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Calling into Question Your Sanity

Many thanks to Kat for bringing this to my attention.

From the Idaho Observer

The Illinois legislature has passed a law and appropriated $10 million to begin screening the state's children for mental illness, the Illinois Leader reported July 23, 2004.

The move gives Illinois the distinction of becoming the first state to participate in President Bush's sweeping initiative announced last June to assess the mental health of all Americans.

“Finishing up a week of public forums, the members of the Illinois Children's Mental Health Partnership ended early in Chicago July 23 following testimony from an overwhelming number of program supporters who agree that mental health screening is needed for Illinois children ages zero through 18,” reported The Leader.

The “supporters” indicated in the paragraph above were largely government employees, public health officials, pharmaceutical company representatives and mental health professionals who treat psychological problems with psychotropic drugs.

So let me get this straight: They're going to perform MANDATORY tests on all children in the state for mental illness, and the supporters that claim it's a good idea are the ones selling the drugs? Yeah, that's a swell idea.

So what happens if you don't want your child tested? Or if you don't agree with the results or the prescription?

“This program will not be voluntary,” Paul Schneider of Champaign told the task force. “No one will be exempt. If a family doesn't want to accept the school's evaluation of their child's mental health, what recourse will they have?”

Typically, if parents defy state mandates concerning what it deems to be proper parenting, the state's child protection apparatus will remove children from the home and initiate criminal prosecutions against the uncooperative parents.

Now just wait one fucking minute. If I don't want to treat my cancer, it's not a legal issue. If I want to be legally insane, as long as I'm not presenting a threat to society, it's not a legal issue. Who the fuck do these assholes think they are?

State Representative Patti Bellock (R-Wheaton) was a co-sponsor to the initiating legislation that passed last year, The Leader reported -- a subtle indication that the president's mental health screening agenda has been in the planning for some time.

Oh yeah, right. I forgot. The same people that will have you arrested for disagreeing with Bush's policies outside of a free-speech zone. You don't think they'd classify disagreement of his policies as a mental condition, do you? Naw they'd never--

Schneider commented that pulling your children from public school is not likely to shelter them from the state's mandate. He also expressed concern that an assessment of mental ill-health may be a judgment call on the part of the person doing the judging.

When a woman asked about how sexual orientation would be handled by the program, she then began to cast aspersions on Catholics for the Church's strong convictions regarding homosexuality.

The exchange illuminates a serious issue. What if a gay or lesbian government employee is judging a child from a devoutly Catholic home? Will the state label the child and prescribe mood-altering drugs to him because he has been taught to believe homosexuality is an abomination?

Sure, there are serious issues here. But you know that this wouldn't have been passed unless these issues were discussed in detail and all the ramifications were studies by those pushing the bill through the legistlative process. Right?

The Leader commented that Bellock understands questions will likely be raised as more people learn about the contents of the program. “I am one of the appointed task force members, but I'm not familiar with all this contains,” Bellock explained, admitting that she had not taken the time to read the entire report which explains the details of the plan she co-sponsored in the legislature with full knowledge that passage will affect every child and every parent in her state of 12.2 million residents.

Well, um, okay. But at least it will prevent future Columbine's from happening. And isn't that what's . . .

Bellock recovered by recalling the Columbine shooting, which she believes are connected to young people who are depressed and with low self-esteem. She failed to mention that the Columbine shooters were on the same state-prescribed drugs with which administrators of her law intend to treat the depressed children of Illinois.

Karen Hayes, associate director of Concerned Women for America/Illinois summed it up best, I think:

“In summary, it is neither beneficial to children, nor to taxpayers, to ask government bureaucracies to set competency standards for mental health.

“With some amount of lightheartedness, may I propose that the mental health of the perpetrators of this concept be evaluated?”

And, in keeping with the light-hearted feel of this piece, may I simply add one thing?

This isn't the least bit funny.

Joseph Haines, signing off from The Edge of the Abyss

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