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Posts Tagged ‘Mental illness’

As unpleasant as it is to inject political history into a discussion surrounding the tragedy that is becoming known as the Tea Party Massacre (the term itself is, of course, a political injection,) I think that is is something that we should do. Something we MUST do.

As you might have guessed by the graphic, I lay a great deal of the blame at the feet of none other than Saint Ronnie. Saint Ronnie, by beginning his campaign in Philadalphia, Mississippi, blew a silent dog whistle that many people on the fringes of our society listened, and responded, to. The “militia” movement of today began in earnest in the Saint Ronnie era, and almost all of those people were either loosely, or tightly, bound around the notion of “White Pride.” The Aryan Nations, The Order, and hundreds of little imitators suddenly felt a whole lot better about themselves, and what they stood for, because of the guy in the White House, who famously used to talk about the “strapping young buck” buying his steak with food stamps. The “Welfare Queen,” which is a racist figment of the right wing imagination, was born in the era of Saint Ronnie. While there is no evidence that Jared Loughner was ever a member of one or another of these groups, they are as numerous as cacti in Arizona, and Loughner definitely knew, and repeated, a lot of their jargon.

Anyways…. let’s continue…

The juxtaposition of events that occurred in the Saint Ronnie era, in my opinion, led us right to where we are today.

-Saint Ronnie convinced people that they should have it all-roads, schools, police, fire departments-but that they should PAY for NONE of it. Two lingering results have come from the Gipper’s dishonesty regarding taxes and services; (1.) is that no politician who wishes to prevail can dare to even BEGIN to talk about raising revenues, and (2.) our borrowing has finally constrained us to the point where we cannot even begin to address the deterioration in our educational system, or our highways, or our schools. If EVER we needed to have an honest discussion about what we want, and what we are willing to pay for, the time has come. It is time to put this right wing demonization of GUBMINT and taxes to bed once and for all, and I’ll give you just one example of why.

Arizona, loaded down with “Tea Party” type Republicans, is starved to death for revenue. As a direct result of being starved to death for revenue, spending for mental health services has dropped dramatically (a trend that also began in the Saint Ronnie era, when state mental health systems broke down from lack of funding and thousands of mentally ill people were dumped on the streets.) As a result of that drop in spending, these days you have to do something pretty dramatic to get the attention of mental health authorities in Arizona.

You know what I mean-something like Jared Loughner did.

-The second thing that Saint Ronnie popularized was this notion that any American ought to be able to buy whatever gun he or she fancied. As a result, for 30 years now fringe, lunatic elements in our society have been able to get their hands on ever-stronger and more effective firepower. Any politician who dares to talk about controlling the lethality of weapons in this country can expect to be drowned in a sea of NRA money, in spite of the fact that gun violence-towards individuals, and Police Officers, and Government officials-is disturbingly high, and in the case of Police and other officials, definitely on the rise. The idiots who insist that the Second Amendment to the Constitution gives us all the right to pack heat that can turn a guy into hamburger always ignore the words “A WELL REGULATED MILITIA.” The Founders, who put that Amendment in, were dealing with a country that faced hostile frontiers on all sides of it-and had smooth-bore hog rifles that were cumbersome to reload, and dangerous for a distance of about 50 feet. As far as the malarkey about “they wanted us armed ‘cuz they wanted to keep the GUBMINT scared,” history has shown us that from the days of the Whiskey Rebellion on, the Federal Government has not hesitated to use lethal force to enforce its mandates any time it judged the situation to warrant it. Far too many American lives have been either lost or horribly altered from what is obviously a perverted reading of the intent of the Second Amendment, and it is high time that we got together and decided on a reasonable system of regulation of firepower.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick to death of a bunch of deaf-eared right-wing fossils preventing me from even having a DEBATE on what is to be done. If they don’t want to talk about it, then they need to get out of the way. Their twisted paranoia has caused this country enough misery, death, and decline. It’s time for the reasonable and the rational to be heard.

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Mom: Son who threatened Pelosi got radical ideas from Fox News

By Raw Story
Thursday, April 8th, 2010 — 9:55 am

It may not be a story you’ll hear about if you watch America’s “fair and balanced” news network.

In an interview on a California ABC News affiliate, the mother of a man arrested for threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) blamed Fox News for exacerbating her son’s mental illness, saying it encouraged his behavior.

“Greg frequently gets in with a group of people that have really radical ideas and that are not consistent with myself or the rest of the family, which gets him into problems,” the 83-year-old mother of the accused man, Eleanor Giusti, said. “I say Fox News, or all of those that are really radical, and he, that’s where he comes from.”

Gregory Giusti was arrested Wednesday after threating the House Speaker over healthcare legislation. The 48-year-old man has a history of run-ins with the law, and was arrested in 2004 for threatening a train conductor’s life after he was caught trying to evade the fare.

He’s also the subject of a lawsuit by a San Francisco church which alleges he has engaged in a “campaign of harassment” of church members, and has been convicted of petty theft and welfare fraud.

His mother told ABC her son has a history of mental illness, and didn’t think he’d actually carry out his threat.

This video is from KGO, broadcast April 7, 2010.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

SOURCE

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Glenn Beck: A Savvy Fraud Who Knows Just How to Please His Audience of Conservative Suckers

By Alexander Zaitchik, AlterNet. Posted April 27, 2009.

The faux right-wing pundit is laughing and crying in the backseat of his stretch limo, all the way to the bank.

Fox News host Glenn Beck has done all the necessary spadework to position himself at the center of a brewing and increasingly paranoid right-wing insurgency. From challenging Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison to prove he isn’t working with Al Qaeda, to taking tearful stands against Barack Obama’s Democratic Reich, the self-described “rodeo clown” is pushing his televised tirades and skits closer to the angrier, more unhinged fare of his daily talk radio show, now ranked third nationally, where he has been honing his confessional Molotov-throwing shtick for a decade.

Glenn Beck is deft at making himself an elusive and slippery target. As media watchdogs and satirists step up their attacks on Beck’s blubbering baboonery, the host has countered with well-practiced public relations Aikido. He has embraced comparisons between himself and Network‘s Howard Beale, who rode an on-air crack-up to record ratings. On his shows and in print, he has claimed at turns to be “crazy,” “borderline schizophrenic,” and “just a clown.”

But is he really? After all of the Comedy Central satires, the studious cataloging of falsehoods and outrages, and the public back-and-forth about his mental state, the big questions about Beck — Who the hell is this guy? And is he for real? remain largely unanswered and even unasked in any serious way.

Fortunately, Beck has actually gone far toward answering these questions himself. Between his thousands of hours of tv and radio recordings, his semi-annual stage tours, and a surprisingly frank memoir, he has provided enough information to piece together the puzzle of the “real” Glenn Beck.

The first casualty of any study of Glenn Beck is the idea that he is cracking up, a la Howard Beale. Mental illness runs in Beck’s family — his mother and brother suffered from depression and committed suicide, and he himself considered suicide in the mid-90s — but Glenn Beck is not crazy. His frequent choke-ups are no more the early signs of a looming crack-up than his bestselling-author status portends a National Book Award.

Glenn Beck has been fake crying for years. It started on his radio show in Tampa, where he first turned the confessional mode of the support-circle — Beck calls it “honesty” — into fodder for self-denigrating humor and ratings gold. After ten years, the fake crying is best seen as a corporate brand handle. It differentiates him from tough-guy competitors in a conservative media universe dominated by manly men and manlier women. Even Beck himself is becoming increasingly open about this. The plug for his upcoming “Common Sense” comedy tour describes him as “America’s favorite hysterical, fear-mongering, tv and radio crybaby.”

Those who take a single drop of Beck’s tears seriously need simply watch recordings of his stage shows. As he paces the stage, Beck switches the tear-ducts on and off like a switch, sometimes as many as six times in a single hour. He even chokes himself up for slick produced segments like the trailer for the stage show based on his bestselling (and ghostwritten) Christmas novel, The Christmas Sweater. Then there is the memorable Freudian slip Beck dropped on Fox back in early February, while recounting the story of a missing girl. “Two years ago, I made the father a promise,” Beck says, choking up, “that I would not let this story dry — er, die….” Any lingering doubts that Beck is just acting are were buried during his turn guest hosting Larry King Live last summer. Watch that clip, and you will see a master tailor of on-air persona at work. He is in full-control and almost unrecognizable.

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