Too Much Clout for Iowa (and New Hampshire)! Too much Power for Evengelicals!

Am I mad. You bet I am. Every four years, two people get nominated to run for President of our fair country–all fifty states. Do I have any say in who gets nominated? Hell No! Do you have any say in who gets nominated? Not unless you live in Iowa or New Hampshire or possibly South Carolina. That’s right. The caucuses and primaries in two, sometimes three, rarely four under populated, relatively insignificant states, for better or worse (usually worse) always choose our candidates for president. The other ninety-seven percent of the population can go to hell.

Now, if you happen to live in one of the three or four deciding states, please don’t take what I say personal, you lucky dogs. I personally think the time for a national primary has arrived, but assuming things aren’t going to change, you people have an obligation to choose the best candidate for the rest of the country and frankly you haven’t. In hindsight one could argue that in 2000 and 2004 you gave us the worst candidate and Iowa, in 2008 you may have done it again. Mike (Huckster) Huckabee?

Ahhh. The Evangelicals. I’m about to ruffle some feathers here. It never ceases to amaze me how selfish this group can be. To the detriment of everything else their main concern always seems to be social issues. They got their man in 2000/2004 and look what it got us, two wars (one unprovoked and unwarranted), two trillion in additional debt, three, soon to be four dollar a gallon gas, disdain around the world, tax relief for the rich and an epidemic of corporate greed and fraud to name a few.

To the Evangelicals, think about it. Do social issues have anything to do with prosecuting a war, dealing with national emergencies, dealing with our former friends and enemies overseas, dealing with the energy crisis, curbing our national debt, providing affordable health care, or dealing with terrorists?

Mike (Huckster) Huckabee? The only candidate that has stated he believes in creation. Forget billions of years of sedimentary and fossil evidence. Forget Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons. For this man, the earth and life upon it began seven thousand years ago. (sometime after the first pyramid was built.)

Yes, Mike Huckabee is likable and charismatic, but I think we’ve learned that charisma doesn’t run a smooth government. The man was an apprentice to Jerry Falwell. He was a preacher for chrissake. Evangelicals, if you want to be taken seriously, go do some good in the world and stop trying to shove your religion down my throat.

January 4, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . candidate, ethics, Evangelicals, fairness, George W. Bush, lobbists, overated, Overzealous, politicians, politics, President, President Bush, primary, pro life, science, Terrorism. Leave a comment.

Viewpoints I – A look at Psychiatry

From time to time I will post viewpoints from academicians which tend to mirrorm mine. Here is the first of such postings:


Tom Cruise is most certainly right. Psychiatry is, and will remain a
pseudoscience and the only caveat to that statement is that it may give it
more credibility than it deserves.

I speak as a medical ethicist and I congratulate Tom Cruise first for his
courage to speak out on such issues and second on his obvious dedicated
interest in the subject demonstrated by his knowledge of the issues. The
detractors especially those who support psychiatry because it has ‘helped
them’ miss the point. Tom Cruise is speaking about the subject, they are
speaking about themselves. The subject is this. Psychiatry demands
recognition within the healing arts and claims to be both a science and a
branch of medicine. It is neither for these reasons.

For years psychiatry has propagated a myth that mental illnesses are
biological and has even gone so far in many cases to deny that we are
creatures of free will at all. For years those who refuse to accept this
dogma have asked them for evidence, not conjecture, to support this
position. It has not been forthcoming and the best they have ever been able
to come up with are “maybes”, “possiblies” and “we believe”. Not one piece
of real evidence has ever been adduced and it places this branch of
‘science’ in the same category as that that searches for the Yeti and the
Sasquatch, except of course that those who believe in Yetis and Sasquatches
have never had access to the vast research funds that the biopsychiatric
fraternity have.

Medicine is bound by an ancient and laudable tradition of ethics in which
primum non nocere (first do no harm) is the foundation stone that the
doctrines of beneficence and non-malfeasance are built on. Those ethics are
abrogated and control has primacy over care, first do no harm but second do
what you like. Lying to patients in any branch of medicine is a breach of
that ethic. Forcing medication is a breach of that ethic, denying the right
of consent is a breach of those ethics and if those ethical conditions
cannot be met then psychiatry does not belong in their world.

Respect for autonomy is a pillar of medical ethics. Autonomy is a myth in
psychiatry and cannot be found in any psychiatric hospital or in any society
where medication with dangerous drugs is a condition of liberty. Justice is
the fourth pillar of medical ethics and as with the others it is totally
absent in psychiatry. Where is the justice in telling patients that ‘mental
illness is for life’ when that excludes them from many areas that those of
us who are not ‘mad’ take for granted. Where is the justice in lying to
patients that mental illness means they must take drugs forever when real
science has shown that is not the case. Where is the justice in detaining
people against their will, without due process, on the spurious grounds that
they are a risk to themselves. Where is the justice in billions of dollars
being spent on mood adapting drugs while those drugs that save lives ‘cannot
be afforded.’

Even if psychiatry were a ‘science’ it would belong in the field of what is
now described as the most dishonest science of all, Biological Science.
This once noblest of sciences was originally a search for knowledge and
truth. It is now a search for dollars and when truth gets in the way of
that, it is buried. Case after case is now coming to light where the
bioscientists have lied to get research dollars, kudos and personal wealth.
Some of these scientists gone bad are now facing well deserved jail
sentences. Manufactured mental illnesses have provided the biggest growth
industry to these characters, puffing up egos and fattening wallets. Real
science and real people have suffered the cost of this with real illness
neglected and real science ignored.

Biopsychiatry is the biggest pseudoscientific lie since eugenics, to which
it is of course closely related. A big hand to Tom Cruise and all who keep
reminding us of this.

Barry Turner
Lecturer in Medical Ethics and Law
University of Lincoln
London, England

July 20, 2007. dishonest, drugs, ethics, mental illness, Psychiatry, science, Tom Cruise, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.