Category Archives: politics

The Donald Affair: Trump Blasts O’Reilly


Everybody, from highbrow political analysts to unknown bloggers (I may be somewhere in-between) are throwing in their finest political analysis possible to make sense of what I would call “The Donald Affair”, the incongruous rise of a mogul within the party of the elite, threatening said elite but rendered untouchable by their own voters which they can’t now control. It’s a class-war within the GOP.

Trump blasts O'Reilly: Fox News haven for 'Trump haters'

Trump blasts O’Reilly: Fox News haven for ‘Trump haters’

What makes the ‘Donald Affair’ so fascinating is  that it is the conservative voters, not the progressives, waging a class war against the elite, INSIDE the elites’ own house, the GOP. And the fun part of this comedy is watching the GOP struggling to keep their house from being ransacked by the pitchforked mob in a T-shirt.

That word, class-war, is the one element avoided by the mainstream media, mainly because it is taboo in this nation of ours. They will have you believe that the Donald ‘problem’ is just a manifestation of popular culture gone awry, the love for the ‘famous’, anger about Washington insiders and illegal immigration. But consider the use of the word ‘elite’ by these outraged conservative voters.

The word ‘elite’ has never been dripping from their mouth as much as it is now. Until his run for the presidency,  ‘elite’ was a word used by the ‘liberals’, a sound that produced immediate attacks on them, for it (wrongly) stood, until now and according to the conservatives, for hatred of the wealthy.

Now, the conservative voters, and some democrats, have ‘embraced‘ the word ‘elite’ with a virulence not shown by the ‘liberals’ before them. Heck, the conservatives are showing more hatred of the ‘elite’ than we ever thought them capable of, and more than us progressives because at least THEY are doing SOMETHING about the elite. They are making the elite and the GOP CEOs TREMBLE.  You would have expected this show of ‘disrespect‘ for the elite to come from the democrats, not from the conservative voters. In that sense, I salute ye, conservatives.

But there is more to this ‘Donald Affair”.  Consider that, while there is open hatred of the ‘elite’, that elite is just a word, an abstraction, an elite without a face. As long as it stays like that, the elite is in trouble because it represents a ‘generalized’ hatred, not a particular one against one person. And yet, putting a face to it TODAY is a bad idea too because we have those elitists showing their real hearts: the guy who increased the AIDS pill from $13 to $700, the peanut king incarcerated for 28 years for the crime of ‘greed’, as the judge called it.

People are not blind. They are just tired of being screwed up by the powers that be.

That’s why the Donald has become an icon, an avatar representing that generalized hatred. He represents “hatred against the INSIDERS”, which is another generalization. Who are the ‘insiders’, what does that means, “insiders”, and how does it shows?

The pro-Donald knows what It means: that the elite has bought our misleadership in Congress and the White House with their lobbyists and PAC donations, and it shows in policies harming the middle class and condoning the criminality of the Wall Street and corporate elite. The ‘anti-migration’ focus is just the nerve where all that buying and criminality ends for them: we have illegal immigration because there are no jobs here and the corporations prefer to hire the cheap Mexican workforce. It all comes back to the economy.

The Donald Affair will stay in the annals of political history of this nation as one of the most interesting episodes, the one that promised the beginning of the shaking down by the electorate of the two political parties: the Trumpists and the Bernies.

Good luck to you all. Don’t let your movement be taken like the ORIGINAL Tea Party by the Koch brothers.

Shutter Island: Moral Therapy, Lobotomies and Mental Illness in Hollywood


Shutter Island, the movie (2010 directed by Martin Scorsese, with Leo DiCaprio and Ben Kingsley), presents an accurate but superficially treated part of the history of the modern psychiatric institutions. To make matters worse, somehow the public did not catch the importance of that history in the flick, for they were and continue to be thrown off by the question at the end of the movie (is lobotomy a necessary evil?) and about what was DiCaprio’s character real mental state. It is promoted as a horror movie, which it is, thus  the historic part is lost in the mystery plot. I must say parenthetically that this is, in my view, Leo’s best performance, and I have never been a fan of his.

One of the issues treated in the movie is the relation between violence and mental illness. “Treated” is a misnomer, more like ‘used’ to advance the thriller part of the plot. Nevertheless, the correct part of the history of psychiatry is the reference to the two different philosophies of mental illness in the 1800s relating to the treatment of violent people. Each developed its own treatment modality approach, vying to control the emerging business of mental health treatment.

One view, the ‘moral therapy’ approach, is represented in the movie by Ben Kingsley’s character (no spoiler: from the beginning of the movie we know he is a psychiatrist). His character could be a stand for Sammuel Woodward, the doctor who tried to reform the treatment of the mentally ill at the newly created (1833) psych hospital Worcester State Hospital in Massachusetts. This is not in the movie. The pro-surgery approach is represented by Max von Sydow’s character.

To better understand this ‘struggle’ of approaches, I recommend you read the book The History and Politics of Community Mental Health by Murray Levine. This is a MOST read book for anyone interested in that topic. You can read about ‘moral therapy’ on pages 16 to 21 in the book. While you wait to get the book, you can try reading  those pages here: (left click on ‘here“) a sampler of the book at Barnes and Noble.

The part that I find superficial in the movie is this:

There is no mentioning that the failure of the ‘moral’ approach in the US (the historical one) was due to the sabotage inflicted by the pro-surgery faction on the work been done by Mr. Woodward, not because the compassionate-humanistic approach failed in itself.

In that battle for the business of mental illness, the pro-surgery attacked any effort that proved efficient without having to torture or submit a person to the cruelty of lobotomies and the new pharma therapies. In the case of Woodward’s work,they flooded the hospital with the most violent patients at a time when the hospital didn’t have the financial resources to deal with the influx. In addition, as we know today, there are ‘different’ levels of mental ‘dysfunction’. Mr. Woodward was focusing first on those who were less ‘psychotic’. The inability to ‘calm’ the aggressive patients led to the pro-lobotomy calling the ‘moral approach’ a ‘failure’.

Shutter Island

But in the movie, we see ‘competition’ between them as a fair one, with the pro-surgery literally sitting there waiting watching Ben’s approach fail. At the end, we are left with the feeling that ‘moral therapy’ is a TOTAL failure and that there is no other alternative than to go the way of the scalpel.

The only one who makes the connections in the movie about the ‘competition’ and immorality of the pro-surgical approach is Leo’s character, but it all gets lost in the ‘detective’ story, in the horror itself.

And then there is the question with which the movie ends:

which is worse

To be or not to be lobotomized, that is the question.

The real question they are asking is about the benefits of psycho-surgery: would you prefer to live as a ‘monster’, a violent mentally ill person, or to be lobotomized and live as a “good man”, i.e., as a zombie? The question actually is one for ‘society‘, not for the individual with mental illness. No one in his or her ‘right or bad’ state of mind would choose to be a zombie: no one on either mental state, PERIOD, especially if it is done without his consent.

But as important as that is, is the assumption that you become “a good man” with lobotomy or drugs. The moral judgment about the ‘goodness’ of a person becomes unnecessary when a human being is turned into a zombie against his will, as we see in the movie with the many patients roaming the grounds. That person stops to be a human being without the capacity to judge his or her actions. The question could, then, be seen also as the mentally ill choosing suicide by lobotomy, not by his own hand. There’s no winning with lobotomizing a human being, at least not for the patient.

Psycho-surgery as a solution to mental illness, violent or not, shouldn’t even be a question, not in these ‘modern’ times after the horrific history behind that practice.

The moral question should have been: Is it morally right to dehumanize a person against his will so he or her is not a threat to a few? There are other relevant questions but it would be a spoiler for those who have not seen the movie. For example, can the person who committed the crime be considered “a monster”?

Psycho-surgery is alive and well. With modernization comes the re-packaging of it with ‘new’ tools and ‘research’ to make the ‘appropriate corrections’  for past ‘mistakes’. The tools always change, the attitude remain the same.

I recommend this movie to those of you interested in the topic. Watch it and make your own conclusions. It is a time well spend, the movie is good.

Trump Valued Saving His Mother Very Low


New Yorkers may remember the news about the assault on the Donald’s elderly mother on November 1, 1991. He had to be prodded  by the media to reward the hero who chased the young criminal (the son of a Railroad executive) who left her badly injured during the robbery. How much did the Donald estimated was the value of his mom’s life at that time, with inflation factored in?  A DINNER at the PLAZA!!

He didn't even had to pay for the dinner: it probably counted as 'expenses'. Geez!

He didn’t even pay for the dinner: it probably counted as ‘expenses’. Jeez!

Hey, even I had lunch there in the 90s when I was just a lowly mental health case worker.

Somebody said that

“The value of things depend on our attitude towards them.”

The Donald showed us how much he valued the life of the man (in need of a job) who risked his life to save Mommy Trump, and the price he thought worth for saving her life. The saddest part of the affair is that the hero was so totally blinded by being next to an elitist-god, that he could not notice that his life meant nothing to his ‘patron’ and that the dinner invitation was an act to appease the media, which was demanding for the Donald to reward  the hero. He would have shown no gratitude where it not for the press. You see, we are here to serve the elite, they can’t be bothered with gratitude. Time is gold, and blinking for compassion may cut into the  profits.

If this type of questionable moral attitude from a self-called billionaire (is he really?) towards a person who sacrificed his life out of compassion to save this man’s own mother is not enough to explain his outrageous behaviors today, attacking anyone who gets on his way and women and poor people struggling to survive, we need to check our beliefs about what counts as moral and immoral attitude.

This man has NOT grown a heart for you. It is an illusion to think that he is campaigning to “make America great again”.

He only wants to aggrandize himself and rip bigger profits.

PS: I think there was something about him giving a menial job to the hero after the dinner,  but I can’t find the article. If you find it, please post it here.

U.S. Said to Seek Records of New York Anticorruption Panel


From the NYT, this gem of a quote from our distinguished NY State governor, referring to the commission, as he was addressing (reassuring) our ‘honest’ corporate gurus:

“It’s my commission. I can’t ‘interfere’ with it, because it is mine. It is controlled by me,” he said last month, according to Crain’s New York Business.”

elephant

This was part of my comment in 2013 when the ‘commission’ was obliterated:

“Well, the shelf-life of morality keeps getting shorter.”

“NYT: Cost of Being Mayor?” Vs ‘Mayor cost to us?’


This NY Times article, Cost of Being Mayor? $650 Million, if He’s Rich, seems like a eulogy to departing (finally!) NY City billionaire mayor Bloomberg. Mama mia! So much $$$ and wealth thrown here and there for everybody who came in contact with this billionaire man who chose to be the mayor of the financial center of the world for FREE, without personal desires to enrich himself!

Funny thing, how much did it cost New Yorkers to RECIPROCATE such generous handouts? The NYT doesn’t mention that in that article. We know that we lost tons of money in corruption, from Mr. B’s pals in Wall Street (WS). City Time’s is an example. He even said we should continue doing business with Mazer, he protected that man unabashedly.

We know that Bloomberg entered city hall in 2001  with a measly 4 billion dollars. He’s leaving with over 20 billions. He and his billionaire pals of WS  were the only ones who year after year increased their  profits in the city despite the increased in poverty around them.

Political contacts are everything in finance. Consider this:

2–If Bloomberg were publicly traded, its stock likely would have taken a dive this week.his company, which sells terminals to Wall Street banks and employees in finance on which it delivers its financial pricing data and journalism. There are now two fewer investments banks buying Bloomberg terminals, not to mention the thousands of finance workers who also will lose their jobs–and their terminals–this year.

It probably was good business for him to be the mayor. He didn’t have that contract with WS before he became mayor. As he is leaving, whatever extra he gave WS on the side for doing business with him (the sky is the limit to imagine what they got from our money and resources), it is gone with him. That’s why there are “fewer banks buying his terminals“, because they know the deal will be over with the new mayor. It’s common knowledge that POLITICS makes politicians wealthier, if they know how to play the pawns.

Consider this too: Bloomberg’s quiet investments in Sharia Finance: an ulterior motive in backing Ground Zero’s Victory Mosque?

Thanks to Mr. B, we New Yorkers are poorer. All that wealth seems to have been transferred to him and his pals. Where else could it have gone, it had to go somewhere if the city is getting poorer? Tax breaks for all billionaires by ‘investing’ in philanthropy, sheltering their money in Caribbean islands (Noticing New York) . Mr. B invested in our public libraries, that’s why he can tell them to close whenever he says so. Now he wants to sell the buildings for profit.

If you are ever interested on how mythology and the cult of the billionaire hero is created, study the propaganda that the main stream media (MSM) printed about this capitalist mayor through out those 12 years.

ANyone who believes that a capitalist like  Bloomberg works as a mayor without self-interests, without intentions to enrich himself by using the city’s resources, should read ONLY the MSM articles promoting him. Don’t venture outside the MSM or else your illusions about the goodness of the capitalist will be destroyed. Hold tight to them illusions, dear Bloomberg follower.

The NYT got it wrong in ‘When the Mentally Ill Own Guns’


Ok. Look, it’s December 29. I’m not in the mood for fancy arse commentaries here today. After all, year-in-year out only a handful of internet pedestrians walk by this site, so I can expect less visitors at this time, the end of the year.

So, the only comment I have about that NYT’s editorial, to which readers are not allowed to comment, is the following:

If this is true…

Most mentally ill persons are not violent, though The Times’s analysis of 180 confiscation cases in Connecticut (dealing with people posing an imminent risk of injury to themselves or others) found that close to 40 percent of those cases involved people with serious mental illness.

then logic dictates that it is the other 60%, the ‘sane’ ones, whom you need to deal with. Those are the ones on whom you need to focus to confiscate their guns if any guns are going to be taken away. Why focus on the minority? The 60% sane ones are a “threat to themselves or others”, that’s more than the 40% who are non-violent mentally ill.

There, I said it.

Happy New Years to all the crazies. Let’s make it our new year resolution to  scare the hell out of the politicians this new year.

 

Safety tip for this coming New Year: Chris Rock – How not to get your ass kicked by the police!


 

 

Psychiatry is dead. Long live psychiatry. Part 2


It has to be said now, get it out-of-the-way before we dive into discussing the ‘new psychiatry’ and its neuroscience and new lobotomy: modern psychiatry (since the 1800s) has always suffered from an acute case of ‘scalpel envy’. There, I’ve said it.

scalpel

Psychiatry’ scalpel envy: surgery to remove that sadness from your brain.

Let me give you a recent manifestation of that envy, as expressed recently by Thomas Insel, director of the NIMH, in his blog post Transforming Diagnosis.

There he made that cliché comparison between “the rest of medicine” and psychiatry. Trying to discredit (now) the DSM, he said:

Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure… In the rest of medicine, this would be equivalent to creating diagnostic systems based on the nature of chest pain or the quality of fever.

Can it be, could it be, will it be any other way, the diagnosis of a ‘psychopathology’?

For a case of sadness and ‘major depression due to bereavement caused by the sudden loss of a child in a car accident’, which organ would you look into? Into the heart? As President Bush2 infamously said about the weapons of mass destruction as he bent over to look underneath a table, “no they are not there.”

ocd - Copy

Would you look into the brain? You are getting warmer! Can you see that ball of sadness blocking my happiness (like a ball of fat clogs an artery) using your X-rays or MRI’s or whatever tool you have now for looking at ORGANS?

Of course you CAN’T see it! A color in a brain imaging is NOT the sadness.

Picture of the location of bereavement: is the left big yellow spot...or the right one? Who knows!

Picture of the location in the brain of ‘bereavement’: is the left big yellow spot…or the right one? Better get it right or they’ll cut the wrong piece of brain.

But that doesn’t prevent the new psychiatry from recommending a cyngulotomy, the modern term for lobotomy, if the sadness persists for over a year (more on this later.)

The scalpel envy consists of that self-knowledge of the psychiatric profession that what they do does not constitute ‘medicine’, it is not ‘hard science’, that they are NOT scientists as defined by the ‘real’ scientists. It consist of that painful embarrassing awareness that even ‘regular doctors’ look at psychiatrists with contempt because psychiatrists try too hard to be what they are not: like ‘regular doctors’ who can operate on a particular organ and actually cure the illness (mostly, they have their ‘issues’ too).

Why envy of surgeons and not of, let’s say, psychotherapists or of priests, both of who can actually help in soothing sadness? Because there is not $$$ there nor PRESTIGE, that’s why.  Because, as Insel said, psychiatry is not based on science; anyone can do today the job of psychiatrists: treat mental disorders.

It is NOT the DSM that is not based on science, it is the PROFESSION. But don’t expect Insel, or anyone else for that matter in the mental health system, to put it that bluntly. Instead, put the blame on the DSM, boys, paraphrasing that song.

put the blame - Copy

Therein resides the problem with the ‘new psychiatry: it is NOT new and it is going back to the future with lobotomy because ONLY the scalpel can separate them from the old psychiatry, from the psychotherapists and social workers and priests who can do the job BETTER without drugs or scalpel.

It is that envy which has caused so much suffering in our modern society to people suffering from mental disorders or whatever you want to call it.

more lobo - Copy

It comes from the perennial and UNSUCCESSFUL human search to find the seat of ‘sadness’ and joy and the soul. That’s why the meaning of the word ‘psychiatry’ is ‘the medical treatment of the soul’; it has inherited a lot more from ancient civilizations than from ‘modern’ psychiatry.

psychosurgery - Copy

Lobotomy: you’ve come a long way, baby.

Tomorrow: the new psychiatry,neurosurgery and, again, experimentation on humans.

Psychiatry is dead. Long live psychiatry. Part 1 of 3 (revised)


Note: Links left out in the first version are provided now, and the date of Mr. Insel’s letter to which the post refers  was corrected.

The DSM-5 can be considered the watershed of psychiatry. The old psychiatry’s shelf-life has expired. The new psychiatry was born on April 29, 2013.

For many years, since the 1960s, people who hadsmve been the recipients of psychiatric ‘treatment’ (voluntarily or against their consent) have said that there is no mental illness, at least as defined by the APA, that psychiatric diagnosis are not based on real science, and that the DSM is bunch of labels with no lab tests to back them up. Do you agree with those claims?

Most in the American public sees these people as anti-psychiatry fanatics who attack the profession because they don’t want to take their meds. Do you agree with those claims?

If you disagreed with the claims in the first paragraph and agreed with the second, I have a doozy coming up for you. Because, out of a sudden, on April 29, 2013, two weeks before the roll out of the APA’s new DSM-5, out of the NIMH cavern came this elephant noisily stepping all over the old psychiatry. The elephant’s name is Thomas Insel, Director of the NIMH who on that day made the following statement:

insel

“While DSM has been described as a “Bible” for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each. The weakness [of the manual] is its lack of validity…the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure… That is why NIMH will be re-orienting its research away from DSM categories.” Transforming Diagnosis

Wow! Is this guy an anti-psychiatry fanatic who doesn’t want to take his meds? For how long have we been saying this??

All these years we have been walking around stigmatized with INVALID, UNSCIENTIFIC diagnosis but no one believed us. Can we NOW finally say it safely: the psychiatric system is a SCAM? Can you all finally see that your emperor has no clothes?

A more important question would be Why is this man saying this? Insel has been in the board of the APA’s DSM committee and has approved previous versions, but he never before made statements like those. He actually has protected the APA and stand for all those crazy diagnosis contained in the DSM. He has contributed to our stigmatization and poisoning with psychiatric drugs.

So, before you go on cheering for him for his seemingly anti-DSM position, take a pause. The waters of the psychiatric profession are too muddled now to see what’s really going on at the bottom. With some life experience, common sense and political acumen, you can discern the feeding frenzy going on below the waters.

Insel must have known that his statement was going to be, as it was, like a tsunami in the psychiatric and mental health communities. To move away from the DSM, as he said, is like proposing the CHINESE CULTURAL REVOLUTION in the USA.

cult rev

For the last 60 years, at least, EVERYTHING from the psychiatric labels, to the laws that limit the civil rights of people with mental “illness”, to which drugs/narcotics the government will subsidize, to states and national mental health policies, to where research money goes, to how our culture perceives and understand mental illness and the people afflicted with it, all this have been deeply influenced and defined by the APA+ DSM. That’s why they call their book a bible: is the voice of our psychiatry god, it DEFINES NORMALCY for us, and consequently, many of our moral values.

If you ditch this book to promote the new classification system for psychiatric ‘illnesses’ (in his blog Insel stated that “we are creating a new nosology”), our society has to be re-trained to think of mental illness in a different way, don’t you agree? You better agree, because this is what he said:

“A rethink is needed in terms of how we view mental illness.” Mental Disorders as Brain Disorders-Thomas Insel at TEDxCalTech 

And what is that “rethinking”? That

“…mental disorders are brain circuit problems”

“…mental illness is referred to either as a mental or behavioral disorder. We need to think of these as brain disorders.” [same link]

Basically the new thinking is that there is no mental illness.

WHAT?! Mental illness doesn’t exist!!??  Where is this radical concept coming from? Funny ‘cause many in the anti-psychiatric movement have been saying that too for many years. What is he going to put in the place of the DSM? Part of the answers are in that May 16 statement.

As he said, the DSM is not valid because it is NOT based on science; there are no “objective lab measures” to back it up. Something that is not based on science can be done by just about ANYONE.

That’s the first and most important draw back of the DSM these days, that treating mental illness can be done by just about anyone. This guy, Bruce Cuthbert, Ph. D., the director of the Division of Adult Translational Research at the National Institute of Mental Health, state it pretty clear:

“…there is a rich research foundation showing that non-medication treatmentssuch as psychotherapywork equally well (if not better) for the treatment of many mental disorders. If these were pure medical diseases with clear and readily defined biomarkers, that shouldn’t be the case. After all, positive thinking can’t cure cancer.” http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/05/07/did-the-nimh-withdraw-support-for-the-dsm-5-no/

LUCY

It has got to hurt,  be embarrassing to both the APA and the pharma that EVEN psychotherapists, social workers, santería, Garry Null and all those bums on a T shirt without an Md degree can do the job BETTER.

BRUJO

It is PRECISESLY that fact which makes it difficult to justify spending millions of tax payer’s $$ in researching drug efficacy when just talking does the job. Another embarrassment is this statement by our friend Bruce:

“Pharmaceutical companies say that, on average, a marketed psychiatric drug is efficacious in approximately half of the patients who take it.” [same link]

ZOLOF

Guess which happy bubble is buying the placebo effect?

Of course,  in their TV ads, Zoloft and other brands  don’t include in the 1/2 minute list of things that can go wrong if you take their drugs the fact that chances are the drug will not have the effect advertised, but you could get a heart attack or go off on a killing rampage from it .

The public is on to the scam and are questioning the pharma based on all those mass murders by individuals on psychiatric drugs; drugs which have the potential to cause increase in violent and suicide behaviors but the pahrma has been hiding those facts from the public for years.

All this leads to the logical conclusion: the biochemical-imbalance model of mental illness, the marriage between pharma and the APA, is

OUTDATED, it leaves the ‘profession’ looking ancient, without pedigree, corrupt and without authority to dictate our social and personal mental and behavioral values. In the words of that NIMH’s elephant, that model is

“an impediment to progress”. [same link]

Of course, the progress he refers to here is more like the progress to rule our minds. The problem with his statement is that nothing will change for the public for the better with his new psychiatry, with his new “medical experimentation”. More on this tomorrow.

The old psychiatry has to go, it has to be sacrificed to the god of  science,

Old psychiatry and DSM, the sacrificial lamb.

neuroscience, if the pharma and ‘scientists’ want to continue to be perceived as the ONLY authority to dictate our mental health policies. At stake are: the billions of dollars we pay for research, political power, prestige, control over social perceptions about psychiatric science and the pharma, etc. etc. etc.

The new science, the new psychiatric god: neuropsychiatry.

That has been the ‘modern’ psychiatry professionals struggle since the 1800s, to be accepted as a branch of medicine and science. The medical profession has perennially looked at psychiatrist with scorn, as not been any different than the priests and exorcists of the past.

The APA was given a new lease on life. It either joins ‘the modern times’ or succumb to the weight of its own lies.

Either way we will continue to swallow the placebo.

Tomorrow in part 2: neuroscience, the new lobotomies, experimentation on humans.

NYS OMH’s Multicultural Advisory Committee (MAC) meeting


I participated, together with other members of The Citywide Mental Health Project (Bert Coffman was wearing his many hats), in the MAC meeting (via phone conference) this last Tuesday. What follows is my personal take on the meeting discussions. These are the headings:

Who attended the meeting?

Where are the consumers?

Topics discussed

SH, crime in SH and licensing

Changes to the SH Guidelines = No CAB (consumer advisory boards)?

Who attended the meeting?

Ms. Moira Tashjian, Director of OMH’s Housing Development department attended the meeting by invitation of the committee, although I have the distinctive feeling that OMH wants her to be in this cultural committee, even though housing per se is not a ‘cultural’ issue directly. If I understood correctly, she will be attending the monthly MAC’s phone conferences. I welcome her participation and consider it a plus for us to be able to ask questions directly to officers of the OMH.

There were three (?) providers of supported housing (SH) services from different NY regions: Mr. Huygen from the NYC area, I didn’t get the names of the others, sorry.

Where are the consumers?

Apart from me and my group (Bert Coffman was wearing his many hats), there were no other recipients of services or their representatives. This is a salient point given that this ‘advisory’ committee, as all State and citywide mental health ‘consumers advisory boards’, are for the purpose of ‘giving recipients a voice in our mental health-policy-making system’. I’m sure you can guess why I put those words in curly marks. Read my document The elephant in the NY State mental health system if you can’t guess it.

The lack of consumers (I will call them ‘recipients’ from now on because ‘consumers’ does not describe what we are in this system) participation, in my view, make these boards de facto tools for the providers. Do they need these policy tools when they already have trade organizations and high paid lobbyers, and when they DIRECTLY help write many of the rules that affect us?

I know that Mrs. Frances PriesterMoss (coordinator) is trying to increase recipient’s participation in the committee. I have some ideas that would guarantee participation, but it requires for Ms. Tashjian to help us with the CABs in the programs. More on this below.

Topics discussed

SH, crime in SH and licensing

Ms. Tashjian informed us about all the new projects for housing for the mental health community. I believe her report will be made available soon for public information. She also went over what I call OMH’s SH ‘licensing’ scheme. As some of you know, I have asked her to explain to the public why more than three-quarters of housing are being privatized by un-licensing them, and to tell them that unlicensed means not regulated and no legal rights for the ‘tenants’ in it.

I didn’t get the answer I was awaiting from her. Actually, the whole enchilada about SH and unlicensed housing got more entangled when she discussed the issue of what level of ‘functioning’ is required for each category of housing.

Some of the providers brought the issue of recipients with history of violence been referred for SH. Ms. Tashjian alleges that a history of violence and low functioning are not impediment for acceptance into SH. I claim she is in the wrong there.

OMH is as explicit about levels of functioning requirement for each housing modality as its contradictory actual practice is. Just go online and read OMH’s RFP (request for proposal), each requests spells what type of ‘population’ a particular SH project is made for. This issue of housing people with severe mental health problems in SH, which is for people more ‘stabilized’ and able to function in the community with less supervision (that’s why OMH makes them ‘unlicensed’)  has been discussed in court many times, the last time was in the DAI v. NYS OMH case.

I didn’t want to raise the issue due to not enough time, but I did mention that this policy of housing people with violent history makes the CABs in the programs a necessity so that we can help the providers develop ways to cope with the situation.

I asked her if she was aware of the May incident where a recipient of SH in Brooklyn was murdered INSIDE the building by the woman’s also SH recipient lover. She said she ‘heard’ about it. Did anyone blink? Was the incident reported, as mandated,  to her for investigation on quality of services (could it have been prevented, etc.)?

Look, there is not enough housing to comply with OLMSTEAD, so OMH has been ‘dumping’ (excuse the expression) everybody everywhere. Just as it did when the people demanded to close the chambers-of-torture called psych hospitals of the 1970s; the state dumped the patients to the street. Now, they dump everybody in the few housing. OMH doesn’t care about the ‘unintended’ consequences of its policies. The courts tend to protect them.

There is not enough housing (money goes to ‘stupid wars’), it’s a policy issue. We NEED to discuss this policy as a community.

 Changes to the SH Guidelines = No CAB?

The SH Guidelines will be “updated”, according to Ms. Tashjian, (shall we say) ‘modernized’ to live up to the new millennium (my words). Are the current ‘guidelines’ that state that providers of SH must allow for consumers to participate, this is a direct quote, “in the policy making of the program” to be eliminated?

Ms. Moira brought this information about the changes when I asked her if she could help us to make providers comply with that guideline. She said that she needed to do more “research” about these CABs. I asked her directly to tell me if she was intending to eliminate that particular guideline; her answer was that she couldn’t answer at this point until she reads the guidelines.

When I asked her if she is mandated to inform the recipients about these changes or call for public comments before making the changes, she said that “the providers will be informed”. The context of the answer is that the “SH Guidelines” is for the providers. Whatever changes made will affect you without your consent or knowledge.

I think I also told her that I would consider eliminating the CAB provision to be a BETRAYAL to us recipients of mental health services. I may have used the word “BACKSTABBING”, I don’t remember which one I used. I was just blown away when she mentioned the changes to the guidelines. You can imagine.

None of the providers took a stands to protect the CABs.  I hope they were as blown away as I was and will stand with us if OMH tries to eliminate the CABs provision.

But, more than anything, I hope that Ms. Tashjian has the presence of mind to NOT take a step that will be construed as an attack on our right to have a voice in the programs.

In a time when we are been blamed for the violence in our society, we need to INCREASE our voice, NOT TO HAVE IT SILENCED.

The CABs inside the programs would allow us to reach out for the recipients that OMH supposedly wants to be integrated in the policy decision-making system; it would allow us also to spread information to them. With the problem of lack of housing and having to mix recipients with differing ‘functioning levels’ CABs make more sense as a tool to help maintain quality of services. Working with the providers, the CABs could save $$ to the state by using the rich human power energy and experience currently going to waste and untapped in these programs. Voluntarism can be organized through CABs to improve quality of services.

The only reason I can see for OMH to eliminate the CABs is if they are afraid that we will bring to light all the issues of abuse, disrespect and neglect in the SH programs of all types.

Should they do it, it will confirm my claims that our mental health system functions within a culture of abuse.

Let’s work together to stop the stigmatization and abuse of people with mental disabilities.

NY elections: Gambling, propaganda and empty skulls. (Updated: Empty skulls applies to the people of Washington State.)


casinos

Yeap. This is going to be one of those testy posts.

NYorkers voted 57% in favor of making the state a casino mecca.

How did they make that decision?

The same way that the Washingtonians voted against their own interest and defeated a bill that would have required the labeling of genetically altered foods: they listen to the mermaids singing. In NY- politicians like Gov. Cuomo and state legislators who themselves got millions in campaign donation from foreign fat casino moguls.  In Washington, Monsanto and other corporations spent 0ver 11 millions in the campaign. We the people have NOTHING to win in these bets, only the moguls and our ‘misleadership’ (as the  guys from Black Agenda Report call politicians) win.

There will be homegrown compulsive gamblers, billions of dollars will be sucked out of the state to the foreign homelands of the moguls… Money spent in  casinos is money that does NOT circulate in the community. Don’t expect your misleadership to tell you that.

No significant $$ goes to mental health services to treat the compulsive gamblers because, hey, we want you to gamble, why cure you? That would cut into the profits.

There’s a reason why OMH in NYS, as in many other states, compulsive gambling is NOT considered a mental illness.  Your compulsion doesn’t qualify you for any services because, well, the government took you by the hand to the doors of perdition (with advertizing and ‘regulating’ casinos’ comps) knowing that casino gambling creates addiction and destroy lives. Admitting that gambling is addictive and a disorder that requires services would be admitting that it is the government who is causing this problem.

scammed

Good luck. You are going to need it.

But what do you expect? These are the same politicians (Cuomo) who told you they were creating an Ethics Board to keep our bureaucrats honest, but then decided, after you were not paying attention, that it was not such a great idea after all and ‘sabotaged’ themselves. See Cuomo’s Office is said to rein in Ethics Board he created.

Oh well.

With marijuana, at least you can claim it is ‘medicinal’. What positive effects on your body can you claim about gambling on machines fixed to suck your money out of your pockets with their hypnotizing visual ‘themes’ and repeated-at-nauseum ringtone-like excerpts  of famous TV shows songs? With loaded dice and roulette balls? Jobs? Really? Have you studied the stats of job creations by casinos in NJ? I mean REAL stats, not the ones cooked for you by the misleadership. And don’t ask me for the data now, it’s too late for that. Go look it up yourselves if you want to know.

What’s the point of digging the right data and the right interpretation of the data for you  if you are going to listen only to the magic words of your elected misleadership ‘come, trust me, it’s good for you’?

Propaganda is like  the flakes we sprinkle over the water in the fish tank for the captive, starved fishes: they look up and say ‘yum’ and go in an eating frenzy an eat and eat a lot of nothing mixed with water and start pooping all over the tank. Well, something like that, sort of. Ok, bad metaphor.

Look, the point is that propaganda is like a solvent that melts your brain and leaves your skull empty ready to receive  anything that the politicians and the corporations want you to do. People don’t think, they follow instructions.

cop

People, YOU MUST THINK.  WAKE UP.

Paradise lost: US military police ‘state of siege’ is on.


The photo below is from the state of siege imposed in California on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 due to some attack on some cops.  It depicts a citizen trying to get to his home being threaten by the police. The residents in the ‘affected’ area were not allowed to come back to their homes for 24 hrs, homes were invaded by the cops as was done in Boston after the marathon massacre.

When I see this, I feel afraid of the police. As a person with a disability, I’m considered by DHS (Department of Homeland Security) as a ‘possible terrorist’. NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) has probably by now put my name (and yours if you are receiving ‘mental health services’) in the FBI/NSA/ list of mentally ill people to keep an eye on. See my post ( under gun control category)  NY SAFE Act gun law .

What you see in that AP photo could happen to any one of us soon. All needed is a real or staged ‘terrorist attack’ on a cop by a ‘mentally disabled’ kid or adult and BADDA BAM, you have a rifle pointed at your face like that OR  a military boot stomping on your face.

This is NOT Iraq or Afghanistan. This is good ol’ Sacramento, California area.

A California Highway Patrol officer and another emergency responder stop a vehicle at a checkpoint near the neighborhood where a federal immigration officer was shot and three local police officers were wounded during a violent confrontation with a suspect in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Randall Benton)

Obama’s message to the world at the UN: screw you.


President Obama has laid out his foreign policy for the world to see in his last speech at the UN (Sept 24, 2013). It’s not a pretty picture. He basically said “we’ll do what we think is better for us even in your own nations without your consent”. Seriously. Obama has declared the US the police of the planet.

The president has stated that he will have no problem working with dictators as long as they work for the US interests:

 “The United States will at times work with governments that do not meet, at least in our [own] view, the highest international expectations [meaning tyrants], but who work with us on our core interests.”

Nor has he any problem in disregarding nation-sovereignty:

“the principle of sovereignty is at the center of our international order.  But sovereignty cannot be a shield for tyrants to commit wanton murder, or an excuse for the international community to turn a blind eye.”

the danger for the world is not an America that is too eager to immerse itself in the affairs of other countries… The danger for the world is that the United States may disengage… I believe such disengagement would be a mistake.

“even when America’s core interests are not directly threatened, we stand ready to do our part to prevent mass atrocities…”

All of the above means clearly that the US gives itself the right and will intervene militarily in any country it sees fit if the tyrants are NOT working with “us on our core interests”. And for those tyrants that work with the US, he promises them:

“We will confront external aggression against our allies and partners, as we did in the Gulf War.”

Wow.

Obama was blunt about what the world can expect of him:

“So let me take this opportunity to outline what has been U.S. policy towards the Middle East and North Africa, and what will be my policy during the remainder of my presidency.

“The United States of America is prepared to use all elements of our power, including military force, to secure our core interests in the [Arab] region.”

“Wherever possible, we will build the capacity of our partners [including the tyrants], respect the sovereignty of nations [“whenever possible”], and work to address the root causes of terror [what are they?].  But when it’s necessary to defend the United States against terrorist attack, we will take direct action.”

About the UN itself, he made military intervention a requirement as UN’s policy:

“without a credible military threat, the Security Council had demonstrated no inclination to act at all. “

And then made a not-so-veiled threat to the UN in the form of a big “if”:

“If we [UN] cannot agree even on this [military intervention against Assad], then it will show that the United Nations is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws.

The dangling question, of course, is: What would happen to the UN if it proves itself “incapable of enforcing” these laws which the US wants to be enforced? Is the US going to leave the UN? Withhold its dues? Spy on everybody? Oops, that’s  already been done.

With regards to Syria, well, this is going to be long war: 

“Assad’s traditional allies have propped him up, citing principles of sovereignty to shield his regime. [Obama said sovereignty will not be respected if he doesn’t like the ‘government’.]

“Nevertheless, a leader who slaughtered his citizens and gassed children to death cannot regain the legitimacy to lead a badly fractured countryThe notion that Syria can somehow return to a pre-war status quo is a fantasy.

…the status quo will only deepen Iran’s isolation. Iran’s genuine commitment to go down a different path will be good for the region and the world, [the Iranian people’s wishes are not important] and will help the Iranian people meet their extraordinary potential — in commerce and culture; in science and education. [They will not “meet” those potentials if they don’t obey the US policies for them.]

And then he extends the Syria policy to the rest of the Arab world:

“What broader conclusions can be drawn from America’s policy toward Syria? 

“we will be engaged in the [Arab] region for the long haul.”

“We will ensure the free flow of energy from the region to the world.  Although America is steadily reducing our own dependence on imported oil, the world still depends on the region’s energy supply, and a severe disruption could destabilize the entire global economy.”

There’s no ‘international interest’, only the US interests. If you agree with that, then you agree with Obama’s stance on foreign policy. Fine. But, his stance  means WAR because the international community will not stand to protect the US’s interests against their own national and sovereign interests.

Any nation that doesn’t abide to the US interests is, in the words of Bush2 and now Obama, a terrorist nation.

Welcome to the ETERNAL war on ‘terrorism’.

CAUGHT INFRAGANTI: How Lawyers teach corporate America to discriminate against American workers.


“Our goal is clearly NOT to find a QUALIFIED US worker…”

This vid was uploaded last year in Youtube. What you see here is STILL happening in OUR nation, and it applies, not only to corporations’ desire to bring  cheaper foreign work force INTO the USA, but to hire a passive and anti-union American work force.  The least you know about your rights, the better the chances that you will get that Mickey D’s job flipping mad-cow-diseased burger to pay for that PhD loan…in 40 years.

“How Immigration attorneys teach companies to use loopholes and deceit to steal job opportunities from highly skilled Americans and give the jobs to cheaper and younger foreign workers.”

Baby Hope (Angelica Castillo, R.I.P) and the many faces of evil.


Evil is the UNSPEAKABLE harm  that humans do, KNOWINGLY, JOYFULLY and REMORSELESSLY, to others who are NOT in the position to fight back. That includes harm done  to children and animals, women, the elderly. But also the harm  done to a NATION’S CITIZENS who can’t  IMMEDIATELY fight-back it’s government and big corporations’ immoral policies which destroy lives under cover of law.

There are many people who fit the bill, whether in politics (both democrat and republican parties) or in our regular communities. I give you here only TWO of the many and most disgusting and scary faces of EVIL:

Conrado is the monster who tortured and assassinated a four years old child. Today we know the child’s name was Angelica Castillo.The other face, well, he’s so evil that his citizens call him Darth Vader. His crime: he went PUBLICLY to demand from our Congress a law to give the government (him) the right to use TORTURE as a form of interrogation to extract confessions from ‘enemies of the state’. Of course, we know that EVERYTHING permitted in wars has come to plague the peaceful American civilian life and that, now, dissenting groups and individuals are considered by the State as ‘enemies of the state’. Jose Padilla was the FIRST AMERICAN to experience the government’s right to torture its citizens . The precedent has been set, followed by President Obama’s NDAA, a right to kill a US citizen without habeas corpus.

When the ‘beacon of freedom’ sees torture as something ‘useful’ and moral, as the ‘right thing to do’ to others, the Conrados of the world have triumphed over our hearts.

I think it is our moral duty to be as OUTRAGED about our government’s torture policies as we are about this beast who tortured that child.

They are one and the same expression of evil, in different faces and with different accent.

Image

Today’s funny NSA image.


The ‘GOP’s big schism’ deception Part 2: ‘it’s the Fed, stupid’.


Yesterday I was divagating about what really is at stake in this so-called GOP schism we are witnessing.

My theory is based on the shared believe between the fans in the bleacher section of the political park (liberals, progressives, non-Obama’s leftists and GOP party’s libertarian base: the mob) that the worldwide elite is trying to institute a ‘one world corporate party’ and that the Federal Reserve must go.

This is my theory:

The real division in the GOP is between the elite and the GOP’s libertarian ‘bleachers monsters’ (the TParty mob who is NOT a billionaire, it is the party’s working class and other paleoconservatives [see Wikipedia]) who want to eliminate the Federal Reserve Bank. That’s the issue, the FED. It’s NOT the debt, it’s the FED.

The billionaires may disagree on how to CONTROL the debt, but the MOB wants to eliminate the source of the debt: the Federal Reserve Bank. Last Tuesday (Oct 8) Obama stated in his press conference this elite’s fear (his own fear too) that the TParty mob would succeed in eliminating the FED:

“Well, the same thing is true if I’m buying Treasury bills from the U.S. government, and here I am sitting here — you know, what if there’s a Supreme Court case deciding that these aren’t valid, that these aren’t, you know, valid legal instruments obligating the U.S. government to pay me? I’m going to be stressed, which means I may not purchase. And if I do purchase them, I’m going to ask for a big premium.”

As I was listening to him say that, I wondered from where the hell that statement came from. It seemed so out of place, a ‘conspiracy‘ itself. It finally hit me: it is the anti-Fed movement the elite and Obama is fearing. It is getting so much strength in the party that it is becoming a threat. That comment hints that there may be a TParty mob effort to go to court to challenge the FED and the US debt.

Yesterday I said that the interests of the elite, represented by billionaires of Wall Street, worldwide banking and financial corporations and many other gigantic corporations influencing our Congress and president, are the SAME despite seeming differences in how to achieve their goal: total control of the US government’s functions by the corporations. You may say it’s a done deal this control. Yes, except that it’s covered under the mantle of ‘democracy’. In a democracy there must be more than one political party and the people must be seen as the all-important voters who make the ‘real decisions’. Most of us know or are already having a feeling, that this democracy is a myth.

On the other hand, there is a movement in the USA that believes that the Constitution was violated when the politicians gave (in 1935) the government’s power to issue money, which Constitutionally belongs ONLY to the government, to the banksters. 

The TPartiers in the bleachers suicidally agrees with the elite in EVERYTHING else that is the GOP’s agenda: eliminating the social safety net and social security, lowering taxes to corporations, etc etc etc. The difference is in that the bleacher monster, as part of its plan to eliminate the FED, wants to declare the US national ‘debt’ INVALID, non-payable because the debt is ILLEGAL.

The elite in the GOP and democratic party are ready to take the blanket from the top of our heads. A one party, controlled by them to control the functions of government is ripe for picking.

The Koch brothers hijacked the ORIGINAL TParty probably with the purpose of dividing the GOP using the most extreme of the bleachers monster, giving then a picture of a party that needs to be EUTHANIZED like a rabid dog. Divide and conquer by breaking the GOP and leaving ONE party: a ‘democratic party’ that can easily assume the positions of the defunct GOP.

The elite, Wall Street and Goldman Sachs all come across as ‘moderate’ in this DECEPTION. Of course, they don’t want their bank closed.

Goldman Sachs is in hot waters with the scandal of the Federal Reserve worker who proved that he is involved in deception and conflict of interest, lying to the people who invests with him under his guidance. The Fed ordered her to deny and delete the evidence. This elite controls EVERYTHING.

The elite doesn’t want some TPartier in T-shirt threatening it’s toy, our  government.

So, this is my theory. It’s not so far fetched.

 

The GOP’s big schism deception: A corporate one-party government stratagem.


America is having parturient pangs. She’s about to deliver the one-party-national-oligarchy baby. That’s what Forbes magazine (the elite’s bible) sees coming soon:

the end of the two party system until such time as a rational conservative party can once again emerge in the United States” http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/09/26/r-i-p-g-o-p-house-debt-ceiling-proposal-could-bring-the-final-curtain-down-on-the-republican-party/

Those are profound words, “the end of the two party system”, to be coming out from a capitalist’s mouthpiece like Forbes. These people don’t throw out words like that in vain. They know what they are talking about when it comes to their interests. And make no mistake: this show-down between the president and the GOP is all about the interest of the big corporations, as Forbes colorfully explained:

“While the Congressional lunatic fringe may have nothing to fear from a default—their districts would, no doubt, continue to send them back to Congress—the loss of the nation’s financial class to the Republican Party would mean the complete destruction of the party for years to come.

Did you get that? The “lunatic fringe” in Congress do not FEAR their constituents because they KNOW that the little voters are brainless and will re-elect them NO MATTER how much harm they inflict on their constituents. (That applies to the democrats too, of course, but we are talking here about the GOP.)

But they, the lunatic fringe, MUST be afraid of the FINANCIAL CLASS. It is the financial class which matters here, not you, the little brainless automaton that re-elects these parasites for eternity until they die of senility. (Hey, if Forbes can talk about the “lunatic fringe” I can talk about the parasites.)

The big question: who are the feuding sides in the GOP’s intestinal problem?

You see, this is where it gets tricky because, well, it really is a show for you. I know this is gonna sound outrageous to you, but please, stay with me. It’s not so far fetch.

The show is the APPEARANCE  of a deep schism in the GOP threatening its demise. The reality is that the FINANCIAL CLASS thinks the time is ripe to eliminate the PRETENSE of a two party system and institute a ONE party fits-all system where they can finally take the government and run it as a corporation, openly. Let me show you how this DECEPTION is happening.

The two sides in this fight are the populist libertarians represented by the Tea Party, and the ‘conservative’ faction represented by the Financial class. (The TParty was high jacked by the billionaire Koch brothers, a very important fact. ) The TParty wants exactly what all members of the FINANCIAL and big corporations class want, there is no difference between the one and the other in terms of IDEOLOGY. They both want less government (meaning ONLY less regulation for them), reduced taxes for corporations, reduce the debt by eliminating welfare, social security and the social safety net, and other beauties unattractive to the working class.

That’s why is a show: because BOTH sides, the billionaires, want the same thing but CANNOT come out openly and say that they are taking the nation into a ONE PARTY, socialist only in the sense that the Nazi party was ‘socialist’.  So they staged this rebellion. This is NOT about ObamaCare or the debt or government shut down. For the little people it may be, but not for the elite. For the elite it is about instituting a one party government, an official corporate state. The sad part is…

That president Obama is part of this deception. I’m sure I lost you right here. But tomorrow I will show you the EVIDENCE. It’s right there in front of your eyes and coming from his own mouth. Just a preview:

“I’ve put forward proposals in my budget to reform entitlement programs for the long haul and reform our tax code in a way that…lower rates for corporations …And some of these were originally Republican proposals, because I don’t believe any party has a monopoly on good ideas.” [one party fits all] President Obama, Oct 8, 2013.

Cuomo’s Office Is Said to Rein In Ethics Board He Created – NYTimes.com


Cuomo’s Office Is Said to Rein In Ethics Board He Created – NYTimes.com.

Well, the shelf-life of morality keeps getting shorter.

This news is why I am always criticizing our politicians and our mental health ‘laws’ and ‘initiatives’, such as Cuomo’s Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs: they are just public relations ‘news’ that solve NOTHING but stay in the people’s mind as something done. For some reason the public doesn’t read the ‘updates’.

It’s not personal, my ‘attacks’. It’s only business.

To be or not to be HONEST, that is the question in front of us, ladies and gentlemen.

Image

Today’s funny cartoon.