Diminished Capacity 2 – When the Reader of Tests is Crucial.

Diminished Capacity 2 – When the Reader of Tests is Crucial.

I’ve done a few posts on psychological tests and the flaws in their designs. But what about medical tests? With the caveat that we only know about 5% of the brain’s workings. And it’s not just about what each part does, but also how they work together (esp if one part is injured. Do other parts cope? And to what degree?) No test is 100%. And no condition affects two people the exact same way….. So what we end up with is who looks at it and how good they are at their job.

The reader

  • What is their specialty?
  • Where did they study?
  • How much experience, variety have they had?
  • How honest are they?
  • How influenced are they by what reporters say on the case? (social workers, police, other MDs, other reports, family of accused, etc)
  • Did they do the assessment? Or use an independent lab/computer analysis?
  • Is doing court reports their focus or a clinical practice?

……

See what I mean? It’s not a sure thing, is it? Considering what’s at stake, don’t you think it should be? Which is actually why these tests aren’t that seriously taken in court.

Gossip of the day on Twitter – Elon Musk, SEC, Twitter, Law Suit and ‘Freeze Peach’

Gossip of the day on Twitter – Elon Musk, SEC, Twitter, Law Suit and ‘Freeze Peach’

Here’s the bullet pts:

  • EM thinks Twitter is going all leftie and freezing out RW politics (Oh if only it were true!!)
  • So he buys shares in twitter and thinks he can be an influence on ‘freedumb’ (he really should check how relevant that is @ the world for SM sites.)
  • twitter offers him a seat on the board.
  • EM says no. (buys more stock)
  • He files intent to purchase Twitter with SEC.
  • Except he’s late on notifying them how much stock he has
  • Twitter shareholders file suit. They claim EM is acting illegally. And yeah he just might be!

#firstworldproblems #oligarchsbeoligarchs #eattherich

Rabbit , carrot and stick – (a story, since Easter’s coming)

Rabbit , carrot and stick

The farmer was going crazy about the 🐇 that kept stealing his 🥕🥕. He tried putting up fences, digging trenches around the field and filling them with garlic, water and even tried putting mesh over the 🥕 patches. But nothing deterred the 🐇 .

The farmer’s wife thought her husband was going to have a heart attack or a stroke! He got so angry! His face didn’t just go red. It was purple!

Then the farmer thought of setting a 🐇 trap! If the 🐇 was going to eat his 🥕🥕 then the 🐇 was going to become stew!

And it did work. The 🐇 was caught. The farmer jovially brought the 🐇 into the house and set about chopping veg to cook with it. Meanwhile, the farmer’s kids were playing with the 🐇 , even though the farmer warned them that the 🐇 was going to be dinner. They fed the 🐇 , and the farmer thought, well that’ll make it fatter. They rolled marbles at the 🐇 and it batted them back to the kids. The 🐇 winked and blinked and twitched it’s nose at the kids. And they laughed. Even the farmer’s wife laughed. It was adorable.

The farmer’s wife and the kids started talking about how 🐇 🐇 only ate carrots cuzz that’s what 🐇 🐇 ate. Was it supposed to go hungry? Well, no.

The farmer’s kids started saying things like look how smart the 🐇 was, how cute, how cuddly and looked so sad when the farmer stirred the pot. By now the farmer was pretty sure he’d be the only one eating the stew. So he put some of the veg into a smaller pot for them.

Finally, the farmer took the 🐇 outside to kill it. Or so everyone thought. Including him. But instead he gave the 🐇 clemency. And took a squash in instead for his dinner. Instead of death, the 🐇 got chased away with a big 🌿.

The farmer never saw the 🐇 again. The 🐇 sure liked his freedom.

Covid Burnout – 6th Wave and…. Yawn!

Covid Burnout – 6th Wave and…. Yawn!

It’s no longer the top story, cuzz over two years have gone by. Then there was that convoy (wait! What do you mean they’re still rallying?? For what??) There’s another variant, did you know? Omicron, 2, 3, 4, 5 …. Xi. What do you mean they’re sort of the same but not really? What do you mean it’s a stomach bug now? So we don’t look for coughs and trouble breathing so much now? Just when you thought you knew what to watch for! (Psst it’s not respiratory, it’s aerosol, it’s vascular, it’s a neuro-pathogen…. still learning sorry!) 10 days iso – 5 days iso. Even if you’re feverish still??

And the politicians aren’t mandating anything, nor giving you info, or the tools to monitor your risks. It’s all on us, but how are we supposed to know? Presume everyone has it. Yet the hospitals are full again, only emergency surgeries are being done again. They’re calling for a 4th shot or 2nd booster, and the waste water has rising numbers again. There are extraordinary deaths again. But the politicians are telling us not to worry again. (Doug Ford is either at the cottage or on his campaign trail again)

Is there anything new to talk about? Well you can’t claim even the vaccines are new now. Nobody is hooked up to 5G (Dammit!) We’re not cyborgs (Aww come on!!) and Bill Gates isn’t in our heads telling us what to do yet. (Other than to join his book club…. and that’s just on social media)

In other words, the monster hasn’t shown up. And we’re effing bored with it. We want to put lippy on again and smile at everyone. We want to dance, sing and eat with friends again. And fly!! And cruise! Like we did before! (Well maybe you did!) We want to take a time machine back to 2019 and start over again.

Um isn’t that what got us here in the first place? So if we didn’t get SARS Cov 2 chasing us, it wouldn’t have been long till it was another pandemic. What exactly have we done to reduce contagions? Nothing about the environment that’s for sure. Nothing about improving bldg codes either to make the air quality better either.

From top to bottom of the world, from left to right wing politically, most people have just lost interest in dealing with it. Their kids are back in school or day care. They’re no longer working from home. They’re going to concerts and movies again…. And even with outbreaks everywhere, they have no intention of stopping.

The horses and sheep are happy they get to take their own medicine, and we know that swigging or swallowing mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide doesn’t really do anything good for us. And what was that famous anti-Covid doc’s name again? Joe who?

I guess it’s true. Even hell gets boring after a while. So the devil tries to make you think anyways. Or is it a collective depression?

It has to be a sick joke, right? Maybe this is the actual plandemic though. Make us scurry back to the tracks we were on before, so the billionaires can be billionaires or is it trillionaires by now? And they’ll find a new planet with their penis shaped rockets and watch earth and all of humanity roast for their entertainment.

Meanwhile, the wars and election cycles rage on….. And destitution becomes the biggest monster of all of them. Oh no that’s just boredom and fear-mongers nattering on again.

The Difference Between Malpractice and Changing Professional Wisdom

The Difference Between Malpractice and Changing Professional Wisdom

It’s bad enough when every situation in a criminal trial deals with multiple disciplines – medicine, law, psychiatry, psychology, forensics – to start with, then also the ground work – like labs, inventories and imaging.

But what do you do when the protocol changes as you’re processing a case? Atm the WHO is shifting from the ICD-10 to ICD-11. And the APA is shifting from the DSM-V to DSM-6. So things that may have been relied on 2 yrs ago when you went to school or took your last update on your license are no longer current. And it affects your client’s freedom.

That’s before things go wrong. Like conflicts of interest, improper conduct, inappropriate relationships, breach of confidentiality, data breach, burn out, professionals with addictions, negligence, biases of field and prejudices of practitioners, practitioners looking to advance their research interest &/or career. Or just a screw up. I mean we all have bad days, right?

  • How does the practitioner protect the client? Themselves?
  • How does the client protect themselves?
  • And how does the practitioner know they’re being told the truth by all the stakeholders?
  • How many licensing authorities will or should be involved in an investigation? And are they more interested in protecting the field’s reputation? Or getting to the truth?

As you can see, it’s complex. And TBH, it can only be improved at appeal. And only if they can ‘save face’ by saying there is new information. Proving that one practitioner is in error or a problem means that dozens of cases go down. They’re not ok with that.

Which means that proving malpractice is an uphill battle.

And even outside that frame, with those stakeholders, you also have to consider that most jurisdictions consider the law and ethics of practice to be part of the ethos of the community standard. So what if the community changes? And what used to be important no longer is? The pandemic has certainly shown us how something can change things. War could too. Or if you’re in a one factory town, and the company decides to relocate to another country. Then priorities shift. How does a practitioner or a field accommodate? How resilient are they/

That is what can and does go wrong each and every day. So how do you know that fair and equal justice is upheld to the point where someone’s lifetime or even life is held sacred?

It’s Budget Day in Canada!

It’s Budget Day in Canada!

Going into this budget Canadians knew that NDP and Liberals had made some prior deals to get acceptance. (Woe!! the CONs have been whining endlessly over this lol ) So we knew there would be more social needs met.
The goals of the deal with NDP would focus on things like a national pharma coverage, dental plan, housing support, so social stuff. To support people.
Even though it’s clear that the days of covering pandemic costs are over, this budget still looks at supporting people.

  • New immigrants,
  • BIPOC in communities, media representation and innovation,
  • LGBTQ rights and support secured, inclusion
  • families with the national child care deal
  • seniors – access to major telecom services – capped prices
  • First Nations – truth and reconciliation and sovereignty
  • and First Nations – finding and marking/consecrating graves from the Residential schools.

….. housing

Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (FHSA), a new registered account. to help new home buyers save for their first home.
Taxes on flippers, harder for foreign corporations and investors to buy Canadian real estate. These things drive prices up.
infrastructure spending

…. national dental plan

people who cannot afford dental work will have a govt system in place, On income scale. Children under 12, people with disabilities and seniors by 2023. More to follow.

….. national pharma-care

no funds mentioned specifically for that. (Even though it’s part of the deal with the NDP)

…. transition from oil/gas to green projects

vehicles to go EV, zero-emission

….. military

restructuring etc. Meeting global demands, priority on defence
Though we could designate ourselves as a neutral nation and refuse to participate in war. That might save some money. And it’d be greener too.

……. newspapers

financialpost
cp24
globeandmail
cbc
thestar

Mutual Aid in Ontario, Canada – Getting Over a Hump? Or Long Term Reliance?

Mutual Aid in Ontario, Canada – Getting Over a Hump? Or Long Term Reliance?

There are a LOT of people in Canada who are poor, and some of them are destitute. Some are disabled. Some are homeless. In one of the richest nations in the world no less.

And that was before we had the issue of a pandemic…..

Which makes it harder to do things like apply to housing, get on assistive programs like disability, special diet allowance, into rehab, into even a homeless shelter. If your doctor or social worker is sheltering, how do you fill out the paper work?

So it makes sense that people reaching out for need would need … well more. Longer.

So how do you separate those who have legit needs from those who are gaming the system? Or do you? Can you?

What is the difference between someone who babysits on the side for a few $$s or does some IT work for a neighbour and fails to report it? Has a gofundme (or similar site) for some special circumstance? Like their fridge conked out …. Or someone who does the paperwork to have their own registered charity?

My rule of thumb is that mutual aid is supposed to be about people who are in the same impoverished state helping out friends and neighbours. The internet version of ‘borrowing a cup of sugar’ till pay day. It is NOT a long term situation. And certainly NOT your new business.

What do you do when you see someone taking advantage?

On the internet, block them. The last thing you want to do is face charges for this connection. Because if you are in fact someone on social services of any kind, this connection could at best get you investigated for fraud. At worst, get your benefits cut, or land you in jail.

It’s ok to get caught up in stuff you don’t understand because you’re trying to help. Just know there are gamers out there. so look before you leap.

Abolition – Death Sentences, Imprisonment, Systemic Policing and Medical Models

Abolition – Death Sentences, Imprisonment, Systemic Policing and Medical Models

You may have noticed if you follow me that I really lean toward a hard left in my political views. And even though I have training/education in health care and psychology, I’m not a huge fan of the systems and designs we currently use. The reason for this? I have no problem with it when it works right. But OH BOY! when it fucks up it goes into storm mode. And when it comes to things within the system fucking up, people die or are permanently maimed. There just is no returning to a state of grace. There is no rewind.

There are too many if onlys. Like workers in the system that are bigots, burn outs, addicts, arrogant SOBs who love to think they’re gods…. Like bureaucracies that are far more about money, protocol and paperwork than about people. Like appeal processes that rarely change the underlying verdict due to walls of colleagues, protectionist rackets, and butt covering politics.

No it’s not all like that, but you know something is up when…. the people who are most harmed by the system are marginalized: BIPOC, LGBTQ, women and girls, people with mental health and intellectual disabilities, addicts. People who went from societal oppression to incarceration far too easily. Almost as if it was designed to do just that.

You could say it’s just me…. But abolition is something that has been viewed from many angles: medical, legal, psychiatric, psychological, sociological, anthropological, historical, philosophical. Even economic. It isn’t just case studies of people who are harmed, but also recognition of systemic flaws in design.

And that’s just the public system. When you add private hospitals and prisons that are in it to profiteer, who are motivated to make the system serve profit vs people, it’s so much worse. It’s a form of servitude or slavery that has just changed it’s focus from working the land and in the house, of trafficking in bodies for sex to gathering the disenfranchised under the claim of ‘protecting society’.

…’But what is the alternative?”

It isn’t within the institutions and systems. Too many designs have been tried to buffer the people within them. And they have all failed. Every single one. They end up being more about oppression than protection and/or rehabilitation.

It’s back in the communities, where people are properly supported. Where they have access to food and all their other needs are met. Where definitions such as gender, marriage and family are more inclusive. Where children are taught to navigate stress and meet the world as it is. And as more than workers.

Nowadays that includes being internet savvy, so they aren’t radicalized or taught they can do anything they want, without consequence. Where society’s first priority is to the people. Not to govt or corporations. But the purpose of these policing and medical institutions is to serve power and money, not people. That is their design.

IMO if people actually were free and supported in their communities, there wouldn’t be crime or as many mental health issues. And it wouldn’t cost as much to warehouse the disenfranchised. Or to kill them.

Where people actually were supported in their autonomy of body and life, culture and beliefs, rather than assimilated into worker bots the ‘white man in power’ can easily ID and control.

…..’But how can we change the system if govts and corporations are served by it?’

That’s just it, isn’t it? We can’t. Well, not without a revolution anyways. The rich will have their toys, the politicians their power, and the rest of us will be sedated so we do the work they ‘ask’ of us. Then get blamed when we overuse the sedations they profit from.

…. And the world moves on.

Toward extinction. In consumerism, war, conflict, consumption, destitution of the poor, and call it ‘normal’. And the ones who disagree are locked up and/or silenced with words like ‘woke’, ‘dreamers’ and ‘liberals’ to minimize what they (we) are saying. Even though it’s true.

Diminished Capacity – Temporary Insanity, Coercive Control and Families’ Credibility in the Process

Diminished Capacity – Temporary Insanity, Coercive Control and Families’ Credibility in the Process

Addictions are the ground cover for a LOT of problematic behaviour in families – Coercive Control, Battered Spouse, GBV and familial dynamic issues ie incest. Yet families are still considered credible sources in court evaluations. Which strikes me as odd, when you think about how many cases police, social workers and judges see before them where the family are disturbed, violent, and out of control.

Addictions are often an inter-generational issue in families. It’s partly about social determinants such as poverty and lack of education. But it’s also about self-medicating your moods and coping with stress. And these are familial rearing issues. It’s pretty rare when one member in isolation uses some substance to excess and gets in trouble with the law.

Addictions are about more than how many drinks you had today, or whether you use/overuse prescriptions or street drugs. Which is why they’re being seen as more of a medical problem than a legal one now.

So how is it tolerable for the court systems to allow a family to scapegoat one member for the family’s issues? And how do you not see addictions as a form of mental defect? Or at least coercive control?

Laws that use adult majority to ‘protect’ people from the influence of addictive substances are unrealistic when their first source of the substances is often in their childhood home. And how do you claim that using substances is wrong when society is the primary model of overuse and self-medication in media and govt control of the supply chain? (ie Canada -LCBOs and now cannabis supply stores/pharmacies)?

In that context, how do you scapegoat one member? And how do you expect them to separate themselves from the substance and everyone who models and/or uses them realistically? When this is the social model, how do you claim one participant in the group is the wrong’un? To the point where in some countries they could be put to death for their actions? The claim is that this person has a disease, (ie addiction model), they are seen as incorrigible and/or untreatable to the point where prolonged separation or death are the better option for society. Can they recover? Can they be trusted as a member of society again?

If the standard of sanity in Canada (for eg,) is to determine whether someone is capable of good judgement, can control themselves, and has a sound mind, then how could you hold an addict accountable for their actions? When during their ‘day’ they are at some state of high, DTs or jonesing? How functional they are being more determined by how many enablers they have in their life, rather than how intelligent they are mentally or emotionally. In a family court, they would lose their kids as addicts because they aren’t considered to be responsible. Yet in a criminal court, they’re sane enough they would face the worst possible consequences (ie death penalty).

If you believe in defences such as coercive control or battered spouse, then shouldn’t you also believe that having addictions and all the variance of their abilities, (even if they do ‘maintain’ some semblance of awareness to their environment and the people in it, even if they do complete their daily tasks) would have a profound effect on their life, decision-making and relationships?

Which should reduce their culpability for their actions. And make addictions a grounds of defence against most crimes. Addictions have a self-perpetuating pattern of people they have to deal with to get their substance, activities they have to engage in to obtain the substance, and money they have to earn to at least ‘maintain’ their calm to high scale.

Yet these aren’t the standards of thought when it comes to criminal charges. The person is seen as able to function and held liable for their actions. No matter how fundamentally lacking in function their addiction makes them. And even if they don’t remember the crime, and their next days are spent in some state of DTs and/or biological shock, they are considered able to understand and fully participate in the trial and advise their counsel.

So shouldn’t there be a separation between those who went out one night and had a few drinks or tried a joint and those who are caught up in a cycle of addictions?

But as long as the govt profits from the sale and taxation of the very substances these people are chained to, they can’t claim that an addict has no choice or isn’t responsible for their own actions, can they?

How do you punish someone who was unaware of their actions? Who had no ‘intent’ to commit a crime or to harm someone? Yet in the medical model of addictions, that is the very thing that is necessary to achieve recognition. Holding the addict accountable, making them face consequences.

….. my disclosure

Besides the course work on this issue of forensics and criminal responsibility, I have a personal history of addictions. My family and I have this struggle. And we have prolonged and outside my generation (3-4) issues with alcohol and using it to excess.

In that context, my oldest brother has been to prison and has a prolonged record of violence, selling drugs, DWIs and issues that were part of the profile. He isn’t the only one, but he is the lens by which our family needs to look at itself. When I chose to quit drinking and get sober, I also had to cut ties with them to stay sober. Because they don’t understand that it’s not just my brother’s issue, but a dynamic one. But how do I explain that to them when they’re scapegoating him, and it’s all tolerated by society? I can’t, so I left.

Marvel’s The Defenders – Comics and Crime TV

Marvel’s The Defenders – Comics and Crime TV

I just finished streaming the series:
Marvel’s The Defenders – Daredevil, the Punisher, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

I hadn’t read the comics, so this was a new story for me. And I was really impressed with it. Marvel came up with a new way of looking at the usual TV tropes in organized crime. Gangs, drugs, guns and prostitutes +. And took it beyond that.

Their characters were heroes yes, but they were also quite messed up people. Was it that that made them able to see into the psyche of the people they were dealing with? See who was salvageable and who was just evil? Without being sucked down into the pits?

Then there was the layer that took it beyond a crime story like ‘Criminal Minds’ or ‘Castle’ and more into a story like ‘Supernatural’ where you have a mystical plot line of good and evil adversaries bent on destroying New York City to have eternal life.

And these characters went from dealing with petty criminals and gangs to saving the city and maybe the larger world. They were alert to the evil and understood it, and yet couldn’t be turned by their antagonists. Not by seduction or bribery. Not by promises of earthly or quasi-divine powers.

And when they worked together, things really stepped up. Of course in the world of comics, good must win, but it wasn’t that easy a task. There were layers of complexity and each character had their own struggle. Were they heroes if their lives outside the larger struggle were still messed up when that was resolved? Did they misuse their extra-human powers for their own gain? Did they make missteps and end up on the wrong path? Were they redeemable if they did?

Worth a watch, if you like this kind of thing. A good mix of fantasy, sci fi, mystery and comic, with some cute romantic stories too. Which make it fun to watch. If they lived up to the comics or not? I have no idea. Maybe you were a fan and can tell me if you watch them.