Archive for the ‘Liars’ Category

I often wonder what it will look like to reach the point of not just surviving my misfortunes but being simply and profoundly grateful for every single thing that has ever happened to me. And why people who want things like that are so perplexing to those who don’t. Those who wonder, in their golden ways what’s so funny about gallows humor, the sole comfort of those who’ve escaped the hangman and an affront to those who have no knowledge of his existence.

Welp, there it is, in black & white, no less.


by W.S. Merwin

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is


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Better yet, let me explain them. Ask yourself, why do “activists” “fighting” for the “civil rights” of people with psychiatric labels denounce mental health parity legislation? What do you call the denial of care for an anorectic if not discrimination? I don’t think people who post against mental health parity should get to sidle up next to Martin Luther King. People who are motivated to dismantle the mental health system may have learned to present themselves as “civil rights advocates” in order to get a hearing. These people must support mental health parity as a civil rights issue, and anyone who speaks against it is not honestly working to end discrimination. At best, their gears aren’t meshing, at worst, they will be with us forever.

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I’m scheduled to attend a commission on human rights meeting in a few hours but can’t sleep, thinking. All my friends are laughing at me up in heaven; I’ve been charged with ineptitude, reformist tendencies, unpunkrock hamfisted good will. I see them laughing, and hear them singing, there’s always someone to praaaaaaay for, and believe me I will.

I’ll say this again about Rebecca Riley, who was not my friend, but is going into the pantheon. I’ve read a number of blog posts about the 60 minutes interview, circle jerks of blighted ignorance and outright defamation. You think by “defamation” I’m referring to Katie Couric, huh. Think harder.

John McNAMI:

For years, parents of kids with bipolar have been fighting battles reminiscent of the first generation of NAMI parents. Back in the bad old days, psychiatrists blamed schizophrenia on bad parenting…

Parents of bipolar kids have been getting the same treatment. Recently, thanks to books such as “The Bipolar Child,” and the establishment of organizations such as the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation, parents have been able to make headway with their clinicians and the school system.

Such a joy to behold our nation’s lovingkindness babyshakers making headway. And every journalist (cough) netroots blogger who exploits this atrocity (look it up) for their unrelated healthcare political agenda can cancel her out, ignore the inconvenient truth in evidence, and live with that however the hell you live with that, but you don’t get to choose the facts. Facts? What are facts, really, but just more of the same old same old, garden variety fodder for militant antipsychiatry hippies. Facts, distortions, speculations (sigh), if only there was some way to get to the bottom of what went on in that child’s brain house. The Google you say? First hit the last month on Google? Go straight to heck, boys.

A chronology of involvement by the state Department of Social Services with the family of 4-year-old Rebecca Riley.

December 2002: DSS receives a complaint that the Rileys’ oldest child had been neglected while the family was living in Springfield. DSS substantiates the complaint and opens a file on the family.

June 2005: DSS investigates allegations that Michael Riley had sexually abused Carolyn Riley’s 13-year-old daughter from another relationship and refers case to Norfolk district attorney’s office. DSS also investigates whether Carolyn Riley had neglected the couple’s three children.

June 2006: The oldest child, an 11-year-old boy, is taken to the hospital by ambulance. DSS is assured by doctors and neurologists that he was not abused or neglected.

June 2006: A therapist working with Rebecca and her 6-year-old sister files a complaint with DSS after Rebecca’s 6-year-old sister said during a home visit that Michael Riley had hit her. DSS had already investigated and did not substantiate the report.

July 2006: The therapist files a second complaint with DSS, saying that during another home visit that Carolyn Riley appeared drugged and pointed out a puddle of urine where Rebecca had wet the rug while napping. DSS says doctors treating the Riley family say the mother and children are receiving appropriate medication.

October 2006: DSS investigates and substantiates reports from relatives that Michael Riley grabbed his son by the neck and slammed his head against a car window. Carolyn Riley seeks a restraining order.

November 2006: DSS meets in the agency’s Weymouth office with Carolyn Riley, who says she plans to move to Hull and assures them the restraining order against her husband is still active.

Dec. 13, 2006: Rebecca Riley is found dead on her parents’ bedroom floor. An autopsy later indicates she was poisoned by prescription medicine. DSS removes her siblings and places them in foster care.

Related coverage:

Mass. DSS dropped investigation of concerns about 4-year-old.
Psychiatrist to suspend practice; denies wrongdoing.

SOURCE: State Department of Social Services, State Police.

Sweet dreams.

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For the last few years I’ve been holding off on buying Nick Cave’s double-CD Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus until I do something sufficiently awful that I don’t have to but probably should if I’m to get along with my better self. I’ve met my share of challenges since the CD came out, and each time decided I hadn’t endured enough hardship to justify the purchase.

Just like doing something, holding back on doing something creates its own unique set of memories. I remember the night I felt like offing myself but realized I hadn’t heard the CD yet, and the day I quit posting at the lovely Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds message board because I couldn’t keep from reading the threads praising its wonders. Welp, it’s playing right now and Oh Momma, the opening track itself was worth the wait.

Friday I attended a mental health strategic planning session where no one knew I was among the same fucks who declined my participation on the state citizens planning committee last month, but that was the extent of my secret shits and giggles since they took all of 90 minutes to set policy back fifty years.

Proposals: Fingerprint consumers who participate in Assertive Community Treatment. Take the word “stigma” out of the mission statement. Scrap all pretense of a Biopsychosocial framework.

Texas DSHS calls for a transition to the medical model within services. Bio. Move everything but ACT from Behavioral Health to Medical Services. Bio. Place Crisis Service directly under the Medical Director. Bio. Goddamn the next person who uses the word biopsychosocial with a straight face, they are either lying or sick with the kool-aid. Biopsychosocial is a propaganda term used to appease people who advocate the trauma model of mental illness and recovery. Don’t look for these people, evidently there are no advocates anymore, only “advocates”. Seeing the Chairman use finger scare quotes while invoking the term “advocates” was chilling.

So, the redesign boils down to erasure of stigma, advocacy, trauma, and all is biology. From then on all I could think was this is only discourse, they’re framing their discourse, I have to learn about how to frame mine, and discourse is free and getting to the Lyre of Orpheus.

Our consumer run drop in center is called the SHAC for Self-Help and Advocacy Center. They took our consumer run drop in SHAC away from the clueful Austin Mental Health Consumers Org. and hired the former director of NAMI to take over running the place. Thursday the Board will visit the SHAC to discuss this redesign plan with psychiatric service users. I get to talk at this one and believe me I will.

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When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter.
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.
Auden, Epitaph on a tyrant

In 1983 Congress passed an act declaring April National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Each April Fools day the President of the United States issues the proclamation, releases statistics on abuse and neglect and calls for greater awareness and intervention.

No one pays any attention, nor should they, considering the source. Of course back-patting child welfare agencies launch the empty gesture blue ribbon campaigns, elicit donations to pay for the prevent child abuse refrigerator magnets, issue self-congratulatory press releases &etc., none of it worth noting really, but for a little twist to underscore the Orwellian times in which we live. Bush’s spokesman for mental health opposes everything the child abuse prevention campaign stands for. In case there was any doubt the powers that be could give a shit.

Sooner or later every oppositional mental health blog proves its radical bona-fides by posting a Sally Satel smackdown, and here’s mine, concerning just one of the endless opportunities she offers for a teeth-baring, open-mouthed full-throated snore.

Sally Satel is the Bush administration’s tiresome but powerful spokesman for all things mental health; renowned bully, fascist, victim-bashing menace and wingnut welfare queen, the Ann Coulter of psychiatry blames the diagnosis of PTSD for creating “the myth of the fragile child” and a “culture of trauma” spawned by radical feminists, social reformers, malingering soldiers and disgruntled mental health consumers.

In PC, M.D.: How Political Correctness Is Corrupting Medicine Satel

takes on the public health establishment, the mental health consumer movement, the nursing profession, feminist health advocates, civil libertarian defenders of the rights of drug addicts, social and health scientists who are concerned about racial disparities in health care delivery, and persons who promote treatment for psychological trauma.

So, on the one hand, we have the annual presidential proclamation lamenting the trauma of child abuse, while the white house psychiatrist builds her reputation on the denial that PTSD exists. This is her shtick. You may wonder why she does it. She’s a stone cold bitch, but her political motivation in denying PTSD is to thwart compensation-seeking by the survivors, whose numbers skyrocket during times of war. If PTSD doesn’t exist, the government doesn’t have to fund its treatment.

How strange that we are put in this position of building a case for the right to bleed. Anyone who denies people suffer at the hands of others is asking for a license to hurt. Revoked, motherfucker, the disorder is real.

For a long time I’ve been looking for an intelligent, plain-speaking article to post that describes what PTSD is all about; including its aetiology, trajectory, and how to live with it, in a way that I know to be true to my experience. I found something good today by an organization that helps prostitutes, I aim to get it up here before the weekend’s over.

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A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America:

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2007 as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. I encourage all citizens to help protect our children and work to create strong, healthy communities.

My Administration is committed to supporting children and promoting safe and stable families across America.

Childhood is a formative time, and abuse can have devastating long-term effects on young lives. In order to provide a safe environment for our young people, parents must work to protect their children from the dangers that threaten them. Family members, educators, public officials, and faith-based and community organizations all play important roles in helping to ensure that children are safe and can grow surrounded by love and stability.

As we observe National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we underscore our commitment to building an America that cuts federal funding for Medicaid, TANF, Head Start, CHIP, Child Support Enforcement, CPS Workforce Training, Children With Disabilites, the Social Services Block Grant (e.g. child abuse prevention, foster care and adoption assistance, child protection, alternatives to institutionalization and residential services for children and youth), freezes the Child Care and Development Fund, Children of Incarcerated Parents fund, the Abandoned Infants Program, the Children’s Mental Health Services Program, the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant, and eliminates the Office of Juvenile Justice in keeping with commensurate failures to make long-overdue new investments in proven health and social programs so that all children can thrive, develop character, and learn to be responsible citizens in an environment of security and love.


Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.

Is it just a coincidence that April is also National Poetry Month? Seriously, one of these remedies is not like the other.

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“I am a deceiver and a liar. There is part of my life that is so repulsive
and dark that I’ve been warring against it all of my adult life.”

Pastor Ted Haggard on his reckoning potential. We’ll see what becomes of that.

Lefties are so generally clueless and indifferent to psychology that reading them as the pitiless scholars of human motivation they aspire to be tends to make me pull patches of hair from my scalp, so with slight relish I share an informed analysis found on Alternet today–

What are we to make of a reigning conservative regime that lists the following inglorious claims to fame: Strom Thurmond, a notoriously racist senator who turned out to have a black lover; a Republican indictment of President Clinton’s sexual license headed up by a team of philanderers; a Congress full of divorces passing an anti-gay law known as the “Defense of Marriage Act”?

In the pundit corner, we recently saw three giants of conservative moralizing unmasked as incapable of restraining their own vices: William Bennett turned out to be addicted to gambling, Rush Limbaugh to drugs. Meanwhile, Ralph Reed, the hand-picked youthful leader of the religious right, was quietly helping the corrupt lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, enable everything that religious conservatives oppose: casinos on Indian reservations and compelled abortions and sex slavery in the Northern Mariana Islands, an American territory.

And this is not even to mention the Catholic Church’s strident indictment of sexual freedom as it shuffled its own cadre of child-molesting priests from parish to parish.

…The Republican Party appears to be chock full of people who make a life of preaching against the very vices they can’t shake. Why?

For answers to the puzzles that seem to infest the conservative worldview, we might dust off our old Freud texts. From the father of psychoanalysis, we learn the concept of “reaction formation” which describes how we react to our own unacceptable impulses. Reaction formation is a classic “defense mechanism” — an unconscious behavior designed to ward off uncomfortable feelings.

…Reaction formation is one of the few explanations that help us make sense of all the hypocritical moralizing: the preachers are preaching to themselves!

What is the solution to this misplaced effort to restrict others’ behavior? For Freud, it was therapy. But more broadly, it’s a dose of introspection, an ability to look inward, and to shift focus from others’ behavior to our own. If hypocrisy in American political life is, in part, a symptom of inadequate introspection, if our fear that we can’t control ourselves leads to an unconscious effort to control others, we’ll continue to reach for a magnifying glass when what we really need is a mirror.

I’d add “sublimation” to that incisive analysis–the defense mechanism that redirects an intolerable impulse to socially approved behaviors–thus we have the Reverend Ted Haggard(s)– bigot, hypocrite, sanctimonious, both self-serving and self-loathing, coping with his psychopathologies by abusing the gay community.

I don’t think there’s much hope for them, and no compelling reason not to try to understand them.

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