Violence

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There are rich stories of human suffering all around us couched in terms of financial crisis – stories we encounter in our news media, in the streets and even in our own families.

Nevertheless things are getting worse all the time and I have been in the middle of the battle on the same losing side as the mental health patients.

I have been in the middle of mass human suffering which nobody seems to have the power to alleviate.  For many years, as the situation worsens, I have done what I could.  I have been on every front of the battle known to me and accessible to me – in community mental health centers, the VA, state prisons and private, for-profit, insurance-driven treatment centers. Read more on The Cost Of Not Caring…

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At some time in our lives, we all need to be told we’re good or shown the way.  A simple story about giving kids from Oakland’s toughest neighborhoods a chance to rise above the violence in their communities strangely touched me and compelled me to write.  As I do this, I am not that far from Oakland.  I have heard enough to tell you that the culture of violence described is not exaggerated. Patients who see me for marijuana permission are happy and delighted they do not have to drive there.

So there are children who grow up in a culture of violence.  I see adults.  Not too long ago, I was seeing adults for social security evaluations in Los Angeles. Many of them had been caught in crossfire, perhaps shot on their way to the supermarket or even in front of their own homes.  They told me they did not know why or by whom, and sometimes they still had bullets in them somewhere.  Other times it was just a memory that so overwhelmed them that the quality of their post-traumatic stress disorder was like the sort of thing that you see in Vietnam veterans. Read more on It Takes So Little…

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Christmas may have provided a break in the mourning for some in Newtown, CT.  That’s good.  Too much mourning is not a good thing.

crying eyesBut the first thing that bothered me about the Reuters article was their description of Newtown as “mostly Christian.”  I am not a terribly ardent Zionist, but I will admit I was proud of the Israeli response to the tragedy.

My heart goes out to those of any other minority religions, for I do not know who or how they are, or if their international communities have reached out to them in any way.  America is neither Christian nor homogeneous.  Failure to live up to the “freedom of worship” part of the Franklin D. Roosevelt and Normal Rockwell Four Freedoms is just another way we have failed, as a nation, to live up to expectations.

My heart goes out to anyone who has not felt support from the religious

Read more on Newtown, CT and the American Tradition of School Shootings…

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Hello health care system.  This is weird, to put it mildly.

As far as anyone seems to be able to figure out what happened, this 38 year old nurse killed five dialysis patients and “assaulted” five others by putting sodium hypochlorite – bleach — in their dialysis tubing.

She had some problems with domestic violence and public intoxication and such.  But according to the relevant statements, that was all resolved before she did this.

Jurors have convicted her of capital murder, but she is not going to get the death penalty.  Mostly, this is because she is deemed to be of no further danger if she’s kept out of health care.  Her daughter seems to be taking it hard.  This is an indication for counseling, but not a change in Mommy’s sentence. Read more on When Nurses Kill…

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What this man did was wrong.

We all know that killing civilians during war is wrong.

Does it happen?  Absolutely, all the time.  Unfortunately, punishing one officer will not stop it.  It will continue as long as we train and send soldiers into war.

If you or I were sent to a place where terrorist and guerrilla type warriors wanted to kill us, we would be scared.  Moreover, we would be deemed “crazy” if we were not scared. Read more on Thrill Killers In The Military…

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People get abused a lot.  More than anybody wants to believe and certainly more than anybody could ever justify as necessary.  Here are a few facts.  Yes, facts.

child abuse1.  My own brother of blessed memory, above average IQ and (later, I believe to be accurate) diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, did not tell me until eight years afterward that as a student in a school for the emotionally disturbed, with an older headmistress who was renowned for her knowledgeable treatment of children, an internship program with a famous teacher’s college, and many awards, beat him with a belt when she was sure there were no witnesses, in order to “help” him behave.  She told him to tell nobody.  By the time that he discussed it with me, he said he did not want to think of it ever again, and that the famous headmistress had died and she was probably in Hell anyway. Read more on How Can We Stop All The Abuse?…

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My second remunerated employment in my entire lifetime — I was pushing all of eighteen — brought me to the emergency room of a Harvard University Teaching Hospital, where I was the lackey who checked the pockets of near-corpses to see if they contained insurance cards.  In case you are interested, my first paid job was a summer at the Boston Public Library.  Their cards were somewhat less valuable to the holder.

At the ER, I occasionally made attempts to speak with physicians. But since hospitals are socially stratified institutions where most people who have the lackey job never ascend to anything else, people laughed at me when I said I was going to become a physician.

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

Read more on Academic Life Can Be Murder — Literally…

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I know childhood is not the idyllic thing that reminiscing parents think it is.  I remember being afraid I could not open the lock to my gym locker unaided in grade seven.  I remember fearing the other girls would think I was too fat or too weird.   I think I worried about everything except not being smart enough.  I was lucky I had that one nailed.

If I work really hard and think back farther, I can remember being afraid of the dark.  I got a teddy bear and a prayer book to deal with that one.

Child AbuseMy mother spanked me exactly once, when I plucked a flower from a neighbor’s yard.  It was wrong, and she explained to me why I got spanked.  She never had to spank me again, as I was a rule respecting child.

I cannot remember and can barely understand, even now with my aggressive use of energy psychology, what it is like for a child to be a victim of assault or sexual or physical abuse, or even to live in fear of such abuse.  It takes all my empathy to deal with such children as adults.
Read more on The Violence Epidemic (Against Children)…

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