The Catcher in the Rye: Mental Health Services and Social Connections for Children

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, was required reading for my tenth grade English class. I remembered it as a story about the struggles of adolescence, the yearning for independence, and the reluctance to let go of youth. My son is now about the same age as I was when I read the book and we are living through his own nudge for independence, which sparked my interest to give the story another read. Before I began, I wondered what my take on the book would be at this point in life having survived adolescence and received training and experience in child development in addition to having a teen in the house. This reading accentuated the unresolved grief, family dysfunction, mental illness, and lack of social connectedness of the main character, Holden Caulfield, and how these difficulties exacerbate the issues experienced during the typical maturational process. As the country still debates gun control laws in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, and as we try to recover from the Boston Marathon bombing, The Catcher in the Rye reminds us about the importance of developing meaningful and genuine connections with our children and the need to address their mental health issues.

The Catcher in the Rye begins as a flashback story about Holden Caulfield’s experiences leading up to his nervous breakdown prior to Christmas. Holden narrates the story while receiving inpatient psychological treatment on the west coast. The events begin at Pencey Prep in Pennsylvania, where Holden has been expelled due to poor academic performance, and conclude in New York City as Holden attempts to return home. During the course of his journey, Holden attempts to make connections with a number of people however, he fails miserably due to his social ineptitude, lack of appropriate treatment for what may possibly be bipolar disorder, and inability to believe that other people are capable of being genuine. Holden eventually makes it home and connects with his younger sister. By that time he has decompensated to the point that, even though he is no longer experiencing suicidal ideations, he feels disconnected, misunderstood, and alone. Holden decides that he is going to go away, to escape from society and the rejection, the loneliness, and the pain that he feels. However, Holden makes one last trip to see his sister Phoebe before he disappears. Phoebe’s caring, anger, and innocence provide Holden with the connection he is looking for; she is both a peer and dependent to him. Through Phoebe, Holden is able to cling to his childhood and put off making the leap to young adulthood and independence.

One theme that I was more attuned to during this reading was the unspoken dysfunction of the Caulfield family. Holden frequently compares himself to his younger, deceased brother, whom he describes as brilliant and athletic, as well as his older brother, who has become a successful author. It is suggested that Holden is a challenging child, and somewhat of a disappointment to his parents as he has been unable to live up to their expectations. He has been expelled from at least four preparatory schools due to poor academic performance, he has difficulty socially connecting with others, and he has frequent mood swings. It is possible that Holden’s parents were drained from watching their youngest son battle with leukemia which left them with little strength to effectively deal with Holden’s grief and potential disability. In Holden’s eyes, they appear to have emotionally and physically divested themselves from him. He has little to no emotional family support and what appears to be very little communication with them. Holden is left adrift to navigate this tumultuous time in his life without support, understanding, and treatment. His efforts to reach out and communicate, including failing out of schools and getting into fights, are not understood as cries for help but are seen as personal shortcomings.

Holden perceives most people as being phony, superficial, and hypercritical. This may in part be due to his social awkwardness, lack of maturity, and feeling of being abandoned by his parents. He is continuously let down by everyone that he reaches out to for help as they either don’t live up to what Holden has built up in his mind, or they try to take advantage of him. Therefore, Holden comes to believe that everyone is phony who doesn’t or is incapable of meeting his preconceived expectations. In addition, Holden clearly experiences moments of mania during the story, which are often followed by feelings of sadness to the point where he does express some suicidal thoughts. It seems that the lack of communication with his parents, the unresolved grief and guilt over the death of his brother, and the inability to effectively and appropriately connect with others result in Holden being unable to interact with others on anything but a superficial level. The exception to this is Phoebe. Her reluctance to let her brother leave provides Holden with the strength to go home and ask for help. However, in the end, Holden continues to suffer from a lack of love and feelings of loneliness. He states, “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” At this point, Holden continues to find it difficult to have genuine, meaningful relationships believing that when you open up to people that they will turn away from you in order to keep the relationship on a superficial level. Holden continues to be plagued by this emotional void and, while there is a hunger for social connectedness, he will continue to experience emptiness and rejection due to his quirkiness.

For me, reading The Catcher in the Rye in high school highlighted the struggle for independence and Holden’s war on hypocrisy. On this reading, I was able to obtain a better understanding of the tragedy that occurs as a result of Holden’s parents being unable to provide him the emotional support that he needs to overcome his brother’s death and deal with his mental health needs. Holden’s repeated failure to socially connect and develop a meaningful relationship with anyone other than his sister and the lack of treatment for his mental health issues made me think of the recent tragedies in Colorado, Sandy Hook, and Boston. It reinforced the need to take mental health needs and services seriously; just because these conditions are unseen doesn’t mean that they aren’t debilitating. Feeling cared for and connected to others reduces the stress, stigma, and isolation that are associated with these conditions. It made me wonder whether these tragedies could have been avoided if the people involved had received appropriate therapy and treatment. They may have felt connected and accepted, and these tragedies may have been avoided. The message of being accepted and cared for from The Catcher in the Rye continues to be relevant to young people today as we all strive for acceptance.

Bronchitis And Its Causes

Bronchitis is a respiratory system ailment that is generally found in the winter seasons because bronchitis is caused by viruses that also provides us the flu or the cold. Bronchitis may be caused by bacteria, but this is not a very general bronchitis case. The bronchial tubes have linings that get exaggerated when you produce bronchitis. This makes it difficult from air to travel to the lungs. In bronchitis, mucus is also developed, which is mostly formed in your airway. So as you can see, bronchitis is a disease that affects your capability to breathe appropriately.

Bronchitis happens in your lungs. In fact, it is a condition that affects the inner walls in your air passage ways of your lungs. There, bronchitis causes the lining to become infected and inflamed, causing you the symptoms of fevers, chills, coughing and a pain in your chest.

Another acute bronchitis symptom is soreness in the center of your chest. Fever may also characterize acute bronchitis, but it is usually just a mild one. Shortness of breath can also be found in cases of acute bronchitis because of the narrowing of the airways.

Unlike acute bronchitis, chronic forms of the disease generate persistent, recurrent symptoms. Although the clinical manifestations of chronic bronchitis are less intense, this type of disease is very difficult to treat. Even if patients with chronic bronchitis respond well to specific medical treatments, they often experience relapse after completing their prescribed course of medications. Chronic bronchitis can last for around three months, regularly reoccurring on the period of two years or even more.


The symptoms of chronic bronchitis includes difficulty in breathing, breathlessness, wheezing, pain in the chest, productive cough, and discomfort. The typical chronic bronchitis cough, intense and persistent, is also known as “smoker’s cough.” These symptoms are persistent and intensify as the disease progresses. During the initial stages of bronchitis, patients notice its symptoms either in the evening or in the morning.

Chronic bronchitis is usually accompanied by pulmonary problems such as pneumonia and emphysema. With the passage of time, chronic bronchitis patients suffer from poor oxygenation and hypoventilation. Lack of oxygen results in cyanosis, a condition characterized by a bluish tinge on the skin that suggests the presence of pneumonia or emphysema.


Bronchitis usually follows a cold. The same virus that is responsible for common cold is also responsible for bronchitis. People also contract acute bronchitis due to continous exposure to irritants that can cause inflammation of the bronchial tubes. The other factors that can cause significant damage to the bronchial tubes are dangerous chemical fumes, smoke, and dust.

Bronchitis is mostly caused by viruses, in which case the illness clears on itself within days, without medical treatment. However, if the illness is caused by bacteria, medical treatment with antibiotics is required for overcoming bronchitis completely. Bronchitis can be either acute or chronic. The acute form of the illness generates intense symptoms, but if it caused by viruses, it usually clears up quickly. Acute bronchitis is very common in people of all ages and rarely requires medical treatment. Chronic bronchitis generates milder symptoms, which can aggravate in time.

If I Get a Hair Transplant, Will Those Hairs Fall Out If I Continue to Use Steroids?

Answer: This is a frequently asked question, especially from males who are experiencing androgenic alopecia or having hair loss from steroids. Strangely, very few personal experiences can be found on the Web from males reporting that they use steroids and have also underwent hair transplants.

There are “stories” that numerous professional bodybuilders, sports athletes and wrestlers often get several hair restoration procedures in order to continue to have full head of hair. To my understanding, not any of these stories have been officially verified however.

I have currently had a pair of hair transplant surgeries and months afterwards I took anabolic steroids [under a physician’s direction].

In my experience, no transplanted hair grafts were affected by using anabolic steroids or my naturally produced dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – despite the fact that the transplanted hair follicles were transferred to areas like the hairline that had been really susceptible to DHT-induced alopecia.

Fortunately, my personal experience followed the science of permanent hair transplantation.

Let’s have a glimpse at the hair restoration procedure to demonstrate why transplanted hair follicles should be “safe” from DHT.

For starters, DHT, steroids and other performance enhancing drugs do not “cause” androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness.

Your natural dihydrotestosterone or steroid use can only trigger hair thinning if you are genetically susceptible to androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness.

Thinning hair and hair loss from steroids only occurs in hair follicles that are not genetically hard-wired to tolerate the hormone DHT. The number of “DHT-sensitive” hairs that an individual has can vary significantly – many males experience no hair loss, whereas other males are quite susceptible to hair loss. The follicles of hair that are most very sensitive are often along the length of the hairline and on the top of the head.

The only hairs that are fully protected from DHT and genetically programmed to withstand hair loss are hairs on the side and back of the scalp. Consider the character “George” from the show “Seinfeld”, George has advanced hair loss yet still has extensive hair density on the side and the back of his head. This region is called the “donor area” because these hair follicles are not susceptible to pattern hair loss or hair loss from steroids.

When donor hair grafts are collected and transferred to regions that are balding, they retain their genetic code and will still be able to resist DHT even when they are relocated to a different area that formerly contained hair follicles that were susceptible to androgenic alopecia.

Theoretically and in my experience, transplanted hair will remain resistant from DHT and substantial amounts of androgens.

Even so, you should take into account that your outstanding native hair might not be tolerant to DHT and may experience further pattern hair loss if DHT is allowed to “harm” them. If those native hair follicles fall out or thin, you may want an additional hair transplant. I required two transplants to obtain satisfactory thickness in the frontal zones and I plan to get one more to fill in the top of my scalp. The fantastic thing is that the hair transplant is permanent and should last for a lifetime.

To protect against additional hair loss, I suggest that you get a prescription for finasteride or Propecia from your health practitioner. Also, you should additionally make an attempt to topically block DHT on your scalp. Do your research on finasteride and Propecia, it only will work with testosterone-based anabolic steroids such as testosterone enanthate.

Through my nine years of personal experience in combating hair loss from steroids, as of July 2011, I consider Perfect Image’s 15% Minoxidil with 5% Azelaic Acid the single most effective commercial product for topically blocking DHT on your scalp. I have used nearly 20 different topical treatments and I believe this one is the most effective – it dries quickly too. You can have a look at the feedback on

Azelaic acid is scientifically proven to inhibit scalp DHT, as stated in a 2005 study published in the “American Journal of Clinical Dermatology,” doctors determined that azelaic acid is able to topically inhibit as much as 100% of the of DHT in your scalp.

Ashwagandha and How it Helps Hair Loss

Are you suffering from hair loss then you will like what this article has to offer. Hair loss has many causes but a large portion of it is caused by a weakened immune system

And so in this article I want to introduce to you a herb called Ashwagandha which does the following for you: it makes you feel younger, stronger, and healthier. It also stops stress, increases energy levels and will help regrow hair back

Ashwagandha is so powerful it has been used in India for ages to sure immune related disease. But how can this herb help stop hair loss and promote hair growth?

Well you see hair growth requires that your body be healthy inside and outside. The problem is most of us are not as healthy as we should be and this reflects on our hair. The fact is that the healthier your immune system is the healthier your hair will be. That is why it is crucial to not only to take care of your mane externally by conditioning it with a herbal hair oil but also to take measures like eating right, exercise right and supplementing correctly to help grow healthy hair. If you are suffering from dry brittle hair or hair loss chances are that you have clogged hair pores and second your immune system might not be up to par. Using a herbal arjuvedic hair oil will take care of the clogged pores but to help your tresses grow internally you need to take other measures

In my opinion the best remedy is Ashwaganda because there is nothing like it for acting as a natural immune booster. Ashwaganda s a herb and ancient immune boosting remedy is nor new. In fact it has been used in arjuveda for some 4000 years to help people live longer, feel younger, have more energy, grow healthy hair and stop stress. Yes arjuveda had this in place eons ago and thanks to science you can now try it as well- it is available I most health food stores

You can get longer thicker hair and a host of other benefits by using Ashwagandha which has been called “natures miracle preventive medicine”…best part It is all natural and safe to use and can be used by kids, adults and elderly people alike

Now why is having a powerful immune system necessary to help hair grow and stop hair loss? You see your immune system is crucial in the hair growth process. Your Immune system is what allows healthy body function to occur. So if your immune system is compromised you will begin to get sick, lose hair and have a host of problems too long to mention. So it is crucial to take Ashwaganda as part of your daily health and hair care routine. When you see what this herb does you would be quite foolish not to take it.

For best results take it every day and you need to make sure you find a pure source, most of the herb found in stores are cheaply priced and contain the poor diluted version of the herb. Fact is, the inferior version of Ashwaganda can be found in stores and they are often filled with North American ginseng which pales in potency when compared to Indian ginseng or Ashwaganda.

Here is a sample of what this amazing herb can do for you. Over 300 independent studies and a 4000 year old history that proves it will; Boost your immune system, Suppress and prevent arthritis, make you feel and look younger, proven to prevent to minimize cancer growing cells, allow you to build muscle and strength faster. It is indeed a tonic of youth and can boost sexual performance as well as preventive diabetes and high blood pressure.

And there you have it a proven way to boost your immune system and help stop hair loss

Is a Blog Right For Your Business?

Lemmings are cute, but dumb. If you tell them to jump off a cliff, they will. Just like the people who start blogs because everyone is doing it. Guess what happens after a little while? The blogs die.

In managing a list of many Web sites, most of which are blogs, I deleted countless sites from the list because the sites and blogs no longer exist. The people ran out of steam or had no reason to start them in the first place.

How do you know when a blog is right for your business? Learn why people start blogs, how they find their niche and how blogging tools can be used for more than blogs.

Some people like to read blogs, others like to read newsletters, still others like to rely on feeds and some read a few or all of them. No matter the method the information is distributed, each medium has one thing in common: content. Having a blog connects your newsletter and your business with all of these readers and deliveries important content in a particular style.

I've been blogging since June 2000. If you review my early blog entries in meryl's notes, you'll notice they're more personal. When blogs first hit the scene in the late '90s, they were personal diaries and journals. Like the blog business, my blog has transformed from personal to business speak, although I still add personal notes here and there.

A few bloggers tend to talk about their work, their products and their little world. That may work for celebrations where fans want to know everything about them, but it does not work for the average business person. Other business people want information on how to succeed and when a blog spends time hawking products offering information of no value, few people will return. The people whose products sell well are the ones who provide valuable information. Readers already know what kind of information they're getting, so they trust that when they buy something, it will be of the same or better quality. This value must be reflected in their blog. It's much like people who only sign up for a newsletter after first seeing an example.

No one wants to be a lemming (I would hope). How do you decide whether or not to set up a blog? The answer is not black or white (what did you expect?). Ask these questions:

  • Can you regularly update it – at least five times a week?
  • Do you have something to say other than just linking to others?
  • Do you read other blogs or feeds?
  • Can you provide information of value to others not just to yourself?
  • How large is your newsletter subscriber list?
  • How many unique visitors do you get on an average day, week or month?

The big decider is whether or not you can write in the blog almost daily. The people behind the high traffic blogs post multiple times a day. Although resourceful, merely linking to other sites does not give visitors much reason to make the effort to come to yours. Reading other blogs or feeds is a great way to learn how to carry a discussion. Find other blogs covering topics similar to yours and check them out. Disagree with their opinions? Write about it and explain your reasons. Cross-blog discussions are common, and that's where trackback comes in handy.

Trackback is a blog feature. If you decide to comment on another blog posting in your blog instead of that blog's comments page, then you link to the conversation through the trackback link. Trackback is similar to the permalink, the permanent URL for the blog entry, but it has a different URL for copying and pasting in your blog's trackback box.

Aside from the technical aspects of operating a blog on a daily basis, subscriber list size and Web site traffic are good indicators of what kind of reaction you'll get when opening a blog. Starting from scratch with little traffic means you have a long road ahead and lots of work to do. There is no magic formula anyone can sell you for $ 97 to make your blog an overnight success. But with some perseverance and ingenuity, your blog can engage many prospects and clients.

Considering there are numerous blogs out there, pick a niche topic when starting a blog for a better shot at attracting and keeping an audience. Meryl's notes focuses on three areas: webby, geeky and wordy. In reality, this is too much. What I need to do for my readers is create three separate blog entry points, so those interested in writing, newsletters and Internet marketing get nothing but the wordy entries. Those interested in Web design get the webby stuff and the technophiles receive the geeky content.

I also manage a personal blog separate from meryl's notes. It's about cochlear implants and deafness. This could fall under the geeky category, but it's a personal blog and does not belong in meryl's notes. This blog is written for a different audience.

The blogging tools for both of my blogs come with syndication capabilities so those using feed readers or aggregators can read the content through the software. When sending a new issue of a newsletter, comment on it or link to it in the blog, that way the blog and feed readers will get the goods, so all three bases are covered.

Blogging tools are not just for, well, blogging. Such tools are an excellent way to help you update your web site more often than you otherwise would. I use it to manage the list of tableless Web sites. Using blogging tools is much easier than the way I managed it before, updating the HTML files by hand. Although using a blog tool, it is not a blog. In this case, the blog tool has become a content management system (CMS).

Small business owners do not have a need for the fancy and pricey CMSes out there. They find it easier to use blogging software to manage their sites or hire someone to adapt the tool for their site.

Blogs have found a place in businesses and people are finding creative ways to use them. Some companies have a blog on the intranet for communicating project status, bureaucies and metrics. They're used for knowledge management. With information pouring in, blog tools provide a way to share, organize and process the information.

Being a follower can be good or bad. No one wants to walk off a cliff with the lemmings, but everyone wants to succeed. Best practices will not help, since the decision to blog is based on the organization's mission, needs and goals along with its target market's desires and needs. A blog about lemmings? There is one, sort of. Or maybe you'd like to start your own and talk about dumb business moves.

Why You Should Buy Beats Online

Beats are very important for a song in many ways. The right beat will capture people’s attention and cause them to listen to the lyrical content found in the song. You also find that the most popular songs have a very unique and catchy beat. That means that you should invest a large percentage of your time and money to getting the perfect beat. The best and most effective way is by buying beats online. The following are the reasons why.

You as an artist or music producer will want a large variety of beats because each song will be different. Buying beats online will give you the chance to make a choice from a wide variety of beats e.g. rap beats, hip hop instrumentals, R&B beats etc. In that respect, internet producers sell all manner of beats you can ever need. The beats found online are very unique with all the layers, mix downs, effects etc. all of which are sure to capture your audience’s attention.

Beats for sale online come with numerous samples for you to listen to before making your purchase. This is a luxury not enjoyed if you decide to go offline for your purchase. The free samples in most online stores allow you to either select the beat you want from the existing database or gauge the creator’s skills. Either way, buying rap beats, hip hop beats or R&B instrumentals online guarantees that you get exactly what you want.

Buying beats online is generally cheaper than using offline methods. Assume you find an internet producer for your beats. All you will need to do is select the beat you want and make the purchase using the options available. Using offline options would entail driving all over looking for the best producer, spending a lot of time making beats and in the end, the price for the beat will be higher.

One of the best things about buying beats online is that there is very little in the way of paperwork. You will not have to go through a long process when assuming legal ownership of the beat, reading through and signing the terms of use etc. When you buy beat online, you will only have to check a small box and that will be it. You will have the option of asking for paperwork but it is not usually a requirement. This means you can start using your beats moments after buying them. This convenience should make you consider using internet music producers for all your beats.

When you decide to buy beats online, you will have the option of having any beat customized to your specific desires. Assume you use find a beat you like but doesn’t satisfy your need. You can easily contact the beat’s creator and ask for addition and subtraction of certain drum patterns, mutes, offsets, polyrhythms etc. The end result is a beat that meshes perfectly with your song.

No matter the genre, ( R&B beats, Pop Beats, Or Hip Hop) When you decide to buy beats online, there is a very simple method that will be used for you to get it. You will normally have a download link e-mailed to your instantly after purchase or sent to you via postage mail. For the latter option, you will even get a tracking number for you to easily track it. Either way maximum convenience is accorded.

In a nutshell, buying beats online is the better option because it is easy and more convenient than any other alternative.

Critical Analysis Of Social Issues In "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad penned Heart of Darkness in late 1890s after his journey to Congo in the earlier part of the decade. After making its debut in Blackwood’s magazine in 1899, his book was published as a novella in 1902. Conrad’s story takes place some time during late 1800s in London, Brussels, but mostly in Congo (which, at the time, was under the control of Belgium).

The main social issue in Heart of Darkness deals with abandoning European morals when faced with the power of colonialism. The two main characters, Kurtz and Marlow – once noble men – both face this challenge. Thus, the main theme in the novella can be defined as absurdly hypocritical practices of imperialism, with motifs such as ironic understatements, inability to accurately word things due to their horribleness, and, of course, darkness.

No word described Conrad’s tone in Heart of Darkness better than contradictory; while Marlow is terrified by the imperialistic harshness of life in Congo, he says that any man who gave the idea of working for the Company some thought would succumb to similar behavior. At the same time, Marlow’s reaction to Kurtz’s degeneration is horror. What once seemed like a legit job opportunity turned out to be an ironic understatement – perhaps, even, a completely inaccurate viewpoint on behalf of his aunt who signed him up for the job with the Company. As such, no words could describe what Marlow has gotten himself into.

Conrad’s style is indicative of Marlow’s discovery of darkness. He conveys the issue of corruption in colonial lands through symbols, such as: fog, darkness, rivers, severed heads pierced through fence posts, and abuse of women. The former three are used to foreshadow an unpleasant ending, and are used all throughout the novel. The latter two more particularly highlight the unpleasant events that unwrap on Marlow’s journey – his noticing of the brutal treatment of deceased slaves, and of Kurtz’s relationship with his mistress.

Using varied diction, Conrad distinguishes characters. The Europeans spoke with meaning, the way regular people would (ex, “It was unearthly, and the men were – No, they were not inhuman. Well, you know, that was the worst of it – the suspicion of their not being inhuman”). The Africans spoke in simple phrases, and sounded uneducated (ex, “Mistah Kurtz, he dead – a penny for the old guy”). This added an element of realism to Heart of Darkness, thus supporting the social issue addressed in the novella. Great use of vivid imagery on Conrad’s behalf allowed Marlow’s narration to accurately foreshadow the dark, threatening events that are soon to unroll.

Do the Words "In God We Trust" Violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause?

The words “In God we trust” does not violate the first amendment’s establishment clause. The clause reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The words “In God we trust” does not pertain to any one religion or another, the word God is ambiguous referring to a supernatural being, applicable to a myriad of monotheist and polytheist religions alike. The common assertion that the words “In God we trust” is directly analogous to a Judeo-Christian God is fallacious.

Further, it is ignorant of the universality held across major cultures, beliefs and values spanning almost all nations and time periods. The central core idea of trust in a singular or central supernatural force or deity is found in nearly every major world religion, thorough polytheism and monotheism. For instance, in the Hindu religion they trust in Brahman, in Islam they trust in Allah, the ancient Egyptians trusted in the sun god as a central deity that breathed life onto this earth. The words “In God we trust” signify the United States’ adherence to the establishment clause by promoting a non-specific universal belief that encourages the free exercise of religion not the absence of it.

The establishment clause shows that the United States can show no bias toward any one religion; it is to therefore promote freedom of religion, not freedom of religion. The majority of opposition comes from atheists who claim that the words “In god we trust” found on U.S. currency violates their right to freedom of religion found in the establishment clause.

However, atheism is not a religion, it is the lack there of, Webster’s dictionary defines religion as: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices. The antonym of religion in which atheism falls under is religionless which is defined by the 1913 version of Webster’s dictionary as “Destitute of religion.” This accurately describes atheism, as the centric core of this philosophy. Atheism being a philosophy deserves protection under freedom of speech but deserves no protection as an establishment of religion. Can you image the chaos if we allowed peoples personal philosophy to hold the same legal merit as religion? If this became legislation or court precedent the effects would be catastrophic.

During the draft during the Vietnam War, if you were a Quaker you were exempt from this obligation; due to freedom of religion the government cannot pass laws that violate your religion, because it is there for restricting “the free exercise thereof”. If personal beliefs and philosophies held the same merit as religion in U.S. state and federal law, than personal philosophies can be held as valid excuse for the war e.g. “I don’t agree with violence.” Further people could create their own holidays which would hold the same merit as religious holidays, which are in fact created from no religion but from their own personal philosophies.

Legal obligations like jury duty can be excused due to your personal philosophy against this obligation. This is in no means a slippery slope argument, but simply a cause-and-effect analysis of adopting the precedent restricting the words “In God we trust” into our English common law system. In accordance with such, it is rational to say that this precedent would cause personal philosophies to hold the same legal merit as religion in American jurisprudence. This argument is not amusing or anticipating, expansion of such precedent, but merely it’s effect as a de jure definition.

This court decision does not and will not address U.S. history as argumentation for original intent, nor will it try to adopt a new meaning or precedent to the constitution as in the “Living Constitution.” This decision relies on the U.S. Constitution verbatim, or what it says literally. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It says an establishment of religion, or a particular religion or faith not religion all together. In an article in Slate magazine the prominent atheist David Greenberg reads his own words into the constitution. He stated that the use of the word “God” denotes endorsement of a particular establishment of religion.

He reasons that the absence of the word “God” signifies a clear message advocating the absence of the word God in anything pertaining to the government, clearly voiced by its absence in this document. Greenburg states in his article The Pledge of Allegiance: Why we’re not one nation “under God.” “That the founders made erecting a church-state wall their first priority when they added the Bill of Rights to the Constitution reveals the importance they placed on maintaining what Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore have called a “godless Constitution.” (Greenberg , Par. 2)This statement is logically invalid and relies on speculation, a not what the document actually says verbatim, nor the original intent. He states this hypothesis as a matter of fact, as if he knew the founding fathers and knew their original indent. He cites historically inaccurate evidence that is extremely deceiving. He states “When Benjamin Franklin proposed during the Constitutional Convention that the founders begin each day of their labors with a prayer to God for guidance, his suggestion was defeated.” (Ibid)

In every weak argument there is always a shred of truth to help it stand, in this case Benjamin Franklin did make a motion to start each meeting with prayer. However it wasn’t “defeated” nor was it approved respectively it was just left alone all together. The philosophy was a hands-off, neutral approach, due to the disastrous articles of the confederation. This failure was partially induced by a superfluity of Christian prayer and dogma causing distraction. Regardless of original intent which is subjective, the constitution verbatim is what should take precedence. In reading this verbatim, we see that secularism and atheism are not establishments of religion. Therefore they deserve no protection under freedom of religion. Further, atheism is a philosophy; if we allow philosophies to have equitable rights as religions the results will be disastrous to our English common law system, inhibiting due process, and preventing enforcement of laws and obligations.

In sum, the words “In God we trust” does not violate the first amendment’s establishment clause nor freedom of religion therein, it promoting it. It promotes free exercise of religion by promoting a non-specific universal belief that encourages the free exercise of religion. Through the use of the words “In god we trust”, the State has not produced or regulated any religious establishment, nor has it given authority to any current religion. The words “In God we trust” do not coherence anyone to be associated or take part in any established religion. Additionally no other free-exercise rights or civil liberties are in conflict. The words “In god we trust” fully comply with the constitution.

Autobiography As De-Facement – A De Manin Reading of "Perseid" in John Barth’s Chimera

This article focuses upon the de Manian reading of “Perseid” – the second novella in Barth’s Chimera – with respect to its autobiographical implications. The concept of autobiography contributes to the deconstruction of the figure of Barth-Perseus as the main textual function in this novella. This attempt in its turn substantiates the impossibility of a totalized reading in de Manian critical prospect.

Many critics of Barth have considered Chimera, in particular the last two novellas as autobiography. This segment tends to respond to such critics by applying de Man’s theory of self-defacement. Initially, “Perseid” is going to be scrutinized with its Barthian concept of autobiography; fictionalized biography. Then, by applying de Man’s notion of defacement, the text deconstructs itself.


Chimera is an autobiography. It is the deliberate account of what has gone before. The artist has become the critic who is artist commenting on his own themes, his own book, and his own performance. Details of public and publishing history keep the theme of life-story in the forefront of the text in which Barth analogously examines the lives, as he tells the stories of heroes who are avatars of himself. Like Sherry, Perseus and Bellerophon, Barth looks at the point midway in his journey when his career has reached a climax – according to Freitag’s life-story line. Barth and his avatars live their days nostalgically, examining the question of their heroics, their performances.

However, Barth can never reduce his novel to just a simple autobiography. He parodies his own concept of my-life-in-its-climax by posing three diagrams as the schema for the typical rise and fall of dramatic action in a hero’s life. The auto-Barthian-biography of his artistic life is sharply juxtaposed with the mathematically measured life-line of exposition, rising, climax and falling. Barth depicts his life-line satirically, in which the straightforward diagram is decentralized by a spiral temporality, with discrepant zones. This kind of autobiography does not delineate the author’s life as an ontological entity, which undergoes various stages in order to achieve a predestined goal. The epistemology of the outer existence can never be the target of the writer, since gaining a true understanding of the world is quite impossible in Barth’s worldview. For him the key to the treasure of knowledge is useless, except for purposes of satire. Such a malady – cosmopsis – leads Barth-Perseus to the fact that nothing has inherent value, one can never choose, and ultimately would have no reason to choose. The only sensible activity would be to refuse to make a choice.

Hence, the artist is the hero, and the hero-artist is Barth himself at some ontogenic level removed from mere autobiography. Perseus depicts the predicaments of being Barth by accepting the fictionality of his own character. In contrast to many postmodernist fictions in which the characters are in search of their authors or are victimized by the author of their tale, as in Gabriel Josipovici’s “Mobius the Stripper” (1974) or Nabokov’s Transparent Things (1972), Chimera depicts a heterarchy, a metalepsis in which the author does not possess the highest authority in the text. He is as fictional as the characters, even at some points leaving the decisions to character-authors to determine an ending or a course of action. In this kind of autobiography, Barth’s personal anecdotes of the incidents of his life are substituted by the anecdotes of literary incidents, climaxes and falls. Barth has converted himself to a textual function whose art-line is figurally depicted by the life-lines of Scheherazade, Perseus and Bellerophon.

Barth fictionalizes the autobiography, and acclaims a different ontological status from pure fiction, resulting in a stronger one. Chimera becomes an “autobiographical fiction, not a straight autobiography” (McHale 203). Barth co-opts himself as a character (whether Genie, Perseus, Bellerophon or Polyeidus). Roland Barthes explains what happens to the author when he/she inserts or inscribes himself in the text,

It is not that the Author may not “come back” in the Text, in his text, but he then does so as a “guest”. If he is a novelist, he is inscribed in the novel like one of his characters, figured in the carpet, no longer privileged, paternal, aletheological, his inscription is ludic. He becomes, as it were, a paper-author; his life is no longer the origin of his fictions but a fiction contributing to his work. […] The I which writes the text, it too, is never more than a paper-I. (“From Text to Work”, 161)

Accordingly, Barth never intends to centralize the autobiographical aspects of the novel. He hides behind the paper I in “Perseid”, “Bellerophoniad” and Genie in “Dunyazadiad”, yielding to their implications as characters.

Chinese-Box or Russian Babushka dolls can exemplify how autobiography works out in Chimera. Brain McHale in Postmodernist Fiction (1987) defines this concept in terms of an analogue,

A recursive structure [Chinese-Box] results when you perform the same operation over and over again, each time operating on the product of the previous operation. For example, take a film, which projects a fictional world; within that world, place actors and a film crew, who make a film which in turn projects its own fictional world; then within that world place another film crew, who make another film, and so on. (112-3)

Gerard Genette in Narrative Discourse (1980) calls this recursive structure “the metalanguage of narrative levels”. He denominates the primary world diegesis. The secondary world within diegesis, he calls it hypodiegesis. Then it would be possible for the characters of a fiction to descend deeper into a hypo-hypodiegesis (238-42). This structure has the effect of interrupting and complicating the ontological horizon of the fiction, multiplying its worlds, and laying bare the process of world-construction.

“Perseid” along with the two other novellas can be elaborated in the light of the Chinese-box prototype. The diegetic world in each of them is the mythological construction of Scheherazade, Perseus and Bellerophon. Primarily, the novellas are nothing but the recounting of three myths. Barth tries to remain faithful to the mythic diegesis by preserving the characters, places and on the whole the cosmology of each myth. Nevertheless, he steps into a hypodiegesis by making each of the avatars the author of their own fiction, as Perseus confirms, trying to “learn about art and life” (60). They are both “the protagonist and author” (83). Within this hypodiegetic world of character-authorship, Barth imposes a hypo-hypodiegesis, that is, his own world as the author of the entire novel. In other words, he disguises behind his own characters as they tell their stories. He resides at the depth of the text, and observes how Sherry’s struggle for writing the part three of her tale or Perseus’ sexual impotencies reflect his own predicaments on the way to his artistic climax. Calyxa, the prostitute-priestess summarizes Barth’s autobiographical strive: “How can Being Perseus Again be your goal, when you have to be Perseus to reach it?” (101). Being Barth again at his climax, overcoming the writer’s cramp (block) requires revising of Barth himself, getting to know his past in order to ascend to the diegesis of the future world, in which he is no more a hypo-world but the primary diegetic level of his own fiction as Perseus says: ” I thought to overtake with understanding my present paragraph as it were by examining my paged past, and thus pointed, proceed serene to the future’s sentence” (83).

Hence, it can be concluded that Barth fictionalizes his own biography or literary biography in order to bring about a double coding, that is, amalgamating past and present, fiction and reality. He never tries to differentiate between the various ontological levels that he inserts in the novella. The only thing that matters for him is disrupting the run-of-the-mill autonomy of predetermined life structure, such as that of Freitag’s. Whether Perseus or Bellerophon, Barth never ceases to exist in his characters, and sketches his own life-line in which the climax can also serve as the unknotting of another tale. For Barth, the foundationalism of storytelling is not worth the linearity of a bunch of tales rising and falling into an ending.

De Manian Hero-Machy

De Man in The Rhetoric of Romanticism (1984) deals with the problematics of autobiography. He initially targets the attempt for treating autobiography as if it were a literary genre among others. Since the concept of genre designates an aesthetic as well as a historical function, what is at stake is not only the distance that shelters the author of autobiography from his experience but the possible convergence of aesthetics and history. By making autobiography into a genre, one elevates it above the literary status of mere reportage, chronicle, or memoir and gives it a place, albeit a modest one, among the canonical hierarchies of the major literary genres. This does not go without some embarrassment, since compared to tragedy, or epic or lyric poetry, autobiography always looks slightly disreputable and self-indulgent in a way that may be symptomatic of its incompatibility with the monumental dignity of aesthetic values. De Man continues his observations of autobiography in regard with its generic history, whether Augustine’s Confessions is the first autobiography, its style, that is, if it is possible to write an autobiography in verse.

Then he moves to the crux of his debate; the distinction between autobiography and fiction. Autobiography seems to depend on actual and potentially verifiable events in a less ambivalent way than fiction does. It seems to belong to a simpler mode of referentiality, of representation, and of diegesis. It may contain lots of phantasms and dreams, but these deviations from reality remain rooted in a single subject whose identity is defined by the uncontested readability of his proper name, like John Barth that intermediates the gap between character-Barth and author-Barth. The reader approaches the text with Barth’s signature on the text, in other words the name itself creates a presupposition, an identity in the mind of the reader. However, de Man moves beyond the literal problematics of autobiography to a more figural sphere, and asserts that the author of any autobiography becomes a trope in his own text. He is no longer the determined, outer identity that imposes his extra-textual elements upon the text, but he becomes part of his own work. He is the metaphor of his real self; Barth in Chimera – Perseus or Bellerophon – is the metaphor of Barth-the-real. In other words, the author is lost in his own medium; Barth hardly arises above the level of his own fictionality to the level of pure autobiography. De Man concludes that the “distinction between fiction and autobiography is not either/or polarity but that it is undecidable” (70). This tension between fiction and autobiography is capable of infinite acceleration and in fact is not successive but simultaneous.

Autobiography, then, is not a genre or a mode but a figure of reading or of understanding that occurs to some degree in all texts. The autobiographical moment happens as an alignment between the two subjects involved in the process of reading in which they determine each other by mutual reflective substitution. The two subjects are on the one hand, the author who declares himself the subject of his own understanding – the author of the text – and the one that is specularly reflected in the text, who bears his name – the author in the text. The mirror-like quality of autobiography supposedly renders self-knowledge for the author, but as aforementioned this quality becomes tropological. “The study of autobiography is caught in a double motion; the necessity to escape from the tropology of the subject and the equally inevitable reinscription of this necessity within the specular model of recognition” (72). The discourse of autobiography is “a discourse of self-restoration” (74). Any author by venturing into pinning down his ontogeny strives toward the preservation of his self along with gaining a self-revealing insight to his inner depth.

The definition of autobiography with regard to de Man’s perspectives instigates his de-valorization of the genre (now used with more caution). He believes that prosopopeia is the trope of autobiography, in which author’s name (signature) is made intelligible and memorable as a face. It is the fiction of an apostrophe to an absent, or voiceless entity, which posits the possibility of the latter’s reply and confers upon it the power of speech. “Voices assume mouth, eye, and finally face, a chain that is manifest in the etymology of the trope’s name, prosopon poien, to confer a mask or a face (prosopon)” (76). Autobiography as the prosopopeia of the voice and the name of the author transforms him into a voice-from-beyond. In fact, it is the rhetorical function of prosopopeia to posit voice or face by means of language. Also, “to the extent that language is a figure, it is not the thing itself, but the representation, the picture of the thing, as such, it is as silent and mute as pictures are” (80). Language is always privative, and it works “unremittingly and noiselessly”. To the extent that, in writing, “we are dependent on this language we are all deaf and mute – not silent, which implies the possible manifestation of sound at our own will, but silent as a picture, that is to say eternally deprived of voice and condemned to muteness” (80).

It can be concluded that autobiography as a genre is universally acknowledged as the self-preserver, self-restorator of its author. However, for de Man it is a figure of speech, prosopopeia. Its literal sphere is that of personification, or giving voice, face or human attributes to the work of art in order to represent its author. The figural pole of the trope is that of silence, absence and facelessness. The author is not restorated by autobiography but diminished via its decrees of linguistic referentiality. Autobiography is like any other language figural, and can never be expected to yield itself to closure or totalization. As de Man mentions, the aporia between the literal and figural spheres of the prosopopeia is never settled. Autobiography veils a defacement of its author of which it is itself the cause.

De Man’s concept of autobiography applied to “Perseid” concords with Barth’s attempt in creating a heterotopia; a world seething with conflicting ontologies. It should be mentioned that this procedure can be applied to “Dunyazadiad” and “Bellerophoniad” too, since the three novellas are of the same content, and follow a common objective, that is, depicting the author as the creator and character of his own art. “Perseid” begins with “Good evening”, that marks the continuation of “Dunyazadiad”, and entrance into another hereocosm – the otherness of the fictional world. From the very outset, the text substantiates it fictionality: “Stories last longer than men, stones than stories, stars than stones. But even our stars’ nights are numbered, and with them will pass this patterned tale to a long-deceased earth” (59). Barth insinuates his mastery over the text by foregrounding the tale-ness of the narrative and also by addressing the narratee, here Calyxa, in first person point of view. The aestho-autogamy of Perseus, that is, his birth into the world of the novella is when he “is sea-leveled, forty, parched and plucked” (60). He is at the height of his heroic career, has slain Medusa, married Andromeda, and now twenty years after slaying Medusa, he is dead, living in heaven with a nymph-priestess-prostitute catering him.

In heaven, Elysium or whatever signifier it can be called, Perseus recounts his story to Calyxa through flashbacks, anecdotes and particularly the panels that depict “alabasterly several chapters” (59) of his youth. He actually tells the story of his life from these panels, and at some points cannot finish the tale without the upcoming panel, and presses Calyxa to tell him how far the murals go, for while he could predict some incidents but several of them such as his demise were obscure to him. Thus, panels present the authorial role of another author, that is, Barth who procures his character with the story to tell. In this regard, the amalgamation of art and life creates the hypodiegesis to which Barth belongs. Barth presents the process of becoming himself by the camouflage of Perseus. He himself after writing Giles Goat-boy (1966) was struggling with creative writing, and the used-upness of his potentialities culminated in Chimera. In this fictionalized autobiography, Barth flickers between being the fictionalized I, Perseus, who narrates the tale and his real I (real author), the one whose experiences are reflected in the text. But he is totally aware of the fact that the absolute reality of him as the author becomes just another level of the fiction, and his reality retreats to a further remove. He reincarnates himself in Genie, Perseus or Polyeidus, and retains his omnipresence and omnipotence throughout the novel, particularly in “Perseid”, where without the role of a mentor, that of Genie or Polyeidus, it is Perseus himself that takes on the course of his narrative. Thus, diegetic level of Perseus, as the primary, mythological ontology directly evokes the hypodiegesis of Barth as the author.

Having centralized Barth as the subject of autobiography, it would be metaphorically de Manian to de-figure him. “Perseid” can be considered as an autobiography, which in its own turn is the prosopopeia of Barth. The novella as a trope possesses the literality of delineating Barth’s personally experienced tensions within an author. The conceptual sphere is that of Barth’s absence, facelessness from his own text; he is as fictional as other characters. In other words, “to reveal authors position within the ontological structure is only to introduce the author into fiction; this gesture merely widens the structure to include author as a fictional character” (McHale 197-8). Thus, Jac Tharpe’s labeling of Chimera as an autobiography is obscured by the fact that the specular presence of the author as the subject of his own text yields itself to a self-defacement. The autobiographical text never allows its author to divulge his inner self regently. Jorge Luis Borges’ “Borges and I” is the closest parable to de Man’s notion of the author of autobiography with two selves. The article begins with the sense of division between the authentic self and an inauthentic role or mask. The innovation and the source of paradox is Borges’ identification of inauthenticity with the self that emerges in and through writing, the written persona from which the authentic self claims to be in constant retreat,

Years ago I tried to free myself from him, and I went from the mythologies of the city suburbs to games with time and infinity, but now those games belong to Borges, and I will have to think up something else. Thus is my life a flight, and I lose everything, and everything belongs to oblivion or to him? (Borges 200)

He continues to say that if the protest against the inauthentic written self is itself made in and through writing, then from whom does this protest originate? Who speaks?: “I don’t know which one of the two of us is writing this page” (Borges 201). Accordingly, the writer vanishes, and is eclipsed by his writing; he dies by projecting himself into writing. The paradoxical relation between the writer and written self correlates in de Man’s author-of-text and author-in-text. The tension between the two results in not self-advertisement or self-liberation of the author but, a self-deselfment. Perseus the embodiment of Barth-in-text observes that “myth isn’t reality” (109), thus his reflection of Barth can never be accounted for as true essence. When he has told the two-third of his story up to the first climax where he is going to confront Andromeda and her lover, Cassiopeia, he ironically proclaims: “Let my second tale be truly a second, not mere replication of my first; let a spell of monologue precede new dialogue…” (115). Here Perseus exemplifies de Man’s dual selves; the written self of Barth admits his inability to depict a true picture of the writer Barth. Any try would result in just a “replication”, a mirror-like relation between the two in which Barth’s reflection in Perseus reflects a faceless Barth, a mere echo in void. The final conversation between New Medusa and Perseus testifies such process of de-facement. Perseus is now constellated into Delta Persei. Thus Barth is finally converted into an utterance; as long as Perseus talks, Barth can exist. The worry of a blank page or silence shadows the text, pertaining to Barth’s struggle for having his autobiographical hero as a refuge from the whiteness of the blank space; “hurrying away and filling up the page with discourse” (Federman 51). However, “Perseid” ends with “Good night”, after resonating within the last pages, the voices of Perseus and New Medusa vanish into the a dark silence. Barth’s self-preserving attempts succumb to the discourse of non-existence, to “infinite pause” (Chimera 90). The final dialogue between New Medusa and Perseus encompasses Barth’s objective of writing such an autobiographical text, which is never accomplished.

Barth’s attempt in immortalizing himself, thus shapeshifting to a constellated mythological demi-god, Perseus, reduces him to just a composite of visible signs, yet silent. Ironically, he is content with what de Man considers to be mortalizing, a process of self-erasure. The contentment that Barth relishes, being “rehearsed as long as men and women read the stars”, paradoxically instigates the perpetual presence of his defacement in the mind of his readers. Since he has not managed to present a true image of himself, what remains is just an illusory, faceless reflection of Barth in the mind of his audience.

Thus, the much claimed autobiographical facet of Chimera collapses. “Perseid” represents de-faced Barth who from the very outset of the novel has ventured to originate a strong link between his artistic career and the text. Along with “Perseid”, “Bellerophoniad” rounds off in a zero zone in which the autobiographical hero sustains his ontological status, however, as a decentered phantom echoing in the final pages. In spite of the fact that Barth has accomplished to establish a fictionalized autobiography, he has been obsessed with the diegesis of his mythological hero, hence backgrounding what he initially intended to foreground; his most inner self as an author. The application of de Man’s autobiographical approach elucidates the figurality of any type of writing or genre, even the most wildly-recognized realistic ones. Fictionality or deviation from objective truth can be traced in any assumedly real-life-based writing. J. G. Ballard in his introduction to Crash (1974) asserts: “We live inside an enormous novel. For the writer in particular it is less and less necessary to invent the fictional content of his novel. The fiction is already there. The writer’s task is to invent reality (Cited in Travers 310). Henceforth, Barth can never do away with the fictionality of his text. The aporia in which he is entangled is between being an outsider or an insider with regard to the text. As an outsider or the subject of autobiography, he is hindered to see his reflection in the text by Barth-the-insider or Perseus. It goes without saying that there is no edge or divining line between the two; they intermingle to the extent that the distinction between author-Barth and Perseus-Barth is hardly possible.

Some Cases & Causes of Water Park Injury

Today, water and theme parks are popular recreational places for children and adults alike. But as the number of crowd which flock these places rise, so are accidents that occur in them.

Just last month, a 19-year old girl reportedly died from water park injury she sustained in Sun Splash Water Park in Mesa, Arizona. Before her untimely demise, she was said to have approached the park’s first aid personnel after she hit her head in one of the water slides.

She complained of headache, nausea and loss of memory. The girl was rushed to a hospital where she received emergency treatment for a blood clot in her brain. She died later. The death was officially ruled to have been caused by “accidental blunt force trauma to the head.”

This, and countless of other unreported cases of water park accidents, occur in water parks or theme parks across the country.

Causes, which authorities look into as major cause of water park injuries, are the following, among others:

  • lack or insufficient safety instructions
  • poor maintenance
  • negligence on the part of the water park
  • the guest’s health condition
  • negligence on the part of the guests

Water park accidents can result to a serious personal injury, even wrongful death of an individual. Victims are not limited to guests, but may even include the park’s employees.

In 2005, there were more than 15,000 amusement and water parks ride-related injuries in the US. The most common injuries include:

  • contusion, abrasion
  • strain or sprain
  • laceration
  • fracture
  • concussion
  • internal organ injury

An in-depth investigation conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission showed several hazard patterns, which often caused these injuries:

  1. Mechanical failures – Broken welds or structural components, exposed electrical wires, broken drive chains, malfunctioning lap bars or other safety restraints, failure to shutoff, improper detachment of cars and improper detachment of structural components.
  2. Operator behaviors – Abruptly stopping the ride following an apparent mechanical failure, improperly assembling or maintaining the ride and defeating safety equipment such as brakes and automatic overheat cutoff switches.
  3. Consumer behaviors – Intentionally rocking cars, standing up, defeating safety restraints, sitting improperly such as sideways or with feet above lap bar, holding a child above the safety restraint, and in one instance, a disembarking passenger intentionally restarted the ride by pressing the start button as other passengers were disembarking.
  4. Others – Include rides that can injure people while apparently functioning normally, without an unusual or inappropriate behavior on the part of consumers or operators.

CPSC reported cases of cerebral and retinal hemorrhage, subdural hematoma, and loss of consciousness, headache and dizziness. Fatalities with little or no overt trauma have occurred during or after rides, which induce abrupt changes in speed and direction.

For every water park injury or wrongful death suffered by the victim, the law holds the owner or operator of water or amusement parks responsible under negligence or tort, product liability or premises liability.

The victim will be entitled to compensation once this liability is proved. The amount awarded may vary depending on the degree of negligence and the extent of the injury or loss.

I’m Scared My Husband is Going to Leave Me – Tips and Advice That May Help

I recently received a pretty heartbreaking email from a wife who felt that in the next few days, her husband was going to leave her. The two of them had just not been getting along due partly to the stress of their financial situation. They both were at their wit’s end, but the wife was willing to stick it out and work on the marriage, and the husband was not. He had been alluding to packing his bags and leaving. She suspected that he would promptly file for divorce not long after that.

The wife was beside herself. She stressed that she “could not live without” her husband and did not know how she could survive without his love and support. She was trying to come up with a plan to convince him to stay. But she was meeting a lot of resistance. She had tried reasoning with him. She had tried debating. She had tried guilt. And, recently she was contemplated begging. Basically, she told me that she was willing to “do whatever it took” to keep him from walking out the door.

She wanted my advice as to what might work best to convince him not to leave her. I will tell you what I told her in the following article.

Even If You’re Scared That He’s Going To Leave You, Don’t Let The Fear Drive You: I have to get this out of the way and just say it. Fear is not a trait that is generally perceived to be attractive. The truth was, this wife had already laid her cards on the table numerous times. She had made it very clear that she did not want to live without her husband and wasn’t sure if she could. So, continuing to tell him this was no more likely to drive the point home than the numerous previous tries.

Honestly, I felt that the desperation and fear that she was wearing on her sleeve was only making her situation worse. I dialogue with so many men in this situation and they almost always tell me that this type of behavior only wants to make them leave that much faster.

When I told the wife this, she responded with “well, do you think I should play hard ball then and tell him to just leave if that’s what he wants to do? Because I’m not sure that I can pull that off since him leaving is my worst case scenario.” No actually that wasn’t what I was suggesting. Because this strategy will also bring about the negative emotions and reactions that you want to avoid.

Instead, you want to focus on things that are going to bring about some relief and some positive emotions. You have to set it up so that you’re luring him toward you rather than pushing him away with tactics that are only going to make him want to escape the situation.

You’re Better Off Appearing Rational And In Control: I know that this might be difficult, but your best bet is to change tactics and try to be rational and non threatening so that it’s no longer necessary for him to continue to avoid or thwart you. And I felt that the wife needed to make the first move to give her husband a glimpse of her new tactic. Yes, she was going to talk about him leaving her. But she was going to go about it in a new way.

I wanted for her to calmly sit and down and tell him that she suspected that he was considering leaving. She was then to ask if there was anything that she could do to make the situation better. I also suspected quite strongly that the husband was going to continue to resist and assert that it’s was too late and there was nothing that she could do.

However, instead of responding like she always did, I wanted for her to show a bit of restraint. And rather than begin her speech about how she couldn’t live without him and how wrong it was for him to leave, I wanted for her to just state that although she was very sorry to hear that, she only wanted for things to improve between them. If he needed some time and space for that to happen, then so be it. She was not to be angry or desperate. I merely wanted for her to state the facts and to come off as empathetic.

Basically, I wanted for her to get the point across that she only wanted both of them to be happy – preferably together. I wanted for her to leave the impression that she was no longer going to fight with him. Yes, this might be scary and risky. But the reason that we do this is because it allows us more access to them (which we very much need) during this process.

And in the days to come, we are going to move slowly and use this to our full advantage. The real goal is not to try to talk him into something that he’s not receptive to right now. The real goal should be to change his perceptions so that he’s looking at you, and the marriage, in an entirely different way at the end of this process. You must show him the strong, rational, and laid back side of yourself rather than the needy and desperate one right now.

Understanding The Beauty That Wins A Man’s Heart

Once, I asked a guy who was madly in love with a girl, “Why are you so madly in love with this lady?” “Oh! she is very beautiful”, he said. Then, I asked him again, “what makes her very beautiful to you?” He confusingly and with a stammering voice replied,”I….I caaaan’t really tell. I am so attracted to her, but you see Theo, there is this thing like a magnetic force that compels me to be with her always. The problem is, I can’t pinpoint exactly what makes her beautiful. Oh yes!, but I know for sure that she is too beautiful. Isn’t she, Theo?” Not knowing what to say, I spontaneously replied, “That’s it, pal!”

When I was in college, I often hear my room-mates argue about the looks of their female course-mates in the room. They would always argue out saying, “Getty is beautiful”. But another will argue out, “no!, she is pretty.” Yet still, the third pal would strongly protest, “Getty is just cute, and not beautiful.” As I listened to all this confused friends, I realized that there is this common denominator in how they all see their ladies: there is this thing emanating from their ladies that seems to enchant them.

In my attempt to decode this confusing aspect of beauty, I discovered that apart from the unusual external beauty, there are so many other things ladies are endowed with which conquer the hearts of men. I was actually enlightened when I suddenly remembered what my Sunday School Tutor once said about the two wives of Jacob in the Bible. This was what he actually said, “Rachel was beautiful and well favored, but Leah was tender eyed.” I recall asking him what he or better still, the Bible meant when it says, “Leah was tender eyed.”

He patiently explained to me, “When you ask any married man or mature guy, they will attest to you the fact that beauty is vain. But there are so many other things that make people glad and happy. But aside from the striking physical beauty, there are other things which are not easily spotted that make them attractive. These are what Leah had.” “You see”, he continued, “On Saturdays, it is not the most fine looking ladies who get married. If it was just physical beauty, then these ladies would all be married long time ago.”

I have come to the realization that, what truly wins the hearts of men is the “tender eyed” qualities of women. I would like to underscore the several things that constitute the “tender eyed” nature of ladies that enchants men. By this acquisition of revealed secrets, I hope men would easily identify now, those inconspicuous things that make them “madly” love their women. Let’s go through them now!

1. Beauty emanating from the sanguine nature of a woman.

Most men are subconsciously attracted to a woman’s strength that correspond to their weakness. A woman who is sanguine by temperament is naturally easily spotted even in a crowd because she is adorable. They are loved by men because:

– they are easily befriended and they genuinely love.

– they always have a sweet spirit, easily forgiving them that hurts them, knowing well that everyone has faults and makes mistakes, and are quick to sincerely apologize when they offend others. Why wouldn’t any man like to be with such a person?

– they are full of life, exhibiting great taste for fashion, always looking good and sweet, making all men desiring to be with them.

Because of their charming nature, men feel comfortable around them. They, being sexually aggressive and usually doing the inviting, drive their men crazy.

2. Beauty emanating from the choleric nature of a woman.

By their make-things-happen nature, choleric women believe they can do whatever they set their mind to. As forceful women and very productive, they assist with the finances of the home which makes men greatly appreciate them. When they are in love with a guy, their tenacious attitude make them hold on firmly and stubbornly even when their desired guys resist or shun them, but they won’t let go, trying every romantic moves to make the men feel special and needed.

When they finally win their men’s heart, the men love them for their boldness and confidence.

3. Beauty emanating from the melancholic nature of women.

A woman who is a melancholic by temperament is truly charming. She is able to get her husband literally running home, ignoring all his friends at work just to taste her connoisseur cook. She truly understand the saying, “the way to a man’s heart is through food.” She keeps her man’s house well-organized and in a self-disciplined manner. Her beauty even enchants her man’s friends due to her wonderful hosting abilities when they do visit, making her man always gleeful just to be around her. Her extreme loyalty to her man attracts much adoration.

As a frugal woman, she spends wisely and knows how to manage money no matter how much money she has or she is given. She is superlatively romantic and her moods are as perceptible as the bright morning star. In bed, she totally prefers quality in sex life to quantity. She is an exciting and fulfilling love partner. What an inner beauty!

4. Beauty emanating from the phlegmatic nature of a woman.

The source of her beauty radiates from her following attributes:

– she is very thoughtful, always thinking about her man, what his needs may be and tries to help. Her man also tends to show her much love, care and becomes strongly intimate with her.

– her peaceful demeanor makes her home peaceful and always welcoming.

– she has her earnest passion to gratify her man by using the technique of never insisting on having things done her way.

– she upholds a deep and abiding relationship, exhibiting an attitude that say: “Man! once I am yours, I am yours for keeps.” In fact, she is truly loyal to her man. With her, a man who is in love with her hardly gets jealous when she is around other guys. He really trusts her. She has the knack to stick with a difficult and stormy relationship long after most women would have given up. She will be there even in rough times.

– she hardly gets angry and has that propensity to absorb emotional pain and still maintain her commitment in her relationship.

Throughout the tips, you would have realized that I used the strengths of the four main types of temperament to make you understand the beauty that wins a man’s heart forever. Yes, you can win your man’s heart forever, because at least one of the four beauties above is associated with any woman and it is inborn and is naturally exhibited. Therefore, women, you have what it takes to keep your men forever. Use them. Develop them. Enhance them. Do not be filled with self-pity. You have tender eyes!

Always remember: the physical beauty may attract a man to come for you, but it is the real, inner, inborn, natural beauty that keeps the man forever.

Arthritis Trigger Finger – What is it and What Can You Do About It?

Stenosing tenosynovitis is more commonly known as trigger finger arthritis. There is a misconception that the trigger finger is the pointer or index finger when it comes to this kind of arthritis. This is because the index finger is particularly used in pulling the trigger of a gun. But the truth is arthritis trigger finger can occur in any finger of the hand.

What Is It?

Trigger finger is actually a “snapping” or “popping” of a finger of the hand as it is closed or opened. The snapping is the reason why it was called trigger finger in the first place. This condition is more commonly found in the index, middle and ring fingers. And the snapping is readily heard upon attempting to flex the fingers while making a firm grip. There is a sudden stuttering of the digit as it closes then snaps close instead of the usual smooth way.

Sometimes, the affected finger cannot anymore stretch back into position and there is a locking in that position so that the other hand will have to help it towards extension. Upon extension, another snap is heard. Pain accompanies the snapping, leading the patient to the doctor.

The popping of the finger is the hallmark of trigger finger and is usually worse in the morning upon getting up. But as the condition worsens, the popping becomes more regular. In the worst scenario, the bump or swollen part of the tendon may lock in place so that it gets stuck there.

What Causes Trigger Finger?

So how do we get this condition? Actually, trigger finger is an inflammation of the tendon that pulls the finger to a closed position upon flexion. It may also be caused by scarring in the same tendon. Most of the time, it comes in isolated cases. In this particular case, though, trigger finger comes with other symptoms within the hand that accompanies rheumatoid arthritis in the area.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an abnormal condition that is caused by wear and tear or overuse. So prolonged use of the fingers can eventually lead to micro-injuries that may later on swell and lead to trigger finger. Aside from this, rheumatoid arthritis has been found to be a hereditary condition where it runs in families. Therefore, adding wear-and-tear may trigger it onset or exacerbate the already-present condition.

In 2005, it has been found that most of the patients with rheumatoid arthritis come with symptoms of swelling around the tendons of the palm, later on leading to trigger finger. The onset of this condition is gradual and is more commonly seen in women with the fourth finger being the most commonly involved. Studies also prove that trigger finger does not come from heavy use but with light constant use of the area.

How Can It Be Treated?

If we do get trigger finger, what can we do treat it? There are home remedies available for the treatment of this condition and for most types of arthritis in general. Doing passive stretching of the hand and fingers toward extension is a good way to prevent the formation of adhesions in the area and to improve blood circulation as well. Putting ice intermittently in the area for 15 minutes or more actually lessens the swelling that goes with inflammation. The most important is activity modification where the movements that causes more symptoms should be avoided altogether.

But of course in most instances, trigger finger cannot be treated by home remedies alone. Doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs that are very helpful for the healing of the part involved. Usually, drugs like ibuprofen, diclofenac and naproxen are given to patients. The fastest relief is the injection of a local cortisone around the affected tendon.

Splinting the area is also a solution to prevent usage of the tendons. This will prevent the worsening of the inflammation.

There are cases when even after 2 cortisone injections, there is no relief for the patient. This is when surgery is required to remove the scarred or inflamed tissues. Almost half the number of patients respond to cortisone injection. Those who don’t resort to surgery. Although with little risk, there are cases that recur after the operation. But this is only done if the rest of the treatment therapy have been tried but were not successful.

If you feel that you are starting to show symptoms of arthritis trigger finger, do not panic. Consulting the doctor is still the best remedy. It is better to catch the condition while it is still beginning. The later you go to a doctor, the more likely that you are going to undergo surgery. So don’t be scared, see your orthopedic doctor right away.

Home Remedies and Treatments for Dog Arthritis

As part of your regular pet health exam, today we focus on the muscles and bones that help your dog move. Starting at the neck, run your hand along the spine to the base of the tail. Feel the muscles on both sides of the spine and notice if any feel unusually firm or knotted.

Dogs can get a variety of conditions that will lead to muscle spasms in their back muscles.

Massage any tight muscles and take note of the area. A common condition in active dogs is to develop fusing of the spine (spondylosis). This can lead to decreased mobility, pinched vertebrae and back pain. Your dog will benefit from regular massage of the lower lumbar spinal muscles. Place your hands on either side of the spine and use deep circular digital pressure with your thumbs. Work on the affected area once daily for 5 minutes.

Next, palpate the bones and muscles of the legs. Start on the legs at the toes. Apply moderate pressure to the joints and move each joint back and forth. On the front legs pay close attention to any discomfort in the elbow or shoulder; these are common areas of dog arthritis. In the rear limbs, pay close attention to the knee and the hips for these are commonly arthritic. Your dog will resist moving these joints and may even yelp if your dog has arthritis.

HERBAL. A variety of herbs are used at different times for dog arthritis. The ones I have seen to be most effective include: DEVIL’S CLAW, used in traditional African medicine and has scientific studies to back its effectiveness, give 100mg or 10 drops per 10 lbs of body weight.

ACUPRESSURE. GB 41, located on the bottom of the foot, in the depression of the two outside toes, and is especially good for arthritic pain in the hips.

METHYLSULFONYMETHANE. MSM is a supplement, found in some plants such as Horsetail. It works by reducing inflammation in the joints by acting as an antioxidant – this has been shown to work well in treating dog arthritis. The MSM dosage is 50mg per 10lbs of body weight daily.

IT’S IN THE CARTILAGE. GLUCOSAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE is the most important supplement to add to your dog’s diet. The dose is 1/4 of a 500mg tablet once daily per 10 lbs of body weight. It helps to rebuild the cartilage and delay further cartilage breakdown.

The treatments I’ve just covered may be all that you need for now, but if you would like additional dog arthritis remedies, get my book today – I offer 15 different alternatives to dog arthritis alone. And along with arthritis, I guarantee that you will use many of the (over) one thousand at-home remedies in my book.

I use them every day in practice. They work.

No side effects.

You should try it.

To your pet’s good health,

Congested Sinus and Ringing Ears – Two Sides of the Same Coin

Stuffy and congested sinuses and nasal discharge are all common problems affecting millions of individuals. However, for those of us who suffer from a constant ringing, buzzing or popping sound in their ears, on top of stuffy and congested sinuses, understand why some people say the unrelenting ringing noise drives them crazy. It is enough of a problem to deal with the uncomfortable feeling caused by congestion, but add sinus ringing ears on top of the congestion and it makes the situation much worse.

Sinus ringing ears is a cause of distress for many people. Yes, your stuffy nose and that uncomfortable sinus headache could well be contributing factors for the ringing sound that you hear echoing in your ears. In many ways, congested sinus cavities and ringing ears are simply two different sides of the same coin.

The Reality of Ringing in the Ears

Whether it is a crackling noise, a low humming sound or an insistent ringing or buzzing noise that you hear, the continual sounds can make you feel as though you are on the brink of insanity. The constant noise cannot only affect your ability to concentrate and sleep but it can negatively impact the overall quality of your life.

For those who suffer from sinus congestion, ringing ears can often be a frustrating side effect for which there seems to be no way to alleviate the ringing. What makes matters worse is that many times doctors can find no external cause for the continual sounds you are hearing and family members may tell you that the noises are only in your mind.

The truth is, you are not imagining these sounds and you certainly are not losing touch with reality. Ringing in the ears is a real problem for millions of people and the medical term for the buzzing or ringing sound that echoes in your ears for no apparent reason is Tinnitus. When looking for relief it is important that you do not lose sight of the fact that those annoying sounds could be the result of congestion and pressure in your sinus cavities.

Facts about Sinus Congestion

Did you know that sinus congestion could cause problems such as sinus ringing ears? If your sinuses become infected and inflammation is present, the swelling that occurs will affect the ability of your sinus to drain. The lack of drainage from your sinuses will cause pressure to build in and around the ears causing you to hear the ringing sounds. Sinus problems can result when the interior linings of your sinus cavities become irritated. This irritation can be the result of a bacterial or viral infection or allergies.

As your sinuses swell, the drainage openings are unable to operate effectively creating pressure in the Eustachian tube. This build up of pressure, along with the blocked airways is responsible for that continual ringing or buzzing sound that you are hearing. Everyone responds differently to sinus pressure and some people may not even be aware of ringing ear sounds, especially if the sounds are very faint.

The blocked Eustachian tube and the stuffy sinus cavities begin to fill with air and liquid creating an echo chamber. Sounds such as the beating of your heart or blood rushing through your veins become magnified and resemble the ringing, crackling and humming noises that you hear.

Take Action

For some people the ringing sounds they hear are extremely aggravating and all they can think about is how to find a cure. These people find it difficult to concentrate due to the stuffiness in their sinus cavity and the magnification of the ringing noises they constantly hear. A healthy diet and natural herbal supplements can often help prevent sinus woes in the first place. These preventative steps are a way to take action against irritated sinus, ringing ears and congestion before these symptoms are ever a reality in your life.

Finding relief for sinus ringing ears

The following are steps you can take to help diminish, or eliminate, those ringing ear noises.

  • A build up of earwax has been identified as a cause or ringing in the ears. The safest way to have your ears cleaned is have your doctor remove the wax from your ears. However, there are earwax removal kits that you can purchase that will help you eliminate excess earwax safely.
  • Chewing gum can help some people relieve pressure buildup in their ears. Gum chewing works to exercise the jaw muscles and this activity will also help relieve air trapped in the middle ear. The chewing motions can help equalize the pressure on both sides of the eardrum. If you have sinus ringing ears and pressure inside your ears you might want to see if chewing some gum will resolve the problem.
  • White noise from a fan, air conditioning unit or even a radio that is on a very low sound setting can help distract your mind and keep you from focusing on the noises. While white noise is not a cure, it can still be very useful.
  • Saline sprays for the nose may give you some relief. Doctors often suggest that their patients use a decongestant or a mild antihistamine when the complaint involves sinus ringing ears or other signs of congested sinus cavities.
  • Drinking herbal teas or having access to a room humidifier can also help relieve sinus based problems.