Saturday, October 31, 2009

Torture Is as Torture Does (CIA version)

Manacled to the ceiling?

Well, and why not?
They were, like, Teh Enemy! Once they're dubbed Teh Enemy, you get to do anything you want, do you not?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake? No! Let Them Make Tea!!

I work with people (adults and children) who have chronic complex PTSD and dissociative disorders, many of whom self-injure, and many if not most of whom have suicidal ideation, and some of whom are actively suicidal. Meaning that sometimes they act on their thoughts.

When I, as their clinician, think they are a danger to themselves or others, part of a safety plan we've put together includes going for an evaluation at a hospital or crisis center. I don't just send people to the ER on a whim, because that would be, well, idiotic, would it not? Generally, I try to speak with someone there to express my concerns, and my familiarity with my patients' patterns. If they listen to me.

Lately, that hasn't been so much the case. And I am discovering many of my colleagues are having similar experiences. Seems like, more and more, people who should be inpatient are not being admitted, whether it's because of having poor insurance with poor benefits, or I'm not sure what.

It is often very hard for people who are a danger to themselves or others to admit that. So the act of actually going to an ER and saying, yes, I have been having those thoughts, and yes, I am afraid I will act on them, is really quite a step forward, clinically-speaking. For someone to respond to that admission in a trivializing way, as in the "Oh, it's not so bad, why don't you just go home and make a cup of tea" (which actually just happened, I kid you not) gatekeeper incident, is completely unacceptable.

Obama, who is quite ready to spend on physical infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) needs to spend money on shoring up our social infrastructure -- mental health and child welfare, doing it from the bottom up, not from the top down. More services, not fewer. More services for the most endangered.

Are we hypnotized, as a nation, by some weird gender-biased kinda frame? Bridges and roads are visible, strong, real and manly and tough? Minds are invisible, weak, fickle, unreal, not truly existent, thus unworthy of making a top priority?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

CIA Torture Program Used Classic Torture Skill-Set

CIA torture program: classic bait and switch?

Nah. Classic inflict and revive.

According to human rights lawyer John Sifton, the CIA tortured some of its detainees in the War on Terror so severely that it had to take measures to keep them alive so they could continue being tortured.

Sifton, who is the executive director of One World Research, told an interviewer for Russia Today that there was both a CIA detention program and a military detention program and that "The CIA program was by far the most secretive. ... That's the one that only had a few dozen detainees at any given time -- but it's the one that saw the biggest abuses, the most serious forms of torture."

"In the military, there was actually a larger number of deaths than with the CIA," Sifton continued. "The CIA engaged in some horrendous abuses, but they appear to have taken precautions to have actually prevented people from dying -- which might sound humanitarian, but in fact was kind of sickening."

"Kind of" sickening?

See, the whole point of torture is to create experiences of suffering that are so horrendous that it makes your torturees wish they were dead. And then -- you just don't let them die. Because that would end the torture. So you just keep on doing it. And your torturees keep on wishing they were dead. And if you don't watch out, they'll go ahead and kill themselves. Or, if they're lucky, you'll slip up in your attempts to keep torturing them, and they'll die on you, the swine. And then the torturees win.

It's all so very medieval, is it not?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

JurassicPork Going Down, Down

It ain't right, people.

Pass it on.

Send some love to Welcome Back to Pottersville.

"How Is This Poem by Nobel Laureate in Literature Czeslaw Milosz Relevant to The Democratic Party As It Currently Exists?" (originally posted May '08)

for Vast Left

A Task

In fear and trembling, I think I would fulfill my life

Only if I brought myself to make a public confession

Revealing a sham, my own and of my epoch:

We were permitted to shriek in the tongue of dwarfs and demons

But pure and generous words were forbidden

Under so stiff a penalty that whoever dared to pronounce one

Considered himself as a lost man.

. --Czeslaw Milosz

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's All About Me. No Really. It Is.

So I've belatedly discovered that the bushist fascists with their dreadful profit-driven health-insurance-healthcare-denial-serf/slavery system have contaminated my mind, and left me vicariously traumatized. Which had been too traumatized to notice until the day before yesterday. No, really.

Here were (are?) my symptoms: irritability, anxiety, panic, angry outbursts (NOT a usual behavior for me), insomnia, hypervigilance. Occasional upsurges of wanting to kick something sentient (REALLY not a usual discursive thought-stream for me.)

So, in the tiny sliver of co-consciousness that miraculously accompanied these behaviors/subjective experiences, I'm like, where is this all coming from?

Which it took me a while to figure out.

It is not my anxiety. (Although I have every possible reason to worry about what I worry about). It isn't mine -- it's theirs. The people I work with at work. I am bringing my work home. And I have been sharing worry about suicidal clients whose insurance providers, in order to save pennies on meds, are dumping people off the latest anti-psychotic drugs and replacing them with cheaper generics or with really old drugs left over from the 1950's. Thus de-stabilizing the previously stable.

I mean, how stupid is that?

And I can't do anything about it. There is no way for me to intervene in this system. I can watch them go from ok on an outpatient basis, to needing to be inpatient, but inpatient is too expensive, so they re-do their meds and spit them out on the streets again, still unstable.

And what is my part in this? Like watching a plane headed into a tall building.

"Oh. Look."

That plane -- is going to -- hit -- that building."



So what am I, what are we, supposed to do?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rape: Another "Pre-Existing Condition"

Collecting all these stories of "health?" insurance company denial abuse is rilly, rilly getting fun!

Here's one about a rape survivor getting in wicked trouble because she took a drug after being raped so she might not get AIDS! W00t!

Let me highlight another juicy bit:

. . . patients and therapists wrote in with allegations that insurers are routinely denying long-term mental health care to women who have been sexually assaulted.

Yes, boys and girls, it takes a "health?" insurance denial abuse panel to take power and control over your mental health care, denying care because it is actually needed. Wow! Double bind much?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Father Knows Best

Nothing like an honor killing to start out the week with a bang: Dad Kills Daughter For Being Pregnant, Unwed.

A Jordanian man was charged on Sunday with premeditated murder after allegedly stabbing to death his 22-year-old daughter because she became pregnant outside wedlock, police said.

"The father and his brother took the girl on Saturday to a doctor because she suffered stomach pains, and everybody was surprised to learn that she was six months pregnant," a police spokesman said.

"On their way home, the father stabbed the girl with a sword 25 times in her stomach, killing her immediately as well as her unborn baby boy."

The source said the suspect had confessed to the crime, which took place in the Jordan Valley.

"His brother was also charged with premeditated murder, while the victim's boyfriend is being held in custody for his own protection," he added.

Murder is punishable by the death penalty in Jordan but in such cases of the so-called "honour killings" a court usually commutes or reduces sentences, particularly if the victim's family urges leniency.

Honor killings = leniency? Really?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Call to Action: Events Saturday in Boston, on Cape Cod, All Across the Land!

Here's an opportunity in Boston to show the teabaggers how appreciative we are of all their efforts to prevent socialist healthcare from spreading promiscuously. Morrisey Blvd, two ish.

And on the Cape, shameless Democrat Martha Coakley needs some kind of counter-demonstration, really.

Support the Teabaggers this Saturday!

Be a Billionaire! Let your needs and wants eclipse everyone else's!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Billionaires for WealthCare: Fight Socialism: End Medicare NOW!

Food Fight:: And Now for Something Completely Different

Long, thoughtful, passionate thread on food, US culture, obesity, at Corrente. I didn't want to clog it up with a video, so I am posting an offering here. Gary Taubes' book, Good Calories/Bad Calories, turns conventional wisdom inside out; noted wellness doc Andrew Weil, M.D. gives Taubes' insights a solid thumbs up.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Obama's Not-Bush Nobel Win Results in Massive Mob-GOP Head Explosion

One must work really really hard to feel compassion for so very many Mob-GOP exploded heads.

Not to mention how hard it would be to feel compassion toward the shamelessly sexist exploded heads of the idiotic faux-left.

[Hat-tip to actual liberal blog, Corrente.]

Saturday, October 03, 2009

4 year old in criticl condition: 5 adults charged with felony child abuse

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Nothing to see here; move along.

Neighbors who lived near the home where five adults were arrested for abusing a 4-year-old boy described a horrific scene on Friday - detailing the insides of the Hattiesburg home where the abuse took place.

They told of a vacant home with blood stains, a dog cage that may have been used to confine the child and rooms cluttered with trash and debris surrounded by graffiti-covered walls.

"There's stacks and stacks of clothes and little mats on the floor. It has the smell of feces," said the landlord, who didn't want his name publicized, of the home at 215 N. 25th Ave.

Among the suspects charged with one felony count of child abuse are: Sue Miller, 53; Nancy Miller, 34; Patricia Aguilar, 30; Francys Albertson, 20; and Christopher Lee, 37, all of Hattiesburg.

The landlord, who lives near the house, said all five suspects lived in the home, but only Sue Miller and her daughter, Nancy Miller, and Albertson were listed on the lease of the home, he said.

The suspects were arrested Tuesday after police received an anonymous tip from someone concerned about the welfare of the child inside the residence. Police said the child was in Sue Miller's care.

The 4-year-old boy was one of 10 children taken from the home by Forrest County Department of Human Services officials, police spokesman Synarus Green said. Green said investigators have not determined the relationship between the other nine children and the adults arrested.

The 4-year-old remains in critical condition at a Jackson hospital, police said.

The other nine children are in the custody of the Department of Human Services.

"The child's body was covered with new and old bruises, marks, cuts and abrasions," Green said in a prepared statement. "A lot of them were old injuries. He didn't receive them in one day," he said.

Investigators don't know how long the abuse had been going on, Green said.

A preliminary medical exam showed that the child had cuts on his head and body, broken teeth with damaged gums and internal abdominal injuries caused by blunt-force trauma. . . ."

But really, let's concentrate on the innocent unborn, not the guilty post-born. Oh, and really, let's save them widdle snowfwakes, mm-'kay?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Polanski Got Off Lightly, Lawyers Say

Polanski would face tougher prosecution today

By GILLIAN FLACCUS (AP) – 3 hours ago

LOS ANGELES — If Roman Polanski were charged with child rape today, DNA evidence, stiffer penalties, outcry over childhood sexual abuse and tougher scrutiny of celebrity justice would make prosecutors much less willing to cut the plea deal the director received more than 30 years ago, legal experts say.

For one thing, changes in state law since the 1970s would give prosecutors other options in pursuing charges, including a law that includes a mandatory 15 years to life in state prison for rape, sodomy or a lewd act with a child coupled with certain circumstances, such as the use of a controlled substance, said Robin Sax, a former sex crimes prosecutor with the district attorney's office.

"He should be shutting up and thanking goodness for his sentence," said Sax, who is also a victim's advocate. "There's one part of me that says, 'Bring it on, you want your trial? Let's let everyone here see what the evidence really is.'"

Polanski was accused of plying a 13-year-old girl with champagne and part of a Quaalude during a modeling shoot in 1977 and raping her. He was initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy.

The director pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse; in exchange, the remaining charges were dropped, and the judge agreed to send Polanski to prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation. But Polanski was released after 42 days and fled the country on the eve of his Feb. 1, 1978 sentencing after the judge reportedly told lawyers he planned to add more prison time.

"I intended that he at least serve a full 90 days in state prison," Superior Court Judge Laurence Rittenband said in an AP story from the time.

Rittenband also called the prison psychiatric report on Polanski "a complete whitewash" and told reporters he believed it didn't adequately explore Polanski's reasons for committing the sex offense.

Victims of clergy sexual abuse staged a protest outside the district attorney's office Wednesday to protest celebrities who have publicly supported Polanski since his arrest in Zurich, Switzerland over the weekend.

"It is very, very similar to the allegations against the priests ... and no one says that we should just ignore the priest pedophilia," said Katie Buckland, executive director of the California Women's Law Center and former Los Angeles city attorney, who was not affiliated with the protesters.

An HBO documentary released last year suggested judicial misconduct surrounding Polanski's plea deal. The victim, who didn't want to testify against him at the time, has joined in Polanski's bid for dismissal, which is currently before a California appellate court.

Chad Hummel, Polanski's attorney, declined to comment Wednesday.

Experts watching the case unfold on two continents say in today's climate, Polanski would have very little chance of getting the sort of plea deal he got in 1977 — judicial misconduct or not.

"I think we treat sex and sex with minor cases now much more severely than we did then," said Stan Goldman, a law professor at Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. "I think Polanski or anybody today would be looking at massive amounts of time in jail ... in light of the allegation, as originally charged, that this was forcible, and that he fed her drugs."