Now is the Time We All Need A Great Leader~

‘We need words and acts of wisdom, ethics, and compassion, from our leaders’  Cindy Knoke

We need words and acts of wisdom, ethics and compassion, from our leaders now more than ever. Since this is utterly lacking, take heart from the words of a truly gifted leader that could never be more relevant than today.

Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968) addresses the March On Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, where he gave his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

“Letter from Birmingham Jail,” April 16, 1963

“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”

“I Have a Dream”, Washington, D.C., August 28, 1963

My heart breaks for George Floyd, his family, and our country. Are we not better people than this?

There are no cheers…

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There’s a poison in This Court that will Kill us All


The title of this post comes from “Camelot.”

I was doing research today at the Internet Archives for a project.

I needed a good public domain photo of John Kennedy and ran a search. One of the returns was the 1960 Debate between Kennedy and Nixon.

An estimated 70 million citizens watched the first televised Presidential debate.

I watched the opening and marveled at the complex questions and answers.

Kennedy’s task was to convince his fellow citizens that he understood the separation of church and State and that he would follow the rule of law.

Kennedy stated:

“…because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected President, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured — perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again — not what kind of church I believe in, for that should be important only to me — but what kind of America I believe in.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accept instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials, and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

I had a moment of cognitive dissonance when I read that Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz paid a visit to a “religious liberty conference” where he was introduced by a pastor who openly calls for the state to execute gays.

Cruz made the following comment: “Cruz: “Any president who doesn’t begin his day on his knees isn’t fit to be commander in chief.”

There’s a poison in our Nation and its killing our Democracy.

Here is a portion of Kennedy’s opening statement in 1960:

“I don’t want the talents of any American to go to waste. I know that there are those who want to turn everything over to the government. I don’t at all. I want the individuals to meet their responsibilities. And I want the states to meet their responsibilities. But I think there is also a national responsibility. The argument has been used against every piece of social legislation in the last twenty-five years. The people of the United States individually could not have developed the Tennessee Valley; collectively they could have. A cotton farmer in Georgia or a peanut farmer or a dairy farmer in Wisconsin and Minnesota, he cannot protect himself against the forces of supply and demand in the market place; but working together in effective governmental programs he can do so. Seventeen million Americans, who live over sixty-five on an average Social Security check of about seventy-eight dollars a month, they’re not able to sustain themselves individually, but they can sustain themselves through the social security system. I don’t believe in big government, but I believe in effective governmental action.” John Kennedy 1960

Listen to all of it.  Hear the sound of reason and intellect.

King Arthur: Proposition. Right or wrong. They have the might. So, right or wrong. They’re always right. That’s wrong. Right?


“Jesus Christ is the king of the president of the United States, whether he admits it or not!”

Gay death penalty advocate Pastor Kevin Swanson

There is a poison loose in this Nation and the only force that can stop it from killing us is us.

RG 2015-2016






When it Comes to Filling Out Forms

The Problem with Forms
The Problem with Forms

Pattie Duke’s bi-polar illness is not the same as the bi-polar illness of the woman I saw kneeling and praying on Market Street.

Even if Pattie Duke was broke her illness would be unique to her.

People with schizophrenia also have different symptom patterns and different degrees of abilities.

Some of the more crippling symptoms of schizophrenia are directly related to the quality of a patient’s life.

Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Quality of Life Research Unit define quality of life as “The degree to which a person enjoys the important possibilities of his or her life” 

Their Quality of Life Model is based on the categories “being”, “belonging”, and “becoming”, respectively who one is, how one is not connected to one’s environment, and whether one achieves one’s personal goals, hopes, and aspirations.

Therefore quality of life is defined as the extent to which one is able to “become” the best possible person.

This may be the definition that John Kennedy had in mind in his  Special Message to the Congress on Mental Illness and Mental Retardation.

The American Presidency Project

We as a Nation have long neglected the mentally ill and the mentally retarded. This neglect must end, if our nation is to live up to its own standards of compassion and dignity and achieve the maximum use of its manpower.

This tradition of neglect must be replaced by forceful and far-reaching programs carried out at all levels of government, by private individuals and by State and local agencies in every part of the Union. We must act–to bestow the full benefits of our society on those who suffer from mental disabilities;

John Kennedy

When Pigs Fly
When Pigs Fly

There is no one way to have a mental illness.

No one fully understands how the developing brain is damaged by abuse.

One of the residual great ideas left over from John Kennedy’s vision is the psychiatric case manager.

If you use a community mental health plan, you may have heard your counselor called your case manager.

The two terms are often used interchangeably.

Case Managers help patients to maximize their network of supports by intervening when necessary to compensate for deficits caused by the illness.

The Case Manager becomes a patients ally in the attempt to find a level of wellness that allows him to have what he or she believes is a life worth living.

I can give you a personal example.

I have a problem with forms.

The little squares confuse me, I get anxious.

When I get anxious, I switch and forget the form.

This phobic response to forms began in 2009 and it persists.

I think I may have mentioned my form phobia in another post.

To some extent, Kaiser itself set my expectations of Kaiser.

My psychiatrist really does extend himself the extent that he can.

And my first Kaiser case manager took the time to study my illness and to learn how it had compromised my life.

Had Dr. Stephanie Boyden not helped me fill out the forms for Federal Disability I would probably not have applied.

Had she not helped me fill out financial aid forms I would be trapped by thousands of dollars of unpaid medical bills.

Had Dr. Boyden not had been my case manager I would not have had the resources to discover photography, art and my writing.

Had Dr. Boyden not been my case manager I would not have the support of my therapist, Flora Colao.

My twice-weekly visits to Flora Colao are covered by Kaiser because of Dr. Boyden’s advocacy.

In 2012, I was so ill that I was taking my medications twice and sometimes three times a day.

I would take them and forget.

Dr. Boyden noticed that I looked ill and seemed confused.

She did not take “I’m fine” for an answer.

When she realized that my life was in danger she had me medically assessed and hospitalized.

Mandatory commitment is an awful and often right response to a mental health crisis.

A good case manager understands that the only way to mitigate the damage of a chronic or long-term illness is to help the patient to keep a secure support system.

Dr. Boyden left the clinic in 2013 and my care has been a mess ever since.

Yesterday I was so anxious and desperate that looked for her number and left a message to ask her how I could get her back as a case manager.

She returned my call within the hour.

Just the sound of her voice made me feel safer.

She told me that she is no longer working as a case manager.

But she took time out of her day to listen to the fears of a man who is not her patient.

The tragic reality is that some mental illnesses impair a patient’s life by slow erosion.

I have an alternate that always comes out to interact with new case managers.

He is competent and ever so insightful.

A clinician who had not bothered to study my case, and who knew nothing else about me would wonder why a man of my intelligence was being so lazy about a few simple questions and even refuse to help.

That’s a real liability when it comes to filling out important forms.


Blog for Mental Health 2015mhwgmember2015