• THE LOSS OF ROUTINE & SOCIAL CONTACTS UNDER PANDEMIC LOCKDOWNS HAS BEEN ESPECIALLY CRUEL in hastening cognitive decline for people with dementia. Generally beginning in early 70s with forgetfulness (aka ‘Senior Moments’), by age 85 between a third and half of the population have been affected by dementia “attacking mental agility and eating away memory, stealing much of what counts as Identity. When severe, people become incapable of looking after themselves; lose ability to read, cook or shop; suffer delusions, become frightened or angry; or sink into an apathetic slump, requiring care for all waking hours and often supervision when asleep.”  Research suggests that up to 40% of cases can be delayed – “by changing behavior earlier in life: smoking less, exercising more and losing weight… Also, the FDA is close to licensing a drug said to be the first to stem cognitive decline.” In the meantime, be sensitive to Senior Citizens.  [ECONOMIST – 8/29/20]
  • CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE CATEGORIZES ‘LOOTING’ as “taking advantage of a state of emergency to commit burglary, grand theft or petty theft, punishable by up to 3 years in jail.” But that hasn’t impressed the District Attorney for Contra Costa county (elected with heavy support from George Soros) who last week co-authored an 11-point Plan to prosecute, or not, in a manner to “advance racial equity-minded policies to rectify past wrongs… with implementation of Looting Guidelines that include refusing to take cases from officers with a history of racial bias, and based on whether the Looting was committed for financial gain or personal need.” [RED STATE – 8/27/20]
  • BUT, AT LEAST WE NOW HAVE THE LEFT’S JUSTIFICATION FOR LOOTING CLARIFIED: “In the context of a Black uprising like the one we’re living through, mass shoplifting during a moment of upheaval or riot is just attack on a business, commercial space, or maybe government building, taking those things that would otherwise be commodified & controlled and sharing them for free… which provides people with an imaginative sense of freedom & pleasure and helps them imagine a world that could be, experienced as sort of joyous and liberating… It’s basically nonviolent. Most stores are insured; it’s just hurting insurance companies on some level. It’s just money. It’s just property. It’s not actually hurting people… We have to be willing to do things that scare us and that we wouldn’t do in normal, ‘peaceful’ times, because we need to get free.”  Whew, now we know.  [NPR.ORG – 8/27/20]
  • E-CIGARETTE SMOKING IS INCREASINGLY CONSIDERED FASHIONABLE BY TEENS, especially since a recent study of cashiers in convenience & tobacco stores finding up to 60% not bothering to check kids I.D.s for legal age. The increase is particularly unfortunate since kids’ brains are more sensitive to the addictive effects of nicotine, and e-cigs contain almost five times as much as a regular cigarette. World Health Organization reports that teens who smoke are 3 times more likely to use alcohol, 8 times for marijuana, and 22 times more likely to use cocaine. So parents should be on watch for signs of smoking beyond odor and sneaking outside, like jitteriness or appearance of nervousness. [WEB M.D.]

“Partisanship is a hell of a drug, especially when it’s cut with a heavy dose of existential fear… In 2020, who you hate is who you are, and voters are largely driven by what they’re against, rather than what they’re for… Harnessing fear and hatred can drive turnout, which has become the key to winning national elections. But as America stumbles further down this road, we are headed toward profound danger. For democracies to function, voters & parties must be willing to accept the outcome, once votes are counted… Will that happen this November – and if it doesn’t, what then?”   [THE WEEK – 9/4/20]