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   Hunter has a diary up on the frontpage ("Liberals are from Mars, Conservatives are from Bellevue") about a "survey" done in Connecticut that concluded that the mentally ill who are psychotic tended to vote for Bush in 2004.

   

  And, being a diary by Hunter, it provoked a lot of comments.  Really penetrating comments like "psychos vote for psychos", and "people with mental problems call everyone else "crazy".  One commenter wondered whether the mentally ill should be ALLOWED to vote.  One commenter had made up his or her mind, saying:

And by the way, somehow I just don't think it's a very good idea to get mentally ill people to vote. If I were crazy, I'd want my family to stop me from doing potentially stupid acts. If you aren't fit to stand trial for a criminal act, you aren't fit to vote.

 

  Mentally ill people were called "whackjobs", "wackos",  and "nutjobs", in addition to the "psychos" reference. A few commenters told of a personal experience with some person who said they were voting for Bush, and that person acted strangely, or spewed gibberish, so of course, that person must have been mentally ill.  There were some references to "institutionalization", even though the diary states that these people were OUTPATIENTS. There were a lot of sweeping generalizations about the mentally ill, and too many remarks that showed an appalling amount of ignorance.

   Mental illness comes in many forms, and they can differ in severity and duration. I am bipolar.  I take medication for it.  It limits my activities in certain ways. I have, without a doubt, a mental illness that cannot be cured.  But I have voted for Democrats for decades.  I have voted in every election.  I have worked on campaigns, too numerous to mention. So, you see, I am just as competent to vote as many of you (actually, more so, since I know what's wrong with me, unlike you clueless ones that I prefer to call the "undiagnosed").

   Now here's the thing: If this "study" had been about 69 women with blonde hair, or people who were overweight (the fatter you are, the more you voted for Bush, right?), or Poles, or African-Americans, this site would have been up in arms. Remember the "Pie Wars"?  Such a story would have made the front page, but not because anyone thought it was funny. But what it is about the topic of mentally illness that causes intelligent, well-read people to turn into neanderthals? Hunter started it with "Conservatives are from Bellevue". You know what? I've been in a psych ward and it wasn't funny, then.

    If you feel a tinge of guilt or remorse now, then there is hope for you yet.  

Originally posted to Mary Julia on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:23 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  One could say the same about the comments here. (18+ / 0-)

      "Kossacks are eville! Someone said 'nutjob! The sky is falling!"

      Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

      by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:34:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Again, I am sure no offense was meant. (14+ / 0-)

        I don't think anyone meant to disparage anyone.  It wasn't personal. It it about a study that was ironic to say the least.  It was not about your bipolar relative.   Why do so many people have to internalize everything that is said or written here?  First, what is said is a reflection on the speaker not the listener.  Second, we were all taught as children to ignore name calling if we were being name called. Third, if the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it.  Fourth, polical correctness is nuts.

        Some people because of mental or physical illness don't even know who the hell the is President.  Should they vote?  Who cares.  It is up to them.  If they feel this need to vote, let em vote.  If they don't even know there is an election and their "other" votes for them because they know the other other would have wanted a Democrat/Republican in office, who cares.  

        Why is everything around here such a big deal followed by a pie fight. The diaries are more like a middle school instead of a political movement.  

        "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein

        by dkmich on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 02:45:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because (13+ / 0-)

          we are supposed to be the party of fair and merciful treatment for the helpless. That's why it is not only incorrect to use epithets that disparage those victims, it is unkind.

          Perhaps those who take offense at being called on their name-calling are the ones who need to look within and find room for change.

          BTW, political correctness didn't begin as snotty one-upmanship, it began when we started calling people by the names they wanted to be called, rather than those put to them by a "superior" culture.

          •  I have to disagree (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marina, Erik the Red, newhorizon

            about political correctness. It was never about people actually being offended, it was always about being offended on behalf of people who don't actually care. By the time the PC movement started, the things most people would say in polite company were gone from the language. It was nitpicking right off the bat. The reason psycho is a diparaging term is because people don't want to be a psycho, not because of the word itsef. The word took on a negative connotation because of what it meant, not the other way around. Same goes for moron and idiot, which were originally medical diagnoses. Likewise, real-life Indians I've met prefer that term to Native Americans, even though both are misnomers. What they are is Dineh, etc.

          •  Wanted to be called? (0+ / 0-)

            I never asked anyone to refer to me as an Italian American.  My husband never asked anyone to call him a French, German American.  My sister-in-law never asked anyone to call her a French, German, Indian, English, Scottish, you get the point American.  I am sorry for people with afflictions of all kinds, but ragging on Hunter, Kos's mention of the study, the study, or anything else is overboard. Laugh and the world laughs with you.  Cry and you cry alone.  If you want to be the proverbial bleeding heart liberal, go for it.

            "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein

            by dkmich on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 02:12:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am not ashamed (0+ / 0-)

              to be a bleeding heart liberal. It's what makes some of us different from those who think that war is a walk in the park, or that greed is a good thing.

              •  Marina, (0+ / 0-)

                There is middle ground, lots of it, between bleeding heart liberal and war being a walk in the park and greed being good.  Lots of middle ground.  

                "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein

                by dkmich on Fri Dec 01, 2006 at 02:02:27 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Only Hunter can say. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          draftchrisheinz, Topaz7

          And if no offense was meant, Hunter can apologize. The behavior is what matters, not the intent.

    •  Mary Julia, I felt the same way (37+ / 0-)

      reading hunter's story. I have family that is bipolar. It's not an easy thing to live with, and in this person's case, it requires a heavy duty drug- thank god it works. Thank you for putting this into such eloquent words.

      Idea:No Blood 4 Oil Action:I use Biodiesel site blog

      by KumarP on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:15:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am not disagreeing, but (49+ / 0-)

        I have to admit I did not think about the conversations being had through the terms of my father -- at first.

        As a man that does a mostly stellar job of dealing with his bipolar disorder, sometimes I think, for my father's sake, I should be all the more apt to be sensitive and prone to how anyone who is mentally ill can often be maligned and referred to en masse.

        Normally I don't go through the extra step of logging in. I truly love and cherish this site and all that it offers, having read it numerous times a day -- invariably every day, without fail, since late 2002.

        I felt I needed to log in and comment today, though. I am not here to wax histrionic or lob a stone from my glass house.

        Just wanted to say that Mary Julia's diary was very much appreciated by me. Not that the original author should repent or something.

        Just that the mentally ill should not be discussed in a wholesale, uniform group sense.

        www.polstate.com -- the Political State Report! Check it out!

        by Michael McGuinness on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:33:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, and about voting -- (30+ / 0-)

          My father is an ardent Democrat who is passionate and well-informed about the issues of the day.

          I took up the habit of reading the newspaper and, eventually, blogs, from my mentally ill father!

          www.polstate.com -- the Political State Report! Check it out!

          by Michael McGuinness on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:34:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  but I am (28+ / 0-)

          Speaking as a nutjob who can't function at all without his meds, I'm not the least bit offended by Hunter's diary.

          Next, if the study cited was rigorous and the data are correct, no one needs to apologize about the conclusions of same.

          Finally, if any freedom should be inviolate it is the freedom to poke fun at anybody. You know what, I make a very nice living doing comedy, and everything that is funny is painful.  Everything.  Death, hunger, stupidity, lonliness, alienation, and yep, even good old mental health.  All fair targets for a good and much needed laugh for all of humankind.

          Or you can cry about it all of forever--if that's your style.  You've got a choice.  I made mine.

          Not bigger government, better government. Government that serves the people, not just the powerful.

          by thalio on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:57:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Comedy and tragedy (21+ / 0-)

            I believe that your assertion

            if any freedom should be inviolate it is the freedom to poke fun at anybody

            is incomplete and inaccurate.  

            While you may laugh at others, there is a distinction between laughing at others' expense and laughing with them.  By using demeaning, belittling and disparaging terms aimed at people suffering from mental illness, you expose your bigotry.

            There is no difference in referring to others by terms that are demeaning.  Using words to dehumanize people into objects is not humor or comedy. Using words to cause pain is not humor.  Comedy may arise from pain and tragedy, but it never aims touse words to hurt others in the name of comedy.

            It's a tragedy, and the subject is the user of the disparaging terms.

            •  I'm a Jew (0+ / 0-)

              on my mother's side, so Jewish.  I know bigots, I've stood next to several for comparison, and no, I'm not one of them.

              And I've got G.A.D. and major depression that turns suicidal when not treated by very expensive drugs.  I can tell you what it feels like to dangle your feet off the railing of the Golden Gate Bridge, and what a shotgun muzzle tastes like.  My mother was psychotic (she thought her four and five year old kids were plotting to kill her, and that her dead father was a spy who might return at any moment), and the brother that I love dearly and have supported financially all his adult life--he's autistic, functions on about an eight-year-old's level.

              So, I know mental illness, and while I'll never step on anyone's right to feel as bad as they want to, I personally (just me) don't feel bad about Hunter's diary.  Didn't bruise me at all.  And that doesn't, as you suggested, expose my bigotry, friend--just a comic view of this f**ked up universe.

              Not bigger government, better government. Government that serves the people, not just the powerful.

              by thalio on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 04:20:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  If the study were rigorous (12+ / 0-)

            The problem being, from what I can tell, the study was worth next to nothing.  It is one study, with a small sample size.  The findings were correlational, from which it is impossible to infer causation.  At this point we don't even know the strength of the correlation.  Further, the statistician reported that they were data mining - thus, the correlation could be spurious, the result of chance, or better accounted for by a third variable.  Don't accept it as truth yet...

            •  It should also be pointed out (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WobegoneGirl, Heiuan

              that the data was collected by a grad student doing his master's thesis (as opposed to a more experienced researcher with several studies under his belt).

              That said, it would not surprise me if his results were replicated by a more rigorous study.

              Hidden variables could be a problem depending on the degree of significance found. Otherwise, the causality issue is somewhat moot, considering that no one is suggesting that voting for Bush is causal to mental illness, unless "Voter's Remorse" has been slipped into the DSM-IV behind our backs as a diagnosis...

              "I seek the truth, which never yet hurt anybody. It is only persistence in self-delusion and ignorance which does harm." --Marcus Aurelius

              by electric meatball on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 12:42:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Diagnosing "voter's remorse" (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Fabian, flumptytail

                would be fun.  Maybe we can slip that baby into DSM-V when it comes out.

                The fact that the data was collected by a graduate student actually concerns me very little.  Graduate students can have great research skills...or they might not.  However, based on what I've read so far the study doesn't seem to merit drawing grand conclusions based on the data.

                What does concern me is the over-interpretation of the results.  As to causality, no one seems to be implying that voting for Bush causes mental illness.  However, a number of people appear to have drawn the conclusion that the subjects' mental illness was somehow causally related to the way they voted.  

                Personally, I'd be interested in whether the results can be replicated.  Based on my anecdotal experience, I'd be surprised if they were - but that's why more research is needed and we shouldn't place too much emphasis on the results of this particular study.

              •  The original study... (0+ / 0-)

                In the article I read, the grad student had a quote that was something like "the mentally ill possibly voted for Bush because he came off as determined and certain about his course.  It may be that when your internal world is out of whack, then you are drawn to that certainty as a form of safety."

                Or something along those lines.  It was in yesterday's paper which has hit the trash already.

                I found that interesting, actually.  For much the same reason much of our country was impressed because "I wanna have a beer with him", perhaps these mentally ill patients saw something within Bush's persona that gave them a feeling of safety.

                A politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat, except a man. e.e.cummings. -6.25 -5.69

                by Heiuan on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 06:48:17 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Senor Electric Meatball! (0+ / 0-)

                I loved this line:

                unless "Voter's Remorse" has been slipped into the DSM-IV behind our backs as a diagnosis...

                Thanks for my first out-loud laugh at a post today.

                :)

          •  You don't have a right to be offended. (9+ / 0-)

            That's the kind of crap the Rush Lameboys of the world say every time a minority is insulted in this way - minority meaning in this case: somebody else.
            Insulting people is fine, as long as its someone else.
            Funny how these same folks never indulge in self-deprecation. Funny how conservatives who say this sort of thing get offended at words like 'penis', Janet Jackson's nipple, and the unceasing librul attack on Christmas.

            •  thank you (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jmart

              I'm always surprised that people here don't get that. Ranting against being "pc"? - all you're telling me is that you've bought Limbaugh's definition of pc wholesale. A little self reflexivity - and perspective - can go a long way when one feels the urge to put limits on others' "right" to respond as offended.

        •  I wanted to riff about people w/ cancer (9+ / 0-)

          In a recent diary, I was thinking about using some metaphor that had to do with cancer - a very serious illness that causes people to be in the hospital for long periods of time, and often is fatal - like mental illness.  

          I decided that, with so many people suffering from cancer, it just wouldn't be worth the hurt it might cause if I seemed to be taking their suffering lightly or ridiculing them.  So, I forgot about using that metaphor, and now I can't even remember what it was.

          People in mental institutions have enough problems without also being presumed to be Republicans.  Of course, the original article was a joke, but for many people joking about mental illness (or any serious and life-threatening illness) may hit too close to home.  

          We may have presumed that there is nobody at DailyKos who could be affected by this joke (None of US suffers from mental illness!), but that just shows how little we understand about the prevalence of mental illnesses.

          We should ALWAYS think twice before joking about a serious illness, a disability, a death in the family . . .

          As for the voting rights of the mentally ill, consider the health policy implications:  With so few medical doctors available generally, would we really want to spend psychiatrists' time decertifying and recertifying mentally ill people for voting privileges?  Would we want the results of an election to turn on these certifications?  

          •  This is such a Democratic discussion! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jmart, scoff0165, flumptytail

            PCness versus an attempt at humor. Compassion runs through most of the commentary. The capability of experiencing remorse seems a requisite for being a Democrat. There's little remorse among Republicans.

            Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves. William Pitt

            by 4Freedom on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 07:31:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  humor can be (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              4Freedom

              supportive, situational, self-directed -- it does not have to be hostile. And generally, it's more effective when it is not.

              •  so true (0+ / 0-)

                Lenny Bruce, and Dick Gregory, and George Carlin, and Sam Kinison, and Bill Hicks, and Chris Rock just don't cut it as true, effective comedians when they get angry and attacking.  Give me Carrot Top any day.  Or Dane what's-his-face joking about drinking and vomit.  Oh, gawd that make's me chuckle... a little... sometimes...

                Not bigger government, better government. Government that serves the people, not just the powerful.

                by thalio on Fri Dec 01, 2006 at 11:04:22 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Ok... (0+ / 0-)

            People in mental institutions have enough problems without also being presumed to be Republicans.

            Now THAT was funny.

            I don't think, however, that people are as fragile as you make them out to be. I've known several people to have breaks with reality, such as going to buy a cadillac when they have no income and talking to trees, and they've always been good-natured about ribbings they've gotten from other family members later. My mother used to go on Jesus delusions, usually after talking to her fundie sister, so when my mother-in-law mentioned how Christian their home was when visiting over the holidays, I joked with her, "You didn't go talk to my mother about Christianity, did you? Now I'll have to put my head in a bucket and sing! Other than that she's perfectly normal." I've also known bipolar people, and they know there is something wrong with them, but they are still fun to be around in the manic stage. I've had my own problems, and I cope with them through humor. Give it a rest.

      •  Me, Too. (8+ / 0-)

        I chose to ignore it rather than engage.
        Thank you for this diary.

        •  Me Three (16+ / 0-)

          And it's not about not being able to "poke fun" . . . . It's about the silent assumption that mentally ill equals "bad" or "incompetent" or "psycho"; it doesn't.  Mental handicap is just like physical handicap; in fact, it is esssentially a "physical" handicap, and it is very hard to deal with.  I don't think a similar diary about how "cripples' vote predominantly Republican (hypothetical) would be met with the same reaction.

          New Right Wing Motto: W, better than Stalin

          by NewDem on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:33:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's the key point - not offensiveness (0+ / 0-)

            All this talk about whether the comments were offensive, or on the other hand whether the worry about offending is too uptight and is itself condescending, is not the issue.

            The problem with many of the comments, with to a degree the original post, and probably with the study, is that it assumes that mental illness is a unitary thing, rather than many different things, that mental illness is a permanent state, rather than a frequently transitory and partial one, and that there is a categorical divide between the mental ill and the non-mentally ill.  

            It is just the wrong way to think about mental illness -- wrong because it is factually inaccurate, and because it leads to poor thinking, bad policy and even moral choices.  And really -- breaking down stereotypical thought about the "other" is what should differentiate Dems from the GOP. [Irony alert]

        •  Ditto That (0+ / 0-)

          I saw the title of the diary and scrolled right past it.  I knew it would piss me off.

          Ridiculing someone for something they have no control over - whether it be mental illness, disease or a disability is something I'd hoped we would never stoop to around here.

          Christ I suddenly feel like I'm back in grade-school.

          Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. -8.75 / -6.10

          by Alegre on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 09:36:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Remember, in Nazi Germany (15+ / 0-)

      They came for the schizophrenics first (experimented on how to gas them), then they went for the others.

      The mentally ill live life perhaps more intensely than you or I do. It is a vital and meaningful, if often painful, part of human experience. To put it down is to lessen one's own humanity.

      Never In Our Names

      "The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth."

      by Valtin on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:33:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  think about this (1+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade
        Hidden by:
        dnta

        Since the 80s when the Republicans started taking over the US government both federal and local, alot of former mental patients have been released to wander the streets. Maybe that was done deliberately to increse the republican voter base.

        Psychotics vote republican, trust me, this is true. I know from my upbringing. My father told me the Holocaust was justifiable because Hitler put in good highways and brought "order" to society. Trust me, psychotics like it when outside authorities impose order, psychotics want to be "saved from themselves."

        •  Your father was a Right-Wing Authoritarian (7+ / 0-)

          in all probability and not necessarily a psychotic patient (unless, of course, he was diagnosed as such), and the two types have similar traits as far as I can tell.  The difference being one group is a significant sub-set of the population that isn't normally considered to be mentally ill, and the other is a group of the mentally ill whose illness is poorly understood by the general population.

          I think the study is valid in its data and correlations.  The authors suggest that psychotics voted that way because they were supporting order to counter the chaos in their minds/lives, which implies that they would vote for any incumbent at higher rates.

          The points made in this diary about the mentally ill being a category of difference around which a system of inequality is operating are right on the mark.  If the study had reported that brown-eyed people voted for bush that way would be seeing snark like: Brown-eyed people are brown-eyed because they're full of shit up to their eyebrows?  Wait, don't answer that!  Besides, I suspect that the probability of any individual experiencing some form of mental illness in their life approaches unity, especially as lifespan increases.  So why demean a group you may just possibly belong to next week.  Wouldn't that be... a bit crazy?

          If you want to look to psychology/sociology to explain what's left of Bush's base you need to read up on Right-Wing Authoritarian (RWA) Theory and Social Dominant Orientation (SDO) Theory which was the basis of John Dean's book Conservatives Without Conscience, which is a very good introduction.  Additionally, Block's study about whiny kids growing up to be conservatives (RWAs and SDOs really, I think) also applies here and gives a clue as to how they develop and why.  Basically, they are afraid of everything other than themselves.

          So maybe, just maybe now, if we can intercede early enough with those kids and show them how to not be afraid of everything, then we might be able to reduce the percentage of RWAs in our population.

          How does that idea grab you?

          - 8.88/- 7.08 OMG! Everyone else is a conservative to me!

          by zedaker on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 05:26:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's called "Leadership." (4+ / 0-)

      Those comments in the article that the author deems insensitive -- and with much justice -- are exactly the kind of comments Hunter was looking for. That's the entire point of posting crap like that.

      The "logic" is very simple: People who are "mentally ill" are more likely to vote for Bush, therefore, since we're on a partisan blog, people who vote for Bush are likely to be mentally ill! Indeed, that's exactly what his last sentence suggested (jokingly, of course, but that's just the dodge). And of course, as "well-read" people, we already knew this, so it just goes to show how damn clever we all are.

      Anyone in a position like Hunter's does this. You write something suggestive and you let your readers (or listeners as the case may be) take it the rest of the way.

      What the diarist is saying is true: it's very ugly talking about mental illness this way. But this kind of talk is a symptom, not the disease. It comes from getting thousands of people together reading one-sided polemics and constantly congratulating themselves for it. It breeds dishonesty and erodes the ethical core. Yes, we'd all be up at arms if the article had been about Poles or whatever, but that's because such a thing would be obviously at odds with the partisan logic of the community -- it's not about good taste or being enlightened or anything else.

      That's the rub: In an enterprise like Daily Kos, you want to create common feeling, the feeling that everyone is smart and sophisticated and we're all together in our moral and intellectual superiority. Things like class and good taste do not create this kind of feeling because most people have neither and it's damn hard to scrape together a hundred thousand readers who do. And everyone who doesn't, thinks they do and they're damn offended if anyone says they don't. You can't build a place like this by telling everyone to exercise a little restraint when the opportunity for cheap self-congratulation arises. But you can if you endulge it, call it insightful, and mod it "4 Excellent." Of course, it's the "neanderthals" who get off on this kind of thing the most and they become the most prolific contributors, but they're loyal and numerous enough to fill a thousand partisan blogs.

      So yes, denounce it when it gets out of hand, but don't have any illusions about what's going on here.

      •  amen bro (0+ / 0-)

        Vince, my man.

        Well said, you just articulated something that's been on the tip of my brainpan for months now.

        Ahh! Now I feel much better, and I understand what's been bothering me about this site. Thanks, you brainy boy. Or whatever, as the case may be.

        •  Nope. He blew it all by saying: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scoff0165

          most people have neither class or good taste

          That's really not true, and especially not on a site like this.  The commentors tend to be very sophisticated, and most people do in fact come here to become "enlightened".  Some of the dialogue does "erode", and there is an unavoidable mutual admiration element to it all, but the general thrust is towards enlightenment.

      •  i feel a Pogo moment has visited (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Inky, scoff0165

        we have met the enemy, and ...

        damn, that's one lousy mirror!

    •  what I find odd about all of this... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WobegoneGirl

      ...is the study implied people with mental illness just want someone to "follow" and "feel safe" with so they vote for Bush.  And here we just had a herd following hunter down a slippery and somewhat bigoted slope.

      The really REALLY odd thing, is I've even heard that whole "follow" and "feel safe" about women in general but you'd be hard pressed to argue that women are stupid Bush-loving morons.  You'd get flamed so bad they wouldn't be able to identify your body.

      Too bad the study didn't check to see how many mentally ill people voted for KERRY or were democrats because that mgiht have shut up a few people.

      It was a stupid diary (something I never thought I'd hear myself say about Hunter) and it had horrible comments.

      If a democrat demands accountability in the Capital and no one covers it, does he make a sound?

      by DawnG on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 08:42:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  People make nasty comments (13+ / 0-)

    on this blog, so don't let it get to you.  You are correct, of course, in your assesment of how kossacks have dealt with "mentally ill" people.  Just remember that kossack are like most people: they don't bother with reason.  They come from emotion.  Don't take it personally.

  •  Yes (21+ / 0-)

    It was a bit unseemly. Thanks for your statement.

    I think it might be a result of too much floating idleness after such an intense whirlwind of committed, focused endeavor, which ended on 11/7. We're all jostling and champing at the bit to see the fruits of our labor, but we have to wait more than another month. Just a thought.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:30:10 PM PST

    •  Yes, I think so. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dems2004, wader, Spathiphyllum, begone, wa ma

      We'll see those comments regardless but perhaps not en masse.  As for the idleness tinged with the need for movement beyond the election, I am so with you.  We have so many lighted houses in our neighborhood this year. Tons upon tons of lights.  It was not this way before.  Warm weather helped as many braved the virgin territory of their yards for the first time.  But I can't help but think that there is a weird sort of "sigh" and "business" going on as well.

      "There are years that ask questions and years that answer" -Zora Neale Hurston 11/8/06- O.K., Zora, time for some answers!

      by One bite at a time on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:38:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Idle hands devil's workshop. nt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aitchdee, 3goldens, vox humana

      It's the proto-fascism

      by Inland on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:44:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, I figured it was virtual adrenaline still (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stiela, vansterdam, wa ma, flumptytail

      in the system, without much of a place to go.

      I have siblings who have combinations of mental retardation, schizophrenia, clinical depression, a personality disorder and two with complications from cerebral palsy.

      Hunter's diary was fine with me - his point concerned uncurious, almost blind allegiance to authoritarian imagery.

      Some of the comments, as noted succinctly by Mary Julia, belied a common bias - and, long-time, easy target - against those who are challenged by various issues affecting how their brain functions.

      It's a good thing to remind folks who have backed into such easy insults, whether here or elsewhere, that the people being demeaned as a general block are also our parents, siblings and friends.

      And yet, generalization can be a useful device at times - at least when chosen carefully and defined to note the seemingly "guilty" members of a target group who give their larger demographic a bad name, I feel.

      Context and understanding can go a long way to making these conversations and truly collaborative, I feel.  I think that it's rather easy to rally around popular points that mock the demonstrably deserving, without taking the "we're proud and happy together" wind out of our collective sails.

      Just a long-winded add-on opinion to your more succinct (and likely, on-the-mark) point.

      So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way.

      by wader on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:51:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Completely agree (14+ / 0-)

    It was completely out of line.

    Come see TV from the reality-based community at RealityBasedTV.com

    by MarkInSanFran on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:30:32 PM PST

  •  Well said (21+ / 0-)

    Your diary title is provocative in a way I hope doesn't cloud the response to the diary. The points you make in the diary are spot on but I fear many people will use the occasion of your title to make this a diary about 'free speech, man' instead of a discussion about the marginalization of mental illness.

    Alternate title: 'Mental illness isn't a joke'

    If you're after getting the honey, Then you don't go killing all the bees - Joe Strummer

    by joejoejoe on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:30:47 PM PST

  •  Then there's no hope for me. (3+ / 0-)

    When you're prepared to leave your child in the care of a 'wackjob' or 'psycho' or 'mentally challenged individual', you come on back and tell me I'm a dick for thinking there are some things that people who are sturggling with mental illness shouldn't be doing - driving a bus, for example, or performing open heart surgery.

    Because, not for nothing, but if my resident crazy homeless guy turned up at your front drive saying "I'm the babysitter!", you'd shut the door quietly and go order another - and you know you would.

    It's easy to take the 'yay for everyone' line and pour scorn on realists, but the bottom line is that obese people make poor bungee instructors, senior citizens make poor mountain bike guides and race car drivers, and 'nutjobs' make poor voters.

    Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

    by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:30:49 PM PST

    •  Excuse me, (124+ / 0-)

      but I'm a lawyer, you nitwit.  I try cases.  I also babysit for my nephews. There ARE cardiac surgeons and bus drivers just like me.  Talk about ignorance!

      Leave your kid with me anytime you want. That kid will be with someone who isn't perpetuating the ignorance and prejudice that you are.

      We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

      by Mary Julia on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:37:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not Nitwit, (11+ / 0-)

        "Asshole" is first amendment protected speech.

      •  and he (10+ / 0-)

        talks about 'generalizing'.

        Best wishes.

      •  And Paul Newman = race car driver/senior citizen (24+ / 0-)

        and any agile "obese" person could indeed be a bungee instructor,
        and many, many senior citizens mountain bike (along with a zillion
        other challenging sports).

        And a mentally ill (not "nutjob") close relative of mine is an incredibly
        productive professional.

        That's why THIS comment generalizes beyond the pale:

        It's easy to take the 'yay for everyone' line and pour scorn on realists, but the bottom line is that obese people make poor bungee instructors, senior citizens make poor mountain bike guides and race car drivers, and 'nutjobs' make poor voters.

        I shall stay the way I am, because I do not give a damn. . . .Dorothy Parker

        by begone on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:48:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You made the distinction - not nutjob. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shaharazade

          Then you go ahead and pretend that i'm talking about any twinge of mental illness as being a nutjob.

          I ain't. I'm saying there's crazy ass nuts, and there's normality with a twist. The crazy ass nuts are what was being referred to in the previous diary.

          That people like yourself want to make it about anyone and everyone is not my problem - it's yours.

          Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

          by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:34:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So, what about the obese and senior citizens? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PaintyKat

            And why did you invoke them if you are not generalizing and
            calling everyone out for generalizing?

            I shall stay the way I am, because I do not give a damn. . . .Dorothy Parker

            by begone on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:57:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Intelligence isn't related to mental illness (22+ / 0-)

            Your comments intimating that mental illness precludes responsible voting are spurious, stigmatizing and uninformed.

            Those who disparage people with mental illness are often afraid of it, don't understand them (there are many illnesses and disorders) and many times are silent sufferers of some form of it.  I would encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider and become educated about what mental illness is and what it is not.

            NAMI is an excellent educational and support website which may also be of help.

            •  and the original diary points to another study... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wandabee

              ...that says, the more psychotic, the more likely the voter will choose authoritarianism, because they need to know someone is in control.

              Thus, proving exactly what I said - that high mental illness makes for a bad voter.

              Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

              by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:35:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, let's look at the study more closely, (6+ / 0-)

                shall we?

                The study wasn't published in full, so generalizations cannot be legitiemately applied.  The sample size was small.  The sampling methods were not fully described.

                The voting patterns were not fully described.

                As far as what was shared, it appeared to be not more than an exit poll survey, and it would be subject to sampling error, voter education and bias.

                Relative to the authoritarian theme, you could logically make a case that if candidates from both parties had provided like information, and the voters in question had heard them debate or in town hall forums, there would be a better set of controls of the variables.

                We don't know if one candidate bombed the airwaves with TV and radio ads, if the voters were exposed to one candidate more than the other or even if on candidate was heavily favored in the district.  Those are all influencers.

                I wouldn't draw any conclusions from the scattering of incomplete information that was provided.

            •  The Madness of Malachi Ritscher (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eternal Hope, marina, Dave the Rave

              Mental illness much of the time is the curse of brilliance. Malachi Ritscher at last found life too painful to endure.

              His sucide was touted in the press as a protest against the war and this administration.

              Inane comments from people who that have no idea of what their talking about is yet another sad commentary on American culture.

              A letter, a will and a friend left coping with suicide
              Man set himself on fire to protest Iraq war

              By BILL GLAUBER
              bglauber@journalsentinel.com
              Posted: Nov. 13, 2006

              Bruno Johnson spreads the two-page note on the bar at his Palm Tavern in Bay View and stares at the worn paper, folded and refolded countless times, passed from hand to hand, friend to friend.

              Bruno Johnson of Milwaukee holds a letter from his friend Malachi Ritscher of Chicago, which Johnson received a few days after Ritscher committed suicide Nov. 3. Ritscher set himself on fire to protest the Iraq war and sent the detailed letter to Johnson to help put his affairs in order.

              Johnson stares at the words, instructions about bank accounts, credit cards, computer passwords, next of kin, a giant collection of jazz recordings and a neon-purple 1997 Plymouth with 107,000 miles parked north of Grand Ave. in Chicago. And that final chilling sentence, the one that still gets to Johnson: "sorry about the mental-illness thing, it's not something I would have chosen for myself."

              "I had a sense it was probably explaining his death to me," Johnson says now, in the middle of the afternoon, his soft, melancholy voice matching the soft autumn light.

              On Nov. 3, Johnson's friend, Malachi Ritscher, 52, of Chicago died of self-immolation near an exit ramp off the Kennedy Expressway in downtown Chicago.

              Ritscher, according to a suicide note posted on a Web site, was protesting the war in Iraq.

              But nobody heard.

              Initially, the event was treated like an auto accident, which backed up rush-hour traffic, grist for live television coverage.

              "As horrified Friday-morning commuters watched, a man apparently doused himself with gasoline and lit himself on fire along the Kennedy Expressway near a 25-foot-tall Loop sculpture titled 'Flame of the Millennium,' " the Chicago Sun Times reported the next day. Police told the newspaper that a "homemade sign was found near his charred body that read, 'Thou Shalt Not Kill.' "

              Only after Johnson received the note on Nov. 6, along with a set of house keys and a will, were friends and authorities able to put the pieces together, to match Ritscher with the unfathomable event.

              The gesture wasn't just futile, or even drained of all meaning. For days, it simply did not register.

              Finally, the Chicago Reader, an alternative newspaper, picked up the story, pointed to the suicide note, tried to make sense of what occurred.

              But none of it makes sense to Johnson.

              He is a big man, 6-foot-9, built like a tight end, with tattoos on his arms. But he is gentle, too. He doesn't understand what happened or why.

              "I can't speak for him," Johnson says. "In a jealous sense, I feel cheated. I miss a friend."

              They met 20 years ago, at some music venue in Chicago, Johnson recalls, brought together by a shared passion for punk music and jazz.

              Ritscher, a maintenance engineer at the University of Chicago, became something of a fixture on the Chicago jazz scene. For years, he set up microphones and recorded gigs in smoky bars, Johnson says. If bands wanted the master, Ritscher gave it to them at no charge.

              Johnson, who runs a small record label named Okka Disk, distributed some of the works.

              Ritscher, who changed his first name from Mark to Malachi in 1981, lived a life filled with highs and lows, according to his self-written obituary, titled "out of time." A marriage ended in divorce. He was estranged from his son. He battled alcoholism but was sober for 16 years.

              He explained his opposition to the war in a rambling "mission statement" in which he implored the reader to "judge me by my actions."

              "When I hear about our young men and women who are sent off to war in the name of God and Country, and who give up their lives for no rational cause at all, my heart is crushed," he wrote.

              Disturbingly, he claimed that one morning in 2002, with a knife "clenched in my hand," he passed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on a Chicago street and "was acutely aware that slashing his throat would spare the lives of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent people."

              He didn't act.

              He concluded, "Without fear I go now to God - your future is what you will choose today."

              Johnson says the act "was futile."

              But he wants to remember his friend. So do others.

              Sunday night, at a music studio above a Chinese restaurant on the north side of Chicago, dozens of Ritscher's friends and family gathered. They ate cinnamon buns from Ritscher's favorite bakery. They looked at photos of Ritscher tacked to a wall, dark-rimmed glasses, dark eyes and a poker face. His parents, both in their 80s, appeared shellshocked, shuffling across the carpeted floor, greeting Ritscher's friends.

              Some jazz was played. Memories were shared.

              Johnson holds tight to those memories. He also has access to the recordings Ritscher made of jazz concerts in Chicago, some 3,000 of them over the years. Eventually, a committee will be formed, the collection culled, the best works turned into CDs in Ritscher's memory.

              And Johnson has the note, folded so many times and handed to so many friends, instructions about books and tapes, the house with a mortgage and the hot sauce in the refrigerator.

              And there's not a word about the war.

          •  Realist? Puh-leeze... (14+ / 0-)

            I work with the people that you so derisively refer to as "crazy ass nuts."  Frankly, your comment shows an extreme lack in education and understanding of their condition.  I believe you are referring to people who suffer from psychosis (i.e., experience hallucinations and or delusions).  This is a surprisingly common phenomenon associated with a number of disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder.  These disorders can cause extreme distress and suffering.  They have strong biological components - people who suffer from them do not simply choose to be "nutjobs" because they lack the intelligence to be what you consider "normal".  Additionally, with proper treatment, these conditions can often be well controlled and - whether you know it or not -  people you personally know and value suffer from these disorders, and you have just dismissed them as less than people because of their mental illness.  You are the person who is not being a realist by making inaccurate comments containing generalizations like this.

          •  I took my mom out to dinner tonight (6+ / 0-)

            took her to an upscale chain steakhouse.

            As we were approaching the front doors I saw--and then heard--a woman sitting on a patch of dirt in the shadows at the corner of the building. She was smoking a cigarette and talking to herself, her bags all piled up in a luggage cart at her feet. She was old, filthy, carrying on a raucous conversation with no one at all. When I said, "You okay?" she hissed back, "What's it to you?" -then threw her head back and laughed at my stupid question, my stupid blank face when she shot back all 'uppity' at me.  

            A waitress spotted my my mom struggling with her walker to open the second set of doors inside the small foyer and came out to help. She glanced past me toward the noisy lump in the shadows outside in the dirt and rolled her eyes. She said- "Oh no, not her again." Evidently the lump had worn out her welcome.

            I said, "What's the story there?"
            The waitress said, "Just some lady who lives in our parking lot."
            I said, "That's a really old lady. She's homeless?"
            The waitress said, "Yeah, well, she could go to the Expo building downtown, there's shelter there. Don't feel sorry for her. She's crazy."
            It's just some lady.
            A crazy lady.
            Lives in a parking lot.
            A regular nutjob.

            We took a table and ordered our steaks. I slipped out to the pharmacy across the street to pick up a prescription for my mom while our food cooked. The crazy lady I wasn't suposed to feel sorry for was gone.

            P.S. my friend Susan Prather runs a homeless respite center in Walnut Creek, CA. She's my hero.

            God bless our tinfoil hearts.

            by aitchdee on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 02:00:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  poor voter? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Helen in MD, 3goldens

          first of all, what the heck is a poor voter?  just someone who doesn't agree with the way you think they should vote?  that's called democracy, and by the way there are plenty of people who are not mentally ill who don't bother to find out about the issues or the candidates and still go into the voting booth on election day and pull a few levers.  THAT is my definition of a poor voter, and it can be your high school english teacher, the President of the United States or anyone else with or without a mental illness.

          lumping everyone from a particular group together and then making rude comments about them as a group, without distiction is mean and wrong.  i applaud MJ for standing up for herself and others who have mental disabilities.  I don't think she was in any way implying that EVERY person who is mentally ill is somehow competent to perform ANY FUNCTION in society, you couldn't put that test to any group... would you say that every Irish person would be a great babysitter or heart surgeon?  Hell, you wouldn't want ME operating on your heart.  It has nothing to do with my mental health or relative degree of Irishness.  Different people have different challenges and different gifts.  Classing mentally ill people together in a single group and referring to them as "nutjobs" reminds me of another "n-word" that got a lot of play during the election cycle.  (and besides, I thought that "nutjob" was a word we reserved for the likes of Rush and Bill-O... )  In any case, it's mean and unproductive.  One thing that has always impressed me about this blog is that the comments always seem to be looking for answers and trying to make things better.  I'm very glad MJ posted this response.

          'The votes are in, and we won.' - Jim Webb

          by lcork on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 06:28:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  There are LOTS (22+ / 0-)

        of doctors with mood disorders.  Many many many.

        Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

        by gkn on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:49:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  like Dr. House! (8+ / 0-)

          this is snark, by the way...

        •  For neurologists (8+ / 0-)

          It is, I think, a requirement. Or so I've observed, anyway. ;-)
          Thanks, Mary Julia. Good diary!

          War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

          by Margot on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:08:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, and those doctors (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mary Julia, HollywoodOz, DC Scott

          can prescribe their own medications.  There are some dangerous docs out there.

          •  No healthcare provider can self prescribe. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Inky, offred, Sinister Rae, gkn

            It's illegal in all states.  Taking psychotropic and mood altering medications does not correlate with dangerous practice, regardless of profession.

            Please see my comment above relative to stereotyping and stigmatization.

            There are excellent educational resources available on the web. Your healthcare provider can also discuss concerns and questions with you.

          •  My point (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aitchdee, 3goldens, flumptytail

            was that they're NOT all dangerous.  I've known medicated bipolar physicians who are absolutely brilliant.  I also know a lot of depressed physicians (with the state of the health care system, it's pretty easy to understand) who still manage to do their job very well.  And, you know what?  Unfortunately, many depressed physicians won't seek treatment because then they'll be "dangerous docs" in the eyes of the general public.

            Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

            by gkn on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:55:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  So maybe (8+ / 0-)

          that would explain why there are 195,000 accidental hospital deaths per year in the USA

          I'm all about understanding, compassion, helping those that need it etc.
          I myself have struggled with some mental health issues over the years, but this political correctness bullshit is out of control. If somebody has serious MH issues and isn't stabilized then fuck no I don't want them driving my bus, watching my kids, trying my case or operating on my ticker, just so they can feel good about themselves. When I was totally wacko at my least healthy I luckily had enough good sense left to not do anything that would endanger anyone else. I knew I was fucked up, unstable and not fit to make rational decisions. I checked out, got help, got better, than got back in the game. Flame me if you want but lets be real here, people with serious problems need understanding and compassion, not a pat on the back and a free ticket to play dice with other peoples lives.

          Investigate, Impeach, Imprison! -9.13/-7.59

          by FireCrow on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:51:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nobody's advocating that, FireCrow. (27+ / 0-)

            What we're saying is it cheapens the struggles of a lot of very competent people simply to write them off because they have a disease. In a lot of people's books, whether or not a mental illness is treated makes no difference. If you have schizophrenia or bipolar or whatever, you are instantly undesirable. There's still a lot of prejudice that goes around.

            Street Prophets: faith, politics, and cookies.

            by pastordan on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:25:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There's prejudice with everything. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tjekanefir, mystery2me, wandabee

              You don't fight that by being superspecialsensitive about it so that anyone who touches on the topic is pounded into the floor for daring discuss it.

              You also don't fight it by pretending that the most mentally ill of society are as able as those simply touched by mental illness, or that comments about the most mentally ill are aimed in a sweeping way at everybody.

              Common sense goes a long way, and that's a little lacking in some of the comments above and below.

              Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

              by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:37:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I hear you (8+ / 0-)

              and agree, nobody deserves to be written off because of MH issues.
              The whole issue is a hot button for me as it runs in my family. My dad is a nutcase, best heart in the world, would do anything for anyone but he's nuts. Shouldn't be driving or voting for that matter (he votes for who I tell him I'm voting for. lol)
              My uncle after years of denial and refusal of treatment finally killed himself. For myself to make it back it took a strict self imposed regime of spiritual activities combined with complete abstinence from mood/mind altering stuff and a willingness to hold myself accountable for all my behavior. In hindsight looking at my first comment I probably reacted with a bit more passion than neccesary as I have been injured by more than a few individuals who weren't stable and refused to do anything about it.  Thanks for the reply PD.

              Investigate, Impeach, Imprison! -9.13/-7.59

              by FireCrow on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:49:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Mental illnesses and mood disorders (13+ / 0-)

                vary wildly in symptoms, management and control.

                It is important not to lump all who suffer from some form of illness as nutjobs and nutcases, loonies and whackos. It's akin to calling people spics and niggers and fat slobs.

                It's important to see the person instead of labelling by skin color, gender, sexual preference, disease or any other trait that dehumanizes and demeans.

                Not long ago, people suffering from cancer were ostracized and isolated.  People suffering from leprosy  also were beneficiaries of stigmatization to the nth degree.

                HIV/AIDS still carries stigmatization, as does mental illness.

                We must educate ourselves and others to always respect people as people, and then have enough genuine concern to learn about and understand their needs.  People with mental illness have just as much need for compassion, respect and incusion and those with heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.

          •  FireCrow, that isn't what I was saying (16+ / 0-)

            What I was saying is that there are thousands of people like me (at least) who have a serious mental illness but can function; work, raise families, etc. I can do it because I stay sober, take my meds, and keep my appointments, all one day at a time. What I was objecting to was the idea that simply because you have been diagnosed with a mental illness, you can no longer play any role in society other than victim.

            Those people who are getting treatment can do almost anything.  I have met doctors and lawyers in AA, who when they got sober, found out there was an untreated mental illness that was hidden by the alcoholism.  Now sober and treated, they do everything, and they do it better.

            Nobody wants someone wildly delusional to be driving a bus (not me, especially when I am on the bus).  But if the driver is getting treatment, that's EXACTLY the driver I want.

            We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

            by Mary Julia on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:27:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Mary Julia, nobody has said that.. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tjekanefir, shaharazade, wandabee

              ..those with mental illness can play no role in society. Nobody. Reread my words.

              What I said was, it serves nobody to lie that you yourself, yes even you, wouldn't prefer that the most psychotic folks around don't engage you on a daily basis in jobs that require responsibility.

              And you just acknowledged as much.

              The original diary was about the fact that 'the more psychotic the person, the higher the likelihood they vote Republican'. It was not about housewives on their meds or doctors in therapy. It was about 'nutjobs'.

              That you want to make those references about you is not the fault of the original commenters, nor me, rather it is your own fault.

              Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

              by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:40:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  but according to your criteria, (0+ / 0-)

                if I understand you correctly, she would be prevented from voting.  That is, having a record of mental illness.  

                •  No. You're misinterpreting. (0+ / 0-)

                  Go back to my original statement: I said the mentally ill make 'bad voters'. I didn't say they need to have their rights stripped.

                  Others asked how they might be stopped from voting, I suggested some hypotheticals, but you can relax, I'm not marching into the residential mental facilities and tearing up voter IDs.

                  And, not for nothing, but the original study mentioned in the original diary said what I would consider to be much the same thing - the more psychotic you are, the more likely you vote authoritarian, which to my way of thinking makes you a bad voter.

                  Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

                  by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:28:40 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  the original study also noted the subjects in the (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    gkn

                    study were outpatients.

                    That's what I'm wondering about -- how are you going to find them all?  But now, it sounds like you think they should be able to vote.

                    I admit, I'm confused.

                    •  I'll admit it's confusing. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ppluto, Shef, wandabee

                      I think everyone should be able to vote. The smart, the dumb, the mentally ill, the felons, the illegals, the kids.

                      Anyone affected by the government's decisions should be represented.

                      But if you're really confused, you can go back over my statements here. They're pretty clear, though you have to differentiate what people 'think' I'm saying, and what my actual words say.

                      Pschotic folks = bad voters. I should have been clearer, in answering later questions about how one would stop psychopaths from voting, that I wasn't advocating that happen.

                      For that, I concede and apologize.

                      Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

                      by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:38:01 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Just a thought... (8+ / 0-)

                        Perhaps if you weren't using the terms "psychotic" and "nutjobs" synonomously we would better understand whatever point you are trying to communicate with the rest of us.  Also, FYI, people who have psychotic disorders are not necessarily "psychopaths" and real psychopaths are not necessarily psychotic.

                        •  Again, conceded. (0+ / 0-)

                          But you have to understand that I consider myself a protector of the vulgar, the politically incorrect, and the offensive.

                          I consider it a right to offend, and even a duty to do so, as running screaming from anything that anyone might find in any way offensive only serves to neuter the language that I make my living using, and the freedom of speech that we all depend on.

                          If you, or anyone else, is offended by me saying 'nutjob', that's okay, you're not wrong to be offended if it's used in a certain way, but you also need to look at context rather than automatically assume the worst.

                          For example, my clients drove me nuts today.

                          But I'm not taking a shot at you...

                          Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

                          by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 10:07:58 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Context... (7+ / 0-)

                            Honestly, I don't have to understand anything about what you consider yourself to be.  However, in trying to be understanding, empathic, and compassionate (which are the values that make me so rabidly liberal), I am willing to put myself in your place and try.  You, however, seem not to be willing to do the same for the other people expressing their opinions in this diary.  The way you are expressing your point is getting in the way of your actually being able to make your point.  It seems that someone who makes their living using language should understand that.

                            Moreover, I'm not offended by the use of the words crazy, nuts, weird, or any number of others.  I frequently find things that drive me crazy.  Like you, my clients drove me nuts today.  What does offend me, and many others, is that by referring to someone with a mental illness as a "nutjob" or "crazy ass nuts" or a "whacko", you are devaluing them as people.  People are much, much more than their diagnoses.  You also need to examine the context in which you are using these terms.

                          •  "politically incorrect" (8+ / 0-)

                            When people exalt themselves as being "politically incorrect", they're actually using the politically correct term for "asshole".

                            Offense for its own sake is lame and lazy, and says more about the offender than the offendee. I do hope that's not the value you're "protecting".

                •  I didn't read the comments (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gkn, ZenTrainer

                  in Hunter's original post, but the quote here said that if you're not competent to stand trial, you shouldn't be voting.  There's a certain logic to that.  Why would you not be competent to stand trial?  Usually because it has been determined that you can't culpably distinguish right from wrong.  Should you really be voting in those circumstances?  Maybe, maybe not, it all depends, but I don't think it's an unreasonable point to raise.  We don't allow children to vote for similar (though not identical) reasons.  I think it's fair to express the opinion that mentally incompetent people shouldn't be voting.

                  Of course, that doesn't mean that no-one w/ mental illness should vote, any more than you would say that no-one w/ a mental illness should ever be tried for a crime.  It also doesn't say anything about the particular patients in the study.

              •  Get out of my face, Oz (14+ / 0-)

                You're all over this thread trying to get away from your obvious prejudice.  What you said first was:

                When you're prepared to leave your child in the care of a 'wackjob' or 'psycho' or 'mentally challenged individual', you come on back and tell me I'm a dick for thinking there are some things that people who are sturggling with mental illness shouldn't be doing - driving a bus, for example, or performing open heart surgery.

                Because, not for nothing, but if my resident crazy homeless guy turned up at your front drive saying "I'm the babysitter!", you'd shut the door quietly and go order another - and you know you would.

                It's easy to take the 'yay for everyone' line and pour scorn on realists, but the bottom line is that obese people make poor bungee instructors, senior citizens make poor mountain bike guides and race car drivers, and 'nutjobs' make poor voters.

                Yep, that's you: Nutjobs make poor voters

                And as far as you are concerned, those psychiatric outpatients (all 69 of them; helluva a study, that one) are the nutjobs.  Tell me something, how do YOU know they make poor voters? How is their voting any less valuable than, say, yours?

                Like PD said, Good night.

                We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

                by Mary Julia on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 10:12:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                stiela, Inky

                The original diary was about the fact that 'the more psychotic the person, the higher the likelihood they vote Republican'. It was not about housewives on their meds or doctors in therapy. It was about 'nutjobs'.

                In point of fact: "outpatient" means that (1) the patients were in therapy (the whole "patient" thing), and (2) they weren't ill enough to be hospitalized.

                Furthermore, everyone and their cat has pointed out that it's not exactly Nature-level research (at least, it sure as hell shouldn't be).  

                Incidentally, there's even a huge range of psychosis.  For instance, "psychotic depression" encompasses someone who's convinced she is an inherently a bad, guilty person and thus deserves her depression.  It's not all walking around talking to the Jesus you see standing in front of you.

                Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

                by gkn on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 10:36:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  That's not the cause of hospital based patient (7+ / 0-)

            errors and deaths.

            Visit the National Patient Safety Foundation ,the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for causative data.

            Please do not make spurious causal statements which only lead to more misunderstanding and ignorance of mental illness.

          •  Oh for the love of god. (8+ / 0-)

            If someone is properly medicated, they're perfectly competent.  And, with the way our medical system is functioning, a UCSF study recently found that 25% of medical students are clinically depressed at any given time.

            If you kick someone out for being depressed (and, please, let's remember that there's a huge spectrum here - a psychotic person will most assuredly NOT be practicing medicine) you will run out of doctors.

            I'm not talking schizophrenics, here.  And, FYI, if you're worried about medical errors, you should worry a lot more about the sleep deprivation we put doctors through.  We've now limited residents to 80-hr work weeks...but that really doesn't get followed, because if you're in the middle of a case, you can't just say "well, my time's up - I have to go."

            More on the subject of medical errors: A lot of medical errors could be prevented by electronic systems (preferably with paper backup).  But, the bottom line is that medical errors are going to happen no matter what.  If you can't accept that, you need to create a never-malfunctioning medical robot.  Have you really never made a mistake in your job?  Ever?  Shit happens.  It's terrible, but it does.  That's why you have to sign a release when you go into surgery.  

            Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

            by gkn on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 10:02:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think the nitwit is (9+ / 0-)

          talking about mood disorders... he probably doesn't even know what a mood disorder is, to be honest. I think he is trying to talk about people who are  schizophrenic. Of course, its hard to tell because he doesn't actually say anything that makes any sense whatsoever.

      •  My kid goes with you, Mary (45+ / 0-)

        Your diary is spot on. The mentally ill are one of the last "OK to shit on" groups in our society. You can make fun of them for a laugh, deny them medical care, or blithely discuss denying their rights -- all usually without anyone calling you on it. Thank you for breaking the pattern.

        And you can babysit my grandkids as soon as I have them -- I was raised by an agoraphobic mother, and while it wasn't all fun and games, she showed me tons of love and I turned out just fine.

        And hey, Hollywood: most of the "crazy homeless guys" you see all over the place are that way because our society has abandoned them and refused to provide them with the level of medical care they need to live "normal" lives. Their lives are a direct consequence of our collective callousness and greed.

        Insensitive pricks make poor voters too.

        •  OK to shit on... (10+ / 0-)

          ....yes...the mentally ill are just one rung above gays on the "OK to bash" ladder.

        •  One of several actually... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dems2004, dadanation, gkn, flumptytail

          The mentally ill are one of the last "OK to shit on" groups in our society.

          What about folks from Appalachia? Hillbillies? We're always good for a laugh...

          "In order to be respected, authority has got to be respectable." Tom Robbins

          by va dare on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:59:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't disagree. (0+ / 0-)

          We should do more for the mentally ill.

          But we shouldn't pretend that all mentally ill folks are equal in their mental illness, and we also shouldn't pretend that the most mentally ill are just misunderstood folks who should be handed, potentially, the ability to decide the future of the Democracy.

          It might not be popular, but if your vote is being cancelled out by Loony McLosthisshit, then that's not ideal, IMO.

          Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

          by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:23:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What a thoroughly repugnant thing to say. (21+ / 0-)

            I may not like the way elections go, but I have never, ever, begrudged anyone their right to vote the way they see fit. Your view is anti-democratic, and in a word, authoritarian.

            Street Prophets: faith, politics, and cookies.

            by pastordan on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:36:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Where do you draw the line? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ZenTrainer

              Why not let undocumented people vote? Why not let teenagers vote? Why not let felons vote?

              You can't have it both ways. If the (very) mentally ill aren't allowed to have guns, or raise their kids, or fly a plane, why are they allowed to vote?

              Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

              by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:51:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I might ask you the same thing, (21+ / 0-)

                as many people have in this thread. Why not disallow diabetics, who might have a psychotic episode if they forget to take their medication? Why not rule out the mentally retarded?

                Come to think of it, since your primary objection to psychotics voting is that according to this study, they trend Republican, why not just ban Republicans? What gives you the right to determine who gets to vote and who doesn't?

                As for your examples: undocumented aliens are not citizens. Since they're not members of the community, they're not allowed to vote on community matters. You might have more of a point with teenagers, except that the voting age is ability neutral: you could be ready to vote at 15 or not at 21. And felons, the thinking goes, have given up their rights because of a grave offense against the community. I'm not in support of permanent bans on felons voting.

                The severely mentally ill aren't allowed to buy guns because they're statistically more likely to have problems with the responsibilities that go along with it. That's at least based on more than one study, and with significant harms attached to it. No matter what you say, voting Republican is not equivalent to shooting somebody with a gun. The severely mentally ill aren't allowed to raise their children when in a court's opinion, there's evidence to demonstrate that they can't care for the child. That can only be post facto, and again, significant harm must be attached to it. No one, to my knowledge, has had a baby taken away for voting the wrong way in an election. As for flying a plane, there are technical requirements and once again, real-world consequences. I wouldn't want myself in the cockpit of a 747 without medication, but then, I wouldn't want to be in it with medication, since some of what I take occasionally makes me drowsy.

                I'm beginning to see that your problem isn't with mental illness at all. Rather, you're having a difficult time understanding that there is no moral equivalence to be had between voting and the consequences I've outlined above.

                You also seem to think that qualifications for voting can be determined quickly, easily, and precisely.

                In both cases, you are wrong, and stubbornly so.

                Street Prophets: faith, politics, and cookies.

                by pastordan on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:11:37 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Dan, you're arguing my point for me. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ZenTrainer

                  Why not allow diabetics to fly a plane? Why not allow color blind people to? Why not allow those with a history of heart problems, but who are taking their meds?

                  Because it's a bad idea, just as it would be for someone who was way mentally ill to babysit my kid.

                  Do I really want to start a 'remove the vote from the mentally ill' movement? Of course not. What started as me saying the mentally ill are 'bad voters' has descended into some sort of evil plot to remove their rights not by virtue of what I've been advocating, but by virtue of people hypothetically asking how it might be done, and me answering.

                  But you can climb down off the ledge, PD, I'm not going to come for you in the night and take your lever away.

                  I do think, however, that the other groups listed above should be, if we're going to talk about equal rights for all, included in the democracy equation.

                  Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

                  by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:24:38 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  yeah. ban republicans (0+ / 0-)

                  some of this discussion is about respect for fellow citizens. or izzit about functionality of said citizens. or the mental state of citizens. of non-citizens? goofballs? felons (yay felons! we ruuuule) nutcases? criminals cripples bleachblondes dimwits mensa-posers illiterates 3cardmonte-players lawyers bartenders mermaids pole-dancers [poll dancers] crazies and others

                  maybe it's just about how we view the OTHER --

                  now as to the relationship between crazies or anyone else and republicans: first, i think it's unhealthy. republicans are too narrow. and then, for seconds, frankly i think people oughta vote the way i tellem--which would never be for any republican (back to first point: it's unhealthy). but then no body really listens to me and NOW look what's happened: another arrogant creep in the white house.

      •  Ah, way to blind yourself to what I said. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wandabee

        Because, not for nothing, but if my resident crazy homeless guy turned up at your front drive saying "I'm the babysitter!", you'd shut the door quietly and go order another - and you know you would.

        I don't doubt you babysit, and run a very productive life. Jolly good show for you, as I'm sure it's been a heck of a struggle.

        But you're not my resident crazy homeless guy, and you know you're not. And for all your wailing and moaning about the poor mentally ill folk being hard done by, I guarantee you that you're not taking RCHG into your kitchen to have some pie.

        Why? BECAUSE HE'S NUTS! He's dangerous nuts, not just "woe is me, I'm so depressed" nuts. He's "don't let him near the knives" nuts, not "sometimes when I'm on my balcony I wonder what it would be like to jump" nuts.

        There's a distinction, and if you don't want people to generalize all mental illness as being equal, perhaps you should quit trying to characterize all avoidance of the extremely mentally ill as being related in any way, shape or form to someone who sees a therapist once in a while to get things staright.

        Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

        by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:33:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  so is it just the homeless guy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stiela, begone

          you know who isn't going to be allowed to vote?  How are you going to figure out who's "crazy" and who's not for the purposes of voting?

          •  In short, I'm not. (0+ / 0-)

            You're taking a statement (one backed up by the original study) that the most mentally ill make bad voters, being confused by a hypothetical, and then worrying yourself silly that the nazis are coming.

            Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

            by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:42:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not apt comparisons (7+ / 0-)

          Just as there are ranges of severity of physical illness, so too are there wide ranges of severity of types of mental illnesses.  Someone who is actively suffering from auditory or visual hallucinations may or may not be cognizant of reality and may be able to function when managed effectively with medication and therapy.

          Please do notlump mental illness under one umbrella of total diability and dysfunction.  That is not accurate, any more than everyone with heart disease has a left ventricular assist device and is dependent on IV pressor support in an intensive care unit.

          •  You're missing the greater point. (0+ / 0-)

            There are degrees of heart disease, yet those afflicted are 'lumped' under one umbrella when they try to get on a rollercoaster. I'm sure those with mild heart disease get pissed off about that, but they suck it up because that's the way life is - we can't all get our own category.

            Now, when I try to talk about the MOST mentally ill here, folks want to jump on my ass and claim that I'm talking about them, their wives, their kids and their Aunt Millie. THEY are the ones lumping everyone together, not I.

            Physician (and patient), heal thyself.

            Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

            by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:45:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I thought the greater point was: (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PaintyKat, Annalize5, gkn

              what are the implications of disenfranchising these people you consider ineligible, the process of disenfranchising them, identifying them, classifying them, etc...

              Disenfranchising: now THERE is an ugly word.

              •  Agreed. It's an awful word. (0+ / 0-)

                And no, that wasn't the greater point. That was a hypothetical sidetrack that I shouldn't have got drawn into, because now people are reading things into it that just aren't there.

                My original statement was the extremely mentally ill are bad voters. And not for nothing, but you'd have to be a loo... ooh, almost said it... not to agree.

                Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

                by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 10:17:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Your ignorance astounds me (11+ / 0-)

          Look, I get the point you're trying to make. Yes, there are degrees of mental illness, and varying success in treatment of different mental disorders. However, the language you use to illustrate these different degrees is offensive, and trivializes what are real illnesses.

          Depressed people, or for that matter, bipolar people don't simply go about whining "woe is me" and can't just be cured by "seeing a therapist once in a while to get things straight". These are serious disorders caused by chemical imbalances in the brain that severely mess up the way you feel, and usually require medication to fully correct the problem.

          And even very depressed and suicidal people can, with the correct treatment go on to become fully functional, responsible and highly successful members of society. In fact I happen to personally know one. So either educate yourself or keep quiet - you only illustrate your ignorance with each post.

          •  If you want to talk ignorance.. (0+ / 0-)

            ..saying that all depressed people CAN'T be helped with a visit or two to a therapist, or some medication, is similarly generalizing, isn't it?

            As far as language goes, it's not my job to protect your tender sensibilities from people like myself who prefer not to couch terms and actually get their point across in familiar language.

            In short, I'm not politically correct, but that doesn't mean I'm incorrect.

            Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

            by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:41:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think that was obviously (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              stiela, Inky

              meant to be read as not all depressed people can be helped by that.

              And, incidentally, if someone is truly suffering from major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder...well, I've never seen "a visit or two to a therapist" cut it in the treatment department.  And, for bipolar disorder, it likely does require lifelong management.

              Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

              by gkn on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 10:45:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Me neither (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                stiela, AaronInSanDiego, gkn

                I have yet to see a person who actually has Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar Disorder cured by "a visit or two to a therapist." Research shows that optimal treatment of severe depression generally involves a combination of medication and therapy.  

                Can someone having some general life difficulties feel better in one or two visits? Sometimes.  That is not the same thing as mental illness.

            •  Incorrect (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marina, 3goldens

              You are incorrect.  If you want to debate this, show us some evidence rather than simply stating your opinion and expecting us to believe it. Moreover, the familiar language for people who have mental illness is "people who have mental illness" or "people who have [insert diagnosis here]."  The language you are using is simply rude and gets in the way of communicating any point whatsoever.

        •  If the resident crazy homeless guy showed up... (11+ / 0-)

          saying he was the babysitter, I'd probably talk to him.  I'm not saying you should, I'm trained to do this, you are clearly not comfortable with it.  That's fine, lots of people aren't comfortable when other people start talking about seeing and hearing things that aren't really there.  However, having worked with any number of people who are actually floridly psychotic, I feel extremely comfortable telling you that the vast majority of them are not dangerous in the "don't let him near the knives" way that you seem to think they all are.  Violence can be more accurately predicted using factors other than mental illness.  You may find research to back this claim up here.  

      •  Food for thought (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HollywoodOz, wandabee

        Thanks for the diary Mary Julia, you've really given me something to think about.

        I do think, though, that there's a pretty significant difference between a severely psychotic inpatient in a mental institution (the original subject of the article) and a functional individual who happens to have a bipolar disorder. Someone saying he wouldn't want to leave his baby in the care of the former isn't necessarily implying he also wouldn't want to leave his baby with you. I really don't think psychosis that's serious enough to merit hospitalization can be compared to a run-of-the-mill brain chemistry disorder. That's like comparing AIDS to diabetes or something like that. It's apples and oranges.

        Though I do think you're right that the hospitalized psychotics are worthy of more sympathy and respect--and less levity--than has been accorded to them.

        •  outpatients (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stiela, PaintyKat, gkn

          were the subjects of the study, not inpatients

          •  Sorry, my mistake (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HollywoodOz, gkn, wandabee

            I don't think it changes my point though. "Severely psychotic" patients in a mental hospital really cannot be compared to a lawyer who takes meds for a bipolar disorder. It just isn't the same. I'd have a responsible person with a bipolar disorder babysit my children in a heartbeat, but not a schizophrenic suffering from severe psychosis being monitored by the psychiatric ward of a hospital. That's not an inherently bigoted statement, I don't think. Not all mental illnesses are equivalent to one another... though I do think all people with mental illnesses are equally worthy of dignity and respect as anyone else, and intend on being more careful in the future not to snickering at jokes that are intrinsically (and completely unnecessarily) demeaning.

            •  I'm not sure it's really even (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PaintyKat

              possible to have an inpatient babysit your kids.

              The outpatients, though -- you just never know.  

              •  My best friend growing up.. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shaharazade

                ..was diagnosed at age 25 as a severe schizphrenic with manical psychotic tendencies. Turned out he'd been that way for the previous twenty years, and had many times resisted the urge to kill me and others who were friends with him growing up - but it was close many times, according to him.

                It took two years to get his meds close to right, but they're still far from sufficient to bring him back to where he needs to be.

                He was my best friend in the world, but dude, he's not real close to a functioning human being right now.

                He is, much as I hate to say it because I love the guy like a brother, not a guy I'd want babysitting my kids - meds or not.

                But for two decades, he was this close to snapping, and nobody had a clue.

                Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

                by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 10:15:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Well, if you use that analogy, (6+ / 0-)

          no one who is hospitalized for any reason should be taking care of children and functioning in their job because by definition of being admitted to a hospital for any reason, they are considered acutely ill, and society treats them as such.  The patient in the intensive care unit, the patient on the solid organ transplant unit, the patient on theoncology unit, the patient on the infectious disease unit, the patient on the trauma unit, and the patient on the acute psychiatric unit are all considered acutely ill.

          Let's not stigmatize those with certain illnesses.  Illness in and of itself, when acute, excuses people from their usual roles in society and family for the most part.

        •  Bi Polarization (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shaharazade

          Bi Polar can be compared to diabetes though. Bi Polar is the new politically correct term for "manic depressive". Manic depression is caused by a lack of lithium much as diabetes is a lack of insulin.

          So until they come up with a way to deliver lithium on a consistent and reliable basis (they are getting close with some of the insulin pumps), those with manic depression will sometimes be limited as to their capabilities.

          Voting is not an area where I foresee any limitations.

          But why do these idiotic threads persist? The original diary about the study was funny. The premise that it might not be the best idea to vote if you are hearing voices (especially if those voices are telling you to vote Republican) is funny.

          If you are so sensitive about your mental health, your weight or your age - get over yourself. Put your energy into something more productive. (Oh say, like ending the war.)

          Perhaps you should only be allowed to vote if you have a sense of humor.

          •  It's not (7+ / 0-)

            a "politically correct" term, it's what was adopted in the DSM in order to more accurately describe the illness - it's not two different things, per se.  Some patients prefer "manic depression."  Really, the difference is the same as our changing from "Hodgkin's disease" to "Hodgkin lymphoma" - when it was first described, people thought it was an infectious disease; as it turns out, it's a lymphoma.

            So until they come up with a way to deliver lithium on a consistent and reliable basis (they are getting close with some of the insulin pumps), those with manic depression will sometimes be limited as to their capabilities.

            As Mary Julia demonstrates, as long as you take your pills, you're not limited as to your capabilities.  

            If you are so sensitive about your mental health, your weight or your age - get over yourself. Put your energy into something more productive. (Oh say, like ending the war.)

            Given that everyone has continued on the "mentally ill = totally nuts" vein of commenting, I can certainly see why Mary Julia was irritated.  And I'm sure that having your sanity constantly questioned, despite being a successful attorney, does make you a bit sensitive.  And obviously, if you're on this blog, you're putting your energy into things like ending the war.  Talking and chewing gum, people.

            I didn't have a problem with Hunter posting the original study.  I do have a problem with people claiming that anyone with a mental illness shouldn't be doing any number of things.  It's just plain ignorant.

            Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

            by gkn on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 10:57:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Telling someone who is mentally ill to (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stiela, PaintyKat, profmom
            "get over" themselves, is not usually helpful.
          •  For clarification... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stiela, Helen in MD, PaintyKat, marina

            Bipolar disorder is not caused by a lack of lithium.  The underlying neurotransmitters implicated in the disorder may be impacted when lithium is taken, thereby causing an improvement in symptom presentation.  However, bipolar disorder can, and often is treated, with a variety of other psychiatric drugs.

            •  "Bipolar Treatment" (0+ / 0-)

              Yes, many doctors treat bipolar patients (who are actually manic depressive only the term manic has taken on negative connotations - the DSM is very much ruled by political correctness) with a variety of drugs because they can't quite figure out the correct dose of lithium for some strange reason.

              It makes about as much sense as giving a diabetic a variety of pills rather than insulin.

              You really have to find an exceptional doctor who knows what they are doing.

              If someone is having their sanity questioned on a regular basis that might be something they want to take a look at. (Personally I find sanity highly overrated.)

              As for telling someone who is mentally ill to get over themselves as not being helpful. Read my original comment again. It was to the many self proclaimed highly functioning folks on this list who are overly sensitive about their mental health issues, their weight or their age.

              I am someone who is overweight, old, and a complete whacked out nutjob. I am totally ok with myself. I thought the original diary was very funny and Hollywood Oz's comments funny as well.

              I think it's interesting to explore the idea of what is too nuts to vote. Can we figure out a way for people to vote if they are in 4 point restraints? Is it safe to take the straightjacket off just for the time to takes to vote?

              It was a funny little blurb and some people got their backs against the wall. It could have brought out some thoughful conversation instead of "Some of my best friends are nuts and they do very well".

              It would have been great to explore ideas about voting. I think it's probably a state issue. Felons voting rights vary wildy from state to state. I don't know how that got connected to the topic but it did.

              As did the idea of kids voting. I think they should be able to vote by the age of 12. (Our 12 year old pals in Saudi Arabia vote - well at least the boys do.)

              A 12 year old friend of mine said he didn't think kids should be able to vote because they would just vote the same way their parents did. I cracked up as I told him "so do a lot of 40 year olds I know".

              There are a lot of productive ways the comments to the research blurb could have gone. Funny, insighful, thought provoking directions. With the exception of about 10 of these 500 comments this ain't it.

              Just a lot of Daily Kos bickering and whining. I am pretty new here but this seems to be a pattern. No different than our current failing political system as far as I can tell. Sigh...

              •  Lithium (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Inky

                I hope I didn't offend.  However, treating someone with bipolar disorder (or, manic depression, I'm happy to use either term) with a drug other than lithium can make a great deal of sense.  Research does not support the statement that bipolar disorder is caused by a lack of lithium. Unfortunately, the brain is not that simple.  If it were we'd be much better at treating psychopathology.

                The jury is still out on how exactly lithium works (I wish I could provide more information on this topic, but my psychopharmacology text is in my office).  Moreover, it doesn't work for everyone - I wish it did.  Many other drugs have mood stabilizing properties, some of these work better for individuals who do not have a experience symptom remission while taking lithium or find the side effects of lithium to be too negative to continue taking it.  You are correct in stating that you need an exceptional doctor to manage the medications...

      •  "Nitwit" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HollywoodOz

        is slang for mentally retarded.

      •  A Hypothetical Scenario for Thought (0+ / 0-)

        Suppose you have five people interviewing to be a babysitter or nanny for your child.  They are:

        1. An irresponsible, self-absorbed teenager;
        1. An ex-felon of a non-violent crime who has been out of prison for three years;
        1. An unmarried person who 20 years ago was charged with, but not convicted of, a sex offense involving a minor;
        1. An unfailingly polite, courteous and highly intelligent homeless person; and
        1. A person with a mental illness who is 100% fine while on medication, but who becomes dangerously violent if the medication tapers off.

        Who do you select?

        Note: I have no children.  I don't fall into any of the above categories.  It is not my intention to equate, either explicitly or implicitly, any of the above conditions.  I am just genuinely curious as to what people's responses will be.

        DTH

      •  That's kind of odd. (0+ / 0-)

        You took a general point he made and immediately personalized it. As it happens, I tend to agree with HollywoodOz. Does that make me a nitwit too? I know I wouldn't want a meth head babysitting MY kids. That has nothing to do with whether you're a lawyer, or babysit for your family, or anything else. It's not a personal point.

        He disagrees with you. Get over it.

        Also, I don't think name calling really helps your case, Irish temper or not.

        When someone's got internal doubts about their argument, or meets with significant opposition, the first thing they do is fall back on "but I'm a... (this or that, or whatever)" argument, as if that reinforced the logic in any way at all.

        The fact is, the Democrats are the Party of "We" while the Republicans are firmly established as the Party of "I."

        by The Lighthouse Keeper on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 10:05:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hey buddy (27+ / 0-)

      Mentally ill people have to live in this country, just like everyone else.  Who the hell are you to tell someone that they aren't competent enough to vote for their interests?  I imagine they can decide that better than you, no matter what they might be afflicted with.

    •  notwithstanding the inanity (15+ / 0-)

      of the generalizations you make, do you really think it is comparable to talk about the choice to mountain bike or bungee jump vs. the RIGHT TO VOTE?

      In your feeble mind, who else doesn't get to vote?

      •  Felons, or hadn't you noticed? (0+ / 0-)

        14 year olds, or hadn't you noticed?

        Undocumented immigrants, or hadn't you noticed?

        Should the mentally ill also be allowed to arm themselves to the teeth? And if not, why not?

        If you found a person with a history of suicidal tendencies was driving your kids to school in the morning, that wouldn't shake your tree?

        Lotta liars here who just love to applaud like an Oprah crowd for people they regularly step over in the street.

        Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

        by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:05:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh come on (0+ / 0-)

          you know that's not what I'm talking about, the 14 year -olds, etc...although, the felon issue IS, well, an issue...

          My questions are very simple: where do I take the test to prove/disprove my competence to vote?  Do I NEED to take that test? If Person X is not allowed to vote because they were somehow determined to be mentally ill, how do I know Person Y is not also just as ill, but somehow has escaped diagnosis?

          Gets complicated quickly, I guess...

          •  Same way you keep mentally ill from guns. (0+ / 0-)

            If there's a history of weird beyond the pale, then it should raise a flag. And if a flag is raised, the vote shouldn't happen.

            Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

            by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:19:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  and since most people who go on a shooting spree (0+ / 0-)

              were previously thought by their neighbors to be perfectly normal, nice, quiet, blah blah blah, we really should keep guns out of EVERYBODY'S hands because, you know, you never know who it will turn out is actually mentally ill (OK, the problem here is that I do kind of think that would be better for us all, but that is a different subject).

              THEREFORE, since we never know who out there voting might actually be mentally ill, we should just keep the the vote out of EVERYBODY'S hands...

              no, I don't think so.  How do I know for SURE that you aren't completely mentally incompetent, HollywoodOz, and should be preventing you from voting?  How do you know I am?

              •  I don't know that you are. (0+ / 0-)

                But presumably, the same check that will either stop you from having a gun or allow you to have one, would be doable with voter registration.

                Will it mean nobody with huge mental issues ever votes again? Of course not. Just the same way as not every felon is stopped from voting.

                Look, you need to get it straight in your head - not everyone can be a rock star, not everyone can be President (okay, scratch that last one) - there are some things I just can't do, you just can't do, and the mentally psychotic just can't do.

                Reality isn't a beatdown. It's just plain old reality.

                Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

                by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:55:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  oh, ok, I'll put my guitar down... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  stiela, PaintyKat

                  I guess I'll work on getting things straight in my head about what I can't do.  Glad to have your reality imposed.

                •  I'd rather err on the side of enfranchisement (6+ / 0-)

                  Seriously, I do realize that you're talking about the severely psychotic here, not about every single person who suffers from chronic depression and the like--but come on, how many individuals do you really think there are in America who are that severely psychotic and are voting in any given election? Surely not enough to merit going on some sort of odd crusade to take away their voting rights despite the likelihood of a non-incapacitated mentally ill person being denied the right to vote.

                  If a severely psychotic schizophrenic with a history of erratic, violent behavior managed to pull his shit together long enough to buy a gun, he could kill someone. If he managed to pull his shit together long enough to go vote for George Bush, he wouldn't be doing anything that millions of nominally sane Republicans aren't already doing anyway.

                  Keep him away from guns, sure, but rather than waste energy trying to keep him from voting, just go and register somebody else.

                  •  Dude, I don't disagree. (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm not, as much as I'm being indelicate with my hypotheticals, saying we should strip people of their vote. I was asked how it could happen, I answered, but that's not to say I want it to.

                    My greater point was, this diary incorrectly assumes that anyone who uses a disparaging term to reference a psychotically ill person is somehow referring to anyone and everyone who has ever seen a therapist.

                    It generalizes the mentally ill, the perception of the mentally ill, and the users of this blog, and I don't think that's cool enough to go unanswered.

                    Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

                    by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:51:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  what about Bush (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PaintyKat

              and Cheney and Rumsfeld?  Aren't they "weird beyond the pale" for fucking up Iraq?  How come they're still on the train, and some of the informed and thoughtful kosmopolitans on this thread wouldn't be, according to your formula?

              You must admit, accurate identification will be a problem in your Final Solution.

            •  Guns=Vote? (0+ / 0-)

              I'm puzzled.

              "Drop that vote or I'll shoot!"
              "No no, don't shoot! My vote's not loaded!"

              Just sayin'...

        •  Felons can vote (6+ / 0-)

          There's a whole continuum of voting rights for felons:

          No disfranchisement for felony convictions (prisioners may vote):
          ME, PR, VT

          Voting restored after release from prison:
          DC, HI, IL, IN, MA, MI, MT, NH, ND, OH, OR, PA, SD, UT

          Voting restored after release from prison and completion of parole (people on probation may vote):
          CA, CO, CT, NY

          Voting restored after completion of prison, parole and probation:
          AK, AR, GA, ID, KS, LA, MN, MO, NE*, NJ, NM, NC, OK, RI, SC, TX, WV, WI

          Permanent disfranchisement for some felony convictions, unless government approves individual rights restoration:
          AZ, DE, MD, MS, NV, TN, WA, WY

          Permanent disfranchisement for all felony convictions, unless government approves individual rights restoration:
          AL, FL, IA, KY, VA

          • After a two year waiting period
    •  Oh you poor, poor bigot (28+ / 0-)

      what are you really trying to prove? How stupid you are or how much of an asshole you are?

      Because someone who makes a comment like that has to be more mentally ill than who you rant against. Senior citizens make poor mountain bike guides huh? Well, this senior citizen will out bike your ass any day of the week. Where did you get these brilliant facts? Daffy Duck?

    •  Oh, brother. (33+ / 0-)

      I'll let Mrs Pastor know that in case we ever have kids. Wouldn't want to have the tots catch daddy's disease, now would we?

      Street Prophets: faith, politics, and cookies.

      by pastordan on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:00:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, bipolar is largely genetic (5+ / 0-)

        but don't let that stop you from having kids; bipolar and schizotypal people are often exceptionally brilliant and creative.

        Mark Twain -Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either.

        by Kingsmeg on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:14:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  this is Mrs Pastor (20+ / 0-)

        (too damn lazy to log off and log back in again).

        Trust me, you've got stuff way worse than being bipolar to pass on to our kids....

        Oh, and Hollywood Oz is gravely misinformed - and very wrong.  Thanks to all who have taken him to task, and here's hoping that he/she shall take some of it to heart.  As someone who has worked with mentally ill children and teens, I know full well that some of them are more involved, more compassionate and just as deserving of the chance to pursue their dreams as the rest of us.

        Street Prophets: faith, politics, and cookies.

        by pastordan on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:02:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, gimme a break, PD. You're better than this. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tjekanefir, Smallbottle, ZenTrainer

        The story that this all originated from said the 'most psychotic' people align themselves with Republicans.

        It didn't say "people who were depressed when they were 17 but feel great now that they're on the Xanax."

        I love how folks wail about 'generalizing' mental illness, but will do exactly that in trying to paint anyone critiquing the most ill as somehow being bigoted against anyone and everyone who has ever walked into a psychiatrist's office.

        Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

        by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:07:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Excuse me? (23+ / 0-)

          I have bipolar disorder. It's a lifelong struggle. But more to the point, it is a serious mental illness, one that gets me labeled as a psycho, whackjob, fruitcake, nutcase, whatever you want to call me. You think I haven't been called insane? You think I haven't been told I'm crazy? You think my opinion hasn't been disregarded because I've made the mistake of being open about my diagnosis?

          And yet you're going to sit there and tell me that my wife would be stupid to put a child in my care.

          You're going to sit there and tell me that people like me shouldn't vote.

          And you're the one who's wronged in this conversation?

          I want nothing to do with you or your politics.

          Street Prophets: faith, politics, and cookies.

          by pastordan on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:21:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pema Chodron says... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ZenTrainer

            Compassionate action, being there for others, being able to act and speak in a way that communicates, begins with noticing when we start to make ourselves right or make ourselves wrong.  At that particular point, we could just contemplate the fact that there is an alternative to either one of those, which is bodichitta. (Lovingkindness.)

            How is being "right"--be it pastordan or HollywoodOz--furthering this conversation?

            Source of Quote [page 119]

            "It is up to the most conscious member of the relationship to create the space for the relationship to grow." Ram Dass

            by bosuncookie on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:36:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And Yahweh's lovingkindness (0+ / 0-)

              is always first and foremost with the poor and oppressed. So being right is standing with them in the face of raw bigotry.

              But you're probably right - time to disengage.

              Street Prophets: faith, politics, and cookies.

              by pastordan on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:41:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm just curous about that first and foremost... (0+ / 0-)

                Can you point me to some scripture where that notion was inscribed.  Not doubting, just ignorant.

                "It is up to the most conscious member of the relationship to create the space for the relationship to grow." Ram Dass

                by bosuncookie on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:44:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Dammit. (0+ / 0-)

                  This is the problem with having my office next door. No Bible in the blogcave. But the Beatitudes are a good place to start, as is Deuteronomy or the prophets, especially Amos.

                  Street Prophets: faith, politics, and cookies.

                  by pastordan on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:48:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Is blessed the same thing as (0+ / 0-)

                    "first and foremost?"  I guess what I'm wondering is this: was Jesus really advocating forgetting everyone else, or was he simply reminding us (by blessing the poor) that we tend to put them last?  

                    In some ways, a poor honest man or woman is in less need of the blessings of Christ than a deluded "rich" man like George Bush.  

                    "It is up to the most conscious member of the relationship to create the space for the relationship to grow." Ram Dass

                    by bosuncookie on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:55:10 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  How about Isaiah? Chapter 58, it's so great (0+ / 0-)

                    And a book by a Presbyterian minister, named Campbell (what a surprise), who spent his life in Central America.  The book is "For God So Love the Third World."

                    He was a Hebrew scholar and went through the Old Testament analyzing the Hebrew words that we translate as simply "justice."  But, the original word actually meant "care and fairness for the POOR."  That word was far and away the most common meaning of the general concept "justice" in the entire Hebrew Bible.

                    Aren't you glad I'm following these comments??

                    Oh, yeah.  The book is just about impossible to find.  I loaned mine to my pastor and it disappeared in his library, never to be seen again.

            •  How did this become between PD & Hollywood Oz (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vox humana

              Others have been debating the issues with HOa and PD actually came later to the discussion.

              Seems unfair to make all of the discussion in this diary as an issue between those two and try to broker some solution when it seems to minimize a whole lot of valuable information.

              PastorDan's comments have added considerably to the discussion and I didn't get the feeling that he was trying to be right so much as express his knowledge of the issues and his personal experiences.

              What about Julia Ann, the diarist?  And Lisa? And many of the other contributors?  Many have expressed lovingkindness.

              Thank you Julia Ann for your diary and sharing of your personal experiences.  And I really appreciate the other contributors who have tried to combat the bigotry and ignorance concerning mental illness.  Unfortunately, the serious bigot among us tells others to get things straight in their heads.  

              It is sad that openmindedness is required for learning because I don't think HollywoodOz is capable of benefitting in any way from the discussions other than being proud of the ignorant and insensitive statements he/she makes.

              It really is blaming the victim and nothing less for anyone to employ insulting and bigoted language and then tell someone the problem is your, not HO's.  Just get your head straight - we are now discussing the voting rights of 14 yr olds and it started at 15.

              What I hear is authoritarianism from HollywoodOz more than anything else.  Spending any time discussing the right to deprive others of a vote is what the GOP do most - you know those authoritarians.  Those obsessed with limiting the rights of other folks are authoritarian.

              Shaking my head,
              PaintyKat  

              Just a painty kat - NOT that be meanie cat

              by PaintyKat on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 02:14:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I happen to agree with the original diary. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PaintyKat

                In my classroom, the use of the words "retard," "lame," "gay," etc. as generic terms for something the speaker dislikes is discouraged.  Before discouraging them, we have a conversation about how the words came to be generic pejoratives.

                My question about being "right" was an intentional (perhaps clumsy?) attempt to return the conversation to the original issue.

                "It is up to the most conscious member of the relationship to create the space for the relationship to grow." Ram Dass

                by bosuncookie on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 05:45:56 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thank you for taking time to explain (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bosuncookie

                  my reaction was to the fact that it seemed to discount about 2.5 hours of discussions and those were by HOz and women.

                  A misunderstanding between two folks who probably agree on more areas than we disagree but I think taking the time to be clear is so important to understanding.

                  Peace,
                  PaintyKat

                  Just a painty kat - NOT that be meanie cat

                  by PaintyKat on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 10:56:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Wow..remind me never to make you mad!!! (10+ / 0-)

            Kiss that man, Mrs. P, he's a keeper!!!!!

            We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

            by Mary Julia on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:48:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Again, since your anger is clouding you... (3+ / 6-)
            Recommended by:
            Smallbottle, naufragus, ZenTrainer
            Hidden by:
            pastordan, PaintyKat, hrh, aitchdee, dnta, tvb

            I'll repeat that I never - ever - said that someone who is handling their mental issues is the same as someone who is a crazy ass freaking nutso psychotic mess who you wouldn't want to have babysitting your kids.

            YOU keep saying that. Not me.

            Learn the distinction about what was said by the person you're talking to, and what has been said to you previously by others, for they ain't the same.

            Not even a little bit.

            The original diary that set this one off was about hospitalized psychotic patients voting Republican. It wasn't about PastorDan, no matter how you want it to be. It wasn't about Mrs PastorDan, no matter how you want it to be. It was about the WORST mental illness sufferers.

            Repeat after me: "It isn't all about me."

            Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

            by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:00:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, that just earned a troll rating. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PaintyKat, keila, begone, wa ma

              Both because you keep using insulting terms even after you've been called on it, and because now you're just becoming obnoxious because I won't concede your point.

              Your comment was unclear to say the least. You could have clarified your meaning hours ago, yet you chose to dig your heels in deeper and deeper.

              Whose anger is clouding whom?

              Street Prophets: faith, politics, and cookies.

              by pastordan on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:15:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Troll away, man. It ain't no thang. (0+ / 0-)

                And not for nothing, but hours ago I was playing with my kid and eating dinner.

                Sorry I couldn't be here to hold your hand through it.

                Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

                by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:19:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You have been up and down this thread (6+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dems2004, Carnacki, PaintyKat, als10, hrh, Annalize5

                  for the better part of three hours now, constantly challenging and berating anyone who has the slightest difference of opinion with you.

                  How many comments have you made here tonight? How many opportunities did you have to say, Ooops, I think I made a mistake?

                  Don't talk to me about holding my hand - take some freaking responsibility for what you've said.

                  Street Prophets: faith, politics, and cookies.

                  by pastordan on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:24:49 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I will if you'll go read what I said.. (0+ / 0-)

                    ..and quit trying to make me admit to something that isn't there.

                    I've been called a nincompoop, a moron, a dimwit, a nazi, mentally dysfunctional... anything else you think I should NOT answer?

                    I've pointed out to you where you're going wrong in assuming I'm saying something I'm not, and rather than look at my actual words, right there in big print, and admit as much, you continue to try to get me to admit to what you THINK I'm saying.

                    Dude, I've had respect for you as a blogger for a looooong time, but you're wrong here, and it's kind of weird that you won't do the most basic bit of backstepping to actually look at my words, rather than stuff others in my gob.

                    Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

                    by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:54:55 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You have been an ass to everyone on this (5+ / 1-)

                      thread and now you are ordering PastorDan to do what you demand.  The biggest injustice you do to anyone is the one you do to yourself.  

                      Your comments have changed throughout the discussion so why should he go back and read through all that trash and so what a fool you have made out of yourself.

                      You have managed to convince anyone who has participated in this thread what an ignorant, insensitive, ill-informed, bigoted, authoritarian you are.  Anyone who engages in discussion with you is told what to think and is subject to a barage of nonpsensical directions of what to do or think.

                      Give PastorDan and everyone else who has had the misfortune of witnessing your ignorance a break and shut up because you are digging and digging and digging and getting further behind.  And your nastiness is unwarranted and unappreciated.

                      PaintyKat

                      Just a painty kat - NOT that be meanie cat

                      by PaintyKat on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 02:33:41 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  How many hospitalized psychotics vote?? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Topaz7, flumptytail

              But when they've had care, and are functioning again, they vote.  And they are the same people.

            •  It isn't all about you even though you act like (0+ / 0-)

              it.  Is that what you mean?

              PaintyKat

              Just a painty kat - NOT that be meanie cat

              by PaintyKat on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 02:22:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Actually (29+ / 0-)

      I know many non-mentally ill people who are very poor voters because they vote uninformed and base their decisions on factors such as who their friends are voting for or who they see on TV the most.

      I also know many mentally ill people who are very excellent voters because they make an effort to research the candidates and issues before making a decision.

      Mental illness has nothing to do with voting ability.

      -4.50 -5.44

      "They're all crazy. They're all crazy except you and me. Sometimes I have me doubts about you." -- Garrett Fort

      by Spathiphyllum on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:09:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  According to the study cited in the original post (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bosuncookie, ZenTrainer

        ...it does.

        Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

        by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:08:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Despite OUR opinion on how they voted... (5+ / 0-)

          can we really say that because they were 'mentally ill' they voted WRONG?  No.  The study said they voted Republican.  A shame, IMO, but should they not have been allowed to vote because I disagreed with their assessment?

          •  The original study says they find authority to be (0+ / 0-)

            calming. Which means there's no decision going on there but "save me".

            Considering what this administration has done to the mentally ill since 2000, I'd say that it proves that is less a vote and more a request for help, which shouldn't be what such a Democratic right is about.

            Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

            by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:08:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Based on the news article... (7+ / 0-)

              The original study may be about as useful as most of your comments in this diary.  The only thing they found was a correlation between an MGAF score (which is not a measure widely used in mental health research to my knowledge) and vote in one presidential election.  We have next to no useful information...we don't know the strength of the correlation, the validity or reliability of the measures used, or even how many of the 69 people in the sample were actually psychotic.  We don't even know how they operationalized psychotic.  Until more evidence is presented to back up the claim that they find authority to be calming is presented, I'll place about as much trust in this study as I place in the current administration.  Finally, repeat after me...CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION!  

        •  HollywoodOz, I'm curous: (0+ / 0-)

          what does your signature quote mean to you?

          "It is up to the most conscious member of the relationship to create the space for the relationship to grow." Ram Dass

          by bosuncookie on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:40:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The actual quote (8+ / 0-)

          The thesis draws on a survey of 69 psychiatric outpatients in three Connecticut locations during the 2004 presidential election. Lohse’s study, backed by SCSU Psychology professor Jaak Rakfeldt and statistician Misty Ginacola, found a correlation between the severity of a person’s psychosis and their preferences for president: The more psychotic the voter, the more likely they were to vote for Bush. [...]

          1.  69 patients does not represent all mentally ill people or all mental illnesses.
          1.  It states that the severe patients were MORE likely to vote for the authoritarian figure (in this case Bush), NOT that the severe patients ONLY voted for the authoritarian figure; nor did it state that mentally ill people lack the ability to vote for anyone other than the authoritarian figure.

          It makes NO CLAIMS as to voting ability.  Many (not all) of the severe patients needed the comfort of an authoritarian figure and voted for one. A vote for president IS, after all, a vote for an authority figure you believe will best lead the nation and represent the needs of the people, including your own needs.

          -4.50 -5.44

          "They're all crazy. They're all crazy except you and me. Sometimes I have me doubts about you." -- Garrett Fort

          by Spathiphyllum on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:37:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  blind people make bad teachers? (9+ / 0-)

      funny, because I know a guy who is blind, and teaches computer literacy to inmates in prison.

      What a terrible, insensitive list of things to say.

      'Not Impeachment'
      Simply:
      Truth.Justice. Reconciliation.
      If Impeachment comes by way of Justice being served, so be it.

      by shpilk on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:31:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And sockpuppets make terrible airline pilots. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ppluto, ZenTrainer

        Where on earth did you get anything about blind people from my post?

        Granted, they'd make pretty awful snipers. But hey, if we're going to join hands and hum kum-ba-yah as we smoke from the 'anyone can do anything' pipe, we might as well hand them a gun and have at it.

        Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

        by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:13:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There's always hope, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PaintyKat, slatsg, Spathiphyllum

      but you'd better get busy and raise your consciousness soon.  

      BTW, my senior citizen dad participated in quite a few hundred-mile bike rides.

    •  It all comes down to how you define the (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dems2004, HollywoodOz, DSPS owl, wa ma

      categories. There are a group of people who make for poor voters in the sense there are a group of people who make poor pilots, and voting is, collectively, just as critical a set of controls.

      Mary Julia I suspect isn't in the group of people who make poor voters, and that group probably includes many people who wouldn't fall into a DSM-IV definition of psychosis. If there is in fact a correlation between two broader categories it may be insightful, but have no application to the individual.

      Indulging in unfair application to the individual is called "prejudice" and is an anethema to a dynamic, diverse society.

      You can still be on the team, even if you're not in the choir.

      by peeder on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:33:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have a feeling that you (31+ / 0-)

      haven't a clue about what mental illness is or isn't or that there are plenty of mentally ill that are productive, contributing members of society.  

      Your resident homeless guy is very likely a mentally ill person who does not take his medications and/or  has some type of substance abuse problem.  Of course no one would think about letting this person babysit, do open heart surgery, and in fact this person would have absolutely no desire to do so and likely on conducting something called a "mental status exam" couldn't give you the correct date, time or even who was president of the US at the present moment.

      There are varying degrees of "mental illness".  Do you know anyone who takes Prozac, or an antidepressant? It's called depression, major depression, depressive disorder (with or without psychosis).   Very likely you do, whether you realize it or not, perhaps even someone in your family that you don't realize.  Considering your attitude toward mental illness, I likely would be uneasy as a family member letting you know that I have a problem with depression, less I be tagged "a nut job".  

      That person who one minute is working a mile a minute and getting the job done, talking up a storm and the next day is kind of down in the cubicle next to yours, but overall an outstanding and productive employee?  It's called bipolar disorder, manic depression, cyclothymia, it's treatable and there are many productive members of society that have it.

      There are schizophrenics also that on the correct medications can lead productive lives, as long as they take what they need as far as medication.  Are they likely to do heart surgery? No.  Did you see the movie Beautiful Mind.  I strongly suggest you take a look at it, the gentleman in it, did not have the advantage of atypical neuroleptics that are available today and make an astounding difference in the lives of some.  

      Unfortunately there are too many people that have no idea what mental illnes is and is not, varying degrees, treatability and lump everyone together as "nutjobs".  

      It's really sad to see this kind of stuff here.  There are a lot of really great people on this site that suffer from depression, have long time, solid sobriety from alcoholism.  

      I had a schizophrenic brother, had he taken the proper medications, he would likely be living today, but he didn't and he committed suicide when he was 27 years old.  He was a "nut job" to the max, but he was loved by his family and friends who grieved his loss.  Was he a productive member of society?  No he was not, even when he was well no one would hire him - the neuroleptic medication he took caused him to have symptoms that looked like he had Parkinson's..made it hard to get hired.  Combine that with the fact that the nature of the illness tells you that you don't have one and stop taking your meds, a sad situation to be sure.  The hell that they and their family members go through does not deserve the scorn and derision of some on this site.  

      No matter what, unless a mentally ill person is mentally retarded, they are NOT stupid.  However people who underestimate their abilities I would have no problem calling exactly that.

      There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by otis704 on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:33:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bravo! (22+ / 0-)

        Beautifully written.  I am so sorry about your brother. I know my family still worries about me, although I have been medically compliant for awhile now. It's hard to break down that fear and dread in the people who love us.

        He can't thank you right now for being one hell of a brother, so I will do that on his behalf.  

        We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

        by Mary Julia on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:44:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you (7+ / 0-)

          I'm a sister though!  Otis came from recovering alcoholic (Otis as in Andy of Mayberry), 704 from area code, my big bro was otis803 for a while! Worked good way back when in chat rooms, no one would hit on you.

          Thanks so much for the diary. Such a stigma attached to mental illness, STILL.  It's hard for me to believe that we have not come further than this.  

          You take care of yourself, most important thing is to take care of yourself and not always other people, one dam hard lesson to learn, probably will spend the rest of my life on that.  Med compliance is so important.  I have had my own problems with alcoholism (recovering 20 years) and depression, ongoing struggle, med compliance too!  Everyone around me notices before I do when I get slack.  After a while you feel good, okay, skip the med for a day or so...and then all of a sudden you don't feel so good after how many days?  

          I work for a local mental health center so I know better.  #1 cause of hospitalizations, medication noncompliance, so I really, really should know better.  It's easier to remember when you are not well, then when you are!

          It's the time of year when my brother's illness overtook him, so it's a tough time of year for me, I really appreciate this diary and your writing it.    

          What this administration has done to the mentally ill via the Medicare Part D donut hole is really and truly sickening.  

          Take care of yourself and thank you for the diary.  

          There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by otis704 on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:34:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Whoops! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PaintyKat, wa ma

            Sorry about the brother/sister mixup! I got out of this diary for a little awhile, went out back to see the stars and say my prayers. That's where I go each night to say good night to the ones I love who are no longer here. So I popped in a good night to your brother.

            I wlll take good care of myself, promise.  I just do this one day at a time - sobriety and med compliance.  It's been working for awhile now.

            We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

            by Mary Julia on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 10:39:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

              for his good night.  That's a wonderful idea, I think I'm going to do that too.  It's really hard to look at the stars and not feel awe at the universe.  

              I'll pop in a prayer for you when I'm out there tonight.  Take good care of yourself! One day at a time is the only way to do it, I remember my first month sober, it was like one minute at a time.  You ever heard the saying it gets better, I don't really think "it" gets better, but your ability to deal with "it" sure as heck does!  

              There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by otis704 on Fri Dec 01, 2006 at 06:12:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  This season = depression = lack of sunshine (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rita in DC

            Many depressives have Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. That's one of the reason Northerners have taken fish oil for so long. It not only supplies Vitamin D, it contains a fraction, DHA, which can improve mood. DHA can impact depression from other sources too.

            http://www.biopsychiatry.com/...

            Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves. William Pitt

            by 4Freedom on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 08:15:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think I'm going to have (0+ / 0-)

              to start taking fish oil again.  I read a recent article somewhere about how helpful it was for depression.  I took it before, but I'm one of these people that can't abide fish (other than tuna) and the fish burps about made me barf!  

              I've seen these weird blue lights some people with SAD use.  I try to spend some time walking around in the yard and picking up sticks and stuff, but I know it's probably not enough.

              There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by otis704 on Fri Dec 01, 2006 at 06:14:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Never said they were stupid. (0+ / 0-)

        I said people who were dubbed 'wackjobs' in the previous diary, were not nice happy folk who pop the occasional anti-depper and sit down to watch PBS, they were (in the words of the study) the MOST PSYCHOTIC people.

        Let's read that again, the more psychotic they were, the more likely they were to vote Republican - that's what we were talking about.

        Now, if you want to say that I'm out here suggesting anyone who doesn't pass the "I'm okay/you're okay" test needs to be taken out and put in the organ donor farms of Shanghai, by all means go ahead and just add whatever you like, but what I said was nothing of the sort.

        It's that, if someone comes freaking out down your front path, you won't be leaving them with your keys, let alone your kids.

        And let's be honest, you wouldn't. So I'm right.

        Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

        by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:17:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You sound just like a Republican. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stiela, Lisa, rogun, PaintyKat, keila

      Because they are, truly, the most "normal" people I've ever met, and are absolutely certain of their superiority to inferior types such as the poor, the homeless, African Americans, etc.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:04:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is the most idiotic argument I've ever heard (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stiela, rogun, otis704, keila, profmom

      since when is it the role of the state -- of anyone to determine who makes a 'good' voter or a 'poor' voter. Next thing you'll be doing is saying dumb people shouldn't vote either... or uneducated people... or people who aren't educated enough... etc etc.

      There's no skills test for voting, you nit. That's why its called democracy.

      •  "Three generations of imbeciles is enough!" (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stiela, taylormattd, PaintyKat, keila

        100 years ago this general idea was commonplace and there were literacy tests for voters, etc.

        You can still be on the team, even if you're not in the choir.

        by peeder on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:27:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or worse. (9+ / 0-)

          People who were considered poor prospects for passing on their genes were sterilized without their consent. Or if they were thought to be chronically mentally ill, they might be given a lobotomy.

          Because hey, who wants the unfit taking over society, right?

          Street Prophets: faith, politics, and cookies.

          by pastordan on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:33:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They took over society in 2000. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ppluto, ZenTrainer

            We just took it back.

            And not for nothing, but I'm a HUGE proponent of compulsory voting. Having grown up in Australia, I got quite fond of seeing 96% voter turnout, and think it would be a great thing in the US.

            But any time I've put the idea forward, what's the ONLY thing people can say against it?

            "But then all the morons would vote."

            My usual reply is, well that's who is voting now, but the simple sad fact of the matter is that the accepted norm position is that voting is a right for only those who make the effort to get informed and do it.

            Which means the stupid, the uneducated, the poor, the felonious, the young, the illegal aliens, they're all left aside - and I don't see any of you guys fighting for their right to be heard in an election.

            Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

            by HollywoodOz on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:03:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I also grew up in Australia (0+ / 0-)

              (well, until I was 11), and I've never understood why Americans get so offended by the idea of compulsory voting.

            •  It should be mandatory (0+ / 0-)

              and we would have more done for the underclass which would improve America a lot.

              If not mandatory, then people should have to pass a test showing they know enough to vote.

              Life is what you focus on. Let's focus on ending the war. After that the rest will be easy.

              by relentless on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 12:22:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  See Peeder's comment above about poll tests (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Annalize5

                They were used to keep African Americans from voting and also Spanish Americans.  They also used property ownership to limit the vote for Spanish Americans (native peoples).

                So, do we want to go backwards and allow anyone to make decisions concerning voting privileges, designate who can vote and who can't.

                Laws limit the vote for some folks like non-citizens and voting is limited by age so there is no reason to discuss 14 yr olds voting.

                This whole discussion has been guided by someone who has attempted to justify their contempt and disrespect for part of the American populus.  It hasn't been sucessful and the argument hasn't even changed.  It is just as ridiculou as it was several hours ago.  There is a new wrinkle, I guess.  Now we should make voting manditory when earlier we were supposed to limit voting privileges for those who "whackos" "nutjobs" "psychotics" and "homeless males"

                PaintyKat

                Just a painty kat - NOT that be meanie cat

                by PaintyKat on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 03:15:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  This is a really, really bad idea (0+ / 0-)
        •  I know peeder.... (0+ / 0-)

          but we no longer consider that ethical as a society. Its called progress.

  •  Haven't read (25+ / 0-)

    the other diary yet, but I'm glad you are championing mental illness. There are inifinte permutations of mental illness, and it is embarrassing that we use the term "mentally ill" to mock someone.

    Thank you.

  •  Mental illness (31+ / 0-)

    is about the only thing people can get away with stigmatizing more than Muslims.

    Personally I'd have guessed that voting for Bush would correlate with certain personality disorders. But I don't recall anywhere in the Declaration of Independence where it said that people with illnesses lose their inalienable rights...

  •  I agree that people should not deride (8+ / 0-)

    the mentally ill in general, or make light of these afflictions.

    However, what are we actually allowed to say about the mental condition of people like Bush and his extremist supporters, who seem truly divorced from reality? Must we speak only in clinical terms and sensitive language about these destructive, vengeful, anti-social people? Is it really derogatory of other mentally ill people to say that Bush is batshit crazy?  The fact that he is not receiving (as far as I know) the treatment he needs (whatever that would be) doesn't change things for me. He is a public figure, and therefore the legitimate target of all kinds of criticism, including criticism of his sanity.

    If Bush were led away in a straitjacket I would make all kinds of insensitive remarks without compunction and without believing I was somehow deriding other mental patients in doing so.

    We must impeach Bush and Cheney in order to restore our government's Constitutional checks and balances, and the separation of powers.

    by revbludge on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:36:01 PM PST

  •  Mary Julia right on. (18+ / 0-)

    You've made a bold and stalwart statement on an important topic.  I didn't read all the comments, but I get the gist of what was said.  

    People tend to say insensitive things and that's a fact.  But that doesn't disallow calling them on the carpet for their unintended insensitivities.  Good for you and thanks.

  •  While (14+ / 0-)

    the diarist makes a fair point about the caricature often portrayed of those struggling with various degrees and forms of mental illness. Hunter didn't comment, he just linked it with a tongue-in-cheek title that played on the classic book o'psychobabble.

    It must have taken incredible discipline for someone with Hunter's skill not to go to Snarky-town and back on that article he linked -- or is it possible it took someone with far more sensitivity than Hunter is getting credit for above?

    Read UTI, your free thought forum

    by DarkSyde on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:40:30 PM PST

  •  Hey I'm a bipolar Democrat, too! (18+ / 0-)

    Medication really helps, but sometimes I get dizzy - still, I always vote straight Democrat.

  •  I was so surprised (25+ / 0-)
    Hunter wrote this great funny diary today, and then follows up with an inexplicable cheapshot FP one.

    why?

    I suspect it is the unwritten rules on this site--once you achieve a certain status here, rarely will anyone be honestly critical of you.

    props to you, Mary Julia.

    Rome wasn't burnt in a day.

    by Miss Devore on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:41:30 PM PST

  •  I work with people with schizophrenia. (34+ / 0-)

    Hopefully, the point of the research was to better understand the political lives of a part of our community.  

    Having helped some of my people register to vote or articulate their political ideas, I've given some thought to the issues raised by Mary Julia.  

    Even among people living in institutions, many are well-informed, thoughtful, and "rational."  Not always.  Not completely.  But then again, just look at some of our diaries.

    Additionally, the people I work with are no less deserving of having a voice and an opportunity to participate in self-government than anyone else.  They are affected by public policy in ways most of us will only rarely experience.  

    Yeah, sometimes "illness" may influence some individuals' specific political decisions.  But all of us have unhealthy personality traits and all of us are influenced in our behavior by feelings of rage, insecurity, selfishness, and sub-rational sense of like or affection for various candidates.  Where do we draw the line to cut off voting rights?

    Hospitalization?  Rule out Thomas Eagleton.
    Diagnosis?  Rule out many with addictions, personality disorders, depression ...
    Institutionalization?  Rule out a person I work with who lives at my facility for practical reasons (a combination of medical problems, limited disability benefits, and very occasional acute mood swings).

    Ok.  I'm done.

    P.S.  I really like Hunter's work.  Just not this posting.

    •  For determining custody of my children (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aitchdee, 4Freedom, chicago jeff

      in a horrible, bitter court case, my X and I had to take the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI).  I admit to sweating it out waiting for the results--what if was I "crazy" and didn't know it?

      The results showed I did have a low degree of a "flaw" in my personality, but I'd like to meet anyone who's aced it.  I'd say they are a very rare individual.

      (BTW-If I could remember what my problem was, I'd try to fix it.  Hee, hee.)

      •  MMPI is really problematic. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aitchdee, goodasgold

        At least for that purpose.

      •  what utter bullshit (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sorry you were put through that, goodasgold.

        God bless our tinfoil hearts.

        by aitchdee on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 11:28:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's a really sad state of affairs (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not comfortable with the MMPI being used in such a critical situation from my experience.

        When I was studying psychology, I used to take the MMPI for fun because it had such obvious bias to the questions. I would frame a syndrome that I wanted to skew the results for, take the test, and become however normal or batty I chose on paper.

        I also was studying statistics at the time, and did the statistics for grad students who couldn't do the math. After being asked to use different tests when researchers didn't like the results an initial test for significance revealed, many grads would ask me to try another test. I discovered that I could find significance in almost any data if I massaged it with enough different analyses.

        From this I concluded that the use of some psychological testing has merit, but it depends upon the test and how well an administrator can read results. Basing a child custody decision in part on a test as flawed as the MMPI is a poor practice.

        Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves. William Pitt

        by 4Freedom on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 08:33:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I do transcription for a mental health center (7+ / 0-)

      I would say that the Medicare Part D and the donut hole is a very good reason for those clients able to get to the polls and exercise their vote.  I have seen too many people struggle with this ill thought out prescription plan. The first time it came up in a note was in April! Just from doing notes, I don't think I could stand it from a clinician or psychiatrist point of view, truly a heartbreaking situation, for those who most need to stay on their meds.

      There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by otis704 on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:48:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a problem, alright. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PaintyKat, Mary Julia, flumptytail

        On the other hand, the entire healthcare system is a tangled bureucratic web that is very difficult for patients and clinicians to navigate.  Seemingly "small" delays in getting medications puts many people back in the hospital -- or worse.

        By the way, the administrative work you do is incredibly important.  When you do your job well, it gives us clinicians more time with patients and prevents the kinds of problems that really frustrate us.

        •  It sure is (0+ / 0-)

          one thing I hope that is coming down the pike is a change in healthcare.  I think things have really gotten out of hand.  Typed a note today where an insurance company wouldn't approve a drug at a certain dosage, which is on the higher end of what might be prescribed, but still within a recommended dosage scale.  The doc was going to have to try to intervene with a letter.  I thought to myself what a total crock!  I doubt whoever refused the prescription has a medical degree, let alone any psychological/psychiatric background.  

          I love doing transcription for this field.  Psychiatry/psychology is so much more interesting than regular medical - there aren't a lot of different shades of an illness when you work in a medical clinic setting.  If I were younger and had it do again, I think I would want to do psychiatric nursing.  My boss can be a pain in the posterior (micromanaging control freak) and I sometimes think about transferring in the system, but then I would have to go back to medical BORING!

          I've been typing on some of the same people since they were being treated as children and adolescents. The  clients change doctors within the clinic, but I still do their notes.   It's always an amazing thing to see a person doing well with the right treatment.  I'm really glad that they are still getting treatment.  It's good to see some of the ones that you thought would never do okay as children, doing okay,heartening.    I'm glad I can help in a small way, but for sure the clinicians have the really hard work.  There are so many really good people that work  in the field. Sometimes I do notes and I can just hear the elation in the doc or therapist's voices when someone is doing really well, had a breakthrough.  It makes me happy for the doc and therapist, not just the client.  

          I have much admiration for all those that deal with clients face to face, I think I would get frustrated and impatient when I could lead a horse to water, but they don't drink (noncompliance)!    

          There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by otis704 on Fri Dec 01, 2006 at 06:35:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  MJ (14+ / 0-)

    you make a really good point. Sometimes people are really offensive without meaning to be.  
    I have a relative who suffers from a life long mental illness.  When my ex and I were first together he used to refer to the mental hospital that was on his vending machine route (college job) as the Nut house.  It really upset me and he could never back off and say he was sorry or stop doing it.  I thought he should even if he could not understand...but that would be "too much like me telling him what to do".
    I am sure you are going to get a lot of those types of responses.  Don't let them get to you.

  •  I'm Mentally Ill (33+ / 0-)

    Does that make me unsuitable to be the chair of my county's Democratic Party?

    Or a member of the Virginia Central Committee?

    Or a member of the 5th CD Committee?

    No?

    I didn't think so. Nobody likes being unfairly categorized and labled. We would all do well to not put people in cute little boxes and assume that everyone in there is a certain way. I am 50 years old, and I have only missed voting once in my life.

    We need some mental health education around here.

  •  Right on (19+ / 0-)

    I couldn't agree more. It seems it's OK around here (and by around here, I mean much more than just DailyKos - I also mean folks I know that I would normally consider to be progressive) to mock mental illness and mental disability. Sort of the last bastion of acceptable prejudice. I hope this diary causes a few people to think more deeply about what they are saying.

    •  I've got a bridge to sell you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stiela, Dems2004

      if you think those mindsets will change by discussions here.

      Changes in these types of prejudicial mindsets require generations of effort.

      'Not Impeachment'
      Simply:
      Truth.Justice. Reconciliation.
      If Impeachment comes by way of Justice being served, so be it.

      by shpilk on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:36:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  not necessarily (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dems2004, aitchdee, 4Freedom, dotcommodity

        I take heart from the fact that in my lifetime smoking cigarettes has gone from being glamorous to low-class.  Attitudes can and do change if the public information campaigns are done right.

        •  MSM has supressed much info that could change (0+ / 0-)

          public opinion if the information was more readily available. That is part of MSM's function - disinformation - and it is our job to inform ourselves and others to counter it.

          This worked for us 11/7 and will continue to do so.

          Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves. William Pitt

          by 4Freedom on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 08:38:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Must be something in the water this week. (6+ / 0-)

    Lots of folks round here taking some things way too seriously.

    I belong to the LMTFA wing of the Democratic Party.

    by Sam Loomis on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:51:16 PM PST

  •  I regret nothing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    iiiii, marina, Eric Cartman, flumptytail

    Mental illness is just another name for faulty wiring. There shouldn't be any stigma attached to it, but it is called illness for a reason.

    I've been in a psych ward too, and I don't take offense at the notion that psychology influences/is part of politics.

  •  More than they realize... (14+ / 0-)

    I have little doubt there is substantially more mental illness in this country than documented. While some seek treatment, others will seek to hide it at all costs. One moves forward, the other is stuck.

    Not everyone realizes the problem is really with them & not the world. It's an ugly realization.

    Recommended, and thank you.

    "I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV."

    by zeitshabba on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:52:25 PM PST

  •  Sometimes people say or write things without (10+ / 0-)

    thinking them through. It's like a horrible movie you went to, when you leave the movie theater, you mention to your spouse, "now that's a movie that didn't have to be made".

    •  unfortunately, it is more like Michael Richards.. (5+ / 0-)

      you can't really just dismiss such comments as 'heat of the moment'; if you can speak such things, you likely believe them to some degree.  'Heat of the moment' is a weak cop-out...

      •  It depends (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aitchdee, wa ma, flumptytail

        If a term has become commonly used in a certain way, like slang, the user may very well mean the slang definition. If I were to say, "man, that's crazy talk", it wouldn't normally enter my mind that that was offensive to anyone. I certainly wouldn't be cutting down on the mentally ill (or at least not intentionally).  

        I do, however, usually appreciate someone pointing these things out to me.

        •  yeah, but that IS a little different (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marina, flumptytail

          than what is being discussed here.

          Yes, scenarios as you note can be awkward or accidentally inappropriate; speaking of Michael Richards I think it is the premise of at least one Seinfeld I can think of.

          But in the context we are discussion here, it isn't about using the terms as throw away filler in conversation; the terms are THE subject, so there is intent and it IS revealing of prejudices

  •  The social contract (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scrutinizer, ZenTrainer, flumptytail

    The basis for representative government is something historically known as "the social contract".  There is also a point of law, I believe, that says someone must be competent in order to enter into a contract.  Now I realize the social contract isn't something literally written down and agreed to by the actual parties to the agreement.  But at the same time I question whether or not those who are mentally incompetent should be allowed to enter into any contract at all, social or otherwise.

    Of course then you get to the question of who makes the decision on whether or not somebody is competent, and that's where my scenario becomes less clear.

    On the face of it, however, I don't have a problem with the idea that people with serious mental illness should be prevented from voting.

    I never craved a toaster or a color TV

    by Paper Cup on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:57:36 PM PST

    •  Wrong, wrong, wrong. (18+ / 0-)

      The basis for representative government is something historically known as "the social contract".  There is also a point of law, I believe, that says someone must be competent in order to enter into a contract.  Now I realize the social contract isn't something literally written down and agreed to by the actual parties to the agreement.  But at the same time I question whether or not those who are mentally incompetent should be allowed to enter into any contract at all, social or otherwise.

      The 'social contract' is a useful analogy for understanding some social relationships. But it is only an analogy; it's not a particularly useful concept for understanding a person's rights within a community. You are entitled to human rights because you are human. Period. The competence to enter into a contract serves an entirely different purpose; humanity is not a contractual obligation. It is the condition of human life itself.

      Left. Because it's right.

      by 4thepeople on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:04:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

        Human rights are inviolable for everybody, but we're not talking about "the condition of human life itself" here.  At least I wasn't.  I was talking about potentially excluding those who are demonstrably incapable of making rational decisions.  By your logic we should allow every child old enough to make his mark on a ballot the right to vote.

        I never craved a toaster or a color TV

        by Paper Cup on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:10:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who does more damage? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, Albatross, gustynpip

          An "unfit" voter (however you define it)? Or an unfit parent?

          If we start testing people for their "suitability" or "fitness" to vote, do we also do the same before allowing them to reproduce?

        •  By my logic... (8+ / 0-)

          By my logic we should represent every child, and let every adult vote. I don't care if an adult votes for Krusty the Klown.  Hell -- I don't care if an adult votes for a Hostess Twinkee; what matters is the the right -- and the inherent dignity -- of being allowed to express your preferences.

          I'm mentally ill and I vote.

          Left. Because it's right.

          by 4thepeople on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:20:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you are capable (0+ / 0-)

            of making an informed choice based on a cogent judgment of what's in your best interest then I have absolutely no problem with that.

            I never craved a toaster or a color TV

            by Paper Cup on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:33:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  where do I take the test to prove I am capable? (3+ / 0-)
            •  What matters (4+ / 0-)

              what matters is the the right -- and the inherent dignity -- of being allowed to express your preferences.

              The whole point is that the inherent dignity of expressing one's preferences stands independent of the cogency of one's judgment or the quality of information that undergirds that judgment.  Inherent dignity is any dignity that inheres by virtue of one's human-ness alone, and NOT by virtue of one's qualifications.  Voting is an inherent dignity precisely because it is dehumanizing not to be allowed to have a deciding voice in one's own destiny.  So like I said, an adult can vote for a Hostess HoHo.  What matters is the unfettered right to express an opinion about how you think things ought to be.  If that means you think things ought to be devil's food with a fake-chocolatey coating and a fake-creamy center, go for it.

              Left. Because it's right.

              by 4thepeople on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:05:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

                I see no "inherent dignity" in being able to express your preference.

                I would actually support someone's right to vote for a Twinkie if they were doing it to make a point or to ridicule the system in general.  On the other hand, if someone wanted to vote for a Twinkie because they though a Twinkie would make a really good Mayor then I would hesitate to let them do that.  The whole inmates running the asylum thing.

                I never craved a toaster or a color TV

                by Paper Cup on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:14:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  If you would require an informed (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              laurak, bronxbayo, flumptytail

              choice, then that would severly limit the voting pool.

        •  Mentally ill (8+ / 0-)

          is not the same as mentally incompetent or irrational.  Or vice versa.  Seems to me the question of voting competence belongs in its own diary.

          The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

          by DSPS owl on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:41:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DSPS owl, flumptytail

            Good distinction there between mentally ill and mentally incompetent.  One I hadn't made in my own mind, but it is an important one.

            I never craved a toaster or a color TV

            by Paper Cup on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:43:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  When voting rights are curtailed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PaintyKat

              Conservatives win. period.

              "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

              by Alice in Florida on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:28:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Competence can be impaired by a myriad (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WobegoneGirl, DSPS owl, flumptytail

              of causes - many not related to mental illness at all.

              Some examples:  use of hypnotics, use of opiates, use of steroids, use of alcohol, use of recreational drugs, abrupt lowering of blood pressure, diabetic ketoacidosis, hypoglycemia, brain tumors, cortical hypoperfusion, transient ischemic attacks (mini strokes), narcolepsy.

              There are standardzied evaluative mechanisms to determine competency, and both the healthcare and legal systems are involved.  Competence is not something to be bandied about cavalierly.

        •  if you go by that test... (4+ / 0-)

          then no one should be allowed to vote unless they have been tested to demonstrate their ability to make rational decisions...you can't just exclude a group and assume that everyone else passes the test

          come on. it gets ridiculous SO quickly...

          this IS about human rights.  not to be messed with idly...

          •  It is not about human rights (0+ / 0-)

            I don't even think Jefferson thought that.  Basic human rights are inalienable and not granted by man.  The "right to vote" is predicated on a system of laws that provide elections somewhere along the line.  The right to vote is certainly one granted by man and, therefore, not an inalienable right in my opinion.

            The founding fathers must have shared that view because they didn't allow slaves to vote and they didn't allow women to vote either.  Having said that, I admire Thomas Jefferson and all that he thought and all that he stood for.  A more gifted and insightful individial has never existed as far as I'm concerned.  He said,

            To secure these [inalienable] rights [to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness], governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...

            That says it all for me.  A seriously mentally incompetent person - not just mentally ill, but really incompetent - is not capable IMO of giving consent for anything, much less what powers ought to be allowed to a government.

            I never craved a toaster or a color TV

            by Paper Cup on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:54:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  maybe (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              churchylafemme, hopscotch1997

              but I think you are overlooking the real issue here: HOW is this competence/incompetence determined, and how is it fairly determined?

              THAT is where you run into trouble with the violation of rights, my friend...

              •  That is the question (0+ / 0-)

                And having said everything I've said I am generally in favor of expanding rights for people.  For instance, I believe in this country today people should have the right to drive a car.  I don't buy into the rationale that says driving is a privilege and not a right.  I also think anyone old enough to serve their country should have the right to consume alcoholic beverages.

                I'm generally in favor of more rights, not less, even when they're rights I don't consider inalienable.

                I never craved a toaster or a color TV

                by Paper Cup on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:09:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  A right to drive? (0+ / 0-)

                  Even if they have a DUI record? How about if they're blind? Or are you in favor of driver's licenses for illegal aliens?

                  Frankly, there is very little damage that would come from allowing a few incompetents the right to vote, but a whole lot of damage that can come (and quickly) from someone who shouldn't be driving.

                  "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                  by Alice in Florida on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:33:16 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  In my experience, it has been the GOP who try to (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  4Freedom

                  limit the registration and voting to the elite.  This is a first for me to hear Democrats who express wishes to limit the vote to other citizens.

                  The GOP does it because they figure the fewer who vote means they win.  Same with shortening the poll hours.  I can't understand why an individual would feel entitled to deprive any other citizen of voting is beyond me.

                  I don't care what explanation you put on it, it is elitism and authoritarianism.  We need to decide who is not capable of voting and stop them.  Who and How?  But the biggest question for me is Why?  Why in the hell would a Democrat want to limit the rights of any other citizen?  And yes, slaves were not allowed to vote but they weren't allowed citizenship first.  And women weren't allowed to vote but that didn't make it right.  And more importantly, it didn't make it just.

                  Even, Jefferson, indicated in his rough drafts for the Declaration of Independence that slaves should be freed.  But Jefferson's own slaves were not free until his death.

                  Because slave ownership was legal at one time in our history, does not make it just.  And denying the vote from legal US citizens who are of the legal voting age who are not excluded by law is immoral and injust.

                  Don't we have some really progressive and positive agenda to work on?  How about getting our soldiers back from Iraq?  Surely there are many policies to advance progressive ideas.  No one can convince me that limiting the voting rights of mentally ill is progressive or a benefit to society.  The damage to society of the whole endeavor far outweighs whatever small portion of voters might be incompetent.

                  PaintyKat

                  Just a painty kat - NOT that be meanie cat

                  by PaintyKat on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 04:06:32 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  This is not a logical progression: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PaintyKat

              The right to vote is certainly one granted by man and, therefore, not an inalienable right in my opinion.

              A right can be conferred by people and be, nontheless, inalienable; there are rights that can be conferred but nevertheless should not taken away.

              Incompetents have a right to vote because they have a right to exercise choices. They have a right to exercise choices at any level of capability whatsoever, because the value in their exercising the right of choice transcends -- trumps -- any particular choice they happen to make.

              You have a kid. Your kid wants to wear his Superman shirt with his Batman shorts with his fireman boots and his Princess Esmeralda tiara.  You let him, because what matters isn't that he is going to the park looking like a train wreck; what matters is that he is being allowed to be human.  To choose is fundamentally human.

              Left. Because it's right.

              by 4thepeople on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:22:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You are wrong (0+ / 0-)

                IMHO  I will never agree that people should be able to do whatever they damn well please because it's their choice.  Some people are incapable of making sane choices.

                You'd let a kid get dressed like that because they thought it was fun and ultimately wasn't going to hurt anybody.  Not because it's a basic human right.

                I never craved a toaster or a color TV

                by Paper Cup on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:35:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Paper, you and Alice are missing the point (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  PaintyKat, dnta, flumptytail

                  You say:

                  Some people are incapable of making sane choices.

                  And Alice says:

                  I don't think deciding what your kid wears in public is a good analogy for human rights.  

                  I think you are both missing the point. If the act of choosing is, as I contend, fundamental to being human, then limiting choicemaking to sane people is like limiting eating to sane people. Humans make choices because humans are hardwired to need to make choices, just like humans eat because they're hardwired to need to eat. You give your kid the right to make choices because not allowing your kid to make choices is abusive. (And Alice -- I don't insist that any particular child be allowed to express a preference for this piece of clothing, or that food item, or this particular toy ... but we both know it would be abusive to forbid a child from making any choices at all).

                  If a person is not competent to impose a government, s/he is nevertheless able to say "I want Popeye (or Bush, or Bill Clinton, or Madonna) to run the government."  If enough other people want Popeye, too -- well, then, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

                  But telling an adult who wants to write "Popeye" on a ballot and stick it in a box that s/he cannot be allowed to vote because his/her choice "isn't good" or "doesn't make sense" interferes with such a basic urge -- the urge to choose -- that it dehumanizes a person to deny him.  It's better to have a certain number of "bad" choices cast, than to suppress such a basic element of a person's autonomy.  

                  Left. Because it's right.

                  by 4thepeople on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:05:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If human are "hardwired for choosing" (0+ / 0-)

                    Then why is it so hard to convince the "normal" ones to vote? Maybe it's because they are so busy deciding what to wear...seriously. I'm saying that Americans spend way too much time choosing clothes and too little time choosing ideas. I don't think they are of equal importance, that all that matters is "choice." I think choosing political leaders is more importantant than choosing whether to dye your hair pink, and I am willing to defend that proposition.

                    Besides, I don't think comparing mentally ill adults to children is particularly respectful, and I stand by my comment that it is a poor way of making your point.

                    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                    by Alice in Florida on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 03:26:26 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think deciding what your kid wears (0+ / 0-)

                in public is a good analogy for human rights. Actually, we put way too much emphasis on clothing as a means of expression--we'd probably be better off with more choices of ideas and fewer choices of clothes.

                "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                by Alice in Florida on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:36:37 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  If only "normal" people are allowed to vote (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          relentless

          There would be absolutely no hope for the progressive agenda.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:23:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Er, disagree (0+ / 0-)

            There are more registered Democrats than registered Republicans in America. Democrats are the majority Party. If we assume most voters to be relatively normal, there are more normal Democrats than Republicans.

            The re-emergence of the voting Democratic majority is joined by the Republicans who have switched Parties or voted Democratic 11/7. I think the progressive agenda has become the "normal" agenda for the majority of the voting public.

            The sticking point, as I see it, is that our legislators lag the voting public in their agenda, sponsored as it is by financial interests not directly accountable to voters.

            Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves. William Pitt

            by 4Freedom on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 08:56:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  First, by "progressive" (0+ / 0-)

              I refer to an agenda which is to the left of the majority of Democrats. Many persons registered as Democrats are moderate or even conservative. Only about 22 percent of voters polls self-identify as "liberal" these days. I'm talking about an agenda that is out of the mainstream--anybody who thinks that favoring gay marriage, affirmative action and unrestricted immigration are mainstream views is a little out of touch with reality.

              But what I really mean is that anything that limits voting rights--any test--is going to discriminate against Democrats. This country has a long history of "tests" designed to prevent African Americans from voting--any test to determine "mental health" would inevitably be abused to deny votes to those groups who might interfere with the corpratist agenda.

              "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

              by Alice in Florida on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 03:42:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Labels shortcircuit dialogue (0+ / 0-)

                The corporatist agenda is the foe. Americans agree about Iraq, raising the minimum wage, protecting the environment, and a host of issues not as hotbutton as those you mention.

                Reasons for ideological divides are less important to many Americans than setting an agenda focussed more on domestic policy and less on economic imperialism. Americans are becoming less identified with labels and more identified with being an American opposed to many present government policies. This is evidenced by the consistently low approval ratings of the administration.

                Affirmative action is opposed mostly by hardcore conservatives. Dismantling affirmative action, as was done in Michigan in the past election, is a temporary effort to mine voter dissatisfaction with a host of other social ills like outsourced jobs and lack of economic opportunity. Gay marriage and unrestricted immigration are issues not espoused by all progressives. I received several requests from progressive newsletters not to get hung up on single issues like this for the 11/7 election, because the important ones, like Iraq and the minimum wage, were the main targets.

                The new Democratic Congress will deal with voter rights. The Party with two stolen Presidential elections and a critical '08 election to prepare for is definitely going to make protecting voter rights a top legislative item. Ills of the past provide guidelines for what to protect in the future, and Democrats know where the weak links in voting rights are.

                Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves. William Pitt

                by 4Freedom on Fri Dec 01, 2006 at 07:23:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Boiling it down to essentials (0+ / 0-)

                  You seem to agree that protecting voting rights--that is, cutting away attempts to put barriers in the way of voting--benefits Democrats. Making it harder for people to register and vote benefits Republicans. Therefore, requiring "sanity" as a qualification for voting, since it would provide a way to deny people the vote, would benefit Republicans.

                  "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                  by Alice in Florida on Fri Dec 01, 2006 at 06:19:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I don't believe it is an analogy (0+ / 0-)

        It is a real, tangible thing in my view that has real, tangible effects on our lives.

        I never craved a toaster or a color TV

        by Paper Cup on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:42:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  setting your standard is a really tangible thing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PaintyKat, otis704

          that would have real, tangible effects on our lives and everyone's basic rights and human dignity.

        •  The social contract is an analogy. (0+ / 0-)

          It is emphatically not a "real, tangible thing... that has real, tangible effects on our lives."  There is no such piece of paper; there is no such list of terms offered, agreed-upon, and accepted; there is no such set of obligations, nor any agreement about what constitutes a breach.  

          A "social contract" is an analogy between the kinds of agreements that result when people make explicit promises,  demands and payoffs on individual behaviors -- and bind themselves to those explicit terms -- on the one hand, and the tacit assumptions people make about the obligations and payoffs of communal behavior, on the other.

          Those tacit assumptions are only more-or-less understood, only more-or-less agreed upon, and can only be more-or-less enforced.  People can and do opt out at will, change the terms, accept only some terms and not others, and generally proceed in a loosey-goosey, make-it-up-as-you-go-along manner.  The terms of the 'social contract' are always in flux, always subject to negotiation, and are not mutually binding.  'Social contracts' only bind people who buy into them in the first place. They cannot be imposed.

          Left. Because it's right.

          by 4thepeople on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:44:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  No. The franchise isn't an inherent right, (0+ / 0-)

        nor is it an "inalienable" right.  The right to vote is granted by the state, and can be (and often has been) limited to certain classes.  Voting rights, at least in the US, have become more inclusive over the last two centuries, but the Constitution has never said that the franchise applied to each and every American.  At the time the US was established, in most cases you had to be white, male, and a landowner to vote.  Since that time, states and the Congress have expanded these rights, to include blacks (15th amendment), women (19th amendment), people who lived in DC, and weren't able to vote because they didn't live in a state (23rd amendment), the poor (and usually black, with the 24th amendment), and allowed 18 year olds the vote (the 26th amendment).  The voting rights act of 1965 cleaned up a lot of loopholes and enfranchised many more.  

        Point being that "the vote" is not inherent, it is a right granted by the state, and may be taken away by the state. You don't have an entitlement to vote.  That's why so many people over so many years fought, and fought hard, to be granted sufferage.

    •  Perhaps you've forgotten (19+ / 0-)

      that the best way to get rid of enemies in Soviet Russia was to put them in a psychiatric hospital.  Diagnosis of mental illness is extremely subjective.  Do my two antidepressants a day keep me from voting?  How about the guy or gal who comes home from Iraq with severe PTSD?  Do we tell that person, "Thanks for serving your country, sorry we gave you this horrible disease, but we just can't let you vote any more."

      Democrats say we are the party of the biggest tent, the party that cares about ordinary people.  Democrats say that a country is judged by how it treats the least of its citizens.  Apparently some folks don't understand that that's not just about public policy, it's about who each of us is every day of our lives.  None of us is perfect at that.  All of us need to try harder.

      •  Not at all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        flumptytail

        I remember it very well and that was the specific basis for my hesitance in the face of the question, "Who gets to decide?"  There is a risk that anything will be twisted for political purposes, whether it's inventing your own intelligence to prop up your case for war, or deciding someone is "mentally ill" for the purpose of disenfranchising them.

        I never craved a toaster or a color TV

        by Paper Cup on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:39:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The overwhelming majority of people with (8+ / 0-)

      schizophrenia are legally competent.

      Most actually are competent, most of the time.

    •  That would guarantee Republican dominance (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4thepeople

      Whenever we speak of denying some group of people the vote on the basis of morals or competence, it is almost always people who would more likely than not vote Democratic. And that "study" in Hunter's diary is a joke--even the guy quoted didn't seem at all serious.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:17:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  mentally ill does not equal incompetent (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PaintyKat, neroden
      Perhaps even those who are psychotic still are competent in some areas. Its not our place to judge a fellow citizen's competence to vote.
  •  I'm Pastor Dan, and I'm craaaazy! (36+ / 0-)

    No, really: bipolar II. I'm certifiable.

    And I thought the study was offensive. Thank you for saying something, Mary Julia. Watson sends face kisses your way.

    Street Prophets: faith, politics, and cookies.

    by pastordan on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:58:28 PM PST

  •  Agree. (27+ / 0-)

    I agree with this diary for many reasons. Mental illness is not an impediment to voting, to participating in politics, or to contributing to our democracy.  And the most profound reason, to me, is that America can make you crazy.

    I'll be dog if I tell a PTSD ex-soldier s/he can't vote. I'll be dog if I tell the depressed victim of a hate crime that s/he can't vote. I'll be dog if I tell a wrongfully-renditioned prisoner tortured into psychosis by noise and sleep deprivaton, that s/he can't vote.

    The sh*t America can and does throw at people, can and does make people mentally ill. Telling them they're not fit to vote just compounds the evil.

    Left. Because it's right.

    by 4thepeople on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 06:58:57 PM PST

    •  While working at the poll in November (25+ / 0-)

      a man who obviously lived on the streets came in to vote.  I must say that I was thrilled to see him.  For me, it was a shining moment for democracy.  

      Mary Julia, thanks for steam.

    •  Who is trying to label so many people "crazy"? (0+ / 0-)

      IMO it's the drug companies who can profit and the medical profession which doesn't spend much time or money studying alternatives to drugs for symptomatic relief.

      There is a tendency to label anything that trends away from some presupposed sort of "normalcy" as mental illness. Much of what is now called mental illness used to be have simpler labels like worry or the blues or eccentricity.

      Over-diagnosis of "mental illness" is rampant. Many individuals are distressed with their jobs, our government, their family situation and such, and not really mentally ill. I think labels can impair real study and thinking about mental distress. It's simpler and easier to treat someone who has a label attached to them than to understand and treat their individual condition. And part of me is amazed that this community accepts and even embraces their "label".

      With a diagnosis of mental illness, the gateway to the drug solution is opened. Once someone is put on drugs, getting off them can be difficult. Drugs can help many people, but I wish the medical profession were involved itself more with real biochemical cures rather than drug fixes. However, as this would be a less profitable route, it is underfunded.

      Some real depressives have been helped by the supplement SAM-E, while a bipolar person can't touch it. Others have been helped by fish oil, which I mentioned earlier on the thread. St. John's Wort has propped up mood for many for hundreds of years.

      If you look for alternatives to drugs to address mental and emotional conditions, there's lots of information online. But you do have to take personal responsiblity and look, as the money to promote alternatives to drugs just isn't there in the marketplace.

      And if you are profoundly depressed, drugs can bring you a life, and drugs can make life liveable for those with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Many with less serious disorders can be helped without drugs if they do some research, and non-drug approaches can sometimes lessen the severity of serious disorders, but you have to dig to find the information to help you.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves. William Pitt

      by 4Freedom on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 09:27:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All true... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia

    but the bush lovers of america?  Whackjobs.  Problem is... they function just fine in society, so I wouldn't call them mentally ill (since soooo many mentally ill function wonderfully in this society).

    It's a conundrum... the 'terms' we use.

    We need a new term. How's about bush lovers? Cause they are nuts.

    Googlebomb WA-08 - Dave Reichert http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/287797_reichertsideweb06.html

    by letsfight on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:00:02 PM PST

  •  Neanderthals (13+ / 0-)

    But what it is about the topic of mentally illness that causes intelligent, well-read people to turn into neanderthals?

    Did those GEICO commercials teach you nothing? Neanderthals (they prefer Cave Men) are in fact quite high-functioning members of society! Their frontal lobes may be smaller, but they work hard and raise families, and about half of them vote Democratic!

  •  What's That About Shoes and Miles? (12+ / 0-)

    Supposedly a Native American saying, but I doubt they used miles as units of measure.

    I'm a whackjob. I hang out with whackjobs. My mother was a whackjob.

    And we VOTE.

    Be afraid. Very afraid.

    Bwuhahahahaaahaaaa!

    "[T]hat I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake."

    by Heronymous Cowherd on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:00:56 PM PST

  •  There are plenty of people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boston Boomer, goodasgold

    in my family, my mother in law specifically, that I would consider a "whack job" but would be declared competent by a psychiatrist. I wouldn't take some of those statements literally. People were probably just trying to express a mindset with out really thinking about mental illness.

    I'm too disgusted right now to think of a sig.

    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:02:24 PM PST

    •  Years ago, I was diagnosed (15+ / 0-)

      as "manic-depressive."  It turned out my real problem was that I'm an alcoholic.  For most of my life, I've battled depression, and after I got sober I discovered all kinds of issues I needed to deal with.  I've spent a lot of time in therapy in my life, and slowly by realling working at it, I've ended up being pretty happy and emotionally and mentally balanced.

      For most of my life, I've considered myself pretty messed up and I would look around and see all these other people and wish I could be functioning in the world like them.  Then as my recovery progressed, I started to realize that I was mentally/emotionally healthier than most of those other people.  I had to deal with a lot of serious problems and I worked at it, went through hell and came out the other side in pretty good shape emotionally.  

      There are lots of so-called "normal" people out there who haven't had to deal with serious problems yet, and they haven't really had to grow up (e.g., George W. Bush).  Admitting your problems and facing up to them is far better than trying to ignore them and fit in with the "normal" folks, especially when you live in a society that's as crazy as ours.

      Don't know if I'm making sense here...

      •  Makes perfect sense to me. (6+ / 0-)

        There are those too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest. I've always liked that line.  

        True in my case.  Mental illness became a lot more manageable (for me) when I quit getting wasted.  I have absolutely benefitted from therapy and medications at times during my sobriety.  Not on any meds now nor in therapy.  No longer certifiably schizophrenic, I believe.  Haven't been in a psych ward or hospital since I sobered up through 12-step programs.  (But would be willing to do it again if necessary.)  

        The climb out of severe depression, psychosis, and mental illness can be a long haul.  But doable.  And worth it.  By any means necessary.

        "Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." To Kill A Mockingbird

        by DC Scott on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:32:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  yes... (6+ / 0-)

        There is large population that seems to believe if you never give a name to your affliction, it doesn't exist.  I work with a woman who thinks people who go to psychotherapy are fucked up.  I really wish she would go and start some of the serious work she needs to do.  But I'm not yet Queen of the World, and she remains free to do her own life.  

        •  That sounds like my mother (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DC Scott

          for many years -- it wasn't until she witnessed the hell my sister-in-law went through and the dramatic change in her with the right therapy, medications and dietary change (turned out a good part of her depression was due to food allergies including wheat) that she began to change her mind...as well as the depression she went into during her terminal illness.

          Too bad it took so long... :(

          -- "...the worst Presidency since James Buchanan..." -- KO, 9/25/06

          by Cali Scribe on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 11:26:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My dad (doctor) was alcoholic with depression (3+ / 0-)

            which became acutely apparent after he quit drinking late in life, as he declined with multiple medical conditions.  I got him to ask his doc for Prozac.  About three weeks later, he called me, upbeat, and we ended up chatting aimlessly about the weather and football.  He had never called me before in his life.  

            Honest to God, his getting on anti-depressants was like the sun coming out in a life of darkness.  We became buddies before he died.  It was beautiful, and I am soooooo grateful he got help.  If meds can help, damn, do 'em!!!

            "Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." To Kill A Mockingbird

            by DC Scott on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 04:30:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I didn't read the comments (10+ / 0-)

    on Hunter's diary and based on your description, I'm glad I skipped them.  I agree that there is a lot of ignorance out there mental illness.

    I did think the study itself was interesting. I'd like to see the actual study, though.  From the article it appears that they used psychosis as the basis for the study.

    Of course correlation is not causation.  The study just showed a significant relationship between being mentally ill and voting for Bush or Nixon--it didn't explain why that relationship exists.  

    The study also showed that within the population studies, less informed people tended to vote for Bush while better informed people voted for Kerry.  Those findings have also been found in the general population.  

    I would assume that if you tested the population as a whole with the measures used in that study, you'd find similar results--there are tons of people out there who have undiagnosed mental and emotional problems that could show up if they took those measures.

    There have been other correlations found between political ideology and various psychological characteristics.  For example, studies show that people with authoritarian personalities tend to be conservative, while people who score high on the personality train "Openness to experience" tend to be liberal.

    It's really dangerous to start drawing conclusions from psychological studies like this, because there are so many variables that can affect the results.  My guess is that the relationships between political attitudes and personality would be similar whether you studied a mentally ill population or a "normal" population.

  •  I've never been in a psyche ward, is this why I (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee, nio, rolet, shaharazade

    am a liberal?
    Both my parents have been in psyche wards. They are both very conservative.
    I suppose if Hillary is nominated in 08, I might end up in a psyche ward. Could this mean I will vote republcan?

    America 2007- The rebirth of a nation we helped save!

    by elbamash on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:04:15 PM PST

  •  I feel a profound sense of guilt and remorse (5+ / 0-)

    But I think it's mostly due to being raised Southern Baptist.

    Otherwise, I've suffered from depression now and then.     All in all, it seems to me that someone who isn't seriously depressed sometimes just isn't paying attention and can't be trusted.  I figure they've got to be lying about never having some degree of mental illness.  Denial and so on.

    I don't have any idea how this fits into the Mars-Bellevue metrics.  I've always been Dem, even when it was taboo as a kid.  The alternative was just too spooky for any child to have to endure.

    =====

    Peace. It's cheaper and more fun.

    by USexpat Ukraine on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:05:35 PM PST

    •  Is it necessarily the case that one is 'ill' (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PaintyKat, wa ma

      though, if one feels depressed now and then? Melancholy? Lachrymose? Is mental health really best exemplified by being shiny happy people all the time?

      I don't think it's denial and I don't think it's lying. I think it's fear of stigmatization, and (as this diary perfectly illustrates)--justifiably so.

      God bless our tinfoil hearts.

      by aitchdee on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 12:07:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  point well-taken (14+ / 0-)

    Thank you, Mary Julia, for rightly taking us to task on this issue. I myself have sought treatment in the past for depression, and this is something that I should have noticed earlier. Yet I read Hunter's diary, and I didn't even think about this point until you brought it up. I suppose that shows how stigmatized the mentally ill are in this country.

    I don't think that Hunter (or anyone else) intended to be malicious. It was probably just an honest lack of awareness, and something that we should be more conscious of in the future.

  •  Very apt. (6+ / 0-)

    We use words like lunatic and psycho so freely that we forget that they are perjorative terms for people who suffer from real diseases.  Years after I broke the habit of using ethnic terms, I still caught myself saying "fag" to describe less than masculine behavior by heterosexual males...usually while watching sports.  I'm 98 percent cured of that one, and now I guess I have to work on the mental illness words too.

    "The only difference between me and the Surrealists is that I am a Surrealist" S. Dali

    by SpiderStumbled22 on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:16:30 PM PST

  •  Who is more likely to be normal? GOP or DEM? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4thepeople

    ...because the last thing I want to be is normal.  (Normally).

  •  don't even get me started on this BS, MJ! (14+ / 0-)

    You done good tonight :)

    Delaware Dem 2007: Truth, Justice and the American Way ... It's Time

    by PhillyGal on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:18:54 PM PST

  •  Gore in '08 (Tipper is a Mental Health Advocate) (5+ / 0-)
    Just in case...
  •  It's a tough issue though... (5+ / 0-)

    ...when mental illness is so often in the eye of the beholder.

    It's like one man's "whack job" is another man's "born again christian", well not just another man's but this man right here.

    I mean I've seen data showing that reborn christians vote republican in droves over the evil democrat party, and I happen to think that belief in god is a symptom of mental illness, so Hunters FP diary hardly even registered on my shock-o-meter.

    Having said all that, my father is a clinical art therapist who works with self-admitted mental patients (in the UK), we're talking seriously psychotic and schizophrenic people here, but people who even with all their mental problems still had the presence of mind to admit themselves into an institution for help.

    I also suffered a complete mental breakdown when I was 19 years old, and I am an optimistic believer in altruism and the power of the community to do good.

    So, my respect for the mentally ill is basically the same as my respect for any ill person. They should be treated no different from the healthy except perhaps  in reference to their medical "treatment".

    But I still think the religiously extreme are mentally ill, and it still doesn't seem out of order to also suspect that republicans have a higher incidence of mental illness.

    Like I said, it's a tough issue.

    .
    .
    .
    We are all atheists about most of the gods that society has ever believed in - some of us just go one god further
    -- Richard Dawkin

    by deafmetal on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:21:18 PM PST

    •  Eye of the beholder = stigma (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AaronInSanDiego, Dems2004, TiaRachel

      That's the problem.  People don't think it's really a disease with knowable causes and measurable deviations from normal.  So then it must be a character flaw, according to this logic.

      If you think you can judge someone's mental health by their association with a group (religion), then you obviously don't believe it's really an illness, but rather an insult.  A medical diagnosis requires an exam usually.

    •  Fundamentalists are crazy, but not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby, TiaRachel

      mentally ill. This is the distinction people miss--the line between "normal" and mentally ill, and the line between realistic political views and whacky ones, are completely separate issues. There are people who have perfectly happy lives, no problem sleeping or functioning, who believe in completely absurd things. It isn't mental illness, but it is crazy.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:48:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "It isn't mental illness, but it is crazy." (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        flumptytail

        Surely then that could change simply by society defining that specific kind of crazy as Mental Illness?

        You know like how thinking one's neighbor was a bona-fide witch and in touch with the devil was once a situation demanding the jurisdiction of the courts, then became to something that only the church could interfere with, then became something perhaps considered "crazy" but certainly not worthy of institutional help, and now would now be considered straight up Mental Illness.

        It is this very mutability of what is considered "crazy" and what is defined as "Mental Illness" that makes this issue so tough, and so hard to agree on.

        Ironically it is also the reason why I continue to believe, in all sincerity, that extreme religiosity is in fact mental illness.

        I accept that I may be wrong, but I have not read, heard, or otherwise discovered any evidence to the contrary yet, and I look very hard.

        .
        .
        .
        We are all atheists about most of the gods that society has ever believed in - some of us just go one god further
        -- Richard Dawkin

        by deafmetal on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:15:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mental illness is a condition (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          deafmetal

          that interferes with people's ability to complete the tasks of daily life, or causes them to want to end their own life. Now, any religion that requires people to behave compulsively, that requires them to commit suicide on the orders of some prophet or other, adherence to such a religion would be a sign of mental illness. But people who live normal lives and just happen to believe in something like creationism or the second coming...but they have no trouble with understanding right from wrong in daily life, they don't hear voices or need to wash constantly or want to die...they're not mentally ill.

          Having some kind of religion is clearly the "norm" for people worldwide--the nonreligious are the oddballs. That doesn't make them mentally ill, though. That's not what it is.

          I recall once reading that the only true definition of an alcoholic is someone who cannot control their drinking, or for whom drinking is causing problems in their life--upsetting their family, causing problems at work, or other health problems--whether they have one drink a day, several drinks a day, only drink once a week or even  less--it's what the effect on your life is.

          It is of utmost importance to keep ideology and health separate--because mixing the two inevitably leads to "treatment" for abnormal ideas, and being a liberal is an abnormal idea in a whole lot of places, not just in the US, but in the world.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 01:28:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I worked for many years in group homes for the (11+ / 0-)

    mentally retarded,most of which also suffer from the double whammy of mental illness.

    Our higher functioning individuals were encouraged to register and vote.

    Did they have much of an informed opinion? No.

    But they, as citizens, had the absolute RIGHT, to vote, and I was more than happy to facilitate that right!

    *Needed* A Dem who can win PA-18 in 2008!

    by AntKat on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:22:04 PM PST

  •  You know what? THANK you (12+ / 0-)

    Having someone with a serious mental or emotional illness in a family is an outright harrowing experience. The worst of it is, the world understands if you are taking care of someone who is diabetic, paralyzed, has cancer, has Alzheimer's, has Down's Syndrome, even Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and a thousand other "explainable" maladies, visible or not. This will be the last prejudice to fall.

    If we pull the lens back, however, I think we see that the real point is, people who want to believe in a simple, ordered, predictable world, well, they just like Bush. And it is totally misguided. Whether the fount of that belief is the chaos of a mental illness or the naivete of the right-wing bloggers, the end-state is the same. Unwavering support of a miserable failure and bellicose challenges of anyone who criticizes their delusion.

    In fact, it's the "sane" ones that I worry about.

    "With great power comes great responsibility." -- Stan Lee

    by N0MAN1968 on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:23:35 PM PST

  •  my comment was that (13+ / 0-)

    I thought the title was "liberals are from Mass", except of course Mitt Romney and other Republicans.

    All the rest of the labels used in response to the diary sink to the same level as the responses in the 'gender questionnaire' diary.

    Prejudice, objectifying human beings {of both sexes} as sex toys, fear and loathing of people who look, talk, act differently than we do .. ah, humanity.

    We act collectively like 6 year olds. Look at Bush, and the 'connection' he established with about half of the public six years ago. Some are ahead of the curve, others a bit further behind.

    I stopped reading the responses after seeing some of more childlike posts.

    Progressives have a long, long way to go.

    Nicely done, although your own description of yourself as 'uncurable', well even that plays into the "square peg, round hole" expectations of today's 'Perfect Society'.

    I live with someone who has depression, and it affects every day of my life. But that person is no less of a person because of the diagnosis given for the condition.

    'Not Impeachment'
    Simply:
    Truth.Justice. Reconciliation.
    If Impeachment comes by way of Justice being served, so be it.

    by shpilk on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:24:27 PM PST

  •  For the love of god (0+ / 0-)

    It was a diary about seatbelts that turned into nunchucks. Get over yourself.

    I've learned that my downfall as a writer is that I expect people to read with the same part of their brain that I write with. But that part is only in me.

    by NeoconSemanticist on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:25:43 PM PST

  •  Good for you Mary! (12+ / 0-)

    I started out with Hunter's diary earlier this evening, and I am ending with yours.  It is not often that one enjoys both outrage and catharsis in one evening.  Despite the half-baked excuses on behalf of Hunter, this goes down as one of his lowest efforts, and I say this as an undiagnosed one.

    I make it a habit to often lurk at Freeper land and the like.  I figure, I live in the south and better remain aware of my surroundings.  As I was reading the comments associated with Hunter's diary, the thoughtlessness, knee-jerk reactions and the let's-have-fun-at-someone-else's-expense attitude bore a succinct resemblance for me to what I witnessed in the wilderness.  

    To those of you who thought this was harmless fun, replace mental illness with cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, or any other ailment of your choice and then consider if this is still funny. If you still think it's funny, I don't want to know what else you do when you are not being watched.

    Man's most judicious trait, is a good sense of what not to believe. -Euripides

    by peelinglayers on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:28:43 PM PST

    •  For some reason, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AaronInSanDiego, 4Freedom

      your comment finally distilled for me what really bothered me about Hunter's diary. (Or the response thereto.)

      It was stated that the reason some mentally ill people voted for Bush is that they thrive on structure.  They live well with authority; those people who are absolute.  They live for stability and a very structured life.  People who constantly reassure them win their trust.

      That's all true!  That's nothing to laugh at, it's something to accept (when it comes to the truly mentally ill) and study for the rest of the population!

      It's part of Bush's "mojo" with the base.  No, not that all of "the base" is "mentally ill".

      Laugh at it if you will.  But, if this study has any merit, mentally ill people are telling us something both important and valuable.

      Study it.

      Visualize something profound here.

      by CJB on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:09:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And when I say "mentally ill" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phaktor

        I'm talking schizophrenia, heavy pyschoses.  I'm not talking about bipolar disorder or any other mental condition which is "easily medicated".  I put that in quotes because it's never "easy".  Some just respond better to meds.  I have all sorts of bipolar in my little sphere of family and friends.

        Visualize something profound here.

        by CJB on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:13:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  precisely, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CJB

          Everyone means something different, and most don't have anything to do with actual mental treatment or diagnosis. When gang stalking becomes exposed, the "schizophrenia" diagnosis is going to get some big blows. Some of the best psychologists and psychiatrists around are going to have lots of egg on their faces. I think it's wisest to stay away from trying to classify at all. If you find an MD who gives you a pill that makes you better, fine. I wouldn't go as far as to reify the theory used to select the pill, though.

  •  The sure sign of insanity (3+ / 0-)

    would be knowing that your votes were probably being stolen and still voting in three straight elections.  Ha!  And something different did happen!  We're not crazy!

    Love is a temple, love the higher law.

    by ckeesling on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:31:39 PM PST

    •  Yep, I voted in 2000, 2004 and 2006 (0+ / 0-)

      This month I walked in and voted on a voting machine. I thought, "This is crazy. It will probably change my vote", but then I pushed the thought away.  The day was too sunny to be worried about that.

      Looking back and learning there were 800 more votes than registed voters, I thought again, "This is crazy."

      I am going to vote in 2008. I am absolutely stark raving mad, I suppose, but what is a person gonna do?

      Life is what you focus on. Let's focus on ending the war. After that the rest will be easy.

      by relentless on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 01:23:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Holy shit, YES. (23+ / 0-)

    I was diagnosed with acute clinical depression this year. I have obsessive compulsive disorder. I take meds.

    And for a long time, I was terrified to let any of my classmates know this, because I thought it would destroy my image as "perfect student high school extracurricular extroardinaire." The social stigma attached to mental conditions is just extraordinary.

    To anybody out there who thinks people with mental illness deserve chastisement or disenfranchisement: do you also think people born with diabetes deserve similar treatment? Mental health and physical health are both sooo important, and highly interrelated. If you don't attack people who fall and break their legs, you shouldn't attack someone who has a panic attack. Doing so just makes you part of the system that makes teenage girls ashamed of their depression. That is to say, an asshole.

    Roll with it, baby. Make it your career. Keep the home fires burning, 'til America is in the clear.

    by righteousbabe on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:35:16 PM PST

  •  Should physically ill people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kkshedevil

    be allowed to vote? What is the difference between physical illness and "mental illness"? Is there such thing as a "functional" disorder, or are all disorders "organic" at some level? I'm a bona fide raving lunatic, but I don't particularly mind the terms being used in this way. I would certainly like to reserve the right to refer to others as such at my pleasure without a lot of PC repercussions. Terms such as "nutjob", "wacko", "lunatic" and others are derisive terms we use when we can not explain aberrant behavior, particularly behavior we find aversive. The terms have no technical meaning, and they do not really refer to those who use "mental health" services, or to "mental patients". Many of us who use those terms fall into that category of "mental patients". The terms are deeply embedded in our cultural dialects, and they have clearly different metaphorical and literal meanings. They don't refer to the people at Belleview -- at least not those who are not "nutjobs", "wackos", or "lunatics".

    This is the problem with the "medical model" in psychology. Mental "disorder" does not fit the metaphor of "illness" very well, and it creates all sorts of misunderstandings when we try to use the medical protocol to deal with it and explain it. There is no way to define "mental illness". Nobody much knows anything about it. We often cannot agree on what is and is not "illness". The Soviets had a disorder called "creeping schizophrenia" they applied to dissidents. Although we often think our system is free of such nonsense, it is not. We have categories that are applied to people for purely political reasons. I recommend Szazs's The Myth of Mental Illness for more on this issue.

    I say ease up a little and let the crazies like me vote, but you can call us anything you want as long as we can call you the same when your behavior makes no sense!.

    •  The Myth of Mental Illness is not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wa ma

      the whole story. There are brain diseases. Szazs wrote that book before it was accepted and pretty much proven that neurological disorders are problems with the chemicals and electrical wiring in people's brains. I read that book 40 years ago. It's outdated. He's defending eccentricity or anti-authority behavior, etc. which is fine, but does not apply to real brain diesases. No one thinks Altzheimer's isn't a real brain disease, do they?

      •  And for many years (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WobegoneGirl, wa ma, flumptytail

        autism was thought to be due to cold mothers pushing away their kids emotionally; the man who did the research and determined that it was an actual biochemical imbalance recently passed away...

        -- "...the worst Presidency since James Buchanan..." -- KO, 9/25/06

        by Cali Scribe on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 11:29:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hope there is no wire in (0+ / 0-)

        my brain, but who knows with the way I have felt lately. This is my point exactly when I asked if there are really any "functional" disorders. Now with that, I don't really see the difference between mental "illness" and physical "illness". The point is that the category of "neurological disorders" of the kind that you refer to is a small subset of "mental disorders" of the DSM-IV kind. Szazs's book should be interpreted within the context of time, but it is definitely not "outdated". Science does not move as fast as rock videos. All of the ideas necessary for a strict mechanistic and monistic view of mental life were firmly in place and well articulated when that book was written. The only thing that has happened in the mean time is technology advances which allow for a little more data -- data that nobody really understands. All of the criteria for mental disorder can be met without the slightest hint of any physical symptom or lesion.

  •  lighten up? (0+ / 0-)

    I thought it was funny. Sure we all knew better and I think most of us understand or try to empathize with people who have mental problems. We all have our problems to an extent, really - I know I do, moreso than others.  But, it was a cheap fun shot at the occupant of the WH.

    I thought it didn't deserve FP status due to taste, but it was still fun. A release, a joke. Sorry if we offended anyone. I know I've said you had to be crazy to vote for GWB way before the study came out.

  •  You are right - sorry about that nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, wa ma
  •  NYT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stiela, wa ma, flumptytail

    has done a beautiful series on children with mental illness (it's available online).  The most recent article (this past Sunday) described children taking multiple psychoactive drugs even though there's very little research on how the drugs work in children, and even less on how they work in concert.  A prior article focused on a single family with a young bipolar daughter and really got into the nuts and bolts of what life is like for and with her.

    Sometimes media organizations get into these informative modes because someone high up in the organization has been affected, such as when an executive at NBC had a family member with autism and many of their news programs did segments on it.  I wonder if someone at the NYT has a mentally ill child in their life.

    I am hopeful that the NYT front-page treatment of mental illness (in children) will help to address the ignorance.

    •  The late Phil Graham of the Wapo family (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mary Julia

      suffered from severe bipolar disorder and he eventually committed suicide.

      PaintyKat

      Just a painty kat - NOT that be meanie cat

      by PaintyKat on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 12:24:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In reality... (0+ / 0-)

        ...the late Phil Graham suffered from Katherine....
        I think this thread needs to get back to insulting people for where their ancestors came from...
        I am 75% Irish[old Irish - ethnically clensed by Cromwell in 1653 in Cork] and 25% from NW France....argue with me and I'll argue a hole right through you and puke on the remains.... Anybody from Macedonia or elsewhere in the Balkans?

  •  Thank you (19+ / 0-)

    From the mother of a schizophrenic son. and a progressive who couldn't stomach what was written in this diary.  

    You can say lighten up all you want, but how did you feel when Rush twitched in his chair mocking Michael J. Fox. Was that funny? Should we have lightened up then?
    Unfortunately, the mentally ill don't have too many celebrity spokespeople.

    My son voted for Kerry. and told others to do the same. Walk a mile, fools. It's one of the cruelest diseases ever. Just ask those on the streets who used to be straight A students and are reminded everyday what they lost, and what they used to be...and stopped dreaming of what they could become.  

    •  Actually, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flumptytail

      mentally ill people do have some well known people who speak for them.  One of them is Patty Duke. She is bipolar and has championed the cause for quite a while.  Lincoln had depression and used to talk of his dark times when he was withdrawn and stayed in bed.

      I used to work with people with mental illness, and had a bookmark that I would give them.  I think it came from NAMI, an organization which educates people about mental illness and gives support to families of the mentally ill.  Anyway, that bookmark had many famous people listed along with their diagnoses.  I can't remember them now, but whenever I would give one to one of the people I worked with, their face would brighten up when they realized the success all these people had made of their lives.  There is also the scientist who "A Beautiful Mind" was about.  I believe he won the Nobel Peace Prize.  Google it and see what you find about famous people and mental illness.  It will make you feel good.

      "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades."--Pat MacDonald

      by hopscotch1997 on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:41:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a mom of one too. It's so painful to see (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wa ma

      them suffer. God, it hurts.

  •  Here's the problem I had with the study: (5+ / 0-)

    The problem with that study is that it was based on an extremely small sample size -- a sample of that few people can really skew the data. There would have to be a lot of similar studies showing similar data before I would accept such a broad generality about people. My mother was mentally ill and she would never have voted for Bush or any of those other charming rogues.

    •  an extremely small sample size... (4+ / 0-)

      from a small number of sources (three facilities). How much could the data been skewed if two of the three facilities used pumped Fox News into the waiting rooms where these out patient "samples" waited for treatment?

      As a whole, the "experiment" is nothing more than a poor attempt at proving a point by using a sample size most likely to prove a hypothesis.

      "poets themselves had to recognize and initiate their own condition" - Gregory Corso
      My Blog

      by Darrell J Gahm on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 10:43:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's strange... (0+ / 0-)

    ...we've been saying here for the months that people have to be crazy to support Bush. When he was re-elected it was: "Who are these wacko nutcases who voted for this idiot?"

    Then someone does a study and finds that his supporters actually do show signs of mental disorders.

    And suddenly it's all politically incorrect to be thinking this way.

    So now, to what can we attribute support for Bush if not the mental state of those who voted for him?

    •  Is there a difference between PC and a plea for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WobegoneGirl, wa ma

      compassion?  Is it a matter of attitude?

      I hear someone saying they are hurt by certain terminology and for myself, I would probably err on the side of compassion and try to be considerate.  But, that is me.

      PaintyKat

      Just a painty kat - NOT that be meanie cat

      by PaintyKat on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 12:27:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mary Julia is my hero! (11+ / 0-)

    And everyone else who disclosed your mental illness.  I have bipolar disorder.  I went through hell and back getting a proper diagnosis.  I've been on meds for 6 years now and am doing fine overall.

    It saddens me that just about the only time there's a news item about someone with mental illness, it's because that person has committed a crime.  That's why having so many people speak out here is such a good thing.  There shouldn't be shame or stigma associated with mental illness.  It's a vicious circle--many people who live satisfying lives could help remove the stigma by being open about it, but because of the stigma, they worry about repercussions.

    It isn't the first thing I tell people, but I'm pretty matter-of-fact about my condition if it comes up in a conversation.

    It would be great if this diary could lead to a discussion on the crappy state of mental health care in the US--lack of insurance coverage, for example.  

    Another issue that's quite personal to me is the length of time an number of providers it takes to get the right diagnosis when you have bipolar disorder.  I was blessed--it only took a few years.

    I wish you weren't a liar. I drive a Dodge Stratus!

    by kkshedevil on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:57:29 PM PST

    •  Do you know what's weird? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Michigan Paul, Debby, flumptytail
      Every time there is a story of a crime the news people always do a background check to see if the person is mentally ill. I wonder why they don't do the same background check on a person who  just rescued an old lady from a burning building.
      •  Why don't they do a background check (0+ / 0-)

        to see if the person who rescued the senior citizen has a criminal record?

        •  I don't think the media is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wa ma

          completely responsible for making every identifiable act, behavior, or characteristic into a label that represents a person's total identity, but it sure has has helped! I think the conservative movement is mostly responsible (which, I guess, is a synonym for the MSM now). What if the person who rescued the senior citizen also robbed a convenience store? We have been largely reduced to a psychological state that some psychologists call "borderline". We see people as all good or all bad, much the way a toddler views the world. We are confused and troubled when the attitude is mixed, and we feel like we have to decide one way or the other (send them to heaven or hell). There is no room for the reality that people are complicated beings with both good and bad characteristics -- all people.

  •  Thanks (10+ / 0-)

    I'm in the same boat you are. Bipolar. I can sympathize with the commentors on the other thread, because I used to think that mentally ill people were just "crazy". It's a societal problem. We simply don't educate people about mental illness. There are millions of high functioning mentally ill people, people you would never associate with the word "crazy". Unfortunately, the people who are the worst off, the ones who don't respond to medication or who refuse treatment, the people who hurt others or themselves as a result of their illness or wander the streets talking to themselves, become the face of "mental illness". The reality is that for every person who is "obviously" mentally ill, there are dozens who live normal lives. Democrats and Republicans. Liberals and Conservative and Moderates. The study mentioned only stated that people with a certain type of mental illness tended to be authoritarian personalities who liked the comfort of being told what to do. It didn't generalize to all mentally ill people - or to all Republicans or Bush supporters.

    Mental illness is just another disability that can be accomodated. People who are mentally ill do not deserve to be called names or to see their disability used as a battering ram against enemies. Please - to anybody reading this - just try to let us live our lives. We just want to be as normal as possible, just like anybody else with a disability. You wouldn't make fun of people in wheelchairs, or people with artificial limbs. You wouldn't use a physical disability to make fun of political opponents. Please don't treat mentally ill people any differently than you would other people with a disability.

  •  There is a very mean side to this community (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mary Julia, missreporter, 4Freedom

    I got sort of disgusted with it when Bob Johnson wrote his diary insulting people who write diaries asking for money, and in the process taking a serious swipe at people who give money out to people who claim to be in need. There were a lot of horrible comments about panhandling in that diary -- that it is "unseemly" etc etc.

    People tried to brush it off as humor. Whatever.

    Great diary. And don't pay attention to all the shitheads who will undoubtedly berate you for being "p.c."

    •  There you go! (3+ / 0-)

      All high and mighty and then to drop "shitheads" on those with whom you disagree.

      Classy!

      WOMAN: My cat's in the tree! MY FATHER (a fireman): He'll come down. WOMAN: No he won't! MY FATHER: Have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree?

      by Bob Johnson on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 10:24:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you are doing it again Bob (0+ / 0-)

        you equate critique with being "high and mighty", with being p.c., etc. etc. This is the same crap O'Reilly pulls.

        People like me aren't elitist. We aren't "high and mighty." We just think it is a good thing to try and be nice to people who are having a difficult time in life. That doesn't mean we don't insult people when we think they deserve it. It just means we don't like people who make fun of those among us who we think don't the insults -- like the poor, the mentally ill, and so on.

        That's not being "high and mighty." Its just being a decent human being. Sorry that's so hard for you to figure out.

        Jeebus.

  •  A well-deserved tongue-lashing ... (12+ / 0-)

    ...Mary Julia. I didn't say anything about that posting, but I inwardly smirked. So thanks for making me think about how myopic that smirk was.

    •  Thank you for this comment... (6+ / 0-)

      In reading Hunter's thread -- mainly the comments -- I was struck by how many seemed to let their mouths get ahead of their brains, how many jumped to make the easy joke without thought of the repercussions of what they posted. I am sure that many had that "inward smirk" and ran with it, posting insensitive comments in the hopes of garnering huge numbers of recs.

      But, in reading this thread, and your comment above, I am sure that many also processed that "inward smirk" and realized the mechanisms behind it, the stigmas attached to the "mentally unstable" and recognized that it was best to move on without adding to the quickly spreading fire.

      Like Mary Julia, I have my share of mental health issues to deal with, from my own to those of my family, and found it difficult to find Hunter's post funny -- especially considering the ridiculously small sample size. But, in the light of all that has gone on, it is comments like yours that makes me want to continue my participation at this site, something I was seriously questioning not more than an hour ago.

      I will say, today, I have lost a bit of respect for both Hunter and Tom Tomorrow, two people I once held in very high regard.

      "poets themselves had to recognize and initiate their own condition" - Gregory Corso
      My Blog

      by Darrell J Gahm on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 10:37:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank You (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mary Julia, wa ma, flumptytail

        Darrell and Meteor Blades.

        Fun at other people's expense is never a great thing, although in the heat of partisan bickering it is easiest to go for a person's weakness.

        That doesn't make us clever or funny, it makes us cheap and unfeeling.

        I can understand criticism in an offhand, subtle way. But to label and categorize and discriminate and pre-judge is unacceptable.

        Thanks again.

        Everybody funny, now you funny too....... a wise guitar player

        by Dems2004 on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 10:48:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  A lot of mental illnesses are genetic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flumptytail

    and thus the same as physical disorders.  If we bar people with mental illnesses, why shouldn't we bar people who have only one arm, or are paraplegic? They aren't experiencing the world in the same way we are, so they don't deserve to vote, right?

    Jumping on the politicalcompass.org bandwagon: (-3.63, -3.03) - Does that make me part of the right wing here?

    by someone else on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:26:04 PM PST

  •  Anti-Bellevue sentiments (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcjoan, neroden, wa ma

    I know the WA-08 race didn't turn out the way most people on DKos wanted, but geez, it wasn't Bellevue's fault.

  •  No- I'm sorry but not really (0+ / 0-)

    I know some people who do have serious issues and think not just W is the greatest thing since sliced white bread but claim they live and breath the G.O.P.

    I am a strong liberal but I've been plenty P.O.ed about the stupidity of the DNC and Clinton, Carter, etc. In lockstep? No.

    FULLY FUND THE V.A.! "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." ~Calvin Coolidge~

    by glbTVET on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:26:10 PM PST

  •  I smiled when I read earlier diary. After (7+ / 0-)

    reading yours I am asking myself why I thought it was funny.  Because I did...not fall on the floor, send to my friends funny, but funny.  I have family members with mental illness, I've knowingly hired many people with mental illness, I understand it's just another disease to be treated.  But, still, I laugh at mental-illness jokes.  I wonder why.

    I don't laugh at cancer jokes, but truthfully I don't hear any cancer jokes.  

    You've given me something to think about.  Thank you.

  •  It's a fair cop (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mary Julia

    Well-said.  I can say "we're only human," but that explains without justifying.

    My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

    by Major Danby on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:33:07 PM PST

  •  I hesitate to mention that I (5+ / 0-)

    used to like Hunter's diaries but not so much anymore, and am less interested in reading them than I used to be.  The last one I read compared head injured people to people with a lack of intelligence and who are dumb.  I was very disappointed, and suprised.  When a person says things like that, they don't realize it, but people change their opinions of them.  People who ostracize the mentally ill think they are not like them, that they don't have the potential for mental illness in themselves.  They stain themselves with their ignorance, not the people they are referring to.

    "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades."--Pat MacDonald

    by hopscotch1997 on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:33:12 PM PST

    •  I, too, don't take Hunter (0+ / 0-)

      seriously anymore. He showed that he does not know some important facts about brain damage. That is why I don't feel a lot of resentment at all this. I still say we need a word for "crazy" if we can't use "crazy". I don't think most people who use the word "crazy" are really ostracizing or deriding those who are classified as "mentally ill". The "stigma" of "mental illness" is a direct and purposeful result of the conservative movement -- a system of values which operates on labels and ostracism. It is the conservative movement that championed the cause of finding out "everyone's dirty little secret", and made everything which smelled of weakness or flaw into something to be ashamed of and to fear and to hide. After all, it can be very good to be "crazy" when everyone else is wrong! It was quite fashionable to be under the care of a psychologist or psychiatrist before the rise of Reaganism.

      •  Meh, (6+ / 0-)

        I feel the need to point out that you no longer take Hunter seriously and yet have a very high UID.   And that you no longer take his writing seriously because he "does not know some important facts about brain damage" shows me the limit of your scope.  Hunter is very talented..and human.  The lovely thing about DKOS is the ability for the community to educate one another.  This diary has done a very good job of pointing out not only his err in presentation and perhaps comprehension but that of some of the commenters.

        "There are years that ask questions and years that answer" -Zora Neale Hurston 11/8/06- O.K., Zora, time for some answers!

        by One bite at a time on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:11:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sorry if I offended (4+ / 0-)

          with my comment about Hunter, but I do think I disagree with him more than agree. I don't know what to say about the UID, other than it is not my total identity. I lurked for years, and I had another UID before this one. I just don't play the UID or the troll game, and I tend to leave when it starts.

          I appreciate Hunter's talent as a writer, and I realize he has a following and a reputation. I just don't care for most of his work. That does not mean it is not effective and it is not good. I realize many do like him. We are who we are. Again, my apologies. Saying a person with brain damage is stupid is not the same thing as saying someone is "crazy" because of their behavior.

      •  Crazy is actually the third choice (0+ / 0-)

        The second, an improvement on the third, was Freak; Freak was thought to be more polite than "fucked-up"

    •  I suspect Hunter expected a responding diary (0+ / 0-)

      just like this one, and wrote the original piece with that in mind.

      I still admire him for his eloquence, or lack thereof when required, but I suspect this was a topic that did not need his eloquence, it just needed a forum....a chance to get into peoples minds. He probably wrote a long ass diatribe with the intention to get some attention, then deleted it and posted some snark with the hope we would respond.

      "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

      by yuriwho on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 03:51:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for the reality check... (4+ / 0-)

    From my point of view we (liberals) catch way to much shit from the wing nuts and the "So Called Liberal Media". Sometimes when we get the opportunity to turn the tables on the wingers, we forget our core values and become no better than them.  We are lucky to have people like you around to set us straight.

  •  Thank you for your courage (7+ / 0-)

    It's brave to go against a crowd, a popular leader, and, given the stigma that obviously still exists, to admit to a mental illness in public all at once.

  •  I certainly understand, but there are some points (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phaktor

    Worth considering.

    The problem with mental health is how variable it is. There are a huge number of people who take prescription drugs that were originally designed for "mental health consumers". They are just the wrong doctor away away from being labeled mentally ill.

    There are people who probably shouldn't vote, but simply being "mentally ill" is certainly not a good criteria to use to identify them.

  •  I'm crazy, too. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan Something, flumptytail

    Panic Disorder for me.

    Fun fun fun.

    I wasn't thrilled about that story, either. Thanks for calling it out.

  •  Tempestuous Teapot (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moira977, Smallbottle

    I am not about to perform a survey of all the pre-election diaries and comments posted on DK.  But if I did, I'm sure there would be literally hundreds, if not thousands of incidents of the word "crazy" being used to describe anyone who might vote for any Republican candiadate.

    And I suspect there are plenty of similar descriptive references applied to certain Dems who might consider voting for certain Dems out of favor with certain Kossacks' favorite son or personal political issue.

    We posters and commentators use "crazy" frequently to describe anyone who disagrees with our pet p.o.v.  It's egregious to haul out political correctness now to admonish Hunter and the commentators to Hunter's diary without slapping all the other "offenders" on the wrist.

    "You must be nuts," is a comment I would be allowed to make in response to any diary other than this one.  

    They burn our children in their wars and grow rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

    by Limelite on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:14:22 PM PST

    •  different altogether... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flumptytail

      calling just anyone an 'ass face' as an epithet is much different than calling someone who ACTUALLY HAS an ass for a face an 'ass face'...

      just not done in polite society.

      ok, so my example isn't great, but I hope you understand my point...

      not to mention the other side of this, beyond the name-calling: the suggestion that mental health is a parameter by which to determine eligibility to vote...

      tempest indeed; teapot long overflowed.

  •  Thank you MJ -- Mental illness is not a joke (6+ / 0-)

    We can all fall into making jokes about it. I've had my own experiences, having been involved -- even engaged -- to a woman who had multiple diagnoses. I know from experience that it's not easy for the people around the mentally ill, but it has to far harder for them. My ex had the most horrendous experiences in psych wards. Even today, she cannot get medical doctors to take her seriously once they see her medication record, or see the scars on her arms.

    I was pretty ignorant regarding mental illness, and the difficulties that the stigma of mental illness causes. I suspect most people remain ignorant. I should know better, but even I can still slip up. Sorry.

    "We support your war of terror!" -- Borat Sagdiyev (a/k/a Sacha Baron Cohen)

    by FischFry on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:15:30 PM PST

  •  We've lost our focus. We won the election. (0+ / 0-)

    Now there are all these people running around here with all this unfocused energy, screaming and yelling.

    For some opinions, it's as dangerous as tailgating with the wrong teams colors on for that section of the parking lot.

    Makes for a lot of crazy diaries, eh?

    •  Gee, I have an idea: (0+ / 0-)

      Let's use all that energy to build a nationwide structure that will relegate the Republican Party to the history books! Ten years from now, I  really want my kid to whine, "Dad, why do I have to learn about the Republicans or the Soviet Union?"

  •  I'm crazy. I voted Dem across the board. (0+ / 0-)

    FREE TRADE ISN'T FREE!

    by Intercaust on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 11:08:38 PM PST

  •  Comment #451? by a sometimes mental patient (10+ / 0-)

    Some people are knee patients (me, too).  Some people are skin patients (usually zits, or wrinkles, but not usually both).  Some people are actually surgical patients!  A doctor has to cut them open to fix what's wrong!  They vote.  

    I've had 8 major surgeries, so there must have been a whole lot wrong with my body.  And, I've been in a psych ward when the chemicals that make my brain work were seriously out of whack and all I thought about was darkness and death.

    It was in that psych ward that I took a whole bunch of tests.  Some tested different types of intelligence.  In the psych ward, feeling sad and anxious, I was told that my intelligence fell into the top 3% of everybody.

    I wrote articles for the AFT newsletter while in there, too.  They won awards at a journalism competition.

    See?  I knew then, just as well as I know now, how to vote, and why.  Someone who is too sick to go to the polls--in a hospital bed, writhing with pain, or in a psych ward, hallucinating--has other more serious problems.

    But mental illness is analogous to, well, nose illness.  Makes you miserable, but not stupid.  Both of us can get to the polls and vote intelligently.  We don't feel good, but a lot of people don't and vote well anyway--just as do people with the mental kind of illness.

  •  I skipped that one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flumptytail

    mainly because I have mental illness in my family -- both my brother's wife and my spouse's brother. And I have been affected by depression in my own life (working on controlling it with diet and exercise, rather than drugs -- it's a slow process). I'm not sure about my sister-in-law, but I know that my brother-in-law rarely votes (I think he voted this year but only to vote against the California cigarette tax...he's a smoker). I knew there'd be a lot of snarky comments that I would not appreciate, so I avoided it. Sounds like I made the right decision...

    -- "...the worst Presidency since James Buchanan..." -- KO, 9/25/06

    by Cali Scribe on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 11:22:36 PM PST

  •  I personally don't think people who joke about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beezzley, Susan Something

    "craziness" are bad people. They just don't know how horribly painful it is when you know someone (or are someone) who has a serious neurological disorder that causes extreme mental anguish. I have said it's fun to act crazy when you're in the mood, but that's far different from struggling daily with a
    serious brain disease. I was naive until I had friends and family members who had to try drugs with awful side effects, spend time locked in padded rooms, want to die, etc. About half my friends have died prematurely from suicide, being murdered, drug overdoses, iatrogenic (doctor caused) mistakes. It's just a dagger in your heart when you hear comments about schizos, psychos, nutcases, etc. To me, it means misery and death for people I've loved.

  •  mental illness is no different than diabetes (5+ / 0-)

    a chronic disease that is like diabetes, hypertension and stroke.. and it is about time we stop marginalizing it. good for you for writing this diary and being brave enough to talk about your personal medical history

  •  A PC "instant classic" diary (5+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, scrutinizer, Mary Julia, rabel, NYFM
    Hidden by:
    yuriwho

    I guess it was time to drop science on mental illness here at the DKos.  I am shamed.  I feel dirty.  I will atone by repeating this diary to anyone i hear utter the term "nutjob" or "pyscho"....

    :)

  •  Why should I be ashamed of myself? (0+ / 0-)

    I know plenty of people who are mentally ill who realize what a douche this guy too and haven't voted for him - and understand fully the hell Bush and his cronies have unleashed upon this world.

    What Hunter's diary said was that those who still continue to support Bush are likely psychotic or sociopathic, and I for one agree with his assessment. However, the relationship is not reciprocal, and that's the key thing.

    But my oh my, there is something almighty fucked up with these Bush supporters (and frankly, I will go with the subset that supports Cheney as the real indicator here, because I must admit I can see how many otherwise  apathetic people see Bush as a jovial character) who are so unwavering in their beliefs that you could throw indisputable evidence of Bush's crimes in their face and they would refuse to believe it and write it of as 'dem damn libruls'. They see the death of nearly a million Iraqis as inconsequential and even necessary. You cannot reason with them because they feel they have the god given right to believe what they want to believe because this is America, irrespective of the reality of the situation.

    Or, maybe we all as Americans are so fucked in the head three ways from Sunday we don't even know that we're human anymore. Hey, at least that's how I feel. I feel like I've been living in a machine the past five years. It's really been surreal, and I know countless others have felt the same exact way. I see what I see, and I cannot believe any of this is happening. Maybe it's been all those years of delittante affluence that got in our heads and bubbled us off from the reality of America - something, as someone from the last graduating high school class before 9/11, can place the blame at the parents of our generation - chasing their own personal wealth and goals irrespective of the greater community and nation at large. Allowing a shithead like Bush to take office without a fight. Being comfortable with their material security, and not about any real ideals in mind other than profit. Now they've enabled a horde of war profiteers to control this country.

    So maybe I'm crazy too. But I think I saw something else happen when 9/11 happened too. We were all scarred deeply, and to call us fucked I think would be apropo. It's not something medication can take care of.

    But maybe, after all of this, I think perhaps the guy who conducted the study had the conclusion in mind before he ever started the research. It's too convenient of an 'I told you so' belief - and frankly, you could find another professor and say this same thing from a 'conservative' viewpoint anyway.

  •  Ahem. (7+ / 0-)

    You Should Be Ashamed of Yourselves

    And yet, strangely, I'm not. And, says who? Guilt trip much?

    Hunter has a diary up on the frontpage ("Liberals are from Mars, Conservatives are from Bellevue")

    Indeed, I had alraedy heard about that story, but I rather enjoyed his diary nonetheless.

    about a "survey" done in Connecticut

    Why the scare quotes? Do you think that it somehow wasn't a survey?

    that concluded that the mentally ill who are psychotic tended to vote for Bush in 2004

    Which makes sense if you think about it, or if you read the article. However, I think a lot of us were thinking about the converse, or the potential causality involved.

    And, being a diary by Hunter, it provoked a lot of comments.  Really penetrating comments like "psychos vote for psychos", and "people with mental problems call everyone else "crazy".

    Indeed. And, I'm sure, a lot of other comments that did no such thing. But nice job with the broad brush there, I'm feeling less and less like I should be ashamed of myself by the minute. And also note that 'psychos' isn't that far a leap considering that we were talking about actual psychotic people in the first place.

    One commenter wondered whether the mentally ill should be ALLOWED to vote.  One commenter had made up his or her mind, saying:
    And by the way, somehow I just don't think it's a very good idea to get mentally ill people to vote. If I were crazy, I'd want my family to stop me from doing potentially stupid acts. If you aren't fit to stand trial for a criminal act, you aren't fit to vote.

    That's an interesting take on it--of course, we already deny felons the right to vote in some states, and that is governed by Article I, Sections 2 and 4, by the Voting Rights Act, and by the Fourteenth Amendment. Personally, I'm not generally in favor of the government taking away people's rights to vote, becuase who gets to decide that? We've already had problems with the felon rolls being abused in Florida to deny more people the right to vote, for example. However, if someone is actually not mentally capable of voting, period, (not just somewhat mentally ill) then that might be something to consider. However, the percentages of people involved are likely to be so small as to dwarf the effective margin of error involved in the voting process in the first place.

    A few commenters told of a personal experience with some person who said they were voting for Bush, and that person acted strangely, or spewed gibberish, so of course, that person must have been mentally ill.

    Well, that is a possibility, isn't it? Maybe they had reason to think that, considering that they were the ones who had those encounters firsthand, and you didn't.

    There were a lot of sweeping generalizations about the mentally ill, and too many remarks that showed an appalling amount of ignorance.

    Are you surprised by this?

    Mental illness comes in many forms, and they can differ in severity and duration. I am bipolar.

    Yes, but are you psychotic?

    I have, without a doubt, a mental illness that cannot be cured.  But I have voted for Democrats for decades.

    And, as I commented previously, there are many factors that are correlated with voting Democratic or Republican. I'm white, male, straight, I have a BS degree, and I don't belong to a union. All of these factors are correlated with voting Republican--and yet, I never have. That's how statistical correlations work - a greater than 50% chance is not a 100% chance. Deal with it.

    So, you see, I am just as competent to vote as many of you (actually, more so, since I know what's wrong with me, unlike you clueless ones that I prefer to call the "undiagnosed").

    O ho! Now who should be ashamed of themselves, again?

    Now here's the thing: If this "study" had been about 69 women with blonde hair, or people who were overweight (the fatter you are, the more you voted for Bush, right?), or Poles, or African-Americans, this site would have been up in arms.

    It seems that it already is. Your point?

    what it is about the topic of mentally illness that causes intelligent, well-read people to turn into neanderthals?

    You tell me.

    If you feel a tinge of guilt or remorse now, then there is hope for you yet.

    Oh, thanks. Now let me know when you do.

    •  Your point is? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pb, wa ma, flumptytail

      If I am interpreting correctly, your general argument is that there is nothing about Hunter's post or the body of comments attached to it that anyone should be ashamed of, that Mary Julia's post is inappropriate or incorrect, and that your main arguments for this are:
      -The subjects of the study were psychotic, and it is therefore okay to refer to them as "psycho."
      -Mary Julia used broad derogatory generalizations herself.

      As to the first, the survey states that the observed were mentally ill outpatient, which does not imply that they were psychotic. Further I do think is is inapproporiate to use the term "psycho" to refer to someone who is psychotic, because the term dehumanizes them and applies a great deal of deragatory judgements about them, many of which are probably incorrect.
      As to the second, I do think that Mary Julia did commit an error by overgeneralizing, however there is a difference in degree.  While I agree that the attitude mj took while making the statement was decidedly aggressive, stating that a group of people is "undiagnosed" is hardly as insulting or dehumanizing as stating that a group of mentally ill indivduals are "psychos".
      Therefore, I think that there is something for some kossaks participating in the comment thread on Hunter's post to be ashamed of, and I am encouraged to know that some of them have seen this and apologized, and that there are members of this community willing to call them out.  Thank you mj.

      I may be wrong about your intent. If so, please clarify.

      •  My point is... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        scrutinizer, moira977, rabel, Predictor

        Mainly to object to the inane broad brush generalizations and fallacies found in this diary. As a member of the Daily Kos community, I don't appreciate being falsely called out over such trivialities.

        there is nothing about Hunter's post or the body of comments attached to it that anyone should be ashamed of

        I wouldn't say that, but I don't find it that surprising.

        that Mary Julia's post is inappropriate or incorrect

        Definitely, and manifestly false in a few places I noted.

        I do think is is inapproporiate to use the term "psycho" to refer to someone who is psychotic

        Perhaps so, but linguistically, it's not that much of a leap, so it's easy to see how someone might do it. Psychotic implies crazy, and at worst, it's short for psychopath (aka acting out a severe antisocial personality disorder). And psychopaths are psychotic, so while it wouldn't be fair to call all psychotics psychopaths, a small number of them actually are. Similarly, while it's not fair to tell everyone here that they should be ashamed of themselves, a small number of people here perhaps should be for some reason or another.

        While I agree that the attitude mj took while making the statement was decidedly aggressive, stating that a group of people is "undiagnosed"

        It struck me as being more of an arrogant way of saying, I know what my psychological problem is, but you obviously have a psychological problem, and you don't know what it is yet, so you're worse off! And that's just plain false in many cases. Just another gross generalization about everyone here, including me and you--par for the course, I guess.

        I think that there is something for some kossaks participating in the comment thread on Hunter's post to be ashamed of

        Perhaps so--for some Kossacks. Note the operative word there. Not all Kossacks. Not even all Kossacks who participated in the thread. I think there's also quite a bit for Mary Julia to be ashamed of here, but I'm not about to hold my breath waiting for an apology.

    •  Scanned the comments (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pb, NYFM

      and read the diary in search of useful discourse.  Wasted my time.

      Read the Liberals are from Mars... diary, must have missed the later comments.  Not at all surprised that some people who like external structure and authority  have problems with their internal authority.  Stands to reason, actually.

      Know people with mental illness.  Three with bipolar - one who refuses medication and is on SSDI, one who functions quite well on his meds and his son, who is still struggling with pediatric onset bipolar.  The son is doing well, but has experienced most of the spectrum of his disorder.  

      People with mental illness are just people with an inescapable problem.  And like all people who have to deal with the hand they are dealt, some do better and some do worse.  

      Finally, I am rather surprised that there hasn't been a "Is Bush mentally ill?  And what would it mean if he were?" thread.  Mostly because I suspect Cheney will resign for "health reasons" and Bush may be declared mentally incompetent.  (not the same as mentally ill)

      We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

      by Fabian on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 02:55:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fabian

        Not at all surprised that some people who like external structure and authority  have problems with their internal authority.

        Yes, I thought that made quite a bit of sense. Also, I've often thought that the Republicans have a bit of an edge when it comes to catering to the people who don't pay a lot of attention to the news, or who are just in search of certitude and simple answers. If you want a simple answer to a tough question, they've got it--it just often turns out to be the wrong answer as well.

        Finally, I am rather surprised that there hasn't been a "Is Bush mentally ill?  And what would it mean if he were?" thread.

        I didn't dig through all the comments, but I've seen a lot of that speculation elsewhere, including one just recently, regarding his latest press conference.

  •  People with time based issues (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, NYFM, neroden

    For those of you that are not familiar with mental illness, it is something that waxes and wanes. Perhaps the most easy example to understand is manic depression.......sometimes manic, hyperactive, on the ball and a lot of people like what you are saying. On the bad days people find you disagreeable, perhaps disgusting and to be avoided.

    The same is true for most afflictions that people have..most mental illnesses' are a continuum, indeed the grand majority of people have a mental problem occasionally , we are all part of the continuum.

    As soon as you compartmentalize people into sane vs insane you have lost the war, because you don't have a f'ing clue about it.

    We are all insane!

    Some of us are sane most of the time, some rarely. But we are all cut from the same cloth.

    "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

    by yuriwho on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 02:41:49 AM PST

  •  The difference I've always seen (0+ / 0-)

    is between people who have self-awareness, who know they have problems, and can therefore deal with them and get treatment and function pretty OK, and people who have no self-awareness and insist that they're Just Fine while actually being raving mad.

    We have both in my family.  I'm not sure we have anyone who isn't mentally ill in some way.  I think (hope?) I'm the first type.  :-)

    I still wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that only people with severe delusions voted for Bush.  I mean, come on -- no totally sane person could vote for him, could they? However, plenty of delusional people didn't vote for Bush -- being delusional doesn't necessarily mean you're delusional in THAT way!

    -5.63, -8.10 | Libertarian Liberal

    by neroden on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 02:55:29 AM PST

  •  Thank you, Mary Julia. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Annalize5, flumptytail

    Please continue to speak up and educate others about the mentally ill.  I am counting on your voice and others like yours to help remove some of the stigma associated with mental illness.

    My beautiful eight-year-old daughter is at high risk of developing schizophrenia or other serious mental illness.  She has 22q11 Deletion Syndrome/Velocardiofacial Syndrome.  The risk is greater than 25% according to this study, High Rates of Schizophrenia in Adults With Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome.

    As much as I am hoping treatments improve in the next ten years, I am hoping just as much that attitudes change so that she can be treated with dignity and compassion if she is faced with this horrible challenge.

  •  Well put. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hopscotch1997, flumptytail

    I'm afraid I thought much of what you've said and simply walked away.  My bad.

    Thank you.

  •  My stepson is bipolar... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hopscotch1997, flumptytail

    So I understand the difficulties you must experience.  He cannot control himself without his cocktail of Ritalin and Abilify.  However, he is a fully functional human being when he takes his medication.  He ceratinly should be allowed to vote or do anything else he wants.  And calling him names because of his problem is like making fun of crippled people.

  •  The Artic tern is bipolar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jockyoung

    Having the longest migration route in the world....

  •  A Brit's thoughts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vansterdam, flumptytail

    Not me, I'm from NY/NJ. But some months ago a British guy wrote a post about how shocked he was at how casually we Americans throw around words like retarded, psycho, nut job, whack job, etc. He said in the UK people with mental deficiencies/illnesses are treated with much more respect and one doesn't see words like the above bandied about so casually.

  •  My sig line says it all... (0+ / 0-)

    [RED/GLARE]

    For business reasons, I must preserve the outward sign of sanity.

    --Mark Twain

    by redglare on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 05:23:33 AM PST

  •  Can't feel nasty about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taylormattd, 3goldens

    something I didn't do.  When I read the about the study on Yahoo news, I thought it seemed a bizarre and inappropriate thing for any 'news' reporter to cover as well as for any 'researcher' to examine.  I didn't even bother reading the whole thing because I found it to be distasteful.  In turn, I don't think I even saw Hunter's diary.  I'm sure there were nasty comments because there is a part of this community that gets ugly in their comments.  And another part that their hatred of Bush clouds their judgement at times.

    I think it's right that you tackled the subject, but I wouldn't point the finger at every one on dKos. LOL.

  •  Great Diary, Very Important, Well Said (0+ / 0-)
  •  One must possess mental competence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    essexgreen

    to engage in a plethora of activities in this nation, and rightly so.

    Are you suggesting that the mentally incompetent (a legal term, not an aspersion) who cannot legally be a party to a contract, drive a car, sign a will, etc., ought to be able to vote?

    Maybe they should, maybe they shouldn't, but I'm not "ashamed" for asking the question.

    •  Mentally Ill people are not "Incompetent" (3+ / 0-)

      Well, not more than any other segment of the population. Most mentally ill people are able to function quite well in society, make complex decisions, drive a car, and vote. There are people in society who are not competent to make decisions, but many of them are mentaly healthy with very low intelligence or are disabled with some kind of injury that limits their ability to think. Don't confuse "Mentally Ill" with "Mentally Incompetent".  It's not the same thing at all.

      •  I'm not confusing the two. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm simply stating that SOME mentally ill individuals are legally incompetent by virtue of their illness, and therefore probably cannot cast an informed vote.  I don't think I'm going out on a limb in saying that.

        Most diagnosed mentally ill individuals probably are NOT legally incompetent.  My point was merely that to talk about the issue does not render one an insensitive ass.

        Frankly, I'd rather legally incompetent mentally ill folks vote over allegedly legally competent Evangelical Pseudo-Christian douche bags who deliberately deny science and reason.  Now that statement may render me an insensitive ass, but hey, that's the price of common sense and straight shootin'.

  •  There really should be no test to vote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flumptytail

    I'm not even sure non citizens who have been here over a year shouldn't vote. Because these elections effect them also......

    Put it that way the world should be allowed to vote for President of the US since he can pretty much attack them , torture them and hold them without legal representation at will.......

    Militia General Pajamahadeen Ohio Southwest Chapter....we sale Girl Scout Cookies also

    by JellyPuddin on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 05:41:53 AM PST

  •  It never ceases to amaze me how sensitive (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taylormattd, moira977, NYFM

    we all are.

    Delaware Dem 2007: The Front Page will never be the same.

    by Delaware Dem on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 05:56:18 AM PST

  •  ill or not ill, stop labeling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moira977

    We're all insane.  Some of us just share that insanity with more people than others.  The key is to not be afraid of it, accept it, and move on to do something constructive in spite of it.

    Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

    by d3n4l1 on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 05:59:20 AM PST

  •  Who should be ashamed? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taylormattd, moira977

    The commenters who caused such offense?  Then be specific - neither your title nor your diary are.

    Everyone who read the diary?  Everyone who believes in free speech?  Everyone who is a member at a site where such posting is allowed?

    I agree completely with the gist of the diary.  I think the holier-than-thou "I don't live in a glass house" attitude of it makes it nearly unreadable, or at best, almost laughable.

  •  its one thing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moira977, snazzzybird, flumptytail

    to be diagnosed with a mental illness, its quite another thing when otherwise fully functioning people vote for insane political agendas.
    Just ask the 60 million spirits of the late 30's and 40's who went to their graves because of it.

    Oh truth, liberty and justice where art thou. I miss thee so ...

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 06:28:43 AM PST

  •  Mary Julia, I have a question. (4+ / 0-)

    Do you find it offensive that ultraconservative Republicans and ultrafundamentalist Christians are routinely referred to as "wingnuts" (and sundry variations thereof) on a regular basis?  

    While I appreciate your point of view (I really do -- I'm one of the 'mentally ill' crowd myself, seeing as how I suffer from depression), I have to say that I see a difference between the kind of ignorant bigotry that you so eloquently write about, and the snark of Hunter's FP diary and (most of) the comments that followed it.  

    So, FWIW, Hunter didn't offend me.  The article was about a grad student doing a clearly amateurish, and unscientfically sound, study, and I thought that was obvious enough to make the snarkiness apparent.

    I'm sorry you were offended, though.  Truly.

    No, I won't sit down and shut up. Thanks for asking.

    by Mehitabel9 on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 06:30:15 AM PST

  •  the undiagnosed (0+ / 0-)

    brilliant.

  •  Ma! How many times do I have to tell you (0+ / 0-)

    To stop scolding me here!

    I think, therefore I think I am

    by ackermanniac on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 07:09:46 AM PST

  •  Cheers to you, Mary Julia (3+ / 0-)

    It takes courage to stand up and challenge other people's mindless prejudice. Mental illness is an illness, not a character fault, and deserves treatment, not stigmatization. More would likely seek treatment if they weren't so buried in the "whackjob" terminology that serves only to alienate the mentally ill from the rest of society. It's bigotry, pure and simple, only it's bigotry against a group that anyone can be put into, if they have the misfortune to fall ill. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  •  Link to Hunter's diary? (0+ / 0-)

    Does anyone have a link? I'd like to read the original. Thanks.

  •  Well said (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    Your point is well taken. And this:

    So, you see, I am just as competent to vote as many of you (actually, more so, since I know what's wrong with me, unlike you clueless ones that I prefer to call the "undiagnosed").

    made me laugh out loud!

    "Of course your need to consume is an exception due to your incredibly challenging circumstances."

    by Topaz7 on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 07:34:25 AM PST

  •  I'm glad somebody said it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    draftchrisheinz, 3goldens

    I like my lurking just fine.  

    If you think "mentally ill" people shouldn't be allowed to vote, consider this:
    some (if not a majority) of the greatest scientists, inventors, philosophers, artists etc in history fall into the category of "mentally ill."  So, ask yourself this: Would you let Einstein vote?

    Though we've come so far in this country in terms of our general approach toward and understanding of mental illness, we still have such a long way to go.

    Mental illness is too often stigmatized by the media and the general public.  I am technically considered to be among those who are "mentally ill," but I am also a college student with a 3.85 GPA and a very nice social life.

  •  With all due respect... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    You are not bipolar.  You HAVE bipolar disorder.  

  •  Then again (0+ / 0-)

    There's a big difference between bipolar disorder and psychosis.

  •  Are you for real? (0+ / 0-)

    You're serious aren't you... You think there's nothing the least bit weird about a voter drive to get mentally ill people to the polls?

    What possible purpose could that serve? Making sure that everyone gets their chance to vote against the CIA implanting chips in your brain and spying on your thoughts???

    Get off the fainting couch. There's a lot more important things going on that are worthy of discussion.

  •  Frivolity vs. Science (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom

    I didn't really like the diary, and I agree that it's really rotten to be make fun who happen to have a physical illness of the brain that affects mental functioning. If, for example, a survey had found that epilepsy or brain tumors correlated with voting for Bush, I think the tone of the discussion would be different.

    On the other hand:

    • To some extent, labeling and generalizations are inescapable with hardcore voter analysis, which is a form of marketing. It's unfair to generalize that "all soccer moms vote for X" or "all depressed people vote for Y," but I think it's reasonable to write something like, "A study has shown that people who get high scores on a rating of a paranoia are more likely than other people to vote for Republicans," or something like that.
    • I think there's a separate, serious issue here. It seems very obvious to me that a lot of people who rant in a really bellicose way about any topic (for the Republicans, for the Democrats, for the Captain Kirk, for Captain Picard, etc.) tend to have brains that operate the same way. From the perspective of people with more typical brains, these other people seem to have some specific kind of brain difference, or even disorder, not simply quirky interests or views.

    I don't think someone has to suffer from a brain disorder to agree with Bush, for example. Whatever their faults, Tom Friedman and George Will seem sane to me, and they agree with Bush on many issues.

    But one key point about people like Friedman and Will is that they can at least pretend to be open-minded. They can look at things from the other point of view. But my guess is that some of the people on Red State who are so far to the right that they scare the Red State people are examples of the people who maybe have some kind of "political Asperger's syndrome," or something like that.

    If that kind of syndrome exists, it wouldn't have to be genetic. Maybe some people will always be fanatical about some topic that no one else cares about, but maybe other factors -- such as, nutrition, infections, head injuries, and political speakers' rhetorical styles -- could reprogram people who have a little bit of susceptibility to "political Asperberger's" to develop a full-blown version of the syndrome.

  •  What Hunter wrote didn't upset me, but (0+ / 0-)

    many of the comments posted did.  Various members of my family have some type of "mental illness", from ADHD to bipolar disease to dyslexia.
    I believe that some of those people who posted rude comments would held their tongue had the issue been "(fill in the blank - Latinos, African Americans, Mormons, Muslims, Italians, short people, fat people) are more likely to vote for Repubs."

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 10:49:23 AM PST

  •  yeah but (0+ / 0-)

    how do we know that this whackjob mary julia is 'herself' when she wrote this diatribe?  maybe it was really her other personality?  how could we ever know?

  •  I already AM ashamed of myself (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inky

    I live in a country led by war criminals

    how could I NOT be ashamed of myself

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