Saturday, November 17, 2007

Smorgasbord Saturday

To add to my last post, the Cy Young award winning pitchers were named this week: C.C. Sebathia of the Cleveland Indians (American League) and unanimously Jake Peavy of the San Diego Padres (National League). A unanimous Cy Young vote has not happened in the National League since 1995 when Greg Maddux won with Atlanta for the fourth year in a row. Also, manager the year honors went to Eric Wedge of the Cleveland Indians (AL) and Bob Melvin of the Arizona Diamondbacks (NL). Melvin really surprised me! vote was Clint Hurdle.

This morning I was watching MSNBC and watched one of the most startling reports I have ever seen. Mental Disability Rights International released a report on Serbian segregation and neglect of its developmentally disabled population. The report titled "Torment Not Treatment: Serbia's Segregation and Abuse of Children and Adults with Disabilities," is grim. The photos are astounding, in a very unpleasant way. In the report, a staff person at one of the Serbian facilities states that the major activity of those housed there is smoking. How horribly sad. However, something the reporters on MSNBC didn't mention is that while we criticize in shock the treatment of the disabled in Serbia, the United States isn't far removed from such treatment of our own disabled. One reporter mentioned that the parents of the disabled were told to lock their children up in a facility and forget about them. Not long ago in the United States, parents were told something similar--lock them in your basement or institutionalize them. Forget you ever had them.

Were you all flooded by emails this past week regarding the 1st District Congressional race? The seat currently attended to by Bill Sali is a much sought after prize. Walt Minnick jumped into the race, Rand Lewis was already in it, and Larry Grant, Sali's opponent the last time around was ready for battle 2.0. I received emails via the Idaho Democratic Party from all three candidates this week. Thankfully I didn't receive emails from either Bill Sali or his Republican primary opponent Matt Salisbury. Too much, too soon. 'Tis also what I said about Thursday night's Democratic debate in Las Vegas. Come January 1st I welcome any and all campaign material sent my way. However, let me get through the rest of this year before you make me start thinking about the 2008 election!

Back to the Serbian report--a related issue actually, there is all sorts of news in this neck of the woods about a murderer being admitted to State Hospital South in Blackfoot. I am not entirely surprised by this given that Idaho would rather fund prisons than treatment and the only place for criminals with any sort of mental instability is a state hospital, but I am surprised by some of the reports coming out of Blackfoot. The chief of police was quoted recently as saying that the hospital has only been there since 1951 (not true) and that the Blackfoot police have never been called to assist in any situations arising at the hospital (also not true.) More on this later.

The new issue of NEWSWEEK has some interesting articles in it. I would have to say it is one of my favorite issues of the magazine that I have read. I have to say that. The title is "1968: The Year That Changed Everything." As I was reading through my advanced copy, I couldn't help but note the similarities between 1968 and now. Young, wise, candidates rising up in a time of political turmoil. An election on the horizon that could change many things. Pick up a copy. It's worth the $5 and the read.

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