Monday Musings for Monday July 15, 2019
Volume IX, No 28/445
Potpourri of Literary Concerns (Part II)
By Assad Meymandi, MD, PhD, ScD(Hon), DLFAPA*
US Women Soccer Team
Delighted to see our country ‘s women soccer team to claim another win. We rejoice the victory. However, the cacophony generated by the super-enthusiastic rah, rah, rahs, the unwelcome meretricious behavior of the champs and their arrogant, narcissistic aura call for some moderation. We suggest infusion of a modicum of humility and temperance. America is a noble and altruistic country. Let us demonstrate it to the world by word and by action.
Etymology of the Word “Religion”
Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and John Calvin (1509-1564), two disparate theologians of the 13th and 16th centuries, along with Persian physician Abu Ali Sina, Avicenna (980-1037), the famed medical diagnostician and clinician of the eleventh century have written independent treatises on the “religion.” Here is a summary of their work on the topic
The etymology of the word “religion”, re-ligion”; re: again, ligating: binding, connecting (surgeons ligate veins and tie up arteries); thus, re-connecting, re-binding, re-attaching…what to what is the question. Perhaps to the beatific vision of eternity and transcendence of love…
A Euro for Asia
The wire services just unloaded a very heart warming and personal story: Robert Mundell, Raegan’s Chairman of Economic advisors, father of trickle down Reaganomics (Ibn Khaldoun ‘1332-1406’ was the real father, Robert Mundell was a promulgator!), but he was the true father of the “Euro”, the 1999 Nobel Laureate in Economics, is now back in the news. He wants to foster or father the equivalent currency of Euro for Asia. The name has not been conceived. The Sultan of Abu Dhabi, owner of the multi-trillion dollar “Sovereign Fund” which has been rescuing American Banks and Financial institutions (including Bank of America, UBS, Citibank, and Washington Mutual) is behind the effort.
A personal note: We had the privilege of having lunch with Dr. Mundell in his Palladian villa in Italy on Friday June 25, 1992. It was a memorable occasion.
Joy of Death: Is it an Oxymoron?
Many years ago, Randy Pausch’s name was being considered by some members of the National Humanities Center Nominating Committee for membership to the Board before we learned that he was dying. I was fortunate to be in the audience when he gave his “Last lecture” at Carnegie Mellon. It was a fascinating experience. He was a picture of health. He did summersaults and push ups during his lecture, and at the conclusion of his speech, carried his wife off the stage. It is very sad that he died. Yet, it is glorious the way he lived and the legacy he left for us. I am reviewing his book which will appear in a future issue of WCP.
The Dope on Cannabis
In response to a reader’s question about cannabis and alcohol:
The scholarship on cannabis and data driven research on this controversial drug show that cannabis may and does affect not only the higher cortical structures but also the subcortical parts of the brain, what is known as the Limbic system, causing bipolar disorder (radical mood swings and irrational and impulsive behavior) but actual psychosis. Alcohol has the same adverse effects on the brain through different pathways. So, I really condemn both. I am absolutely against legalizing cannabis. I would be happy to give you reference to these studies. A drunken parent should not hypocritically admonish a pothead child. It does not work. This is one of the astonishing teachings of Saint Augustine of Hippo, the ultimate role model to humankind. Although he was addicted to sex, after his conversion to Christianity and soon after becoming a Bishop, he had enough discipline to stop sex altogether. The same, I condemn tobacco and its ill effects on the body in general. However, I guess the reason tobacco is not banned is that it does NOT cause bipolar disorder and psychosis. Some states are legalizing the use of cannabis because it is a cash cow and produces huge tax revenues.
The ultimate answer to these problems is education which starts in utero. Mamas must adopt Augustinian discipline to love themselves and their fetus(es), stop tobacco, alcohol and over-eating while they are pregnant, and continue to be role models to their children.
Hypocrisy and Greed of University Leaders
I am opposed to lowering drinking age in college as many, including 100 college and university leaders, promote. While prohibition is often counterproductive, I believe the answer to binging, abuse and unreasonable use of alcohol is education. The answer also lies in curtailing greed and hunger for money. The University leaders ought to cut out advertising of beer from all TV sports. It is sheer greed to have alcohol products sponsoring sports events, and it is sheer hypocrisy for the university leaders to tolerate this practice because it produces revenue for their institutions. Ban alcohol ads from all television sports.