Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Drugs - What's Legal and What Isn't?

A friend sent the following e-mail:
"I just heard on the news that the use of illegal drugs among teens is dropping steadily, and it seems to me that the government has finally figured out how to fight illegal drugs. What they've done is taken a clue from their past successes.
"They found out that the best way to put the numbers racket out of business was to create a lottery. The best way to fight organized crime's inflence in Las Vegas was to legalize gambling everywhere, then have their corporate cronies take over the Vegas places.
"And they are taking the same tack with illegal drugs by allowing the pharmaceutical companies to supply legal drugs to everyone that is the least bit unhappy with life, including Ritilin and other drugs to over half of our school children.
"If they could figure out a way to present legalized prostitution as a government agency, and a way to cut their buddies in on the profits, they would get them out of that too.
"Their motto seems to be, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

Sad to say, he's right. The big question in my mind is why schools are insisting that kids take a drug that no one seems to be sure how to spell. Google it and you get Ritalin and Ritilin in about equal numbers. And long term side effects, there are differing opinions on that, too.
But what about the short term? Is turning little devils into little angels the goal? Do they want all kids to sit meekly with hands folded while the teacher supposedly is teaching? How much of that teaching does a drugged mind absorb?
I'm sure the manufacturer and the school people have pat answers for that last question and some of the others. Oh, it doesn't affect their ability to learn. Oh, there won't be any long term effects. Oh, we just want to lengthen their attention span.
To all that I say baloney! Actually another more descriptive word leaps to mind. So if a drug is the answer to all the problems, why is it that American kids are learning far less than their counterparts in other countries of the Western World? Why wasn't it necessary to drug kids when I was in school? Half of my class of 44 lived at the Children's Home. The rest lived below or just above the poverty level. Some of us could be unruly at times, yet the teachers were able to cope. Is it the fault of television, of video games? They have those in other countries, too.
So what is the answer? I don't know, but I am darn sure the manufacturer is interested only in making money and the school people are interested only in making life as easy as possible for themselves. The kids? They're just pawns, victims of greedy adults or lazy, incompetent adults.

www.dickstodghill.com

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