Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 683, August 12, 2012

"The United States...exercises lax firearm
possession control, causing rampant gun ownership."

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Letter from A.X. Perez

Another Letter from A.X. Perez

Re: "Letter from Ann Morgan"

Ann Morgan has chosen to to misinterpret the meaning of my words. This is based on a conviction on her part that it is never appropriate under any circumstances for a child to be administered Ritalin for ADD and ADHD. I have stated that in some very few extreme cases Ritalin may be the most appropriate treatment for ADHD. She has therefor chosen to interpret my words to mean that any kid who ever stared off into space during class should have heroic doses of Ritalin shoved down their throats.

What is not mentioned is that for two weeks before the article in question was published there had been an exchange of letters debating this point in which Ann chose to resort to personal insult. I actually recieved requests from other people on the involved mailing list to stop wasting my time debating with her on this point.

Along the way twice I recommended to MS. Morgan that she document her claims as to the effects of Ritalin and whether or not ADHD represents a real illness or simply the autoritarian fantasies of incompetent educators and psychiatrists. She has never bothered to do so. So I looked up the material myself. Found exactly one site on the net referring to one study supporting her assertions. Every other site pretty much stated that Ritalin should be used only with great caution in a small number of cases, in the minimum dose to be effective, under careful monitoring, for a limited time. Pretty much what I was saying.

Now if you want to tell me that ADD and ADHD are improperly diagnosed by incompetent, tyrannical and lazy educators and shrinks I can't argue. If you want to tell me Ritalin is inappropriately prescribed in a promiscuous manner I won't argue. But if you want to tell me there is no such thing as ADD or ADHD and that Ritalin is never a correct way to treat it I have to tell you you are speaking in ignorance.

As to whether or not parents administering Ritalin (or any other medication or medical treatment) to their children without the competent consent of the child being a violation of the ZAP all I can say is try raising kids, including the 100% responsibility for their well being that goes with parenthood. Now if you want to tell me that falsely diagnosing a child with ADHD and improperly prescribing Ritalin are violations of the ZAP I won't argue. And if you want to tell me that loading your kid up with Ritalin, or any other medication, because you can't be bothered to sit and work with them in their development of social and learning skills is a violation of the ZAP, I won't argue then either. But if after taking a lot of time to make sure that your kid really has ADHD, including seeing several child psychologists, and if after having checked out and tried out every alternative to Ritalin and properly explored all the risks and how to mitigate them you see that this drug is the only treatment that will help you are going to have to make a decision as a parent as to what is best for your child. At that time it won't be about anything except the 100% unavoidable responsibilty of a parent to do what is best for their child. You don't get to invoke the ZAP, you don't get to invoke parental authority. You are stuck with having to make the right choice for the physical and mental well being of your child, not as a right or privilege but as an inescapapble responsibility.Having raised kids (without using drugs or a hell of a lot of negativereinforcement along the way, reward reward is always more effective in raising free persons than reward and punishment) who have turned out reasonably successful in life, I have to tell you, I know I am nowhere near smart enough to judge the decisions others make in all but the most egregious cases of them failing to do their job.

In conclusion, if your child is diagnosed by some school specialist with ADD or ADHD, check with properly trained psychologists and psychiatrists and other medical experts, make sure that what presents as ADD or ADHD is not really the symptom of shitty teaching, an even shittier curriculum, depression, chronic or acute, lack of sleep or other problem (reaction to being bullied by classmates, for example). Then explore all other ways of coping with ADD and ADHD before even thinking about using Ritalin or other prescription meds, after having explored all the risks versus the benefits. Then be prepared to make some very hard decisions, based on your responsibility to, not power over, your child. And if you never have to go through this count your blessings and avoid making stupid comments aroundand about those who have.

Meanwhile, besides telling people to hit the 'net and do their own research on ADD, ADHD, Ritalin, its benenfits, risks, and harmful effects, I am done with this discussion. To be honest, I was done long ago, except I do not like being publicly portrayed as a tyrannical, authoritarian, monster.

Especially don't waste your time and mine sending me notes that read like your unsupported opinion is the Revealed Word of God and that if I disagree I can fuck off and go to hell, because my answer is I'm going off to get laid and burn.

A.X. Perez

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Come home to roost

For months I have hammered away about Operation Fast and Furious, AKA Operation Gunwalker. The following article may not be the last word on the issue but it spells out what the whole thing looks like across the Border. Since it is another's work I will post the web site and then my comments:

Please understand that it is widely accepted in Mexico that the US sponsored the rise of the Sinaloa Cartel as a CIA conspiracy to "manage" the flow of drugs into the USA. Diana Washington Valdez of the El Paso Times writes of Fast and Furious arming the Juarez cartel, not the cartels in general. The El Paso Times is not exactly a hot bed of anti Administration sentiment, yet they support the plot to manage the drug trade theory.

The violence of the Drug War in Mexico has led to the fall of the PAN and allowed the resurgence of the PRI as the ruling party in Mexico. This party is basically Mexico's version of the Chicago machine on steroids, operating at a national rather than a local level. Operation Fast and Furious and other actions by the US government (and not all necessarily under President Obama or AG Eric Holder, to be fair) allowed the cartels, specifically the Sinaloa Cartel, to become the determining political force in Mexico.

It is only fitting therefor that Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla gave the testimony in the article referred to above in Chicago. I am a generous man with my willingness to extend the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps Eric Holder was not in on Operation Fast and Furious, but when it came time to act decisively to resolve the problem he chose to promote the culprits and try to cover up things. Perhaps President Obama had no idea what was going on and/or how bad things were, but he chose to support the cover up rather than seeking to support the investigation and an honest effort to prevent such acts of criminality and stupidity in the future.

So I repeat it is only fitting that the court case in which the accused's defence is that his smuggling of drugs into the US and guns and money to Mexico was sanctioned by the US Government under President Obama ( and others) is being tried in President Obama's home town.

A.X. Perez

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