Public

Georgia’s 9th CD Needs a Democratic Director —

[Speaking as a concerned Democrat]

Georgia’s Ninth District Needs a
GOOD DEMOCRAT!
The Democratic Directer for the 9th CD is OPEN.

People are signing up to run.The State Committee needs some good choices. Your COUNTY PARTY chairs have had all the necessary information for some time now. If it has not been passed on or otherwise publicized check with your county party.

Below the pertinent section of the DPGl

BYLAWS ARTICLE V
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CHAIRS

SECTION 1. ELECTION

Historical Note: BL5.1.1 was originally BL3.5 (Article III, Section 5) of the revised Bylaws
approved May 22, 2004. By Amendment July 29, 2006 BL3.5 was moved to this BL5.1.1.

BL5.1.1 Immediately following completion of the election of the State Officers and such acceptance speeches and other related actions as shall be required, the meeting shall be recessedby the Chair, to allow the delegates to meet by Congressional Districts, to elect Congressional

District Chairs.

BL5.1.2 State Committee Members shall meet according to the Congressional District inwhich such Members reside, under the Chairmanship of the existing Congressional DistrictChair, unless such Chair is placing himself or herself for re-election, in which case the State Chair shall appoint a Congressional District Caucus Chair to conduct the election process in suchCongressional District (which shall be the Vice-Chair, unless such Vice-Chair is placing himself or herself for election).

BL5.1.3 To the extent not provided for in the Charter, the Bylaws, or the Rules of the Convention, the most recently revised edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of all Congressional District Caucuses. All rulings as to interpretation shall be made bythe Chair presiding at a Congressional District Caucus.

BL5.1.4 Those persons interested in running for a Congressional District Chair position shall file an “intent to run” statement with the State Party office no later than ten days before the State Committee meeting. A non-State Committee Member wishing to run for a Congressional District Chair must submit such “intent to run” with the endorsement of no less than thirty State Committee Members and submit same no later than ten days before the State Committee meeting.

BL5.1.5 All votes shall be by a show of hands or signed paper ballot as determined by each Congressional District Caucus Chair.

BL5.1.6 A quorum for the purpose of a Congressional District Caucus shall be a majority of the seated State Committee Members residing in that particular Congressional District.

Amended July 29, 2006. See BL10.3.620

BL5.1.7 Pursuant to the procedure for the Election of Congressional District Chairs under the Charter and Bylaws, each Congressional District Caucus shall proceed to elect by a majority of those State Committee Members present and voting, provided a quorum is present, a Congressional District chair.

Amended July 29, 2006. See BL10.3.6

BL5.1.8 Once the Congressional District Chair has been elected, such Chair shall appoint a Vice-Chair, except that the Vice-Chair shall be of the opposite gender of the Chair. In case of a vacancy in the position of Congressional District Chair, the Vice-Chair shall serve as Chair untilthe State Committee Members from the district elect a new Chair. If there is any vacancy of a Vice-Chair, the Congressional Chair may appoint a replacement Vice-Chair.

SECTION 2. DUTIES

BL5.2.1 Each Congressional District Chair shall within their respective Congressional Districts coordinate the affairs of the Party, assist in the election of Democratic Members of Congress, review reports of the activities and membership of County Committees, assist County Committees in their operation and compliance with the Charter and Bylaws, and perform othersuch duties as may be delegated to them by the State Committee and Executive Committee.Each Congressional District Chair shall also appoint a District Coordinating Committee fromamong State Committee members residing within their Congressional Districts to assist in thperformance of these duties.

BL5.2.2 If a County lies in more than one Congressional District, the Congressional District Chairs and the County Chair for that County shall decide among themselves which Congressional District Chair shall be the Chair for that County.

BL5.2.3 Whenever a county does not have a chartered County Committee, the Congressional District Chair may appoint a person to act as that County Chair.

Civbil Liberties

Yale psychiatrist Bandy Lee: Trump’s mental health is now a “national and global emergency”

News Item on Salon https://www.salon.com/2019/06/14/yale-psychiatrist-bandy-lee-trumps-mental-health-is-now-a-national-and-global-emergency/

I join everyone in frustration of the awful helpless conditions we find ourselves in. But this is not a tv movie when we can expect a hero to show up fix things, then turn off the tv and everything is just fine. But this is wrong Why aren’t they talking to the Republican Cabinet and Senate Leaders? They are the only ones who have power to virtually arbitrarily remove Trump from office of the grounds of incapacity.

Our laws are very clear and complied with. Limiting the civil liberties as in involuntary prohibiting activities such as work and even gun ownership, hospitalization etc. is a civil, not medical, procedure. In Georgia a psychiatrist may hold a mentally ill person for 48 hr only on his/her professional judgement, To continue to hold for an additional 14 days there must be a court hearing, usually a judge but a jury can be requested, must be held. At 14 days another disposition court hearing must be held and often goes beyond the judge to a full jury.

ie I have no legal right to say a person is insane enough to put him/her away. And I like it that way.

Do we really want to give that political power to psychiatrists? Thank God the Am. Psychiatric Assoc. has stood firm in opposition the face of the psychologists and the Am. Psychological Assoc. collaborating with the government in war crimes of torture and illegal human experimentation studies. Totalitarian governments do this. The USSR’s psychiatrists defined sanity on the basis of political beliefs. Red China and Korea and any other examples declare dissidents as delusional and also liberally employ the use of involuntary “reeducation” camps.

We must think.

Be careful how readily we delegate power to, such as all those presidents to declare and conduct war, the ability to on the simple declaration call a state of emergency and suspend such things as habeas corpus. I promise you as a psychiatrist myself – we are one bunch of nuts you don’t want to empower.

Here is the link to the advocacy site. https://thegao.org/initiatives/olmstead-ada/your-rights-and-involuntary-mental-health-treatment/

Guns

Notes on Guns and How we got Here

NOTES ON GUNS

History:

As a physician and political liberal I personally will not be satisfied until guns and all the instruments of violence disappear.  The following are observations, notes and opinions of the history of the Second Amendment, the price in lives and ruined lives of our access to lavish numbers and diversity of firearms. Finally calling on  my knowledge and experience as a psychiatrist the problem of profiling potential danger to others or self.

An accident of discovery while researching my family history I became engaged in an exploration of the Second Amendment and the context in which it was enacted. As well I will look at the roots of the intense attachment to personal firearms by so many Americans today. The theories are mine based on my interpretations.

Most of the early settlements of North America were commercial enterprises and defense and security provided by local private and community “militias.”  With  Colonization this was the tradition.  In other words local militias were a well established tradition by the time of the formation of the US government.  Also there was little of a standing military at the beginning which added to the reliance on local security.  I have until recently assumed this is what was being referred to in the Second Amendment.

But why in the world have a full amendment, second of the “Bill of Rights?”   The answer in my  view has to be political to please a certain constituency.  I have come to the conclusion that indeed the original intent was to endow the citizens with the tools to usurp a government considered oppressive. Though there are a number of abusive practices of governments listed in list of grievances in the Declaration of Independence, taxation being a revolution producing issue.

Another factor at the founding is the Kentucky long rifle and the frontiersmen who wielded them. It was the revolutionaries’ weapon of mass destruction and out performing anything the Brits had 4-5:1 A mythology developed around it like that around the Spitfires of WWII That it was also a provider of food it also had served to make possible the invasion of Native American lands.  The Appalachians were the frontier and following the War of Revolution became settlements for veterans. Georgia’s mountain counties first European settlers were veterans of the war.   Tgey I think were the political constituents though of course the slave owners were invested in being able to have the tools to suppress slave resistance.  They were constantly paranoid in fear of slave revolts.

In doing my own family history I have been able to glean a lot of sense of the times by reading contemporaneous accounts  from our family letters and other writing. There is also a lot of material online. One of the greatest are county histories done in 1876 in commemoration of the Founding.  One such, I think it is Pendleton Co. Ky describes the love affair of the people with their rifles.(I will try to find the reference and include it.)   There is also a great contemporaneous diary of observations of the “character of the America people.” By Fannie Trollope in the earliest 1800.  Along the Ohio River and into the mountains you the rhetoric and I think character is virtually identical with our Tea Party folks.

So there you have it dep roots and deep passion and not a lot of trickling in of 20th, much less 21st Century perspectives.  Any No. Ga. Candidate has to I now realize and honor the roots and history before proceeding to persuade for the change in gun laws. And now is not the time to try to  seek repeal of the 2nd Amendment as even this liberal- is on the way to finding a long rifle to deal with this destructive government.

The price of virtually unlimited access to personal firearms.

We all know the price and the numbers and pictures and testimonials keep coming. I am among the many who have witnessed the faces of children blown away by accident and the lifetime emotional impact of survivors of the suicide or murder of family. We can’t avoid noting it but using it as a hammer to change minds hasn’t and won’t be enough. If anything it is desensitizing to reasoning generally.

As a psychiatrist I can testify to the fact the even the slightest of limitation of acces will save many lives. And some of my patiets told me so.  So often the killing is on impulse.  I always insisted that if they owned guns they be locked away for example in the trunk of the car.   I have had people change their mind about suicide while looking for the key to the gun locker or trunk. Just that little makes a difference.  I personally as a pacifist would never own a gun or use one even in self defense but I do understand those who feel the need.  What I can’t see is needed are these rapid fire weapons with huge magazines.  Surely no home invasion short of a national army requires more the large magazines?

There is also the issue of arming our police with weapons not intended to stop a crime but to kill with a few of these awful bullets designed for the military.  If the public does not have easy access to the rapid fire killing machines the police don’t need to have them.

Don’t get distracted by trying to profile and isolate potential killers.

As a psychiatrist I say without equivocation say it can’t be done with any accuracy. We must try of course but it will  only miss many who will and safeguards to protect civil liberties must be strict.    Being mentally ill per se does not predispose to violence.  There can be some indicators sufficient to treat, even coerce into treatment but that ultimately is a legal and not a psychiatric determination and must be rare and minimal.  It is a road the NRA and the GOP would like for us to follow because it arouses such interest.  It is always easy to look back and interpret clues but not easy to understand there meaning in the here and now.

That said, as with all other health care that available for mental illness is sadly lacking and increasing quality and availability to services will I have no doubt at the macro level save lives.  It is my own observation of history however that addressing the anxiety and desperation of  poverty will save more lives.

It has been observed that people do things because they can.  If a gun is close at hand you can be sure someone will sooner or later do something bad with it.

 

W. Lorraine Watkins – June 9, 2019

Uncategorized

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Public

ACA – A radical restructuring of health care

The various provisions of the ACA are kicking in and I am alarmed at what I see as serious design flaws that in the name of cost cutting will radically change the nature of the practice of medicine. I am posting my observations and some links to the professional journals etc. with examples of recommendations and policies. I have no doubt this is leading and will lead to significant suffering and deaths because of inevitable cuts in benefits made available to the public, especially those available for the sicker and older patients unless some of the provisions are undone.

This process  of deterioration in care will be the result of primarily two things written into the ACA. First; the law “mandates a national comparative outcomes research project agenda. ….. Evidence-based medicine is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.” —–   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21860057 .

The second provision that will profoundly influence treatment decisions is inclusion of provider monetary incentives and dis-incentives. This in essence is setting fees higher for physicians who treat less than those who treat more.

I am working on finding a better framing for communicating in more understandable language facts and concerns and will keep at it here on this site.In effect the aim is to ration care and place the responsibility for the means of cost cutting on the physician. This to be accomplished by adding a cost or “greater good” parameter to the Hippocratic tradition of physician as exclusively serving the best interests of patients (even beyond the interests of the physician him/herself). The Times report describes this with the greater clarity and I am reposting a link to it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/18/business/treatment-cost-could-influence-doctors-advice.html

The several pressures placed on the physician by the ACA creates a situation of divided loyalties to a degree I find unacceptable.  I see it as truly changing 4000 years in very disturbing ways. Instead of being faithful to the mandates of Hippocratic ethic physicians planning what treatment will be offered to their patients, physicians are placed in the position of determining what has highest priority, most effective in preserving life and relief of suffering?  or  by limiting treatment options serving a “greater good?”  This to be defined as economic burden on an ill defined entity; These considerations while worrying about his/her income security.  Fortunately there is some stirring in the profession to question, if not protest.  I urge the public to inform themselves and support any protest efforts.

The quoted definition of the ACA mandated entities determining best “evidence based treatment guidelines”  sound solid  and  scientific.  They are in fact not doing research following scientific method. They are in greater part simply doing reviews of published material  (reading) and applying statistical analysis to make their determination. They do not pretend to always be able to determine consequences when recommending cessation or decrease in services. The radical decrease in breast cancer screening and treatment  now being proposed is an example in which the authors of published reports admit that they cannot prove that lives will not  be lost. There is no doubt that suffering will be increased.  They casually say a later diagnosis is no problem because we now have effective chemotherapy.

Today’s JAMA has two revealing reports of just how it is visualized physicians will be determining treatment. The full articles are behind a pay wall but there is sufficient available free to understand and appreciate the documentation for my observations. I can arrange for full copies for special circumstances however for anyone wanting details.

The first is explicit. In just how this cost consideration is incorporated.

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1861810&utm_source=Silverchair%20Information %20Systems&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MASTER%3AJAMALatestIssueTOCNotification04%2F22%2F2014

This second is actually presenting another cost saving change in a thousands of years practice, that of not requiring explicit permission to give life saving emergency treatment to a patient unconscious, or otherwise unable to communicate.  But I included it to give some idea of just how the thinking is going.

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1861784&utm_source=Silverchair%20Information %20Systems&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MASTER%3AJAMALatestIssueTOCNotification04%2F22%2F2014

I am trained in pediatrics, pediatric oncology, psychiatry and child psychiatry.These observations and interpretations I make as a physician who has over some 40 years done clinical research as an NCI principle investigator with special training in ethics or experimental treatments; taught medical students as a member of the faculty of a large medical school; and served as specialist and delivering primary bed side medical care.

Public

Why March?

©16 January 2014

In coming days marches celebrating the life and legacy of native Atlantan
Martin Luther King, Jr. will held in Northeastern Georgia. I wish I had the knees, back and lungs willing to march.

Each January I revive my intial memoir of Martin Luther King and the earlier days of the movement.

This year I make especial note of the cause in which Dr. King was organizing in Memphis was for workers’ rights to a decent standard of living. Today the unjust maldistirbution of power and wealth to Wall Street and the multinational corporations  (along with climate change) is the most critical problem that must be addressed. We cannot continue the economics of austerity with lavish tax exceptions and subsidies to an unregulated corporate elite while dismantling social insurance and welfare programs.  Even the manager of much of this disparity, Alan Greenspan, (unapologetically) acknoweledges the failure of his and the other economists presuppositions that led to  numbing of the soul of our once vibrant culture. This must change.

Today if I could march; any advocating for changes in the service of moral imperatives as well as pragmatics; that is where I would be.

Public

Ye shall find him in a manger

mangerbanner

I think I have likely perplexed you my loved ones by choosing in recent years to celebrate this Christmas Eve and Day in apparent solitude. I will explain. I am far from alone and most comfortable. Being by the telephone (and now at the computer) listening and communicating with the souls “out there” seems the most natural.

I celebrate all those I have spent so many holidays beside. Perhaps it is the agony of observing the processes of determining the obligations we as a nation shall follow in caring for all of our flock that has made me so aware in recent years. Or perhaps it is a wonderful experience I am having following a thread on the Grant County, Wisconsin Rootsweb list. There is a researcher who stands out in his determination to learn about his family roots. A few years a he posted a question about a relative whose remains had been sent to the University of Wisconsin.

I pulled this man’s obituary and death certificate off the web. The first is a notice of the November 1930 death of a man then unidentified. “Clad in overalls and an army overcoat, the man about 40 or 50 years old, was found in a manger in the stables where he had evidently gone to sleep. He had curled up in the feed box, his shoes off and overcoat drawn over him. It is believed he died of exposure.” 

The coroner’s report states the remains were given over to the Anatomy Department of the Univ. of Wisconsin.

As was the case for all physicians of my time my first patient was a cadaver, a man with no history and no headstone in his future. At the time and off and on since we all wonder but never take the time to find out the history of these martyrs to the better lives of others.  Mostly they are the so called “losers” and “failures,” the misbegotten who are no longer connected to family or friends. I place them among other saviours, many whose contribution to humankind comes in their death.

Then here comes a great nephew owning relationship and seeking information relentlessly. I recall my brother David and nephew Greg’s excited call from the graveside of our Rolla Hirst, and their efforts this past summer to find more of the recluse William Clark. If we are to be good shepherds we will know each of our flock.

On one of the weblogs a woman calling herself Selise reminds us; “solidarity means leaving no one behind,” then quotes Eugene Debs: “Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.

Yes. This is when it begins to feel  like Christmas.

Uncategorized

Peace

When Peace Broke Out

 

ww1British and German soldiers made history in 1914 when they stopped shooting and started to sing carols and play football together.

The facts almost beggar belief. At the first Christmas of a hideous war, Germans and British sang carols to each other, lit each other’s cigarettes in no man’s land, exchanged souvenirs, took group photographs, even played football. Some sort of accommodation with the enemy, from cheerful waves and shouted greetings to full-scale fraternisation, took place over two-thirds of the 30 miles of the western front held by the British Expeditionary Force.
On Christmas Eve at Plugstreet Wood, Germans put Christmas trees on the parapet of their front-line trench and sang Stille Nacht (Silent Night), then largely unfamiliar to British ears but instantly acknowledged as a carol of extraordinary beauty. Moved to respond the territorials opposite struck up with The First Noel. So it continued until, when the British sang O Come, All Ye Faithful, they heard the Germans joining in with the Latin words Adeste Fideles. Recalling the event many years later, one former soldier commented: “I thought this a most extraordinary thing – two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of the war.”

A memorable joint burial service between the trenches on Christmas morning offers another uplifting detail. The prayers and readings were spoken first in English by a battalion chaplain and then in German by a young divinity student. “It was an extraordinary and most wonderful sight,” wrote one witness. “The Germans formed up on one side, the English on the other, the officers standing in front, every head bared. I think it was a sight one will never see again.” To deal decently with the dead was one powerful motive for establishing a truce. The Christmas spirit provided another. “It doesn’t seem right to be killing each other at Xmas time,” a Tommy noted in his diary.

Details which seem almost ludicrous enrich the story. A British Tommy met his German barber from High Holborn in London and had a short-back-and-sides between the lines. A German who had raided an abandoned house strutted about wearing a blouse, skirt and top hat and sporting an umbrella. After a bout of between-the-lines photography, one officer wrote in a letter home that another truce had been fixed for new year’s day “as the Germans want to see how the photos come out”.

Not everybody approved. One officer, ordered to prepare a more usable pitch by filling in shell holes, angrily refused to comply. This must surely be a very early case of a failure to create a level playing field. The proposed match did not take place. Some Frenchwomen, hearing of the goings-on at the front, spat at members of one battalion next time they were in town. The medical officer of a non-trucing unit, furious at the unsoldierly behaviour of a neighbouring battalion, approvingly reported “a bit of a scrap” between his men and theirs. He wrote home: “We aren’t here to pal up with the enemy.”

Yet the general reaction was one of amazed acceptance of a happening that delighted far more than it dismayed. Letters home confirm the incredible nature of the occasion. “It would have made a good chapter in Dickens’s Christmas Carol,” wrote one soldier. “Just you think,” mused another, “that while you were eating your turkey I was out talking with the men I had been trying to kill a few hours before! It was astounding.”

The truce was not organised, nor, as it might be assumed, contagious, with units catching the spark from their neighbours. Rather, it was the spontaneous product of a mass of local initiatives. Thus peaceful areas were interlaced with “business as usual” zones where hostilities continued. This could have unhappy results. One sergeant crossing no man’s land to offer cigarettes to a friendly German regiment was shot by a sniper from a regiment not observing a ceasefire. He was officially described as “killed in action”, his “action” being the distinctly unmilitary one of attempting to carry Woodbines to the enemy. The Germans sent across an apology.

At a time when the world is yet again at war, this strange event of 1914 – with its message of common humanity and goodwill between enemies – has a special relevance. Far from losing its attraction, it is a story that seems to gain in resonance and potency as the years go by.

Excerpts from Malcolm Brown Sunday December 23 2001 The Observer

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