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America Leads The Way?

flag courtesy of Mandy Miller

flag courtesy of Mandy Miller

When Salon reprints an article from Alternet, you know it’s got legs.

If the article takes pleasure in pointing out American shortcomings, it’s bound to be fun.

But it also needs a NW Boomer poke in the eye.

8 Appalling Ways America Leads The World” may need a refresher.

Let’s start:

1. Most expensive place to have a baby.

Who expects things to turn out perfectly? Every expectant mom and dad.

They don’t fine-comb the details of every doctor visit until the end of the day. That’s when they realize everything used in every visit is coded for maximum profits by the insurance companies.

Doctors and nurses want to get paid, you want a healthy baby. The rude awakening comes when the bills arrive.

It may take a little joy from the event, but try and talk to the medical people about costs so you don’t go into shock with the bills.

Baby needs you.

2. Obesity.

No surprise, here? We live in a dual culture of drive-through fast food and nutritionally challenged diet plans.

If you do both, you’ll get fat. Just because fashion houses are promoting big sizes, a size ten woman can still pay extra for a smaller size sewn into a new dress. The more expensive, the smaller the size option.

Try this test: take your shirt off and look in the mirror. If you see a fat person looking back, write down the date. Under that, write a date for the first ten pounds you plan to cut. Leave the paper by the mirror.

Should obesity drive you crazy? Not if you work with the problem.

3. Anxiety disorders.

Americans have anxiety disorders because we live anxious lives.

Baby Boomers are parents one day, caregivers the next, then grandparents without taking a breath.

We are neglectful, we’re helicopter parents, we give too much or too little.

Other countries have nice sayings like, “It takes a village to raise a child.” We do it on our own.

Other countries have extended families to lean on. We go it alone.

We’re so tuned in that we know more about celebrity lives than our own family tree. From the Hiltons to the Kardashians, everyone else is richer, prettier, and thinner. If that doesn’t make you want to binge-eat like a kook, nothing will.

4. Small arms ownership.

We have more guns than anyone? More murders?

If you pay a ton of money for childbirth, you’re not letting things get out of hand with your kid. So you buy a gun for ‘family security.’

But which is more troubling, gun ownership or concealed carry permits. You never know who’s packing heat, so mind your manners.

If you are at a dinner and one of the guests keeps draining the gravy boat, retrain yourself from commenting. If they are large and anxious and carry a gun, things need to stay calm.

5. Most people behind bars.

Behavior standards are high in America. You may not machete the neighborhood, then cross a state line safely. There are rules here called laws.

Some laws get twisted in court, but the idea is that we are free to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

If one man’s happiness includes kidnapping women and locking them in his shed for years, he’s going to jail.

Does everyone behind bars belong there? Questions like that produce anxiety, which leads to over-eating in some cases.

It’s a vicious cycle of fine lines that keep you out of jail, but stay on the right side. If you don’t lie, steal, of cheat, you’re ahead of the game.

6. Energy use per person.

Do this test: How many light bulbs can you turn on from one switch?

Do you have twelve bulbs in your kitchen light? Twenty four in your entry way? How often do you turn them on and leave them on?

The more we become a push button society, one that is always plugged in and online, the more power used.

Drive around your city at night and look at the lights left on. Who is that for?

All sports use huge chunks of energy for their show-case games illuminated by multiple light towers and wired press boxes.

We’re used to luxuries unheard of in past generations, from cable TV to smart phones. First we pay a boat load of money for our kids’ birth (imagine how much energy was expended there), get fat eating in well lit restaurants, call the all-night pharmacy for anti-anxiety meds, etc.

About coal, let’s remember electricity from coal fired electrical plants so others don’t think we’re heating our nation with coal. Oh wait, we are.

7. Health expenditures.

There’s a secret in America no one wants to hear, but keep reading.

You will die one day. There, it’s out. First you pay for your child’s expensive birth and think, “Homebirth next time?”

From first breath to last, we all call for attention. We need a doctor. And doctors are expensive.

It’s a race between avoiding a deadly disease by catching it early, to using heroic measures near the end of life. We want to stick around as long as we can, and the insurance/medical cartel is glad to help.

If you decide a different route, beware. Praying for a child instead of getting medical attention will get you a jail sentence if your child dies. If you feel like ending it all and tell someone, expect a prescription for anti-depressants.

The game is called give the people what they want. When they want it bad enough, they’ll pay any price.

How’s the healthcare reform going so far?

8. Cocaine use.

Too many outside the drug abuse cycle have no idea about cocaine. They’re more concerned about the crack-head at the bus stop, or the heroin shooting gallery in the nice suburban house down the street.

Cocaine? That was so eighties. For Boomers, it was the seventies, eighties, all the way to today.

No one mentioned meth, also known as the economical cocaine that costs less and lasts longer. Cocaine isn’t going away and neither is coffee. People like their buzz.

But, and this is big but, cocaine leads to health problems, family problems, jail problems, and energy problems. Those coked out neighbors aren’t sitting in the dark all night.

Do yourself a favor and give cocaine a break. Whether you’re a shooter, snorter, or popper, just try to back away. It’s medicine and you’re not sick. But you will be if you get hooked up, and you’ll take others down with you.

Nancy Reagan gave us her message with, “Just say no,” but why not make it more drug specific? Just day no to blow. It doesn’t make you cool or popular, but it will turn your nose into one with a single nostril. It will rot your nose out and leave you much worse for wear.

What can you do to make a difference after reading these eight examples of dubious leadership?

Make better choices. With so many leading problems related to health care, start by making an appointment with a better doctor.

Choose a naturopath. The doctor listed in the right column is a great choice.

And make food as tasty as the flag at the top. Bananas and berries are good for you.



About David Gillaspie
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