ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Parents are not to Blame for Schizophrenic and Bipolar Illnesses

By Jack Bragen
Wednesday April 11, 2012 - 09:31:00 AM

When someone becomes mentally ill in their young adulthood or late adolescence, the episode can be as devastating for the parents of that person as for the afflicted. I recall that my first episode of psychosis was a very wild ride, and not in a good way. At the end of this episode, I was finally stabilized, and I received a diagnosis of Schizophrenia, Paranoid-type. The psychiatrist, Doctor Trachtenberg, had my mom and I seated in a room, and he told us the diagnosis as well as the prognosis. I remember that this diagnosis was very upsetting to my mother and that I was too "out of it" to be upset about it. -more-

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: China’s Economy: The Frog & The Scorpion?

By Conn Hallinan
Friday April 06, 2012 - 10:36:00 AM

Behind the political crisis that saw the recent fall of powerful Communist Party leader Bo Xiali is an internal battle over how to handle China’s slowing economy and growing income disparity, while shifting from a cheap labor export driven model to one built around internal consumption. Since China is the second largest economy on the planet—and likely to become the first in the next 20 to 30 years—getting it wrong could have serious consequences, from Beijing to Brasilia, and from Washington to Mumbai. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: Inside the Mitt

By Bob Burnett
Friday April 06, 2012 - 10:34:00 AM

It’s clear that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will survive the GOP version of “The Hunger Games” and become their 2012 presidential nominee. The richest and most radical presidential candidate in modern times, Romney offers a retrograde vision for America and a surprising set of weaknesses. -more-

SENIOR POWER: To be a Life-Long Learner & The Mysterious Messrs Moore and Pratt

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday April 06, 2012 - 10:42:00 AM

“The mission of Berkeley Adult School (BAS) is to provide adult learners with access to a learner-centered lifelong education in a safe, supportive, multicultural environment.” -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Magical Thinking

By Jack Bragen
Tuesday April 03, 2012 - 06:59:00 PM

An example of magical thinking is a gambling addict who has the belief he or she is going to hit the lucky number, win a million dollars and live happily ever after. Meanwhile that person is gambling away the food money and the rent money. Magical thinking of the previous President created the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan in the assumption that it would be a much easier and simpler enterprise than it turned out to be. (The U.S. military believed we could install a government in Iraq that is favorable to us, and Iraqi citizens would blithely allow themselves to be governed by it.) Magical thinking is responsible for gross errors in human behavior. It says that wanting something means you deserve it and will get it, in the absence of performing the necessary work. Magical thinkers falsely believe that God likes them better than other people. And they believe there will always be someone there to clean up their mess. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Trayvon Martin Killing: Let Investigations Run Their Course

By Ralph E. Stone
Thursday April 05, 2012 - 02:50:00 PM

On Feb. 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager, was shot to death by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman captain. The teen was walking inside a gated community in Sanford, Florida, where his father and stepmother lived. Zimmerman claimed self-defense and was not arrested or charged and little or no investigation was conducted by the Sanford police department. -more-

My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)

By Dorothy Bryant
Tuesday April 03, 2012 - 08:10:00 PM

“ . . . the greatest writers inevitably demand too much of, and are failed by, readers.” -more-