Art by Rob Goldstein

Mental Illness and Lethal Medical Neglect

I saw my first homeless person with mental illness in the spring of 1982 in Honolulu.

I worked at the psychiatric unit on which the homeless man had recently been a patient.

John came to us for a course of ECT treatments in the hope that the ECT would resolve some of the symptoms of his Schizophrenia.

He was psychotic and minimally responsive to medications.

I was on his treatment team and assisted his Psychiatrist with the ECT.

After his treatments we sent John to the State Hospital where we hoped he would remain stable enough to live on an open unit.

When I saw him on Hotel Street a week later digging through garbage for food, I was shocked.

I thought that he was in danger and went to his psychiatrist to report my concern.

Dr. Popenoe: Yes?

Me: I just saw John B. He is disorganized, filthy, and on the street eating trash. I thought you should know.

Dr. Popenoe: Why?

Me: (not getting it) I thought you should know. Shouldn’t John be in the hospital?

Dr. Popenoe: Don’t worry about John.

Me: What?

Dr. Popenoe: Don’t worry about John, He has better survival skills than I do.

Me: (still not getting it) How can that be? You’re married. You have a career. You support a family. John is eating trash.

Dr. Popenoe: (frowning) Don’t worry about John. (He glances at his watch) I’m scheduled to see a patient.

I’m fired a week later.

The President of the United States in the Spring of 1982 is Ronald Reagan.

lethal selection
Lethal Medical Neglect

 

The American Eugenics Movement

The rich founders of the American Eugenics Movement in the early 1900‘s read Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection and decided that they were the “fit” who are meant to survive to pass on their genes.

These men believed that civilization and improved medical technology subverted the goal of natural selection which favors the quick and strong.  And the rich.

Common descriptions of people deemed genetically unfit implied moral turpitude.

Madison Grant, president of the Eugenics Research Association and the American Eugenics Society, wrote in The Passing of the Great Race:

 “Mistaken regard for what are believed to be divine laws and a sentimental belief in the sanctity of human life tend to prevent both the elimination of defective infants and the sterilization of such adults as are themselves of no value to the community. The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit and human life is valuable only when it is of use to the community or race.”

eugenics 1920s
Mentally Diseased, Sex Perverts, Illegitimate, Paupers, Criminals and Murderers

He goes on to say: ” It is highly unjust that a minute minority should be called upon to supply brains for the unthinking mass of the community, but it is even worse to burden the responsible and larger, but still overworked, elements in the community with an ever increasing number of moral perverts, mental defectives, and hereditary cripples”

The American eugenics movement received extensive funding from the Carnegie Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Harriman railroad fortune.

In 1906 J.H. Kellogg provided funding to help found the Race Betterment Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.

A Carnegie funded 1911 Preliminary Report of the Committee of the Eugenic Section of the American Breeder’s Association recommended eighteen solutions to the problem of mental defectives.

Among the recommendations was execution and forced sterilization.

Methods of determining who was fit involved classifying people and their families by degrees of intelligence, material success and conformity to the rules of Social Hygiene.

eugenics - virginia
The New Virginia Law to Preserve Racial Integrity

 

Eugenic-Poster-Four-Types-of-Mental-Deficiency
Four Types of Mental Deficiency

In 1918, Paul Popenoe, an Army venereal disease specialist during World War I, co-wrote the internationally used textbook, Applied Eugenics.

Popenoe observed what he called Lethal Selection at work during the War.

He wrote:

“Poverty becomes rife, and sanitation and medical treatment are commonly sacrificed under the strain. During a war, that mitigation of the action of natural selection which is so common now among civilized nations, is somewhat less effective than in times of peace.”

For Popenoe the primary solution to the problem of mental defectives is execution by Lethal Neglect.

 William Robinson, a New York urologist, published widely on the topic of birth control and eugenics. In Robinson’s book, Eugenics, Marriage and Birth Control (practical Eugenics), he advocates gassing the children of the unfit.

Robinson wrote: “The best thing would be to gently chloroform these children or to give them a dose of potassium cyanide.”

“Society cannot prevent the birth of all the unfit and degenerates, but it certainly has the right to prevent the birth of as many of them as possible…when it comes to distinctly and unquestionably anti-social acts, a human being has no more rights than an animal. We pity the paranoiac, we pity the insane, we pity the degenerate, but none the less we have not only the right but it is our duty to prevent the paranoiac, the insane, and the degenerate from reproducing their kind, from polluting the racial stock, and from being a social and economic burden to the sane, the normal and the healthy.”

 

A Day in His Life

From the Applied Eugenics:

“…Direct starvation is not a factor of importance in the survival of most races during most of the time at the present day so far as the civilized portion of the world is concerned. But disease and the other lethal factors not connected with the food-supply, through which natural selection acts, are still of great importance. From a half to two-thirds of all deaths are of a selective character, even under favorable conditions.”

The 1927 Supreme Court Buck v. Bell decision upheld the right of the State to impose sterilization on the unfit. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote: “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

5q-Oliver-Wendell-Holmes

With this decision the Mentally Ill and the disabled acquired a deeper and more sinister stigma.

We no longer had the right to live and it was OK to kill us if no one was looking or cared.

The most commonly suggested method of execution was to set up local gas chambers. However, many in the eugenics movement did not believe that Americans were ready to implement a large-scale euthanasia program, so many doctors had to find clever ways of subtly implementing eugenic euthanasia in various medical institutions. For example, a mental institution in Lincoln, Illinois fed its incoming patients milk infected with tuberculosis (reasoning that genetically fit people would be resistant), resulting in 30-40% annual death rates. Other doctors practiced euthanasia through various forms of lethal neglect.  Eugenics in the United States

 

Lethal Medical Neglect

Art by Rob Goldstein
Lethal Medical Neglect: Discharged to the streets in a hospital gown.

Applied Eugenics devotes a chapter to Lethal Selection: Two forms of lethal selection were distinguished, one depending on starvation and the other on causes not connected with the food supply. Direct starvation is not a factor of importance in the survival of most races during most of the time at the present day so far as the civilized portion of the world is concerned. But disease and the other lethal factors not connected with the food-supply, through which natural selection acts, are still of great importance. From a half to two-thirds of all deaths are of a selective character, even under favorable conditions.

mlutherking_jail-1963.
Criminals in power legalize their crimes.


A Short Timeline of Events

In 1907, Indiana passed the first eugenics-based compulsory sterilization law in the world. Thirty States soon passed similar laws.

By 1921, California had accounted for 80% of the mandatory sterilizations performed.

By 1930 the forced sterilization of and segregation of the mentally ill and other people deemed unfit became policy throughout most of the industrialized world.

Art by Rob Goldstein
We deprive our mentally ill of resources and let them die on our streets.

The unfit were the poor, the mentally ill, the blind, the deaf, the developmentally disabled, prostitutes, homosexuals, Blacks, Jews, and anyone deemed degenerate.

By 1938 Jews and other undesirables are detained, starved and gassed to death in Hitler’s concentration camps.

If you think this can’t happen in the United States then may not understand that it has happened.

We don’t use concentration camps in the U.S.

We deprive our mentally ill of resources and let them die on our clean streets.

For some reason, we believe they deserve it.

Rob Goldstein (c) 2016 All Rights Reserved

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

50 thoughts on “Mental Illness and Lethal Medical Neglect

    1. Yes…Thank you Christy. The stigma against the mentally ill is a function of an overall stigma against the poor and disabled. One of the reasons the GOP Senate feels free to consider legislation that will serve as a death sentence to 23 million Americans is that Americans have have already accepted a population of disabled people who are living out their last days on our streets. Homelessness was a true slippery slope. The moral exclusion of one group leads to the moral exclusion of many. If we survive as a democracy we must change the way we live to reflect our stated principles. Russia would have us accept the nihilist argument that our system of government is no more moral than Russia’s. This is only true when the people don’t hold our Government accountable. The Russian people don’t have that choice.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have a question about Ronald Reagan. I remember Reagan and I remember his demonstrated sincerity – to put an end to abuses that occurred in mental institutions against a patient’s will – whose “incarceration” was forced in those days, often upon individuals who weren’t really even mentally ill.

    Powerful authority figures could lock away people they abused, calling them mentally ill.

    I remember at that time there were movies and documentaries out about forced lobotomies, horrific abuse, and the side effects of repetitive shock treatments on long-term patients.

    But this begs the question, for Reagan was not a psychiatrist, and wouldn’t know that most patients with schizophrenia or severe bipolar – suffer with anosognosia- and would not readily seek treatment on their own, winding up paranoid and homeless, starving to death, without any mandated treatment.

    Was Reagan really part of the genetics movement in this country to weed out the unfit – or just unaware of the long term effects of his policies? They hadn’t happened yet.

    Also, having been the victim of a sociopath who suffered from untreated schizophrenia, I barely escaped with her life – and now after years of psychiatric related research – I wonder if all those horror stories about psychiatric institutions were true – or exaggerated tales of propaganda, to justify diverting state funds away from those most in need.

    Most likely abuse did go on against the vulnerable in those institutions, as it does in all aspects of society, and as it does today, but allowing a person’s delusional disorder to take control of their body is also an abuse equal or more egregious to someone afflicted with SMI.

    Before certain medications – shock treatments, strapping down/binding and ice baths – were one of the few sometimes effective treatments they had, to interrupt cyclical patterns in the brain that caused a patient to be a danger to his/herself or others – or calm down a psychotic individual.

    From an outsider’s view, these treatments can look like the patient is being abused – but were they really? And did Reagan know about anosognosia? I mean, most people today don’t even understand that term.

    I think it is dangerous to make assumptions against individuals after the fact, rather than learning to evaluate and be aware of psychological methods of dehumanization in language still used every day. Any ideology that isolates individuals into groups or classes with special rights, rather than assuming all humans as equal and individual persons – equal Human Beings by nature of being human – is a recipe for disaster, and invites discrimination against the parties the language is veiled to sound like it is protecting.

    Nazi-like propaganda would be way too obvious today.

    The rhetoric used by the government today disguised as protection of “special” peoples is often the same propaganda to pass legislation designed to control, isolate and/or eliminate them (when you look at what the legislation will actually do.)

    Like

  2. What this post does not address however, is that it does not matter how much money is given towards mental health by the government, if the issue of anosognosia is not addressed.

    Unless laws are changed to help caregivers force those with anosognosia (an aspect of all major delusional disorders where the patient goes off medication because they are unable to know they are sick) to accept treatment, the serious mentally ill will continue to wind up dying in the streets – anyway. This is the HOW of how those with SMI are being eliminated and prevented from “burdening” the system.

    Amount of money spent does not equal amount of care. HIPAA and laws protecting the “rights” of the delusional to stay delusional is what is killing our loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely agree with you. We have two distinct issues that feed into each other: we have laws that deny the seriousness of mental illness by denying the prominent symptom of anosognosia. This gives people the ‘right’ to refuse treatment, which reduces the need to fund an effective mental health
      system.

      The result is homelessness and early death from malnutrition, stress, and untreated infections.

      None of these deaths is attributed to mental illness so we don’t really know the yearly death rate from
      untreated mental illnesses.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One gets a really eye opening, apocalyptic kind of shock, when one realizes the reality that the goal of disordered systems – is not the welfare of those whom they were intended to serve.

        No, the goal of societal systems is to support the systems – and make the systems “look” good and effective – while “eliminating” all persons that make them look bad.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We clearly live in a disordered system that has been made disordered by a well funded effort to make us crazy. The dynamic of a Russian disinformation campaign is sociopathic and may be a reflection of Putin’s pathology. The Narcissist subverts reality to control the perceptions of others. This creates a cult like need for the narcissist because he or she becomes reality. The narcissist also belittles bullies and distracts when the victim attempts to break free. This is the worst kind of abuse because the victim clings to it to ward off the pain of betrayal. I don’t think the goal of all systems is to make themselves look good but it is true that people have a need to feel right and this sometimes gets in the way of justice and fair play. A healthy system is one that can hold itself accountable and in a democracy, this requires everyone’s participation.

        Like

  3. It has become common knowledge that Hitler’s eugenics movement really started in this country. The founders of what would become “Planned Parenthood” were, of course, involved. Abortion has always really been about eliminating those considered a “burden” to society, just as euthanasia is.

    Sadly however, this is not resurfacing just now. I have personally been living the nightmare for the past five years.

    My efforts to save my untreated elderly schizophrenic mother’s life happened all during the Obama administration.

    I was told by police “Just wait until you get a stab wound – or she’s dead on the floor – before you call 9-1-1 again.”

    I was told by psychiatrists “There’s nothing you can do. Schizophrenics don’t know they’re sick and complex schizophrenia can’t be diagnosed in an emergency room. You can’t force her to get back into treatment even if she’s starving to death and is a danger to herself and others. Even if she asked to be admitted, her two insurances wouldn’t cover it.”

    I was told by the director of an elder care assisted living “You are wrong for not letting her commit suicide.”

    I said “She doesn’t have a terminal illness and but a treatable mental condition.”

    The “Assisted” living , elder “Care” advocate told me, in a tone of reprimand: “She’s old any way. You have no right to help her live!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What you describe is the brutality of human nature when we feel free to exclude a class of people from their right to be human.

      My post, American Eugenics in the 21st Century, takes up the American origins of Hitler’s eugenics program. In fact, the Nazi’s used the American Eugenics Movement in their defense at the Nuremberg Trials

      American Eugenics in the 21st Century :http://wp.me/p47Ymh-1Qv

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess the point I am trying to emphasize is complex.

        I remember many, many years ago – when my mother was compelled to stay in treatment against her will, she did very well. She got involved in the pro life through Project Rachel. Her schizophrenia had been triggered by severe post abortion syndrome.

        I’ll never forget the day back in the early 80’s when she argued with a politician “They are dehumanizing the unborn now – next they’ll be euthanizing the elderly and mentally ill.” The politician called her “crazy”.

        Now my mother, off her meds, targeted me – the live birth.

        But she was always a genius. She knew what awaited her – and it did.

        Moreover, she had come to see the inevitable connection of the dehumanization of the most innocent and vulnerable among us – the unborn – to the dehumanization of other “classes” or labels of society.

        This (in general) is why this brute humanity as you call it, has been present in all administrations of late – Republican or Democrat. One cannot “cure” Trump’s dehumanization of Mexicans and the handicapped, for example, unless one acknowledges the left’s role in dehumanizing the unborn.

        And correctly identifying the aggressors – brute systems of man – is Revelation.

        How ironic that I suspect my mother was raped and put in the double bind of abortion by a prelate of the Catholic Church. This too, has become a fraudulent, disordered system – a child abuse cult – that covers up for its own fault and to support itself – not really serve the souls and victims that are its clients.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Abortion is a complex issue but you raise a valid point. The Right, whatever that may be, shares a portion of the blame. By tying themselves to an economic movement that divides people into categories of deserving and undeserving, the pro-life movement subverts its goal. We can reduce abortions by funding public services to support single mothers. As I write this children growing up in homeless shelters with Mothers who can barely care for themselves. Is there a connection between abortion and these terrified and abused children? Perhaps. But the Left, whatever that is, does not support cuts to domestic programs designed to provide children with food, education, and housing. Any reasonable discussion requires us to examine the issue from a human rights perspective.

        Like

      3. You write: ” By tying themselves to an economic movement that divides people into categories of deserving and undeserving, the pro-life movement subverts its goal.”

        No, by using labels to change how people think about other human beings as less than human (referring to unborn babies as “pregnancies” or “fetuses” if they are unwanted, or assuming they are material “parts” of another individual, and thereby “owned” by the mother) the pro-CHOICE movement subverts its goal.

        The unborn are not less deserving of choice to live because of their degree of wantedness “felt” by another individual. Nor are they less deserving of life because another individual thinks their handicap, situation, race or poverty will make them unhappy, and they should therefore be killed before they the parent or the government will have to take care of them.

        The majority of aborted children are female, black and lower socio-economic in this country, because Planned Parenthood targets those entities, whether all its employees realize this or not. (How can they not?)

        Also, the vast majority of persons suffering horrific after effects of legal abortion are women, and because they usually have abortions only when placed in a double bind by males, with coercion and sometimes threats, but their form of complex post traumatic stress disorder (suppressed grief) after the fact, is not even acknowledged by a largely ignorant populace.

        Abortion is not a “complex issue”. Babies aren’t “complex issues” just because they cannot defend themselves, or are murdered silently in the womb. Babies are people; just as human as you and I. Those of us who are educated determine humanity through biology and DNA.

        All humans are worthy of not being murdered – simply because they are human beings, period.

        The pro life movement does not seek to divide humans into deserving and undeserving – nor are prolife persons disproportionately against government aid programs. The prolife movement is not party affiliated – because they consider the issue of persons inside the womb paramount to how we define humans as humans, and therefore above other issues.

        This is true despite the fact that the Republicans claim to have a prolife platform, and the Democrats do not. Not all pro-lifers are Democrats. And remember, Trump fought to do away with this platform all together in the Republican party but failed, then pretended to adopt it so he could get nominated. Halleluiah, he had a “conversion” after a whole life of supporting Planned Parenthood’s eugenics movement. (Sarcasm intended.)

        As a movement, prolifers simply seeks legislation to recognize the biological fact that the unborn are human. First we have to recognize people as equally human before they will ever be treated with equal dignity.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. We’re not talking about the same thing. The right to a life beyond biological existence is what I’m talking about. There are many ways to terminate a life before it can reach its full potential. One of them is abortion and another is refusing to provide the resources a child needs to thrive in a complex global community. If we are going to discuss complex moral issues we need a nuanced understanding of what we mean when we use the word life.

        Like

  4. Reblogged this on Lucky Otters Haven and commented:

    We may not use concentration camps, but in America today, we are still practicing eugenics and the mentally ill are one of the main targets for extermination. The proposed “healthcare bill” is nothing less than a social Darwinist way of weeding out the”unfit” — the poor, the sick, the elderly, and the mentally ill.
    Let’s call it what it actually is: mass genocide.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry, once again, typos. What I meant to say in my response was “not all pro-lifers are Republicans” and “As a movement, all pro-lifers simply seek legislation to recognize the biological fact that the unborn are human.”

        I am emphasizing your false assumption that to be prolife = being against government aid to poor mothers. And as a whole, the pro-life movement adopts “unwanted” children and gives to single mothers economically way more than any pro-choice entity. This is because pro-choice organizations and lobbyists on the left do not really seek to help to eliminate the suffering of these people they have labeled, but to control or eliminate the persons in these circumstances. In other words, eugenics.

        To understand the eugenics movement today, one must realize that those who promote this ideology do not frame it in the same language as the Nazi’s did yesterday.

        Both sides of the political spectrum are controlled by elitists who promote eugenics in one way or another, depending upon whom they choose to dehumanize. But humanity starts at our first moment of life, defined by movement and DNA. If this is not acknowledged, it necessarily follows that ANY individual can be dehumanized based on irrelevant criteria. Once this occurs, of course they are not going to have the same “economic” rights.

        Why should you expect for example, our culture to ensure the handicapped are given government aid, when those equal, living individuals within the womb are actually murdered for having this health predisposition?

        Please note that you have not published yet most of my comments but have published your replies to some of them. Thank you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t know why your comments aren’t showing up. When I reply to a comment I approve them. I will say that your tone of voice is shifting; I have very little patience for trolls and once I decide someone is trolling I block them and delete their comments. As I’ve stated in previous posts, my blog is not a forum for right wing ideologues. I did not say that all pro-lifers hold any single point of view. However it is fairly obvious that the pro-life movement is largely conservative and that conservatives voted for Trump who is currently dismantling what is left of an already shredded safety net for the poor. This is a fact which you can verify by doing your homework. I expect people to take a civil tone with me. I am not here to cater to you or anyone else. If you want to discuss politics with me then give me the effort I give you: read what I write and respond with logic.

        My overall view of abortion is that I have no right to a decision as a gay man.

        I will clear your comments as I read them.

        Like

  5. Eugenics is horrifying. Thank you for sharing the history lesson and applying it to today. We are heartless in how we neglect our homeless and severely mentally ill. Unconscionable.

    Like

    1. Thanks Kitt. Even if the connections between the ruthless methods of execution discussed in 1918 and our present day policy of sending the disabled to the streets to die weren’t clear it’s certainly worth asking if there is a connection. The American Eugenics Movement inspired the horrors of Nazi Germany. I think that the citizens of the United States need to understand that defeating the Nazi’s was not the same as defeating Class bigotry, Racism and Fascism. These evils persist and are central to our politics today.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree. Leadership does come from the people. Part of the problem is that too many of us have abdicated that responsibility and remained focused only on ourselves and our own needs. We’ve accepted the idea that some lives are worth less. We need a cultural shift that will not only address inequality in terms of resources but also in our belief systems.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Karen. The thing about democratic systems is that the people are the leaders. If the people are corrupt their leaders are corrupt. If the people abdicate their role their leaders will take on the role of tyrant.

      But enough of our democracy remains in place so that when we work, it works. We see evidence of it in every election.

      When the people show up at the polls and actively engage in the political life of the country the systems that we create change.

      In this country their used to be an unspoken rule that when the elections are over we accept the vote and re-unite as a nation. We need to get the gamers out of government. Cheating and smear campaigns are fine in VR games; these strategies have no place in government.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi again Robert,

        What did you mean by: “I will say that your tone of voice is shifting; I have very little patience for trolls and once I decide someone is trolling I block them and delete their comments. As I’ve stated in previous posts, my blog is not a forum for right wing ideologues.”

        Wow.

        You stated you didn’t know why all my comments weren’t showing up, but I assume by your responses to them, that you are reading them. From what remarks were you able to “decide” that I wasn’t using a “civil” “tone”?

        Or perhaps this is a reference to the fact that I presented a reasoned refutation to one of your misconceptions?

        But a “right wing ideologue” – really? That’s bizarre to me. How could you really have read what I wrote and come to that political conclusion?

        I also do not know why you would think I was a troller or haven’t done research on the effects and outcome of various economic policies, particularly given the detailed effort I gave the subject of mental health care program funding with regard to providing homes and treatment for anosognia stricken individuals with major delusional disorders. (0% effective.)

        Perhaps you should research me, my writings, background and my own blog by simply clicking on my profile – before you incorrectly, and publicly label and assume things about me politically simply because I disagree with you on one point you made.

        A “right wing ideologue” – excuse me, lol, but that’s assumptive, insulting and rude – not to mention ignorant.

        Just because I said we can tell babies are human because of their DNA?

        (You made me spit out my drink. That’s ok, I have more grape juice in the fridge.)

        Perhaps it is you who are politically labeling and assuming things about me wrongly because I revealed I don’t think ANY humans should be dehumanized (and clarified the REAL pro-life position)?

        I simply explained to you that just because more conservatives label themselves pro life, it does not really follow that the pro-life movement is party-affiliated. That is propaganda put out by the abortion industry, who by and large are definitely party affiliated.

        The major pro life organizations are expressly NOT party or economically affiliated, because like I stated, their issue is the equality of each and every human individual, and they don’t get into other issues, because they feel the dignity and equality of human life trumps all other issues.

        If you dehumanize any class of people, of course it will follow that they will be mistreated – economically and in every other way. There are many self described prolifers who hate the economic platform of the Republicans, but tend to vote for a Republican president, for example, because the dignity and equality of every human life IS the basic right upon which all others rest, and the Republicans at least claim to have a pro life platform.

        But I also pointed out to you how those who voted for Trump could not really be seriously pro-life, considering his long time support for Planned Parenthood (also PP places abortion clinics disproportionately into black, lower socioeconomic neighborhoods and they are against this, it’s eugenics) and because of Trump’s very racist, might-makes- right, pro eugenics mentality. The prolife cause is also anti eugenics and anti euthanasia.

        So Trump even fought to have the pro life position removed from the Republican platform, and made statements to the effect that unborn children without the potential to become superstars should be aborted. How could you assume then, his supporters to really be pro life? None of the major pro life organizations endorsed him, although some individuals really fell for his claim that he had turned pro -life.

        Also, although I am much harder on the right in my writings than I am on the left (I consider those who are left wing ideologues those who are and/or wish to remain comfortably ignorant, and those who are right wing ideologues empathy-less fascists) you are incorrect to make a blanket statement that all conservatives and right wing individuals are against charity for the poor.

        Let’s be intellectually honest here, not reason-less ideologues ourselves.

        It would only be an accurate statement to say that self described conservative tend to be more against GOVERNMENT controlled charities, but they also tend to volunteer more at soup kitchens, employ more people ( if they are small or large business owners which helps the unemployed) are more likely to adopt a handicapped child or child from another race, and give a lot more to private charities as individuals. These statistics remain constant and cannot be denied.

        Many of the more intelligent conservative writers have blogs very similar to your own, in which they explain their view that there is a connection of big government charity to eugenics styled monetary control of the populace – that does nothing to help remove the root causes of poverty, suffering or illness, but in fact reinforces the suffering state of the poor with what is then, in effect, voter pay-off money and mind control.

        The details of truth are never one of the stated “labels” with which the media on the right and the left minimizes effective dialogue, and proposes we use like robots, or non critical thinkers. The truth is the truth wherever it lies – right, left, middle, sideways, or somewhere in the room not noticed by anyone at all.

        I did not know your sexual preference (I don’t say “gay” because I don’t like to label individuals – even if you don’t mind it) but I don’t see how your sex and sexuality has relevance to your abilities and responsibilities as an adult, thinking citizen to determine what creatures are equal, individual, living human beings based on DNA.

        If someone told you you can’t think as a gay man because you can’t bear children I would say they are just fucking with you.

        I had no idea you were gay

        Like

  7. It seems that mental illness have been viewed negatively since the dawn of age. While it is due to the lack of knowledge and understanding of the issue, there are much improvements now. But I felt that more needs to be done to ensure that the stigma is eliminated from the society entirely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you.

      One of the first steps in removing that stigma is on a personal level. You have to remove that part of the stigma that we internalize. For instance, internalized homophobia is still a problem among gay men.

      You must know in your soul that the man or woman you see on the street is fully human and undeserving of the conditions this culture has imposed on her.

      Once you know that to your bones you also know that regardless of the intellectual arguments you may hear for allowing people to suffer it is always wrong and always contrary to the underlying principles of civilized life to impose suffering on those who are ill.

      We will not have a civil society until we restore the human dimension of reason and compassion to our system of governments.

      To do that we have to see how the slow deaths of people on the streets is the same as the violent deaths that draw our attention and cause us to react.

      Abuses if power by the police against African-Americans is the same as abuses of power on the part of Congress toward people with mental illness.

      They stem from the same system of oppression.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the term “homosexual” is in itself degrading of an individual, divisive, self stigmatizing and dehumanizing.

        I realize linguistic needs to communicate a group of people with certain traits – but should one really be “defined by” or grouped into a label simply because they are same sex attracted (what some know as gender dysphoria? )

        No – these persons are equal human beings – not sexual labels.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Homosexual and Heterosexual are recent concepts and one hopes can one day dispense with these terms. I don’t think about my sexuality until someone points it out to me. Those who point it out to me are usually trying to regulate to the point of persecution the way I sexually express an emotional state called love.

        Until we are free of those who categorize us offensively, we must live with these offensive categories.

        Like

  8. Excellent article. Ronald Reagan certainly did the mentally ill and disadvantaged great harm but, as your discussion of eugenics shows, our attitude toward such people has deep historical roots. We have treated them as throwaway people, lives of no value. One can hope that at some point in the future we will restore the social programs necessary to support all members of our communities. Of course, we need caring and effective leaders to make it happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree but with this caveat: Leadership comes from the people.

      The militarization of our police, the random murders of unarmed African-Americans by the police, the presence of a media outlet that presents opinion as fact and the normalization of the presence of gravely disabled people dying from treatable illnesses on the streets of our cities is all part of the same problem.

      If you belong to the 99 percent your live doesn’t matter.

      You may think it does but if something beyond your control happens to you and it causes you to lose your housing you WILL become homeless and maybe you’ll survive and maybe you won’t.

      But if the thing that happened to you is Schizophrenia and you are poor and without family and you become homeless you will most certainly die from lethal medical neglect.

      That’s a crime.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m extremely lucky to have a supportive network of friends and family. There is also the fact that I live in San Francisco and am part of an older network of friends who have Communitarianism values.

        Had one little piece of that network been out of place I would be homeless now.

        Most people say I have a good mind.

        How many minds like mine have died in anguish on our streets since homelessness began in the 1980’s?

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I never want to wish ill on people, or speak harshly of the dead, but sometimes I think Reagan’s final years was karma. Though I don’t really believe in that and feel horrible for feeling that way. It is hard to help when you think about the amount of lives that man destroyed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know… I don’t consider his end Karma at all.

      If it had been Karma he would have died on the streets helplessly ill just like the hundreds of thousands of of disabled people who are still dying on our streets thanks to Reagan and his silent enablers.

      …It’s time to let the gas out of balloon of this allegedly great B-Grade President who deregulated and destroyed the economic system that made this one of the most functional and prosperous democracies in history of our species.

      And that’s without the clever trick of shutting State Hospitals while simultaneously removing funds for the programs that were supposed to take their place.

      I don’t mean to sound mean…but can one really be mean about about a man who cheated his way into office, who abused his power and destroyed the lives of innocent people?

      Two generations don’t know about a United States that did not have mentally ill people defecating on its streets. Welcome to Reagan’s endless night.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Insanity – the study of the sane, by the insane… I personally think society is insane, sometimes… okay, no, most of the time… but am unsure if that makes me sane or insane? …not that it matters.

    It’s just horrific that people are still treated the same way they have always been treated – at arm’s length.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that were such conflicted creatures that we are all probably insane by the standard of some unknown universal mind that knows why the hell we’re here and whether we will survive long enough to master the use of reason.

      Mental illnesses are cognitive disorders.

      Some of them are caused by neurological misfires and some are caused by violent and abusive childhoods.

      At this point I don’t think we keep people with mental illness at arms length because of their mental illness–I think we keep them at arms
      length because if we really look at them we will be forced to come to terms with the fact that we have allowed our government to target an entire group of people for extermination by a kind of economic embargo, This is a crime against humanity. On some level we know this but changing it means facing the fact that we’ve been an ugly people for a very long time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oooogh Lordy, I faced that fact some time ago for countless reasons. But also, changing it means addressing it head on and the possibility it could happen to any of us.

        Like

Tell me what you think....

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s