Monday, November 23, 2009

Negative Future Projection and Medicare Equality for All

How we look at things matters.

How we choose to look at things matters.

How we think about things matters.

If we assume, as our fearless unelected leaders in the occult cabal clique-who-must-be-obeyed have, that outcome A is hopeless, we will clearly be unable to take steps to achieve outcome A.

This is negative future projection, and it is a cognitive style with behavioral implications.

Weirdly enough, this aberrant cognitive style has gone viral, and has nearly wiped out Medicare Equality for All, as an outcome.

It's like one of those dog-torture scenarios: delivering electric shocks that are unavoidable, so the dog sinks deeper and deeper into hopelessness, then goes belly-up, and submits and dies.

This self-appointed Steering Committee uses classic social pressure to shame and blame those who have not given in to the --[we can't achieve Medicare Equality for All] -- Cabal Core Belief with hopes that the rest of us will submit and STFU.

Besides all this narcissistic bullying, the greater problem is -- they're dead wrong.

Choosing the goal defines the plan, and the outcome.

Goal: man on moon.

Outcome: man on moon.

Goal: to fly

Outcome: flying

Goal: Medicare Equality for All

Outcome: take steps along path to goal

But unless you set the goal, it is impossible to achieve it.

Cognitive frame: flying is impossible

Outcome: none

Cognitive frame: man on moon is impossible

Outcome: none


Cognitive frame: Medicare Equality for All/ Single=pay is impossible

Outcome: na ga happen


Negative future projection about universal health care is a choice, and it is the wrong choice. It's viral social hypnosis. It's groupthink. It's cabalthink. It's bullshit.

We need to wake the f*ck up.


Arthur Silber on the Fuck You Act

VastLeft on shit sausage.

Ian Welsh on the Democratic majority.

All Life is Problem-Solving

More Billionaires for WealthCare Teabag Goodness

Join the Billionaires for WealthCare!

What's so bad about an apple a day, eh?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Illness Industry: Sometimes Less Is More, Sometimes More is More. Profitable.

From: the Heart Scan blog.

Shut up, about Stupak, ladies. There are way more important things to work on such as -- [fill in blank].

Thanks to Corrente, I've discovered a new blog, Historiann.

Where I found this comment:

Emma on 22 Nov 2009 at 11:09 am #

The one time the left pulled the pin, it voted for Nader in 2000. And look how that worked out.

You misunderstand. I’m not talking about the left. I’m talking about the fake “left” that propagated misogyny and CDS and elected Obama. That “left” will never oppose Obama or even attempt to hold him accountable.

No, what I’m talking about is WOMEN needing to play madwoman political bargaining with the Dems. Because when it comes to women’s rights, the Democrats and the Republicans are identical. Women’s rights, including abortion, are nothing more than political bargaining chips.

Let me put it this way: After the Democrats — led by Democrat Bart Stupak — passed the Stupak/Pitts amendment I got all these “call to action” emails from Democrats to save abortion rights by appealing to more Democrats and sending money to more Democrats. It’s deeply, deeply screwed up. And there’s nary a Republican to blame for it.

I’m done. Nothing, not one thing, not a “public option” health insurance plan, not universal health care, not single payer health care, not the success of the historic Obama presidency, not poor people’s rights, not people of color’s rights, not a jobs plan that actually works, not the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq, not the Guantanamo detainees — nothing is worth accepting, putting up with, or losing the battle on this steady erosion of women’s equality. Nothing. My “allies” are on notice. Nothing matters to me but winning this fight on women’s equality. Nobody gets anything from me on any other issue — not money not votes not feet on the street. Nothing.

And voting “yes” or “no” isn’t enough anymore, either. There has to be solid work toward building a coalition that will have the ability and the power to stand firm and pass legislation that will advance women’s equality and thus protect abortion and reproductive rights. And I mean a Constitutional Amendment or a statute that kills the Hyde Amendment, the Global Gag Rule, and Stupak dead for the foreseeable future. That’s all I will accept.

And beyond lack of support, I will oppose every effort that further enshrines or advances women’s inequality. I don’t care what gets scuttled. If you have to suffer until I get my rights, that’s too bad for you. Because nobody gets ahead while I wait. Never again...

Click onthrough.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jeff Zeig on Milton H. Erickson

And now for something completely different. Again.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Department of Why How We Look at Things Matters

Once a year, in the weeks before Thanksgiving, I go to the local knife-sharpener to get my knives sharpened. The knife-sharpener is a vet with PTSD, and he knows I'm a therapist. He remembers my first name, every year. He remembers that I see children. Sometimes he remembers that I see both children and adults. He often doesn't remember that my clinical specialty is treating complex PTSD. He didn't remember that today.

In the course of today's conversation, I mentioned that one of the worst misconceptions that people in the military had/have about how to treat PTSD was and is the belief that no one can treat combat PTSD unless they have been in combat. Which is dead wrong. Brain surgeons treat brain problems without having to have those problems themselves. Clinicians don't need to have PTSD (or to have had) successfully to treat people who have PTSD.

My point here is not about PTSD, it's about the weight of thoughts.

How stubborn clinging to beliefs in itself is enough to alter our behavior. In this case, this thought, this single thought stuck inside this person's head, is enough to keep him -- and so many others like him -- from receiving the assistance toward healing they say they wish for.

Remarkable instance of cause and effect.

So, in honor of the knife-sharpener's lost-lasting pre-conceptions, and acknowledging the causal power of immaterial thought to successfully produce effects in the material world, I toast to increased awareness and flexibility of mind.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Simmer down, Stupak haters.

Ok, this is a test. This is not only a test.

It is a Rorschach.

1. What am I testing for?

2. How many instances can you find in that post at Kos I linked to?

3. What does it all mean?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Stupak Is As Stupak Does

Periodically, when I'm feeling down, I launch attacks against the government-forced maternity crowd. And I launch attacks against the separation-of-church-and-state-is-for-pussies crowd, those arrogant guys in those churches that want meddle in the lives of people who don't even GO to their churches.

And, you know, like, I still have my panties in a twist about all that, you know, primary sexism stuff from all those kewl libruls who really have no problem throwing, you know, broads under the bus.

So when I heard about the Stupak thing, I just thought: hey! Broads under the bus 2009? No biggie. It's deja vu all over again.

And, you know -- it is!

I know it's just because I'm so emotional, just that time of the month, prolly, but see, there's another little tiny voice inside my head that is saying:

fuck this. really.

you really don't have to be physically hit to be abused, do you?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dept. of Just How Stupid Can You Get?

Army doctors worried that Hasan was psychotic.

"Army doctors worried that Hasan was psychotic"?

Psychotic = he's hearing voices, voices commenting, maybe voices that tell him to do stuff. You know, as in auditory command hallucinations: "Go. Kill. Infidels. Hasan. Right. Now."

No, I am not making this stuff up. This is what psychosis sounds like, is like.

They're worried that he's psychotic. Oh? Are you f*cking kidding me?

And they not only let him keep on practicing, they promoted him?

Who is running the Army asylum?

If someone thinks someone is a danger to themselves or others, one gets to hospitalize them, even against his or her will. At least for a couple of days. Who was Hasan's clinical supervisor? Who was Hasan's therapist? If he didn't have one, why didn't he? This is how they run their psychiatry services? Pretending psychosis will just go away? Would you like a little numbing and avoidance with your homicidal ideation and command hallucinations with a cherry on top?


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Something for Veterans' Day

Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like of old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind:
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in sonic smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,-
My friend, you would not talk with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfrid Owen (1917)

Vicarious Trauma, Media Frames, Numbing and Avoidance

Article on vicarious traumatization. With commentary.

As an army psychiatrist treating soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, Major Nidal Malik Hasan had a front row seat on the brutal toll of war. It is too early to know exactly what may have triggered his murderous shooting rampage Thursday at Fort Hood - Hasan is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 32 others before he was wounded by a police officer - but it is not uncommon for therapists treating soldiers with Post Trumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.) to be swept up in a patient's displays of war-related paranoia, helplessness and fury. .

In medical parlance it is known as "secondary trauma", [vicarious trauma] and it can afflict the families of soldiers suffering from P.T.S.D. along with the health workers who are trying to cure them. Dr. Antonette Zeiss, Deputy Chief of Mental Health Services for Veteran Affairs, while not wishing to talk about the specific case of the Fort Hood slayings, explained to TIME that: "Anyone who works with P.T.S.D. clients and hears their stories will be profoundly affected."

It's entirely possible that other factors may have acted as a trigger for Hasan . . [who] . .had developed strong objections to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But he was also due to be shipped out to Afghanistan, drawing him closer to the terrible scenes described in detail by his patients. At army hospitals dealing with P.T.S.D. patients, the staff is required to periodically fill out a 'resiliency' questionnaire that is supposed to gauge how well they are coping with the burden of their patients' emotional and psychological demands. [filling out a questionnaire? Wow, what a profound therapeutic intervention!] "It takes its toll on people," says one officer at a Colorado military hospital. "You cannot be un-affected by the terrible things these soldiers have undergone."

Most army psychiatrists now have a full caseload of men and women returning from combat zones with P.T.S.D.. A survey by the Rand Corp. last April revealed that one in five service men and women are coming back with post-traumatic stress and mental depression. Previously known as "combat fatigue" or being "shell-shocked", P.T.S.D was only diagnosed as an illness in the 1980s, but it has been around for as long as men have been killing one another and undergoing fearful experiences. It can lead to outbursts of rage, emotional numbness, severe depression, nightmares, and the abuse of alcohol and pain-killers. In extreme cases, P.T.S.D. sufferers have committed suicide and murder. Since the late 1980s, doctors have also learned that over time, along with drugs and therapy, P.T.S.D. is curable.

As part of their therapy, PTSD sufferers are typically asked to dredge up their worst wartime memories. [this is crap. it is also not standard of care. Note the "dredge up' frame, too.]Hearing these nightmarish experiences can stir up powerful reactions in even the most seasoned therapists [note how writer demonizes empathy]. One Colorado sergeant, diagnosed with P.T.S.D., who had served as a dog-handler in Iraq, told me how his psychiatric counselor had broke down sobbing after the soldier described how he had been sent out to find the remains of his close friend, a helicopter pilot, shot down in southern Iraq. "I looked up, and there she was crying," the sergeant says. "I didn't want that from a shrink." [well, that's crap, sergeant.]

But there is a major difference, says Veteran Affairs' Zeiss, between a therapist being moved by combat horror stories and being traumatized by them - though it can happen. "Psychiatrists are trained to notice their own reactions and emotions, and if there's something hard to deal with, they should turn to their peers," she says. [This is incorrect. One should not turn to one's peers. One should go get oneself a competent therapist] But according to some news reports, Hasan's unprofessional conduct was red-flagged early on; at Walter Reed he was given a poor performance report, but that did not hinder his transfer to Fort Hood.

And for even the most hardened army psychiatrist, that would be a grueling assignment. [note how sentence equates "hardness" with competence. Besides being a sexist frame, "hardening" is more like "numbing," a symptom of PTSD] Fort Hood has the highest suicide rate of any army base in the country, largely because so many service men and women stationed there have undergone severe trauma while deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. At Fort Hood, in other words, there was no shortage of horrific tales that could have set loose the demons in Hasan's mind.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Ok, I'm back from DC. Almost off to work.

This is a blogging IOU.

Will write about Americans United for the Separation of Church and State's blogger meet-up in DC. Great fun, lots of laughter.

Thinking about writing at more length on sexist smears against Martha Coakley, sample here.

Putting the pieces together re Ft. Hood shooter. Sounding more Islamic than traumatic right now. When will they start trying to waterboard him?


Friday, November 06, 2009

Al-Jazeera on Fort Hood Shootings

Deaths in US army base shooting

. . . Lieutenant-General Bob Cone, the base's commanding officer, said the shooting took place at about 1:30pm local time (1930 GMT) on Thursday at a Soldier Readiness Facility.

The suspect has been named as Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a 39-year-old army psychiatrist.

"There was a single shooter that was shot multiple times at the scene. He was not killed as previously reported. He is currently in custody and in stable condition," Cone said.

Hasan was born in the US to Muslim Palestinian parents who had emigrated from a small town near Jerusalem, US media said. . .

Josh Rushing, Al Jazeera's correspondent at Fort Hood, Texas, said: "[Hasan] is a first-generation American. He joined the army after high school and went to the Virginia Tech university to get a psychiatry degree through a military programme.

"He became a psychiatrist at the Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington ... where he counselled soldiers coming back from war.

"Every day, he heard how horrible those stories were and he really started to question the wars, according to what his cousin and sources who knew him said.

"Hasan became more devout in his religion and started arguing with soldiers about whether the wars were right or not, to the point where he received disciplinary action and negative work reviews.

"He was transferred to the medical facility here at Fort Hood, where apparently these feelings continued.

"It raises a major question - how can a person responsible for the mental health of soldiers returning [from war] be allowed to continue in this profession when he has these kinds of questions himself?"

The rampage occurs at a time of stress for the US armed services burdened by two wars, with commanders struggling to ease the effect of repeated combat tours on troops and their families.

Repeated deployments

Suicides in the army hit a record level last year, with at least 128 taking their lives, and are on track to set a new high this year - surpassing the rate among the wider civilian population.

US commanders believe repeated deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan have played a role in the spike in suicides, as well a surge in post-traumatic stress and depression.

Hasan faced his own imminent deployment for military service, officials said.

Nader Hasan, a cousin, said Hasan was "mortified by the idea of having to deploy" and that he had been harassed by other soldiers for being a Muslim.

He told the New York Times newspaper that Hasan had retained a lawyer and sought to get out of the army before the end of his contract.

Full story here.

No Sense in the Madness of Crowds

The Fort Hood shootings continue to whip up that ol' mob mentality. You can't tell facts from mere foamings at the mouth.

Yesterday, media said the psychiatrist was someone who had just been promoted to Major. Today, media swears he'd been interviewed by the FBI, and had been given a poor job performance evaluation at work.


Desperate to cook up a more-or-less sensible mythic framework, much?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Fort Hood Shooter Said to Be Army Psychiatrist


Army Major said to be psychiatrist treating traumatic stress who was about to be deployed to Iraq.
He had worked at Walter Reed. Just promoted to Major.


PTSD symptoms, short form:

1. Numbing and avoidance

2. Intrusive thoughts


3. Hyperarousal

panic attacks,
angry outbusts,

What Vast-Left Said

The audacity of Plouffe.

Yes, I'm Still Here

Yes, I'm still here, but I can't think of anything to write about. Well, sure I can, I already Googled the child abuse du jour cases, and there were just so many of them, mostly featuring daddies and mommies and boyfriends doing horrible things to 13 month olds and under, and I just couldn't handle picking up the links. I mean, ugh. You, too, can Google "child abuse" and then "news" and you will see what I mean.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Another Shameless Sexist Article in HuffPo


"The Original Power Couple Emerges Again With Hillary on Top . . ."

Why not come right out and call her a nappy-headed ho' and get it over with, Bronstein, you um "dickhead"?

And now for something completely different: Arthur Silber, a guy who gets it.