Thursday Night Open Thread

I used all my time writing the ridculously long post below on the fight over the request to release documents related to Dick Cheney's FBI interview about the leak of Valerie Plame's identity.

I'm off to check out the TL kid's new apartment, he just got the keys. It's next door to his old apartment, but it's still an exciting move for him.

So I'm not going to get to the DEA jumping into the Michael Jackson death investigation (ridiculous) or Norm Stamper's latest on progressives joining the call for an end to the War on Drugs at Huffington Post, but I hope you do.

Best show of the season so far: Weeds. You can watch the episodes free online if you don't get Showtime.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< The Battle Over Dick Cheney's FBI Valerie Plame Interview | Did You Hear That Michael Jackson Died? >
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    Ahhhhh (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 07:41:05 PM EST
    Just finished up 8 straight days of arbitration.  Ready to kick back and enjoy a nice long weekend after all those 15-hour work days.  Sad part is, 8 days of witnesses... and we still didn't finish the case!

    actually, (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by cpinva on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 10:30:36 PM EST
    i'm kind of getting a kick out of "Burn Notice", a kind of "spy gets dumped out in the cold" show. i think sharon gless is about the only "name" star in it, and she plays the main protagonist's mother.

    professionally, i'm dealing with a 100mill. capital loss carryback, from 2008. something tells me this is merely the tip of the iceberg.

    Love Burn Notice (none / 0) (#11)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 11:16:10 PM EST
    I recently watched Season 2 on DVD. I don't have cable, so won't see this new season until next year.

    It's a pretty amusing show. Sharon Gless is great, as are all the other actors.

    About the capital loss carryback-- I am not sure what that is, but it doesn't sound good. So, my sympathies.


    capital losses (none / 0) (#25)
    by cpinva on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 11:13:22 AM EST
    are all those losses from selling securities and debt that (in this case) nosedived during the 4th qtr. of 2008. that was the qtr. bush and the republicans had nothing to do with, because bill clinton was still president, and the democrats owned congress with an 80% majority. surely you remember! :)

    Everybody (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 06:32:32 AM EST
    got big plans for the 4th? Or are you planning a quiet day? We're going to a neighborhood party where they've rented inflatables etc. My youngest thinks he's died and gone to heaven where ever those things are. The rest of the weekend will probably be pretty quiet.

    I've always thought (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Fabian on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 06:39:19 AM EST
    about renting one of those.  My kids love them too.

    We'll go to the downtown farmer's market for lunch and farm fresh produce tomorrow and watch the Doo Dah parade.

    On the fifth, we'll go to an annual, kid friendly, get together.  

    A laid back, no traveling weekend.


    The inflatable jumpie thingies... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 09:04:29 AM EST
    are awesome...I see one and still wanna go in and bounce to this day.  Yeah...I still climb trees too...growing up is for suckers:)

    No quiet 4th for me, some family, friends, and I are getting ready to rock on up to Woodstock for a bbq and midnight ramble on Levon Helm's farm...been looking forward to this for months.  A freakin' bbq with Levon Helm...how cool is that?  I'm hoping to get the man himself to play some frisbee.

    We're gonna paint a masterpiece!


    Did you know that there's a disorder (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 07:55:18 PM EST
    (mis)named ADHD--inattentive type and that's it's really associated with executive function problems?

    I didn't until recently.

    I wish I'd known years ago (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Jen M on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 10:48:47 PM EST
    When I might have been able to overcome it.

    That was interesting information (none / 0) (#3)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 09:13:56 PM EST
    My son struggles with ADHD even as an adult. Long term planning for him is about 15 minutes into the future. Seems that this is a common symptom for people with executive function problems.

    My sister (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 04:02:16 PM EST
    has ADHD, and it was not fun growing up in the same house as her.  Thankfully, my mother was a teacher and recognized the signs, so she was able to get my sister tested and on medication.  I know some people are anti-medication, but true ADD/ADHD patients suffer from a chemical imbalance in their heads, where the synapses don't fire correctly.  While every child does not need medication, denying  medication to a child that needs it is like denying a child glasses or denying a diabetic child some insulin.

    My sister is now 34 and still struggles with her ADHD (as we all do, because part of her problem is she forgets to take her medicine).  It's very hard to listen to her even tell a story because she gets distracted and a 2 minute story ends up being 15, with many side roads along the way.


    No. (none / 0) (#4)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 09:15:36 PM EST
    Where'd you read about that?  Got a linky?  Having suffered a fair amount from dysfunctional bosses during my life, I'd be curious.

    My last boss was also a novelist who was so mystified by the difficulty of being a supervisor that he wrote a pretty funny novel several years after I left positing a future where AI software built into office computer systems did the supervising.


    Yup, link (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 09:34:03 PM EST
    here. (PDF)

    Let's just say that I now have personal reasons to know.


    Though I should say that it isn't really (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 09:37:42 PM EST
    about being in charge of people. What's meant is that the executive function of the BRAIN is often asleep on the job.

    Gotcha. (none / 0) (#12)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 11:32:21 PM EST
    Though when you said "executive," I was hoping this might be something to explain some of my past bosses...

    I used to know a bright young girl like this, daughter of friends.  Her younger brother was definitely the classic ADHD, and her father had been as a child.  This girl was not impulsive and hyperactive, was gentle and open-hearted and eager to please and to do the right thing, but was constantly screwing up because she didn't remember what she'd been told (or never really heard it to begin with, sounds like from this description) or taught.


    Sounds like she may well have (none / 0) (#14)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 11:57:15 PM EST
    There's some speculation that many more boys than girls are diagnosed because boys are more likely to exhibit signs of hyperactivity. (Though not all of us. . .)

    Though supposedly, the drugs are effective for both types.


    Girls are underdiagnosed. (none / 0) (#20)
    by Fabian on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 06:41:47 AM EST
    Girls are socialized to be eager to please, they don't exhibit the same disruptive behaviors that boys usually do, although they have the same problem staying on task.  

    Yes (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 11:37:39 PM EST
    ADHD is often the first mis-diagnosos of high functioning autism, asperbergers etc.

    I think that some are mis-diagnosed with ADHD because they show lack of interest in many subjects that are required appear normal. Many high functioning autistic people perform poorly on standardized tests, yet have encyclopedic knowledge about particular subjects, far beyond any testing standard,  because they are interested in a particular subject and intensely focus on it.

    I had never heard of executive functioning problems before. I believe that it is not uncommon for top executives to have ADHD,  high functioning autism or some other abnormality.  

    Often, people with ADHD need a lot of stimulation to get interested which is why "speed", for lack of a better word, calms them down. Once interested in a particular subject they often become super achievers, or, when juggling many task at the same time, perform at their best.

    ADHD falls more into hunter/gatherer category, not the favored group since about 10,000 years ago when we became an agricultural society. Planning and the grid are elemental. While hunting gathering, requires a more spontaneity and flexibility.


    Yup. Old news. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Fabian on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 06:19:59 AM EST
    I've known for a couple years, at least.

    The executive function tells the brain what input to pay attention to and what to ignore as well.  If you can't ignore things, it's difficult to pay attention to just. one. thing because you are paying attention to many things at once.

    That's obviously impossible, so what you are doing is cycling rapidly between various items of interest.  ADD people are often very good at noticing things that other people don't but that lack of focus makes staying on task very difficult.  

    What stimulant therapies are intended to do is to make the area of the brain that is involved in executive function more active.  When that area of the brain is doing its job properly, it is easier to focus on a task and ignore distractions.

    This is why people who complain about "Drugging our children!" crack me up.  If you give a normal child a stimulant it will not calm them down.  Stimulants only have a calming effect on children who have a real neurological problem.  No problem, no calming effect!

    Now if we were dosing AD/HD children with tranquilizers and sedatives, then they'd have a point about "Drugging our children!".  

    What they should be doing is insisting that parents and teachers be taught effective strategies to deal with AD/HD as well.


    I second that.... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 09:13:50 AM EST
    to make the area of the brain that is involved in executive function more active.  When that area of the brain is doing its job properly, it is easier to focus on a task and ignore distractions.

    Thats why adderall is like steroids for a cardplayer...that stuff locks you in on the task at hand, its pretty amazing.  I don't how good an idea it is to give it to young kids though...I found it to be almost like a psychedelic trip without the trip...your body is buzzing, you're wired, but your mind is lucid and in the zone.  It's a powerful drug...I gotta think that if it is used regularly it will make your mind mush, especially a developing mind...but thats just my knuckleheaded opinion.


    To ease your mind... (none / 0) (#23)
    by Fabian on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 09:41:43 AM EST
    Drugs specifically used for pediatric patients are well researched and tested.

    Yes, there is always a real concern about effect of drugs on the developing brain which is why drugs are very rarely prescribed for children under the age of six.  A child who is on psychoactive drugs and less than six years old generally has real problems, as in the risk of going untreated is greater than the risk of medicating.

    The irony is that running drug trials on minors is much more difficult than doing the same for adults - so that many drugs prescribed for children have only had adult trials.  Most of those are antidepressants & antianxiety drugs.

    Anti seizure and AD/HD stimulant drugs usually have been trialed on pediatric patients.


    Also (none / 0) (#24)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 10:31:34 AM EST
    They found out that the figiting and moving about (stimming) by some school children actually improves kids concentration. The worst thing a teacher can do is make them sit with their hands folded and perfectly still.

    They find that minor physical stimulation does not distract but fills a portion of the brain that is hungry for action and winds up calming down the child enough so that they can do otherwise boring tasks.


    I was a fidgety kid (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 01:03:22 PM EST
    and constantly told to sit still, hands folded on desk etc. I also tended to be the only girl getting in trouble with the "bad" boys, who really weren't bad, just similar to me. They solved my "problem" by putting me in more advanced and hands on classes. Can't remember what happened to the boys (different ones every year). Haven't slowed down all these years later.

    Interesting about the wiggle chairs and the doodling, which I don't do nearly as much anymore since I prefer emails for work related and try my best not to land in long meetings!

    Have they tested audio stimulation with these kids? Just wondering as there are those of us that can concentrate better with some sort of audio along with our task at hand, especially if it's boring!!


    Low Level (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 01:17:04 PM EST
    Whatever the distraction is it has to be fairly low level. As the article on doodling mentions, daydreaming takes up too much attention to be able to focus on boring tasks.

    So with audio stimulation, if it is really interesting music, I doubt that it would help concentration. Also there are many variations.

    My friends kid (SPD) does well on a wiggle chair (or whatever it is she sits on in school) freaks out when she hears a saxophone.

    Personally I cannot listen to music while doing other things because all my attention goes to the music.


    Music focuses me and becomes (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 01:58:41 PM EST
    part of my task at hand. If I'm writing or something of that nature, it becomes secondary and almost a pacer to my task. Same with certain things on TV. I can use baseball with just about anything, but football only certain things because of the difference in action/audio. Certain shows, the same. I've been doing this as long as I can remember. As a kid, my dad would "test" me as he never believed I could read and watch TV at the same time. I'm more likely to daydream in silence or just plain ol' freakin' procrastinate. The audio does have to have some interest for me, or it's no better than silence and trying to sit still :)

    The SPD site is interesting. I'm going to have to read some more. I liked what I glanced at in the treatment activities and approach.  


    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 02:26:23 PM EST
    Most of my friends work with music on all the time, wish I could do that. Also, as I am sure that you know, most of us read stuff and decide that is what we have...

    There is always some danger in identifying with diagnoses, even from certified diagnosticians. A diagnosis runs the risk of becoming a conceit and instead of adapting many indulge. With that in mind it is interesting to try to figure out what makes you behave the way you do or did. Most undiagnosed adults have learned coping strategies that can totally mask an underlying diagnosis. That is why it is often essential for a diagnostician to interview family members and others that knew you when you were a child.


    Oh, I wasn't thinking of me! (none / 0) (#36)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 03:08:09 PM EST
    I've been "written off" long ago as someone who just needs to be challenged, lol!~ I hate to waste my time :) (in second grade I wouldn't do subtraction problems because I thought it was stupid "to go backwards" yes, I'm a nut!) My behavior problems in school were mostly a lack of intellectual stimulation, although I have always been a tad high energy, which is what I attribute the fidgets to partly. I think to a beat, so to speak {grin}. My sister is on the opposite end of the scale. I'm pretty sure my creativity plays into it also, I might have been more content with certain learning/tasks if I wasn't so driven in another area where I feel much more like "me".

    I found the site interesting in respect to the problem and the approach of making life better for the children. I also thought it would be an interesting read to compare to approaches to canine behavior (which I have also used on people ;) )


    Yeah (none / 0) (#37)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 03:14:22 PM EST
    Much of this stuff, if caught early, can be largely mitigated, through different therapies. I think it is good for the kids because it allows their talents to come out while strengthening their weaknesses.

    The rest of us adults, well, we figured out how to cope on our own and perhaps appear more freakish than we would have been if we had early training and therapy.

    Although, personally I have no complaints.


    Me neither (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by sj on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 02:50:16 PM EST
    Personally I cannot listen to music while doing other things because all my attention goes to the music.

    Well, it depends.  If it's something physical like house cleaning then music is great.  I kind of dance about rather than just walking.

    But if there is music or tv then don't expect conversation from me, because I just stop hearing you.  I can't help it.  It took years before my sister understood that.  I tried telling her but she just got her feelings hurt because I was ignoring her.  I don't know how often I told her that I like music but I love her.  Nevertheless if you want me to listen to you turn your music way down or, prefereably, off.

    Same with homework or work-work.  I just can't do it.


    That is true. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Fabian on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 11:24:13 AM EST
    I'm probably going to get a "wiggle seat" to see if either of my kids like it.  Sometimes it's the simplest things that make the biggest difference.

    Works For My Friends Kids (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 11:39:09 AM EST
    In fact they sit in them in class. They have sensory processing disorder, or something. Not sure that they are "wiggle seats" but my friend described the seat where the kids wiggle over bumps or protrusions that stimulate them while keep them focused on the school work, lessons etc.

    Seems from what I have read, normal kids, and adults, also function better at things that they are not really interested in but need to do.

    Doodling while on the phone at work, or at boring meetings, improves concentration and memory for many adults.


    New business model for the Post (none / 0) (#7)
    by lambert on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 09:58:31 PM EST
    I am sure (none / 0) (#16)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 04:37:40 AM EST
    the administration gets a cut.  

    New business model for the Post (none / 0) (#8)
    by lambert on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 09:58:38 PM EST
    My former state senator, Vince Fumo, (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 11:57:52 PM EST
    is apparently asking for a new trial.

    Aspen 4th of July (none / 0) (#28)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 11:54:10 AM EST
    Anyone in or around the Aspen area may want to check out the float commissioned by the Aspen Art Museum by Harrell Fletcher.
    Fourth of July at the AAM: Harrell Fletcher

    He is a very interesting artist whose work with community groups is well known. Learning to Love You More, a collaboration with Miranda July is a good example of his work.

    Wish I could be there..

    Honduras Update (none / 0) (#29)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 12:05:30 PM EST
    "QUESTION: And so this is properly classified as a military coup?
    SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Well [NO], I mean, it's a golpe de estado.

    langage is everything. Were it a coup we would have to cut off all non humanitarian aid to Honduras by law.

    Today the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza, is traveling to Tegucigalpa to personally inform the coup government, in place since Sunday's military coup d'etat, that if they don't step down by Saturday and allow for President Manuel Zelaya's return to power, then Honduras will be suspended from the most important multilateral organization in the region.


    Meanwhile, the United States is the only remaining country in the Americas still maintaining diplomatic relations with Honduras after Sunday's coup.


    And if CNN says it is legal and not a coup, than it must be true:

    CNN en Español, viewed throughout Latin America, has been backing the coup against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya since day 1, Sunday, June 28th. They initially referred to the events as a military coup during the early hours, then slowly transformed their headlines to call the coup a "forced succession". By the end of the day, dictator Roberto Micheletti was considered, by CNN, the "constitutional president" of Honduras and Zelaya was the "deposed" president.

    Since then, CNN has shown about 90% coverage favorable of the coup government in Honduras, conducting interviews with Micheletti as well as those in his "cabinet".

    Irony (none / 0) (#35)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 03:05:16 PM EST
    THe GOP is spinning it that Obama is a commie for supporting President Zelaya, while he is the only leader in the western world who has not called this a coup, and has not sided with Zelaya.

    GOP's version of history and world events ala Ron Suskind: "we create reality..."  

    They have lost totally lost touch.