Originally Posted by winterspan
As with other generalizations, that is not a fair characterization of most of the United States. Although in general there seems to be a growing bifurcation between educated, intelligent Americans with a more expansive worldview and the rural, uneducated, nationalistic population. You can readily see this in our politics --- hence the reason the intelligent, tolerant, pragmatic President Obama was popular on one side, and the ignorant, narrow minded, self-righteous, feeble-minded, religious extremist Sarah Palin on the other. I will also admit that way too large a portion of society falls into the latter group.
Of course not every American is okay with such practices, but when only 1% of the population appears to give a damn (and that's a generous estimate), it's quite safe to group Americans into one of two groups: the sadists who actively participate in/encourage such practices, and the apathetic people who refuse to even acknowledge that such practices are executed because "it doesn't affect me." Note that I say this as a resident of the United States, though I do not consider myself to be "American." This country made it quite clear to me at the age of 16 that it does not consider me to be human, let alone American. Considering the state of both humanity and of the United States, perhaps I should feel honored.
If you watch the documentary, you will see that it is primarily the Republicans (such as Mitt Romney, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maia-s...s_b_63311.html
) who defend such facilities, because they are the ones receiving the most "political contributions," a.k.a. bribes. However, with the lone exception of George Miller, the Democrats have been of absolutely no help. The Republicans are the aggressors, and the Democrats are the ostriches with their heads in the sand. This is not a Republican issue or Democratic issue; this is an American issue.
As I touched on before, I cannot get anybody I know to give a damn. I've tried not to "generalize," but to do anything else would be mere self-deception. Just a couple of weeks ago my math professor stated that, "Back in the day, we didn't have things like 'ADHD' because if a kid didn't pay attention, you'd just smack him, and... well, it worked!" And the entire class seemed to agree with his assessment, verbally backing up his claims. When I spoke out, I was not only drowned out by the incessant rambling of my peers, but repeatedly smirked at by the professor himself. Mind you, I don't live in the midwest--I live in "liberal" Los Angeles County. So much for the problem only being with the other half.
Originally Posted by Mr. H
I think the point is, it's allowed to happen in the United States. No supposedly civilised country should be doing this to its most vulnerable citizens. It is a disgrace and I have no qualms in saying that all
Americans should be ashamed that it's happening in their country. They should be writing to congress to find out why the hell this is allowed to happen given that it's 2009 not 1909.
I'll refer again to the documentary. There is big money--millions of dollars
-- in it for the politicians if they protect these facilities. And let's be honest, is there anything Americans care about more than money? Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Czech Republic (all of which are quite poor in comparison to the United States) have shut down WWASP-owned programs for abuse, but the United States has never
shut down a WWASP-owned program. Those countries place value on human life; the United States does not.
This has been happening for decades. The feds are well aware of it, but that doesn't mean anything.
Originally Posted by Mr. H
Thank you for the link. But if you read it, you will see that it's very
different from the situations referred to in the links provided by cactus_man.
In America, you've got parents sending vulnerable children with all kinds of different mental and emotional problems being sent to a school that uses electrocution as a discipline method and runs the school as an authoritarian state (oh, and charges the US taxpayer $200,000 a year per child
to do it); I'm sorry, but there's no other word to describe it than barbaric.
According to your link, in the UK electro-shock therapy is used "only to achieve rapid and short-term improvement of severe symptoms after an adequate trial of other treatment options has proven ineffective and/or when the condition is considered to be potentially life-threatening, in individuals with severe depressive illness; catatonia; a prolonged or severe manic episode", and most importantly, only when informed consent has been given by the patient. The children
in that American school are given no such choice and the "treatment" is used on long-term basis.
While there is no defending electroshock "therapy" (all evidence shows that even when it produces short-term positive results, the long-term results are always bad), the fact that UK patients must consent is of crucial importance. If adults want to hurt themselves, I see no problem with that.
Moreover, you're referring to "patients." The place I was sent to has only one requirement: your parents must be able to foot the $42,000/year bill. There is no psychiatric screening to determine whether or not you even have problems. You needn't have a criminal record or take a drug test. Your parents just have to sign the form. Also, it is legal
for the facilities in Montana to hire registered sex offenders.
Must I go on? I think I've made my point, yes?