Kafkaesque nightmare at county mental health facility

February 16, 2012

Valerie Lane following the assault at the hospital

By KAREN VELIE

San Luis Obispo County’s claim that it is not responsible for the brutal attacks of women at its mental health facility on Johnson Avenue was thrown out by a judge on Feb. 8.

Superior Court Judge Dodie Harman ruled against the county’s request that the suit does not have merit  under the county’s claim it is not responsible if patients assault each other.

“This is the first time this type of case has gone this far,” attorney Jim McKiernan said “I think any law suit like this will cause public entities to rethink their responsibility for patients in their care,  and that’s the way it should be otherwise it is totally Kafkaesque.”

More than two years ago, a man with a long history of criminal assaults violently attacked a patient at San Luis Obispo County’s Mental Health inpatient facility. Valerie Lane suffered a gash to her head that required staples, an injured finger that still does not bend, bruised lungs, and a battered and cut face with eyes swollen shut.

Today, she is losing vision because of damage to the retina in her right eye.

She made requests to the county for financial compensation, all of which were denied. Lane said she was turned away by numerous attorneys who did not want to battle the county, then James McKiernan agreed to file a lawsuit.

In an attempt to have a judge toss the case before it had a chance to go to trial, the county filed a demurrer claiming that the county mental health facility on Johnson Avenue in San Luis Obispo is not a county psychiatric hospital and as such is not required to follow certain laws and regulations in place to protect patients. A claim that has been successful at protecting government run mental health facilities throughout the state from having to take responsibility for patient safety.

“In a nutshell, the County’s only psychiatric hospital argues that it is not a county psychiatric hospital . . . required to follow certain statutes and regulations for patient safety,” McKiernan said in his opposition. “That’s crazy.”

Judge Harmon overruled the county’s claim that it is not responsible and order county officials to respond to McKiernan’s complaint within 20 days.

Lane, 52, had been suffering from severe migraines and depression and called her therapist who told her to check herself into the mental health facility to protect herself.

William Shirreffs

On Sept. 4, 2009, Lane was spending her second day at mental health when she asked if she could smoke a cigarette. A staff member took her outside to a metal enclosure that consists of chain link walls and ceiling. The staff member lit Lane’s cigarette and left.

Lane sat on a bench weeping because of a severe migraine. A facility staffer brought in William Shirreffs, lit his cigarette and left.

Unlike Lane, Shirreffs, 59, had been involuntarily placed into SLO County Mental Health by law enforcement officers and was known at the time to have an extensive history of criminal convictions for violence, assaulting a police officer, drugs, molestation of children, indecent exposure and theft, according to his criminal case information from Kern County Superior Court.

After a few minutes of silence, Shirreffs put out his cigarette and began to punch Lane and after about a half minute, he stopped and stepped away.

A few minutes later, staff found Lane with blood running down her face. Her white T-shirt was splotched with the blood.

“I do not want this to happen to someone else,” Lane said. “Obviously, going public with my attack didn’t change anything.”

In November, a registered sex offender high on cocaine held a mentally ill woman hostage and sexually assaulted her at the county mental health inpatient facility.

Ambrose Wesley

Ambrose Wesley walked into the patient’s room, held his hand over her mouth and face leaving behind abrasions, and then sexually assaulted the woman for about five minutes before mental health staffers noticed.

“I know what she is going through,” Lane said weeping. “Changes need to be made. I still have night mares and it has been two years.”

Several county employees said Wesley should have been placed in jail which also has mental health services rather than county mental health because police had determined the man was high on cocaine.

“I think this is a form of abuse mixing violent criminals with defenseless woman,” McKiernan said. “Harman’s ruling paves the way for us to proceed on the other horrendous and tragic case (the November sexual assault).”

Watch a video of the assault.

 


Loading...

58 Comments

  1. Paperboys says:

    I’ve never been to CMH but I have had dealings with County Drug & Alcohol Services, having gone there weekly for 18 months for DUI classes. I didn’t think their offices were rundown or inadequate in any way. They were actually very nice at DAS, which is right next door to CMH.
    My understanding is CMH is in the old General Hospital building is it not? How bad can it be? Or maybe it’s just the subject matter at CMH that drags the whole thing down.
    As for this story and these cases, the County better not let this get to trial by jury. They could lose very big.
    Cities and counties have insurance but the coverage only goes so high and the county treasury would have to make up any difference.
    I’d bet a Wall Street bonus that both of these cases are now settled out of court, and quietly too with non-disclosure clauses and sealed records.
    IMO the trick is to push the county as fast and hard as one can toward going to trial. That will move them to settle quicker and not try and stall and delay forever.

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  2. SLOBIRD says:

    The following information was taken from the County of SLO Budget. This information is from the 2012 Budget.

    SERVICE PROGRAMS
    Behavioral Health has a total expenditure level of $47,107,159 and a total staffing level of 204.25 FTE to provide the following services: Mental Health Services
    The San Luis Obispo County Mental Health Services Department offers a full range of specialty mental healthservices provided by a culturally diverse network of community mental health programs, clinics and private psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists.

    A sampling of the pay for positions:
    A STAFF PSYCHIATRIST earns SALARY: $13,298 – $16,165/month and a position is current open.
    MENTAL HEALTH NURSE I/II SALARY: I $4,896-$5,952; II $5,508-$6,695 position open

    A SENIOR ACCOUNT CLERK earns SALARY: $3,007 – $3,655/month. position open

    I really don’t think it’s the amount of money available, it is the proirities of how the money is spent. Maybe it is a managment problem to have so many openings (a page full) in this economy. The stated pay does NOT include benefits.

    (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down
  3. Ugluk says:

    Sadly, these poor women are not the only victims caused by the monumental incompetence of county mental health; the people in need of help who now will not feel safe checking into the mental health facility and consequently are left to struggle alone have been victimized as well.

    Also, for the county to say that they are not responsible is to add insult to injury. I hope the county gets taken to the cleaners financially (yes, I know that I as a taxpayer am on the hook as well, but right is right). More importantly, I hope the attention this topic is now receiving will lead to a thorough housecleaning (fire the idiots responsible for these travesties) , and a dramatic change in protocol and procedure.

    (16) 16 Total Votes - 16 up - 0 down
  4. Slowerfaster says:

    Karen …you used a word: “Kafkaesque” that these moron conservatroids do not understand. Not that they understand much, if anything.

    (-9) 23 Total Votes - 7 up - 16 down
    • Citizen says:

      Judging by your unsubstantiated and “name calling” comments, the lack of “understanding much of anything” falls to you. Why don’t you offer some informed opinions?

      (4) 10 Total Votes - 7 up - 3 down
      • Slowerfaster says:

        I do not throw my pearls before swine.

        (-3) 7 Total Votes - 2 up - 5 down
  5. racket says:

    Didn’t think I would ever find myself rooting for the Mckiernan band of thuglies, but I am today.

    It is particularly unlikely in light of the fact that if they prevail, the plaintiffs will be awarded MY money.

    (3) 23 Total Votes - 13 up - 10 down
    • RU4Real says:

      racket, Just so YOU know, the McKiernan Law Firm IS NOT a “band of thugs”…They are the most professional, ethical law firm in SLO County & THEY are not afraid to take on the County. I’m SURE THEY will get a POSITIVE outcome for their client. Also, hats off to Judge Dodie Harman for her decision in throwing out the county’s request. SHE has proven to me that SHE really has guts & integrity & IS NOT AFRAID of CORRUPT SLO COUNTY! I’ve said it before, Jim is the BEST & I know for a fact, that HE & HIS STAFF are NOT afraid to fight SLO County! Keep up the good work, Jim!

      (11) 31 Total Votes - 21 up - 10 down
      • racket says:

        You are absolutely right — I made my smarmy comment based on reputation, not based on any actual experience. I apologize to the McKiernan law firm.

        And I agree, also, we ought to be supportive of those who are not afraid to stick their finger far into the bee’s nest of the County. I agree with that even though it will end up costing us money that ostensibly could be used for services like, say, more staffing at Mental Health.

        (16) 18 Total Votes - 17 up - 1 down
      • Typoqueen says:

        I’m from the old school. I have a hard time with docs and lawyers that advertise. Back when I was younger 100 years ago, docs and lawyers would be considered unethical if they advertised, it just didn’t happen. To me attorneys that advertise are the sharks, they’re the ambulance chasers. That being said, McKieran seems to get a lot of money for his clients and that’s what they want so I guess advertising is just a sign of the times. But there are still plenty of very good attorneys that don’t need to advertise.

        (-16) 22 Total Votes - 3 up - 19 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          That’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it just as I’m entitled to mine and I’m not the only one that feels this way. I’m glad that you’ve had success with McKiernan and as I’ve stated so have a lot of other people. I understand that my opinion on this is old fashioned. As I said, when I was younger that’s how things were done. It was commonly known that good attorneys and good docs didn’t advertise. I’m not making that up. But it doesn’t matter, as I said that’s old school but that’s the way I still feel.

          (-12) 16 Total Votes - 2 up - 14 down
        • standup says:

          Oh! Now you’re the business specialist, to go along all you other expertise. Typo, you crack me up. I think I am going to brand you the everythingologist.

          (8) 14 Total Votes - 11 up - 3 down
          • Typoqueen says:

            Business Specialist,,,what? How did you get that from my post, are you okay? Really, my post doesn’t even relate to that claim at all. LOL how does my comment regarding docs and attorneys make me a ‘business expert’? That’s just too funny, looks like you have some reading comprehension issues.

            Why are looking for things to rag on me about? I simply stated an old commonly known belief. Many years ago only the ambulance chasers advertised, that’s a fact, I’m not making that up, ask any old person. How do you interpret that as to me proclaiming that I’m a ‘business specialist’. I don’t care who you or anyone else uses as far as docs and attorneys. I never once in that post indicated that I knew more than anyone or anything,,,,,although when it comes to you,,never mind…

            Don’t you have something better to do then to just bully me? Just stop reading my posts. If you don’t stop being like an annoying mosquito you might get squished.

            (-9) 19 Total Votes - 5 up - 14 down
      • weisetoslo says:

        Racket

        From first hand experience with McKiernan Law Firm.
        My wife was rear ended 20 years ago, one of the attorneys from his firm said the fee is 25% on contingency and if they had to go to court it would be 50% of the judgement.
        Well they got 50%, the claim was settle in a short time without having gone to court.
        It was because the attorney filed the lawsuit in court shortly after the interview and because the firm paid the approximate $130 filing fee in court, they felt it was the equivelent of going to court!

        McKiernan and his crooked staff of attorneys are good lawyers, most attorneys don’t like litigating against an agency litigating against an agency, so it is an even trade off i.e. good legal service for an end price 50%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
        • weisetoslo says:

          The old saying, “you can’t beat city hall is still somewhat true”
          The preparation against any government agency is horrendous.
          50% preparation fee alone is worth it and they do a good job.
          I would still pick McKiernan Law Firm in these type of cases.

          (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
  6. jwsjr says:

    I was involuntarily placed into this facility in Feb 2009. I had attempted to commit suicide and was placed on 72 hour lockdown after being released from the hospital. Shortly after arriving, I had two individuals approach me to steal my (amazingly gross) meal at dinner. I am 6-6 and stood up raised my voice and gave a stare that would have killed those two, especially after what I went through in the last few days. Savage Dogs live better than what goes on in that facility. Luckily I possessed amazing health insurance and I was immediately transferred (at my very strongly worded request) to Vista Del Mar in Ventura. I do not blame the facility management, I blame the workers for doing a minimal amount of work. They basically stayed in their office the WHOLE TIME I WAS PRESENT, only coming out to handle ISSUES. The Doctor on duty was about 90 years old and did absolutely not one thing to help me during the 31 hours I was present there. I prayed to God to get me out of there, and it was answered. I have no doubt that I would be dead today by suicide again due to the fact I received not one bit of help during the 31 Hours at this place. NOT ONE BIT OF TALKING ABOUT MY LIFE ISSUES, NOT ONE BIT OF COMPASSION, NOT ONE BIT OF ANYTHING. I was truly in a dark place in 2009 when everything in my life crashed around me and the Health Facility in SLO did absolutely not one thing to bring me out of darkness. What a total waste of taxpayer’s money. Need to hire some people who care about humanity instead of herding humanity.

    (65) 71 Total Votes - 68 up - 3 down
    • Ted Slanders says:

      jwsjr,

      “I prayed to God to get me out of there, and it was answered.”

      Barring the fact that you didn’t mention in which God you prayed too; if you didn’t have the amazing health insurance that you had, and the fact of being strong in your transfer request, i doubt that whichever God you prayed too would have listened in a timely manner. In other words, in your then situation, two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.

      That being said, I am grateful that you got out of this situation, and that you are well enough to be able to converse with us today.

      (5) 51 Total Votes - 28 up - 23 down
      • As the world turns says:

        It’s “to” and not “too”.

        (-21) 29 Total Votes - 4 up - 25 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          I’m sure he’s aware of that. As much as we haven’t been getting along as of late Ted’s a pretty smart guy. Please don’t critique my posts Mr. Perfect, they’ll keep you busy all day.

          (4) 24 Total Votes - 14 up - 10 down
          • standup says:

            I don’t think you have been getting along with anyone lately.

            (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
    • Jack L says:

      I used to take patients to the old mental health facility underneath General Hospital every few months. God help anyone who has to use these facilities. They are underfunded. I do not blame the rank and file staff, I hold the system accountable for turning their backs on seriously ill patients. Those that have not been there and done that might not get it but it’s pathetic in many cases.

      In this case not providing security for a helpless patient borders incompetence regarding their protocols and training. Saying they are not responsible is going to take them down many notches. I hope it is all for the better in the long run.

      (11) 11 Total Votes - 11 up - 0 down
      • Typoqueen says:

        I agree about the underfunding. I feel bad for the staff, they are so understaffed. They can’t keep shrinks, the shrinks that they manage to find are the bottom of the barrel. The staff are afraid of the patients because they don’t have enough staff.

        I understand the why Ms. Lane is taking legal action, I’d do the same thing. It’s just a shame though that it will mean even more money will be taken from patients that need help. As bad as Co. Mental Health is and it is in bad shape, it’s all that some people have. I’d hate to see it close.

        (-4) 10 Total Votes - 3 up - 7 down
        • standup says:

          I doubt patients will lose money. The county has insurance for lawsuits.

          (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
      • RU4Real says:

        Jack L, while I “somewhat” agree with you, the FACT is that MOST of the staff there are complete incompetents & would probably never be hired elsewhere. SLO County needs to have higher qualifications for those they hire. The seem to hire nothing but “rejects”…

        (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          I don’t agree with that. They have some very good employees, they just can’t do everything by themselves with no help as well as work in out-dated conditions.

          (-10) 12 Total Votes - 1 up - 11 down
        • The Gimlet Eye says:

          One of the tenets of gubmint: The worst rise to the top.

          (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
  7. kayaknut says:

    I so glad those high salaries and benefits we taxpayers pay get us the highest quality people, just imagine how much worse it would be if we had to settle for people who would work for resonable salaries.

    (6) 30 Total Votes - 18 up - 12 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      Oh, for cryin’ out loud ! Can you read ? “Facility staffers” are undoubtedly low paid …close to minimum wage and minimally trained. They don’t hold degrees. all a result of budget cuts and other ‘austerity’ measures as started by St. Ronnie.

      You conservatives always get what you don’t pay for , then biotch about it !

      (-13) 47 Total Votes - 17 up - 30 down
      • TypoKing says:

        Slowerfaster….

        So if facility staffers are low paid and minimally trained then it’s ok to….

        be beaten to the point you will have major health problems for the rest of your life and be sexually assaulted and then be told they are not legally responsible…

        Then yes, I will BITCH about it!

        (32) 48 Total Votes - 40 up - 8 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          You seem to be having a reading comprehension issue. Slowfaster didn’t say anything about it being okay to for patients to get beaten and the other things you said. He/she said that they’re not over paid. Get a grip, you’re proving his point about cons. You’re way out of line.

          (-15) 21 Total Votes - 3 up - 18 down
          • TypoKing says:

            TQ… thank you for calling it to my attention.

            (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
      • doggin says:

        I imagine if we paid them more they would be able to suddenly grow some compassion for a person about to step off the edge.Typical Dem thinking.

        (4) 16 Total Votes - 10 up - 6 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          It’s not a matter of paying them more, its a matter of increasing staffing. They don’t’ have enough funds for proper facilities and enough employees, they’re barely hanging on.

          You take and you take but you don’t want to give back. Typical con thinking.

          (-5) 17 Total Votes - 6 up - 11 down
          • RU4Real says:

            Typo, It’s a matter of getting & hiring QUALIFIED employees…

            (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
            • Typoqueen says:

              I have talked to staff at CMH, I frequently talk with people at South Co. Mental health (no, it’s business, I’m not a patient BTW). After going there for so many years I’ve come to know the people that work there. I’ve had this discussion many times with them. I’ve seen bad shrink after bad shrink go in and out like a revolving door. They can’t even keep the bad ones let alone a good one. In the last 12 years I have seen 2 good, qualified docs there but they didn’t stay for long. I have seen a huge decline in the care at CMH and anyone that works there will tell you it’s from lack of funding. They rarely have nurses. Most of the shrinks are there for a few weeks then they move on. The last doc that I spoke with was high on some pill that he openly admitted to me that it was given to him by a friend (he was terminated that day). They admit that they have a hard time finding good staff and that they are desperate for more staff. They are so over burdened that good people don’t want to work there. Why should they when they can work somewhere else with less stress (because of funding) and they get paid more.

              I wouldn’t be surprised to see it close it’s doors in the near future if something doesn’t change.

              (-7) 9 Total Votes - 1 up - 8 down
              • RU4Real says:

                Maybe a house cleaning from top to bottom????

                (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
                • Typoqueen says:

                  No, more help, more docs more nurses better facilities. Maybe there’s a bad staff person but overall that’s not the main problem.

                  (-6) 10 Total Votes - 2 up - 8 down
                • standup says:

                  You pay for them.

                  (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
                • The Gimlet Eye says:

                  “more docs more nurses” equals “better facilities”?

                  Well, maybe, maybe not, one just can’t be certain of that.

                  Do more bureaucrats equal better gubmint?

                  Do more social programs equal more self-sufficiency?

                  Do higher taxes equal more efficiency?

                  Does growth in gubmint equal more freedom?

                  Typical “big government thinking.”

                  (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
                • Typoqueen says:

                  Gimlet, I didn’t say “more docs more nurses” equals “better facilities”. I said they need more docs, more nurses AND better facilities. You and standup must have went to the same party last night. You both seem to be having the same reading issues.

                  What do you mean more govt. more money.. they have less not more. The proof is in that video of that poor woman getting beat up that you people that are taking the funding away are hurting the system. It’s black and white, if you keep taking then it will break. You’ve taken away the funding and now it’s falling apart.

                  @standup, why do you hate other races as well as those suffering from mental illness? Why do you only care about rich white people? BTW, I am paying for them and so are you. Those wealthy people that you are a pawn for, those are the ones that aren’t chipping in on the bill, that’s the reason they’re falling apart. But you won’t get that, you’re too full of hate to get it.

                  (-6) 10 Total Votes - 2 up - 8 down
          • The Gimlet Eye says:

            What’s “typical con thinking”?

            (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
            • Typoqueen says:

              Right wingers that want to use govt. services ie Social Security, ie roads, fire depts, parks, Medicare, schools, air traffic controllers, safe food, safe meds, county mental heath but they don’t want the wealthy to help pay for these things. You only want the middle class to pay for govt. services and if you could get more out of the poor you’d do that as well. So now look at our County Mental Health as well as all of those other things. Doggin and probably you will blame the employees for doing a bad job when you’re not willing to have the wealthy share in funding to help support these services.. Once again it’s on our backs and not those that hoard almost 50% of the countries money. This issue is 100% because of that, that is why this poor woman was so traumatized, it’s because of the right and their philosophy with Bush’s policies of letting the wealthy get out paying their fair share. You people are to blame for this, not the staff at CMH.

              Is that more clear for you?

              (-10) 10 Total Votes - 0 up - 10 down
              • SLOBIRD says:

                You don’t think spending over $47 MILLION IN THIS COUNTY is done by the poor people in this State, do you??? How much money do you want to throw into this program. Over 200 people are hired for this program. Where is the money going??? I suggest you go to the SLO County Budget, Behavior Health

                (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
              • The Gimlet Eye says:

                More clear than you are ever likely to know.

                You make many unexamined assumptions. Are you sure that you know what you are even talking about?

                I am not a member of “the right,” whatever that may be.

                How about Libertarians? Do you know what they stand for?

                “You people”? What people are those? I have no idea what you mean. Are you sure that you understand my Libertarian political philosopy so very well?

                Have you read any Libertarian/Austrian economics? If not, then you cannot claim to understand my political philosophy at all.

                Maybe you could expound on “typical Libertarian thinking”? That would mean something here.

                But then, you would have to read up on it, would you not? You can start with Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson. That alone would be immensely impressive. If you graduated to Murray Rothbard, one would be at the point of swooning.

                Do impress me, dear, do! I so look forward to a report of your intellectual development!

                Austrian economics is such a richly rewarding discipline, I’m sure that you will agree, once you give it a try.

                Excelsior!

                (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
                • Typoqueen says:

                  “I am not a member of “the right,” whatever that may be.”

                  Oh yeah, that’s what your type have been saying since your man Bush screwed up the country so bad. Let’s hear a round of ‘I didn’t vote for him’. Oh yes, you’re as right as they come, you are walking talking tea bag minded right winger. No doubt about that.

                  “How about Libertarians? Do you know what they stand for?”

                  This is the new far right with a cool new title. Pearls on a pig, you can dress up your right wingness but you’re still just an ultra con right winger. It reminds me of when Amway got a bad rap with their strong arm multi level marketing. They got such a bad rep that they changed their name. Same thing with republicans,,okay Mr. ‘Libertarian’, call yourself what you want, you are what your are, an extreme right winger. If you would like I can give you a definition of that. You will vote for a fellow extremist and you probably have fantasies of going on a hunt with S. Palin.

                  “You people”? What people are those?”

                  Well, there’s too many to list but here’s a few, you, standup SSB, Rush, insaHannity, Trump etc. Some of you might call yourselves your new shinny title but you’re still the same ole thing, just new packaging.

                  “I have no idea what you mean. Are you sure that you understand my Libertarian political philosopy so very well?”

                  LOL, yeah you people aren’t exactly rocket scientists, it’s not hard to figure out. It’s all about the hate. You hate anything and anyone that doesn’t agree with your extreme right wing agenda. Hate unions, hate the govt. hate Obama, hate libs, hate the poor hate the needy hate Hispanics,,pretty much hate hate hate. Not just disagree but hate. It’s your way or the hwy, no such thing as compromise or middle ground. Same old tea bag nonesense.

                  “Do impress me, dear, do! I so look forward to a report of your intellectual development!”

                  I’m not a pseudo intellect, that’s your job. I’ve never claimed to be an intellect, I’m just a mom working to help my family that likes to read about current affairs and politics and enjoys calling people like you out on your BS.

                  Since you are so enamoured with Austrian economics then perhaps you’re in favor of the Austrian health care. Life’s too short to read your propaganda, there’s plenty of suckers out there for that but I’m not one of them.

                  (-9) 9 Total Votes - 0 up - 9 down
                • The Gimlet Eye says:

                  You are a real piece of work, Typoqueen, the most perfect specimen of brainwashing that it has ever been my good fortune to encounter.

                  As I said, excelsior!

                  (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
                • zaphod says:

                  Typo the libertarians are Koch family sponsored since the sixties lots of overlap with John Birch society and anti immigrant puppet maestroe John Tanton austrian school crap is vdare fellow travelers with the so called society for historical review . very stridently right wing effluvia

                  (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
                • Typoqueen says:

                  OMG zap, that is a great website, I’m going to CCP it and read more of those articles later. I copied this first paragraph from the Birch article:

                  “This morning, the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer published an explosive investigative piece detailing the role of the Koch family in orchestrating not only the Tea Party movement, but much of the modern right-wing infrastructure. The brothers David and Charles Koch, heirs to the oil and chemical conglomerate Koch Industries, have founded or funded dozens of conservative or libertarian publications, think tanks, and attack groups. Their father, Fred Koch, similarly fueled the paranoid right-wing movements of the fifties and sixties through his financing of the John Birch Society.”

                  Actually I wanted to CCP the whole article. The Kochs are the scum of the earth. They are so dangerous and these tea bagging fools have no idea who’s holding their puppet strings. It’s really scary how much power they have.

                  Now I’m off to read your other two links. There’s no more room to post so thanks in advance for your posts, they are so informative. Some of them (like this one about the Kochs) should be required high school reading.

                  (-8) 8 Total Votes - 0 up - 8 down
                • The Gimlet Eye says:

                  Is that the comic book version of economics?

                  (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
                • OnTheOtherHand says:

                  As a former Libertarian, I am more familiar with the philosophies which you follow. Unlike Typoqueen, I do know the difference between real Libertarians and the Tea Party or other far-right extremists.

                  However, her mistaken perception of your political views does not negate her points — which apply to the Libertarians as much as to the more corrupt elements of the Right. This is one of three reasons that I left the Libertarian party although I still agree with many of its views.

                  A society that does not take care of it’s less fortunate members (one way or another) will reap the consequences down the line.
                  If we don’t have functional mental health care available, these people will end up causing problems on the streets either by harassing “normal” people or by dying in the gutters.

                  I suppose the official Libertarian position would be that this should be a voluntary effort by private associations (churches or otherwise) but I have seen nothing that makes me think that option would work in any practical manner in our society.

                  The backup position would be that if they can’t take care of themselves they deserve to end up dead — whether by their own hands, someone else’ hands or by law enforcement system. That is the ultimate basis for much Libertarian philosophy — social Darwinism.

                  I have no doubt that government institutions such as CMH are imperfect in structure and personnel. However, it is still a fundamentally better option than any other. Typoqueen’s analysis of the situation there sounds more realistic than your knee-jerk opposition to any increase in government funding (and resulting tax increases) because of a few problems.

                  There ARE problems with government spending but they are not universal. The worst of them involve tax breaks and other forms of subsidy to individuals and corporations that don’t need them and get them because of political campaign funding. A real Libertarian should be able to agree on that point. Let’s solve that problem first and see how much good it does before further destroying a program that, whatever faults it may have, tries to help keep society civil.

                  (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
                • The Gimlet Eye says:

                  Why you left the Libertarian party is still not clear to me. Perhaps you could elaborate on that.

                  (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
              • Citizen says:

                Why do you resort to personal attacks in answering questions. Why is this Bush’s fault. It’s because you don’t know who to blame for this particular situation, so you just pick some standard retorts.

                There is obviously something wrong with the management of this facility.
                Either they need more staff or better trained staff or better managers.

                The county supports this facility and the BOS has wasted money right and left on county employees and frivolous projects (ex. money to a non-profit to take out Eucalyptus trees along a creek, 99 planners for the county). Raising taxes for more money for the county is not going to help if the BOS continues to underfund this facility and spends the taxpayer money for crap and programs we don’t want.

                This facility is using “roving” psychiatrists because we do not have enough psychiatrists in this county to serve the population. In fact, we have a shortage of psychiatrists in this country. Agencies like these get psychiatrists to drive in from LA, or get new psychiatrists that are starting out, or get psychiatrists that are out of work because of problems, and these doctors come and go, when most people need to see the same doctor more than once to get real help.

                This is not Bush’s fault. Psychiatrists have to get a medical degree and then with more schooling become a psychiatrist. It’s very expensive and time consuming and difficult.

                (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
                • Typoqueen says:

                  “Why is this Bush’s fault.” Is that a question? It’s Bush’s fault as well as his supporters 100%. It was his admin that gave away our tax $$ to the wealthy that help support agencies such as this. Tax revenue has been slashed when the cost of goods is going up which in turn caused boards such as the BOS to slash programs to pay for other programs. Just because you might not agree with the BOS spends county funds doesn’t mean that everyone agrees with you. I feel that that over all they do a pretty good job.

                  I agree about the roving shrinks. Obviously I don’t agree about the staff. I believe they need more staff and better facilities.

                  I don’t believe that I respond with personal attacks unless I’m attacked first. Even with that I don’t go after people as much those on this site go after me. Why don’t you ever call out those that attack me?

                  (-5) 7 Total Votes - 1 up - 6 down
      • obispan says:

        They may not hold degrees but I doubt they are either “minimally trained” or paid “close to minimum wage”. Plenty of paid training and double minimum wage with full benefits at the least. And I do not imply they deserve anything less. Just as tired of senseless spew from the left as well as the right.

        (2) 10 Total Votes - 6 up - 4 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          Again, I don’t believe it’s what the current staff are getting paid, it’s a matter of not enough staff.

          (-10) 12 Total Votes - 1 up - 11 down
  8. Robert1 says:

    They do have the responsibility and they will pay, in the end.

    (32) 34 Total Votes - 33 up - 1 down

Comments are closed.