Monthly Archives: March 2008

Say I am you


I am dust particles in sunlight.
I am the round sun.

To the bits of dust I say, Stay.
To the sun, Keep moving.

I am morning mist,
and the breathing of evening.
I am wind in the top of a grove,
and surf on the cliff.

Mast, rudder, helmsman, and keel,
I am also the coral reef they founder on.

I am a tree with a trained parrot in its branches.
Silence, thought, and voice.

The musical air coming through a flute,
a spark of stone, a flickering in metal.
Both candle and the moth crazy around it.
Rose, and the nightingale lost in the fragrance.

I am all orders of being, the circling galaxy,
the evolutionary intelligence, the lift, and the falling away.

What is, and what isn’t.

You who know, Jelaluddin,
You the one in all, say who I am.
Say I am you.

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Just pictures

From my son’s blog- Better Bees than Bears

From Better Bees than Bears

Click this one for full size (1st page of 13- if you want the whole thing, just ask)

1st part (of 13) of Rubik’s solution


TV Still Life


Have you seen this owl?

Have you seen this owl?

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Forced Electroshock in Oregon + other stuff

Reprinted from OCSC:

Hi MindFreedom Oregon TALK list:

I asked for and receive statistics about State of Oregon electroshock
(that is, electroshock by State of Oregon “Hospital”).

Definitely, at least one individual received electroshock over their
expressed wishes, using involuntary electroshock.

What suggestions do you have for us to all do something about that?

Below is e-mail I received (in addition to the involuntary shock…
two are considered ‘voluntary’ though they received via guardian).


Date: March 6, 2008 12:30:53 PM PST
Subject: SPAM-LOW: Information on Electro-Convulsive Shock Therapy


The following are ECT statistics for calendar year 2007 and 2008 to

3 voluntary consents for ECT; 1 by patient and 2 by guardian
1 involuntary ECT plus 2 who had override consents but did not
receive ETC.
All ECT sessions are conducted by and at OHSU.
Maynard E. Hammer
Deputy Superintendent
Oregon State Hospital
Oregon Department of Human Services
Fax: 503-945-9429
Bob Nikkel, MSW
Assistant Director, DHS
Addictions and Mental Health Division (AMH)
500 Summer St NE, E-86
Salem, OR 97301-1118
fax: 503-373-7327

Also,if you want, see and listen to the latest news conference by the Dalai Lama regarding the current uprising in Tibet:

And a silly animated gif:



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I went to collage



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Causes of Poverty- reprinted- url below

Causes of Poverty

  • by Anup Shah
  • This Page Last Updated Tuesday, March 04, 2008
  • Half the world — nearly three billion people — live on less than two dollars a day.
  • The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (567 million people) is less than the wealth of the world’s 7 richest people combined.
  • Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
  • Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.
  • 1 billion children live in poverty (1 in 2 children in the world). 640 million live without adequate shelter, 400 million have no access to safe water, 270 million have no access to health services. 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (or roughly 29,000 children per day).

More Facts (and Sources) »

Poverty is the state for the majority of the world’s people and nations. Why is this? Is it enough to blame poor people for their own predicament? Have they been lazy, made poor decisions, and been solely responsible for their plight? What about their governments? Have they pursued policies that actually harm successful development? Such causes of poverty and inequality are no doubt real. But deeper and more global causes of poverty are often less discussed.

Behind the increasing interconnectedness promised by globalization are global decisions, policies, and practices. These are typically influenced, driven, or formulated by the rich and powerful. These can be leaders of rich countries or other global actors such as multinational corporations, institutions, and influential people.

In the face of such enormous external influence, the governments of poor nations and their people are often powerless. As a result, in the global context, a few get wealthy while the majority struggle.

These next few articles and sections explore various poverty issues in more depth:

Structural Adjustment—a Major Cause of Poverty

Cutbacks in health, education and other vital social services around the world have resulted from structural adjustment policies prescribed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank as conditions for loans and repayment. In addition, developing nation governments are required to open their economies to compete with each other and with more powerful and established industrialized nations. To attract investment, poor countries enter a spiraling race to the bottom to see who can provide lower standards, reduced wages and cheaper resources. This has increased poverty and inequality for most people. It also forms a backbone to what we today call globalization. As a result, it maintains the historic unequal rules of trade. Last updated Monday, July 02, 2007.

Read article: Structural Adjustment—a Major Cause of Poverty

Poverty Around The World

Inequality is increasing around the world while the world appears to globalize. Even the wealthiest nation has the largest gap between rich and poor compared to other developed nations. In many cases, international politics and various interests have led to a diversion of available resources from domestic needs to western markets. Historically, politics and power play by the elite leaders and rulers have increased poverty and dependency. These have often manifested themselves in wars, hot and cold, which have often been trade- and resource-related. Mercantilist practices, while presented as free trade, still happen today. Poverty is therefore not just an economic issue, it is also an issue of political economics. Last updated Thursday, February 15, 2007.

Read article: Poverty Around The World

Today, over 26,500 children died around the world

Around the world, 27–30,000 children die every day. That is equivalent to 1 child dying every 3 seconds, 20 children dying every minute, a 2004 Asian Tsunami occurring almost every week, or 10–11 million children dying every year. Over 50 million children died between 2000 and 2005. The silent killers are poverty, easily preventable diseases and illnesses, and other related causes. In spite of the scale of this daily/ongoing catastrophe, it rarely manages to achieve, much less sustain, prime-time, headline coverage. Last updated Thursday, January 31, 2008.

Read article: Today, over 26,500 children died around the world

Economic Democracy

This next page is a reposting of a flyer about a new book from J.W. Smith and the Institute for Economic Democracy, whom I thank for their kind permission. The book is called Economic Democracy: The Political Struggle Of The 21st Century. Typically on this site, I do not advertise books etc, (although I will cite from and link to some, where relevant). However, in this case, I found that the text in the flyer provides an excellent summary of poverty’s historic roots, as well as of the multitude of issues that cause poverty. (Please also note that I do not make any proceeds from the sale of this book in any way.) Posted Sunday, November 26, 2000.

Read article: Economic Democracy

World Hunger and Poverty

People are hungry not because of lack of availability of food, or “over” population, but because they are too poor to afford the food. Politics and economic conditions have led to poverty and dependency around the world. Addressing world hunger therefore implies addressing world poverty as well. If food production is further increased and provided to more people while the underlying causes of poverty are not addressed, hunger will still continue because people will not be able to purchase food. Last updated Thursday, February 15, 2007.

Read article: World Hunger and Poverty

Food Dumping [Aid] Maintains Poverty

Even non-emergency food aid, which seems a noble cause, is destructive, as it under-sells local farmers and can ultimately affect the entire economy of a poor nation. If the poorer nations are not given the sufficient means to produce their own food and other items then poverty and dependency may continue. In this section you will also find a chapter from the book World Hunger: 12 Myths, by Lappé et al., which describes the situation in detail and looks at the myth that food aid helps the hungry. A must read! Last updated Monday, December 10, 2007.

Read article: Food Dumping [Aid] Maintains Poverty


We often hear leaders from rich countries telling poor countries that aid and loans will only be given when they show they are stamping out corruption. While that definitely needs to happen, the rich countries themselves are often active in the largest forms of corruption in those poor countries, and many economic policies they prescribe have exacerbated the problem. Corruption in developing countries definitely must be high on the priority lists, but so too must it be on the priority lists of rich countries. Last updated Sunday, September 23, 2007.

Read article: Corruption

United Nations World Summit 2005

The UN World Summit for September 2005 is supposed to review progress since the Millennium Declaration, adopted by all Member States in 2000. However, the US has proposed enormous changes to an outcome document that is to be signed by all members. There are changes on almost all accounts, including striking any mention of the Millennium Development Goals, that aim for example, to halve poverty and world hunger by 2015. This has led to concerns that the outcome document will be weakened. Developing countries are also worried about stronger text on human rights and about giving the UN Security Council more powers. Last updated Sunday, September 18, 2005.

Read article: United Nations World Summit 2005

IMF & World Bank Protests, Washington D.C.

To complement the public protests in Seattle, the week leading up to April 16th/17th 2000 saw the other two global institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, as the focus of renewed protests and criticisms in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the mass demonstrations was to protest against the current form of globalization, which is seen as unaccountable, corporate-led, and non-democratic, and to show the link between poverty and the various policies of the IMF and the World Bank. Last updated Friday, July 13, 2001.

Read article: IMF & World Bank Protests, Washington D.C.

Poverty Facts and Stats

While the world is globalizing and the mainstream media in many developed nations point out that economies are booming (or, in periods of downturns, that the current forms of “development” and economic policies are the only ways for people to prosper), there is an increasing number of poor people who are missing out on this apparent boom, while increasingly fewer people are becoming far wealthier. Some of these facts and figures are an eye-opener, to say the least. Last updated Tuesday, March 04, 2008.

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Size Matters

Sometimes it’s big


Sometimes small


Always immense


Every once in a while it’s Julia Fractal Zoom


It is always just what it is



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From the Eugene Register Guard

_The Register-Guard_, Eugene, Oregon, USA

16 March 2008 – Commentary – Guest Viewpoint

Antipsychotic drugs are doing harm

By Chuck Areford

[It is essential to note at the outset that suddenly stopping or
reducing psychiatric medications can be hazardous. Adjustments in
medication are best done under the supervision of a medical

In the early 1990s, a new class of drugs promised to revolutionize
the treatment of schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Known as
atypical antipsychotics, drugs such as Clozaril, Zyprexa and
Risperdal largely replaced older medications such as Thorazine,
Haldol and Prolixin. Research and advertising sponsored by the
pharmaceutical industry led to the widespread belief that the newer
medications were indisputably safer, more effective and well worth
additional billions of dollars in taxpayer money. Pharmaceutical
profits soared.

Since then, the life expectancy of those treated in community mental
health centers has plunged to an appalling 25 years less than
average. Life expectancy may have fallen by as much as 15 years since
1986. Indications are that the death rate continues to accelerate in
what must be ranked as one of the worst public health disasters in
U.S. history.

The toxicity of antipsychotic medications, also known as
neuroleptics, is thoroughly documented. Atypical antipsychotics
initially seemed less hazardous because they produce fewer movement
disorders. We now know that the newer drugs lead to more
cardiovascular disease, which is by far the leading killer of those
in the public mental health system.

People who need mental health services already suffer from high rates
of cigarette smoking, lack of exercise, substance abuse, poor
nutrition, homelessness and poor access to health care. Adding
medications pours gasoline on a fire. This lethal combination is
almost certainly driving the spiraling death rate.

Advances in brain imaging techniques show that antipsychotic
medications cause brain damage. Animal and human studies link the
drugs to shrinkage of the cerebral cortex, home to the higher
functions. One study of monkeys given either older or newer
neuroleptic medication in doses equivalent to those given humans
showed an 11 percent to 15 percent shrinkage of the left parietal
lobe. Drugs that cause brain damage almost invariably reduce life

Marketing campaigns for atypical antipsychotic drugs target new
groups of patients, including the elderly and children. Public
television recently reported that as many as 1 million children have
been newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and thus may receive
neuroleptic medication. This does not include children treated with
antipsychotics for other disorders.

The damage to developing brains cannot be overemphasized. Years ago,
the Soviet Union was condemned for giving neuroleptic medication to
political dissidents. We now are giving a more lethal form of this
medication to our children. Where is the outcry?

Recent studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and
elsewhere demonstrate that the newer drugs are no more effective than
the older ones in reducing psychotic symptoms. Patients stop taking
the new drugs at the same high rate as the old ones because they do
not like the way the drugs affect their lives.

While medications are effective in relieving symptoms in the short
run, research indicates that people suffering from psychosis recover
more quickly and completely without medication. Incredibly, one study
showed that those not taking medications had eight times the recovery
rate of those who remained medicated. Research in Finland shows that
immediate psychosocial interventions achieve far better results than
those in this country. It simply makes sense that people recover
better when not treated with medication that causes brain damage and
shortens their lives.

Yet professionals and the public widely believe that it is unethical
to treat serious mental disorders without antipsychotic medication.
The reasons for this are complex, but foremost is the enormous
profitability of the pharmaceutical industry. In the early 1990s, the
top 10 drug companies earned more profit than all the other Fortune
500 companies combined. The sheer volume of money corrupts medical
research, and misinformation is fed to professionals, clients and the

The deplorable conditions at the Oregon State Hospital are,
unfortunately, just one more indication of the failure of psychiatry
as a whole. I know many of the psychiatric professionals in Lane
County, and they are intelligent and compassionate people who want
the best for their clients. There will always be a place for
medication in the treatment of emotional disorders, yet there must be
public acknowledgement that the long-term use of antipsychotic
medication, particularly the atypicals, is a costly mistake. Silence
truly equals death.

The Oregon Department of Addictions and Mental Health has the
responsibility to confront the terrible inadequacies of the current
system and to fund the development of alternatives. We owe this to
the taxpayers, to society and especially to those who suffer from
mental illness.


Chuck Areford of Eugene has worked in the public mental health system
for the past 25 years.

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Tomorrow is my birthday.

Today I was in a meeting with a roomful of people with from state government, colleges, think-tanks etc. I’m on the executive committee for the state Behavioral Healthcare Workforce Development Task-force. One of the proposals discussed was to dismantle the committee. I don’t think it will dismantle, though, but may evolve instead.

Simplified bird’s eye rundown- Reason for dismantling: It hasn’t accomplished anything. Reason to keep it: it hasn’t accomplished anything.

Big problem: people entering the workforce as MSW’s etc. are unprepared for the work asked of them in the community. Turnover is ridiculously high. These things are getting worse. There is a need for people to come together with some vision to change the direction things are going.

This is our current draft mission statement:

Addiction and Mental Health Division (AHM) Behavioral Health Workforce Development (BHWD)

Revised Mission Statement

In order to assure that every Oregonian with a mental or substance use disorder has the necessary support to be in recovery, we must have a behavioral health workforce that is consistently prepared to implement evidence-based practices (EBPs), practices informed by indigenous knowledge and interventions consistent with a multi-faceted definition of recovery.

To realize such a vision we need to create or coordinate with a sustainable entity that brings together consumers and families, executive level personnel from behavioral health preparation sites, recovery agencies and prevention programs, and government institutions, to provide ongoing leadership that promotes integration and alignment of science (EBPs), consumer and family choice, workforce development, cultural appropriateness, and state policy.

To that end, the Behavioral Health Workforce Development (BHWD) Committee will plan and implement strategies to meet the following objectives:

Career Development for People in Recovery

1. Significantly expand the role of individuals in recovery.

2. Design and develop career pathways for people recovering from mental illness and family members.

Professional Development and Retention

1. Service providers and academic settings must work together to stay current with issues in service and be active in exchanging knowledge.

2. Clinicians, clinical supervisors and managers must demonstrate their mastery of competencies related to recovery, staff development and agency administration.

3. Staff retention strategies must be implemented and sustained system wide including clinical supervision, coaching and mentoring.

4. Well-articulated career ladders must be established, articulated and sustained, including management and leadership skills.

Graduate Behavioral Health Workforce Training

Undergraduate, graduate and residency programs will prepare students to practice in contemporary service environments using EBPs (Evidence Based Practices) of consumer choice with the goal of initiating, enhancing and sustaining recovery.

Meanwhile the state is spending a bazillion dollars on 2 new Psych Hospitals- with nothing set aside to implement effective community programs.


Oh, and don’t even get me started on evidence based practice, the catch phrase of the year/ decade (?). It begs the questions: whose evidence? for what exactly? One answer is that the “evidence” is never aimed at discovering how people can lead happy, self-directed lives.

Today’s stupid animated gif:


Maybe one more:


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2 more days

to my birthday.

I am going to the beach.

silly animated gif:


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MindFreedom News Release

NEWS RELEASE – 4 March 2008 – PsychRights – MindFreedom
Media contacts: Daniel Hazen – 315-528-3385
Krista Erickson – 541-345-9106

More info & download PDF of news release:


“Forcing Psychiatric Drugs Can Increase Violence,” Warns
New Task Force on Mental Health Legal Advocacy & Activism

Promising to fight what they call pervasive and harmful violations of
mental health clients who are involuntarily drugged and
electroshocked in the United States, The Law Project for Psychiatric
Rights (PsychRights) and the MindFreedom Shield Campaign announced
today a joint Task Force on Mental Health Legal Advocacy & Activism.
The new partnership of law and nonviolent direct action has an
initial focus in the states of California, Massachusetts and New York.

PsychRights’ President Jim Gottstein declared, “People’s rights in
forced drugging proceedings are ignored as a matter of course,
resulting in great harm to them and decreased public safety.” David
Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International (MFI), noted, “Violence
by a few individuals labeled ‘mentally ill’ has led to a backlash
calling for a massive increase in forced psychiatric drugging.”

Mr. Gottstein added, “Contrary to public perception, forcing people
to take psychiatric drugs can often increase violence, rather than
decrease it. If people were warned that both taking and withdrawing
from these drugs can at times contribute to committing terrible acts,
they and their loved ones can be alert to the possibility and
tragedies averted.”

Krista Erickson, MFI board member and Chair of the MFI Shield
Campaign, said, “I’m excited about MFI and PsychRights expanding our
partnership and focusing the combined power of legal advocacy and
activism on specific cases.” The MFI Shield Campaign supports the
wishes of a member to be free of involuntary mental health
intervention with an international “Solidarity Network” of advocates.
The new Task Force plans to use both the court of law and the court
of public opinion.

Task Force organizers say the combination of PsychRights’ expertise
for strategic litigation and the “people power” of MindFreedom
activists around the country will bring a synergy and geographic
reach to their demands for people’s legal and human rights. Daniel
Hazen, Northeast Coordinator with PsychRights, added, “In the United
States the ‘mental health’ industry is a labeling system that often
dismisses self- determination, legal capacity and alternatives.
‘Treatment’ can be forced through the court systems. People ought to
‘have their day in court’ but this is often far from what actually

MFI is an independent nonprofit coalition defending human rights and
promoting humane alternatives in mental health. The Law Project for
Psychiatric Rights is a public interest law firm devoted to the
defense of people facing what they call the “horrors of unwarranted
forced psychiatric drugging and other forced psychiatric procedures.”
PsychRights office is in Anchorage, Alaska: http:// The MFI office is in Eugene, Oregon: http://

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