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Society's problems today the result of a toxic legacy

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Posted: Monday, July 17, 2006 10:00 pm

Have you noticed how crazy the world has become over the last 20 years? It seems as if all common sense has gone out the window. The latest is a Nebraska judge, who decreed that a multiple-offense child molester can't go to prison because at five feet, one inches tall, he is too short: Too short to go to prison? Attention all you little guys: Now is the time to go on a crime spree in Nebraska!

How did the greatest country in the world get so far off track? The answer is simple if one looks at the generation that is in charge of almost all influential institutions in today's America. These are the people who grew up in the late 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. Life was toxic for this group as you can plainly see by the following examples:

Children were raised with the thoughts of Benjamin Spock and others that too much physical contact with infants only spoiled them and created dependency. They were not breast-fed, but were given a formulaic concoction of soymilk, mixed with artificial vitamins. Parents were given full control over their child's discipline, and physical punishments were common. A slap in the face and a "box" of the ears were good methods of getting a child to focus on the task at hand.

They grew up in houses covered with lead paint. The cars, in which they rode, spewed toxic fumes from no catalytic converters and leaded gasoline. The parents puffed the vapors of cigarettes, cigars and pipes in their faces, never thinking about the harm being caused by second-hand smoke.

Their foods were contaminated with the highly toxic "DDT" pesticide. Red meat was eaten on a daily basis, and the closer to raw it was prepared, the better. They had daily drinks of sugar-laden soda pops and regular desserts such as "Twinkies" and "Ding Dongs." Schools served them chocolate milk, along with a variety of deep-fried delicacies. Kool-Aid was one of the four food groups in many households. As teenagers, stopping at the drive-in for cheeseburgers, french fries and deep-fried onion rings were the staples of the day.

Radioactive waste was burned by a number of medical research facilities and sent into the atmospheres of many suburban and city residential communities. Nuclear explosions were common place in the 1950s, with contaminated particles being distributed around the globe. Medical radiograph procedures emitted far more harmful X-rays than they do today.

Many of today's leaders experimented with highly dangerous drugs in the 1960s and 1970s, such a LSD and cocaine, not to mention the effects of an overindulgence of marijuana, alcohol and promiscuity, leading to multiple, sexually transmitted diseases.

So, the answer to "What happened?" is obvious. We simply have a whole generation of brain-damaged people.

Steve Hansen is a Lodi writer and humorist.

First published: Tuesday, July 18, 2006

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