Beyond the Cusp

April 16, 2018

Congress to Take On Facebook

 

Actually, Congress will be taking on Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Instagram, Vine, Google+, Pinterest, Flickr, and the Internet generally. They are addressing it as the problem that Facebook had the information of thousands of accounts used by another company. But this exact same exchange of personal information had occurred in exactly the same manner with a similar company without any big brouhaha coming about. Why all of a sudden is this an emergency to repair what is being described as a catastrophe? Well, that is easy to explain. The former use of Facebook information by forecasting company who advise political campaigns worked for President Obama and his two Presidential campaigns. This time the company which used the data also worked on a campaign, the wrong kind of campaign, for the campaign of President Trump in the last election. That became a criminal act as it worked to aid a candidate who does not desire to grow government fast enough for the political heavy hitters’ proclivities. These heavy hitters behind our politics do not hold office; they hold the office-holders. These are the people who fund the campaigns of almost every incumbent unless the incumbent did not dance to their music, then they finance the party’s choice in a primary challenge. These are the people whose names many would never recognize unless we sit on the boards of any of the Fortune 500 companies. These are the people that control those boards by the same means that they control our political parties and the Congress and often they have undue influence on the person in the Oval Office. The problem is they have no control over Donald Trump simply because he is the maverick from amongst their group, otherwise he would be one of such people.

 

Congress is now coming to the rescue of the presumed hoards of people demanding that their private information be protected from such misuse as happened when the Facebook information was used in predictions of where the Trump campaign dollars would have the greatest effect and may have assisted his victory. People are absolutely jumping out of their easy-chairs and calling their Congress critters demanding they act. Actually, there are very few people who even care after the initial fabricated uproar over the fact that a Republican used the same methods Democrats use to assist the effectiveness of their campaign. How dare a conservative compete on a level playing-field, do they not know they must campaign in the dark and not use any such predictive information, especially when it came from liberal people’s postings on Facebook. This is the story that Congress is playing out in the media to explain that they are on the case and they will pass legislation which will now protect people’s information on social media, especially Facebook. The Congress is going to do what Facebook had already warned people is something beyond their control. How can Congress pass any law which will make Facebook and other social media perform a function they have already warned is beyond their ability? So, let us take a slightly less cursory look and dive just into the shallow end of this entire situation.

 

Social Media Icons

Social Media Icons

 

Facebook warned people when they opened their account in their use of service contract that there was no guarantee intended or implied that anything you placed on your account, regardless of the level of privacy you may choose, was not secure and could become public and should such occur, Facebook was not liable in any way, shape or form. Hopefully nobody was shocked or surprised by this revelation. We know that the people who wrote the code for every piece of the social media were not idiots. They likely were amongst some of the brighter people in computer coding and their understanding of the internet and networking and all other things related to these fields. They are definitely far more proficient than any member of Congress and probably more knowledgeable than the entirety of Congress combined as well as the bureaucrats who will write the resulting regulations to fulfill the legislation the Congress passes providing President Trump is ill advised and signs the bill. Still, eventually there will be a President who will be more than willing to shackle the Internet and assist any Congressional legislation through which they will actually end freedom of speech on the Internet. Do not mistake the broad and wonderful sounding words about protecting your information and making the Internet safe and your information safe because they are not even able to prevent others from breaking into the most protected networks the government uses and they have been unable to protect your information they collect and have in the multitude of government networks. The breach into the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was one of the seventeen largest computer data compromises in history, and they are going to protect your information on social media, right! From the article The hackers’ access was so extensive that U.S. officials said they think it is “highly likely” that every file associated with an OPM-managed security clearance application since 2000 was exposed. That was twenty-two-million people’s information stolen from a secure government database. We found other Federal Government data breaches with some of the worst being these three Department of Veteran Affairs with over twenty-six-million exposed, U.S. Voter Database where one-hundred-ninety-one-million exposed, and National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) had seventy-six-million made vulnerable. For a further list of breaches of Federal Government databases including the State Department and the White House can be found here. I feel much better now that the Federal Government means to secure my data and not the Federal Government desires to secure the Internet from information and other items they find troublesome.

 

The Federal Government has desired to sink their claws into the Internet and grab it by the throat and throttle it such that they can have control over what is allowed onto the Internet. The United States bureaucracy has salivated at each time there came discussions over perhaps finding some means of controlling the Internet which most often took the form of some form of net neutrality for the Internet. This was the idea that every source on the Internet would be required to present both sides of every subject and if they had articles or editorials which preferred right or left wing ideas, then they would be required to have a near equal number of the opposing side or they would be prevented from posting any more articles. This was to be something they were going to force the Internet providers to monitor and enforce. The main means which was often suggested was that the providers were to respond to complaints of lacking objectivity or too heavy a preference for one-sided political commentary. The reason for the enforcement based on complaint was simple and obvious, there would be more complaints against conservative bias than liberal bias which has been proven through previous imposing of net neutrality styled requirements which resulted in liberal imposed censoring. These previous discussions in Congress were heavily opposed by the Internet providers who simply all made the same claim, such an imposition would be onerous and result in their refusing service to all forms of societal and political opinion and news coverage in the Internet simply because otherwise they would need to hire an inordinate number of people to handle such requirements and simply refusing to carry such sites would be the only result. This, they claimed, would rob them of much of their paid usage and virtually all of their free sites. We will now admit out of fairness, BTC would be one of the sites which would be considered problematic and our ability to post and be carried in the United States would be terminated, and since our service provider is in the United States, we would be refused service under the ideas Congress has previously discussed. This discussion in the Congress, they will claim, will be different, they are simply going to make sure that social media will secure your information.

 

So, how can the government, particularly the Federal Government, guarantee to make your information on social media secure? Well, that is what is the interesting item, because the Federal Government does not do anything, they require other people, organizations or businesses to do things. The only thing the Federal Government produces are vague pieces of legislation which begets thousands of regulations produced by a myriad of bureaucrats. This is where we need to investigate what any Federal Government action to guarantee the security of your private information on social media would produce. First, it would put a scare across the Internet with many falling into a great panic with much hyperventilating and excessive flailing of arms while running around screaming, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling.” Then there would come the glum predictions of horrific changes and possibly the death of the Internet or at least social media. Eventually the screaming and running would end if for no other reason, people do eventually tire. Now would come the calmer and reasoned discussions with the wisest heads saying that the best approach would be to try to influence the regulations through lobbying and other means. As the regulations would be presented, the most important reactions would come from the Internet providers and the stockholders of the numerous social media providers. As the reactions to the regulations came in to the different agencies and pressures were applied to members of Congress and the department heads, then the different regulations would be adjusted, revised, retracted or doubled-down telling those complaining to just live with it. When each regulation was hammered out and reached the just live with it point, then the Internet providers and social media providers would have to find some means of meeting these requirements or closing up shop and thus avoiding culpability. Depending on what the consequences are for any and every data breach will be applied, some Internet providers and social media providers would choose to simply pay the price for such breaches and adjust the cost to their advertisers and members accounts which would very likely result in the end of free web sites and social media accounts. This would result in Facebook and the other social media providers losing much of their membership and people would be resorting to e-mail or even turning to some new system which uses radio networks which replace the Internet thus getting around the regulations being imposed on the Internet. There also is the long rumored Internet II which has had whispers for years about it being used by a limited privileged people who received invitations for Beta-testing and has thusfar not been brought to the general public. Even if there is no actual Internet II, should the Internet we currently utilize be overly regulated, then one can bet that a second Internet styled web will be developed and brought into direct competition.

 

Now for what is the most probable result of Congress deciding to make the Internet safe for the people and with guarantees that your information will be kept safe. First item is that no matter what regulations are pressed on Internet providers or social media providers, there will be very little actual changes as business is business and business has always found a means to minimize the problems, interruptions, complications and costs of regulations by some means as business only succeeds by providing their service or merchandise at the lowest possible price and with the minimalist imposition on their target customers. The quickest and easiest means for any business concerning the Internet to minimize the effect and interference of regulations will be altering their terms of service such that they warn that they will not be held responsible to protect you the customer or the advertiser from whatever ills the regulations try to make them be held responsible. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the other social media already indemnify themselves from being legally responsible for protecting the information which you post to their service. They will probably need to adjust the wording and may even need to have every user actually check the box claiming that the new agreement has been read and understood and found to be completely acceptable. That done, they will continue with business as usual until the next time there is an uproar over some conservative leaning company, institution or candidate utilizing the personal information gleaned from social media sites demands that such an unforgivable usage of liberals’ information for political use other than those which they agree with politically. For those who claim that an equal uproar would come from the right or conservatives over liberal or left wing political entities had used stolen Facebook personal information, allow us to point out that the reason that there was a need to use presumed hacked information was because the left has been having access to just this information and was used by Barack Obama in his Presidential campaigns and there was no screaming. Perhaps there is only one regulation to end this entire potential invasion on the Internet, make the information available to all who request such and not just to those with whose politics those controlling the information agree. The only problem with that idea is that it would cause even louder screaming, as that would permanently level the playing field. Actually, it would cause quite a deal of lawsuits demanding access to information and long drawn-out appeals such that the case continues until the election has passed. People controlling information will always do whatever it takes to make sure that only those with whom they agree politically have access to said information as information is power and those holding power wield it to their own advantage, and that is life.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 4, 2018

Elitist Leftist Will Destroy America

 

The elitists who lead the far left and other dedicated followers by the nose promising that they will feel great about themselves and have great feelings of self worth and superior morality will never destroy the United States, they will just destroy America making it simply the U. S. and never again the U.S.A. The main difference is the form of government and how it is chosen and allowed to govern. America is a bottom up system where the majority of powers are at the town, city, county and district level and the least power over the people’s lives is in Washington D.C. This brings the power closer to the people and allows for ever solution to represent the people over which it will be utilized. The elitist leftists desire that their infinite wisdom over how everyone must live their lives believe in a top down system where by the time you get to local government, their only job is to follow orders and implement what Washington D.C. has dictated to them through the State governments. These are the people who control the Deep State and who have been running the Federal Government since President Lyndon Baines Johnson used the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to pass the most massive alteration of power and society since President Franklin D. Roosevelt passed the New Deal, thus President Johnson naming his legislative behemoth the Great Society was quite apropos. From that point forward, every ensuing government, whether Democrat or Republican, placed additional power into the Federal Government and the inside tracks were controlled by top level Civil Servants who were immune from being fired and whose lease on power dates back to those initially hired top people under President Johnson. When President Jimmy Carter opened the Federal Department of Education, he chose the top people, all progressives. President Ronal Reagan arrived; he attempted to scale government back, so this champion of the people who wished to empower them did nothing to change the power structure of the bureaucracy. The following Presidents Bush-Clinton-Bush were all big government progressives and only built additional layers with the same people at the top running the now almost all powering Deep State and the plan was all but complete. All that was required was for certain departments to be flushed with cash such that their budgets would almost double. This was accomplished by the first three years of President Obama and then his remaining five years were used to allow these new levels of government funding to become normal all while claiming to have capped spending. It is easy to cap spending after almost doubling the debt and the size of funding initially.

 

Deep State

Deep State

 

This finished the construction of the behemoth we call the Deep State and unless Congress will allow President Donald Trump to fire civil service workers, the Deep State will easily survive his time in office and all that he cuts can be reinstated by the next progressive, be they Republican or Democrat, to take the White House. Some of you are demanding that we name any Republicans who would be almost as horrible, as the most leftist Democrat such as Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Hillary Clinton from wherever, and Nancy Pelosi of California. Well, why not try Jeb Bush of Florida, Mitt Romney formerly of Massachusetts now from Utah, Marco Rubio also from Florida and a host of other establishment Republicans. The Republican Party standard is currently that they are somewhat less progressive than the Democrats. President Trump is an outlier who did not pass through the political grinding mechanisms which turn once proud individualist powering the people leaders such as Jim Bridenstine from Oklahoma’s First District who will not be in Congress long as he proved resistant to the reshaping mechanisms by which such great leaders are made from men to mice, so Jim Bridenstine has instead been nominated to head up NASA, a dream of his that he cannot resist. Those they cannot make mad, they transfer out. President Trump is an anti-progressive but unless permitted to fire top civil servants, all the trimming he does will be for naught. The people at the top promote like-minded people such that the system cannot be changed and it will always keep its elitist leftist outlook led by elites hand chosen from within by the former elites. That is the horror of the Deep State, it is self perpetuating unless a President with the gumption to take them on is provided the weapons to do just that, and that would require making some alterations to the Civil Service and allow the President to fire civil servants, specifically those above grade level twelve, in other words, the leaders and the head of the beast. The only other means would be to start chopping off entire departments starting with Education and working oneself back to the original sized Cabinet that President George Washington started with, namely the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of War (Defense Department). Just rid the Administration of all the rest of the fat and then trim these departments down to essential personnel and pick those top positions and make the best of it.

 

Instead of three departments, the current Administrative Departments number over or around twenty, and they are Executive Office of the President, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Department of the Treasury, Department of Immigration and Department of Veterans Affairs. We likely missed one or two but this is sufficient to show the growth since the start of the United States of America and how the America is being lopped-off. There is apparently at least one department covering virtually every aspect of life and through which these areas are outside of the people’s control. What makes matters even more serious is that the Congress no longer sets policy nor do they craft real laws. The legislation passed by the Congress and signed by Presidents lays out the results they desire and then leaves the nuts and bolts for enacting these results to the various Secretaries of Departments they view as required to establish the needed filler and often they end the bills with a small aside allowing for the inclusion of all other departments determined to be needed to comply with the aims of this legislation. That is card-blanche for permitting these pieces of legislation to be passed through every department with each permitted to write regulations, which are enforced as if they were laws, which they feel they need and can claim are attached to accomplishing the aims of the legislation. That is right, the Deep State writes the particulars and actual enforceable parts to the legislation as they see fit. This means that the Deep State actually defines the laws of the land to fit their desires and not those of the President or the Congress who only get to suggest ideas, not enact them. All of the Deep State could be avoided if the Congress would actually write the entirety of the laws and not leave anything up for determination by the Deep State thus cutting them out of the process. The only other means is to have a Constitutional Amendment requiring for Congress to vote on each regulation and the President to sign them before they are enacted. Such an amendment will never come through the Congress, as they really prefer not to have to think or actually work. The unfortunate reality is the United States is ruled by the Deep State and until the entirety of the government in Washington D.C. is dismantled, everybody fired, and started over, preferably with just five departments, State, Treasury, Defense (the original three), Judicial, Transportation, Import-Export (instead of Commerce) and Border Security (replacing Homeland Security, Immigration). Make it that no new departments can be formed without the agreement by three-quarters of the states which must be acquired within ten years of the initial petition with no extensions permitted.

 

The Deep State was something designed by the political elite from probably the brain trust of President Kennedy and the Great Society designed by President Johnson. The reality is it might actually for back to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt with his New Deal or even to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson, the trio who make up the start of the progressive movement in the United States and the eventual end of America. The whole idea behind progressivism is that there exist within a society a group of highly educated, supremely intelligent and very self-assured individuals who know better how you should live your life than do you. Thus, these individuals are placed atop the society, ensconced within the government in positions of great power but untouchable and secured in their post such that they actually decide the rules and laws, not the elected officials such as the Congress and President as they are chosen by the rabble. These elites who run a bureaucracy which makes the actual applied laws also builds a structure so enormous and inefficient that it becomes impossible to separate the wheat from the chaff and thus they become secured atop a tangled menagerie of which no single human being can begin to understand the scope nor unravel the tangled array they find before them. In the end, and President Trump may end up realizing this before he actually does any damage to the real power holders, these elites choose their own replacements and lay just outside the reach of crusading politicians who promise to end the Deep State. This is how the United States will be run, as there are no people willing to brave the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune which they would face if they even began to touch the Deep State power structure. The war has been lost and America has fallen and President Trump might be capable of saving her and restoring the United States of America, but he had better hurry, as time is a wasting. The Deep State is thus far winning in this epic battle but one thing we have seen is never underestimate the Donald, he might slay the beast yet, though we predict it would take a general uprising to reform the government now. We hope America survives as the United States without America is more to be feared than admired and America is more than simply worth saving, America is crucial to saving for the United States to be prevented from slipping to the “Dark Side of the Force.”

 

There is one last item, speech codes. Should hate speech legislation ever reach the claws of the Deep State, the war will be lost or need to go underground and be taken-on at great risk. Hate Speech Codes will prevent real discussion as only those terminologies approved by the Deep State will be permitted. It will be the Orwellian Newspeak from that point forward where words will start to disappear. There will be specific Deep State friendly language with which one may refer to ideas and some ideas will be taken from language. Freedom will mean slavery to the system, War will mean peace, and Ignorance will mean strength with other words also being redefined. Choice will mean obedience and Joy will mean compliance and such redefining of terminology. Nothing will remain of America once hate speech restrictions become law and part of the tangled web called regulations. Everyone will be required to check the new dictionary which will be on the Internet and the list of permitted words will grow smaller and the meanings more removed from what the old people remember. Already, in many schools there is no such thing as an individual grade as now everything is done in groups where the smartest children are spread around so every group has at least one and the group gets a group grade. This means that the smartest children will work and achieve a high grade for them and for every member of their group including the least gifted student in the class. This new theory for education is how everybody passes with a similar grade. This is being carried over into employers where everything becomes a team project where the great and the small are melded into a single entity and all rise and fall together. Refuse to work in the group, then you do not work period. And this system will be so ingrained from school that nobody will think this is strange or weird, working alone will be the odd idea. Newspeak and Newthink will rule in this coming world unless the people rise up and demand their control back and the system be rebooted from an original disk where only that utterly necessary to act according to the Constitution is retained and the rest of big government Deep State is broken up and distributed back to the states and down to the local elected board.

 

The measuring stick for the retooling of the government, it is right there in the Bill of Rights in Amendment X,

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

 

Unless the Constitution assigns a power to the Federal Government or specifically denies it to the individual states, then it belongs under State Rights to the individual States or, preferably, to the people themselves. That is the meaning, that the power belongs with the people and they allow certain items, particular items, to pass to the local government. The local government then can ask the next higher form of governance to take certain defined responsibilities. This eventually gives the individual states their areas and those beyond their means such as defending the country; these and only these are granted to the government in Washington D.C. The Congress and the President are only permitted the powers granted them by the Constitution or passed to them by the individual states. The states get their power from the lower governments who get their power from the people. If the people have not relinquished their power in an area, then the Federal Government has absolutely no right to administrate, regulate, or pass laws concerning that right. The power of the people is presumed absolute and that is the magic which defines America. We have no idea what defines the United States except it is not empowering the people, rather it is enslaving the individuality of the people, and that is going way too far.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 2, 2018

The Left Denies Mental Problems

 

This is not another article claiming that people on the left or far left are mentally challenged or lacking in sanity, as tempting as such might be. That does not mean that the left will be free from all blame. We may of done that back on December 19, 2012, with our article Gun Ban Whiplash Coming from Anti-Gun Progressives. There was a movement starting in the mid to late 1950’s which gained speed through the 1960’s finally taking full sweeping change throughout the 1970’s with the closing of many state and private institutes which treated the mentally challenged and mentally ill patients. The watershed moment came under President John F. Kennedy with the passage in 1963 of the Community Mental Health Act which posited that providing federal funding for community mental health centers and research facilities in the United States would then replace the State Hospitals and place the institutionalized patients out into the general public to be treated by clinics. This was then to facilitate the transition of the less mentally ill to treatment by these community mental health centers allowing them to reside in the real world where they would have examples of proper behavior which could become role models. It was posited by Dr. Henry N. Pratt, director of New York Hospital in Manhattan whose testimony is reported in the New York Times article How Release of Mental Patients Began. He told the subcommittee “striking proof of the advantages of local short-term intensive care of the mentally ill was brought out’” in a Missouri study. This Missouri study, which compared a group of 412 patients in two intensive treatment centers with patients admitted to five mental hospitals, showed that the average stays for patients in the large hospitals were two-hundred-thirty-seven days longer than for similarly diagnosed patients at the treatment centers. Dr. George A. Ulett of St. Louis, the psychiatrist who directed the study as head of Missouri’s Division of Mental Diseases, now says the numbers cited, though correct, were misinterpreted. This would become one of the quotes demanding more Federal dollars to fund the community mental health centers to pay for more psychiatrists and support staff. This would become the perpetual mantra from the left and even some centrists on the right despite further statements from Dr. Ulett and other psychiatrists that the system was misguided and overestimated the numbers which could be readily and properly treated by local mental health centers and did not require institutionalization. Dr. Frank R. Lipton and Dr. Albert Sabatini of Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital in Manhattan were also quoted as decrying that research on the problems of the homeless, saying one of the major flaws in the concept of deinstitutionalization was the notion that serious, chronic mental disorders could be minimized, if not totally prevented, through care provided within the local community. Their exact words were, “This philosophical and ideological shift in thinking was not adequately validated, yet it became one of the major conceptual bases for moving the locus of care.”

 

The Sounds in My Head Will Not Stop

The Sounds in My Head Will Not Stop

 

The other problem is that initially the psychiatric specialists came to believe that the new drugs, especially psychotropic drugs, would be the panacea of cures for numerous mental disorders including some of the most serious disorders. This reliance on the new drugs and promise of even bigger and better drugs on the horizon actual success rates were grossly overestimated. There eventually became two obvious shortcomings of drug therapy. The first was that these drugs would work with little or no side-effects which proved to be dead wrong as prolonged use of many of these drugs proved to be disadvantageous and some even dangerous. The other is that you could expect that the patient would take care and religiously take their prescriptions in the correct doses and at the right time. Too many patients simply were not sufficiently and mentally capable of remembering to take their medications, operating within society, interacting with people or following the simple protocols of society such as laws, prevailing morals, personal interactions and, for some, any knowledge required to fit in or act as required in almost any situation, even the most ordinary and common daily interaction. Many of the problems associated with the homeless have come as a direct result of the deinstitutionalized mentally ill. The problem which has been created is one which will be a greater challenge to repair than it would have been to simply finance the existing system which deinstitutionalizing of the mentally challenged was presumed to be a repair and an improvement. The great idea has most definitely come home to roost, and it roosts largely in our city streets, under bridges, in emergency rooms and living wherever they can find a piece of dry where they can place their cardboard homes if they are fortunate to live where they can do so without running afoul of the legal systems.

 

This was recently covered in an article by Walter Williams titled Another Liberal-Created Failure. Professor Williams pointed out research that, “according to professor William Gronfein at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, by 1955 there were nearly 560,000 patients housed in state mental institutions across the nation. By 1977, the population of mental institutions had dropped to about 160,000 patients.” But how did we get to the point where there were so many institutionalized mentally challenged patients. What was the initial reasoning behind the state institutions? These mental health state institutions were established to address an actual and real problem, the mentally ill were a sizeable percentage of the lawbreakers and when placed in prisons, they were mistreated, thus the state homes became the remedy to prevent further mistreatment of the mentally ill incarcerated in the prison system. The mental institutions were designed to provide the necessary treatment as well as separation from the normative society thus decreasing the problematic interactions between the mentally challenged and normative populations. State institutions, as noted by Dr. Williams, were initially founded in 1773 in Williamsburg, Virginia, as Eastern State Hospital became the first public hospital in America for the care and treatment of the mentally ill. They were followed by more state treatment hospitals throughout the United States as this was recognized as a much necessary and required solution to the obvious problem of the mistreatment of the mentally ill within the prison system. These systems continued as the best solution in a system where every solution is whatever is the least disadvantaging and least damaging to the people placed in these hospitals. What probably became lost with time is that the institutions for the mentally ill were not simply a prison for the mentally ill but hospitals where treatment and therapies could proceed under the supervision of licensed psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professional. Were there problems at some of these hospitals with certain staff members mistreating the patients? Yes, there were, but still the treatment generally was professional and caring and a far cry from what these unfortunates would have received if incarcerated in the prison systems.

 

This was lost sight when new drugs became available for the treatment of the mentally ill and many became somewhat overly optimistic over the results that these medications would in theory provide. The new and progressive idea for the treatment of the mentally challenged was that they could not really get better within the mental institutions as they had few examples of normative adult behavior. Should the mentally challenged be placed into an outpatient treatment center and placed into normal society, then they would recover more readily and adjust to regular life and improve. Also stated in Walter Williams article was, “Several studies summarized by the Treatment Advocacy Center show that untreated mentally ill are responsible for 10 percent of homicides (and a higher percentage of the mass killings). They are 20 percent of jail and prison inmates and more than 30 percent of the homeless.” One has to look at these numbers and one should stick out as an extremely counter productive result of treating them outside institutions, the system being pursued since the 1963 Community Mental Health Act. The twenty percent of jail and prison inmates should be shocking as the initial reason for programs for the treatment of the mentally ill was to take them from the prison systems as they suffered from mistreatment and lack of proper medication, therapy, treatment and other required needs of the mentally challenged. Apparently, the treatment of the mentally challenged is becoming full circle, to where the problem was first addressed when their mistreatment in the prisons was the driving force. From mistreatment in prisons we went to institutions dedicated to the proper, sensible and compassionate treatment of the mentally challenged providing them with a combination of drug treatment, individual or group therapy, counselling and separation from the general public for mutual protection we went to out patient clinics with a high reliance on drug treatments with minimal counselling and supervision which has now led society back to incarcerating far too many people with mental illness. There is also the problem of the increased criminal behavior caused by placing these mentally challenged patients into the general public. Additionally, too many of the mentally challenged patients placed into a self-care environment where they are responsible for assuring they take their medications as prescribed results in medications not being taken or being used improperly. Further, patients can often forget or skip their sessions for treatment and therapy and if they skip too many in succession, these outpatient treatment clinics being strapped for funds will often simply drop the patient from their schedules as their funding is dependent on patients treated and every missed session results in lost revenues. This allows for too many patients falling through the cracks and this eventually results in tragedy either for the individual mentally challenged individual or to society when they commit a violent act.

 

Dr. Williams also linked to another article from the Wall Street Journal titled Fifty Years of Failing America’s Mentally Ill. This article takes in more statistics and failings of the system of outpatient treatment using community mental-health centers, or CMHC’s. The results of this new treatment system has been simply a tragedy which is thusfar continuing with little if anything being done. What would be preferable would be for the Federal Government to take the funds currently being spent on mental health directly for specific treatment systems and programs or specified in any way for treatment, housing, therapy, drugs or counselling and other treatments be repurposed as a block grant to the individual states to use as they feel is the most productive and best treatments for their mentally challenged individuals. The government might even consider partially paying for the construction, revitalization or refurbishing of institutions for the mentally ill who should be required to be kept in a whole treatment center where they are assured that their medications will be taken and they appear for their treatment sessions. Mentally ill patients who miss a set number of treatment sessions or are found to be skipping taking their medications should be reinstitutionalized for their own good and for the safety of the citizens as well. The state institutions were given a bad rap with their failings blown out of proportion in order to carry out the great experiment for the treatment of the mentally ill where placing them in the general public was to be the cure-all and end-all of mental illness. Well, the results of the grand experiment are in and have been fully examined and have been determined to be largely a failure. The experiment has cost us the health of many mental patients while also costing the public lives from homicides including over ten percent of the mass killings committed. These include the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and the Safeway food store shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords constituent meeting in Tucson, Arizona mass killings which took twenty-eight innocent lives including the shooter’s mother, twelve innocent lives and six respectively. These three shootings resulted in nearly fifty deaths and approaching one-hundred injuries which might have been avoided were there proper facilities in existence where people observed with mental challenges could be sent for observation and treatment and be kept for more treatment if so determined necessary. This would include families placing a troubled relative into treatment, police being able to bring before a court the need to place a troubled individual into such a facility for treatment, for a physician to advise for a patient be observed and treated if so determined, for courts to place somebody into an institution for determinations and treatment or for self-placement into such an institution for observation and treatment if necessary. The one item we can all be assured about is that the current system has some large holes through which treatments and societal safety are leaking forth and both the mentally challenged and the normative society are hurting from these problems. Perhaps it is time to turn everything back to the fifty states and allow each state to find their own particular solutions. Over time, some states will perform far better and others will fail catastrophically leading to the states desiring to perform better, they will have numerous proven solutions from which to choose. Eventually, the various fifty states will find a solution set from which a best system may soon emerge and over time, as new ideas and treatments present themselves, they will be tried in their many varied forms and ideas with the predictable range of results allowing each state to adopt that they find advantageous. Allowing the individual states to take their own paths in treating the mentally different, the potential for a near perfect set of policies and use of funds is far more likely to be found through fifty separate programs than in one directed from Washington D.C. Now all that need be achieved is getting Washington D.C. to agree to allow the states to be what they should be, the test laboratories of the numerous and varied approaches to a problem eventually seeking to optimize for the best results for the lowest cost.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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