Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Mentalist

I enjoy this show. Takes me back to my certification with the American Society of Hypnosis. Milton Erickson,MD was the father of American Hypnosis. He had the skills Patrick Jane is purported as having. Dr. Jay Haley documented Erickson's work. Neurolistic Programming derived from this. The Ericksonian Foundation continues to hold amazing conferences in Arizona. The"Book of Tells" went far beyond the "Naked Ape". So I like the basis of the show in fact. Also I like the light touch that makes the show so enjoyable.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

ASAM Medical Marijuania Task Force White Paper

The American Society of Addiction Medicine has called a halt to medical marijuania.  Quoting the "hippocratic oath"  for physicians to 'do no harm' the paper strongly questions the prescription of "medical marijuania' when "All major medical organizations support the FDA approval process" and "Federal law prohibits, and federal agencies do not support, the distribution of cannabis by dispensaries.

Smoking is clearly unhealthy. In 1997 the experts suggested that "a smoke free delivery system" was necessary to eliminate the negative health effects of smoking noted in research trials.

In 2008 the American College of Physicians Health and Public Policy Committee urged an evidence based review of marijuania's status. It is noted that while other medications are required to be scientifically studied and have evidence based validity the medical research on marijuania is mostly historic, anecdotal and political.

In 2006, the FDA rejected the contention that smoked herbal cannabis is safe and effective medication.

In discussion of "Medical Marijuana" and the Modern Medication Model it is noted that the status of "medical marijuana contrasts sharply with the modern medication model. Crude herbal cannabis is homogenous material. This herbal material varies depending on strain, cultivation, storage and harvesting .  Quality control mechanisms are absent.   Distribution is not through regulated channels, the product is not labelled with content information, warnings, and instructions despite this being required for medical products by state and federal law. Appropriate physician supervision is virtually unavailable.  The increased potency heightens the risk of addiction.  This is especially important as adolescents are increasingly obtaining 'cards'.

The ASAM white paper quotes the Canadian Medical Association "CMA does not support physicians controlling access to substances for which routine pre-market regulatory review of safety, purity and efficacy, as required for current prescription drugs, has not occurred."  It also quotes Physicians for Smoke-Free Canada expressing their concern about the 'risks of smoking'.

In regards to research on cannabinoid agents

Oral Cannabinoid Preparations - Dronabinol - studied for nausea and vomitting, not compared against more recent anti emetic medication, noted beneficial in cancer therapy

Marinol - studies of it as an analgesic and antispasmodic have been mixed. It was found efficacious in reducing cancer pain but side effects were promiment. It was found effective in central neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis but not post operative pain.

Cesamet (Nabilone) synthetic cannabinoid analoque believed more potent than thc approved for nausea and vomitting associated with cancer therapy. It has been beneficial in treatment of spasticity and post surgical pain.

Smoked/vaporized herbal Cannabis - studied for neuropathic pain

Oromuscosal/sublingual derived Cannabis Preparations - Sativex (nabiximols) sprayed on mouth membranes - show positive results with adjunctive therapies in treatment of neuropathic pain, spasticitity, Rheumatoid arthritis, cancer pain .  In contrast to other cannabinoids , intoxication remained low and sympton relief was maintained in long - term studies. It is approved in Canada for neuropatic pain treatment in Multiple Sclerosis and advanced cancer pain

Cannabis is NOT a "harmless herb."  It is a "powerful drug with a variety of effects."  It affects performance and risk in driving and operating machinery. Acute effects involve intoxication, anxiety, panic attacks, hallucinations, psychosis, somnolence, confusion, psychomotor impairment, cognitive impairment, dizziness, orthostatic hypotension, dry mouth, tachycardia.  In clinical research of cannabinoid products patients with pre-existing mental disorders, hepatic and renal impairment, epilepsy, cardiac conditions or prior substance abuse/dependence are typically excluded. There is no doubt that chronic cannabis smoking is harmful to the lungs.  Heavy cannabis use in adolescence is associated with a number of neurocognitive deficits.

Allowing cannabis to circumvent the FDA sets a dangerous precedent given 'herbal products' "Spice", "Skunk" and "Sence" are becoming popular in US and Europe. These are 'enriched' herbal products with synthetic canabinoids such as HU210 , much more potent than THS.

"Cognitive dissonance" is a term that aptly describes the current approach to "medical marijuana"





CBC Radio - Complete Broadcasting Corporation

I listened  to the CBC on the way to work today.  Damn, if they didn't give better election coverage. They even present Green Party May well
There was a fascinating discussion of the demographics of family.  The Conservatives are offering tax breaks while the liberals want to give money a billion to college tuition and I'm not quite sure what NDP wanted but it sounded like more for poor families.
The message was that the family in Canada is really diversified. 75% of 2 parent families are both working and something like 70% of sing parents are  working.  Tax cuts to all those working and trying to raise kids would be a real break.  Lower class kids wouldn't benefit from university tuition though the upper class kids would enjoy this. What was significant in the discussion was that single parents who were not working had a lot of time to do a lot of things that working parents had to pay a great deal to achieve. Time is money.  Despite my not really getting a clear idea of whatg the NDP were offering that was new it was clear that all political parties cared for children and the future.  Further it was also clear that politicians were listening to the  specialists in this area. The Conservative Government had indeed based their proposal on the institute that studied family costs, taxation and demographics.
CBC was very  informative. There's still hope for the media.

New Prisons and the Conservatives

The Conservatives said they needed to build new prisons. Everyone got upset.  Why new prisons.  Well, I thought, I'd been in a new prison. It was built 10 years ago. It was overseas.  It was pristine and safe and secure. The chance of prisoners getting hurt or raped by other prisoners was next to nil. The chance of guards dealing drugs was next to nil.  The surveillance equipment and the plexiglass and the stainless made the prison a bit like a sardine can. All prisons are a bit like cans but the new cans are safe and secure and clean. It was truly functional. But the obvious was that the designers and architects were born in the 20th century.
I did pro bono work in Federal and Provincial prisons in Canada.  Young men were put in these prisons for marijuania offenses and gang raped ending with a life sentence of HIV.  Guards were attacked held hostage and harmed.  One of my heroin addicts commonly went out to visit the jails for heroin when he couldn't find any on th e streets of Vancouver.  The prison was old.  The buildings were old. There were alot of sharp edges, mildew and hidden corners.  The bathrooms were dormitory and dangerous.  Everything about the prisons except the safe like lock on the front doors was half a century or more outdated.
No one wants to help out the prisoners. No one wants to save the guards. New prisons make it safer for prisoners and guards and the community around.
New prisons are new technology.  The new prison isn't a place where you send a person and they learn more about crime and come out worse than they went in.  The old prisons are stacked with 6 in a cell made for 2. I don't think they need "more" prisons.  But they sure do need new prisons.  If anyone questions this take a tour of the old and the new and see why the 'new prisons' work.

n a new hospital they put a sink in the hall rather than the room so everyone washes their hands. It's the best thing to stop spread of infection.  No amount of telling people to wash their hands between patients has worked as well as the 'new technology' sinks and soap in the hall between rooms and wards.  The new technology works. Disease doesn't spread in the new hospitals like it does in the old.
We need new hospitals too but thanks to Jimmy Patterson and other 'doners' our hospitals are keeping up. No one wants a wing of a prison named after them.  It's never been easy to get 'charitable donations' for high security prisons.  Still everyone complains when prisoners break out and rape and kill their children. Guards are as unsupported if not more so than the police. 
I can understand new prisons like I understand the reason for new hospitals.  New technology costs.  I'm thankful the Conservatives are willing to do the hard work of government.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

F35 and the Liberals

i was delighted to hear from a friend, a staunch liberal, what he thought about the F35.  "I wish Canadians would realize that the Americans were the threat."  It reminded me of the Quebecois and their desire to 'separate'.  I remember wanting to be separate from the US.  Personallyt I've wanted to be on another planet.  I remember well how we loved Guess Who's "American Women" . "Don't come knocking around my door no more.....don't want your war machines."
The fact for me is that America is the Roman Empire. Soon China may be the next Empire.  It's no longer the good guys and the bad guys.  It's mercenaries and Star wars.  In the end Princess Liah divorced.  Microcosms and macrocosms.  Paul Simon, 50 ways to leave a lover.
I looked at my friend. We're old now. We broke down singing protest songs from our youth.   I was trying to tell him how the only competitive planes to the F35 cost around 100 millions themselves.  There's no cheap alternative.  I said, "I don't want Canadians to be in yesterday's technology. I want them to be in the F35 since that stealth fighter is the best there is today."
My friend simply didn't want war.  I could see Country Joe and the Fish in his eyes.   He and I both wanted another time and place where we could believe in peace. We wanted to be back before disco.  Before cocaine. Before dot com bubbles.   I never was in favour of unilateral disarmament but I sure like Rosa Parks. I miss Gonzo journalism too.
In Egypt they got rid of Mubarek with not that much blood shed. Ghadaffi is another matter.  I marched and was billy clubbed in peace demonstrations. It was before CNN censorship.    I became a doctor to be a healer.  But somewhere I lost the faith my friend still had.  I'd become conservative in old age.  Maybe the abortions and euthanasia got to me. I wanted life and the world was dying before my eyes.  Maybe I was just slipping away. it's confusing.  The lines were alot clearer in Sunday school.
"What's the alternative to America as the Emperor, China, Saudi Arabia?" l asked."it's one thing to criticize, you've got to have a solution.'
"We should be like Switzerland.  We should declare neutrality. We should just get out of NATO and no longer be apart of the American mercenary empire."
I liked that but I was thinking of Troudeau who said that when the elephant america rolled over, the mouse Canada had to pay attention.  America might just take the water and the land and annex us for their Homeland Security.  It's not the 1812 war any more.  I'd like to wait till we have F35 before we tell America what we're going to do.  But by then China or Iran might well want to invade Canada.  Invading Canada isn't so far fetched anymore.  l remember when the older men talked about the Korean War. They threw men at the Western forces like they were bullets.
Another  friend who married and lived in China for years said, "You don't understand how little life is valued there, in their factories, in there streets.  In their mind, they've got a billion too many people.. They've got no women for their men and an whole lot of single men in uniform.  They don't have Gorlia Steinem feminism because they aborted her and her sisters before they had a chance to call all men rapists and pedophiles.  We squeal when we lose a woman captain in Kandahar.  They don't have a free press.  No one knows what's going on."
I remember all the men with guns I've seen. They're all afraid.  I'm afraid.  I'm an old man and the old tyrants don't want to face their past. They don't want to give up their power, their luxury and their security. I don't want to give up my youth or my idealism.
Gandhi's peace demonstration gave rise to the division between India and Pakistan.  India is worried that the 100 million dollar Chinese jet that's like the F35 surpasses everything the Indians have.  India has China and it's massive army poised on it's border.  There's been war there before.  Iran and Irag fought too.  More and more Canadians I meet fought in a war in the country of origin. Even the Buddhists are killing each other over a Buddhist temple. All the criminals have guns and gang wars are raging on the streets of Canadian cities.  I grew up when cowboys fought with fists and rarely drew their guns. Now guys get curbed and the girls stab each other and slash faces.  It's not because they're watching the Discovery channel.
I wish I had my friend's faith.  I feel like Arjuna in the chariot with Krishna. Arjuna says the people who are fighting are all my family. They're my cousins fighting my cousins.  Krishna replies, there will always be war, it's just a matter of whether you will or will not be in it.  Jesus said as much about poverty.  There's a terrible realism in those lines.
I wore flowers in my hair and marched with the tens of thousands in the streets of San Francisco.  Despite all that prayer and energy, Vietnam continued.  Lennon and Yoko did a bed in and sang "Give Peace a Chance."  Lennon was shot like Kennedy, like Martin Luther King.  The good die young.  Then there was Tricky Dicky, Watergate, White Water, Hillary Clinton, the theft of the mid west pensions, the Bill's sending missiles across neutral borders as the dog wagged the tail. There was Bush and Bush and the CIA and Irag and Irag and Kundahar.  Guantanamero.
There was all that other stuff too. Like the fall of the Berlin wall. The exposure of the 50 million killed by Stalin, the Polish elite dead in mass graves, the Pol Pot and the Khymer Rouge.  I read that Bernard Shaw was an aetheist but said the events of the 20th century robbed him of his faith.  The great men of the west died in WWI, the war to end all wars.
When I was in Israel I had a vision.  I was walking in Jerusalem and before me I saw the earth sitting in the universe with a big barbed wire circling it. A sign hung from the barbed wire like the OK Corrall. The sign said, "Don't go here, they kill God."  I imagine Aliens bypassing the earth in cute space scooters. The grown ups have come to terms with their paranoia.  They're still waiting for us in quantum multiverse.
In that world my liberal friend is smiling.  I believe we'll find peace in heaven.  This election I'm so jaded I'll probably vote conservative.  I want the Canadian military to defend us from our enemies in F35's, what the liberals call the 'champagne of jets'.
I worry that too many people are smoking dope these days. It's could affect the election. The recent data says that 7% of BC drivers were stoned.
I really wish I didn't worry about the military or the economy.  I'd like to be liberal again. I'd like to believe promises that the money will go to hospitals and education. My problem is that I work in medicine and education and I've seen that the politicians promise us money but then then give $500 million to their advertising friends to make pictures of themselves.  I'd rather our military get 5 F35's than this waste of an election make work project for the liberal and NDP media friends.
Mostly I wish I was younger. I wish I was  still wearing flowers in my hair.  But then I didn't know about the Nestle corporation killing the black babies.  I hadn't even heard of Pinochet.  I didn't know Sweden women would smear Australia's Julian Assange to be the call girl of Obama's Military Industrial complex secretive America. I didn't know about Columbine. I certainly didn't imagine Goldman Sachs would take out insurance on their own junk futures, and keep the billions while 1 in 8 Americans went on food stamps.
All I'm left to believe in is the F35 and the space program.  Beam Me Up Scotty. There's no intelligent life form here.  The Dalai Lama would have died were it not for some left over WWI guns that covered his escape when the Chinese came for him with machine guns.     The Arabs can build Dubai.  In Canada all we get is another election.

I cry thinking of wearing flower in my hair.  I cry remember painting peace on the blue Volkswagon Bug.  I loved being a child.

Monday, March 28, 2011

F35 Fighter Jet and The Canadian Election

Today a Liberal leader said that, I think we need to give the military jets but I don't see why "they should get the most expensive ones." Ignatieff had earlier suggested that the Liberals would build fighter jet components in Vancouver or somewhere else in Canada.

I confess, that shocked me.   You don't get something for nothing. There is no 'bargain basement' for competitive weapons technology. The history of warfare has been a history of the latest technology beating the lesser.

Canada's military has been sorely taxed in fulfilling it's treaty obligations in Afghanistan and now Libya.  Canadians like to shake a fist at the Americans but our freedom and independence have depended directly on our the strength of our American and NATO allies.

Since WWII the importance of air craft has been monumental. The Battle of Britain was decided by the superior speed and maneuverability of the Spitfire.

The F35 is simply the latest and best fighter available.  It's also has three variants - COTL, conventional take off and landing, STOVL, short takeoff and landing and CV carrier based.  These three variants share 80 % of their parts.  In war it's in the allies interest to have common weapons so that replacement parts can be supplied that much better. To this end our Allies use common 'ammunition'.  It's not likely that we're going to take on the US despite the threat Farley Mowatt with a 22 rifle proved to the US Air Command.

The F35 is made by Lockheed.  The making of the best fighter jets aren't a thing that is done like a backyard grow operation.  US, France, Russia, and England are making the most cutting edge fighters.  Russian military hardware was proven inferior in the Dessert STorm Arms Bazaar. It had depended alot on stealing western technology.  To date I haven't heard of a Liberal alternative.  I fear they may want to buy a French plane with French Instructions to please the Quebecois or maybe a Cuban one to please the NDP.

According to RAF Squadron leader Steve Long, "the F35 will give "the RAF and Navy a quantum leap in airborne capability".  According to Wickipedia even critics have stated "there is no stealthy, survivable new fighter program out there."  Comparable aircraft include the Russian built SUKHOI Pack FA and Chengdu J20. Neither is considered superior and neither is that much 'cheaper'.  The cost of high tech especially the cutting edge fighter jets is simply in the range of a million dollars.  The more that are ordered and bought , naturally the lower the price. Further, the more they are used by the US, the more advanced modifications are made. The Israelis using the F35 have already made modifications. Canada benefits greatly from the lessons that go with that learning by other nations.

There was concern about the projected costs by the Conservative being less than what are now expected. This was not 'deception' as presented in parliament by the opposition as some kind of terrible 'scandal'. It's reported that the Pentagon was as concerned.  That said, the contractors in BC would be considered saints collectively if they could keep their cost over runs from the prediction to finish at 1 1/2 projection.

The Lockheed Martin beat Boeing in competitin for the American contract.

Notably Air Canada has had it's problems and WestJet has succeeded as a result.  Perhaps the Liberal Government in Coalition with the Quebecois and NDP would suggest the military rely on  "suicide bombers" placed on either of these Air Canada commercial jets.  Possibly this would be done after some clever bankers have taken insurance on that 'Canadian" 'future's fighter jet.

CBC - Communist Broadcasting Corporation

Canadian media has historically been left of central for decades.  I had hoped this was changing with the CBC.   This morning I listened CBC for the 3/4 drive to work hearing the news and morning coverage. Conservative leader Steven Harper had just visitted Vancouver. So had NDP Michael Layton.  Normally good news coverage will be provided for those present.  This was not the case.  Ignatieff, the pro Quebecois, Liberal leader was given more time than either Harper or Layton or perhaps even Harper and Layton together.  Pathetic!  If this is a harbinger of the national radio's coverage of this election then really I don't think we as Canadians should have to pay for this.  Bias is often subtle and contrived as such.  A strong soundbite from one leader is coupled with a weak one from another ignoring the two equally powerful statements that could have been chosen. We really have to watch our media carefully.  Admittedly my 'sample' this morning was 3/4 of an hour but historically the CBC was grossly offensive in its anti- West, pro liberal bias.  The Conservatives actually cut the CBC budget because it was so irrelevant nationally and wholly Toronto and Montreal focussed.  Now we're likely at risk of seeing 'payback'.  I'm not impressed.

Someone needs to seriously monitor media coverage of this election.  The media blocked Fox News but said nothing about the Toronto-Montreal rag Globe and Mail claiming national status.

Today I was just disappointed.  Hopefully I'm wrong. Hopefully Canadians won't have to settle for the kind of Propaganda that has citizens around the world wanting 'democracy' which implies 'freedom of speech'. But where is there 'freedom of speech' and 'free media' when the media is wholly controlled by a special interest group.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Walk with Gilbert along the River

Today Gilbert and I had a couple of long walks.  These are the photos along the way.  Spring is upon us. I loved the sun today.  Gilbert2
I always enjoy the mallards.Mallards3
The heron sometimes is in the river but today it was up in the trees. I think it's a Great Blue Heron, but probably female or young because it doesn't have the big beard the older Great Blue male sports. Gilbert1
Gilbert isn't very patient with my stopping to take pictures. You can see he's looking back to see why i'm doddling.Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron2
I miss my brother. When we were kids I'd be able to ask him what the birds were. We were both keen on watching birds (ornithology) He'd be able to tell me if this was a Great Blue.  I wasn't sure about the Song Sparrow either. I have to check the bird book repeatedly sometimes. When he's around I just ask and he knows.  After taking thousands of bird pictures he's got a pretty good idea. Song sparrow

I liked the kingfishers so much I uploaded them by themselves. Kingfisher7bKingfisher3bKingfisher2b
The trail itself is pretty.There's damns on the river and I especially like the fences ..WaterdamFence
At the end of the second long walk Gilbert was ready for a nap.  He does at least a hundred steps to my one. He moves a lot faster too.Gilbert4

Belted Kingfishers

I took Gilbert for a walk this morning and saw a pair of kingfishers on the river. These are Belted Kingfishers.  The female has the chestnut on her belly.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Thank God It's Friday.  Thank you God for this morning. Thank you for dreams that though scary weren't the nightmares that wake me from sleep.  It was just the being lost bad dreams, driving in the snow through the foreign port town.  I lost the dog.  He was playing with a lab. I was so worried he'd be hit by a car. I was looking street to street afraid to call and have him run to me.  I couldn't have been 12 when my dog died running to me across the street with the racing sunday driver.  There again was the scenario.  Then I remembered it was my dream and called and my dog was there safe.  I woke to dog and cat. Thank you God for the health and love of pets.

This day is not too long.  I've been tired sickness, criticism and callous unconcern of the ruling class.  To hold another election for their sale of yard signs.  It's like the marketting folk without the money to pay their mortgages on their Toronto, Montreal and West Vancouver penthouses for girlfriends and boyfriends said to the government, we need an election, just to sell more signs with your faces on them. The arrogance of politicals loving pictures and bilboards with their faces on them.  We need to stimulate the economy with bridges and fast trains and more subways but instead we get second class F35  fighter jets mass produced and election signs. They're be obsolete before the next parliament, both of them.  I want to believe that someone knowing more than me in Defence has figured this is the best plane but I know enough about politics to know this election isn't the best election. Internal squabbles so silly it's hard to hold onto them. Otto and no.  Chretien's hundreds of millions kickbacks makes anything this government has done seem child's play.  But then I've little faith.  The media has poisoned my 'true north strong and free'.  I've got to cling to a shred of hope they're not the idiots they're made out to be.  But what would I look like through the media lense. Worse.  No one looks good in sound bites and snaps shots except maybe Angelie Jolie.  I don't think I look good in any of these competitive slices of reality.  American idol style.  It all seems superficial.  I wake and fear going into a reality where my age no longer matters.  I'm counted by $ signs.  I'm judged politically. All that matters is the bottom line.  I feel like an outsider in my own country.  I feel like a life of work and service count for naught.  I feel depressed when I consider work and the city and the administrations so far removed from whatever I heard and see in my office.  I feel like a peasant farmer among feudal lords and ladies. I walk down the street and start to consider myself as inferior because I know all these others can buy better lawyers and better food and better housing.  I've got a poverty mentality by Friday.

Then Friday's usually perk me up.  With sickness I tire by the end of the week. Sleeplessness and the expectation of perfection and constant grind and constant demands upon demands and everyone so angry. They're so angry at me because they've been promised so much more and no one wants to sit with them any more.  The administration is so top heavy.  So many demands.  I'm asked to keep records upon records upon records, in triplicate. There's a deluge of emails, phone calls, and people walk in off the street threatening and demanding and saying they can't wait. I've been threatened dozens of times.  Everyone watches Donald Trump.  They do Donald Trump imitations in the office.  Fresh out of high school and thinking Donald Trump impersonations are the way to get ahead.  Better than the normal cheech and chong I see. Kids.  I was one and I knew nothing and thought with all my idealism I could make a difference.  There's just too much money in euthanasia and abortion and war.  Killing trumps healing.  Prisons get more than hospitals and schools. How silly I've been.

TGIF. I'm so tired on Friday.  The darkness. The rain.  But then it's the weekend. I love weekends like I love ice cream. I love Fridays.  I love the cherry blossoms and the promise of spring. I wish I had room for a garden. I miss gardening.  I loved gardening.  Helping the little things grow.  Protecting the shoots.  I miss raising chickens too.  Loved all that growing and building.  Now I just bundle my clothing against the cold winds and endless rain.

I'll get my motorcycle out for a long ride. If they have the clutch fixed. The fellow who ran into the back of my truck creating a 12 hour obstacle was too young to appreciate that breaking things for people like me means fixing things. I've been fixing things all my life. Most weekends.  Building fixing improving.  Working on cars, boats, motorcycles, houses.  The dog's sickness had me up alot. Laura shared that load. The gir's have been caring for him. Takes a village to care for a dog. Children don't count here any more.  I avoid children. Have for years.  in Canada all men are pedophiles in the eyes of the law. All men are rapists to the feminists.  The men by the hundreds have told me how afraid they are in Canada.  "I wouldn't think to sit on the park bench by the school yard anymore an old man told me. A woman complained and the police arrested me.  My wife and children had to come to the station to take me home.  It's harder with my arthritis and knees to walk further but I don't walk near the school."  He was a banker with no record. The woman had watched too much tv.  Who knows with bankers. Maybe he was learing.  That was years ago.

We're all afraid in Canada.  All the men anyway. The girls are afraid of serial rapists which fill the tv and occur at an incidence of 1 in 100,000. More likely they'd catch aids off the toilet seat especially the 50 year olds and older.  I don't worry about rape at my age.  Just theft.  Everyone is stealing in Vancouver.  It's a town of theft.  Blue Collar and White Collar theft.  I wonder if the prairies are as dangerous. Some people leaving this week, one for the country and another for Alberta, afraid of the gangs.  North Vancouver doesn't have the gangs .  But everyone's connected in the city.  If you don't have a brother with the Tong then your cousin is with the H&A or worse your sister is married to a lawyer.  That's the way the talk goes.  The city has the buzz though.


TGIF.  Help me recuperate this weekend and again appreicate all your blessings.  The city is growing and it's got so much good to offer. Help me to focus on the rays of sunshine, few as they may be and not see the other side. Help me see the clean streets more than the dirty alleys. Help me see the smile rather than the angry person with a crack pipe.  Help me celebrate life Lord. TGIF.  Thank you for work in these tough times for so many.  Thanks for all the good people and the good things that happen every day. Thanks for Lyle, Thanks for Al. Thanks for the guys in the Dug Out who were there yesterday with Sharon and all the others who smile when I would find it easy to frown.

TGIF. I 'll somehow get out of the city and smell the country and feel the clean air on my face and see for miles. The mountains hem one in with the constant rain. Thanks for yesterday's sun.  Thanks for the seeing of friends at the funeral. I miss him.  I miss the ones who have gone.  I know they go ahead.  Thank you for Friday.  Help those I would help and be with us now all the time. Let us know your presence and goodness. Let me see the good in all.  TGIF

Thursday, March 24, 2011

St. Trinian's II: The Legend of Fritton's Gold (2009)

This is chick flick humor at its finest.  Still, it stars Colin Firth who no doubt won the oscar for King's Speech based on his role in St. Trinians.  Rupert Everett is a regular monty python character who escaped from the British asylum for comedians. .  Talulah Riley, Jodie Whittaker, Juno Temple, Sarah Harding and all the girls, especially the little ones make this treasure hunt cross action flick truly entertaining.  Talulah Riley head spins like Carrie but she's more a foxy young Emma Peel. The music is great.  The costumes are terrific. The cast of characters is stupendous. All round a thoroughly enjoyable romp.  Shakespeare would definitely approve posthumously.

St Trinian's is based on a 1940's comic strip that parody's the british girl's schools of the day. Rather than the refined gentle interaction of little ladies, the comic strip showed bad girls pitch forking each other in rather rough team sports.  St. Trinian's I is was released in 2007. Definitely on the must see list now.

Democracy and Legal Conventions

Everyone wants democracy like they want all 'platitudes'. The trouble is 'what is democracy' and how far into a 'system' does it actually spread.  Who gets to vote and who gets to decide who we vote for really define the limits of democracy.  So you may believe you have a democracy but the only 'parties' offered for the voter to vote on are 'neo nazi' and 'nazi'.  Alternatively you may be given the choice between Hitler and Ghengis Khan or more likely today Cheech or Chong.

Appointed people in government increasingly are making the critical decisions.

I recenlty learned that a couple of 'conventions' had changed legally in Canada. When I was growing up if a person was a 'compulsive liar' the onus of proof rested with him to 'prove' he was telling the truth. After 3 lies the next was simply assumed a lie. This is no longer the case in the courts.  Liars actually seem to be favoured by a system that runs on a convention of 'lie, lie, lie, deny, deny, deny'.  Most recently a couple of British Columbian beaurocrats lied consistently in a celebrated Railway scandal.  At the end of the day years later they 'pleaded guilty'.  The cost to Canadians was 9 million in legal fees because the two criminals were government employees.  Government employees today appear to be above the law the rest of the 'citizens' adhere to.  They can lie and then change their lies and have all their court costs paid.  My grandfather would have said that this was not Canadian. They've taken the Bible out of Courts and quite frankly it's left a serious vacuum that Canadians would collectively say explains the Voodoo in such recent high profile decisions.

Another 'convention' that has slipped into the legal system is that "if it's not written down" it didn't happen. We noticed this when admistration took all the nurses and made them their clerks so that patients overnight lost the traditional bedside nursing.  Now doctors are told that patients really are not as important as the record. In the past if I did a blood pressure on every patient , "the onus of proof" was on the other person to prove I forgot to do one on an individual occasion.  Now that convention no longer exists.  This way  the onus of proof is on me to prove that I actually shave each day, as silly as that may seem. We all have rather routine behaviours and yet these are now required to be charted.  Indeed the lawyers have told the doctors that for every 5 minutes they are with patients they need to chart for 5 minutes. No 'voting" citizen knows that by this new convention their health care has been 'halved" and 50% or more of health care expenditure is going to medical legal costs.  Some have estimated that 90% of health care cost is a direct consequence of the legal, administrative and beurocratic  "conventions" which are self serving and do nothing in fact for the patients or citizens in general.

"Innocent until proven guilty" is a legal convention that doesn't hold throughout the legal system. The convention that the police have is that 'first complainant' is the 'victim'.  This 'first come, first served' convention is commonly known by criminals but not by law abiding citizens.  The change in conventions rarely gets to the law abiding citizens as fast as it gets to the criminals.

For democracy to exist it needs to be transparent and when conventions change the 'elected' should challenge them rather than allow the 'beaurocrats' and 'appointed' to rule as is true today.  Politicians are so commonly criticized when in fact the problems of the state exist in the appointments of previous governments, the beaurocracy with it's powerful unions and entrenched patronage.

Clearly democracy is superior to the average tyrrany but I'd really like to see the kind of Electoral Reform that Libby Davis demanded for Canada.  Similiarly we'd all like to see Restorative Justice which serves Canadians and brings the legal system out of the dark ages into the modern world.

As an example of the anachronism of the present jail system there have been modern analysis which have shown these kinds of glaring discrepancies.  I don't have the actual numbers correct but the ball park figures shows the failure of the legal system to be 'true' to it's mandate.  In Manitoba a study of inmates showed at one time roughly 70% of the jails were first nations who accounted for less than 30% of crime and 10% of populations and the crimes were no worse than other groups.  Those are not the stats but that kind of distribution showed the horrendous bias against natives in the legal system.  White collar crime has always been protected as recent revelations regarding those behind the 9-11 and recent recession scandals.  9-11 was a failure of beaurocrats and generals to be prepared. The Japan nuclear meltdown was warned against 2 years before and the government didn't take action. At least in Japan we can expect heads to roll. After 9-11 all the failures were awarded. People whose job it was to protect America and failed utterly in doing so were promoted.  If Indians had been in charge of the security for 9-11 or the safety of the Japanese reactors the Canadian courts would have surely put them in jail.

Recently it was reported that federal prisons in Canada cost $88,000 a year per person, provincial prisons $57,000 a year per person, and drug court $12, 000  a year per person.  Further it's long been estimated that over 50% of prisoners are their due to drugs and alcohol.  An LA policeman told me "After we look for the gun, we then look for the bottle and now we look for the joint".  Crimes of passion are mostly crimes of drugs and alcohol.  Yet there are the stats that show the prison system isn't really working in the world of today but somehow functioning like we all lived in the times of Stalin or Charles Dickens.

The reformer is the enemy of any one who benefits from the status quo.  It was recently reported that there are too many people making too many millions or billions among the Israeli and Palestinians carrying on "peace talks" to make PEACE in the Middleeast Possible. Failed 'peace' talks is the principle industry of the Middle East.  War is necessary for the region otherwise they'd have no media coverage.  It's an ongoing Hollywood episode and the guys who wind up long running bad television sit coms tragedies should be called in to wind up this increasingly sordid human endeavor.

In British Columbia the ombudsman has annually said the jails here promote crime. There's so little rehabilitation and education available and when people are let go only a very few can access the kind of programs the John Howard Society has demonstrated for year stop recidivism. The John Howard Society gets too little funding for the great successes their work has proved over and over again.

So Democracy simply can't work in this entrenched environment of special interest.  Imagine running a birthing centre beside an abortion clinic where the abortionist were paid 100 times what the midwives were paid. This was the finding in the Liquor Control Boards in Canada. The alcohol 'pushers' were paid a whole lot more than those who treated alcoholism in government services.

I don't think our politicians are the problem. I think they inherit a dying beaurocracy and at best can put a new paint job on the corruption that has made too many people rich off failure.  In the movie "Inside Job" the financial institution CEO's made it rich off insurance that literally said that what they were selling would fail.  This in real world terms is like taking 'arson insurance' on a house where the wiring is guaranteed to cause a fire and the home buyers are screwed the day they make the purchase. It was just a matter of time, how many months or days in fact, before the fire would happen.

Democracy is as beautiful flower.  It's not even a hot house plant. It's resillient.  But nothing can grow when legal conventions are sprouting up like weedeaters and all that is good and Canadian is called a 'weed' because no one seems to know the difference between a cultivated 'rose' and a 'weed'.

Canada is on the verge of a new election.  Ideally the budget would be accepted and Canadians wouldn't have to pay for another 'election industry' 'make work' project.  Changing chairs on the Titannic isn't what democracy is about. There's a real need for 'reform' and for democracy to over ride the beaurocrats and courts making rules for themselves without consideration of what is best for the whole of society and not just a 'special interest' group.

Right now Canada appears a legalbeaurocratic Oligarchy.  There's still a lot of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" or 'mother knows best'  in our politics.  I keep thinking that democracy might be a better idea.  But the fact remains Canada is a great nations the way it is.  Maybe just supporting the elected over the appointed would result in a re democratization of this truly fine country.

CBC Radio

I love CBC Radio.  A few years back we all called it 'Communist Broadcasting Corporation". It was that left of centre. No more.   All media today is at risk of being propaganda. It can't help it given the amount of money that backs mainstream information.  The Globe and Mail is ultra Liberal . The National Post is Conservative.  Despite this, all Canadian media seems fairly centrist. Nothing 'politically incorrect' dares to get by the all pervasive "information police".    Possibly the shake up over government funding a few years back forced it out of it's beaurocratic self serving irrelevance.  Whatever the cause I'm back to enjoying CBC like I did when Barbara Frum had me looking forward after work CBC like a kid looks forward to after school  comics.   CBC radio was a mainstay of information for the north and I depended on it when I worked out in the wilderness.  Today it again supplies  amazingly good news coverage.  I'm really partial to BBC over CNN.  CBC news can now be counted on as being more often than not better than anything south of the border.  There's a thoughtfulness that goes into programming. It's Canadian and superior in a way Canadian can be when it tries.  It's balanced. It sounds like the old Winnipeg Free Press before it lost it's independence.

CBC music has always been great. It's like PBS in that regard giving us a real spread of the finest.  Listen to mainstream radio music and it's all MacMusic.  CBC has always provided those artists that have a bit more depth than the Monkeys and Biebers of the world.  CBC is thankfully not American Idol.  I still love the classical offerings. Art and Science are more resistant to propaganda than News.  I'm glad that I tune into CBC news again these days.

Driving to work in the morning I really enjoy Anna Maria Tremonti.  What a terrific voice and personality.  If there's a war she can be our Tokyo Rose. No enemy of Canada could resist deserting to our side upon hearing Anna Marie Tremonti.  Thank you CBC.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oak Animal Hospital

Gilbert had diarrhea and fever. It persisted for a couple of days. Dr. Christine Ong is Gilbert's vet. He's got a thing for her because she's so beautiful and intelligent. Even when she hurts him putting chips under his skin so he can always be found, he knows she loves guys like him. He's vet pet. Oak Animal Hospital, 3887 Oak Street Vancouver (604-739-7111) takes vet appointments till 10:30pm. Amanda, the receptionist played with Gilbert till Dr.Ong was ready to see him. He forgave for giving him his rabies shots. He licked ears for her just to show he cares.She was detailed and thorough in her exam of the little guy. She made the diagnosis and prescribed the treatment. I was comforted and encouraged. Gilbert liked visiting Dr. Christine Ong. Gilbert doesn't know that Laura is hiding medicine in the raspberry jam she's giving him. He's already getting better and I'm even relaxed. Thanks Oak Animal Hospital.

The Tourist

The Tourist stars Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. Everyone is following Angelina to get to the boyfriend who stole millions. An innocent gets caught in the middle. The plot twists and turns with a couple of high dives. Venice is a beautiful backdrop. Angelina is sophistication and grace. I love the way the wears clothes. The clothes she steps out of are fashion creations. This is surprisingly a family rated movie despite the steamy looks that pass between Jolie and Depp. What a delightful frolic of a movie of action and intrigue.

Differentiating Psychotic Disorders

Psychosis means out of touch with reality. Reality is defined by the consensus of the majority.  Insaniety has been differentiated from genius in that insane people are said to lack the 'marketting agent' associated with 'genius'.  The actual psychosis may range from paranoid and isolative to grandiose and innappropriately inclusive.
Delirium is distinguished from psychosis in that with delirium the person's cognitive function is impaired, clearly so, and the persons' comprehension and orientation are severely disturbed. A person with delirium appears to shift in and out of awareness. Deliriums are acute processes of hours or days whereas dementias which mostly impair memory, orientation and awareness tend to persist.. These are there fore distinct from psychosis where the persons sense of time and place and awareness and memory may well be in tact.
The 'monosymptomatic delusional' person is a particularly interesting psychosis. This person appears to all and sundry perfectly normal.  They commonly hold successful positions in the community, often have senior positions and families.  Their psychosis indeed only appears if one triggers it with a statement or question.  An example was an individual who believed Jews were controlling the world.  He worked as a beaurocrat and was perfectly normal unless you mentioned jews. At which point he'd go off into a paranoid diatribe with increasingly bizarre ideation.  Change the subject to the weather and he's normal again.
Psychosis is defined first by 'time'.  Brief Psychotic Reaction refers to a limitted psychotic experience lasting less than 6 months, often only hours or days.
Psychosis are associated with delusions. Eg of delusions are paranoid - feeling people are following one or out to get one without any concrete evidence to support this. (Faced with the Nazi Freud said "sometimes the paranoids are right")
Another psychosis is 'pathological jealousy' in which the person believes a partner is cheating on them.  It's most commonly associated with alcoholism.
Ideas of reference refer to the idea of thinking people are talking about you when they aren't.  Thought insertion is having the sense that people are putting their thoughts or alien thoughts into your head.  Thought broadcasting is the belief that your own thoughts can be heard by others.
Hallucinations are common with psychosis. The most common are auditory hallucinations. Auditory hallucinations may be a voice heard outside the head or two voices or more heard outside. Commonly the voices refer to the person.  Visual hallucinations are more commonly associated with drug abuse, brain injury, or delirium.
In contrast to Brief Psychotic Episodes,  Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder which may be stabilized by drugs but without treatment may become a permanent psychotic state.  One example is a person who believes the CIA are watching them from pebbles on the street.
Schizophrenia presents in a variety of forms with the best prognosis and most common being 'paranoid'. Hebephrenic Schizophrenia is the bizarre presentation with alot of unusual disconnected thought content.  Undifferentiated and chronic is the most common seen in institutions.  It's a mix of presentions with a lower level and often more repeititive quality.  It is thought that the more acute paranoid without treatment 'burns' out to the 'chronic undifferentiated schizophrenia. The focus of treatment and success of medication treatment is that patients with schizophrenia are mostly treated  in the community where once they lived their lives in institutions.
Schizaffective disorder is a psychotic disorder which is differentiated from schizophrenia by it's  more 'emotional' component. Like schizophrenia it is a life long condiition but has a better prognosis.
Bipolar I disorder, the historic Manic Depression of Kraeplin (not the ubiquitous Bipolar II of the non Kraeplin set) is associated commonly with psychosis. In Mania the psychosis is grandiose with superhuman qualities.  Patients who have had cocaine addiction or amphetamine addiction and bipolar I have described their Mania as being like being on Cocaine or Amphetamine without the drugs.  Cocaine and Amphetamine were studied as drugs that mimicked psychosis.
Bipolar I depressive psychosis or Major Depression with Psychosis is associated with completely negative themes to their experience.  The auditory hallucinations heard by these individuals would be condemning and talking negatively about the patient.  In contrast a purely schizophrenic patient described their auditory hallucinations without emotions 'like listening to the radio'.  Indeed the latter complained of the medication taking away their 'company' and making them 'more lonely'.  Bipolar psychotic depressions have greater 'narcissistic' qualities than a melancholic or unipolar depression with psychosis.  The 'flavour' of uniqueness is noted commonly in both the manic and depressive phases of the Manic Depressive Disorder.
In Schizoaffective disorder and Bipolar Disorder and Depression with psychosis there is still this quality of altered sense of interpersonal humanity which can be absent in the purer Schizophrenic forms where there's a detachment and an alien quality once described as 'pane of glass' though this never stood the test 'diagnostically'.  Psychiatrists still talk of the 'flavour' in lieu of better words.
Drug abuse can mimick psychosis as well as cause psychosis and chronic drug abuse can cause a mild psychotic tendency to become a full blown chronic illness resistant to treatment.
All of the psychosis can be treated medically.  Psychosis that don't respond to standard approaches are now being treated in special 'treatment resistant' services for chronic psychosis. Further there are early intervention units where the thinking is that early treatment may result essentially in 'cure'.  The longer a person is in a psychotic state the greater likelihood that the prognosis can be worse.
There has been abuse of the diagnosis of psychosis.  Psychiatrists Against the Political Abuse of Psychiatry was just one organization that developped to address the tendency of state and individuals to take unfair advantage of individuals with mental illness.  The Canadian Civil Liberties and Canadian Mental Health Association can cite incidences of abuse.  Many grass roots 'ex patient' movements have developed attesting to the potential for abuse.
That said, psychosis is a mental illness that causes individuals great distress. The majority of patients do appreciate and respond to the medications and therapies that relieve them of suffering. The modern psychiatric treatments have served to restore the life and freedom to many who might not have lived beyond the development of their psychosis.  Psychosis is associated with a higher incidence of suicide and risk taking behaviour.
The reason for the need to differentiate the various psychosis is because different psychosis require different treatments.  Further the prognosis is obviously different for the different psychotic illness.  Further the potential for abuse is probably greatest for those 'labelled' with chronic psychosis.  The stigma against psychiatry and psychiatric patients falls most on the patients with psychosis.
Psychotic patients deserve great care and concern including physical examination, neurological examination and complete psychiatric work up including especially drug abuse including marijuania.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Inerrancy of the Bible

Fundamentalists have long held that the Bible is the 'true word of God'.  They insist that the Bible is without error.  It's painful at times to listen to the twisted and convoluted ways that they will explain and apologise for obvious 'errors' in the Bible.  These 'errors' may simply be scientific errors. The Bible was written before Copernicus.  The astronomy of the day was scientifically in error.  Perhaps the world revolved around the Sun back then and the sun rose rather than as we know today the 'earth' rises.  Perhaps the inconsistencies between the Gospels themselves weren't errors in observations or interpretation.
Yesterday is gone and the world of the Bible may well have been magical.  Alternatively though the Bible is clearly inspired truth, the world is a sinful place, a place of error by it's very nature. The joy of the Bible is perhaps that if it is read with prayer the truth about the Spiritual world, the nature of God, the true nature of this World, may be understood.
William Hordern in New Directions in Theology Today, 1966 stated "To both the Fundamentalist and the non conservative, it often seems that the new conservative is trying to say, "The Bible is inerrant, but of course this does not mean that it is without error."  Historically there was a lot of 'cherry picking' of the Bible.  One line was used to justify all manner of rude and inhuman carrying on.  Biblical study today encourages one to see individual parts of the Bible in terms of the whole.
Jesus said the whole of scripture could be summed up, "Love God and Love your neighbour as yourself."  This seems a central key.  Anything that seems to contradict this must be seriously challenged.  Anything that coincides with this central message of truth is by association true.  The Bible was written not as an historical text, a scientific text, a novel, a psychology, a sociology or any lesser part aspect of man's existence. It was written as a Holy Book. It is a book about God and man's relationship with God. Given the billions of people who have come closer to God thanks to this Holy Book, it's doing it's job.  The Bible doesn't err but men, such as I, certainly do.

Sturges North 
When I joined the West Coast Biker Church, I was early asked by one of the members if I had a "clean record".  I asked 'why" and the fellow said that they wanted to liason with some of the other gospel biker groups south of the border.  The trouble was, 'some of us had troubles with the law before we found Jesus."
Now this was a born again Christian biker talking. So obviously the American border could be a detriment to many motorcyclists travelling to the great annual American Black Hills motorcycle rally, Sturges.  This is where the Harley Davidson crowd meets and the Boss sang a year or two ago.
Given the increasing paranoia of Homeland Security and the profiling of bikers, all bikers are drug addicts or terrorists, it's not surprising that someone figured there was a need for a major West Coast Motorcycle Rally north of the border. I hear increasingly from elderly Christians that they don't want to cross the American border because the radiation from their cancer treatments gets them strip searched and anal probed.  I imagine a lot of bikers especially those with iron butt awards would want to avoid this.
Further, Sturges North  welcomes 'all makes of bikes' , not just American made.  I ride a Harley and am thankful that I do as one fellow Harley rider of dubious background told me, "My friends and I think it's okay to hurt anyone not riding American made."  I think he was joking. It was a backhand compliment to me when I attended a sober round up in the northern backwoods, riding in on my Buell.  Even though I think this big guy on his high bar chopper was joking, I was glad at the time that Buell was American made.  Since then I ride  a Honda enduro as well as my Harley.
Canada is a nation that embraces pluralism.  The Triumphs have been with us since they served the WWII vets that fought with England for that great motorcycle making nation.  BMW's are a favourite here thanks to their success in the off road categories and popularity with the 'The Wrong Way Round' sorts.  Being  part of the Pacific Rim we've also had the best of  Honda,Yamaha, and Kawizaki.  Naturally the Italians who brought us the finest foods and taught the locals how to grow grapes like their Dukatis and  Moto Guzzis.
So Sturges North is an "inclusive" gathering. All bikes are welcome. The Salmon Arm area has long been on part of the most popular motorcycle ride advertised the world over for it's scenic beauty and winding roads.  It's a great location for lakes, rivers, camping, rv's, back woods trails and wilderness, as well as fine dining and fine accomodation tourist towns with even nearby Halcyon and Nakusp hotspring resorts.
In addition to the Motorcycle Rally, the Music Festival is really shaping up with a truly Woodstock flavour. I'd personally like to hear Third Day, Creed, and I Need to Breathe Christian band but Doug and the Slugs even though Doug is dead isn't anything to sneeze at .  Powder Blues is unstoppable.  Streetheart, Nazareth and Harlequin should be appreciated for the older Woodstock crowds who will be able to take off their hearing aids for a change.  Helix, Prism.  Steppenwolf and Eric Burden and the Animals will be amazing.
Some of the older bikers will have given up riding two wheelers because of virtigo. Fortunately ,there will be enough young people of the cafe racer set there who will be able to help them out of their walkers and onto their trikes.
I feel for the emergency doctors in town who will likely get experience with wild mushroom intoxication in old farts on high cholesterol, hypertensive medication,  heart medications, chronic obstructive lug disease puffers,mixing their Jim Bean with viagra.  UBC should volunteer a research team for on site medical emergencies.
The organizers are great in that they're giving cut rates to the Military Vets.  I love the biker organizations in general for their appreciation of our troops.  The RCMP will likely be paid to be there. As a biker organization they've shown themselves over the years to be understanding and appreciative of other mounted folk.
The only downside is that they don't allow dogs.  I can understand that pitbulls and bull mastiffs, popular with some bikers, should be outlawed  but  dogs, like my cockapoo, who rides on my bike shouldn't be discriminated against.  There really should be a separate category for biker 'purse' dogs.   That said there are pet friendly RV and tent campgrounds, cabins and motels in the Salmon Arm area.
I don't know if my Harley Electraglide will make it but it sure looks like a place to take my Ford F350 SuperDuty Harley Davidson Edition truck,  Rockwood Minilite RV, the Honda 230 and Honda Big Ruckus,  canoe and fly rod.  I've always been proud to say I was at the first Strawberry Mountain Peace and Love Festival. I had long hair and my face was painted with stars or some such shit.  I don't remember most of the festival.
Now I'd like to be able to regale the folk around the nursing home some day with my being at the first Surges North Motorcycle Rally and Music Festival.  I figure that most of us will have learned by now how to have a great time in the wilderness without the need of drugs and booze. We still love motorcycles and rock and roll.  I just hope the good bands play early because I fall asleep before midnight.  The best trout are up at dawn.

Space Doctor

Space Doctor is a novel by Lee Correy published as a Del rey book by Ballantine Books in 1981. It's the story of the first solar energy array in space done as an industrial project, no different from other industrial projects like the South American oil pipe lines.  What's amazing about this story is that it begins with a country doctor, friend of the magnate entrepreneur whose privately developing the overall project.  The doctor is approached as a friend to build and man the first industrial space hospital with paradmedics and nurses for the high man power site.  I was fascinated as a doctor reading this book having not thought of so many of the obvious problems that can arise in 'space medicine'.  In an emergency in weightlessness the doctor can't get the bubbles out of the syringe, just for an example.  When he goes to intubate the patient, they fly in opposite directions.  To get to an emergency industrial explosion site the paramedics have to go through each of the locks in the complex all resulting in too much time lost to save the lives of the welders.  The story is written as fiction and moves like episodes of ER.  It's the backdrop to the exciting reading that's fascinating and so realistic. I kept thinking that this should be on the required reading list for every medical student, nurse and paramedic today even though it was written thirty years ago. All that's somewhat outdated are the medications used. Otherwise the book is a beginner's guide to frontier medicine at it's finest. Nothing in Star Trek or Star Wars came close to addressing the essence of the industrial and occupational medicine considerations as well as this book does.  Not surprisingly Lee Correy is the pseudonym for G. Harry Stine, a rocket pioneer, futurist and expert on space industrialization. Having read some of the research papers from NASA by psychiatrists and psychologists regarding colour and sound I was really impressed to read these very ideas being addressed in the 'wardroom" of this first 'space hospital'.  It's a great story but it also raises all the issues doctors will have to contend with when doing surgery, deliveries, and handling emergencies in space.  I enjoyed to the conflict with beaurocrats, regulators, the struggles with project finance, the problems arising from design errors.  All of it was just fascinating stuff with the background of space emergencies and tight quarter romance.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Scotty" S.

Scotty was my friend.  He died a couple of weeks ago to the surprise of family and friends.  H was so full of life and fight.  He was indefeatable. But sometime he'd learned to surrender. Someone called him to that other big meeting. He just  had to go.  So, like Scotty he 'suited up and showed up'.  Their gain. Our loss. I'll miss him.
Scotty wasn't even his real name. Just a nick name that stuck. He'd come from Scotland to Montreal and Montreal to Vancouver.  He'd married Michelle and been in love with her for decades. "She's the finest woman," he'd say.  .
Scotty  made me laugh when all I could do was cry.  He reached out to me when I thought I was beyond help. He touched me when I thought I was dirty.  He was that way for so many many people. Tolerance and nonjudgementalness were words that characterized his love of others. He wasn't selfless. He was human but service was his passion.
One special day he invited me to come for a walk. I'd been complaining about life.  He told me "God doesn't make shit, Bill".  Then he walked me through some nearby art galleries pointing to the beauty of the paintings.  He talked about art in his quiet way. Then we walked down the street and he stopped at corners where wild flowers grew.  "I got a book once and learned the names of these," he told me then proceeded to share the names of the flowers before us.  "i'd once gotten so far into my head I'd forgotten what a beautiful place the world was."
I hung out with Scotty when I could.  Loved to be with Scotty and Michelle the best.  A kind of calming energy field reaches out from some people.  It touches all around them.  They may struggle with themselves and each other but such is love and spirituality. The consequences  are far reaching.  I disagreed with Scotty and Scotty disagreed with me.  Such are friends. But the friendship lasted years and grew. Every day my appreciation for him as a man, a human and a friend grew that much deeper.
I liked his Scottish accent and his brusque manner. His accent reminded me of my grandfather and Scottish cousins. He was a gifted story teller.
It wasn't that long ago Scotty went home  to play golf on the St. Andrew's course.  "I'm just afraid they'll pair me with some loud mounted superficial American who doesn't understandthe game"  The game was sacred to Scotty. "Imagine being on the greatest golf course in the world and you'll with a fool who won't shut up."   Scotty liked the quiet.  He'd had his share of loudness in his life.
He was a man of the city though.  When we camped together at Alkali Lake he told me he hadn't slept all night in the tent. "I couldn't stop thinking of grizzly bears. How do you do it?" It was the only time I saw my courageous unflappable friend unravelled. He could face the deadliest human but the thought of being eaten by a bear in the wilds of northern Canada had kept him awake all night.   I gave him my extra 'bear banger" - noise maker - and showed him how to use  it.  His blood shot eyes lit up.  "I knew I was missing something."
I was thankful to be able to help Scotty sleep that night. Many times he called me in the wee hours night and I went out to help him with some desperate  man who was paranoid crazy and dangerous in the night. Together we'd talk with him.  Scotty had a way of convincing people there was more to life than suicide or homicide.   I'd help arrange things to get the man into hospital or help the next day.  In the last years Scotty had found his greatest fulfillment helping those in hospital.  In his last days he went to those meetings he'd started for others finding help himself in the sharing..
I'll miss Scotty. I already do. I was always touched by his wisdom.  I was so  proud to count him my friend.  I look forward to when my time comes seeing his face and hearing him say, "I'm glad you've come."  I don't expect him to be wearing socks.
Memorial Service
St. Chad's Anglican, Trafalgar Street, Vancouver, 1pm

Friday, March 18, 2011

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Ballet BC

March 18 -19, 2011, Ballet BC presents the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Judith Jamison Artistic Director.  Emily Molnar, Artistic Director of Ballet BC opened tonight's unforgettable evening  welcoming  the Alvin Ailley African American troupe as part of Ballet BC's 25 Anniversary Season.  Emily Molnar graciously put  in a plug for this season's  last performance of Ballet BC next month with Canada's chamber orchestra, Turning Point Ensemble.
Then the curtain rose to the spectacular opening number, "Memoria" , dedicated to joy,  with Alvin Ailley's unique modern dance.  Such long limbed women and powerfully muscled men.  "Cry" choreographed by Alvin Ailley, celebrated black women everywhere.  The Hunt choreographed by Robert Battle was stylized  primal male tribal dance that had the audience leaping to their feet with resounding applause.   Tall people with high lifts and long leaps.  "Revelations," from 1960,  Gospel music and a history of black women and men in dance in the American south was a story in magnificent movement  Costumes, lighting, dance, everything was truly splendid.  It was an exhilerating experience.
Two or three decades back, I first saw Alvin Ailley American Dance Theater perform in Winnipeg. I never forgot that glorious night and often spoke of it.  Seeing tonights performance I understood why it so moved me that first time. It still does today.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day, Vancouver

St. Patrick in the Patron Saint of Ireland.  He was before North and South. St. Patrick's Breastplate is the most famous of the prayers attributed to this most courageous man.  
The Blarney Stone is just one of the pubs that will celebrate this day. Already at noon their premises are filling for the day's celebration. They have Irish folk singers, singing those favourite of songs, pre and Post IRA.  Donovan and U2, the Pogues and more.  Some tenor will no doubt sing Danny Boy more than once today and tears will no doubt flow.  Ireland is a land of song and dance. Irish Dancers will be featured. Irish Dance was made famous yet again by River Dance.  The Blarney Stone even offers Irish pipes.  The streets in Gastown is already closed off for the pedestrian good cheer.  Others today will be reading "How the Irish Saved Civilization" which features St. Patrick.  St. Brendan will no doubt also be honored as he is said to have sailed from Ireland to North America.  Brendan's Voyage is equivalent to the Kon Tiki Expedition in showing the likelihood and feasibility of this historical claim.  In years past the Irish Parade in Vancouver has been one of the biggest and most attended. This is amazing because the weather has often been deplorable but nothing to put the Irish off.  

Authority of God

"God is good, all of the time" is a fine gospel song. The Gospel mean 'good news'.  "Jesus saves".  "Trust in God".
Yet how come there is suffering?  There is much Christian apologia for 'suffering'.
- Various theories abound - eg - This is not the real world.  This is the material world. The spiritual world is the real world. When we awake we will look at the 'suffering' of this brief finite lifetime as nothing compared to 'infinite glory'.  Heaven makes right the hell of earth in this scenario.  I am a caterpillar now and when I die I enter a cocoon and become a butterfly.
But what about the suffereing?  How come there are earthquakes and tsunamis.
- Various theories abound.  The earth is a complex playground. Each soul has a purpose.  My purpose might be to not lie whereas another person's purpose might be to not steal.  Each person has a unique test. The eastern maya reincarnation theory says that we all are living according to karma and if I kill in this life I will return and be killed.  That's sort of satisfying. As I'm dying I can think the guy who killed me will get his.  These fixed cataclysmic events just are.
What about the person who dies as a young man versus the person who dies as an old man.  The young man doesn't have nearly as much opportunity to be bad as the old man who lives longer. The young can be trained and idealistic and die young and get rewarded by heaven. The good die young.  If God is good all the time then why wouldn't the old man get to die young and go to heaven rather than living long and screwing up on his 107th birthday cursing God.  Supposedly longer life means more time to atone for past sins.  Catholics have given this alot of thought and some old time nuns are quite explicit on these matters. Purgatory seems a solution.  This earthly place is just one of the 'cleansing' places where we can work out our sinfulness and be saved from heaven.  Purgatory may be below or above earth depending on perspective.
The real question is how to explain Ghaddafi?  Jesus said "Forgive them for they know not what they do."  Bad leaders in this sense were no different from earthquakes.
THe first thing is for me not to think that Bill Gates or Ghaddaffi or Obama or Sandra Bullock or Ralf Lauren has it 'better' than me.  I'm not supposed to compare myself to others because I don't know their insides or really their outsides.  Right now I think Mr. Rothschild or Mr. Buffet have it better than me.  That's because I don't know what  is the complexity of their lives.  When we actually get to know people in more depth we find out that the rich and famous and powerful have their own foibles, fears and obligations.  It looked like a good deal being a tyrant but tyrants have all these people trying to topple them.  I don't have to worry about having a food taster for instance.  Imagine being wealthy and powerful and not knowing who to trust.  I couldn't leave my cat and dog with a friend for fear they'd steal them.  My doctor might be bought. It looks good having the money and power but it's not free.  So my tendency is to think that others have it better than me and God creates this 'injustice'.  Yet as all artists know the bankers are generally incapable of experiencing true art because they lack the sensitivity.  Killers grow cold and can't love children or experience the love of children.  The movies show us a flick of the mafia without getting to the insides where the person 's emotional life is flat and depressed.  They have the gang bosses seeing psychiatrists but no psychiatrist can help the Hitler's of the world.
God is good all the time.  The Mishna says that God is responsible for good and evil. The story of Job is that there is no dualism.  God is greater than the devil.  There is only one Creator and the Creator creates all.  Those who have satanic force that's as powerful as Christ miss the message.
It's always easy to imagine the ruling forces as idiots and evil.  That's the angry child scenario.  Certainly there seems to be despots but does this perspective help me, personally. The media portrays this always.  It certainly sells books and magazines.  It's equally possible that the world is run by a benign dictatorship and that they're working for the best for everyone in the long run.  I have a lot of polly anna ideas but maybe civilization is just progressing with various strong men and strong women putting forward their best agenda for what's best.
God is said to have 'inspired' the Bible.  Similiarly my Christian friend believes that God 'inspires' the world leaders.  He would have thought overall that God was influences Hitler and Nero and today Ghaddaffi, reducing those tyrant's potential for violence.  Without God's albeit weak influence maybe Hitler would have killed 'all' the jews and 'all' the gays and 'all' the mentally ill.  Thanks to God his plot was vanguished.
There can be no appreciation of happiness without sadness.  Without pain there is a bland existence.  The convolutions of life give it's character.
The key seems to be 'trust' and 'faith' and 'love' rather than being in a state of 'fear'.  Certainly those who believe that we're really in 'good hands' and ultimately a good God is in charge do best in the long run. They seem to have better lives even if they are characterized at times as 'happy cabbages' and 'stupidly' 'spiritual'.
God is good, all of the time.  It's okay God's in charge.  Right.


Was Kennedy shot because he demanded greater "freedom and independence' for Americans?  He spoke against the backrooms dealing in politics.  He argued for accountability and what today is called transparency.  Eisenhauer said that the military industrial complex was essentially self serving and a threat to the world.  The reason there are 'Conspiracy Theories' is because the world appears to be run by various 'conspiracy'.  People who are 'faceless' can be much more sadistic and cruel.  Obfuscation and 'muddying the waters' is the business of politics and legal dealings.  "Plain language' movements are countered by invested interests which would use ambiguous and archaic language to protect special interests.
It's all very taxing.  One so longs for the 'straight shooter', and 'true blood', an 'honest man, a 'righteous woman'.  Yet an argument has been made that the reason for man's 'large brain' is the increased capacity for subterfuge.  Man didn't approach his competitors in hunting gathering days saying "Pardon me, Mr Lion, I'd like to eat you?"  "Do you mind Mr. Bear if I just move in here and take the salmon you intended for yourself."  Man has succeeded through ambush and disguise and camouflage.
No doubt there are a few families who have like the dynasties of royalty the world over attempted to keep power to themselves and their inbred dubious offspring.  Genetics has not served these rulers well.  Yet, these families naturally would through every means entrench their power and wealth.  One of the common means of street gangs is to require each new member to murder.  The evidence of this is kept against the individual forgetting their allegiance to the gang.  Naturally the leadership of the world might use something similiar.  One imagines a five year old in a photo album having sex with the nanny before being forced or encouraged to fork out their eyes.  It's not a pleasant image but certainly would discourage disloyalty at any later date.  There is always the carrot and the stick.  One actually hopes that the ruling families would be able to spoil their young sufficiently to have them want to remain in power for the sake of multiple sex partners, drugs and lear jets.  The secrets are always the hidden prisons and the tortures and the nasty stuff of our collective animalistic pasts.
A british prime minister said, "I don't need you're loyalty when I'm right, I need it when I'm wrong."   Loyalty is what dynasty and conspiracy are about.  The existing political systems seems to promote 'unholy alliances' and 'politics makes strange bedfellows'.
Electoral reform or ER is one of the many revamping of the pleasant sounding 'platitude' called 'democracy'.  Politics is about the 'least ugly' and not now about the 'best'.  Democracy, even the unfed, unwatered, dying variety that exists today is better than all but the benign dictatorships.
The question which matters like 'wickileaks' and 'communication technologies' that make literally everyone open to surveillance at all times is, can any existing political structure survive the post modern age.  The question of 'transparency' is that today only the wealthiest and most powerful can 'afford' privacy.  Therefore, the demand for transparency levels the playing field.  Blacks faced with social workers studying their lives on the streets said 'we can't study the white because they hide everything in side.'  The violence of the ruling class in indirect, one removed, concealed.
The move to transparency has been powerful in academic circles where 'conflict of interest' has resulted in each lecturer being required to declare any financial support their presentation or research might be receiving.
The population is more sophisticated.  It demands openess. American Supreme court judge nominees were questioned on their taste in videos based on the publically available rental slips.  Profilers how can demonstrate individuals patterns of spending from Visa and Mastercard receipts.  Recent 'security' breaches of government and financial structures have been occurring to different levels by hackers 'apparently working for Chinese military sources'.
Since only the very rich can truly afford 'privacy' and 'security' the argument then is for greater 'transparency'.  But wouldn't it be just as easy to buy video store receipts and use the corporate outsourced visa for rendezvous with coke dealers, arms dealers and prostitutes.
It's become an Emperor's Wife scenario with everyone increasingly 'guilty until proven innoscent' . There is always some 'soft law' on the books that can carry 'hard time'.  The leadership have always had powerful discretionary authority. Treason remains the greatest offence.
So doesn't 'transparency' have any real benefit or is it a more sophisticated 'cover up'.  The argument for leadership is that perhaps the most powerful should be leader and that making it easier to take power from these ruling conspiracies will dilute the 'gene pool'.
In the meantime , transparency is an interesting 'fashion' and 'buzz'.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan Nuclear Meltdown

No nation in the world can be smug in face of the tragedy that is facing Japan.  An earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown.  A Canadian city would be hard pressed to handle the medical emergency of simultaneous jumbo jet crashes, let alone the catastrophic triple whammy scenario the Japanese are handling with amazing reserve and profound professionalism.
It is shocking to learn that the government was told that it's nuclear reactors needed reinforcing 2 years ago and didn't act. There are countless government reports recommending infrastructures all over Europe and North America need improvement.
Japan will rise again. So much is possible.  Japanese learn from their mistakes.  They adapt.
My prayers go out to them in these days of need. I most admire those scientists, engineers and technicians who are risking their lives for the sake of others.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Acute and Chronic Sinusitis

Symptons and signs:
Upper Respiratory Infections (ie cough, nasal discharge, passibly fever and chills - ie 'a cold) that are accompanied by "fascial pain  (Degown & Degown' Diagnosistic Examination, Richard L. DeGowin, McGraw Hill Inc 1994)  suggests 'acute suppurative (draining) sinusitis'). If it is the maxillary sinus then the fascial pain is dull and throbbing in the cheek and several of the upper teeth on that side.  Thumb pressure tenderness may be noted over the sinus invoved. Frontal sinus involvement is noted with pain in the forehead and along the eye brow ridge.  Ethmoid sinus is medial (next to) the eye and deep feeling. Sphenoid Sinusitis generates pain behind the eye.  Chronic or subacute sinusitis is sinusitis that lasts more than 3 weeks.  Xray or CT scan may help with the diagnosis at this time.  12 week is the figure used by Mayo Clinic for diagnosis of 'chronic'.
Home remedies for acute sinusitis are warm compresses on the face, avoid alcohol, sleep with head up to increase drainage, antiinflamatories ie aspirin, ibuprofen, lots of liquids, antihistaminines, juices especially.
Antibiotics for empiric treatment, ie treatment where it's based on symptons and signs rather than an actual culture of the pus, include amoxil 500mg tid (three times a day) for 10 to 14 days, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole 1 DS tab bid (twice a day) for 10-14 days, cefuroxime 250 mg po q 12 h for 10 to 14 days, clarithromycin 250 to 500 mg twice a day for 10 to 14 days, azithromycin 500 mg for 1 day then 250 mg per day for 4 days......(Epocrates)
For Chronic Sinusitis Empiric Antibiotic Treatment changes to include Clindamycin 450 mg 4x a day for 4 to 6 weeks and metronidazole 500 mg twice a day for 4 to 6 weeks followed by a macrolide treatment for 4 to 6 weeks or amoxicillin/clavulanate 875/125 mg twice a day for 4 to 6 weeks. The last one, Amoxicillin/clavulanate may interestingly be used for acute sinusitis as well and is the only one which could be recommended for both.  (Epocrates).
Always with antibiotics avoid where person is allergic.  Note each antibioltic has side effects and those side effects will often make one better than another for an individual patient.
For this reason it's obvious that seeing a physician is the best medicine.  Ear Nose and Throat surgeons are the people who are the specialists and authorities on this condition.  They have little cameras on probes which they can use to enter and look in sinuses and extract fluid for culture and sensitivity assessment of antibiotic optimization.
Sinusitis can be caused by fungus.  It can be caused by allergies. It can represent an underlying autoimmune disorders. All infections can be made worse or arise in depression and stress. People who are over stressed or experiencing anxiety and depression have reduced immunity and risk for infections and risk for persisting infection is increased.  Rest is therefore beneficial at first.
Psychosomatic medicine suggests that people who are healthy are best able to fight illness however those who are chronically stressed, threatened, abused, neglected, over tired have less 'fight' in them. They are more at risk for having a mild illness become more major or extended. Why if a 'bug' is equal, do only certain people in contact with that 'bug' get infected.  That's what immunity is about. Some people are more immunity. Immunity is affected by stress.  Mind and heart affect immunity.
Environmental factors such as cold and damp are not conducive to sinus healing.
Sleep disorders increase risk of infections because sleep is a time of self healing. Pain disorders beget sleep disorders and sleep disorders beget reduced immunity to psychiatric and physical illness.  Too often we treat connected matters as disconnected when in fact they aren't.  Today most things are recognised as multifactorial.
However, often a 'cure' can result from a change in a specific or focal area: resolve the pain or improve the sleep, and the immune system can take care of the sinusitis.  Sinusitis affects sleep by affecting breathing and thereby can cause depression and pain is worse with depression.  So there are these inherrent cycles that can work against one unless recognised. Then the very cycles can be used to benefit the individual.
Using an antihistamine to improve breathing and drainage from sinuses can improve sleep and thereby improve healing.  Advil sinus is one of many over the counter preparations which can be used early.  While it is considered messy, the old fashioned sinus washing process is actually still considered beneficial and recommended by some ENT specialists. is a good safe mainstream resource.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Television Reviews from a Sick Body and Mind

I don't tend to watch much tv.  However when I have the flu or am ill it's a godsend.  This winter and early spring, thanks to overwhelming work  stress ,environmental stress, karma, divine retribution, a big nose that attracts bugs,forgetting a flu shot, smoking as a young man, tsunamis, earthquakes and tyrannical governments in the middle east, I've been bedridden with Upper Respiratory Infections off and on.  As a result I'm now an authority on television series.  They're all incredibly good.  There's only so much reading one can do with headache, back ache, fever and running nose.  The tv is a saniety saver.  I actually watched a bonanza and a matlock episode and realized, it's always been.  Commercials have got better over the years. The mute button on the remote is technological wizardry.
Now to the shows themselves.
NCIS is great.  I love all the characters.  Can't remember their names. The ex Mossad agent is just so hot.  The goth chemist is darling. The computer geek is so believable. The playboy is endearing and the old doctor, duckie and his side kick are just wonderful.  This family has a silent mysterious father and he's just fine too.  There's bosses behind him but the team is really a great school grouping that makes all the intriguing scenarios that happen each week quite wonderful.
I like NCIS Miami too. Mostly because of the black guy and white guy military types but the best is the old lady. She's a great actress and it's a joy to see such wit and charm and age appreciated. The young pair are a delightful combination and this family with a smart mommy character works just great. Maybe the stories are even better. The odd girl in this one is the communication computer hacker as opposed to the chemistry chick from the other NCIS.
The UNIT is the best.  Laura and I watch this even when we're not sick.  It's the best combination of  military 007 Spike guy thing couple with army brat wives chick flick thing.  All the characters have depth and the plots are sensationa,
I love the Mentalist.  He's believable and his partner is gorgeous and bright and they make the kind of team that Dianna woman was part of in the early 70's. It's got that great boy girl working together with touch of romance thrown in. Great stories too.
The Closer is terrific. I like this cop team. She and her FBI boyfriend are a hoot. I love her female Colombo style.  I like the irreverent old cop and the smart chinese guy.  It's just a good cop show.
Chicago Code is real cop material.  Believable. Gets to the corruption. The regular cop and the head of the police fighting the corruption of city hall and the gangs on the street is thrilling. It's real like the Unit is real.Serious drama.
Burn Notice is slick. The guy is smart and it's got all the McGivor 007 and Diesel xxx smarts too it.  I like the commentary.  Love the killer ex girlfriend. The buddy is a good balance but the mother is a show stopper. Love that she was written in. Brings this whole thing home. We never did know 007's family.  I like the cozy home feel of this.
Pretty Little Liars is intense and twisted and smart camera. Everything that soap opera aspires to in the making. But too much information.  Everything is drama.
Insecurity the Canadian spy series is really funny.  Makes me proud to be Canadian when I see such good drama.
I love Stargate and Stargate Atlantis. I'm a big sci fi fan. This isn't star trek but it's the next best thing and I love it.  I like the doctor to and the wild man and wild woman and the blond leader is so believable and the guy leader is so believable and the bright guy is so believable and I just think I should have my own personal star gate. This is going on at Rockwell right now.  And the government isn't telling us about it.!
Criminal Minds is dependable. I like the team.  I like the leaders and I like the whole unit.  The smart guy is my favourite.  Good drama.
Law and Order is still as good as ever. It's been around for ever and it's always just good informative drama.
House - I don't tend to watch doctor tv much anymore.  I love the information on House. The stuff they're dealing with is usually really good medicine. They've obviously got some good consultants but I just can't accept the drama. Maybe in the US this goes on. But here all the doctors are required to be without personality and there is no drama allowed or someone complains and they're up on charges for being colorful.  When I started in medicine I learned from a few House like characters but they've been killed off and I mourn their passing.
In the wilderness doc series seemed too flakey. I've done the wilderness medicine stuff and the plot and scenarios were just too weak for me.
ER was a terrific doc series.  Michael Creighton consulted and it was at times just like it was in real life.  The police told me Barney Miller was fairly representative of alot of time in Canadian police activity.  The Hill and things like that in New York and LA just didn't seem to be relevant to Canadian police activity. Cold Squad was brilliant and better than Quincy.  But today given all the gang wars in Vancouver and meth labs blowing up down town maybe it's time for a new Vancouver cop series.
Nothing has come along to even come close to Seinfeld and Friends.
I dont' get the Discovery or History channel here.  BBC news beats out everyone else.  Manbridge is still good though.  I wonder if the girls felt about him the way the guys feel about the BBC news announcers. The main men and women on CNN seem flat in comparison to the Brits and Canadians.  More like corporate brands than real people.
I love the English and Australian drama but it's a bit low key for when I'm sick. The American pizzaz for making fast action and multiple cameras is best for the sick person.  I'd rather read a book but I dose alot.  Movies are too involved so these TV Series are really the best for sick people.  I found I like watching the two guys myth busting a blowing up something while at the dentist. Loved watching big fish catching with my nephew.  I think all round tv has got a whole lot better. That's not even with PBS and the HBO mini series.
That said, the general population is given a real skewed view of law enforcement, crime labs and such.  I think that's part of the propoganda of Big Brother is all powerful and watching you. It's really so much myth and entertainment. I can't imagine any crime except maybe the shooting of a senator or such that would get the millions of dollars of investigation time and resource each NCIS series would cost.  It's even more fanciful than Sherlock Holmes.  But great drama.
Criminal Minds is all this profiling stuff. It's fun psychodrama but it's utterfly far fetched. My field.  But it's better than Freud.  Lots of stereotypes and psych 101 but really.  Good drama though.
Mentalist is however in contrast believable in a real way. The "book of tells" is about those little things people give themselves away with. He's over the top but the stuff he's based on is well founded.  It draws on years of hypnosis research and is really valid. Irritating but it's what the circus carnies do their stuff with and why the best tarot card readers read you more than the cards.  I like it. I like the character too.  But mostly I like the girl.
So it's all about team playing. The girls, like Nikita, are the killers. So we're tv is long beyond the feminist  dichotomy - men are bad, women are good. There's a real balance of good and bad characters and a balance of believable female and male leaders . There's lots of black representation, some oriental and even some latin, some Russian, but not that much first nations.  It's a long way from vanilla for sure.
The other propaganda item is that the world is on the brink of disaster and every week there are dozens of terrorists the US is protecting everyone from.  This is probably going to end up like the War on Drugs, with all the Homeland security measures as much begetting terrorism as protecting us from it. It's got that feel. However the propaganda is there. Every series has a terrorist being caught about to blow up a city. The other thing to propagandize to the women , especially the silly girls, is that Big Brother is protecting you from a daily serial sexual predator. The pig farmer was the biggest news here in Vancouver. They're rare but watching tv land they're everywhere so that's major fear mongering.  Terrorists and serial sexual sadists behind every door. I preferred the good old commie scare. So I'm aware I'm being fed this constant message of good government in the end, the bad guys get caught but I haven't heard of any convictions over 911 or the recent banker regulation scam.  I appreciate the purpose of tv as opiate for the masses. When I'm sick I enjoy being anesthetized.  Somebody like dirty harry is out there fighting for me the little guy whose sick right now and couldn't defend myself from a wet noodle.  I like Bat man and Superman some days too.
I know the lie though. I still appreciate the propaganda.  I probably was benefitted from watching Bonanza and the goodness of the Cartwrights.  I wish there were more westerns.  There sure are alot of cop shows and Big Brother and stuff.  I like the guns and car chases.  That diner canadian comedy in Saskatchewan or the north somewhere is good but it doesn't have the guns and car chases you need when youre sick and dozing.
Right now I'm thankful for the tv.  I'm hoping to be well before I know all the names of all the characters.  Oh yea, Oprah really is good. Her talk show is the best. I fall asleep before the late night ones especially when I'm sick.  But after David Letterman there really isn't anyone out there.  I figure if I get a slice of David Letterman coupled with Fox news I've just about got the full spectrum of what's important in the news.
Glee is great too but the music has become American Idol made like the Monkeys since the earlier ones so it lost me.  I wish there was more godly and Christian programming.  I like the televangelism on Sunday but it loses me when it seems like the product is a used car.
The reality series suck for me. I'm a survivalist and all the stuff they do and the way they act is just not the world I know.  Too much phony adrenaline and testosterone with downright nastiness.  People in difficult times in my experience usually pull together a whole lot better than those prima donnas so I've just not got into them.  Apparently office workers with cutthroat office politics love the reality series.  Man and girl made
That said, television rocks.  There's so much really good tv out there. The commercials are a whole lot funnier too.  The motorcycles are awesome. The acting is terrific.  I'm just really thankful and really impressed.  The dancing is phenomenal.  Channel surfing the music series is always a buzz.  So much happening in so little time.  Great video.
Now I'd rather be outside doing stuff but if you have to be inside and if you're sick tv today is the best!