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According to a report in the issue of Archives of General Psychiatry (August, 2009), antidepressant use in the United States doubled from 1996 to 2005. During that feel-good decade – the last period that data was made available – the percentage of Americans using such medication jumped from less than six percent to more than ten percent, or more than 27 million individuals.
As “more and more Americans are reporting symptoms of major depression,” Time magazine reported (Antidepressants in America, Aug. 5, 2009) they are increasingly turning to prescription drugs for a cure. And the medical community has still not decided for certain if such medication is safe.
“Problems that were once solved partly through hours of introspection on a shrink's couch are now considered curable with a simple pill,” the article continued. “It's up to us to determine whether this represents a step forward or back.”
Unfortunately, however, the greatest educator in America today is the TV, and it has proven itself to be completely unqualified for the task.
Children entertainment, which has featured wonderful titles like “Sponge Bob Square Pants” and “Ren and Stimpy,” are so bizarre, so borderline psychotic, so totally unhinged from any sense of reality that they should be forced to carry warning labels from the Surgeon General’s office just like any pack of cigarettes. But since this visual product potentially destroys the mind as opposed to just the lungs, it is the far greater risk, scientists like Piaget warn.
Actually, the so-called artists who manufacture these daily doses of hazardous waste, with characters so ridiculous they practically defy serious criticism, seem to be aiming their poisonous product more at adults than children. But don’t take my word for it. Take a moment and watch one episode of these freak shows and then ask yourself if such programming is really geared toward the development of a child’s impressionable mind.
“The average child will watch 8,000 murders on TV before finishing elementary school,” according to Norman Herr, Professor of Science Education at California State University. “By age 18, the average American has seen 200,000 acts of violence on TV, including 40,000 murders.”
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over the past 20 years there has been a dramatic surge in obesity rates across the United States. In 1985, America was more or less physically fit, with most states registering obesity rates less than 10% of the population.
By 2008, just one state (Colorado) registered an obesity rate of less than 20 percent of the population. Meanwhile, thirty-two states weighed in at equal to or greater than 25%; six of these states (Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia) tipped the scales with obesity rates equal to or greater than 30%.
Studies show that approximately 60 million American adults are classified as being obese, with another 127 million being overweight.
Ironically, Igor Panarin, a Russian academic and former KGB officer, has been predicting for the last decade that the United States would fall apart in 2010 due to the myriad challenges connected with trying to hold together a multicultural society.
“There's a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur,” he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal (Dec. 28, 2008). Panarin, who now serves as dean at the Foreign Ministry’s academy for diplomats, added that such a scenario, due to Russia and America’s economic links, “is not the best scenario for Russia.” Yet this polite insertion has not softened his grim prospects for the United States in the imminent future.