Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Help Prevent More Unnecessary Tragedies by Contacting Your Senator About S.1284 and S.689 Today

The tragedy at the Navy Yard is yet another wake-up call to both citizens and lawmakers that the United States needs legislative reform.

The Navy Yard, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Fort Hood, Tucson, Virginia Tech, Columbine, and several other unnecessary mass murders all had one strong, undeniable detail in common- mental health disorders.

Placing the blame on firearms regulations will not stop mentally ill persons from attacking and hurting others. The root of the problem is the mentally ill, not the tool the person chose for their attack. The real problem lies with sick persons who were not treated for mental illnesses adequately.

The time has come to raise awareness of mental health disorders in the public square and provide more resources to help ill persons. All individuals need to learn and identify the mentally ill among them, and help the sick and afflicted get help. Schools need to be given more resources to identify and serve mentally ill students.

The stigma of mental awareness needs to be lifted so that the ill will not be afraid to admit their sickness and reach out for help.

I urge you to support the mental health funding levels in the Senate FY2014 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill (S.1284) and to cosponsor and enact the Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 689).

There has been a cut in state funding for mental health services and supports of nearly $5 billion over the last three years.  The Senate funding bill includes a roughly $107 million increase for much-needed, critical mental health services at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and would fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at FY2012 levels. 

S.1284 makes important strides in investing in "upstream services" such as suicide prevention, consumer programs, Project AWARE, etc. to begin to address the treatment chasm (80 percent of children and 66 percent of adults that need treatment do not receive it).

In the wake of the the Navy Yard shooting, the Sandy Hook tragedy, Aurora, and all of the other national crises, bi-partisan legislation was introduced by Sens. Tom Harkin and Lamar Alexander to assist states and local communities in addressing mental health needs ("upstream" services). 

The Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 689) was passed by an overwhelming vote of 95-2 in April as an amendment to a legislative vehicle that has since been pulled from the Senate calendar.

I urge you to support the funding levels in the Senate FY2014 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill (S.1284) in any future spending package or Continuing Resolution and to urge the Senate to have the House consider the Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 689). These important bills will help address the mental health and addiction needs in our state and communities.

You can show your support for this bill by contacting your Senator (click here to find your senator and her/his email address), and sending her/him the text in bold above.

Share this message on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Help spread the word, and encourage everyone to not just "like" the post, but SEND THE MESSAGE TO THE SENATE TO SUPPORT SENATE FY2014 LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AND EDUCATION AND APPROPRIATIONS BILL (S.1284) AND THE MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS AND IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2013 (S.689)!

You can learn more about this legislation on the Mental Health America website. 

Why Are American Health Care Costs So High?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Vladimir Putin Attempts to School Americans on Democracy and Diplomacy

Vladimir Putin wrote an op-ed for The New York Times regarding the "conflict" in Syria.

This has been met with some very mixed reactions, including one member of Congress to say it made him "sick to his stomach" to read it.*

Putin attempts to remind and school Americans about diplomacy, what the Pope thinks, and almost inexplicably- democracy.

He goes on to say, "We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression. "

Vladimir Putin is telling Americans to follow current international law?!?

But before you start to think the man has a point, he then continues on to say that yes, gas was used on the Syrian people, but not by Assad's regime. He suggests the rebels did it to themselves to invoke sympathy.

And then this "former" KGB hack makes this gem of a statement, "force has proved ineffective and pointless."

And don't miss the part where on 9/11 Vladimir Putin in all sincerity asks Americans to recall the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security. Thus a growing number of countries seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This is logical: if you have the bomb, no one will touch you."

Be sure to stay to the end, where Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, former KGB agent, the man who turned off gas to his own people in the middle of a freezing winter, possible Chechnyan war criminal, persecutor of gays, and human minotaur, says in response to President Obama's address to the nation:

And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

Again, "it is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional."

And that, my friends, is what defines the difference between Russia and America.

Now I understand why the congressman was sick to his stomach.

*This post is not indicative of the writer's thoughts on the Syrian conflict, it is merely a reflection on her opinion of Putin attempting to be a compassionate communist educating Americans on liberty and democracy.