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June 2006
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August 2006

Even One Strong Drink May Impair Judgment

Reuters HealthDay reported on June 30, 2006 on a study in the journal entitled, "Applied Cognitive Psychology" which found that just one drink impaires people's perception to the point of making it dangerous for them to drive.

A new study found that, despite blood readings suggesting participants had reached just half the legal intoxication limit, those participants still suffered significant visual impairment after only one drink.

In the study, researchers from the University of Washington, Seattle, studied the theory of "inattentional blindness," wherein an individual fails to notice an unanticipated yet prominent object -- in this case, a gorilla -- in their field of vision while concentrating on another task or object.

There are other studies as well which show that with blood alcohol levels as low as .02 people's motor dexterity becomes slower and impaired.

These findings are evidence that we should have a ZERO tolerance for drinking and driving which some states have now for drivers under 21. However, the huge lobbying groups of the hospitality industry and the breweries and distillers will fight it tooth and nail even though it is clear that the public health would benefit with lower mortality and injury rates.

Link: MedlinePlus: Even One Strong Drink May Impair Judgment.

Tax cuts: Who benefits?

In May, 2006 Congress passed $70 billion in tax cuts over the next five years. Guess who benefits? According to the Senate Finance Committee:

$10,000 - 20,000 will save $2.00 per year

$40,000 - 50,000 will save $46.00 per year

$100,000 - 200-000 will save $1,388.00 per year

$500,000 - 1,000,000 will save $5,562.00 per year

Over $1,000,000 will save $41, 977.00

Life overwhelming? OK to cry "uncle".

I was raised Catholic and was often told that "God does not give you more crosses than you can bear." It seems that this is meant well to encourage people and support them in what they are facing and have to cope with in life. As a Psychiatric Social Worker though, I have known thousands of people who "had more than they could bear" and wound up killing other people, killing themselves, having nervous breakdowns, and/or turned to drugs and alcohol or sex or gambling or some other destructive substance or activity to cope. And so, I tell people not "God never gives you more crosses than you care bear", but rather, "Sometimes life becomes too much. It is overwhelming. At these times we need to cry "uncle" and say, "When enough is enough; it's enough." We all have times when enough is enough.

Have you ever had times like this? How have you coped? Have you reached out for support? Did you feel that you were able to invite and recruit into your life people who understood what was going on and who "were there" for you?  Has your faith, religion, spirituality, helped you? How?

Quote of the day

"If you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow."

Author unknown but sometimes attributed to Charles Colson; a mistaken idea of the neo-cons as we learned in Viet Nam and now in Iraq. When will we ever learn?