Florida panel protects abusive assisted living facilities

Can you imagine a panel put together to do something about death and abuse in assisted living facilities that winds up doing the diametric opposite of what it was designed to do, and instead puts its energies into protecting assisting living facility operators? This is exactly what happened in Florida. The Tallahassee report on the matter in the Tampa Bay Times bears the much too polite heading, Gov. Rick Scott’s panel goes soft on ALF industry, critics say.

Gov. Rick Scott used tough language in the summer of 2011 when he created a panel to help fix the deadly abuse and neglect in Florida assisted living facilities.

Right, and now for the result.

In a change of tide, Scott’s panel issued its final report this week, calling for diminished transparency and fewer regulations. The panel calls for the state to better enforce existing rules rather than create new ones. And to give homes more money to raise their standards but not punish them through fines and other sanctions when they perform badly.

“Diminished transparency” means a continuing cover up, and “fewer regulations” means more neglect, abuse, and death. Rather than punishing the operators of bad assisted living faculties, in effect, this decision means rewarding them for their failures.

The article goes on to say, “not everyone is cheering”. Duh.

The panel was picked after a series of Miami Herald articles exposed the death and abuse taking place in assisted living facilities across the state. The back story is as follows.

The furor from the Herald series prompted Scott’s panel to offer a variety of solutions in 2011, from stricter educational requirements for ALF caretakers to more government oversight for facilities that cause patient harm. Those emerged shortly after the series was published and served as a foundation for sweeping legislation that lawmakers softened and then defeated in 2012, under pressure from powerful industry lobbyists.

In Florida, at least, it looks like those powerful industry lobbyists have won the day for the time being. This is bad news for people who seek to reform Florida’s broken assisted care system, and it is bad news for residents of assisted living facilities who may be subjected to abuse and neglect with no recourse to redress. The effect of this “final” decision is that people in assisted living faculties are going to be in no better shape than they were before an investigation revealed the extent to which they were abused, neglected, and dying. Certainly there have to be better courses of action to take than that of making a bad situation worse. Unfortunately, this is not the direction the state of Florida has chosen to take. If there is any silver lining to this situation, it is to be found in the fact that if the situation gets bad enough, the federal government will be forced to intervene.

Poor and struggling people “mental disorder” prone. Duh!

The UK Daily Mail reports, The true cost of debt: People struggling to pay loans are ‘three times more likely to have mental health problems’, as if this were news. Why am I not at all surprised?

Among people with the most difficult debt challenges, including arrears on mortgage or rent payments, the rate of mental health problems rises to three times higher than in the general population, scientist said.

People with money problems have “mental” problems. Any excuse will do. Maybe you can get the government (i.e. taxpayers) to pay your way if you, personally, cannot afford to pay your own way.

He [University of Nottingham Dr. John Gathergood] said: ‘One striking finding of my research is that many people with debt problems describe feelings of being unable to concentrate on day-to-day activities or make normal decisions. This has wider effects on their attitudes and general health.”

Uh, right. My debt threw me. Anybody else wanna take it on? I just love those challenges other people face. Particularly when they are insurmountable.

Remember the great depression of 1929? Me neither. I’m just not that old, but we’ve had these things called economic recessions ever since that are essentially the same thing. We call them recessions so people won’t get upset, and because we know there is going to be an readjustment made to fix the thing. On the other hand, nobody has an emotional “recession” because it would mean a diminishment of the seriousness of “the problem” when “the problem” is conceived of as primarily “mental”.

I wouldn’t think that many people, as a rule, want to waste their lives working on seeking a solution to an insoluble problem. “The problem” in your head is insoluble. “The problem” with the economy will eventually give way to a solution for some bodies if not for others.

Just consider, what if the “mental” problem were not all that “mental”? What then? Maybe, just maybe, that would make “the problem” in your head soluble.

The point I would like to make is that a revolution for a more equitable redistribution of wealth may result in an improvement of both conditions. This is particularly true if we are in reality talking one condition here, and that one condition is the economic condition.

Interview with Brian Henley

This interview took place on Wednesday, July 25, in Ocala, Marion County, Florida.

It’s been said of any one speaking event that it is difficult for the mind to digest more than three new ideas at any one time. I think there are three conclusions about mental health care in the state of Florida that we can draw from this video. Let me mention them in consequential order of occurrence but ascending order of importance. That is to say, I will list the things that need to be done, first, before we achieve the matters of maximum importance, second.

3. Brian Henley mentions this action in his interview. Mental health consumers, psychiatric treatment survivors, and former mental patients need to band together to struggle for, and to achieve, human rights and social justice within the mental health system in the state of Florida.

2. We desperately need some kind of transitional housing programs in the state of Florida, from state hospital to community, perhaps attached to drop-in or respite care centers, that don’t involve forced drugging and Florida Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) team blackmail and bullying.

1. The aim for former patients, treatment survivors, and mental health consumers should be the repeal of mental health law, and with it the abolition of all forced mental health treatment. Only when all patients are voluntary patients, residing on unlocked wards in which they can freely come and go, should they be able rest content. Before all treatment is voluntary, full citizenship rights have not been restored to people currently oppressed by the mental health system.

Ignore History At Thy Peril

How do you dialogue with psychiatry when psychiatry doesn’t dialogue with you? You don’t. This leaves psychiatrists rehashing things the psychiatric survivor, mental patients’ liberation, movement dealt with many years ago…as if we had not done so. We, in this case, means people who have endured or survived psychiatric treatment, or perhaps mistreatment is the more apt way of putting it.

This psychiatrist, H. Steve Moffic, M.D., makes an effort to come up with a name for discrimination against people who have had psychiatric labels attached to them. The story in Psychiatric Times bears the heading, Psychism: Defining Discrimination of Psychiatry.

I don’t think by today that there can be any question that there is significant discrimination and prejudice directed against those who are deemed to have some sort of significant mental problem. Many times, that has resulted in trying to keep such people out of mainstream society, whether that be hospitalization, not being able to live in certain neighborhoods, and not being hired for work.

Brilliant deduction, Sherlock! We ex-patients have been saying the same thing for years and years on top of years. When did you first reach this astounding conclusion, sir?

From here he adopts the personal pronoun “we”. An editorial we would presume to speak for everybody. As for this “we”, the “we” he would be speaking for is the “we” of people he treats, we, using the editorial we, will call this “we” the benevolent dictatorial “we” instead. Tonto adds, “He speak like him ownum turf, Ke-mo sah-bee.”

Now we may be seeing more and more of that in our field as the antipsychiatry movement of Scientologists seems to be expanding to former patients and their families who felt they were hurt by psychiatry. While some anger and criticism is surely warranted, the vitriol and call for the end of psychiatrists seems to border on hate speech, as described in the recent Psychiatric Times blog of Ronald Pies, MD.

Families that have lost loved ones to psychiatry might feel they have reasons for identifying with the Church of Scientology. Likewise they might feel they have reasons for not identifying with the Church of Biological Psychiatry. This is not an issue for me. The Church of Scientology is no more open and transparent than is the Church of Biological Psychiatry.

Mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors marched on the APA convention in Philadelphia this May. We had to be adamant. We had some psychiatrist come outside who thought we had something to do with Scientology. We didn’t have anything to do with Scientology, and we didn’t want anybody to think we did. Cult, church, or organization–legimate or illegimate–we were in no way connected with Scientology, nor it’s front group, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. Apparently these guys only read themselves.

Blacks have racism, woman have sexism, Jews have anti-semitism, etc. Why not come up with an “ism” for people who have done time in the mental health system?

Perhaps the lack of such an “ism” indicates a discrimination and prejudice even more intense or ingrained, so much so that there is not even a term to rally around. Such a term could be psychism. This is a term that is so unused that we can easily adopt it as our own. In theosophy, I found it used on rare occasions to refer to spiritual awakening. Spiritual awakening is indeed what we need, isn’t it?

Where has this man been for the last few decades? Language has long been a major concern for people in the psychiatric survivor, mental health consumer, and ex-patient Mad Pride movement. We’ve even started to sit down with the likes of him. People in this movement have come up with the terms mentalism and sanism to describe prejudice and discrimination directed against them for this very reason. These terms are part and parcel of that discrimination of psychiatry we term psychiatric oppression.

We don’t need a psychiatrist to link our struggle to the struggles of African Americans, women, gays, senior citizens, children, disabled people, homeless people and other often disenfranchised and marginalized peoples. We’ve been a part of those same struggles for many years. If this man took any real interest in the history of the people he treated as a group, he would know these things. Apparently it’s a history lesson he desparately needs.

Wallowing In The Mess Age

Things used to be much simpler before the economic bubble burst, and we developed this homeless problem we’ve got today. I continually find myself amused by stories arising from this situation, like the following one from the Detroit Free Press, Man helps the mentally ill in Grand Rapids.

The people Clyde Sims helps on the streets of Grand Rapids often are homeless, addicted to drugs and sometimes did time in jail. But there’s one thing they don’t want to accept: their mental illness.

Hello!? X is homeless, on illicit drugs, and a jailbird, right? Let’s just give X a 4rd problem. Call X “mentally ill” and put X on prescription drugs. Excuse my math, but I don’t see the improvement.

“They say, ‘Call me anything but crazy,'” Sims said.

I expect some of them have been called many things, some things much worse than ‘crazy’.

It’s his job to change their minds and get them help.

Is this a change for the better, or a change for the worse? And is this “help” we are going for “help”, or just harm mascerading as “help”? Oh, I know…too many questions…

Sims, 63, is a peer support specialist for Street Reach, a Cherry Street Health Services program that seeks out people with mental illness and substance abuse and gets them treatment.

You want to know why we’ve got the “mental illness” problem we’ve got today? Well, if somebody has to seek people out, and seek to change their minds, to convince them that they have a “mental illness”, why do you think we’ve got the “mental illness” problem we’ve got today? Oh, yeah, and on top of the homeless problem?

Sims has hung out under bridges and set up with coffee on the streets of Heartside. He has convinced people to get assessed by Street Reach clinicians and meet with psychiatrists. He has helped them find places to live.

If “mental illness” means a roof over one’s head, and three square meals, for a homeless person. Yeah, sure, that might work…

“When you’ve hurt a lot of people, you want to help a lot of people,” he said. “I want to get them thinking, ‘Maybe I’m not homeless because I’m bad. Maybe I’m bipolar. Maybe I need to get off these drugs.’

Or maybe I’m homeless because I don’t have a house. That one works, too, you know…Maybe I’m abusing drugs or whatnot because I don’t have a job, and I don’t have a house, or an apartment for that matter. Maybe I don’t have a job because the economy is in shambles, and a lot of people don’t have jobs. Maybe the economy is in shambles because some rich bastards are busy screwing over the vast majority of essientially poorer people for the sake of the moolah they rake in doing so.

It’s kind of a big rat eats littler rats world out there, isn’t it?

“God has taken my mess,” he said, “and made it my message.”

If contagious “mental illness” were my message, I’d think about holding my tongue. This is where the message ascends to new, and never before seen, heights of absurdity. We have an epidemic of psychiatric disability in this country, and these self-proclaimed experts in the field would have us escalate that crisis. You can’t sell psychiatric drugs without, at the same time, selling “mental illness”. Of course, they don’t see themselves as increasing the numbers of “mentally ill” in this country. Instead they see it as a matter of finding those “mentally ill” who were there all along. I’ve got news for them. The numbers don’t work. They weren’t there all along.

A Fighter For The Better Use Of Language

One of the voices most vehement in his opposition to the use of the word “stigma”, when it comes to dealing with people who have experienced the mental health system first hand, is that of Harold A. Maio. It was, therefore, refreshing to see his words in print featured in an opinion piece on the United Kingdom’s Guardian, headed aptly, We no longer talk about ‘the’ Jews. So why do we talk about ‘the’ mentally ill?

Presently popular worldwide is “the” mentally ill, a replica of “the” Jews. It is seldom recognised. In 2008 all nine US supreme court justices agreed “the” mentally ill existed. I shuddered; the US went silent. The entire country went dark and did not notice. An alley expression had reached the height of the US supreme court and journalism fell silent, neither seeing it, nor wanting to. Not just in the US, but worldwide. It is one of the prejudices I track worldwide on the net. I respond to each example.

If you follow stories in the media where the word “stigma” comes up in reference to people who have known mental health treatment, you will often find Harold Maio has written a sharply critical letter to the editor. It would certainly be helpful if more people took the time to chastise editors and journalists for their shortcomings in this fashion, and for this shortcoming in particular.

I trace one other prejudice on the net: “stigma”. It is closely related to the first. Once one has diminished a group to a “the”, one then claims for them a “stigma”, a “they”, a difference, eventually a deficiency. Establishing an “us” is one of the primary tools of prejudice, resulting in a “them”.

I’ve never liked the word “stigma” used in such instances either seeing it as a highly prejudicial word. As it means “a mark of disgrace” you start with a perceptual problem, you’ve identified the members of this set of individuals as set apart somehow from the rest of the population. In such instances, it becomes easier to ignore the common humanity that unites people, and it becomes harder to come to the conclusion that we are them, too, and they are us.

When I objected to the use of this word during a teleconference of psychiatric survivors and mental health consumers I was happy to find that most of those at the event were in agreement with my objection. They had a different reason for objecting though, and their reason was that it was a term they felt had been co-opted by people who didn’t share their aims and objectives. This word that might once have been their word at one time, was no longer seen as their word. It had become then, for these people who had been through the mental health system, a word that was used by a “them” against the “us” they represented.

The outcome of forced mental health treatment is usually not a very good one. The damage that is done to one is financial and social as well as possibly emotional. This socio-economic double whammy illustrates that the problem is systemic. While ex-slaves were promised 40 acres and a mule before the end of the American civil war, a promise the government renigged on, mental health patients are promised next to nothing on discharge from an institution.

Ignorance of the disruption that involuntary treatment entails is itself an example of prejudice in my view. Let us return to the example of propertyless ex-slaves, one thing they could count on was poverty. The predicament most recently discharged mental patients find themselves facing is similar. Add to this precarious state, just as with black people in this country, you have a group of people facing a great deal of prejudice. This prejudice contributes to making efforts to reenter the fold, so to speak, and move upward such a challenging, often self-defeating, undertaking.

I haven’t read it suggested that there is a “stigma” attached to mental health. People labeled “mentally ill” have recovered from the label. This word “stigma” is often used to refer to the way people treat people for whom recovery is thought to be beyond reach. This presumption, in itself, is an example of prejudice. There is a great deal of fatalism at work in this perspective. It is my feeling that when a person has received a psychiatric label, improvement should be the expectation. Resignation is, all too often, the tact encouraged by professionals who have failed their clientelle, and by a system that is too often based on managing symptoms rather than recovering stability.

Feds Investigate Mental Health Care In Missippi

The US Justice Department is investigating mental health care in Missippi according to an article in the Hattiesburg American, Mental health system probed.

“They don’t think our state has made a sufficient effort to move into community-based services,” said [Region 8 Excutive Director Dave] Van, who has met with Justice Department officials. “They say we’re institutionally heavy.”

This is following a trend away from acute services and towards a more community based model of mental health care. Justice Department officials also feel that Missippi lacks affordable housing for people in the mental health system.

This US Justice Department investigation in Missippi follows other recent investigations in Virginia and Georgia.

In February, federal officials concluded Virginia violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by needlessly institutionalizing those with developmental disabilities. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell proposed $30 million more in spending for community-based treatment.

Although the federal investigation in Virginia focused on the institutionalization of people with developmental difficulties there is also a danger that, given budget cuts, the mental health system there will return to the condition it was in before an earlier investigation in the 1990s.

In 2010, the Justice Department reached a settlement requiring the state of Georgia to come up with $77 million more for treatment for fiscal 2012 alone.

A number of deaths reported in institutions in Georgia led up to this decision.

The mental health system in North Carolina, as a result of lame attempts at reform by the state government, is a shambles, too, and so I imagine if the Justice Department has any more investigations slated for the future, one must be scheduled there.

This investigation is welcomed by many in the state of Missippi as a precursor of much needed change.

The Latest Development In Psychobabble

Psychobabble is also a psychological term used to denote the misdiagnosis and misclassification of natural variation in human psychology as psychopathological, or mentally disordered, and is based upon the premise of exaggerated overmedicalization of physiological ailments to increase profits for the medical industry.
~from Psychobabble – Wikipedia

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Agency), the US government mental health agency, out to develop a working definition of recovery, should consult the dictionary sometimes. The dictionary offers a much clearer definition of the word than any of the silt SAMHSA has been able to stir up recently.

SAMHSA’s working definition is as follows.

Recovery is a process of change whereby individuals work to improve their own health and wellness and to live a meaningful life in a community of their choice while striving to achieve their full potential.

Hello? If a person loses “it”, and the “it” that a person loses is “mental health”, finding “it” again is “recovery” of that “mental health”. Dig!

SAMHSA has a set of principles to prop up its, what I’d call dysfunctional, definition.

Principles of Recovery

• Person-driven;
• Occurs via many pathways;
• Is holistic;
• Is supported by peers;
• Is supported through relationships;
• Is culturally-based and influenced;
• Is supported by addressing trauma;
• Involves individual, family, and community strengths and responsibility;
• Is based on respect; and
• Emerges from hope.

There is a much simpler formulation of principles than this set. Mental health treatment center = mental disorder labeling factory; recovery = passage through a door to the world beyond.

Recovery, as redefined by SAMHSA, has become the opium of the mental patient or the mental health services consumer. No longer is the goal of treatment seen as a complete recovery of mental health, instead the goal is seen as this vague process that leads nowhere. The goal is no longer to recover the health lost due to a serious affliction; the goal is now to consume that mental health treatment that calls itself recovery perpetually. Recovery has become for many people labeled “mentally ill” what heaven is to the superstitious, and what a classless society is to an Marxist ideologue, that elusive pea in a huckster’s shell game. Recovery, in this sense, is about the fulfillment of the falsity of a false hope, or self-betrayal (self-deceit).

Real recovery is a process, and this process has a beginning, middle, and an end. The end of this process is the recovered state, past tense, which comes with a cessation of treatment.

SAMHSA has gone so far as to identify 4 major domains that support recovery, unfortunately common sense is not one of those domains.

• Health: overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) as well as living in a physically and emotionally healthy way;
• Home: a stable and safe place to live that supports recovery;
• Purpose: meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteerism, family caretaking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income and resources to participate in society; and
• Community: relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.

The problem here is that “managing” is what happens when the “disease” is deemed beyond one’s capacity to “overcome”. You let “managing” in, and for a growing number of people, “overcoming” becomes more and more elusive. Somebody has more or less drawn a line in the sand between those people who can, and those people who can’t, “overcome”. If recovery meant overcoming here, we’d have a problem.

Home translates into housing. Housing is what the growing homeless population is lacking. All homeless people are not labeled “mentally ill”, neither are all people labeled “mentally ill” homeless. The way to recovery (dictionary meaning, not SAMHSA’s) from homelessness is through the provision of decent affordable housing with no strings attached. Housing first programs are programs that manage to provide this type of housing, and the amazing thing about it is, in contrast to more tyrannical programs, they actually work.

When psycho-social rehabilitation is a manner of treating people parenthetically, that is, of taking the meaning and purpose out of daily activities, for example, assigning people tasks to perform without providing payment for those tasks, it is very much a part of the problem. This is where the missing common sense comes in, and its glaring absence speaks volumes. Escape from the parenthesis, walk through the door, and–guess what?–sense applies again.

Community is the reason some people wind up undergoing mental health treatment. Then the problem becomes when your community is a community of people undergoing mental health treatment you have a very limited sense of community. These relationships and social networks have to extend beyond the treatment community to be very effective. I think that this is an important point that SAMHSA should make, that SAMHSA isn’t making.

As for the definition of recovery, I don’t think you can beat the 1st sense given at yourdictionary.com.

1. the act or an instance of recovering; specif.,
      a. a regaining of something lost or stolen
      b. a return to health, consciousness, etc.
      c. a regaining of balance, control, composure, etc.
      d. a retrieval of a capsule, nose cone, etc. after a spaceflight or launch
      e. the removal of valuable substances from waste material, byproducts, etc.

If we think of a regaining of lost or stolen health, or a regaining of lost or stolen mind, same thing.

SAMHSA is crazy, and this is a big part of the problem. If SAMHSA wasn’t crazy, SAMHSA would realize that you don’t have to make the English language nonsensical. In fact, making the English language nonsensical impedes communications, and communication is important when it comes to, let’s not use the word recovery, overcoming “mental illness” labeling. Making the English language nonsensical though makes sense when what you’re really after is confusing the issue. All these disability “workers” that disable with SAMHSA are set for life if they can confuse the issue sufficiently.

2 Wrongs Don’t Make A Right Even In California

Voice of OC (Orange County) covered community response to Kelly Thomas being beat to death by the police in an article with the heading, Families of Mentally Ill Question Supervisors in Wake of Police Beating Death.

On Tuesday, more than two-dozen relatives of people facing mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, which is what Thomas suffered from. They challenged supervisors to better tap into statewide mental health funds — through Prop 63 – and get services to the mentally ill living on the streets.

I have no problem with this suggestion; Prop 63 is a 1 % tax on citizens of California with incomes of over $1,000,000 for mental health funding. Other states ought to consider enacting similar legislation.

I do however take issue with the suggestion that Kelly Thomas had schizophrenia. I will believe that Thomas suffered from schizophrenia when you can bring me the schizophrenia bug. In my understanding of the matter, no schizophrenia bug has ever been found to date. Whatever “ill” Kelly Thomas had, I would imagine, could be debated for some time to come.

Family members spent the entire day at the meeting, commenting on mental health and waiting till nearly 5 p.m. to call on supervisors to enact Laura’s Law — a 2002 measure that makes it easier for families to get help with forced treatment for their relatives with severe mental illnesses.

I also have a problem with this call for more police state type intervention. Didn’t Kelly Thomas’s death result from some sort of police intervention in the first place? Laura’s Law is an outpatient commitment law. Outpatient commitment usually means forced drugging. Drugging, forced or voluntary, can have damaging consequences.

Thomas’s father, Ron Thomas, has said that his son’s homelessness stemmed from his inability to stay on his medication.

His father, concerning these drugs, says “inability”. Unfortunately Kelly Thomas isn’t around any more to explain whether his was “inability” or disinclination. Ron Thomas, I imagine, lives in a house. He could have offered his home, at least temporarily, as a living space for Kelly. Making housing contingent upon drugging is a way to keep people homeless.

Supervisors are calling for a report to be drawn up in 30 days time explaining why Laura’s Law should be implemented in Orange County.

A man gets beaten to death by the police. This happened because he wasn’t forced to take drugs by law. Alright, that explanation sounds very fishy to me. Perhaps the problem needs another look. Do we have to wait for somebody to get beaten to death who is taking psychiatric drugs for these people to start looking into police culpability?

Anybody interested in learning more about the beating of Kelly Thomas should read the story at Mail Online, Caught on tape: Police beat and taser ‘gentle’ mentally-ill homeless man to death. One word of caution though, it isn’t pretty!

The negative effects of captivity and air pollution on mental health

Captivity in zoos increases the chances that a chimp will behave bizarrely. This is the situation described in a report to Global Animal, Captivity Fatal To Chimps’ Mental Health?

The documented behaviors, which included self-mutilation, repetitive rocking, and consumption of feces, are symptoms of compromised mental health in humans, and are not seen in wild chimpanzees, the authors say. The study found that even chimps at very well regarded zoos displayed the disturbing behaviors.

This study has to make one wonder as imprisonment in a mental hospital is seen as an antidote for bizarre behavior in humans. The evidence, as exhibited by chimpanzees, our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, is that such is not necessarily the case.

He (Nicolas Fisher-Newton) and co-author Lucy Birkett used both direct observations and published sources to document the behaviors of 40 chimpanzees at six zoos in the U.S. and the U.K. The collected data, covering a two-year period, was then compared to observations made of wild chimpanzees, such as 1023 hours of documentation on wild chimps in Uganda.

Where the wild is, as far as the human species are concerned, is a good question. Captivity in mental hospitals is, on the other hand, probably much less conducive to good “mental health” than residence in a community.

A recent study also found that zoo visits boost a child’s science and conservation education more than books or classroom teaching alone. Over 50 percent of all school children aged between 7 and 14 showed improvements in their knowledge of animals, habitat and conservation after just a single zoo visit.

Out of this observation naturally arises the question, would chimpanzee intelligence and conservation consciousness be increased by having chimpanzees visit human mental hospitals to observe and study the inmates?

In another online story, air pollution has been found to have an adverse effect on the mental health of mice: Air pollution linked to mental problems. I would suspect that the imbibing of polluted or poisoned water would not be the greatest thing for a mouse’s mental health either.

Ohio State University researchers said the cognitive problems were observed in mice exposed to polluted air. The researchers said in a statement that this is one of the first studies to look at pollution’s impact on mental health and ability.

Mice are not chimpanzees, or human beings, but if dirty air affects mice so drastically it must certainly affect chimpanzees and humans as well.

The mice in the study were exposed to either filtered air or polluted air for six hours a day, five days a week for 10 months, which is about half the rodents’ lifespan.

Now it is my contention that if we were to appropriate the wealth and resources of * robber barons, and if we were to reverse the green house effect created by those * robber barons, then these actions would have a correspondingly positive effect on the present and future mental and physical health of mice, chimpanzees, and human beings.

* Note: I’m expanding the currently archaic definition of robber baron, in this instance, from the large industrialist of the 19th century, and heirs, to include technological, corporate, investment, and entertainment moguls (think glutton oink oink) operating in the world of the present.