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09/21/2004 Archived Entry: "Back online"

As our privacy and other rights erode, at least we can go down laughing. The British satire site Social Scrutiny has a page of spoof ID form applications that you are required to fill out and return. For those to whom British humor does not appeal -- and, yes, it is an acquired taste -- you might enjoy the satire site Enduring Vision -- at least, some of its news satires are good for a chuckle. For example, its take on Cheney's recent warning re: voting for Kerry will lead to more terrorist attacks. EV comments, "Cheney also suggested that a combination of the events could occur, making for even more devastating times.'A terrorist could fly a plane directly into a puppy, or a puppy could fly a plane into a woman right before she was raped,' he suggested, drawing shocked gasps from the audience. 'That's right, folks: all this and more is coming your way if John Kerry is elected'." BTW, I found EV through a link on another site, Flush the Web "the web place where you will find the worst website's that the net has to offer." And, yes, I have been surfing the web in the wee hours as a way to evade writing deadlines.

The first book I read by Thomas Szasz was The Myth of Mental Illness which -- true to its title -- raised the question "Is there such a thing as mental illness?"

Few books have so changed my view of the world as "The Myth". Over a period of a year and with a great deal of thought, I totally reversed my approach to psychology and to the idea of mental illness. One of Szasz's arguments about which I had lingering reservations, however, was his contention that we will lose our liberty to the therapeutic state: that is, through the medicalization of society...for its/our own good, of course. His contention is becoming more plausible with every day that passes. The subject of my FOXNews/ifeminists column last week, "Mandatory Mental Health Screening Threatens Privacy, Parental Rights," was HR 5006, the appropriations bill which includes funding for a program that advocates the mandatory mental-health screening of Americans, including public schoolchildren. Despite Ron Paul's heroic attempt to amend the bill to preclude the funding of mandatory mental-health screening, the intact bill passed the House and is currently before the Senate. Now this article from Spiked entitled "Mental until proven innocent" describes a bill before the British parliament: Mental Health Bill. "A previous version of the Bill was published in 2002, and attracted widespread criticism from psychiatrists, service users, campaign groups and civil libertarians...Two proposals attracted most criticism in 2002, with the recent modifications unlikely to appease critics: plans to allow compulsory community treatment orders, and measures that would allow those with a personality disorder who are considered dangerous to be detained indefinitely, even if they had not committed a crime." As a child, I was told that policemen were my friends; what a lie that was. Now the same is becoming true of doctors...actually, all medical professionals. Some are rebelling, of course, because they do not wish to become an arm of a police state that spies on people through their medical records, monitors non-criminal behavior and detains/drugs 'anti-social' people...for their own good, of course. A few years ago, I went to a doctor who was part of the rebellion. Any notes on my history that she considered to be of a "personal" or privileged nature she wrote on the inside of the manille folder that held the standard forms and lab reports. That way, if she was ever asked to submit a copy of my file to a government agency for any reason, she could xerox it without divulging information she considered private. I think it is time for me to reread Szasz.

I am pleased that LewRockwell is running a piece I published in the New York Post a few months back: "Act Responsibly: Don't Vote."

A new entry has been made in my DVBlog.

Best to all,

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