There are lots of dangerous places in this world: Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Bolivia, Iran, Palestine, Yemen, and Somalia to name a few. But there is only one that could destabilize a goodly part of the globe and end up killing tens of millions of people. And yet for reasons of state that is the one place the Obama administration will not talk about: Kashmir. -more-
December 1st was World AIDS Day, which brought back memories of the death of our only child Michael, who died of AIDS in November 1984, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Michael was 19 and a senior at U.C. Santa Cruz. He would be 45 today. We received a call on Saturday morning from a physician at a Santa Cruz hospital, who said that Michael had been admitted to the hospital with a serious illness. The physician indicated that if we wanted to see our son alive, we had better rush down to Santa Cruz. -more-
Since the midterm elections, there’s been speculation that the Democrats’ shellacking, coupled with the rightward shift of the Republican Party, would force President Obama to “move to the middle.” That’s a terrible idea! There’s no longer a halfway point between Democrats and Republicans and any further Obama movement to the right would label him a wimp. -more-
Last week’s column on hybrid birds requires a correction. I wrote that some years ago an American avocet mated with a black-necked stilt at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, producing a hybrid offspring which was nicknamed “avostilt.” Wrong. According to the Aquarium’s Ken Peterson, the event did not happen there. “Our birds rarely breed, and when they do they breed true,” writes Peterson. -more-
You have probably heard the statistic that mental illness affects one in five adults in the U.S. Most people who are affected by mental illness are in hiding about it for fear of public shame and because a disclosure about it could cause them to lose their jobs.
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, also known as NAMI, is an organization of the family members of persons with mental illness. At one time, the slogan of NAMI was; “Open your mind—mental illnesses are brain disorders.”