AK-47, The Official Assault Weapon of the Mentally Ill

May 4, 2009

Gun Sales: Will The “Loophole” Close?

In an interview with Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes on April 12, 2009, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D) firmly equated mental illness with criminal insanity by repeatedly using the phrase “criminals and the mentally ill.”

If it wasn’t bad enough that she did irreparable damage to the reputations of hundreds of thousands of folks, Sen. Feinstein stated that the AK-47 is the weapon of choice for the mentally ill.

Does the mentally ill community have an official gun? Perhaps they have an endorsement deal with Kalashnikov… “AK-47, The Official Assault Weapon of the Mentally Ill.” Or “Just Do Them.”

AKs [rifles] and other firearms, once forbidden under the ban, now fill entire tables at gun shows; you can buy them from private sellers without a background check.

“These assault weapons are essentially designed and made to kill numbers of people in close combat,” Senator Dianne Feinstein of California told Stahl.

Sen. Feinstein was the author and champion of the assault weapons ban in 1994. “They become the guns of choice of drug cartels, of gangs, of people who are mentally incompetent.”

— 60 Minutes, April 12, 2009
“Gun Sales: Will The “Loophole” Close?”

Et tu, Sen. Feinstein?

Please fill out the complaint form on the CBS site.

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Into the Void Alexa Toolbar

April 17, 2009

I’ve been using the Alexa toolbar for several years because of the extra site information it provides. Click the picture to download your own copy.

PLUS they finally got with the program and made it Firefox-compatible.

Enjoy!


Medication and Reduced IQ

April 4, 2009

The Maudsley Bipolar Disorder Project: the effect of medication, family history, and duration of illness on IQ and memory in bipolar I disorder.

This article presents evidence that psych meds make us sicker.

“Patients on treatment with antipsychotic drugs had a lower current full scale IQ, lower general memory scores, and lower working memory scores. A family history of affective disorders was associated with a higher full scale IQ, but not with either general or working memory measures. Duration of illness was negatively associated with general memory scores, but had no effect on either IQ or working memory measures.”


The Drug Companies are Writing the Psych Handbook

March 30, 2009

Psychiatry Handbook Linked to Drug Industry – Well Blog – NYTimes.com

More than half of the task force members who will oversee the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s most important diagnostic handbook have ties to the drug industry, reports a consumer watchdog group.


The Power of Irrationality

March 27, 2009

If you haven’t read Kay Redfield Jamison’s “<a href="Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament“>Touched With Fire; Manic-Depressive Ilness and the Artistic Temperament” run out and get a copy. She is a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins and is bipolar herself.

“I believe that curiosity, wonder and passion are defining qualities of imaginative minds and great teachers; that restlessness and discontent are vital things; and that intense experience and suffering instruct us in ways that less intense emotions can never do. I believe, in short, that we are equally beholden to heart and mind, and that those who have particularly passionate temperaments and questioning minds leave the world a different place for their having been there. It is important to value intellect and discipline, of course, but it is also important to recognize the power of irrationality, enthusiasm and vast energy. Intensity has its costs, of course — in pain, in hastily and poorly reckoned plans, in impetuousness — but it has its advantages as well.”
Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, Author and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University
in “The Benefits of Restlessness and Jagged Edges”
NPR Morning Edition, June 6, 2005

There is a video of a speech she did about Exhuberance on YouTube that was quite inspiring. She wrote a great book about the love of life called Exuberance: The Passion for Life
.


Mental Health Parity in the Bailout Boondoggle H. R. 1424

March 17, 2009

This refers to a previous bailout, not to the latest ripoff.

H. R. 1424: Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

Here is the full text, and I suggest that everybody read this bill. It was pushed through with only a couple of days debate by lawyers who have little understanding of the workings of Wall Street or The Fed, and who have huge financial interest in the institutions that will benefit from it. To add insult to injury, they tacked a lot of pork barrel spending onto it to BRIBE Congress to agree to it.
http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/financialsvcs_dem/essabill.pdf

Some comments:

“To amend section 712 of the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act of 1974, section 2705 of the Public Health
Service Act, section 9812 of the Internal Revenue Code
of 1986 to require equity in the provision of mental
health and substance-related disorder benefits under
group health plans, to prohibit discrimination on the
basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance
and employment, and for other purposes.”

This means that you only get parity if your employer provides your insurance AND that insurance already has mental health coverage. It doesn’t seem to require them to cover it. How many of you all work full-time?

There is a cost exemption so to limit mental health coverage if it increases costs by some undetermined amount. The insurance companies can still deny claims bases on their definition of “medical necessity” or by their definition of “reasonable and customary” services.

‘‘(2) COST EXEMPTION.—
6 ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—With respect to a
7 group health plan (or health insurance coverage
8 offered in connection with such a plan), if the
9 application of this section to such plan (or cov
10 erage) results in an increase for the plan year
11 involved of the actual total costs of coverage
12 with respect to medical and surgical benefits
13 and mental health and substance use disorder
14 benefits under the plan (as determined and cer
15 tified under subparagraph (C)) by an amount
16 that exceeds the applicable percentage described
17 in subparagraph (B) of the actual total plan
18 costs, the provisions of this section shall not
19 apply to such plan (or coverage) during the fol
20 lowing plan year, and such exemption shall
21 apply to the plan (or coverage) for 1 plan year.”

Discrimination on the basis of genetic information only affects illnesses for which genetic tests have been developed. This bill ignores a lot of of the provisions of the ADA, while modifying ERISA in ways that are completely meaningless. I am concerned that this will weaken the ADA by tightening the definitions to exclude non-genetic diseases.

Specific diagnoses this bill applies to will be determined by the GAO, which has 3 years to study it and present a report.

“(h) GAO STUDY ON COVERAGE AND EXCLUSION OF
4 MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER DIAG5
NOSES.—
6 (1) IN GENERAL.—The Comptroller General of
7 the United States shall conduct a study that ana8
lyzes the specific rates, patterns, and trends in cov9
erage and exclusion of specific mental health and
10 substance use disorder diagnoses by health plans
11 and health insurance.”

Congress can continue to modify this Act.

I doubt this will change anything in the near future.

A few years from now you’re going to hear Congressdroids bitching because they didn’t have enough time to collect the facts before enacting this bill. Listen to them whine about how they were boondoggled into exercising the Bush Doctrine on Iraq.


Positive Deception

March 15, 2009

Positive deception is when you change the parameters so that you don’t have to lie.

Throwing the ball easy to a little kid so that he succeeds and develops a good attitude toward the game.
Giving every kid a trophy so they don’t get discouraged.
Putting everyone in the school on the Honor Roll so that they all feel good about themselves.

Unfortunately, this instills the kids with total lack of concern for quality.