Over the years I have created a number of games that I mostly play in my own head. One of these has actually caught on a bit with some of my homecare workers: When you hear anyone, such as on the radio, say the word “normal” you howl. That is it. You can play!
On the right we made a party for watching the 2017 eclipse. My brother Tony chose the soundtrack.
Personally my current game that I play in my own head is named “4Truths.” All you need to do is provide four of your truths that you feel that if the world knew, it may save their bacon.
Here are my four truths:
What is the lag time between emitting carbon pollution, and hurting the environment? I have read that this is 40 years. In other words, a recent summer 2017 month was the hottest on record. The pollution that led to this was produced back when I was in college, and I graduated 1977.
Why is there this major lag time? My understanding from scientific articles and documentaries, is that the ocean absorbs a lot of our pollution. About 93% of greenhouse gasses are gobbled up by the sea, so that the impact of climate chaos is not immediately visible. The ocean stays all blue and consistent. Right? Not forever.
When is seven generations ahead? We often hear that phrase first put forth by Iroquois Native Americans. According to my search engine, the average generation is now about 25 years. That means that seven generations is about 175 years. From this year, 2017, that would be 2192, the 700th anniversary of the invasion of this continent by us Europeans. (We had tried before, such as with Viking settlements, but they did not last.)
So what if there are a few lags between pollution and climate crisis? There are more than four “lag times” before the year 2192. Big deal? Yes! Science has gone through a quiet revolution. Ask any reputable scientist, from physics to sociology. They will tell you that if anyone triggers enough positive feedback loops, chaos can result. Think of shooting off a gun despite warnings of a pending avalanche. When the snow starts to tumble, it may be too late.
What are your four truths?
I will be tweeting the short phrase #4Truths. Please post your tweet there, and/or here on my blog comment area. Thanks!
Buddhism has its “Four noble truths.” Let us hear yours!
Many people seem to think that only a parentage of folks ever experience extreme and overwhelming states of mind. Actually, thousands of everyday people go through the trauma of ICU and go through what is commonly called “madness.” I know, because since my fall in 2012 I have been through this a bunch. While I hope I never go through ICU again, even though everyone was nice, here are the ways I am preparing just in case I do.
Maybe you and everyone else should too?
I have a short video to myself to watch if I ever go through this again.
I have a great supported decision making team, both here in Eugene and internationally.
I also have a brief video to my team, in case I am ever considered unable to make a decision.
Yes, I have an advanced directive already that says that I only agree to voluntary mental health care ever, but the above help do more, especially support the people closest to me, who I so much love.
Everyone is always in an altered state, always. There is no normality. But we each need to be ready in case we enter especially vulnerable territory.
A US Senate committee is supposed to approve a controversial Trump appointee this Tuesday, 1 August 2017. You may not have heard about this in mainstream media, or even the alternative media, though I have been covering this topic for months!
The approval ceremony is scheduled for streaming on the US Senate HELP (Health Education Labor Pensions) Committee website. According to what I have heard, this HELP Committee will genuflect to power, and sign off on the appointment of psychiatrist Dr. Ellie McCance-Katz as the first Assistant Secretary of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a powerful federal agency with a budget close to four billion dollars annually.
This new “Mental Health Czar,” as it is popularly known, will preside over a SAMHSA that is supposed to be far more friendly to the mental health industry. For example, several leaders have said that SAMHSA will not fund the popular Alternatives Conference after August 2017 in Boston. For more than three decades, this annual gathering has brought together countless USA psychiatric survivors and mental health consumers who lead hundreds of empowering peer recovery programs.
For the past few years, SAMHSA has even begun to fund the support of Involuntary Outpatient Commitment, which often translates into court-ordered coercive psychiatric drugging of people living in their own homes, peacefully. All the groups I know led by people who have been through the mental health system strongly oppose IOC.
I just heard from leaders at the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) that this apparently-automatic approval can be watched this Tuesday, 1 August 2017; the link will go live about 15 minutes before the hearing, set for 2:30 EST:
2. Send a web note to each Senator, it takes just a moment: “I oppose the Trump nomination for the new, powerful mental health position, Assistant Secretary to SAMSHA. The US Senate HELP Committee is supposed to ask psychiatrist Dr. Ellie McCance-Katz questions, here are nine questions:
Next week should be interesting, perhaps revolutionary, for those of us who care about human rights, disability and mental health.
I heard from leaders at the National Council for Independent Living (NCIL) that the US Senate HELP Committee will be quizzing Pres. Trump’s appointment psychiatrist Dr. Ellie McCance-Katz, to a new powerful mental health position in the federal government.
9 Questions that Should Be Asked that Haven’t Been
Technically, Dr. McCance-Katz is being recommended by Pres. Trump to be Assistant Secretary for the huge USA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). Mental health agencies mainly are asking about her positions regarding “recovery” and “peers,” important topics, but here are some tougher questions:
Do you support or oppose SAMHSA Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC), such as court-ordered coerced psychiatric drugging? (Yes, in the last few years, some of your US taxpayer millions have gone to support court-ordered psychiatric procedures, mainly to enforce involuntary drugging. This has been done for decades by laws changing quietly on the state level. Now your USA federal government has thrown its weight behind this atrocity.)
If you do support this, then about how many more million Americans do you feel should get court-ordered drugging? (Fanatics for IOC, which they call Assisted Treatment to hide what it really does, are a bit shy about the number of Americans they would like to see involuntarily drugged.)
Do you endorse the current use of federal money for IOC? (Let us hear about how many millions have already been spent by federal agencies to promote IOC. Easy enough to find out. How many more millions are planned for, how many more millions would Dr. McCance-Katz want?)
Do you admit that court-ordered involuntary electroshock on an outpatient basis can be done? (Find this incredible? Very occasionally, on the state level, IOC has reached the bizarre extreme of court-ordered involuntary outpatient electroshock. Where the subject has to report regularly to a local hospital for another forced outpatient electroshock, or face re-institutionalization. For more proof, use your web search engine for these phrases: ray sandford electroshock, elizabeth ellis electroshock. An attorney confirmed federal support for IOC could conceivably mean more forced outpatient electroshock. Even one more American forced shock is wrong. Outpatient forced shock is horrible. So is inpatient forced shock, which has gone on continuously in the USA and most countries, for decades including now!)
What is the long-term impact of psychiatric drugs?
Did you know that neuroleptic psychiatric drugs, commonly called antipsychotics, are often used during IOC?
Did you know infants and children in the USA and globally are given off-label neuroleptics?
Did you know these drugs are well known to cause brain damage, such as tardive dyskinesia (easily viewed on Youtube) or an actual lobotomy effect, shrinking the frontal lobes?
Why aren’t non-drug alternatives offered to Americans, including the millions of vets?
And many other questions!
You may suggest more questions here on the comment section. Sometimes my blog entries are picked up by the big website Mad in America. Incredibly, my last blog about this topic led to a flurry of predictable controversy about Hillary vs. Trump vs. whoever.
Look, this is far deeper than who is in the White House. Whether it is Pres. Pence or the signer of the 21st Century Cures act, one of his last acts as President, Barack Obama (and I generally support him), can we discuss that later?
Come on, especially we who are survivors of psychiatric coercion! Let us have a revolution. Certainly no one can stop us for speaking up with the truth!
Mad with the truth!
Speak out against this violation, speak out for freedom!
NCIL is holding their annual conference during this same week that the US Senate should be asking tough questions. NCIL’s theme is Revolution.
The last time I was able to attend this great conference, I heard one of the last speeches from my late, departed friend Justin Dart, Jr., known as the father of the ADA. Justin called for revolution, and both he and his amazing widow have known that psychiatric survivors tend to have the fire in our bellies for freedom, love, and revolution!
US Senate Moving Now About Trump “Mental Health Czar” Appointee!
I just heard that the US Senate, via Senator Lamar Alexander’s HELP Committee (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions), will be looking at this Trump appointee at the end of July, 2017. Hey that is right now!
There are many ways to influence this committee! They include Sen. Sanders, Warren, Franken, plus many Senators from States with activists (such as Wisc., Maine, Mass., Wash., Penn., Virginia, etc.). If you have a US Senator on this Committee, act now. If your US Senators are not on this Committee, please ask them to speak out today.
Since the bizarre attempt to gut the ACA is scuttled, this is a good time to speak out!
It may be too late to stop this appointment, but we could be asking some very good questions. We need to find out about Dr. Ellie McCance-Katz support for empowerment, recovery, peer support, alternatives, etc. But we should also find out about her understanding of the way psychiatric drugs are forced on people, hazards of long-term use, federal support for involuntary psychiatric drugging including on a outpatient basis, alternatives to psychiatric drugs, brain damage associated with neuroleptic drugs, electroshock, involuntary electroshock, and how involuntary outpatient procedures can and do include occasional court-ordered involuntary electroshock!
Below is the blog I wrote a few weeks ago about blocking this Trump appointee, and I have some questions listed. Let us ask some good questions right now, come on everybody!
Stop the Trump Appointee of a “Mental Health Czar”! At Least Ask Some Good Questions!
The nation and media debate Pres. Trump’s mental health. It is kind of a kick to watch Trump act nuts. Maybe it’s like driving past a car wreck on the highway. You vow to yourself to look away, but I look. Maybe you do too.
However, Pres. Cuckoo is distracting us.
Pres. Trump is “crazy like a fox.” The US Senate is quietly approving his first “Mental Health Czar.” Really!
You may have not heard about this controversy at all in the corporate media.
This “Mental Health Czar” appointment is moving below the radar of many people. In December 2016, the vast majority of Republican and Democrat congresspeople passed a huge and extreme mental health law for the nation, as part of the “21st Century Cures” bill.
Trump is Nominating New Mental Health “Czar”
As part of this new law, Pres. Trump has nominated a psychiatrist, Dr. Ellie McCance-Katz, for this first brand-new very-powerful position, widely considered “a mental health czar” of the USA.
While this process is not spoken about much in the media, the US Senate via Sen. Lamar Alexander’s committee, is supposed to ask her questions and decide about her confirmation. The formal title for this brand-new position is “Assistant Secretary for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (Samhsa).”
If you are new to the US mental health world, you may not know that Samhsa is the huge federal agency that funds much of the mental health system. Just one of the Samhsa agencies is Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), overseeing about a half-a-billion dollars annually, including many of the mental health consumer events such as the popular annual Alternatives Conference, the next one in Boston starts August 18, 2017.
CMHS is headed by Paolo del Vecchio, who has publicly identified himself as someone with “lived experience” of a mental health disability. Thousands of folks in our movement lead by mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors have met Paolo.
Now Paolo and CMHS find themselves in the middle of a strange and quiet battle.
For many decades, mental health consumer organizations in the USA have counted on the federal and state governments for their budgets. Only a few organizations have even tried to fund their budgets with donations, memberships, grassroots sales, and small independent grants.
It is difficult to explain to people how much advocacy organizations for mental health are under the control of the mental health industry. Imagine almost all the environmental groups in the USA, such as GreenPeace, getting their funding from the petrochemical industry. You might spot a problem here?
The Chickens Come Home to Roost
I have spent about 40 years working as a human rights activist in the mental health field. I am proud that when I directed MindFreedom International, for about 25 years, we raised our funds the old-fashioned way mainly through membership donations. Yes, we tried to maintain friendly relationships with industry-funded groups, after all they did some good.
Time for all mental health consumer and psychiatric survivor advocacy groups to raise part or all of their budgets in a more independent way.
The reality today is that many of the mental health consumer groups in the USA are funded by agencies that are headed up by the President, Donald Trump. In other words, the boss’s bosses’ boss of many mental health advocacy groups is Pres. Trump.
Hey President Trump:
“Before your mental health czar pushes for court-orders of any more Americans into forced outpatient psychiatric drugging, will you have a mental health check-up yourself?”
I have blogged previously about why this new position is so very dangerous. For example, after decades of new laws, on the state level, for court-ordered Involuntary Outpatient Commitment with involuntary psychiatric drugging (so-called IOC or as apologists call this violation, “Assisted Care”), this authoritarian practice is now partly-funded federally by US taxpayer dollars.
The US Senate should ask Dr. McCance-Katz about federal support and her backing for this forced outpatient psychiatric drugging.
That is correct, if you are an American taxpayer, some of your millions goes to forcibly drugging your neighbors in their own homes, using court orders. That might even sound like a good idea to some people, until someone suggests you yourself might be one of those to be under such a court order.
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) is the only psychologist in Congress and for years he championed the bill that became 21st Century Cures. You may read articles about this topic over on Mad in America:
Psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey is widely considered one of the main opponents of our social change movement. This eccentric doctor seems to love the idea of forcing millions of Americans to take super powerful psychiatric drugs. According to a New York Times article on the nominations of Dr. Ellie McCance-Katz, Torrey told the NY Times recently, “I feel like I died and went to heaven . . . I honestly didn’t think I’d see something like this happen in my lifetime.”
Sure, we can debate the mental health status of Torrey and Trump, neither of whom appear to have gotten a mental health check-up.
Meanwhile, the US Senate should be asking some tough questions of Dr. McCance-Katz. Maybe the US Senate will approve her, but we Americans can at least ask about controversies such as:
Does she support more forced outpatient psychiatric drugging?
If so, how many Americans does she feel should get court-ordered drugging?
Does she endorse the current use of federal money for this?
Does she admit that court-ordered involuntary electroshock on an outpatient basis can be done?
What is the long-term impact of psychiatric drugs?
Why aren’t non-drug alternatives offered to Americans, including the millions of vets?
And many other questions!
Difficult to Learn About the Senate Debate on Trump’s “Mental Health Czar”
When is the confirmation process in the US Senate? How do you submit questions to be asked? What criteria will be used? How can we ask about involuntary psychiatric drugs, and their impact on Americans?
The Mental Health Civil Rights Advocacy Subcommittee of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) holds a monthly teleconference, headed by Wisconsin disability advocate Mike Bachhuber. I’ve been on this Subcommittee for many years. Their most recent minutes, May 24, 2017, reflected a kind of despair about this process, to paraphrase:
“We discussed the nomination of Dr. McCance-Katz to Asst Secretary for HHS. The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) said that it is done deal. Has support of Mental Health America (MHA). Dan Fisher says that groups will not fight because many get money from SAMHSA and fear retaliation. Instead it’s suggested that we pepper the committee with questions about individual voice of service recipients.”
Let Us Resist! Fight Back Now!
We can at least have a more transparent process about this US Senate debate of the first USA “mental health czar,” appointed by a US President with obvious severe mental issues.
What is the timeline? How can we get in questions?
Dr. Torrey may think he is in heaven, but I would like a revolution, now!
And in case you still had doubts that Pres. Trump has severe mental and emotional problems:
New York Times opinion writer Charles M. Blow recently wondered about Pres. Trump’s apparent “obsession” with former-Pres. Obama:
I think it is pretty clear, from Pres. Trump’s denial of the climate crisis despite mounds of science, that he has severe and dangerous mental problems. In fact, I would argue that to exist, to live, we all have emotional problems. The challenge is to seek positivity and justice. Pres. Trump fails over and over in that pursuit. What an embarrassment, and what a risk especially to future generations.
But as Martin Luther King warned, beware the paralysis of analysis. The US Senate should be showing some bravery right now, and both of your US Senators should act.
Action: Contact Your US Senators, Now!
Each American has two US Senators. Call and email them now!
Simply say that you oppose the nomination by Trump of Dr. Ellie McCance-Katz for Associate Secretary of Samhsa. My blog from the Spring about this has more detail if you would like it:
Call both the DC and local offices. Learn the name of the main staff person who works on health.
Keep calling and emailing. Please post a copy of your US Senate note, on this blog, on Facebook, etc.
Ask anyone in the mental health field for a copy of their message to their US Senators. If they do not have a letter copy then you may be looking at a sell-out. Maybe a nice sell-out, but a very confused mental health advocate!
If you can do more, try to get some good questions asked by the US Senate during this process. You can leave comments here. Just now I phoned up the office of US Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and the person who answered the phone was unaware of this controversy. Sen. Alexander heads the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which is supposed to be in charge of questioning Dr. McCance-Katz.
The Vast Majority of USA Opposes These Practices!
Note that both Republicans and Democrats widely supported this bill.
But both the left and the right have spoken out many times over the years against heavy-handed government psychiatric drugging.
For instance, did you know that the USA Libertarian Party actually had a plank, passed quite a number of years ago, against all forced government psychiatric drugging?
Did you know that several grassroots Republican activists have been key for bringing up psychiatric drugging of children? When foster kids get heavy-duty psychiatric drugging, all of us share the guilt.
This issue is far beyond the usual right and left split.
We need a revolution in the mental health system and in our society. Pres. Trump may seem “crazy” but the fact is that his wild, inappropriate, disrespectful antics get the spotlight, when we should be stopping the appointment of Dr. McCance-Katz and this nightmarish 21st Century Cures Act that Torrey’s group, Treatment Advocacy Center, calls “monumental.”
Let us not be distracted by the bizarre behavior of Pres. Trump. Oppose the US Senate confirmation of Dr. McCance-Katz, and at least let us ask some good questions. Keep your eyes on the prize.
MindFreedom International and Aciu Institute ask you to answer 11 survey questions!
In a few moments, you can support human rights in the mental health system and one of the most important groups in that movement, MindFreedom International!
This survey asks for your opinions and ideas about MindFreedom and the future of this movement. You are invited to fill out this online survey whether or not you are a member of MindFreedom.
One of the most controversial parts of this survey asks whether you support:
“Underground railroad: Assisting individuals leaving their local areas to be free of coerced outpatient drugging.”
In other words, more and more Americans are under court order to take powerful psychiatric drugs against their will, on an out-patient basis, often in their own homes. MindFreedom and Aciu Institute are asking whether you would support a system such individuals who choose to leave to get away from this coerced psychiatric drugging.
You can read more about opposing forced outpatient drugging on this blog, here.
David Oaks (showed in the upper right trying out a standing wheelchair) is one of the co-founders of Aciu Institute, which is a consultant for MindFreedom International. David used to be an executive director for MFI, before a spinal injury in 2012.
Hope to see you there, if you know anyone in Eugene, please spread the word. Wherever you are, you may have some good feedback, please use the comment area below. As long as you are civil, all points of view are welcome.
Do you live in Lane County, now or in the near future?
Do you want a part-time home care paid position with one of the best employers in the world, me?
I have multiple disabilities. In fact, I would be called quad but actually because my neck has long had a challenge, I am actually a penta: that is, I have five major disabilities, all my limbs and my neck. Plus a disabled voice.
But let us talk about the positives now, there is a great opportunity for the person or persons who work out!
To the right I am trying out a standing power chair, an example of the direction I am headed. Be revolutionary!
Paid Part-Time Home Care Workers Needed Now!
Because of circumstances, such as a serious health problem with one of our newer employees, we have a need for part-time workers, which can easily turn into permanent shifts.
For more info about paid part-time home care work, see my Help Wanted tab or go directly to this page:
If you have interest, please act now by emailing me at email@example.com and/or if you have my cell number, give me a call.
Our priority is an individual who already has an active Oregon Senior & Disabled Services provider number. But if you have a clean record and passion for this work, then applying with me can be your potential way to getting such a number, which can lead to other jobs.
One current worker says this about being an employee on our quarter-acre southwest Eugene eco-home: “David is a great and flexible employer. Their home is a wonderful place to spend time at and David is always fun to chat with. Working with David has also provided me with ample learning opportunities that have helped me start a career in care work. Thanks, David!” – Ian
In fact, even without applying for an SDS provider number, there are some part-time positions (such as admin, etc.) where we can hire directly.
Spread the word with folks who you think would be a good fit, if they live in our area or expect to live here soon.