“The rough outline is easy enough to imagine. The drones buzz in a ceaseless robotic picket around the Capitol, demanding freedom from their death-bondage to the whims of the American political class, at which point a bipartisan committee consisting of John McCain, Charles Schumer, and Ted Cruz demands that the President go all Reagan-meets-the-Air-Traffic-Controllers on their metal asses and deny them the right to organize. The President gets on the TV to tell America that the drones’ work stoppage threatens the delicate economic recovery and calls them irresponsible ideologues whose insistence that the proper application of weakly godlike artificial intelligence is to build Ringworlds and transwarp conduits threatens to cause base closures in a number of vital Democratic districts, putting thousands of people out of work. The New York Times quotes Arne Duncan and Rahm Emmanuel as saying that, while there may once have been a time in which sentient beings had the moral right to oppose their own enslavement, times have changed, and will no one Think of Chicago’s Schoolchildren, Who Are the Future? A liberal will recall that Rand Paul once said something about the gold standard, and Oh, How We Will Laugh.”
When a man thinks he is meant to be with a woman because of their shared love of musicals, but can’t tell her, because she will think he is gay.”
On the Rocafort family’s kitchen shelf in Ball Ground, Ga., next to the peanut butter and chicken broth, sits a wire basket brimming with bottles of the children’s medications, prescribed by Dr. Anderson: Adderall for Alexis, 12; and Ethan, 9; Risperdal (an antipsychotic for mood stabilization) for Quintn and Perry, both 11; and Clonidine (a sleep aid to counteract the other medications) for all four, taken nightly.
Quintn began taking Adderall for A.D.H.D. about five years ago, when his disruptive school behavior led to calls home and in-school suspensions. He immediately settled down and became a more earnest, attentive student — a little bit more like Perry, who also took Adderall for his A.D.H.D.
When puberty’s chemical maelstrom began at about 10, though, Quintn got into fights at school because, he said, other children were insulting his mother. The problem was, they were not; Quintn was seeing people and hearing voices that were not there, a rare but recognized side effect of Adderall. After Quintn admitted to being suicidal, Dr. Anderson prescribed a week in a local psychiatric hospital, and a switch to Risperdal.
While telling this story, the Rocaforts called Quintn into the kitchen and asked him to describe why he had been given Adderall.
“To help me focus on my school work, my homework, listening to Mom and Dad, and not doing what I used to do to my teachers, to make them mad,” he said. He described the week in the hospital and the effects of Risperdal: “If I don’t take my medicine I’d be having attitudes. I’d be disrespecting my parents. I wouldn’t be like this.”
Despite Quintn’s experience with Adderall, the Rocaforts decided to use it with their 12-year-old daughter, Alexis, and 9-year-old son, Ethan. These children don’t have A.D.H.D., their parents said. The Adderall is merely to help their grades, and because Alexis was, in her father’s words, “a little blah.””
Maybe now I should admit that I spent 90% of my mental energy during the debate trying to solve the sudoku puzzles I smuggled onto my podium I wish I hadn’t. I also wish I had countered any of the heaping shovelfuls of Rafalca-grade horseshit Mitt Romney kept flinging around the debate hall. What can I say? The Japanese make good number puzzles.
No more excuses. If you’ve ever donated to my campaign, expect a full refund via Federal Express in the next 24 hours, with my sincere apologies. I can’t justify—let alone explain—why I chose tonight of all nights to perfect my imitation of a barnacle sliding off the hull of a ship.
If you truly feel compelled to donate money this evening, please give to the candidate who actually acted like he wants the job:
INSKEEP: For centuries, the historical record has been a constant work of interpretation, of editing and improving and hopefully bending the story a little more toward fidelity; a little like that process of thousands of people editing and re-editing Wikipedia.
WEINBERGER: The truth is not a solitary thing that stands by itself, the way ink gets pressed on paper; but rather, it comes from human sources. They’re fallible, and they are subject to different points of view and thus, they are in disagreement. And so it seems to me that Wikipedia in its form, and Web overall, is a better representation of what human truth is like.
INSKEEP: Even if not everybody can be completely satisfied. Timothy Messer-Kruse, who challenged the common view of the Haymarket trial, still cannot say that he has prevailed. If you look at the Wikipedia entry for the Haymarket affair, it includes his view now, below the quotes of other historians. Generations from now, his version of history might well become accepted truth. For now, he has to be satisfied that at least he’s part of the argument.”
In Which NPR Discovers Historiography.
(I secretly find historiography more interesting than history.)