I am Dr. Andre S. Lange. I am trained, and have practiced as a general practice physician. Prior to that I took a degree in Biology (concentrating in zoology, cellular and microbiology). After general Medicine, I did a four year residency in Psychiatry. I was board certified as an expert in Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 1998. I say that because it is not mandatory to take these exams, and one must pass both the neurology board exam and the psychiatry board exam, to be certified as an expert in either field. From 1995 to 2004 I practiced almost exclusively public psychiatry in the San Francisco Bay area, ranging from being the chief of a mono-lingual Spanish-speaking inpatient unit at the major university teaching hospital of San Francisco (S.F. General Hospital), to working at a partial hospitalization day-program in the heart of the Tenderloin (economically depressed area of San Francisco), to working at out-patient clinics and not-for-profit health agencies up and down the Peninsula.
I am fluent in English and Spanish, and have lived and worked/studied in Spain, for a total of about two years. I am a lover of Spanish history and culture. My minor in undergraduate was Spanish, and half of my last year of college was spent studying an intensive Spanish philology course at La Universidad Complutense de Madrid. In later years, I was very fortunate to get to live and write for six months in the Netherlands, a country I also love and cherish. My great-great-grandmother came over "on the boat," as they say, from Holland. So, I have returned to my roots! I am slowly learning Dutch and find it a fascinating language. The Nederlanders are indeed, fascinating people. I eventually hope to make Holland my home permanently. Lastly, regarding languages, I can understand Italian fairly well, and speak it fairly poorly. French even worse. Portuguese and Gallego and Catala'--decent comprehension, but I must answer in Castillian.
I write this introduction to me, the writer of this blog, so that the reader gets an idea of where I am coming from intellectually. Ideologically, I am what would be described in the USA, an "extreme liberal," and quite proud of it. Every progressive change that has occurred in US history was accomplished by the liberals or "radicals" of their time. I am pro-union, pro-labor, pro-environment, anti-war. That does not mean I am a complete pacifist--I recognize the necessity of maintaining a strong and just military for defensive purposes. I deplore the recent fascist coup attempt by the Bush-Cheney-Rice-Rove-Powell cabal of Sept 11, 2001. I completely and utterly condemn Bush's actions in that plutocratic coup-attempt, and for having the USA, in our name, start two unprovoked wars, based on complete and utter lies, as a pretense for an enormous oil and power/influence-sphere grab.
The USA that I support does not start wars. The USA that I support attempts to prevent wars, and find peaceful means to diffuse conflicts. The USA that I support does not take it on itself to be "policeman to the world." The USA that I support only gets into a war if it or one of its treaty allies are attacked by another nation--and does so only as a last resort, when all other avenues of conflict resolution have been earnestly and honestly pursued and have failed. I vote in every election, and read the fine print and several analyses of ballot initiatives (since they are systematically written backwards and given Orwellian Newspeak names that belie what they actually are meant to do.) I volunteer at the polls and work as an election officer to make sure there is no foul play/irregularities in the elections (at least locally, where I live.) I keep abreast of technologies used for voting and at times subverting the election process (recall the Diebold voting machines, used to "deliver" the elections for Bush.)
I write lots of letters to editors about lots of things, and sign tons of petitions. Every politician in California has likely received letters or emails from me about various issues. Same goes for Washington, D.C. I am cautiously optimistic about our future as a nation, given the election of President Obama. He has his work cut out for him, and it is up to me and you to make sure he addresses all of the needs of all of the people of our nation, especially the poor, the people of color, native Americans, and the shrinking middle-class. I strongly advocate a Nation Health Care plan, modelled on the successful ones enjoyed by European Community citizens. I quit the American Medical Association as a med student, when I saw what they supported politically (very right-wing, and very sold-out to drug and insurance companies.) I helped organize the campaign and propagate the movement for Single Payer State-run Insurance For All Californians every time it was able to be put on the ballot. I have never, and never will vote Republican. I have voted for Libertarians, Peace and Justice, Communist and Green Party candidates, as well as Democrats.
I began a new career four years ago, as a writer, thinker, organizer and social satirist. I do other things as well. You can check me out on Facebook and MySpace. I have a weblog at andreslange.blogspot.com that originally was started to promote my soon-to-be-published book, a memoir, called Apeshit. As life continued churning around me, while I tried to focus on the book, I found myself writing about other issues. Politics, world affairs, my own affairs (or lack of them), general bliss and angst. So, I decided today that I need a new blog, just to devote to that kind of stuff--politics, sex, drugs, rock-and-roll, and any subject I feel the urge to rant about. Comments are welcomed--just click on the "comment" area below a post.
Hoping you may find something interesting, thought-provoking and/or fun in these pages,
Andre S. Lange