It wasn’t that long ago that we thought drug treatment was a separate issue from alcohol treatment. We didn’t think about providing housing for people with addiction or that many of the addicts we saw also had a mental illness. It was not unusual to ask our new clients about their substance issues, but we didn’t venture over the border to the mental health questions or the primary care issues they may face. We didn’t think about it. Mental health counseling was not what we signed up for, was outside our scope of practice and funding streams do not pay for it.
Prairie Fire Newspaper went on hiatus after the publication of the September 2015 issue. It may return one of these days but until then we will continue to host all of our archived content for your reading pleasure. Many of the articles have held up well over the years. Please contact us if you have any questions, thoughts, or an interest in helping return Prairie Fire to production. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you to all our readers, contributors, and supporters - the quality of Prairie Fire was a reflection of how many people it touched (touches).
New technologies and tactics have added distinct peculiarities to American wars and in turn caused new types of injuries and new treatments. At the time of the American Civil War, newly invented cylindrical lead bullets called minié balls produced an advanced level of deadliness. Torso penetrations were usually fatal and hits on extremities tended to crush and mash bones. Amputation became the main form of “treatment” for arms and legs damaged by large-caliber minié balls. Wooden prostheses were so much in demand after the war that lumber shortages resulted. World War I is remembered for the introduction of chemical warfare and its attendant injuries. World War II and the Korean Conflict saw dramatic improvements in battlefield evacuation (the helicopter was introduced during the Korean War) and field hospital treatment. Agent Orange and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) became associated with the Vietnam War. The recent War on Terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq, a fight generally against insurgents, has developed a signature injury known as traumatic brain injury—or TBI.
The term “traumatic brain injury” covers a wide range of injuries to the brain from sudden trauma. Classified from severe to mild, the milder forms of TBI can be difficult to diagnose and treat because of latent symptoms. Severe trauma is quickly suspected when visible signs such as bleeding, bruising, swelling and object penetration are evident. The mild form, or MTBI, is not as easily identified because external wounds do not exist and telltale signs, such as memory loss, dizziness and confusion can be somewhat subtle and slow to emerge, making diagnosis difficult. In many situations, treatment goes beyond repairing physical wounds, requiring medical rehabilitation programs to restore motion functions, vision, speech and memory.
“The Sense of Belonging”
Sept. 11, 1986
“Your newspaper is about people. Polk is about people. Our newspapers, and big cities, are about institutions, organizations, and events. Urban people are nameless, faceless statistics, folks caught up in what Thoreau called ‘lives of quiet desperation.’ Big cities are loneliness factories; the Polks of this world are cottage industries that turn out men, women, and children who have a sense of belonging. Even should they leave Polk, the sense of belonging has a way of sticking. That’s why I subscribe, anyhow.
Our gratitude goes out to those who have helped us build and maintain the Prairie Fire network: our contributors, advertisers, distributors, many faithful volunteers, and all of you who have given guidance and support. A special thanks goes to Oakcreek Printing who ahs come through for us month after month. And lastly, of course we thank our 33,000-plus readers, who will be the ultimate judge of our success.
We look forward to another year of being the progressive voice of the Great Plains!
By Robert K. Hitchcock
The continent of Africa is often seen as a continent in decline, one in which droughts, famine, disease, poverty, failed states, economic stagnation and poorly thought-out development projects are pervasive. As Jared Diamond asked in his recent book, “Collapse” (2005), “Is the African continent doomed eternally to wars, poverty, and devastating diseases? I think not.” All one has to do is to look at book titles: “Africa in Crisis,” “Fighting for the Rain Forest: War, Youth, and Resources in Sierra Leone,” “Prisoners of Freedom: Human Rights and the African Poor,” and “Conflicts over Land and Water in Africa.” Africa was characterized by “The Economist” (May 13, 2000) as “the hopeless continent.” If one sees the film “Darwin’s Nightmare,” one cannot help but despair at the massive environmental, social and economic problems facing the populations residing in and around Lake Victoria. Yet Africa received only 3 percent of the world’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the early part of the new millennium.
While this essay offers up at least a partial and, I think, inevitable solution to a worldwide shortage of accessible energy, the ironic inspiration for this piece is derived from the most recent incarnation of the “Indiana Jones” genre: “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” This iteration of the popular Spielberg-Harrison Ford series features a now-geriatric Indiana Jones.
June 4, 1970 We entered a world of fantasy yesterday. Not the fantasy world of the Pentagon, who use B52 bombers in fighting a guerrilla war; nor the fantasy world of Vice President Agnew, in which he is right and everybody else is wrong; but the fantastic world of breakfast foods on the shelf at Stromburg’s IGA.
Nature’s wrong turns and mutations form the very foundation of evolutionary change. As biological cells divide, billions of times, DNA copies are replicated and copies of copies continue within cellular perpetual motion machines fueled by what is known as the Kreb’s Cycle.