Are today's youth narcissistic, viewing themselves as entitled and 'special.? Yes, according to a recent study. The fault may be an over emphasis by parents and teachers on instilling self-esteem on naturally self-centered children.
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley's dystopic novel of a quickly nearing future in which society manufactures babies for specific roles in life and people control and mellow their experience with the drug Soma is at hand.
This, from a recent entry on a listserv to which I belong:
"I teach at Michigan State and a colleague recently told me that 40% of our incoming students are on some form of psychotropic medication."
When Cheney rushed back to Washington from his dubious celebratory
trip to Iraq following elections there the official reason given was
so he would be available to break tie votes in Congress during the
last minute push to pass controversial legislation before the holiday
The one tied bill needing his vote was a budget item in which deep
cuts were made in Medicaid/Medicare, student loans and food stamps.
These cuts were necessary, claim opponents, in order to afford tax
cuts for the rich a target audience for the beleaguered Bush
The wisdom of cutting programs for the low-income, poorest
families remains a disturbing question.
A new study from Cornell University grapples with some of the
“When young school-age children do not always have enough to
eat, their academic development -- especially reading – suffers.
"We found that reading development, in particular, is affected
in girls, though the mathematical skills of food-insecure children
entering kindergarten also tend to develop significantly more slowly
than other children's," said Edward Frongillo, associate
professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell.
The research provides the strongest evidence to date that food
insecurity has specific developmental consequences for children.
Food insecurity is defined as households having limited or
uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate or safe foods.
Despite federal food assistance and private charitable programs, food
insecurity is a persistent national problem affecting 12 percent of all households and 18 percent of
households with children.
The London Review of Books has an article about how the
American right constructed a mythology around Jane Fonda in order to
delegitimize opposition to the Vietnam war.
the Nixon administration and its supporters engaged in a systematic
campaign of misinformation to make Fonda and anti-war veterans into
The urinal stickers would not be far
behind. Every time Nixon ratcheted down the US commitment to the war,
he launched an attack on the people who called on him to ratchet down
the commitment. While the article doesn’t draw an explicit parallel with what’s happening
today, it’s lurking just beneath the surface.
current efforts of various right wing propagandists to tar the anti-war left as traitors smack of Nixon’s smear campaign in
Then, as now, there was a widespread perception on left
and right that the war was a disaster. Nonetheless, Nixon succeeded in
using it as a wedge issue to split voters from the Democratic party,
and to generate a set of pernicious myths that last to this day (not
only Hanoi Jane’s treachery, but bogus stories about anti-war protesters spitting on veterans.
One of the more bizarre items in the annals of contemporary American history is hysteria surrounding alleged Satanic sexual abuse of day care children in the notorious Los Angeles McMartin Pre School child molestation case.
Now one of the "victims" has come forward to tell his story. Kyle Zirpolo is now 30 years old but is still troubled by the impact his false testimony had on the owners and employees of the school.
Some 400 former McMartin children were interviewed and given genital exams, and many were diagnosed as abuse victims.
This LA Times piece by Debbie Nathan includes a first-person account by Zirpolo who describes how his 'story' was extracted from him by professionals clearly victims themselves of mass hysteria and questionable professional judgment. Zirpolo also describes how his attempts at age 10 to confess his false statements to his mother were rejected and to this day his mother refuses to believe him when he says no one molested him despite having so testified in 1984.
A revealing, and damning transcript of a small part of his testimony is reproduced in the article.
Debbie Nathan was contacted by Zirpolo after he saw Capturing the Friedmans, a documentary in which she appeared, about a similar case of alleged child abuse on Long Island. The film is well worth viewing too.