Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Read This Book!


Read this book:

I am serious. Yes. A book about life in a Soviet prison, camp, and a variety of punishment cells, as well as a sham trial, can be as effective as Prozac. Well, I have to admit, I have not done a double-blind study yet, but I wanted to run around the block and sing.

Natan Sharansky, known then as Anatoly Shcharansky, his Russian name,fought, hard, for the rights of dissidents, particularly Jewish dissidents, in his Russian homeland in the 1970s. During that time he and his new bride Natasha, who had changed her name to the Hebrew Arial, were also just learning about their religion, since fifty years of Leninism had kept it pretty much hidden from their families. But by the time the Soviet authorities caught up with him and he was thrown unceremoniously in Moscow's Lefortovo prison, Anatoly Borisovitch had learned enough Hebrew, enough songs about Zion, and enough about his history to keep his mind occupied for the next 9 years (it helped that he'd been a chess prodigy as a child, too, and could actually play chess games in his mind while in solitary).

Well aware of what few rights he did have as a "zek" (prisoner), Shcharansky kept the guards going by insisting on keeping his "book of Hebrew folk songs" (read: Psalms). His cheekiness, his faith, and his sense of humor, as well as his empathy for all his fellow zeks (be they Jew , Christian or atheist) is so moving that the tale is uplifting. Shcharansky found a way to survive and be human in a completely inhumane environment.

Well! Now that I'm done reading about how to survive if you have to endure being placed in a tiny metal Soviet cell, I can move on to reading Pat Santy's book and learn about how to choose which lucky, eager people get to get shot up into the sky in order to realize their dream of being placed into a tiny metal Soviet cell. In space.

The irony in that is manifold. Especially if you happen to know that Pat and I first met in jail.

(We weren't in jail. The people we provided mental health services for were in jail.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Selectively Wary; Blatantly Blind

The Lost Liberty Hotel project treads on! According to Freestar Media, Logan Clements was told unceremoniously by Weare Selectmen that they are much too polite to want to seize Justice Souter's property for him. Don't they get it?? Never fear, the townsmen and women of Weare understand what Logan points out, that protecting Souter from his own poor judgment (should that be capitalized? No, I think not) sends exactly the wrong message....that he is above the law, not an equal, as the Selectmen insist, and a petition is circulating to get the Lost Liberty Hotel on the ballot! Yay!

You can contribute to this worthy cause here. This will also let you read about it if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Martial law declared in Michigan!

I love my job. Usually. But not this week. Got one of those throat-in-your-heart crisis calls yesterday. Lady says she just wants to alert us her friend's coming to the ER and told her that "if you don't help him, he has a gun and he'll go back to his car and use it". The rest of the information she told me suggested her friend was quite at risk for harming himself, if this last chance to seek help wasn't heeded. She didn't say he was threatening to harm anyone else, she didn't say he told her he was planning on bringing in any gifts to us that might go "boom", she just gave me his name and said she wanted to be sure we helped him. She was worried about him finding out she was the one who called and thus declined to give information about herself. Rather than pressure her for more information, my mind was working on making sure we could help this fellow when and if (hopefully) he arrived. I advised my coworkers and boss, and we called security so they would be aware there was a possibility he'd be armed. Common sense.

What I was not expecting was for the police to come in (thanks to another invititation by security) and drill me, before this guy even showed up. Who called me? What was her name? Why didn't I get her name? [What kind of little police doo-bee are you?] What's her phone number? How old is she? It was especially irritating because, after this

man's friend did come in, was cooperative, and was pleased with the outcome of his assessment, another cop called me at home asking me the same questions!!! I tried to be helpful but finally I said, "I told all this to Officer so and so three hours ago." "Oh, you did?"

Well, yes I did, and by the way, why do you need to know anyway when 1) he's come in asking for help, 2) no one has committed a crime, and 3) he's actually in a secure treatment setting?

Should have flashed my own KGB badge.

Occasionally...well, not really occasionally, quite frequently, actually, mentally ill people will either decide the president of the United States is personally screwing up their life (I mean seriously, like ordering a special unit being inserted in their chest by aliens at night so that he can make the mentally ill person do things he or she doesn't want to do, which obviously is quite a pain), or they will go to a re-election rally and get up really close to the front and threaten to kill the president. The first incident doesn't usually draw attention unless the mentally ill person calls the White House line over and over and over and over again until it drives the operators crazy, or sends an e-mail to the Secret Service or CIA about his or her woes. The second incident draws immediate attention. But either way, we often get Secret Service people crawling around (sorry to use that word crawling, but they always seem kinda reptilish to me) saying "Has so and so ever been here? What can you tell us about him?" "Nothing." "Uh.....he signed a release of information." "Can you show it to me?" "Oh...uh...gee, I guess I don't have it with me..."

I have their full sympathy when someone has made a direct threat against anyone, let alone the leader of the free world. But whenever we've had contact with them, it's not been the case. The perpetrator has generally been someone diagnosed with schizophrenia, that diagnosis that tends to produce the more odd delusions that wouldn't be able to be acted upon anyway (especially if you are now locked on a hospital ward having been stuck in the butt with a cocktail of Haldol and Ativan. He is going to send death rays from his mind. He is going to cause a terrible event to happen (again, by thinking about it, not by sabotage he could actually work out). But, along comes the SS (hey, now there's an acronym)..."Did he tell you about these 'death rays' of his?"

Don't you guys have a President to protect, or something?

Working in the mental health field always comes with some Faustian bargains, if you have any sense of principles at all. I know I marched into community mental health out of college with the idea that "Mental Illness" didn't exist and that involuntary commitment was evil; how dare we take another's rights away? 20 years later I have petitioned probably a hundred men and women myself for involuntary commitment, believing that they were ill enough not to know they needed treatment and that they were in danger of harming themselves or someone else because of that illness. But damn me, damn all of us if we don't try as best we can to protect everyone's dignity to the best degree possible in that process.

And in the meantime, I hate law enforcement of any kind being at the hospital. They drive me nuts.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Oh my God....they killed Kenny! and Holly! and Suzy! and .....

I had a dream.

I dreamt that Trey Parker and Matt Stone used antichoice superhero Dianysis, seen here depriving people of their choice to express their opinions (and their choice to live----ex-utero, incidentally)

in a really cool episode of South Park! And lo, it was funny. Especially when Kyle said, "But Dianysis, how come young kids like us have to have sex? Don't you guys at Planned Parenthood Golden Gate just want us to keep having sex so you can sell more birth control and testing to us? Like the Calypte HIV test, of which you, yourself, Dianysis, recently owned 200,000 shares of stock?" (tip from Dawn Eden)

And when Stan's Uncle Jimbo said "I have sex all the time and see? I'm just fine!" and everyone gets really quiet and his friend  says "Hmm...maybe celibacy isn't such a bad idea after all."

And when little Wendy tugs on Dianysis sleeve and says, "Dianysis...Dianysis..have you seen my friend Holly Patterson? I haven't seen her since you sold her that RU-486 pill. She didn't want to tell her dad coz she was afraid, but he was so worried about her. You told her to just go home and not say anything and she'd be fine."

(Holly Patterson died September 17, 2003 from medication given by Planned Parenthood Golden Gate after succumbing to side effects the FDA has been since criticized for ignoring; Holly's family says Golden Gate's president----"Dianysis" in the Planned Parenthood infamous cartoon---has done nothing to help them).

Dianysis (ignoring her) "Don't you kids all want Teenage safe sex kits?" and most of the kids yell "I do! I do!" and she throws out a bunch of little blue kits.

"Sweet," says Cartman. "Astroglide! That's what my MATURE friends online tell me kids need for anal sex."

"What's anal sex?" says Butters.

"CARTMAN!!! What the hell are you talking about? You don't want anal sex!" Kyle shouts!

"Of course he does!"Says Dianysis. "Don't all young boys?"

"Lady,you're nuts," says Stan.

"Anal sex is MATURE sex." says Cartman. Stan whispers something to Cartman, and Cartman throws his "safe sex" kit in the air, Astroglide and all. He backs away from Dianysis. "Keep away from me with your God damn Astroglide, Lady. Nobody's gonna put their ***** up my @ss."

Nobody noticed that Kyle stepped away, but he's returned with the Super Best Friends!
"Hello, Dianysis", Jesus greets her wearily. "Oh! We meet again, Jesus!" Dianysis answered nervously. "Mr. Smith, Buddha, Vishnu, Moses." They nodded in her direction, not amused. "Can you send her to hell?" Kyle asked Moses, hopefully. Moses spinned silently for awhile and replied, "Technically, this would be against the rules, but the SuperBest Friends have given Dianysis so many chances to leave children alone, and she keeps blowing them, maybe we can discuss this. Super Best Friends HUDDLE!"

Cut to scene of hell. Satan, clearly bored, is showing a weeping Dianysis around Hell. "Well, I guess you can have Chris's old room now that Saddam's killed him. I really miss Chris, but I'd probably always go back to Saddam anyway. Well, gnashing of teeth starts at 6, you don't wanna be late for that, wailing is pretty much whenever, you'll sorta get the hang of it. Oh. Try not to get on Pol Pot's bad side. Vindictive? You wouldn't BELIEVE! One wrong word and suddenly he's got the entire 5th, 6th and 7th circles pitted against you. Paranoid little devil, if you'll excuse the pun. Just avoid him, that's my advice......"

It was a great dream. Of course, it was just a dream, nothing Matt Stone and Trey Parker had anything to do with.

The South Park images herein are thanks to Comedy Central, Matt, Trey and the gang allowing folks to join their website and engage in fair use of their images. Dianysis is from a cartoon very recently in a blatant place on the Planned Parenthood Goldengate Website, in which she not only incinerated peaceful picketers with very odd "Christian" signs ("Pray for Thy Sins?" Who prays for sins? Dear Lord, I lift this sin up to you, please bless it and see it safely in its travels....), but kills and tortures other pro-life advocates. As blogger Dawn Eden points out, Dianysis sounds like the Greek god of debauchery, and looks like the name of the president of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, Dian J. Harrison. In fact, the character even looks like Ms. Harrison, if you follow the links. Once complaints started coming in, according to Ms. Eden, PPGG pulled the cartoon from their homepage, but they still provide the link to it, for any thirteen year old to see.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Famous Authors Write Presidential Biographies

Have you ever heard people say that the Nixon presidency could be read like a Shakespearean tragedy? My pastor brought that up again last week when he was talking about pride, and I started thinking, "If Shakespeare wrote the Nixon presidency, who wrote the other ones?" I have to admit, I came at this totally with an eye of mischieviousness, not political in the least. But I've come up with some ideas. Maybe you can think of some more.

They are listed in order of president's name, author, book (presidency) title, and excerpt:

Dolly Madison
Men: Who Needs Them?
"They'll never remember him after we leave."

Jeff Foxworthy
You Might Be a Jacksonian Democrat if….
"Your friends come barefoot to the inaugural, and there's two covered wagons on blocks on the front lawn of the White House.”

W. H. Harrison
Ernest Hemingway
The Last Days of Tippecanoe
"I lit a cigarette. It started to rain. He talked on. And on. Then he got sick. Thirty days later, he died. Well, that's that, I thought."

Fyodor Dostoevsky
Wives and Punishment
"Day after day, he wondered how long it would last. He kept thinking, why don't they just shoot me?"

Swami Jimi Davisu
Channeling Garfield
"And he will return in the 20th century as a fat feline who loves lasagne"

T. Roosevelt
Michael Chrichton
National Park
"Crazed by the industrial revolution which made the bear extinct, T. was obsessed by bringing this primitive animal back to life. And building a canal in central America."

Dr. Atkins
The All-Fat, No-Exercise Diet
“Our stately president, all 300 pounds of him, is a prime example of good health!”

Agatha Christie
The Tea-Pot Affair
"Scandalously, they put the tea-pot under the dome."

F. Roosevelt
Πδηγαπ ςτφχοοπ. Βεζρσε ςστ!!

Wm. Shakespeare
The Prince of Loma Linda
“A splicer, a splicer, my kingdom for a splicer!”

John Cleese
Tumbling Through Washington
“I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Those Crazy Nineties
"But we all had a swell time, no?"

G. W. Bush
Louis L’Amour
The Man From Crawford
"It was almost noon. Bush and Bin Laden stared each other down, mano a mano, in the street outside the jailhouse. The light of the sun glinted off of Bush's marshall's badge. This was what he'd waited for. The moment of truth had come."

Monday, August 15, 2005

Did they really say that? Part II

Another incredible audible, heard today on WJR again. Someone from Israel, presumably Israeli, presumably Jewish, says "Let's hope this [the forced move of the last Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip] will lead to the end of the suicide bombings."


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Ke-BLOG! multiple guess!

From the CNN hotline:

From: CNN Breaking News
Subject: CNN Breaking News
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 15:17:16 +0000

-- U.N. nuclear watchdog agency adopts resolution calling on Iran to halt
nuclear fuel development.

....or else?

Or else what?

 Hmm, let's ponder, shall we?

"U.N. nuclear watchdog agency adopts resolution calling on Iran to halt nuclear fuel development RIGHT NOW,  OR ELSE:

a) Kofi Anaan will hold his breath until he turns blue."

b) John Bolton will have to turn this hemisphere around!"

c) we will boycott Persian carpets, except for all employees of the UN, to whom you will now pay a sizeable kickback for each Persian carpet sold. To whomever you sell them, we don't really care."

d)Hans Blix will come round, ring you up that he's coming, and, after giving you enough time to rearrange your nuclear facilities into nice little baby powder factories, bless your weapons of mass destruction".

e) or we'll hit you like a girl!"

f) we'll start singing 99 Bottles of Beer On the Wall".

(insert your idea here)

h) all of the above

Sunday, August 07, 2005

We Sat in the Sub All Those Cold Wet Wet Days

This is a special Ke-Blog! news bulletin.

The Russian Navy, with assistance from an international group of volunteers, has succeeded in rescuing a crew of its sailors from the Cat in the Hat's submarine.

Mr. in the Hat could not be reached for comment.

[Note: so that Vincentt's comment makes sense, let me add that I just cropped le chat's picture. There once was a male human next to him.  --Ke-BLOGger]

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Did they really say that?!?

And that I couldn't make up.

1)Ad heard yesterday on the radio: "Are your computer skills getting in the way of your career progress?"

Uh....only when my boss is watching.

2)Excerpts from Kwame Kilpatrick's semi-concession speech after his semi-loss to the mayoral primary in Detroit, which you will never hear again in the MSM: "They will not talk about Kwame Kilpatrick anymore." Did he hear himself say that?

Maybe he's finally taking my advice, and planning to open that Ethiopian-Irish restaurant that I thought his name belonged to when I saw it on the SMART busses during the last campaign. (You know, like Carlos-Murphy's, Jose-Babuschka's.....)I've got some ideas for the menu: Meat feast & boiled cabbage; corned beef & sponge bread with spice tea (yummmm)...

3)Lady who called in about where she could get cheap mental health care--including seeing a psychiatrist for treatment for panic attacks--after I gave her the name of a very nice place. "Oh, thank you!" Pause. "But do I have to go there?"

Uh, no lady, just drive up; they have great big jars out front full of Xanax and Klonopin with great big scoops. Help yourself.

5)And just for kicks, here's something that I couldn't make up, but somebody did, and Dr. Sanity was smart enough to blog it in her posts of August 4... Among some other clever stuff.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Losing Space for Diversity

I was up to one of my favorite tricks this afternoon: bugging Dr. Dissentin' Beets Trotsky. I wanted him to tell the hospital staff to display the original flag of his homeland; not the dorky blue, white and red striped one, but the big red one with the yellow hammer and sickle in the corner. Suddenly, it occurred to me, I could ask the hospital to display MY nation's flag.