Friday, November 11, 2011

Mental Health Cuts in the News

Today, I have seen several news stories about cuts in mental health. On CBS news, there is a slide show with the top 15 states that have cut services from 2009 to 2012. The states range from Missouri and Idaho to Virginia, Massachusetts and Washington D.C. (I know, it's not a state but it's listed).

Then, I saw that our local mental health hospital, Lakeshore Mental Health Institute will shut down in June of 2012. One of the reasons? Patients do better in the community. Sure they do.

Finally, I saw that no psychologists or psychiatrists want to take Tricare, the insurance for military personnel and many soldiers and their families are having trouble getting services:
TRICARE's psychological health benefit is "hindered by fragmented rules and policies, inadequate oversight and insufficient reimbursement," the Defense Department's mental health task force said last month after reviewing the military's psychological care system.

Just wait until Obamacare kicks in, then no one will be able to get services. But at least people will feel good about themselves. I also want to point out that many times, people think that it was the Republicans closing the mental hospitals and putting people onto the streets. Nope, that trend started with Jack Kennedy:
Numerous social forces have led to a move for deinstitutionalisation. However, researchers generally speak of six main factors: criticisms of public mental hospitals, incorporation of mind-altering drugs in treatment, support from President Kennedy for federal policy changes in the treatment for those with mental illnesses, shifts to community based care, changes in public opinion of those with mental disabilities, and individual state's desire to reduce cost of mental hospitals.[1]

Now, many of those people who were in hospitals are in our jails and prisons. Is that an improvement?

Nicholas Cummings in the book Destructive Trends in Mental Health: The Well Intentioned Path to Harm discusses the problems that mental health professionals have had over the years. One is that they are too political and because of that (in my opinion), there is no respect for my field any longer. It could be that the public sees us as a bunch of quacks. However, throwing the baby out with the bathwater isn't the answer. There are many people out there who are hurting and many of them do get help. Indeed, in my career, I saw people in mental institutes who saw the place as their home and did not want to leave.

Anyway, I guess when times are tough, mental health is the first to go. What do you think? Is this good, bad or are you neutral on this trend?


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Conservatives: Don't Play into Alinsky's Hands

Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this...
Saul Alinsky,
Rules for Radicals

I read with disappointment Andrew Klavan's post over at PJ Media entitled "Why We Should Be Unfair to Herman Cain" in which he explains that it is the right, not the left who must be fair:
And yes, it’s unfair. But there’s a reason it’s unfair—a reason it should be unfair. There’s a reason we right wingers vet our candidates while the left adulates theirs, a reason we condemn our miscreants while the left elevates theirs, a reason our news outlets cover stories that the left covers up.

The reason is: we’re the good guys. We have to do what’s right. The left doesn’t. Sorry, but that’s the way it works. It’s the price you pay for defending what’s true and good, the price of holding yourself to a high moral standard. Our politicians have to be better than their politicians. Our journalists have to be more honest. Even our protesters have to behave with decorum and decency—and still suffer being slandered—while theirs can act like animals and commit acts of violence and lawlessness and spew anti-semitic filth and still find themselves excused and glorified...

Herman Cain is going to have to run the gauntlet, not just of a racist and dishonest left that wants to destroy him but of a fair-minded and decency-loving right that wants him to come fully clean and let the voters decide how we should proceed. The fight for truth, liberty and morality requires sacrifice and self-examination. The self-righteous quest for power over others does not.

The world is just as unfair as you think it is. You’ll never catch the devil hanging on a cross.

Bullshit. What Klavan is advocating is political suicide. He might as well have taken his playbook from Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals where Alinsky's fourth rule is "Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this..."

Mr. Klavan, telling the right that they have to live up to some impossible standard while excusing the left is laughable. All it will get you is defeated. Do you remember the Fresh Prince of Bel Air episode where Will Smith's Uncle Phil was running for political office? His opponent, the guy who played George Jefferson in The Jeffersons bad-mouthed Uncle Phil all over the media. The family told Uncle Phil that he needed to fight back but Uncle Phil stated that he was "not going to sink to that level." He lost the election by a landslide. He did eventually get appointed to the office when his opponent died by the governor but that's not the point.

The point is, we must not let the left use our morality to hold us hostage. You may never catch the devil hanging on the cross, but your double standard will leave the right hanging in defeat, just like Uncle Phil, but without the safety net of his opponent dying. Life isn't a nostalgic TV show or fiction book. The good guy doesn't always win just because you want him to. And though you can feel noble about being the honorable one, honor is no substitute for the loss of freedom, increased government regulation, and economic woes that our country will suffer if the left wins on election day.

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Monday, November 07, 2011

Why was Sharon Bialek Fired?

After reading the news and watching the videos of Sharon Bialek, the Herman Cain accuser, I noticed that many of the articles mentioned that Bialek was fired or let go " from the NRA’s educational foundation." However, none of them mentioned why. Being let go or fired is more serious than simply being laid off. I wonder why there is no mention of the reason she was fired? This might give more insight into her character and whether she is a trustworthy person or not. Why was she fired? Does anyone know or has anyone seen a report as to what happened with her job in the summer of 1997? Here is more from the New York Times:
Ms. Bialek said she first met Mr. Cain during her time at the association’s Chicago office, when he sat next to her at a dinner during one of the group’s conventions. He later invited her and her boyfriend to an after-party in his hotel suite, she said.

But the alleged harassment did not occur until after she was fired, she said. Sue Hensley, a spokeswoman with the restaurant association confirmed that “Sharon Bialek was employed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation from 12/30/96 – 6/20/97.”

She didn't work there long, I wonder what happened?


Sunday, November 06, 2011

Most people have about 2 people they consider friends.

A new study shows that most people have only two good friends:
About 48 percent of participants listed one name, 18 percent listed two, and roughly 29 percent listed more than two names for these close friends. On average, participants had 2.03 confidantes. And just over 4 percent of participants didn't list any names.

The study asked what the friends did for people such as provide companionship, loan money, give you a place to crash etc. and those with one friend said that their friend would not provide such things. I wonder if people just say that they have friends when what they really have are acquaintances? And what if your spouse is your friend? Does that not count?

Maybe more of us need to read books like How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie if we want friends or Living Alone and Loving It: A Guide to Relishing the Solo Life if we don't.

Do you think it's important to have friends?