Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Mueller Appointment Is Unconstitutional

Terence P. Jeffrey | May 23, 2018 | 4:24 AM EDT

Three months after President Franklin Roosevelt named Robert Jackson attorney general, Jackson addressed a gathering of U.S. attorneys.
He issued a worthwhile warning.
"With the law books filled with a great assortment of crimes, a prosecutor stands a fair chance of finding at least a technical violation of some act on the part of almost anyone," Jackson said in a speech delivered April 1, 1940.
"In such a case," he said, "it is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him."
Sound familiar?
"It is in this realm — in which the prosecutor picks some person whom he dislikes or desires to embarrass, or selects some group of unpopular persons and then looks for an offense, that the greatest danger of abuse of prosecuting power lies," Jackson said.
Remember: This speech was delivered 78 years ago — by a Democrat.
"It is here that law enforcement becomes personal, and the real crime becomes that of being unpopular with the predominant or governing group, being attached to the wrong political views, or being personally obnoxious to or in the way of the prosecutor himself," Jackson said.
A year later, FDR named Jackson to the Supreme Court. Almost five decades after that, then-Justice Antonin Scalia quoted Jackson's speech in his lone dissent on Morrison v. Olson.

The issue there was whether the independent counsel provisions in the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 were constitutional.
Scalia said no.
The Appointments Clause was key to this case. It says the president "shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Court of Law, or in the Heads of Departments."
Thus, the question of whether an officer of the federal government needs to be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate turns on whether the individual is an "inferior officer" or what the court now calls a "principal officer."
The Ethics in Government Act required an independent counsel to be appointed by a three-judge panel.
That would be constitutional only if an independent counsel were an "inferior officer."
The majority in Morrison concluded this was the case. Scalia obliterated their argument.
He noted, for example, that the majority said, "Admittedly, the Act delegates to the appellant (the) 'full power and independent authority to exercise all investigative and prosecutorial functions and powers of the Department of Justice."
"Once all of this is 'admitted,'" Scalia concluded, "it seems to me impossible to maintain that appellant's authority is so 'limited' as to render her an inferior officer."
He further argued that the independent counsel statute violated the Constitution's separation of legislative, judicial and executive powers.
"Governmental investigation and prosecution of crimes is a quintessentially executive function," he concluded.
So what is the remedy if a president or executive officer engages in corrupt or criminal activity?
"The checks against any branch's abuse of its exclusive powers are twofold," said Scalia. "First, retaliation by one of the other branch's use of its exclusive powers: Congress, for example, can impeach the executive who willfully fails to enforce the laws; the executive can decline to prosecute under unconstitutional statutes; and courts can dismiss malicious prosecutions. Second, and ultimately, there is the political check that the people will replace those in the political branches ... who are guilty of abuse."
In 1999, Congress let the independent counsel law expire and the Justice Department issued regulations allowing the attorney general to name a special counsel. Under those regulations, as reported by the Congressional Research Service, a special counsel "shall exercise, within the scope of his or her jurisdiction, the full power and independent authority to exercise all investigative and prosecutorial functions of any United States Attorney."
But U.S. attorneys are principal officers who must be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
In the Wall Street Journal, Northwestern Law School professor Steven Calabresi, who clerked for Scalia, argued that special counsel Robert Mueller's "investigation has crossed a constitutional line" that even the majority drew in Morrison v. Olson.
"Only a principal officer, such as a U.S. attorney, can behave the way Mr. Mueller is behaving," wrote Calabresi. "Mr. Mueller is much more powerful today than any of the 96 U.S. attorneys."
Yet Mueller was not appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
Calabresi concluded that those targeted by Mueller "should challenge the constitutionality of his actions on Appointments Clause grounds."
Mark Levin, who served with Calabresi in the Reagan Justice Department, agrees.
"Every defendant, suspect and witness, in this matter," Levin said on his website, "should challenge the Mueller appointment" as a violation of the Appointments Clause.

Thank You Mr Jeffrey and CNS.

FBI Agents Want Congress To Subpoena Them So They Can Reveal The Bureau's Dirt

Kerry Picket Reporter
10:08 PM 05/22/2018

Sources tell The Daily Caller several FBI agents want congressional subpoenas to testify about the agency’s problems.
The sources claim there is a demand within the agency to prosecute former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. They also say the bureau has become totally politicized.
The subpoenas are desired by the FBI agents because it requires Congress to pay for their legal fees and protects them from agency retribution.

Many agents in the FBI want Congress to subpoena them so they can reveal problems caused by former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, three people in direct contact with active field agents tell TheDC.

“There are agents all over this country who love the bureau and are sickened by [James] Comey’s behavior and [Andrew] McCabe and [Eric] Holder and [Loretta] Lynch and the thugs like [John] Brennan–who despise the fact that the bureau was used as a tool of political intelligence by the Obama administration thugs,” former federal prosecutor Joe DiGenova told The Daily Caller Tuesday. “They are just waiting for a chance to come forward and testify.”

Ahead of the release of the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general report on how the FBI handled the Clinton email investigation, TheDC spoke with DiGenova, a former Trump official who maintained contact with rank and file FBI agents and a counter-intelligence consultant who conducted an interview with an active special agent of the FBI’s Washington Field Office (WFO). (RELATED: Justice Department Watchdog Releases Damning Andrew McCabe Report)

TheDC independently confirmed the veracity of the consultant’s position and access, and reviewed detailed transcripts of his Q&A with the special agent, who requested the arrangement due to internal dragnets and fear of vicious retribution.

These agents prefer to be subpoenaed to becoming an official government whistleblower, since they fear political and professional backlash, the former Trump administration official explained to TheDC.

The subpoena is preferred, he said, “because when you are subpoenaed, Congress then pays…for your legal counsel and the subpoena protects [the agent] from any organizational retaliation…. they are on their own as whistleblowers, they get no legal protection and there will be organizational retaliation against them.”

DiGenova — who along with his wife, Victoria Toensing, has represented government whistleblowers in the past — agreed, telling TheDC, “It’s an intelligent approach to the situation given the vindictive nature of the bureau under Comey and McCabe. I have no idea how to read Chris Wray, who is not a leader and who has disappeared from the public eye during this entire crisis. You know, he may be cleaning house but if he’s doing so, he’s doing it very quietly.”

He added, “I don’t blame them. I don’t blame the agents one bit. I think that the FBI is in a freefall. James Comey has destroyed the institution he claims to love. And it is beyond a doubt that it is going to take a decade to restore public confidence because of Comey and Clapper and Brennan and Obama and Lynch.”

The special agent out of WFO alleged that rank and file FBI agents are fed up and desperately want action from the DOJ, according to the transcripts.

“Every special agent I have spoken to in the Washington Field Office wants to see McCabe prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They feel the same way about Comey,“ the special agent said, according to transcripts provided to TheDC. (RELATED: Report: FBI Recommends Firing Andrew McCabe)

“The administrations are so politicized that any time a Special Agent comes forward as a whistleblower, they can expect to be thrown under the bus by leadership. Go against the Muslim Brotherhood, you’re crushed. Go against the Clintons, you’re crushed. The FBI has long been politicized to the detriment of national security and law enforcement.”

The special agent added, “Activity that Congress is investigating is being stonewalled by leadership and rank-and-file FBI employees in the periphery are just doing their jobs. All Congress needs to do is subpoena involved personnel and they will tell you what they know. These are honest people. Leadership cannot stop anyone from responding to a subpoena. Those subpoenaed also get legal counsel provided by the government to represent them.”

The former Trump administration official explained the problems at the bureau go beyond just two people.

“They know that it wasn’t just Comey and McCabe in this case. That’s too narrow a net to cast over these guys. There’s a much broader corruption that seeped into the seventh floor at the bureau.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: FBI Agents Say Comey ‘Stood In The Way’ Of Clinton Email Investigation)

“They ruined the credibility of the bureau and the technical ability of the bureau, so systemically, over the past several years, they’re worried about their organizational reputation and their professional careers,” this former Trump administration staffer said, noting the bureau’s difficulty in prosecuting cases these days.

“They go to court and they’re just laughed at.”

According to an analysis in Time Magazine earlier this month, the FBI has struggled with conviction rates for several years now after they send cases to the DOJ for prosecution. In less than half the cases the FBI sent to the Justice Department, the conviction rate was only 47 percent in 2017. This number is far below the mean of the 72 percent average for all other government agencies, according to Time.

In the meantime, DiGenova and the others who spoke to TheDC believe it is time for Congress to issue subpoenas to FBI agents who are willing to talk. According to DiGenova, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees can issue these subpoenas.

“Either one of those [committees] would be fine. I’m sure the committees could hold hearings in a New York minute,” he said.

He added, “I can assure you I’ve been approached by agents who want to be subpoenaed for the same reason the guys in the field,” adding, “All over this country there are agents but the big ones the ones that matter New York–Washington I can assure you I’ve spoken with agents who want to come forward.”

Thank You Ms Picket and the DC.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Medical Malpractice Verdict Seen As Powerful Message To Mental Health Providers

PR newswire

News provided by
The Mark D Truskie Foundation
May 21, 2018, 08:28 ET

COAROPOLIS, Pa., May 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Stanley D. Truskie, President of the Mark D. Truskie Foundation, issued a statement that the $2 million verdict on Wed, May 16, 2018 in favor of him and his wife, Marianne, as a result of the death of their son Mark, is a decision that will send a powerful and important message to the psychiatric community, and to psychiatric clinics throughout the country. Mark lived at home with the Truskies and died at the age of 46.

After Mark's death on November 12, 2013, the Allegheny County coroner determined that he died from toxic levels of Celexa and Cloziral, two medications used to treat his mental condition. Mark's psychiatrist, Dr Grace Huang of the Staunton Clinic in Sewickley, PA, prescribed both medications.

"We were able to prove that Huang and the Staunton Clinic ignored two critically important FDA Safety warnings regarding Celexa, which is a medication known to cause sudden cardiac death when prescribed above certain doses," stated attorney Tyler Smith, representing the Truskie family.

"The evidence demonstrated that Huang and the Staunton Clinic prescribed Celexa to Mark at twice the allowable dose without informing Mark or the Truskies of the FDA warnings, or informing them about simple and safe tests that could have been used to protect Mark from the increased risk of harm caused by his medications," Smith added.

Truskie believes there are several valuable lessons psychiatrists and psychiatric clinics should learn from this important case including the following:
  • Patients, and caregivers, must be informed of the side effects of the psychiatric medications being prescribed;
  • Warnings from physician instructions accompanying the medications, and FDA warnings regarding the prescribed medications must be communicated to patients, and caregivers;
  • Treating psychiatrists should ensure that periodic health exams are scheduled and completed for their patients, such as heart monitoring, drug concentration measurements, liver enzyme testing and other appropriate tests, especially when multiple psychiatric medications with known, dangerous side effects are being prescribed;
  • Referrals to appropriate specialists such as cardiac physicians, metabolic specialists, lipidologists, and nutritional counselors should be incorporated into the treatment plan of the patient;
  • Patients/caregivers should be alerted to signs and symptoms such as toxicity, heart arrhythmia, and other life-threatening conditions when such side effects are indicated by the medications being prescribed, and further, they should be instructed on what to do in an emergency; and
  • Managers and administrators of psychiatric clinics must ensure that policies and procedures are in place to guarantee these standard of care practices are in place and followed.
In closing, Truskie stated, "This award will help fund the Mark D. Truskie Foundation which we started in Mark's name to help protect the health and safety of those dealing with mental health problems."

Stanley D. Truskie, Ph.D.

SOURCE The Mark D Truskie Foundation

Related Links

Questioning The Integrity of Psychiatry

Dr Niall McLaren May 22, 2018

“We have now sunk to a depth where the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent people” (George Orwell: Review of Bertrand Russell, in The Adelphi, January 1939).

If we learn one thing from the Royal Commissions into child sexual abuse and the banking and insurance industries (see note 1), it will be this: left to themselves, secure institutions will never conduct the sort of self-critical analysis that the larger society expects — and deserves.

In late February this year, a conference on Mental Health in Crisis was held in Sydney and then at five cities in New Zealand. Major speakers included Prof. Peter Gotszche, of the Nordic Cochrane Centre; Bob Whitaker, from Boston; Dr Melissa Raven, from Adelaide; Prof. Roger Mulder, from Dunedin University, NZ; and Maria Bradshaw, from Auckland. I spoke about studies on ECT and several other speakers contributed their harrowing personal experiences of psychiatry.

Subsequently, an article in a New Zealand paper was critical of antidepressants, which provoked the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) to issue a press release (March 9th 2018; taken down soon after) which was openly hostile to the idea that people could criticise antidepressants. As part of that press release, it was claimed that psychiatrists “only ever (prescribe drugs) in partnership with the patient and after due consideration of the risks and benefits.”

My experience is that this claim is absolute rubbish and I lodged a complaint with the RANZCP to this effect.1 On April 27th, I received a letter from the president of RANZCP, Dr Kym Jenkins, assuring me I had it all wrong, the RANZCP meant no harm, but she firmly reiterated the claim that provoked my complaint:

“I wish to highlight the College statement goes on to say, ‘the prescription of…medications is something that a psychiatrist only ever does in partnership with the patient and after due consideration of the risks and benefits.'”

As a result, I thought I should check the veracity of her claim. After a quick survey of my practice, I submitted a paper to the lesser of the two RANZCP journals, Australasian Psychiatry, on May 6th. The following is a slightly amended version:


Following adverse reports in a New Zealand newspaper regarding the efficacy and safety of psychiatric drugs, on March 9th 2018, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) issued a press release in rebuttal: “Claims by New Zealand newspaper The Press that antidepressant and antipsychotic medications don’t work are highly irresponsible and potentially very stigmatising for people experiencing mental illness…”

It continued: “Psychiatrists are highly trained medical professionals with expertise in managing both physical and mental health…. The prescription of antidepressant or antipsychotic medications is something that a psychiatrist only ever does in partnership with the patient and after due consideration of the risks and benefits.”

It has long been my experience that patients report they were given little or no information relating to the major side effects of psychotropic drugs, in particular, the risks of obesity, sexual dysfunction, akathisia, aggressive and suicidal impulses, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and dependency. In view of the sweeping claim quoted above, a preliminary file survey of my current patients was undertaken.

Mine is a private, bulk-billing (government-funded) practice in working-class areas of suburban Brisbane. Compared with standard private practices, patients are typically younger, more likely to be male, immigrant, unemployed or on disability pensions, and with histories of major family disturbance, poor schooling, poor work records, social disruption, crime, and drug and alcohol abuse. That is, they are typical of out-patients in any public service in most countries.

Of 176 current files, nearly half the patients had a history of prior psychiatric contact. Their files were checked to see if they had been given information on the nature of the disorder and side effects of the drugs. Where the information was not recorded, patients were asked the following questions, either at their next attendance or by phone or email:
What were you told about how this drug works on your diagnosis?
Were you told about its side effects?


The results are shown in the accompanying tables. Because this is a pilot study with small numbers, results have not been converted to percentages. At the time of referral, 135 of a total of 176 current patients were taking psychotropic drugs (Table 1). In 82 cases, the drugs were prescribed by a psychiatrist while the remaining 53 were prescribed by general practitioners (GPs). There was a clear tendency (not shown in the table) for male patients to have seen psychiatrists while female patients were more likely to have been prescribed drugs by their GPs. 

Question 2 could have been refined as there were two parts to it: Were you given a formal diagnosis? and How does this drug work in your condition? Of the 82 psychiatric patients, only 23 stated that they recalled having been given information on the mode of action of the drugs (Table 2). Most people who recalled a diagnosis stated they were told only a name (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD etc). There were either told or they assumed it amounted to a “chemical imbalance of the brain.” This, however, misses the point that 59 out of 82 patients (72%) didn’t understand why they were taking their medication. There appeared to be no difference between private psychiatric practices and public services.

The most telling result is for information on side effects (Table 3). No patients with previous psychiatric contact had been given any more than the most superficial information relating to side effects (e.g. “It might make you a bit drowsy” of olanzapine).

To reiterate, these questions were asked:
What were you told about how this drug works on your diagnosis?
Were you told about its side effects?

Typical responses were as follows (expletives deleted):

Mrs JH, a 54yo mother first admitted to hospital at age fifteen, had had something like twenty admissions over the years, with at least twenty-five different drugs as well as fifty ECT. At the time, she had just been discharged and was taking four drugs:

Q1: “They never said anything. In those days, they didn’t even talk to you. Still don’t.”

Q2: “Of course not.”

Mr DT, a 29yo fireman injured in a fall, became intensely agitated after he was prescribed fluoxetine so was referred to a psychiatrist:

Q1: “They just said I’m bipolar and that’s that. Maybe somebody said something about brain chemicals or I read it somewhere, I don’t know. I think it was the antidepressant messing with my brain. I’ll never take them again.”

Q2: “I wasn’t told anything. They put me on lorazepam (7.5mg per day) but nobody told me how addictive it is. It’s a nightmare, that stuff, they shouldn’t be allowed to prescribe it.”

Ms TM, a 26yo social worker, was treated with large doses of antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs after a brief psychotic episode following major stressors. After taking olanzapine 40mg per day and mirtazapine 45mg per day for fifteen months, her weight went from 58kg to 105kg:

Q1: “They kept telling me I’ve got a chemical imbalance of the brain and I’d have to take drugs for life. That was so depressing, I can’t tell you.”

Q2: “No, they never said a thing. I kept telling the doctor I was gaining weight but she just said I should watch my diet. I assumed it was my fault, that made me feel even more guilty.”

Mr KV, a 29yo military veteran discharged after sustaining a major back injury, was prescribed a range of antidepressants as well as quetiapine as a hypnotic:

Q1: “They didn’t say a thing. Nobody said anything.”

Q2: “You’ve got to be joking. Nobody said a thing about side effects, especially about losing your sex life. I’d like to give (quetiapine) to that psychiatrist and see what he thinks of it.”

Ms BM, a 23yo student, developed a psychotic state after she started using marijuana and other drugs, including methamphetamine. She was prescribed perhaps a dozen different psychotropic drugs in rapid succession but her mental state did not settle. She gained a great deal of weight and was constantly confused and erratic. In response to the questions, her mother said:

Q1: “They said she’s schizophrenic but she was the brightest and happiest girl before this. I don’t believe it, there’s no mental disorder in our families, how can it be genetic? They said the drugs would fix her condition but she’s not getting better. Now they’re calling it treatment-resistant schizophrenia.”

Q2: “We were never told a thing. The hospital tell us over and over again the drugs are safe and non-addictive but it’s not true. And the weight she’s gained, she was such a pretty girl, now look at her.”

Mr BW, a 42yo post-graduate, had had about twelve admissions to private hospitals over twenty years. He had had every available drug, often in huge doses:

Q1: “I’ve been given every diagnosis, schizophrenia, bipolar, autism, social anxiety, depression, the lot. What causes it? Oh, something chemical, that’s what they say.”

Q2: “Of course not. I’ve been on everything but there’s no point complaining, they’d just say it’s my disease and I need more drugs. Quetiapine was the worst, it drove me completely mad. I found out it’s called akathisia but the psychiatrists didn’t believe me, they said I’m schizoaffective so they gave me ECT.”

Mr EG, a 49yo senior manager with several admissions to hospital:

Q1: “I’m bipolar, is that what you mean? They say it’s chemical, the drugs will fix it.”

Q2: “Nothing. They don’t believe their drugs have any side effects. I told them I couldn’t think because of the lithium so they stopped it suddenly and of course, I flipped out. They said that’s my disease coming back. It wasn’t, it was drug withdrawal, I’m not stupid.”

Mr GD, a 43yo man, has had a singularly torrid psychiatric history. His father recently said: “They asked whether he’d ever had clozapine. I told them he’d had it twice but each time they had to stop it because it affected his heart. I said they couldn’t give it but they went ahead anyway. He refused so they held him down and squirted it down his throat. Then his enzymes went everywhere and the cardiologist told them to stop it.”


On these results, the claim that psychiatrists “only ever” prescribe drugs after discussion of the risks lacks empirical justification. It would be more appropriate to characterise it as “hardly ever.” The question arises: How could a responsible professional body make an assertion which appears to be so patently wrong? The philosopher, Harry Frankfurt, has written extensively on the concept of truth and falsity.2 He defined a lie as “…an act with a sharp focus. It is designed to insert a particular falsehood at a specific point in a set or system of beliefs, in order to avoid the consequences of having that point occupied by the truth. This requires a degree of craftsmanship…” The liar, he said, knows precisely what he is doing. He knows the truth and wishes to lead his audience away from it.

However, between truth and falsehood, there is another epistemological category, in which the speaker’s utterances are neither true nor false but are designed to sway the audience to a particular conclusion regardless of the facts. This Frankfurt called ‘bullshit,’ which is “…more expansive and independent, with more spacious opportunities for improvisation, color, and imaginative play. This is less a matter of craft than of art.” The ‘bullshit artist’ is recklessly disregarding of the necessity for truth; it is a tool to be wielded but not a value in itself. Certain fields of discourse, such as politics, advertising, sport, entertainment, fashion, etc., lend themselves to bullshit. It is unfortunately also true of psychiatry.3

We can now attempt to categorise the statement in the College’s press release. Was it just a matter of the College officials cobbling together a statement to calm the jittery public so they keep taking their tablets, i.e. did it meet criteria for bullshit? It seems unlikely because, as this survey shows, it was a statement that could be falsified with the greatest of ease. In general, bullshit statements are not of this form but are largely matters of taste or sentiment: “This great country of ours…” “Our wonderful sports heroes..” Others relate to the future: “We will bring jobs and growth.” “Make our country great again,” etc. Crucially, because they are neither true nor false, most bullshit statements cannot easily be refuted.

Moving to the category of frank lies, it is an essential part of the definition that the speaker is fully cognisant of the truth but carefully and deliberately changes something critical to mislead the audience. Does that apply to the college’s action in issuing this press release? This is problematical. If, for example, the public became aware of the true risks of obesity, diabetes, sexual dysfunction, suicide, etc, what would happen to psychiatry’s reputation? I believe a reasonable person could conclude that the statement was factually false but was no more than a panicky attempt to retain control of the narrative that psychotropic drugs are safe, effective and are only prescribed for noble reasons. That is, they can use the defence coined by the eminent immunologist, Peter Medawar4, in his review of Teilhard de Chardin’s book, The Phenomenon of Man:

“(The) author can be excused of dishonesty only on the grounds that, before deceiving others, he has taken great pains to deceive himself.”


It appears that, at least, the RANZCP has left itself open to the charge of self-deception. That is, while the authors of the press release probably believed what they were saying, they were recklessly deficient in ensuring its truth. Either way, it is a matter of the utmost gravity that this question should ever arise, especially as it is not the first time.5 We owe it to the general public, to our paymasters and to our patients to ensure that everything we say about drugs and treatment is true, not just a self-serving, highly selective reading of the evidence. Regardless of how embarrassing it may be, a thorough and open examination of these two matters is long overdue, i.e. the question of whether psychiatric drugs are all they are touted to be, and how it could be that a major professional body could be misled. If we do nothing, then the profession of psychiatry itself will be in grave danger. Overwhelmingly, this is a message psychiatrists don’t want to hear.


On May 12th, I received the following letter of rejection from the editor of the journal Australasian Psychiatry:


Dear Dr McLaren,

We thank you for your submission to the journal and regret that we cannot publish your paper on this occasion. Although this is a worthy topic of investigation, there is no methods section within your paper and it is assumed that you have reviewed the files of a single clinic. The results are influenced by subjectivity and recall bias.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Vlasios Brakoulias
Editor, Australasian Psychiatry

In an interview on their long-term study on antidepressants by Hengartner et al, the lead author said:

“…due to institutional corruption within academic psychiatry, it is quite difficult to successfully pass the review process with such papers. Most psychiatric experts reviewing for the leading scientific journals refuse peremptorily any report calling into question the merits of psychiatric drugs.”

I have previously published a critique of the psychiatric publishing industry that essentially concludes it is seriously corrupt.6 I submit that what we are seeing in this small case is a typical example of the almost-unconscious self-deceit that now characterises mainstream psychiatry. In the first place, the claim of the president of RANZCP, Dr Kym Jenkins, that psychiatrists “only ever” prescribe drugs after due discussion of pros and cons is not just empirically false, but laughably so. I will accept that, in rushing to complete the press release, it may have been the case that its author(s) took liberties with the claim, but when she restated her claim in her response to my complaint, she had my survey to hand. In the face of such evidence, it is impossible to claim that psychiatrists always do their duty by the patient and tell them about the side effects: here were dozens of cases, taken at random over the past six months, in one small practice, which categorically contradict her statement. I submit that any reasonably educated and fair-minded person could conclude that the president of the RANZCP, Dr Kym Jenkins, was at the very least recklessly deficient in her view of psychiatrists prescribing potent psychoactive substances.

Turning to the rejection advice issued over the name of a well-known academic, I agree my survey wasn’t perfect, that’s why it was subtitled “A Pilot Study,” but I will state flatly that I hope he didn’t expect me to believe his reasons because I don’t:

“One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool” (George Orwell, Notes on Nationalism, 1945).

I find his excuses totally disingenuous and meretricious. I am absolutely certain that if any of his academic friends or their acolytes had submitted a paper which lacked a methods section (actually, that’s not true: it was clearly described in the paper), then they would have received a friendly email pointing out their error and inviting them to correct it. However, it’s the bit about “subjectivity and recall bias” that grabs attention.

When I trained, admittedly a very long time ago, psychiatry was actually about subjectivity. That’s what mental life is, so I think it is entirely fair for patients to respond “subjectively” to how they are managed. I have another patient whose weight went (objectively) from 50kg to 103kg (106% gain), entirely by the well-known, objective effects of mirtazapine and quetiapine. Subjectively, she was severely pissed off and I believe she had a right to be. Objectively, it cost her a lot of money for new clothes; subjectively, it filled her with horror and her fragile self-esteem finally shuddered and expired. Objectively, when the drugs were stopped, she lost most of the weight but subjectively, she loathed the stretch marks it had given her. So when Dr Vlasios Brakoulias, senior lecturer in psychiatry at the Nepean Clinical School of Sydney University, says a perfectly objective paper, i.e. counting responses from patients, is too “subjective” for his journal, I dismiss his objection as just another example of what Hengartner called “institutional corruption within academic psychiatry.” It actually meets the definition of bullshit, given above, but the matter is far too serious for that label.

Turning to the question of “recall bias,” I will concede that, yes, human memory is a bit of a problem (especially at my age) but I do not doubt that the patients said what they believed to be true. If they said they were told nothing, then that is what they believed. If, as a matter of historical fact, they were told something else, that is, for the purposes of psychiatrists managing the mentally-disordered, just a signal that they need to lift their game. All that counts is that the patients have no recollection of being given adequate information on the side effects of their drugs. In any event, I submit that in this type of study, any recall bias will be self-correcting, meaning patients are just as likely to believe that something they read or heard somewhere must have come from the psychiatrist as they are to have forgotten what was said to them. The case of Mr TD confirms this.

Also not included in the quotes was a 46yo woman who developed very obvious and distressing tardive dyskinesia of the face and arms as a result of eight years of quetiapine (which she shouldn’t have been prescribed, but that’s another story). Was she warned about this terrible side effect? When I rechecked with her this week, she again said she wasn’t. From years of experience, I don’t have enough confidence in the quality of the case notes of the Queensland Mental Health Services to go back eight years and see if it was recorded that yes, she was given full product information on this drug. You can believe this: she wasn’t. So much for “recall bias.” It is one of those slippery labels that can be used to justify “inherent bias,” aka self-serving prejudice.

So where does this leave us? Are we going to trust what patients tell us or do we dismiss it as biased and subjective, self-serving whimpering? For myself, if I have to choose between trusting the honesty of my patients, or trusting the honesty of mainstream psychiatry, it’s a no-brainer. And my recent correspondence with two of the most senior officials of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists confirms to me that I have made the right choice.

Note 1: A Royal Commission is the highest level of enquiry in Australia, similar in powers and scope to the Mueller commission in the US. Each Commission is established by an Act of Parliament and has very extensive powers of investigation and subpoena, as well as punitive powers. The current Liberal government fought for years to block the Royal Commission into the banking and insurance industries; now that it is in session, we see why.

Show 6 footnotes

Previous articleCan Precision Medicine Work for Depression?
Next articleThe Impacts of Structural Stigma With Mark L. Hatzenbuehler

Niall McLaren
Jock McLaren is an Australian psychiatrist who worked 25yrs in the remote north of the country. He occupies himself delving into the philosophical basis of psychiatry, only to find there isn't one. This has not helped his popularity with his colleagues, now well into negative territory.

Thank You Dr McLaren and MIA.

Musical Interlude (Percussion Assault) Two Steps From Hell: Balls To The Wall

Describing this is daunting. It's very heavy on percussion, from one of the most important composers today.

If you like it, Please support by Buying it. This stuff doesn't grow on trees.

Album: Balls To The Wall Artist: Two Steps From Hell Support them! 
1)10000 Watts 0:00 
2)All Taikos Go To Hell 2:20 
3)Army Of Drummers 3:25 
4)Bait 5:25 
5)Balls To The Wall 7:00 
6)Bob The Bot 8:43 
7)Bunker Buster 10:03 
8)Charge! 11:46 
9)Concrete Collapsing 13:02 
10)Crescendo In Crash Minor 14:23 
11)Cutting The Wire 16:18 
12)Dead End 17:56 
13)Death Machines 18:58 
14)Dim The Lights 20:47 
15)Domo Arigato 24:42 
16)Eisenwolf 26:12 
17)Escalation 27:53 
18)Fight The Clock 29:40 
19)Flip The Switch 31:03 
20)Frogman Of Alcatraz 32:35 
21)Gamechanger 34:20 
22)Holdout 36:47 
23)Infected Cloud 38:41 
24)Is It Dead 40:41 
25)March Of Destruction 42:51 
26)Men Of Thunder 44:33 
27)Metzger From Hell 46:31 
28)Mind Crucher 48:11 
29)Missile Command 49:40 
30)Nuclear Sunrise 51:00 
31)Over My Dead Body 53:01 
32)Rise Of The Razors 55:23 
33)Robocode 56:55 
34)Tattoo Drum Corps 58:34 
35)The Hollywood Droid 1:01:37 
36)These Boots Are Made For Crushing 1:03:33 
37)Tribal Sacrifice 1:05:06 
38)Wave Of Steel 1:07:03 
39)We Are Fucked 1:08:52 
40)Where's Waldo 1:10:10

California To Offer Full Medical Coverage To Illegal Aliens

may 22, 2018

Another burden for the taxpayers.

Via Politico:

California is poised to become the first state in the nation to offer full health coverage to undocumented adults even as the Trump administration intensifies its crackdown by separating families at the border.

The proposal — which would build on Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2015 decision to extend health coverage to all children, regardless of immigration status — is one of the most daring examples yet of blue-state Democrats thumbing their nose at President Donald Trump as they pursue diametrically opposed policies, whether on immigration, climate change, legalized marijuana or health care.

“California has never waited for the federal government, or for a political climate, to be able to take leadership on a whole host of issues,” state Sen. Ricardo Lara, author of the state Senate bill to extend Medicaid coverage to all adults, told POLITICO.

But at a time when Trump is already attempting to re-energize state Republican voters — he met with California conservatives at the White House last week to strategize against the state’s sanctuary policies — the initiative might be risky. For starters, it will be costly: The annual price tag to expand Medicaid benefits to poor adult immigrants without legal status is projected at $3 billion annually. Some also worry that extending health coverage could make California a magnet for undocumented immigrants from other states.

“It would give Republicans relevance in California they would never have before,” said David McCuan, a political analyst and political science professor at Sonoma State University. He suggested the proposal would energize Republican voters, who make up a quarter of the electorate, as well as conservative-leaning unaffiliated voters.

Any meaningful opposition could slow the plan’s progress through the state Legislature despite its strong backing from Democrats, providers and advocates for the poor.

Keep reading…

Thank You WZ and Huck Funn

Sunday, May 20, 2018

EUGENICS WATCH: Pulling The Subsidy Plug On Planned Parenthood

washington examiner
May 20, 2018 12:00 AM

Whatever your feelings about abortion, there’s no reasonable argument that taxpayers should be forced to subsidize an abortion chain which already operates handsomely in the black with the help of thousands of millionaire celebrity donors.

President Trump’s action last week, barring Title X family planning funds from programs and facilities that perform abortions, is thus entirely right and reasonable. For all Planned Parenthood’s gnashing of teeth, the only thing to suffer will be its own profits and the rewards of its senior executives. The public good and women’s health will, at a minimum, remain completely unaffected and, depending on your perspective, will be improved.

Trump’s decision will not reduce Title X funding at all. Rather, his policy guarantees that the limited funds available from that source will go to comprehensive community health centers all over America that provide health services Planned Parenthood doesn’t offer. There are 20 such community health centers for every Planned Parenthood affiliate. Most provide services such as mammograms that Planned Parenthood doesn’t offer. Most are also not so heavily involved and invested in partisan politics.
Read More

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Boulder CO Hit With Lawsuit One Day After Passing Assault Weapons Ban

bearing arms
6:00 pm on May 17, 2018 by Tom Knighton

The city of Boulder, CO is often referred to by folks in Colorado as the People’s Republic of Boulder. It’s a liberal bastion in the state, one that is driving a lot of people absolutely insane with their anti-gun nonsense.

The latest example is their recent passage of an assault weapon ban.

Luckily, someone was ready for them.

The Mountain States Legal Foundation, a nonprofit public interest law firm based in Lakewood, Colorado, filed a legal challenge to Boulder’s new local regulations on firearms. The foundation named virtually the entire city government from the mayor and city manager to the city council and chief of police as defendants, arguing the ordinance violates not only the state and U.S. Constitution but also at least two Colorado statutes.

“This ban is tantamount to Boulder attempting to stop drunk driving by banning Subarus,” said Cody J. Wisniewski, an attorney with the firm. “It accomplishes nothing other than making criminals of law-abiding citizens.”

Boulder’s ban goes after virtually all semi-auto firearms in one form or another. Rifles capable of taking a detachable magazine holding 21 or more rounds, or a shotgun that can accommodate more than six shells, if they have a semi-auto action, are outlawed. A similar restriction applies to pistols or any gun that can be modified to meet the new definition. Bump stocks and detachable magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds are likewise banned. Local residents have until July 15 to remove the newly regulated arms and devices from town or apply for a certificate from the city to grandfather them.

The ordinance, contends the lawsuit, violates the Second, Fifth and 14th Amendments as well as Colorado preemption laws and prohibitions against maintaining a firearms registry.

“The West wasn’t won with a registered gun,” said William Perry Pendley, the foundation’s president. “Colorado is not California; these laws have no place here.”

The plaintiffs in the litigation include Boulder icon Jon Caldara, a well-known libertarian activist and radio host; the Boulder Rifle Club; area gun shop Bison Tactical; and University of Colorado Shooting Team member Tyler Faye.

Unfortunately, I see this having an uphill battle.

For one thing, despite Colorado having a preemption law in place, Boulder is what is known as a “home rule” community. Basically, it appears to mean they can completely circumvent state law on things like gun control. The courts have upheld home rule before, so I’d be surprised if that changes now.

As for the constitutional arguments, while I agree with them, I’m not so sure the courts will. Further, even if they do, I expect Boulder will fight it all the way up the chain. If Caldara is willing to as well, then that means it stops at the Supreme Court, the same court that’s been somewhat notorious about not accepting Second Amendment cases here lately.

Should that be the case here, that’s going to be whatever the last court found, and I’m not hopeful these days.

Still, it’s important that we fight like Caldara is doing. This is something communities should have to reckon with when they try to interfere with our constitutionally protected rights. They should have to consider the costs of not just enforcing these laws, but also of defending them to the courts time and time again.

It’s a warning. It’s telling places like Boulder that they can pass whatever laws they want, but they can’t expect gun owners to just take it on the chin.

Thank You Mr Knighton and Bearing Arms.