Saturday, February 09, 2008

Saturday Quiz and More on the Mis-Use of Pyschotropic Drugs

Who is this man?

--Born in Minnesota in 1861 (3 years after MN statehood)
--Died in California in 1947 at the age of 88
--Little formal education, began his career at age 14 as a scout in the Southwest.
--Worked as a mounted messenger for the Western Union Telegraph Company in California and Arizona.
--Traveled in northern Mexico and the American Southwest, including Texas and Oklahoma, earning a living as a buffalo hunter, cowboy, and prospector.
--Served as Deputy Sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona, barely escaping with his life from the Tonto Basin Feud.
--Married in 1884 and settled down to tend to an orange grove in Pasadena, California.
--Moved to South Africa in 1893 and joined the British South Africa Company as a scout. He became well known in Africa for his ability to track, even at night, and the Africans dubbed him He-who-sees-in-the-dark
--While in Africa he fought in four wars, including the Second Boer War as a British soldier. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order by Britain.
--Traveled to Alaska to prospect in the Klondike Gold Rush.
--Was befriended by Teddy Roosevelt and was an early ardent conservationist.
--Engaged in counterespionage for the Allies in World War I.
--Struck oil 1923 at Dominguez Hill, California, becoming wealthy.
--Much of his later life was spent supporting conservation organizations he had helped found such as American Committee for International Wildlife Protection (now a committee of the World Conservation Union).
--Provided inspiration to the Scouting movement.

Here's the Answer.

Special thanks to long-time contributor John U. for bringing this amazing life to my attention.

Correspondent L.S. sent in this personal account of the wanton distribution of powerful psychotropic drugs, their side effects, and also suggested a book on the topic.

I had wanted to respond to your essay on prescription drugs the other day. My 86 year old mother recently spent 2 days in the hospital due to a bad reaction to Fosamax. That little adventure cost Medicare (i.e., the taxpayers) $16K. After querying the doctor about the effectiveness of this drug, I suspect exercise with light weights would be more beneficial.
And the doctor’s "give it a try" attitude with anti-depressants for may dad was so disastrous I had to demand the doctor take him off the stuff. My mom would call me at work in tears, saying dad had become a monster and could I please come over right now and help.

A good friend with two ruptured disks in his back was prescribed anti-depressants because "some of the pain might just be in his head". After a miserable 6 months he took my advice and threw the stuff in the trash. Another friend was in counseling trying to deal with her mother’s affliction with Alzheimer’s, and the family problems this brought about. By the second session, the counselor wanted to prescribe anti-depressants to my friend. I said to her, "let me get this straight, you are going to alter your brain chemistry in order to deal with a transitory problem?". I’m sure you know of some similar cases too.

There’s a book I’ve been meaning to read on the subject which sounds pretty good:
Artificial Happiness: The Dark Side of the New Happy Class

Thank you, John U. and L.S. for these contributions to our understanding.

Readers Commentaries has been updated, with plenty of dissent and interesting perspectives on Hillary, pharmaceuticals, Big Media Meltdown, and more.

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