out to solve the problems of audism.

  The lesson to be learned with labeling is to be sure and understand the positive and the negitive. Imagine the power of a label to raise a group up. Imagine the power of a label that has been a negitive being turned into a positive. You really don’t have to imagine to far, young native youth are being taught to take pride in their heritage. Often they are being told this for the first time and it is having an effect. The idea of “I am less than because I am a native” is being reforged into “I am more than because of my Native heritage” because of young people and teachers taking ownership of the label Native.


I have always threatened to post my homework on my blog. Now I am going to start. I will only publish roough drafts.

Op-ed homework #1


  B Rose
English/ Assignment #2

   In a recent op-ed titled “Cold Turkey Isn’t the Only Route”, writer Gabrielle Glaser talks about the lack of promotion for methods of treating alcoholism outside of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Her article cites that women are on the sharp edge of alcoholic drinking in America, the failings of the traditional method of going cold turkey and abstinence for quitting drinking and the growing body of science behind programs that teach tools to implant moderation in place of binge drinking.
   Gabrielle Glaser could be seen as an expert in alcoholism amongst women. She has published a few books on the subject and she writes about the topic often. This particular op-ed is not specifically about women but they do make up the lion’s share of content. She explains women are increasingly needed more help for more drinking. Drunk driving among women has increased by women has increased over the last 20 years in America. She also say that of the 856 million gallons of wine sold in the US, women are buying more of it than men.
   Also mentioned in the article is the perceived shortcomings and failings of AA for helping women get sober. In her books she talks about some of the safety issues that woman are subject to inside the AA program. She states that programs like AA are kept in existence by doctors and the multibillion dollar treatment industry. She cites that the 12 steps that are used by the multibillion dollar treatment industry were created by chronic inebriate men in the 1930s.
   Gabrielle Glaser quotes research by Bankole Johnson, a consultant to pharmaceutical companies and the chair of University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Psychology Department. Johnson recommends a program of abstinence, helping women to reach a point of no more than 9 drinks a week and no more than three in any one sitting. A program like this with a drug intervention using Naltrexone (an opiate antagonist) has shown promise in reaching the goals of these moderation programs.
   I feel that there is more to say about the idea of moderation in drinking and the treatment options available to both men and women. The biggest gaps in this op-ed that I can see are the idea of moderation and how it is defined, the linking of twelve step programs to the multibillion dollar treatment industry and the idea that Bankhole Johnson is a consultant for the makers of Naltrexone which he recommends as an answer to the 12-step/ multibillion dollar treatment industrial complex.
   The possibility that we can help people arrest their drinking problems in any way is great news. I am a big fan of short term drug interventions as treatment options for all kinds of physical and mental illnesses. I think it is important to recognize ongoing research also, it is the brightest spot on the horizon of treatment for alcoholism. I do worry that the outcome for success mentioned by Gabriel Johnson is 9 drinks a week or less and no more than three per sitting. The conversation should include the fact that the CDC defines 4 drinks in one sitting as binge drinking for women. If the program slows drinking to manageable levels that is a victory but are we ok with defining manageable levels just shy of binge drinking three times a week? The CDC defines moderate drinking for women as 1 drink a day and for men just 2 drinks per day. The plan of moderation here is an 80% increase over what the CDC recommends. I think this conversation should reconcile the difference between what Moderation Management LLC recommends with what the CDC recommends, the gap is too large considering what is at risk.
  In America and around the world, 12 step programs have not only been the most successful over the last 70+ years but also the most accessible. Twelve step programs such as AA and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) have always been free. They are located in nearly every country around the world and they represent languages from all over the world. These programs have always been the the one place anyone can turn to. A person in crisis, someone who wants to help someone with a problem or someone who feels they have a problem can always walk through the doors to a meeting and find an accepting fellowship. Because there is no money involved with the 12 steps anybody can use their literature and ideas. Many large treatment facilities have used the 12 steps to help people get help for addiction. Hazelton is an example of a money making treatment center that uses the twelve step, but it would be unfair to say the 12 steps are part of a multibillion dollar industry. If a hospital recommends sun and fresh air as part of its treatment, we wouldn’t label sun and fresh air as part of a multibillion dollar healthcare industry. Along those same lines, Gideon’s bibles are not responsible for the billions of dollars the hotel/ motel industry makes each year, they are just the free literature included with the room.
  The last thing that we need to keep in mind when we discuss this is the idea that the twelve steps are part of a multibillion dollar treatment industrial complex and thus untrustable but Bankhole Johnson is beyond reproach as merely a consultant for the company that makes the drug used in the therapy being recommended here. I don’t want to say that Mr. Johnson is corrupt in anyway, but his position makes him unusable as a source the way he is relied upon here. Regardless of his actions and involvement, there is certainly to easily a line drawn to Teva Pharmapsudicals for him to beyond question, his involvement in this op-ed is a conflict of interest to be sure.
   I am go into the future kicking and screaming about moderation as a treatment for drug addiction and alcoholism but I see the writing on the wall, there is a dearth of promising research available with more coming in the future. I am a proponent of drug interventions and drug therapies when used properly. Because of my feelings about the inevitability of moderation therapies I feel we need to be extra diligent about our recommendations. When we have these conversations it is important to cover all the point and keep both eyes open, the idea of “learning moderation” is too close to a blank check for the alcoholic mind to be taken lightly.




Beer makes boring louder.


Memes memes meses


Taking a Meme Dump.


Favorites of the last few says.



Death of a Hero

    If you are reading a book and a character says they are happier than they have ever been, be careful of ice. Happiness and ice are the way authors kill characters they like. I have seen it a dozen times and I should have been prepared. Years ago a friend of mine died under the ice of the river and the first thought that came to me was the old authors tool of the hero's frozen death. I am going to give up fiction. Falling for a character hurts too much when they are killed off to move the plot along.



Look out for One Another

Go easy Ben E.

More and more Bernie Every Day


More Meme Dump

These are some of the things I see in my daily FB feed.


Your day is probably not this bad.


It never ends


More memeing


These are the memes popping up on my Facebook this week.

These aren't all of them, just the interesting ones.