Friday, May 27, 2022

The insane walk among us.

In the late 60s and 70s the idea spread that with all the psychotropic medications available  even the seriously, dangerously mentally ill could live at home as long as they had a strong support system. In 1961, Professor Thomas Szasz published his thunderbolt of a book, The Myth of Mental Illness and founded the  American Association for the Abolition of Involuntary Mental Hospitalization.  He testified before Congress and his theories caught on. He was also a proponent of suicide and did so in 2012. I've heard people mutter, "Oh, Ronald Reagan closed the asylums in California and that's what started homelessness." No. The movement for closing mental institutions was a popular one that had been building long before that. Politicians responded to the people and the people had been told by movies, novels, the news, and academics that mental institutions were all bad. 

 What most of the well-meaning, nice people didn't realize was that eventually the strong 50 year old who can make his 20 year old son take his medicine, grows old and dies. The nice folks didn't take into account the number of people could not handle their sick relative and those who did not want to and felt that they'd been forced and shamed into the position of caretaker that they weren't equipped for. I can think of at least three examples of this:

  • A old college  friend of mine had a cousin who was homeless. She explained, when noticing my surprise --the family was well off-- that when he was a freshman at college his mind broke,  either by nature or by drug use. His parents brought him home from school and took care of him until they died. They left money. They left a house. They left siblings who by that time were senior citizens and unable and unwilling to sacrifice their lives to take on a 30 year old who could get violent if his dosage schedule varied. So he's on the street. 

  • One of my mother's neighbors took care of her mentally ill son  until her common-law husband died. She couldn't stay on the property as the husband never made any provisions for her legally. She decided to move a senior building but of course the building's management  would not allow her to bring her son with her so she left him. He lives in the alley nearby his old home and sometimes sleeps in the parking lot next door. His mother brings him food and laundry but he's on the street and sometimes he scares people rather badly when he's angry and  he gets arrested.  People who knew him when he was young look a bit shamefaced about it but  everyone, even the ones who are sympathetic to him are relieved when he's in jail. The last time I ran into him, I recoiled from his stench and then froze like a cornered rabbit until he passed me by. Living as he does, spending the Winters outdoors has turned his health. He's lost a good deal of weight and looks to be a shadow of himself. My mother is convinced that his body can't go on like this and it's only a matter of time before he's found dead somewhere.

  • I have a cousin who was hit in the head with a baseball when he was eight which some family members believe caused brain damage. If he's not medicated he has no impulse control, is quick to panic  and has gotten violent with females. He's been to jail and prison. Thankfully he has four brothers who keep him at home and  step up time and again to protect him and clean up any mess he gets into. That's  obviously not what most families  in this situation are doing or can do. 

It should be obvious by now, that public mental hospitals are needed and desperately so. There are poor, sick  in soul and body people wandering the streets who ought to be in a humane institution with food, drink, medical care  and shelter.  The insane walk among us. For their sakes and the sakes of innocents who may be harmed by them, it has to stop. 

St. Dymphna, pray for us. 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

St. John and the boiling oil

 I love the look of mild annoyance on St. John's face. 

Sunday, May 15, 2022

random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon

  •  The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is shutting down it's news arm, CNA at the end of the year.  Most of the comments I've seen about it bemoan the fate of the 21employees  in New York and DC and there were the usual complaints that the Church needs to pay staff better. Well, I'm glad that CNA is shutting down. I wish the USCCB would do the same and I think things would be better if lay people were no longer making their living off the Church. 

  • I had two really bad teachers in elementary and high school. Both were young laywomen who had just graduated from college. The elementary teacher was moved from the classroom to the office some time after I graduated and the high school teacher was fired or just not rehired at the end of the school year.  Communities used to be very zealous about the schoolmarm's character. Parents knew and seem to have forgotten that the nanny, the governess and the teacher all have the kids for most of the day and are forming their minds so these people should be absolutely mentally sound and have sterling morals. 
    Mary Kay  Letourneau is the most infamous example, but young teachers and coaches flirting and having sexual contact with students happens much more that most people want to think. New teachers fresh out of school should either be assistants to an experienced teacher in the classroom for a few years or every classroom needs to be live streamed for parents every day. 

  • I've noticed that there seem to be less Ukrainian flags in the windows of the mansions in Northern Virginia. Is it because the frivolous folks are moving on to a new cause du jour or is it because the owners of those houses have been ridiculed and challenged by their neighbors? Depending on who your employer is, a lot of money is being made from Ukraine and perhaps, just perhaps it's dawning on people how their neighbors bought that new "cottage" on the Eastern Shore....

  • Rocky and I watched the IDF beating the pallbearers at Shireen Abu Aqleh's funeral and were disgusted. Sure, I'd like to go visit the Holy Land but there is no way in the world I would willingly give my tourist dollars to the modern state that controls it.

  • Maureen Mullarkey's lastest post is on a scene that all to many of us have seen variation of. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

This is bad and it's not going to blow over

 Something very bad just happened this week. People, not all of whom are demon possessed went to Catholic churches and tried to terrorize people and commit sacrilege. In Katy, Texas they stole the Blessed Sacrament. All these people got away with it. If any of them get  arrested we will watch them skip out of court with a triumphant leer on their ugly faces.  Catholics became second class citizens this week and there is nary a peep from the US bishops. There's not a Bishop "Dagger" John Hughes among them.

 If you believe the Kennedy presidency was the Catholic high water mark (Really? The Kennedy's always put their Faith second place to politics) then the Biden term in office has got to be a decline not seen since the Klan and No Nothings before them were attacking Irish Catholics. What's been happening would have been unthinkable 50 years ago. And for all you interfaith folks, have you seen any of the separated brethren standing arm in arm with Catholics at the Church door? No, in fact, if you go visit the interfaith salons you  may notice that they're strangely quiet right now. 

Does this sound familiar to you? Do you recall reading about  times in history when goons were allowed and encouraged to do things like this? It didn't blow over then did it? I don't think it's going to blow over now.

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Random thoughts on a Thursday afternoon

  •  There is no more fiercer critic of the Church than one who has left her due to scandal. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene used to be Catholic but now attends some Protestant group's services.  The sex scandals are apparently her main reason for that and she certainly is not the only one. The toothless, worthless Catholic League got upset with her recent comments but conveniently ignore why Greene said what she said.  

  • I don't believe Roe will fall this year. I think one or two of the Justices will be be intimidated into changing their votes which is what the leak of the draft was intended to do. Frankly my main concern right now is the threats of violence against Catholic churches. Notice that nobody is calling for bothering non-denominational soft rock bank churches or any other blend of Protestant worship hall. I guess that's the devil admitting that only the Catholic Church is true.

  • There is talk that the traditional Mass at Old St. Mary's in Chinatown in DC is going to be cancelled and moved to the widely criticized JPII Center near Catholic U. That would a be a shock. For many years the only place in DC to find a traditional Mass was St. Mary's. However, parking over at JPII would be much, much better. One reason why Rocky and I never go to St. Mary's anymore is that unless you get there two hours early parking is impossible and while it's not as bad as it used to be, it is not in a neighborhood where you can afford to daydream in while walking to Mass. Cardinal Gregory, if he does force a move, may not intend it as a kindly gesture but it might work out for the good in the long run.