Four Deformations of the Apocalypse

Vice President Dick Cheney speaks to the press...
Reagan’s director of OMB David Stockman in a New York Times op-ed piece: “If there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation’s public debt — if honestly reckoned to include municipal bonds and the $7 trillion of new deficits baked into the cake through 2015 — will soon reach $18 trillion. That’s a Greece-scale 120 percent of gross domestic product, and fairly screams out for austerity and sacrifice. It is therefore unseemly for the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, to insist that the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase.

More fundamentally, Mr. McConnell’s stand puts the lie to the Republican pretense that its new monetarist and supply-side doctrines are rooted in its traditional financial philosophy. Republicans used to believe that prosperity depended upon the regular balancing of accounts — in government, in international trade, on the ledgers of central banks and in the financial affairs of private households and businesses, too. But the new catechism, as practiced by Republican policymakers for decades now, has amounted to little more than money printing and deficit finance — vulgar Keynesianism robed in the ideological vestments of the prosperous classes.” (New York Times )

Feeding Dementia Patients With Dignity

leukoaraiosis : Magnetic resonance imaging (T2...
“…[F]eeding tubes do not necessarily prolong life in patients with advanced dementia, and …surveys indicate that a vast majority of nursing home residents say they would rather die than live with a feeding tube.

But medical orders like “no artificial hydration and nutrition” — used to indicate that the patient should not be given a feeding tube — are often interpreted as “do not feed.” And few people can tolerate the idea that a loved one may be starving to death.

Comfort feeding offers another alternative.” (NYTimes.com)

My Life in Therapy

Dream work according Sigmund Freud
Dream work according to Freud
Daphne Merkin: “To this day, I’m not sure that I am in possession of substantially greater self-knowledge than someone who has never been inside a therapist’s office. What I do know, aside from the fact that the unconscious plays strange tricks and that the past stalks the present in ways we can’t begin to imagine, is a certain language, a certain style of thinking that, in its capacity for reframing your life story, becomes — how should I put this? — addictive. Projection. Repression. Acting out. Defenses. Secondary compensation. Transference. Even in these quick-fix, medicated times, when people are more likely to look to Wellbutrin and life coaches than to the mystique-surrounded, intangible promise of psychoanalysis, these words speak to me with all the charged power of poetry, scattering light into opaque depths, interpreting that which lies beneath awareness. Whether they do so rightly or wrongly is almost beside the point.”   (New York Times Magazine)