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I guess I am a drug addict

by Ron Holdraker
May 22, 2021

Okay, I am 70 years-old and have more than my share of aches and pains. After 43 various operations, a bout with cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and a host of maladies. Yes, this body requires a great deal of help.

This comes, of course, with myriad medications that supposedly boost, or aid in reducing pain, extending life as I know i, and helping to reduce the discomforts that all science can contribute to life.

Okay, now for the downside. Of course, you must take additional medications to reduce the side effects of all these life saving medical miracles. Also, you must form a regime on which pills and when, self-inflicted needles and assorted odd entries into the body. Then there are the scheduled, or unscheduled blood draws and every six month invasions into the body cavity with a long, uncomfortable camera through number one. Oooh, did I forget to mention the hemorrhoids? A doctor once told me he thought I was giving birth.

Besides all the remedies and procedures, I am a picture of health. Some of the meds have been decades in use in one form, or another. Did I fail to mention Wife Patti’s contributions to the daily, weekly, semi-annual lifestyle?

Long ago I appointed her chief drug accountability specialist. As such, she must keep track, dole out and keep the body Ron supplied with said medications, appointments and procedures. This is a task she is adamant about. “Did you take your mornings?”, she stated sternly.

Yes, I have one of those pill/medication dispensers with assorted colors and shapes that tells me when and if I remember. This does not mean everything runs smoothly. Once in awhile, I forget, screwing up the system and sending the not-so-perfect body into a tailspin.

Then, there were the two occasions when Wife Patti mixed up some needed pills and I was sent into over-med heaven. 

Late last year I decided by this age I should be able to control how my body reacts. After all, I am the ruler of my domain. I announced that I was eliminating some of the sideline pills and taking the super pills on an every other day schedule. This, I thought, would show the medical world that Ronnie knows best. The plans were revealed to Wife Patti and one of my dozen doctors, with a err of skepticism.

All went well for a few weeks, but my chief home medical drug accountability specialist started to notice not-so-subtle changes. I did not and thought all was going well.

Yeah, it was a crash and burn lesson. I admitted defeat and went back to the ‘normal’ schedule. Yes, this means I am an admitted  drug addict.

By the way, if you ever need to get needle injections in any part of the body, I have discovered that between the fingers is the most painful and undesirable. Neck, toes, elbows, arms ears, face, private parts, no problem -  between the fingers is hell.

*****

Now, for a more delightful range of practically useless statistics.

Democrats and Republicans have different views about the importance of a free press, an independent judiciary, the Bill of Rights, and a potent Congress, according to a survey of public attitudes about political institutions and public affairs conducted by Indiana University’s Center on Representative Government and Center on American Politics in late 2020.

Republicans and Democrats expressed similar support for the checks and balances afforded by our three branches of government. 68 percent of Republicans and 73 percent of Democrats regarded checks and balances to be very important. But most survey findings exhibited key differences in the opinions of Democrats and Republicans. For example: 

 * 25 percent of Republicans said it is very important that the United States have a Congress with power equal to that of the president, while 47 percent of Democrats said it is very important.

* 59 percent of Republicans rated an independent judiciary as very important to America’s representative government, much below the 67 percent of Democrats who said an independent judiciary is very important.

* 46 percent of Republicans said it was very important to have “a Bill of Rights that guarantees the rights of a political minority,” compared to 57 percent of Democrats.

* 57 percent of GOP respondents regarded a free and independent press as very important, compared to 74 percent of Democrats who see the media’s role as very important.

In the abstract, Democrats were more convinced that the government should protect civil liberties.

* 76 percent of Democrats, but only 66 percent of Republicans, felt it was very important that “All adult citizens enjoy the same legal and political rights.”

* Compared to 66 percent of Republicans, 85 percent of Democrats said it was very important that “All adult citizens have an equal opportunity to vote.”

* Just 39 percent of Republicans indicated it was very important that “Government does not interfere with journalists or professional news organizations” – while 67 percent of Democrats felt this was very important.

* 72 percent of Democrats – but only 51 percent of Republicans – indicated it was very important that “Government protects individuals’ right to engage in peaceful protest.”

But meanwhile, Republicans were more convinced that the government should protect unpopular speech and attitudes.

* 54 percent of Republicans, but only 42 percent of Democrats, said it was very important that “Government protects individuals’ right to engage in unpopular speech and expression.”

* Just 38 percent of Democrats indicated it was very important that “Parties and candidates are not barred due to their political beliefs and ideologies,” while 60 percent of Republicans felt this was very important to America’s representative government.

“It is noteworthy that Democrats and Republicans value different aspects of America’s representative government,” observes Congressman Lee H. Hamilton.

 Unfortunately, these disagreements may persist for the foreseeable future. Alongside their philosophical differences, Republicans and Democrats disagreed about the practical advantages of compromise. When respondents were asked whether members of Congress should “compromise with their opponents to get something done” or “stand up for their principles no matter what.” Here, 73 percent of Democrats indicated they favored compromise – but only 48 percent of Republicans felt the same. These differences, according to Rep. Hamilton, “may make it more difficult for Congress to reach negotiated compromises and instead may lead to legislative and policy gridlock.”

Yes, folks, these statistics mean things are not going to get any better for the near future.

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