So you think youÕre sane?


— Bumper sticker of the week: God is not spelled GOP.

— Quote of the week: ÒIn one month, Texas put 19,000 kids on atypical antipsychotics. Half were overmedicated; and almost as many lacked a diagnosis that validated the drugsÕ use in the first place.Ó

ÒAs doctors dispense ever-greater quantities of potent psychiatric drugs, and the industry spends ever-greater amounts of money promoting them, how can consumers be confident that decisions about their care are truly informed and in their interest?Ó Rob Waters, Mother Jones, June, 2005.

— Five of lifeÕs biggest lies:

1.  That life is fair. How does that old saying go? — If life were fair, IÕd be Bill Gates.

2.  That justice is equal for all. IÕve always looked at justice being one of lifeÕs finer purchases.

3.  That the poor will get their reward in heaven. Frankly, I wouldnÕt wait that long.

4.  That capitalism, obsessed with making the largest possible profit, is good for us. You better check with the former employees of Maytag and Butler about that one.

5.  That war brings about peace and prosperity and makes us all safer. Sure.

— The DSM-IV-TR: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the American Psychiatric Association Bible. Some 900 pages in length, the DSM-IV-TR lists every malady known to mankind. Here is but a sampling of some of the finer problems one may run into while strolling down lifeÕs lane:

¥    Reading Disorder: IÕm not sure if this includes illiteracy or not. I suppose it would have to.

¥    Mathematics Disorder: This is definitely one I have. In fact, most Americans seem to be coming down with this.

¥    Disorder of Written Expression: A lot of people tell me I have this.

¥    Conduct Disorder: This is most prevalent in taverns. Bad boy, bad boy, what you going to do, now that the APA says youÕre mentally ill?

¥    Pica: This is the eating of nonnutritive substances. IÕm not sure if that includes Big Macs, Whoppers, and Kentucky Fried, or if theyÕre strictly thinking of such things as poop and boogers.

¥    Encopresis: This is pooping in inappropriate places. I wonder if dogs can have this?

¥    Separation Anxiety: Everyone has this at birth. No one wants to leave that nice, warm, belly.

¥    Selective Mutism: A lot of politicians get this one, unfortunately, only when theyÕre in trouble.

¥    Conversion Disorder: I think all right-wing Republicans got this.

¥    Factitious Disorder: You have this when you donÕt have nothing, but youÕre pretty sure you got something.

¥    All substance-use disorders are actually mental illnesses, listed along with everything else. This drives alcoholics crazy, so I guess itÕs appropriate.

¥    And last but not least, how about Occupational Problem: Many people in Galesburg currently have this one.

So as you can readily see, while you may think you are normal, youÕre probably not. The American Psychiatric Association has you pegged, youÕre nuttier than a fruit cake, you just donÕt realize it.

— Here comes Super Wal-Mart: There goes the neighborhood. Watch what happens on North Seminary Street. YouÕll see the strength of the worldÕs largest retail company as it whips a struggling community into submission, all the while telling us itÕs for our own good. Keep an eye out for what the city gives Wal-Mart for the pleasure of doing business with us? One of the richest companies in the world will gladly take handouts.