Thursday, May 31, 2018

Federal Agents Seized Nearly 1,000 Pounds of Narcotics and 9,000 Fentanyl Pills

Steve Birr Vice Reporter
4:45 PM 05/31/2018

Federal agents conducting drug investigations in Arizona recently seized nearly 1,000 pounds of narcotics and more than 9,000 fentanyl pills.

Officials with the Department of Interior’s Opioid Reduction Task Force conducted interdiction operations between May 15 and May 26 in Arizona. The investigations, which focused on drug trafficking on the Tohono O’odham and Gila River Indian reservations, resulted in 86 arrests, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Agents seized 9,050 counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, 48 pounds of methamphetamine, 1.2 pounds of heroin, 863 pounds of marijuana, a half pound of cocaine and roughly $30,000 in cash. The fentanyl pills, combined with the roughly 913.5 pounds of narcotics, carried an estimated street value of nearly $5 million.

“It’s heartbreaking to see the scale of the problem; and rather than further stigmatizing victims, we are cracking down on the dealers who are selling out our children, selling out our communities, and selling out our nation,” Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said in a statement Thursday. “These brave men and women are keeping the opioid dealers up at night, and with good reason; if you are trafficking these drugs, we will find you, arrest you, and bring you to justice.”

Large quantities of narcotics, particularly synthetic opioids like fentanyl, continue to infiltrate the U.S. due to the relentless efforts of traffickers. However, the Department of Justice, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is gaining ground against drug movers taking advantage of America’s opioid scourge.

Fentanyl seizures by Border Patrol agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection increased by 72 percent in 2017, a recent report from Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill shows. The number of overall opioid seizures nearly doubled from 579 pounds in 2013 to 1,135 pounds in 2017 — a reflection of the deteriorating addiction crisis in the U.S.

Fentanyl overtook heroin as the U.S.’s deadliest substance in 2016, claiming 19,413 lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under age 50, killing more than 64,000 people in 2016.

Thank You Mr Birr and the DC.

American Healthcare Workers Are Committing Suicide In Unprecedented Numbers

1: Patients need to Be Psychiatrized to prevent them from taking their own lives.

2: This life saving system itself is rife with people who do take their own lives.

3: The system doing the 'Life Saving Psychiatrizing' should be trusted and funded by government to interfere in other people's lives when it can't forecast/diagnose, intervene in, and save the lives of people it works with day in/day out, all day?

The Hill
By Dr. Vinita Parkash, opinion contributor — 05/31/18 06:30 AM EDT

As America focuses on one epidemic — the opioid crisis — another goes entirely ignored. American health-care workers are dying by suicide in unprecedented numbers. Earlier this month, a medical student and a resident at NYU medical school completed suicide less than a week apart.

My junior colleague took her life just 11 days before her 35th birthday. I had supervised her as she transitioned into practice from fellowship. She said that the way I said her name foretold if the conversation pointed to a weakness or a strength in her patient assessment. My last sight of her was as she drove off to her new job. Less than six months later, she made a life-ending choice.

A scan of her suicide note, asking that I be notified, was emailed to me. I did not show it to anyone. The news of her suicide was announced by an email in the department. We all went about our business, as if suicide by a young colleague is usual. And perhaps, in a way it is.

After all, physician suicide — and more broadly health-care worker suicide — is a huge issue in the U.S. In my own experience, I have lost six colleagues to suicide — five physicians and one physician assistant. That does not include the suicides that I have heard about through the whisper network at work.

My junior colleague was among an estimated 400 physicians who took their lives in 2016. Many physicians know more doctors than patients who have taken their lives. Physicians and nurses complete suicide more often than do average Americans; rates are even higher for women in both professions. Respect, fear and love for our colleagues often leads us to list the cause of death differently on death certificates. We frequently self-medicate, so suicides may instead be listed as accidental. Phrases to describe the scope like “an entire medical school class a year” or “a doctor a day” have particularly ominous meanings for physicians.

Read More

Thank You Dr Parkash and The Hill.

Where have we just recently seen this same Behavioral Toxicity from Government?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Suicide of Europe

Ben Shapiro
Posted: May 30, 2018 12:01 AM

On Friday, the British police arrested Tommy Robinson, founder and former leader of the English Defence League, a far-right anti-Islam group. Robinson is a controversial character, to be sure, a sort of Milo Yiannopoulos lite. His chief focus is on the threat of radical Islam, which he believes threatens the integrity of the British system.

You don't have to like Robinson. But whatever you think of him, his arrest is absurd by any measure. You see, Robinson was arrested for standing outside a court building and reporting on a trial involving the alleged grooming of young girls for sexual assault by radical Muslims.

Now, what would be illegal about that, you ask? It turns out that Robinson was given a suspended sentence last year for filming outside another court building, where a trial for alleged gang rape by radical Muslims was taking place. He wasn't inside the courtroom. Nonetheless, the judge believed he was somehow biasing the jurors. According to the judge, Robinson was sentenced thanks to "pejorative language which prejudges the case, and it is language and reporting ... that could have had the effect of substantially derailing the trial."

This time, Robinson was again arrested for prejudicing a case, only he wasn't inside the court building. He was outside. And the media were originally banned from reporting on his arrest so that his trial wouldn't be biased. In other words, Britain has now effectively banned reporting that actually mentions the Islamic nature of criminal defendants for fear of stirring up bigotry -- and has banned reporting on reporting on such defendants. It's an infinite regress of suicidal political correctness.

But at least the Europeans have their priorities straight: While it's perfectly legal to lock up a provocateur covering a trial involving Muslims, the European Union is now considering a ban on products like cotton buds, straws and other plastics for fear of marine litter. And just as importantly, it's now perfectly legal to kill unborn children again in Ireland, where voters -- with the help of a cheering press -- decided to lift the ban on abortions until the 20th week, condemning thousands of children to death.

This is how the West dies: with a tut-tut, not with a bang. The same civilization that sees it as a fundamental right to kill a child in the womb thinks it is utterly out of bounds to film outside a trial involving the abuse of children, so long as the defendants are radical Muslims. The Europeans have elevated the right to not be offended above the right to life; they've elevated the right to not be offended above the right to free speech, all in the name of some utopian vision of a society without standards.

Discarding those standards was supposed to make Europeans more free; it was supposed to allow Europeans to feel more comfortable. But the sad truth is that no society exists without certain standards and Europe has a new standard: enforcement of its "tolerance" via jail sentence, combined with tolerance of multiculturalism that sees tolerance itself as a Trojan horse. The notion of individual rights sprang from European soil. Now they're beginning to die there.

Thank You Mr Shapiro and Townhall.

Actually, as loath as we are to disagree with Mr Shapiro, IF, he's referring to the misconception that the Magna Carta is the source of the Rights of the Individual, . . . . he's wrong.

The Rights of the Individual codified here were much farther reaching than those of the Magna Carta, over 1,000 years ago:

at Althing in Iceland.

Those laws sprang from earlier Laws in earlier Scandinavia. 

And half of the British Isles were under the Dane Law for 3 Centuries. 

Viking Age Iceland, Privatization Run Amok or Libertarian Paradise?
If you didn't like the services your Chieftain charged you a nominal fee to provide, you could contract with another Chieftain on the other side of the island to do a better job for you, without having to move there.

Imagine how much better service we'd get today from government if we could simply tell government at every level, each and everyone of us on an individual basis, we can and will do something about you.

You're Fired.


Privatization, Viking Style: Model or Misfortune?

By Roderick T. Long

If you want to read the actual laws:
These volumes are expensive. No two ways about it.

So you might ask your local Library to borrow them for you from another branch within your State. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Incredible Ceremony Honoring ALL Who Have Served, Even Those Veterans With No Family To Mourn For Them

Fox News
Kevin Ferris | Fox News


It’s the last Thursday of the month. By 1:30 p.m. on this blue sky April afternoon, the faithful are lining up behind the administration building of the Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Bucks County, Pa.

“Here for the ‘Unattended’?” one man asks another.

“Unattended” is shorthand for an act of grace on the part of the cemetery’s staff, its volunteers, and hundreds of other supporters. At 2 o’clock on the last Thursday of every month this group stands in as family for vets whose memorial services would otherwise go unattended, ensuring that all due honors are received. “It’s something that’s got to be done,” one man says.

Continue Reading

Thank You one and ALL.

What Does Memorial Day Look Like When The War Never Ends?



Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

What does Memorial Day mean in an age of endless war?

The era of wars that began and concluded neatly, with declarations, speeches, rules, objectives, deciding battles and signed peace accords, ended before the oldest active duty soldier serving today was born.

The men and women who fight and die, leaving their families never knowing if they will return, and in what form, serve not in wars, but endless police actions, peacekeeping missions, terrorist pursuits and nation building exercises with names that sound like obscure action movies, New Dawn, Inherent Resolve, Freedom’s Sentinel, that will never have a final ending, only another generic name.

Obama ended the Iraq War twice. It’s still ongoing. And likely will for all of human history.

We didn’t begin the Iraq War. Arguably Mohammed and the Sassanids did. Over 1,300 years later, the Persians and the rulers of Mecca and Medina are still fighting over Bahrain. When we left, it went on without us. And the Sunnis and Shiites, Mecca, Medina and Tehran, will go on fighting no matter what.

Civilized nations fight wars. And the places where we fight are not civilized, though they may have flags, anthems and constitutions. They’re murderous tribal wastelands torn by perpetual hatreds and feuds.

The Islamic resurgence has placed us in a state of permanent war. We may debate over which fronts that war should be fought on, but only the left can deny that the conflict itself is inescapable. We may fight it in Iraq or in New York, in Syria or in Sweden, the front lines may shift, but the war won’t go away.

And yet, paradoxically, this form of fighting takes us back to the origins of our military.

The heritage of the US Army goes back to the provincial regiments that fought in colonial territorial disputes with the French and defended the colonies against Indian raids. The Marine Corps shone at Tripoli in the Barbary Wars. Like the battles that their spiritual successors are called upon to fight today, these were conflicts with tribal raiders, bandits and territorial conflicts with no clear conclusion.

If you think the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are endless, the Indian wars arguably went on for 300 years.

We define our history by the definitive wars against European nations with definitive victories. The great cataclysmic world wars convinced us that our conflicts would get bigger and more explosive.

Instead we have returned to civilizational warfare. We no longer fight nations, but tribes. The wars are low intensity, but never go away. The weapons are primitive, but the goal of the attackers is to destroy our morale by inflicting psychological trauma, terrorizing us with barbaric atrocities, to defeat us.

Our military is still adapting its techniques and technology to this old/new way of war. But as a society we must also adapt the way we honor our troops and respect their sacrifices. Memorial Day was born out of the reconciliations between North and South after the Civil War. But we cannot look either to wars won or reconciliations achieved. We must honor the soldiers of a war that may never end.

The volunteer army has isolated entire cultural swathes of the country not only from military service, but from its realities, its virtues and its sacrifices. Paradoxically this too takes us back in time to an era when the wealthy could pay others to take their place in a regiment. But military service was always part of American life. The sacrifices of service and the nature of duty were widely understood.

The polarizing anthem protests reveal once again a divide between the parts of the country that understand military service and those that don’t. It is impossible to sustain patriotic communities without service. Those communities that do not serve in the military will instead take service in various causes, from political activism to gangs, as a substitute for what military service offers young men.

The war we are in is no longer a temporary emergency. And the military has been badly damaged by both the strains of recruitment in the previous decade and the social experiments of this decade.

To truly honor the sacrifices of those who fell in battle, we must set service at the heart of our society.

We are once again fighting wars in which everyone is on the front line. Whether as a soldier flying over Syria or the commuter on a bus targeted by a terrorist, we are all under fire. As we debate the Second Amendment, the role of militias and an armed populace are becoming more relevant than ever. And we must adapt both the military and the civilian populations to a definition of war that is both new and old.

Every terrorist attack erodes the distinction between the front line and the home front. And yet our language and understanding have been slow to adapt. The soldiers wounded in the Fort Hood attack had to struggle for their recognition against a tide of bureaucracy and political correctness. Arming soldiers in recruitment centers, like those shot and killed in the Chattanooga attacks, was another uphill battle. The National Guard has been sent to the border, but their hands have been mostly tied.

When we segregate the home front from the front line, we not only fail to grasp the nature and scope of the war we are fighting, but we also segregate the men and women who serve from everyone else.

The central principle of the militia was that everyone was at risk and so everyone was obligated to serve.

Not everyone ought to serve in the military, but everyone ought to understand the responsibility of that service and have a role in defending their community in even the smallest possible way. Every passenger who boards a plane is informed of his or her responsibility in the event of trouble. But when he lands, he walks off the plane with little idea of what he can do in the event that his country is under attack.

After 9/11, Americans were told to go shopping. They’re still shopping, and being targeted in malls.

In an age of endless war, the best way to honor those who take on the responsibility of that great service is to share their burden. There are important charities that help veterans. And it is always a good thing to thank those who serve for their service. But as a society, we must do more than thank, we must rebuild a society in which protecting the country is not only the duty of the fourth son of a poor family, but the duty of every single American. And in which it is what qualifies you to be an American.

That society will not be born overnight. But it is a society whose existence is intimately tied to our national survival. And it is a society worth fighting for.

The colonies and colonists prevailed against impossible odds to build the greatest nation in the world through a shared sense of solidarity, duty and sacrifice. America cannot expect to prevail through a civilizational war that may last centuries by expecting only a few percent of its population to take on that solidarity, that duty and those sacrifices. If we go on that way, we will not survive. And the sacrifices of those who fell in defense of the nation throughout the centuries will have been made in vain.

This Memorial Day, let us not only remember the sacrifices of the dead, but their sense of duty.

Thank You, to those to whom we owe everything.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

NAVY Seal Who Shot bin Laden; "Don't Wish Me A Happy Memorial Day"

Via FOX News:

Don’t wish me a happy Memorial Day. There is nothing happy about the loss of the brave men and women of our armed forces who died in combat defending America. Memorial Day is not a celebration.

Memorial Day is a time for reflection, pause, remembrance and thanksgiving for patriots who gave up their own lives to protect the lives and freedom of us all – including the freedom of generations long gone and generations yet unborn. We owe the fallen a debt so enormous that it can never be repaid.

Memorial Day is a time to honor the lives of those who would rather die than take a knee when our national anthem is played. But they will fight and die for the rights of those who kneel.

This holiday is a time to think of young lives cut short, of wives and husbands turned into widows and widowers, of children growing up without a father or mother, of parents burying their children.

Memorial Day is a time to think of might have beens that never were. Of brave Americans who put their country before themselves. Without these heroes, America would not be America.

Unfortunately, for many Americans this solemn holiday might as well be called Summer Day – marking the unofficial start of the season of barbecues, days at the beach, time spent on baseball fields and golf courses, hiking and enjoying the great the outdoors. All those things are great – we all appreciate them and they are some of the best things in life.

But Memorial Day is not Summer Day. Nor was the holiday created as a way to promote sales of cars, furniture or clothes.

Another Memorial Day brings with it a whole lot more than the start of summer. Since last Memorial Day, grass is now growing above the final resting places of many young men and women whose lives were taken too soon while defending our country in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other far-off places many Americans have rarely heard of.

When Army Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright were killed last October in an ISIS ambush in Niger, many Americans asked: We have troops in Niger? These unknown soldiers lost their lives protecting you – every one of you reading these words.

Think about this: Millions of high-school seniors are walking across auditorium stages this season, receiving their diplomas. Most will go on to college or jobs, but some will choose a career of military service, joining the second generation of American warriors fighting in the Global War on Terror – a war that began with the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that took the lives of almost 3,000 people in our homeland.

Keep reading…

Thank you Robert O'Neill, Fox, and WZ.

Dangerous Times For The Constitution and Freedom

Bruce Thornton May 23 2018

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

While We the People distract ourselves with porn stars and royal weddings, the cracks in our Constitutional order continue to multiply and widen.

Evidence continues to mount that a sitting president, Barack Obama, colluded in using the nation’s security and surveillance apparatus to subvert the campaign and then presidency of a legitimately elected candidate and president. This effort consisted of numerous illegalities: a mole planted in Donald Trump’s campaign; a FISA warrant granted on the basis of false opposition research paid for by his rival; the outgoing president’s expansion of the number of people allowed to unmask the identity of Americans mentioned in passing during surveillance; a rogue FBI director, James Comey, who illegally usurped prosecutorial powers to exonerate a felonious Hillary Clinton; and other FBI agents colluding in the plot to damage Trump. And don’t forget a Deputy Attorney General appointing the close friend of the fired and disgraced Comey as a special counsel to investigate the non-crime of “collusion,” an investigation that has gone on for a year with nothing to show but a handful of indictments resulting from dubious perjury traps.

To quote Bob Dole, “Where’s the outrage” at these attacks on the Constitution?

Outrage is surely warranted. These assaults on the rule of law and accountability to the people are akin to the catalogue of “repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States,” published in the Declaration of Independence. Yet our “watch-dog” media in the main have become the publicists for this attack on the foundations of our freedom, as they flack for the political party that long has resented the limitation of power enshrined in the Constitution. Only a few Cassandras, notably FOX News’ Sean Hannity, are trying to alert the citizenry to the coming conflagration that if unchecked could leave the architecture of our freedom in smoking ruins.

In fact, what we are witnessing in the deep-state Democrats’ undermining of divided government, check and balances, and government accountability, is the culmination of a process begun over a century ago. Addled by the false knowledge of scientism and secularism in the 19th century, the progressives took aim at what they scorned as the archaic political structures based on the permanence of a flawed human nature’s susceptibility to corruption by power. Divided and balanced power, the progressives argued, is inefficient and incapable of solving the new conditions and problems created by industrialization and modern technology.

Instead, power must be concentrated, centralized, and expanded. The deliberations and votes of citizens in their towns, counties, and states must give way to the technocrats housed in bureaus and agencies, and trained in the latest discoveries and techniques of the “human sciences.” In 1925, Progressive publicist Herbert Croly expressed this hubristic and question-begging optimism for a “better future” that “would derive from the beneficent activities of expert social engineers who would bring to the service of social ideals all the technical resources which research could discover.” All they needed was the power and authority to create and apply the mechanisms of this new knowledge.

First, though, the Constitution’s antique structures must be altered. This “increased amount of centralized actions and responsibility” required, as progressive historian Charles Beard wrote in 1913, the discarding of the “strong, almost dominant, tendency to regard the existing Constitution with superstitious awe, and to shrink with horror from modifying it even in the smallest detail.” And it required discarding as well the notion of “inalienable” rights that precede government and lie beyond its power, a belief that Beard called “obsolete and indefensible.” Rights can be created by government in order to suit its own ideological and political aims, as FDR promised in his 1944 “Second Bill of Rights,” which expanded rights to include health care, recreation, and a good job, to name just a few of the gifts government would bestow on the people.

So given this long history, why are we surprised that today many of us believe we have a right not to have our feelings hurt, our opinions contradicted, or our sensibilities wounded even by statements of fact? Or that calls for weakening the Bill of Rights, particularly the First and Second Amendments, are made openly and taken seriously by substantial numbers of people? Or that agents of the government armed with all its coercive powers can violate our privacy and command our participation in politicized “investigations” that ruin our reputation and drive us to bankruptcy? Or that petty clerks across the land can force their way into our homes, businesses, schools, and churches in order to impose their visions of “social justice”?

Today we live in the world the progressives created, and that too many so-called conservatives have endorsed and enabled. The deep-state technocratic apparatus has encroached ever more deeply into citizen autonomy and freedom. Its millions of faceless, nameless functionaries are insulated from accountability to the citizens. Even when their politicized debasement of their responsibilities become known, they escape accountability and punishment, as have the IRS’s Lois Lerner and her enabling boss John Koskinen, disgraced FBI director James Comey, deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, and of course most egregiously, quondam Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who endangered classified materials on her rogue server, and turned the State Department into the bait for attracting donations to her private foundation.

The result has been a serious erosion of the bedrock principles of equality under the law, and accountability to the sovereign people––violations whose scope and gravity have become more obvious and numerous.

But we shouldn’t be surprised. Over the decades the preconditions of today’s excesses have multiplied and become more accepted. Few of us question any longer the deep state of unelected bureaucrats, a surveillance regime empowered to run wild through our private lives, the unholy alliance between big government and big business, and government agencies usurping the power to direct and manage our lives and our opinions. We now take for granted that government should expropriate wealth and redistribute it to political favorites, the very activity that political philosophers from Athens to our own Constitutional Convention warned is the modus operandi of the tyrant. We shrug off the abuses of power that currently are manifest in the machinations of the previous administration to empower its chosen successor, and the skullduggery of its minions still infesting agencies like the DOJ and the FBI.

In short, we have accepted the progressive “fundamental transformation” of the government’s role from protecting our freedom to “solving problems” that, with few exceptions like war, a free people are supposed to solve themselves through families, civil society, and city and state governments. We have been seduced by the promise of freedom without that responsibility and the accountability that make our choices potentially tragic. And now we see the federal leviathan rampaging in our most powerful agencies, and we are surprised? As the Founders were wont to say, “power is of an encroaching nature.” No human being or human institution is immune from the temptations of power, or satisfied with whatever power has been obtained. We are witnessing the truth of this wisdom right now, as criminals run free, the innocent are hounded, federal agencies are emboldened to defy the representatives of the sovereign people, and a special counsel is unrestrained by any limits on the scope of his power, even as those like Representative Devin Nunes––who is fighting against this cardinal sin of allowing or even enabling power to burst through its Constitutional restraints––are slandered and demonized.

For a century, progressives have been undermining the Constitution as they seek to expand and concentrate government power at the cost of freedom. Their rage at Donald Trump in part reflects their disappointment at seeing the success of Obama in accelerating their achievement of their goal thwarted by a blunt-talking indecorous outsider. Now they have called on all their deep-state powers to destroy the usurper who has snatched from them the victory Hillary Clinton promised to consummate.

This continuing scandal of government agencies corrupting their Constitutionally delegated powers is one of the most important threats to ordered liberty at least since World War II, one far more dangerous than the farcical cover-up of a two-bit robbery that was the Watergate scandal. If we allow those guilty of abusing the power of the state for partisan gain to get away with it, we will embolden even more enemies of freedom to do the same as soon as they get the opportunity. It is up to we the people to demand that Mueller’s inquisition come to an end, and that the true miscreants who have abused their power be investigated, indicted, tried, and punished. Only then will the fabric of the Constitution begin to be restored, and our freedom rearmored.

Thank You Mr Thornton and FPM.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Voter Turnout In Texas Democrat Gubernatorial Race Hasn't Been This Low In Nearly 100 Years


The Tidy Bowl Man is leading the blue wave.

Via Texas Tribune:

A tiny fraction of Texas registered voters had an outsized impact on the May 22 runoffs. Here’s a look at what you need to know about Tuesday night’s election returns — and what they mean for the November general election:
Democrat Lupe Valdez will take on Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in November.

Lupe Valdez has made history. Some 14 years ago, the liberal, gay Latina set her sights on an unlikely goal: Dallas County sheriff. Now, she’ll take on an even bigger challenge — running against the popular incumbent Republican governor.

Valdez officially accepted her party’s nomination Tuesday night, narrowly defeating Andrew White with around 52 percent of the vote. But she faces an uphill battle against Abbott, who touts a high approval rating and a $41 million war chest in an ultraconservative state.
Democratic voters made some history of their own. And it wasn’t pretty.

As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, just 415,000 Democrats had cast ballots in the gubernatorial runoff. For reference, that’s a decline of almost 60 percent from the 1 million Texans who cast ballots in the March Democratic primary.

That’s the largest primary-to-runoff decline — and the smallest number of ballots cast — in the 14 Democratic gubernatorial primary runoffs held since 1920. That year, 449,000 Democrats voted, according to Texas Election Source’s analysis of Texas State Historical Association data.

Keep reading…

HT: Daily Timewaster

Thank You Dapandico and WZ. 

"The Tidy Bowl Man is leading the blue wave."

With national leadership like Pelosi, how ever could this have happened?

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Study Links Some Antidepressants, Bipolar Meds, Parkinsons Drugs To Dementia

CBS SF Bay Area
May 23, 2018 at 11:55 pm
Filed Under:Anticholinergics, Dementia

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — New research is raising important questions as to whether certain widely-prescribed drugs may be linked to dementia.

Globally, 50 million people are living with dementia, and it’s predicted to increase around the world to 132 million by 2050.

Doctors and public health experts realize that countries need to develop preventive health policies to reduce the neurodegenerative condition.

Read More

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

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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.