Phil Braun 
Member since Dec 22, 2016

Recent Comments

Re: “Civility Matters

Voters should not support less qualified candidates for the sake of party politics. That is the thinking that brought us to our current mess of bipartisan obstructionism.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Phil Braun on 12/29/2017 at 7:17 PM

Re: “Culture Change

A culture wherein people self-medicate their cares away and, in their altered reality, perform poorly in the schools, create hazards on the roadway while they are drive, attract a criminal element, and shatter standards of character / health / and respect for others needs to change alright....but not in the direction the marijuana industry wants it to.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Phil Braun on 03/18/2017 at 10:11 AM

Re: “Passive Resistance

Several of my conservative friends have said that we should "work together" with the president and the Republican majority because they won the election and Trump is "everyone's president." This is my response:
I will not forget how badly he and so many others treated former President Barack Obama for 8 years...
I will not "work together" to privatize Medicare, cut Social Security and Medicaid.
I will not "work together" to build a wall.
I will not "work together" to persecute Muslims.
I will not "work together" to shut out refugees from other countries.
I will not "work together" to lower taxes on the 1% and increase taxes on the middle class and poor.
I will not "work together" to help Trump use the Presidency to line his pockets and those of his family and cronies.
I will not "work together" to weaken and demolish environmental protection.
I will not "work together" to sell American lands, especially National Parks, to companies which then despoil those lands.
I will not "work together" to enable the killing of whole species of animals just because they are predators, or inconvenient for a few, or because some people like killing them.
I will not "work together" to remove civil rights from anyone.
I will not "work together" to alienate countries that have been our allies for as long as I have been alive.
I will not "work together" to slash funding for education.
I will not "work together" to take basic assistance from people who are at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.
I will not "work together" to get rid of common sense regulations on guns.
I will not "work together" to eliminate the minimum wage.
I will not "work together" to support so-called "Right To Work" laws, or undermine, weaken or destroy Unions in any way.
I will not "work together" to suppress scientific research, be it on climate change, fracking, or any other issue where a majority of scientists agree that Trump and his supporters are wrong on the facts.
I will not "work together" to criminalize abortion or restrict health care for women.
I will not "work together" to increase the number of nations that have nuclear weapons.
I will not "work together" to put even more "big money" into politics.
I will not "work together" to violate the Geneva Convention.
I will not "work together" to give the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party and white supremacists a seat at the table, or to normalize their hatred
And racism.
I will not "work together" to deny health care to people who need it.
I will not "work together" to deny medical coverage to people on the basis of a "pre-existing condition."
I will not "work together" to increase voter suppression.
I will not "work together" to normalize tyranny.
I will not work together to eliminate or reduce ethical oversite at any level of government.
I will not "work together" with anyone who is, or admires, tyrants and dictators.
I will not "work together" to give less support to government employees.
I will not "work together" to find ways for the billionaires to cheat the system.
I will not "work together" to implement a hiring freeze at government agencies.
I will not "work together" to suppress reporters' right to ask questions the administrations does not like.
I will not "work together" to bully any country, big or small.
I will not "work together" to craft a message diminishing women and young adults.
I will not support anyone that thinks its OK to put a pipeline to transport oil on Sacred Ground for Native Americans. And, it would run under the Missouri River, which provides drinking water for millions of people. An accident waiting to happen.
This is my line, and I am drawing it.
I will stand for honesty, love, and respect for all living beings.

29 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Phil Braun on 02/16/2017 at 6:06 AM

Re: “Sanity on Trial

Wow, how did this story escape my radar! Now long retired, I feel like it reads to the core of my early professional roles in the mental health field. First as a psychiatric technician then as a psychiatric social worker at Atascadero State Hospital. Later my career included a stint with CONREP delivering outpatient treatment to and supervision of released patients in the community. I have written numerous reports to judges, voiced my clinical opinion on numerous occasions regarding a clients readiness to re-enter society, testified in courts throughout the state, and even made risk assessments and decisions in part based on review of thousands of individual rap sheets while working for the State of California.

The story as printed seems extremely factual to the process although I must admit it has been several decades since I worked in the mental health field and have not kept current on the most recent changes in law. Some of my earliest occasions to visit Eureka in the late 1980s came about in my role of interviewing prisoners in the HC Jail prior to writing CONREP evaluations to the Superior Court re: those inmates suitability for community treatment.

Heres what I learned then and what I believe now. First, people with mental health issues can clear their mind of symptoms obvious to others in society by taking prescribed psychotropic medication. The extra-pyramidal symptoms associated with taking them leave most almost universally loathe to continuing them when not supervised. Second, when supervised to ensure they do take psychotropic medication their psychotic symptomology abates. When they feel better, they rarely attribute their improvement to the medication. Rather, they see their improvement as evidence they are symptom free and dont require medication any longer. The fallacy in that thinking is they fail to realize/connect to the fact that the only reason they can think more clearly is because of the medication, not some divine healing that has miraculously occurred.

Rap sheets are notoriously incomplete and renown to have omissions of arrest and/or convictions on them. I have also read past studies regarding reliability of certain groups of individuals to make an accurate prediction as to whether persons with a history of mental illness will re-offend. The ones I remember showed that a group of citizens picked at random off the street could predict recidivism with as much accuracy as could a clinical treatment team consisting of therapists, doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists. That would be the same clinical treatment team that would have working knowledge of all facets of the patients history and background as well as benefit of prolonged observation of behaviors in the inpatient setting.

One of the most trusted and seemingly recovered (from symptoms of psychosis and effects of a personality disorder) patients I knew and observed over a course of treatment bludgeoned to death a non-clinician maintenance supervisor with a hammer at Atascadero more than twenty-five years ago. It is the only staff murder on record at that institution over the past 40 years that Im aware of. (More than one patient has been killed, however.) Assaults against staff members holding many different job titles are rampant there to the point of being a daily occurrence. More than 1,000 men in that maximum-security level institution are treated under constant 24-hour supervision by staff of multiple disciplines working three shifts around the clock to ensure order and a therapeutic milieu. Many patients, ironically, are there as transfers from the Department of Corrections because, in addition to their criminality, they are psychotic too. In others words, Corrections is sent by the courts those who are bad (only). The Department of Mental Health gets them when they are both bad and become mad.

It is in this surreal, crowded, male only, maximally secure imitation of civilized society that patients under constant supervision and monitored medication compliance are evaluated for their suitability to be released to the community. My sincere belief born from years of clinical experience / exposure to patients within both in and outpatient treatment settings is that the most accurate predictor of future behavior comes from ones history of same.

Posted by Phil Braun on 01/22/2017 at 8:20 PM

Re: “Largest March in Eureka History

Truth: I'm with ya sista and it's not you or the marchers my comment was really directed to. It's the women who didn't vote for Hilary that could have swung the election. It is they I hope are never complacent again...

Trump on march: Why didn't these people vote?
President Trump tweeted his reaction to the historic Women's Marches Saturday. NBC's Jane Timm discusses.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Phil Braun on 01/22/2017 at 3:17 PM

Re: “Largest March in Eureka History

I love to see that women have finally awoken the f _ _ _ up! Can't believe their power didn't carry the electoral college while deciding the popular vote. Never complacent again!

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Phil Braun on 01/22/2017 at 10:19 AM

Re: “Elder Abuse Case Against Timber Ridge Yields $5 Million Verdict

The decision to provide care under license to an elderly client, whether for one or numerous residents, should not be made by many who nevertheless go ahead and make it. When taking that step, under a license issued by the State of California, they enter into an agreement as to what they must and will provide. In other words, it is a license that has conditions which are outlined in Health and Safety Codes (law) and enforceable regulation. If they fail to meet those conditions, they, as licensees, become financially vulnerable when litigation such as this occurs.

One condition is that they have both medical and functional assessments completed for potential new clients and have them updated as needed for those already in their care.

One condition is that they provide care and supervision as required through that previous assessment of their client's current or potential needs. If they are unable to meet those needs, they should not accept or retain that client. Residents diagnosed with dementia, particularly those showing a known propensity to wander or leave a facility, should not be left unsupervised.

One condition is that they assist their clients by providing the correct medication, to the correct person, in the correct dosage, and at the correct time it is prescribed to be given.

Problems regarding quality of care almost always trace back to cost-cutting efforts made by licensees.

This industry is not like opening a barbershop. A bad haircut can grow back. Mistakes made caring for a vulnerable at risk population can result in injury, death, and/or criminal charges. What do you, as a consumer, do if you are considering placing a loved one in a licensed care home? Drop by unexpectedly. Mealtime will tell a lot. Look around to see how many staff are on duty. Visit the ombudsman's office and read the state inspection reports. Make your choice regarding which care home to choose an informed decision and hope you've made a good one.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Phil Braun on 01/20/2017 at 3:57 PM

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