Donate to American Red Cross here. Donate to The National Coalition for the Homeless here.
All The News That Gives Me Fits



WWW Amygdala

Our Mysterious Name.

Our
mission.


Our
task.



Photo (©) David Hartwell. August 7th, 2010.


Home


Blog advertising supports bloggers!

I currently blog politically/policywise at Obsidian Wings.



Follow GaryFarberKnows on Twitter

Scroll down for Amygdala archives! You know you want to. [Temporarily rather borked, along with rest of template.]
Amygdala's endorsements are below my favorite quotations! Keep scrolling!

Amygdala will move to an entirely new and far better blog template ASAP, aka RSN, aka incrementally/badly punctuated evolution.
Tagging posts, posts by category, next/previous post indicators, and other post-2003 design innovations are incrementally being tweaked/kludged/melting.

Blogroll is now way down below! You may be on it!


Site Feed

Feedburner RSS Feed

LiveJournal Feed

Gary Farber

Create Your Badge


Above email address currently deprecated!

Use gary underscore farber at yahoodotcom, pliz!

Sanely free of McCarthyite calling anyone a traitor since 2001!

Commenting Rules: Only comments that are courteous and respectful of other commenters will be allowed. Period.
fi

You must either open a Google/Blogger.com/Gmail Account, or sign into comments at the bottom of any post with OpenID, LiveJournal, Typepad, Wordpress, AIM account, or whatever ID/handle available to use. Hey, I don't design Blogger's software:
sorry
!

Posting a spam-type URL will be grounds for deletion. Comments on posts over 21 days old are now moderated, and it may take me a long while to notice and allow them.

I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?

I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.

Thanks for any understanding and support. I know it's difficult to understand. And things will change. They always change.

I'm sometimes available to some degree as a paid writer, editor, researcher, or proofreader. I'm sometimes available as a fill-in Guest Blogger at mid-to-high-traffic blogs that fit my knowledge set.

If you like my blog, and would like to help me continue to afford food and prescriptions, or simply enjoy my blogging and writing, and would like to support it -- you are welcome to do so via the PayPal buttons.

In return: free blog! Thank you muchly muchly.

Only you can help!

I strive to pay forward. Please also give to your local homeless shelter and street people: you can change a person's life.

Hundreds of millions of people on planet Earth are in greater need than I am; consider helping them in any small way you can, please.


Donate to support Gary Farber's Amygdala:
Please consider showing your support for Amygdala by clicking below and subscribing for $5/month! Free koala bear included! They're so cute!

To subscribe for further increments of $5, simply click above again, after completing one, for as many $5 subscriptions as you desire!

Advance notification of cancellations are helpful, but it's all up to you.

Thanks so much for your kind generosity.

Additional options! $25/month Supporter subscription: click below!
$50/month Patron subscription: click below!

Variant Button!
Subscription options



Change.org|Start Petition


"The brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson


"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin


"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton


"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan


"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -- and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken


"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt


"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley


"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss


"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire, the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind; and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon


"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon


"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon


"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority. They show disrespect for elders and they love to chatter instead of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers."
-- Socrates


"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook


"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook


"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization. We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr


"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion


"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson


"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices, intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation; a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition -- to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand


"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri


"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams


"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France


"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke


"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology; it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant


"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville


"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis


"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis


"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis


"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon, but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant


"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand


"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal


"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.


"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible, and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus


"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814


"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort, are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true, the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated. This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944


"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News


"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas


"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
-- Cicero


"Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue." -- François, duc de La Rochefoucauld


"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." -- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson


"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example." -- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower


"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance." --
H. W. Fowler


"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place." -- Kate Wilhelm


"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein


"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho


"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).


"Nothing would be done at all, if a man waited till he could do it so well, that no one could find fault with it."
-- Lecture IX, John Henry Cardinal Newman


“Nothing is more common than for men to think that because they are familiar with words they understand the ideas they stand for.”
-- John Henry Cardinal Newman


"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
-- James Madison


"Those who are free from common prejudices acquire others."
-- Napolean I of France -- Napoleon I of France


"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.


"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.


"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128


"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)


"American life is a powerful solvent. It seems to neutralize every intellectual element, however tough and alien it may be, and to fuse it in the native good will, complacency, thoughtlessness, and optimism."
-- George Santayana, Character and Opinion in the United States, (1920)


"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days


"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs


"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign


"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden


"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
-- Batman



 

 
Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit. He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.

The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cute panda. Don't you love pandas?

Current Total # of Donations Since 2002: 1181

Subscribers to date at $5/month: 100 sign-ups; 91 cancellations; Total= 9

Supporter subscribers to date at $25/month: 16 sign-ups; 10 cancellation; Total= 6

Patron subscribers to date at $50/month: 20 sign-ups; 13 cancellations; Total= 7

This page best viewed by you.

Contents © 2001-2013 All rights reserved. Gary Farber. (The contents of e-mails to this email address of Gary Farber are subject to the possibility of being posted.)

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world


[Blogroll now far below the sea line! Dive, dive, dive!]


You Like Me, You Really Like Me

Gary Farber! Jeez, the guy is practically a blogging legend, and I'm always surprised at the breadth of what he writes about.
-- PZ Meyers, Pharyngula


...Darn: I saw that Gary had commented on this thread, and thought: oh. my. god. Perfect storm. Unstoppable cannonball, immovable object. -- Hilzoy

...I think Gary Farber is a blogging god. -- P.Z. Myers, Pharyngula

...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow

‎"Gary Farber is a gentleman, a scholar and one of the gems of the blogosphere." -- Steve Hynd, Newshoggers.com

"Well argued, Gary. I hadn't seen anything that went into as much detail as I found in your blog." -- Gareth Porter

Gary Farber is your one-man internet as always, with posts on every article there is.
-- Fafnir

Guessing that Gary is ignorant of anything that has ever been written down is, in my experience, unwise.
Just saying.

-- Hilzoy

Gary Farber gets it right....
-- James Joyner, Outside The Beltway

Once again, an amazing and illuminating post.
-- Michael Bérubé, Crooked Timber

I read Amygdala...with regularity, as do all sensible websurfers.
-- Jim Henley, Unqualified Offerings

Okay, he is annoying, but he still posts a lot of good stuff.
-- Avedon Carol, The Sideshow

Amygdala - So much stuff it reminds Unqualified Offerings that UO sometimes thinks of Gary Farber as "the liberal Instapundit."
-- Jim Henley

...the thoughtful and highly intelligent Gary Farber... My first reaction was that I definitely need to appease Gary Farber of Amygdala, one of the geniuses of our age.
-- Brad deLong

Gary is a perceptive, intelligent, nice guy. Some of the stuff he comes up with is insightful, witty, and stimulating. And sometimes he manages to make me groan.
-- Charlie Stross

Gary Farber is a straight shooter.
-- John Cole, Balloon Juice

I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber


Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
-- Ogged

I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow

One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.
-- oakhaus.com

One of my favorites....
-- Matt Welch

Favorite....
-- Virginia Postrel

Amygdala continues to have smart commentary on an incredible diversity of interesting links....
-- Judith Weiss

Amygdala has more interesting obscure links to more fascinating stuff that any other blog I read.
-- Judith Weiss, Kesher Talk

Gary's stuff is always good.
-- Meryl Yourish

...the level-headed Amygdala blog....
-- Geitner Simmons

The only trouble with reading Amygdala is that it makes me feel like such a slacker. That Man Farber's a linking, posting, commenting machine, I tell you!
-- John Robinson, Sore Eyes

...the all-knowing Gary Farber....
-- Edward Winkleman, Obsidian Wings

Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged

We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!

Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!

Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog


Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog


GARY FARBER IS MY AROUSAL CENTER. -- Justin Slotman

Gary is certainly a non-idiotarian 'liberal'...
-- Perry deHaviland

Recommended for the discerning reader.
-- Tim Blair

Gary Farber's great Amygdala blog.
-- Dr. Frank

Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott

Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit

My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal

If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.

Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks

I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes

Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this?
-- Natalie Solent

You nailed it... nice job."
-- James Lileks

Gary Farber is a principled liberal....
-- Bill Quick, The Daily Pundit


Archives:
December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 December 2011 January 2013


Blogroll is Always In Progress:

Roger Ailes
Alas, A Blog
AlterNet
The American Street
The Aristocrats
Avedon Carol
Between the Hammer and the Anvil
Lindsay Beyerstein
The Big Con
bjkeefe
CantBlogTooBusy The Center for American Progress
Chase me Ladies, I'm in the Cavalry
Chuckling
Doghouse Riley
Kevin Drum
elementropy
Eschaton
Fables of the Reconstruction
Gall and Gumption
Gin and Tacos
House of Substance
Hullabaloo
The Hunting of the Snark
If I Ran The Zoo
Lawyers, Guns & Money
Lotus: Surviving a Dark Time
Matters of Little Significance
Nancy Nall
Charlie Stross bastard.logic
Daniel Larison
Afro-Netizen
American Conservative
American Footprints
Andrew Sullivan
Angry Bear
Attackerman
Attempts
Balkinization
Balloon Juice
Beautiful Horizons
Bitch Ph.D.
Brad DeLong
Cato-at-liberty
Cogitamus
Crooked Timber
Cunning Realist
Daily Kos
Debate Link
Democracy Arsenal
Edge of the American West
Eschaton
Ezra Klein
Feministe
Glenn Greenwald
Governing.com: 13th Floor
Hit & Run
Hullabaloo
Juan Cole
Kevin Drum
Lawyers, Guns and Money
List Project (Helping Iraqis who worked with us get out)
Marc Lynch
Mark Kleiman
Katha Pollit
Market Square
Matthew Yglesias
Megan McArdle
Metro Green
Mightygodking
Newshoggers
Orcinus
Pam's House Blend
Pandagon
Paul Krugman
Pharyngula
Philosophy, et cetera
Radley Balko
Sadly, No!
Shakesville
slacktivist
Southern Appeal
Stephen Walt
Steve Clemons
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Taking It Outside
Talking Points Memo
TAPPED
The Poor Man
The Progressive Realist
The Sideshow
TPMCafe
U.S. Intellectual History
Unfogged
Unqualified Offerings
VetVoice
Volokh Conspiracy
Washington Monthly
William Easterly
Newsrack Blog
Ortho Bob
Pandagon
Pharyngula
The Poor Man
Prog Gold
Prose Before Hos
Ted Rall
The Raw Story
Elayne Riggs
Sadly, No!
Snarkmarket
TAPped
TBogg
Texas Liberal
Think Progress
3 Weird Sisters
Tristram Shandy
Washington Monthly
Ian Welsh
James Wolcott
World o' Crap
Matthew Yglesias
Buzz Machine
Daniel Larison
Rightwing Film Geek About Last Night
can we all just agree
Comics Curmudgeon
Dum Luk's
Glenn Kenny
Hoarder Museum Juanita Jean
Lance Mannion (Help Lance!
Last Words of the Executed
The Phil Nugent Experience
Postcards from Hell's Kitchen
Vanishing New York
a lovely promise
a web undone
alicublog
alt hippo
american street
city of brass
danger west
fact-esque
fierce urgency of now
get fisa right
great concavity
happening here
impeach them!
jensscholz.com
kathryn cramer
notes from the basement
sideshow
talking dog
uncertain principles
unqualified offerings
what do i know
balkinization
crooked timber emptywheel
ezra klein
Fact-esque
The F-Word
glenn greenwald
governmentality
hullabaloo
Lifehacker
schneier on security
ta-nehisi coates
talking points memo
tiny revolution
Roz Kaveney
Dave Ettlin
Henry Jenkins' Confessions of an Aca-Fan
Kathryn Cramer
Monkeys In My Pants
Macadamia
Pagan Prattle
As I Please
Ken MacLeod
Arthur Hlavaty
Kevin Maroney
MK Kare
Jack Heneghan
Dave Langford
Epicycle
Onyx Lynx Atrios
Demosthenes
Rittenhouse Review
Maxspeak
Public Nuisance
Scoobie Davis
MadKane
Nathan Newman
Whiskeyfire
Echidne Of The Snakes
First Draft
Corrente
Rising Hegemon
NTodd
Cab Drollery (Help Diane!
Hullabaloo
Southern Beale
The Kenosha Kid
Culture of Truth
Talk Left
Black Ag=Q< Report
Drug WarRant
Nieman Watchdog
Open Left
Meet the Bloggers
Dispatch from the Trenches
Frameshop
Crooks and Liars
LiberalOasis
Campaign for America's Future
Iraq Today
Daily Kos
Lefty Directory
MyDD
Infothought
Balkinization
News Hounds
The Brad Blog
Informed Comment
UN Dispatch
War and Piece
Glenn Greenwald
Schneier on Security
Newshoggers
Krugman
Jim Henley
Arthur Silber
Julian Sanchez
The Agitator
Balloon Juice
Wendy McElroy
Whoviating (LarryE)
Scott Horton
Tennessee Guerilla Women
Looking Glass
Charles Kuffner
Brad DeLong
Busy, Busy, Busy
Blah3
Norbizness
Oliver Willis
The Carpetbagger Report Shakesville
Firedoglake
Pandagon
Down With Tyranny
Professor B
Monkey Media Report
The Grumpy Forester
Majikthise
Uggabugga
Ian Welsh
Pacific Views
Alas
Booman Tribune
Matthew Yglesias
Skippy
The American Street
Slacktivist
Xymphora
Media Bloodhound
Liz Henry's Composite
Eccentricity
The Heretik
Arizona Eclectic
Sisyphus Shrugged
Interesting Times
Talking Dog
Liberal Desert
TBogg
Under the Lobsterscope
Seeing The Forest
Sean Paul Kelley's The Agonist
Orcinus
King of Zembla
Mark Kleiman
Liquid List
Elayne Riggs
Wampum
Skimble
No More Mr. Nice Blog
Fanatical Apathy
Blue Gal
Linkmeister
Mark Evanier
Roger Ailes
Scratchings
Suburban Guerrilla (Help Susie with money!)
BadAttitudes
Peevish
The Mahablog
Brilliant at Breakfast
The Group News Blog Scrutiny Hooligans
Respectful of Otters
Max Blumenthal
Two Glasses
Feministing
Running Scared
Sadly, No!
WTF Is It Now?
Attytood
William K. Wolfrum
Rox Populi
Alicublog
Angry Bear
Crooked Timber
No Capital
Alternative Hippo
Newsrack
The Rude Pundit
Ezra Klein
Trish Wilson's Blog Jon Swift, RIP
Jeremy Scahill Mercury Rising
Cup 0' Joe
Fact-esque
Lance Mannion (Help Lance!)
Lawyers, Guns and Money
Feministe SF
Agitprop
Progressive Gold
PSoTD
Paperwight's Fairshot
Biomes Blog
Progressive Blog Digest
A Tiny Revolution
Yellow Doggerel Democrat
Pros Before Hos
Michael Bérubé
Notes From Underground
Bob Geiger
AintNoBadDude
StoutDem
Adam Magazine
Reptile Wisdom
Steve Gilliard archives
The Poor Man
Neal Pollack
Jesus' General
Fafblog
Running Scared
Paul Krugman
Hendrik Hertzberg
Murray Waas
Katrina vanden Heuvel
Kevin Drum @ MoJo
Political Animal
The Big Con (Rick Perlstein)
Talking Points
Altercation
Dan Perkins
Conason
Tapped
TomPaine weblog
MoJo Blog
Sirotablog
Jim Hightower
Chris Floyd
*
Michaelangelo Signorile
Naomi Klein
James Wolcott
Bear Left
Lean Left
Left i
The Left Coaster
Upper Left
Here's What's Left
Left in the West Daily Howler
Common Dreams
Buzzflash
Smirking Chimp
TomPaine
Intervention
Moose & Squirrel
Make Them Accountable
Failure is Impossible
Ampol
White Rose Society
Velvet Revolution
Cursor
Political Strategy
The Daou Report
Meryl Yourish
Memeorandum
Peek
IceRocket
Blogpulse
Technorati
Blogwise Paul Krugman
Gene Lyons (or)
Joe Conason
Engadget
Gizmodo
SFNovelists
Boing!Boing!
Futurismic
Sadly, no!
Walter Jon Williams
Stiftung Leo Strauss
Crooked Timber
Gordon's Notes (John Gordon)
Bruce Sterling
Ian McDonald
Antick Musings (Andrew Wheeler)
I, Cringely
I Blame The Patriarchy
LawClanger (Simon Bradshaw)
Carrie Vaughn
The Sideshow (Avedon Carol)
This Modern World (Tom Tomorrow)
Jesus's General
Mick Farren
Dave Clements
Early days of a Better Nation (Ken MacLeod)
Terra Nova
Whatever (John Scalzi)
Michael Swanwick
GNXP
Demography Matters
Justine Larbalestier
The Law west of Ealing Broadway
Inspector Gadget
The Yorkshire Ranter
Newshoggers
Kung Fu Monkey
Pagan Prattle
Gwyneth Jones
Brain Windows
Informed Comment: Global Affairs
RBN Exploits
Progressive Gold
Kathryn Cramer
Halfway down the Danube
Fistful of Euros
Orcinus
Shrillblog
Joe Conason
Frankenstein Journal (Chris Lawson)
The Panda's Thumb
Martin Wisse
Wave Without a Shore
Kuro5hin
Scrivener's Error
Advogato
Talking Points Memo
The Register
Plagiarism Today
Cryptome
Juan Cole: Informed comment
Global Guerillas (John Robb)
Information Warfare Monitor
Shadow of the Hegemon (Demosthenes)
Simon Bisson's Journal
Econospeak
Ethan Zuckerman
MetaFilter
NTKnow
Encyclopaedia Astronautica
Fafblog
Warren Ellis
Sociopath World
Brad DeLong
Hullabaloo (Digby)
Jeff Vail
Jamais Cascio
Rebecca's Pocket (Rebecca Blood)
Mark Safranski
Dan Drake
Geoffrey Wiseman
Libby Spencer of The Impolitc
Zeno is always HalfWay There
Aaron Krager may Have A Point
Scholars & Rogues
Blog Sisters
Better Things to Waste Your Time On
Taking Barack To The Movies
Not An Accident: Peace To All
Scott McLoud
The Secret Recipe Blog
Terri Windling's The Drawing Board
Damn Dirty Hippies Are Everywhere
Progressive PST
Ryan Harvey's Even If Your Voice Shakes
Matthew Cheney's The Mumpsimus
Jazz From Hell
The Angry Black Woman
Computational Legal Studies
Laure lives at Apt. 11D
Vylar Kaftan
Spocko's Brain
bastard.logic
Twistedchick's Wind in the trees
Greg Palast
Jeff VanderMeer has Ecstatic Days
Nadyalec Hijazi has Velvet Migrations
Emily Jiang is Writing with Iceberg in Tow
Global Voices Online
Ethan Siegel Starts With A Bang
Don Herron goes Up And Down These Mean Streets
Punditry Nation
Frank Denton still has a Rogue Raven
Geri Sullivan is On The Funway
Emily L. Hauser – In My Head
The League of Ordinary Gentlemen
Carl Brandon Society
John Hodgman
PsyPost
Streetsblog San Francisco
William Cronon is a Scholar As Citizen
SourceWatch
Right Wing Watch
Democracy For America
Hoyden About Town
Bernard Avishai Dot Com
CrunchGear
RealTimeSatelliteTracking &ISS
Rachel Holmen's Maple Leaf Rag
SF Signal
Tachyon - Saving the World One Good Book at a Time
The Duck Of Minerva
Abu Muqawama
Abi Sutherland's Noise2Signal
Clarisse Thorn
Whirled View
Adam Serwer
Stuff White People Like
LiberalLand
Berkeley Today
Berkeleyside
The Disorder Of Things
Howling Curmudgeons
The Gun is fired by C. J. Chivers
Raven Brooks's Coffee Is For Closers
Spin Your Web
paidcontent.org
More Red Ink
infotropism
Rickety Contrivances Of Doing Good
Brad Ideas
Asking The Wrong Questions
Ambling along the Aqueduct
Committee To Protect Journalists
The Bloggess
Ultraphyte


People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost, Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry, Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny. It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out. And She of whom I must write someday.










Amygdala
 
Monday, January 25, 2010
 
HEALTH CARE REFORM WON'T SAVE ME.

I'm asking for your help.

For several years I've, finally, been in the process of applying for Social Security Disability, something I desperately needed to do decades earlier, but wrongheadedly struggled to avoid as my life spiraled into hell.

Many people have helped me along the way, some of you included, and now I've hit another emergency juncture and my only alternative is to plead for your help and hope a few of you will throw me another lifeline.

MY MENTAL ILLNESS is the primary disability, though I also have other ailments (gout, high blood pressure, and a lot of little things). I'm bipolar. I suffer lifelong severe clinical depression, and panic/anxiety disorders to the point of almost complete disability.

I range up and down to some degree depending on my prevailing biochemistry, my circumstances, and my treatment.

But I'm always, at best, near the verge of being thrust back into the hell of just wanting to kill myself because I can't stand the minute-to-minute overwhelming fear, and all the other desperate feelings that are so impossible to explain to a sane person, save as the product of chemicals flooding my brain, turning it a place of living hell.

I've long known that pretty much everyone first applying for Social Security disability for depression is denied, and can only be approved via appeal, and likely multiple appeals.

A few weeks ago I finally was notified that my disability application was being denied. I completely expected this result, but still, lacking resources, and knowledge of timing, I found myself unprepared for the appeal.

Simultaneously, I've been given notice by my current landlord here in Raleigh, North Carolina, that I have to move from my present circumstances to some new place to live (my original notice a few weeks ago was for a move ASAP; I've wangled a temporary extension, but still have to move as soon as reasonably possible).

Simultaneously, because my SS disability application has been denied, my current mental health help from the State of North Carolina (via the Easter Seals organization) has been cut off. I had had a therapist every 2-4 weeks, and psychiatrist every 3 months, plus medications. I'm appealing that cut-off, too.

Three crisi simultaneously: a place to live, reobtaining treatment, disability application to appeal.

I can't overstate how little able I am to cope with even one crisis at a time, as a rule.

Or even one difficult thing at a time. And for me, almost everything is difficult.

I am, alas, mentally and emotionally ill. It's not easy to say that, but at the age of 51, with severe clinical depression first having struck at least by the end of my teen years, I've come to face it.

It's something I've struggled with, mostly unsuccessfully, my whole life, and I almost certainly will have to struggle with the rest of my life.

I range from, when stressed, completely dysfunctional, no matter how absolutely life-critical doing something is, to minimally functional, accomplishing the basics of keeping fed and showered and a mild amount of optional activities, like desperately striving to stay in communication with friends.

Being crazy is crazy-making, it turns out.

I HAVE NO SUPPORT NETWORK of family, or local friends, alas. And I desperately need one, but in lieu of that, I'm asking here for the only substitute I can: your help.

(I would desperately like to afford to move to another state, to a place I didn't hate, and could afford, and a locale I had some friends, but that isn't financially feasible for now.)

The most frightening part of the appeal process is that now they tell me they want evidence of my disability going back many decades, and I just don't have that official proof. But that's stuff you can't help me with.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: overwhelmingly, through taking out a monthly subscription to my blog for at least six months, if not a year or more; stress on the "more," if possible, though obviously people should only do what they're completely comfortable with, and no one can predict the future.

That is, click the PayPal buttons below or in the sidebar so that you agree to automatically send at least one $5/month donation to Amygdala/me every month, hopefully until my disability application is finally approved.

Subscriptions can be taken out in any combination of the $5/month or $25/month or $50/month increments. So someone could donate $15/month with three $5/month subscriptions. Or $30/month with one $25 subscription and one $5/month subscription. Or $125/month with two $50/month and one $25/month subscription. And so on.

Individual donations in any amount can also be made at any time! But the stability of knowing subscription payments will be coming in in six months or more is what I MOST need.

You can cancel your subscriptions at any time, of course, though naturally I hope you won't, or at least not without advance warning.

A couple of weeks ago I had hoped that I'd be able to find a room with utilities somewhere here in the Raleigh/Durham area for around ~$350/month, and I'd thought that if I could just get approximately another $125/month in subscriptions, I could survive.

Realizing just how expensive food is, along with the other small emergencies and expenses that spring up, and after having lost $50/month worth of subscriptions in the past month, I've realized I need at least another $200/month to survive.

So I'm asking you, in desperation, if you've ever enjoyed my blog, or my comments somewhere, or I've helped you out in some way, or if you're simply feeling able to help out someone in need, someone in overwhelming pain and fear, to please consider taking out one or more subscriptions to my blog for a year or more, possible, and help me survive at least another year.

Four people at $50/month could do it. Or ten people with $5/month each, plus two at $25/month and one at $50. Or whatever. Anything you can do will be endlessly appreciated.

All I can say is that I try to pay help forward.

Thanks.

I'd like to explain the history here, but I also don't want to overwhelm people with length. Ideally I should write up a separate post with a fuller history, but experience tells me that I find this sort of thing so upsetting and depressing to write that I'm apt to do exactly what my circular problem is: not write that post, no matter how much I need to. But maybe sooner or later. Meanwhile, try William Styron's Darkness Visible.

INSIDE MY HEAD.

It's so hard to explain to sane people how I could wind up this way, and what it's like.

How I've gotten here is a long long story, but the essense is that lifelong crippling disease of depression that overwhelms me over and over again, and always, at best, hovers just at the edge of my ability to stave it off, always trying to force its way back into total control, total despair, total self-hatred and self-loathing, and a kind of psychic siren of agony and loneliness.

I range up and down, in pain and functionality, depending on circumstances, and my biochemistry, and how much my meds are or aren't helping. (Currently buspirone and Lamictal.)

When I'm doing better, I'm able to chat and do minimally functional stuff: make myself go out on walks, do some of the more important errands, give an appearance of semi-normality.

When I'm doing worse, I cry, I cower in bed, I'm overwhelmed by fear, I can't leave my room, I can't go outside, I can't cope with other people at all, I can't write, I can't communicate.

In between, I'm mostly frantically trying to maintain some communication with friends, and argue online, simply to keep myself alive, to make myself get out of bed, to feel and think of something beyond the utter despair, to keep myself alive just another day, just another week, just another, maybe, month.

I post online so much -- when I do -- because if I didn't I'd have no sanity left at all. It's almost the only connection I have with people.

It's a struggle. It's a form of therapy. It's desperation.

I can't overstate how overwhelming and out of control these feelings that overpower me so constantly are. That's the hell of it. No matter how much you know that it's biochemistry, that doesn't stop the tsunami of emotional devastation that floods your entire sense of self. It's a living hell.

I'm always just trying to maintain the barest minimum of functionality.

But anything that stresses me makes my panic disorder fly out of control. I go into panic attacks. I have to run and hide, literally. I can't get out of bed.

The more important something is, the more fearful I become of it, and the more unable I become to do it, or even approach it.

I live my life in overwhelming fear, and the rest of the time is in between periods of overwhelming fear.

Yes, I have a lot of fuckups in my head and my brain biochemistry.

I wouldn't wish them, or my life, on my worst enemy.

(It's hereditary, by the way; my father had similar problems, arguably even worse.)

And, yes, the therapy and meds in the past year have helped. But they only help if my circumstances allow me to have a place to live and continue working on improving my mental health, and GETTING STABILITY IN MY LIFE.

I hope you'll help. Subscription, please?

Thanks. Thanks so much if you do.

PayPal account not necessary to donate or subscribe!








$5/month subscription:














$25/month Supporter subscription!














$50/month Patron subscription!















ADDENDUM, 3:59 p.m.: That's two $5/month subscriptions so far. Please keep them coming.

ADDENDUM, 4:29 p.m.: That's five more $5/month subscriptions altogether so far, and one $50, and a bunch of singleton donations! Yay, you people. (Of course, this sort of thing comes in a quick spurt that only lasts a day or two, and I keep that in mind.)

ADDENDUM, 4:47 p.m.: Another $50/month, plus two more $5/month for a total of 7 new $5 subscriptions so far today plus the two $50s!

(Please be warned that I'm, goddamn alas, not going to be running out of need in the near future.)

ADDENDUM, 1/26/10, 10:38 a.m.: a bunch of other donations and subscriptions have come in; with luck, more today, before linking blog posts disappear off the front pages of said blogs; I know from experience that wonderful as these spurts of help are, blog-based pleas only effectively last a day or two while said posts are visible. I'll update again tomorrow.

Typically, of course, while I take much comfort from the supportive mail and particularly the lessened insecurity of subscriptions (and donations), I find, this morning, instead of feeling happy and comforted, that I'm full of angst and worry about how long the subscriptions will last, and I'm fighting constant mental flashes to the future experience of watching subscription cancellations eventually flooding into my Inbox.

I can't escape the almost absolute conviction that I'm doomed to always have disasters strike, to exist in a state of almost continual disaster and oncoming horror, since I set them up myself by my endlessly continuous dysfunctionality.

I schedule my panic attacks in advance, as well as impromtu -- kids, this takes a professional, so don't try it at home.

(Yes, I know a bunch of therapeutic techniques at this point to at least interrupt and deal with the negative thoughts as thoughts; working on self-talk has been a huge part of my therapy: it's the physical sensations of terror that are biochemically produced by brain and hormones and body that cause the whole-body feelings is much harder to retrain from lifelong habits. I'm working on trying to practice meditation, and other therapies, to deal with those, as I can, but it's just, you'll pardon the expression, an up and down thing.

Yes, I know that both mind and body are intertwined, and that what one does with one has a huge effect on the other, and that someone with my conditions has to constantly work on both.

If I'm late sending a thank-you note for your subscription or donation, let me apologize in advance: this stuff all makes me overwhelmingly anxious, and I procrastinate. Anyway, not trying to make excuses, but I hope you'll be understanding, with my apologies, if I'm not always Speedy Gonzalez in responding personally.

ADDENDUM, 1/26/10, 2:05 p.m.; it's been a couple of hours since the last donation/subscription, and the blog hits have dropped down to around 80 or so per hour, so we seem to be in the dying tail of the fundraising moment. But, hey, prove me wrong! :-)

ADDENDUM, 1/29/10, 11:11 a.m: Hi, everyone. Sorry, I didn't mean leave such a gap, but I was kinda hoping the last two days that there might be some further links and or hits/donations/subs/etc., and I didn't want to give the impression that the need had disappeared.

Only a handful of new subs and donations drifted in during the last two days, but in the rush of Monday and Tuesday, I've garnered in new subscriptions:
4 @ $50 =200
5 @ $25 =125
31 @ $5 =155

So I have a temporary income stream, that lasts as long as people don't start cancelling subscriptions, of around $1100/month, starting now, for now, which is enough to move, along with the approximately $2000 donated to add to my savings of about $1700.

Of course, that has to make a full budget for everything, so I'll have to keep down what I spend on hookers, drugs, and Vegas visits. Most of all, I know that it's a peak figure, as over coming months subscriptions will inevitably start drifting away, eventually in droves.

But it's enough to get me into some other living arrangement, and boy does that make me feel endlessly better.

I can't thank people enough. I'm still in speechless mode, actually, but didn't want to dawdle further on this addendum. More, as always, later. Sooner or later.

ADDENDUM, February 1st, 12:33 p.m.: Jeez, housing is even more expensive and dodgy, when I look really closely at it, than I thought. Definitely going to have to spend more than I thought earlier, unless I'm very lucky. :-(

ADDENDUM, February 3rd, 11:05 p.m.: This is what I get for being obsessive about reading apartment ads for days, and being depressed about how dangerous and horrible the tenants' reports are on places I had, at first glance at ads, thought sounded find, and, anyway, my procrastinating on getting to a number of the thank-yous I owe people for subs and donations: my first cancellation of a new sub a few minutes ago. A $5/month one, but, still, already the falling away has begun. :-(

Sorry, lots of anxiety attacks again in past few days, terribly interfering with writing things up so far.

Um, please don't cancel your subscriptions?

ADDENDUM, 2/08/10, 4:41 p.m.: I very much need to do a new post on where I'm at with searching for a new place to live, etc., but I'm still catching up on all sorts of other stuff!

And, yes, still, of course, fighting constant battles with overwhelming anxiety, fears, terrors, etc., about anything the remotest bit stressful, which includes anything that reminds me of anything worrying....

One clarification: I'm really hoping that people who subscribe can commit to at least a year, if possible. In all honesty, my fears are overwhelmingly about where I'll be in nine months, and a year, and two. My problems are the opposite of short-term. I don't *expect* anyone to make any commitments, but the more people can, the endlessly more of a relief it is.

Meanwhile, thanks so so much to all who have given support in any way!

And I'm *trying* to catch up on sending out belated thank yous.

1/25/2010 08:16:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 28 comments

28 Comments:

Hey Gary. Sorry to hear it's still hard times for you. I dropped $100 on you brother. I suffer on a much smaller scale in the same ways you do -- it's really gratifying to me to be able to help someone in this way.

By Blogger foxtrotsky, at Monday, January 25, 2010 12:53:00 PM  

My role in life is to enable people to gratify themselves in this way. Please don't stint in your self-gratification.

;-)

By Blogger Gary Farber, at Monday, January 25, 2010 1:03:00 PM  

Hi Gary-
I dropped a 100 too...John Cole over at Balloon Juice says you are a good guy..and thats enough for me. I'm a NC boy myself..and I hate to see anyone struggle as mightily as it seems you do...Good luck man
Chris

By Blogger Chris, at Monday, January 25, 2010 1:05:00 PM  

So sorry for your hard times, Gary. Know that you're not alone. From Amsterdam, we send our heartfelt wish that better times are on the way for you, and our hope that even a small donation may help to bring you some relief.

By Blogger amy, at Monday, January 25, 2010 1:14:00 PM  

Gary,

I'm a Conservative. Politics is one thing, real life is another. I'll be linking in to this article. I'm in about the same boat, except I do have a support system and minus the illness too.

I wish you the best sir and I hope you get better.

-Pat
Owner
Politicalbyline.com

By Blogger Patrick, at Monday, January 25, 2010 1:38:00 PM  

I sent in a $25 subscription. Life is unpredictable--something you know as well as anyone here--so a year from now we'll revisit our budget and see how you're doing.

By Blogger Catsy, at Monday, January 25, 2010 2:19:00 PM  

I clicked on some ads.

By Blogger GW_SS-Delta, at Monday, January 25, 2010 2:25:00 PM  

Signing up for monthly prescription. Hang in my friend. Chronic depression and other disorders are so difficult. You're in my thought - lots of us care very much.
-ScreamingInAtlanta (SIA)

By Blogger Alison, at Monday, January 25, 2010 2:29:00 PM  

My SSDI claim took 3 years. I finally wrote my state rep and congresscritter and explained how long the process takes. Have you tried that route et? I believe our senators and state reps need to know how unbearably long the process is. I wish you the best, take it hour by hour, day by day. Also, do you have a disability lawyer?

Ann
www.dialager.blogspot.com

By Blogger Annie, at Monday, January 25, 2010 2:47:00 PM  

Gary,
I live in Cary and have just subscribed. I don't know anything about affordable housing in Raleigh but if you have other needs, let it be known and maybe I can pitch in. I have a full-time job and am a single parent but we all need to help each other. I like your idea of paying it forward! Hang in there. Metalgirl (saw John's post on BJ)

By Blogger Elizabeth, at Monday, January 25, 2010 3:01:00 PM  

I'm trying to find a lawyer, but it's all very circular. Somehow I'm going to have to find another place for treatment, because while I've had a couple of good therapists, setting aside that they've both gone away after, respectively, some 9 months and 6 months or so, my psychiatrist is a complete asshole. And somehow I need a lot more supporting evidence of my history, and I'm really at a loss as to how to compile or obtain much, given that I only had a couple of experiences with therapy before my latest stint in the past year and a half.

And my experience so far is that I need doctors to testify for me to obtain a lawyer. Underlying my whole set of problems is that I essentially desperately need a social worker to help me through these things, and help me with forms and getting them filled out and just facing them. The nature of my disability is such that it overwhelming tends to interfere with my getting things done to apply for disability help!

And that's where my totally lacking any family support, or local substitute for it, comes into play. Alas, what I really desperately need are some people *around* me who can help out on a semi-frequent basis, whom I can go to when I get a set of forms, or have to go on appointments, or otherwise Get Stuff Done, and whom I can ask to do ludicrous things like come sit with me while I work on forms, or to help me film them out, because I have completely irrational fears that constantly arise about this stuff, and which makes me put it off forever, or not cope at all, until it's too late.

I've had to restart the disability process on more than one occasion because of this crippling inability to cope.

It's one vast circle. The reason I need help is exactly because things like going through the disability application process is exactly the kind of thing I'm dysfunctional at to the point of being disabled.

And it doesn't help that my moods, being bipolar and repeatedly severely clinically depressed, shift constantly, both on an hourly or even more frequent basis, or on long cycles, as well. This makes it very difficult to plan ahead, and it also means that when things are going better, both circumstantially, and within the biochemistry of my brain, I do better, and when those are worse, I'm worse.

But the system isn't, apparently, set up to cope with people who may be mostly disabled, but are better for passing amounts of time, within strict limits, among many other problems.

By Blogger Gary Farber, at Monday, January 25, 2010 3:07:00 PM  

I'll toss you a twenty.

By Blogger AllenS, at Monday, January 25, 2010 3:17:00 PM  

Aargh lost my previous post.

Have you been in touch with: http://www.alliancecil.org/

for help with disability advocacy resources in your area? I expect you have, but just throwing it out there.

I subscribed, and glad to do it.


If anyone out there is in the Raleigh area and can commit part of 1-2 days a month to be a helping hand to Gary, I know from my own experience that just having someone present when you need to go through paperwork or make calls can make all the difference in getting stuff done, particularly the tangled ribbons of bureaucratic paperwork. If several people were able to make a minimal time commitment, it could make all the difference. I'm on the West Coast and can't offer my own presence.

Thinking of you, Gary.

By Blogger KDP, at Monday, January 25, 2010 3:38:00 PM  

Gary-

I'm sorry to hear about your situation(s). I followed John Cole's link to your site. I prepared an application and Appeal documentation on behalf of one of my spouse's clients a year or so ago so I'm somewhat familiar with the process you are facing.

If you don't care to share have a few questions about your SSD claim/situation?
1. Have you been officially diagnosed by a psysician and if yes with what? When?
2. You indicate that you have a psychiatrist but that you would like to see a different doctor. Is s/he a private or a state physician?
2. Re: medical records. Do you have a personal copy of your pertainent medical records (i.e. do you know what is in them and if so do you understand what they contain)? If not, most doctor's offices will provide the patient with 1 copy free of charge. When requesting, make sure to let them know that you are aware that it is customary to provide 1 copy to you at no charge.
3. You indicate that you've spoken to an attorney but haven't reached an agreement with one to take over your case. Specifically, what is the reason that no agreement was reached? Also, How did you find the attorney(s) you
contacted?
4. Did you file your initial claim for SSD benefits online or did you complete the forms manually? Did you retain a copy for yourself of everything you submitted?
5. What is the date on your letter denying benefits? There is a deadline for submitting an Appeal. It MUST BE RECEIVED by SSA 65 days from date on their letter. That's to say you have 60 days plus 5 extra days to allow for the lag time between their mailing and your receipt of the letter of denial.
6. What are the circumstances behind your moving?
Don't let the denial of your original claim (and likely your Appeal) get you down. Over 60% of original applications are denied and only 10-15% get granted on Appeal. The Hearing stage is where most benefits are granted. The process is like an endurance race.

I'm including some links that might be of help to you.
Legal Services Corporation (Legal Aid) has an office in Raleigh and might be a resource for advice if not representation. They handle civil cases for individuals meeting specific income criteria. There is a high demand for their services but they may be able to help with forms or a referral.
http://www.legalaidnc.org/public/learn/about_us/


Disability Secrets is a site worth poking around. The author is a former examiner with SSA and explains the process in lay-person's language. Below is just one of many informative pages at the site.
http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/mental-impairment-claims.html

Disability Rights North Carolina is located in Raleigh and may be able to assist you in finding another physician, or with a referral for an attorney. They may have other resources available as well. If you call them let them know
some of the specifics of your current situation (housing/mental state) so they can best assess all they might do to assist you.
http://www.disabilityrightsnc.org/pages/70/What-We-Do/

My Disability Blog has some tips on filing an Appeal as well as other SSD related postings. I think this site and Disability Secrets are affiliated. You might find it of interest.
http://disabilityblogger.blogspot.com/2009/01/tips-for-filing-disability-appeal.html

I apologize if I appear to be prying with my questions and you shouldn't feel you have to respond. I've worked with my attorney spouse for 5 years and have dealt with medical records gathering/deciphering as one of my duties. And as I said before I did most of the preparation/case oversight for the only SSD claim/client we ever accepted. One was enough for us. The client was successful but the tediousness of the process was too much. If I can lend any insight I'd be happy to do it.

By Blogger Jinx, at Monday, January 25, 2010 8:31:00 PM  

Gary,

I am very, very, VERY lucky. I was approved for SSD the first go-round for problems quite similar to at least some of yours. In my case, mostly long-term severe clinical depression. I had no idea this was what you were struggling with. I thought it was a physical condition that caused you severe pain. Not that that would be any better, but my heart went out to you reading this post, because I know sooooo well what it feels like to feel what you're feeling. I know what you're going through, as well as anyone could who does not know you.

Anyway, I signed up for the $5 subscriber level. If I can give more in the future, I will.

Stay strong, Gary. Keep fighting. I have you in my prayers here in New Jersey.

By Blogger Kathy, at Tuesday, January 26, 2010 6:55:00 AM  

Wish I had the money right now. I empathize - I'm 47 and have been on and off clinically depressed since I was a teen too. Have you tried food stamps, the local food bank, welfare, etc.? (I presume you have.) My wife had to get an attorney - they'll work on award basis (they don't get paid unless you win).

By OpenID joeyalphabet62, at Tuesday, January 26, 2010 9:17:00 AM  

Gary,

I'm going to be laid off in two months, so I could only help a bit. Always remind yourself at during your darkest hours that you're not alone and that other people are pulling for you.

Stay strong.

By Blogger Jack of All Tirades, at Tuesday, January 26, 2010 11:16:00 AM  

If you're in the Asheville area, get attorney Cynthia Strom for social security disability application. She is an RN and attorney and is well regarded around here re: her skills at moving applications thru. Tell me what county you are in and perhaps I can link you to mental health people. It sounds like you need state funded mental health care; as to what monies there are and as to whether you can find a provider to jump thru that set of paper hoops, that's another matter. marsha hammond, phd, clinical / health licensed psychologist, asheville NC: NC mental health reform blogspot: http://madame-defarge.blogspot.com/

By Blogger Marsha V. Hammond, PhD, at Tuesday, January 26, 2010 11:31:00 AM  

I currently live in Wake County, in Raleigh city limits (just), in north Raleigh. But I'll have to move in the near future. I'd really love to move entirely out of the American south, truth be told, and to an urban area I like, and where I have friends, but it would have to be some place with cheap rents available, which rules out any intersection with my criteria, so far as I can currently see.

I'd love to move back to my hometown of NYC/Brooklyn, but finding a tolerable place to live for only ~$350/month rent, or so, utilities included, would require tremendous luck.

Thanks for the recommendations.

By Blogger Gary Farber, at Tuesday, January 26, 2010 11:44:00 AM  

To be clearer, so in all probability my move will be somewhere in the Triangle area, to some room in a house that's on a bus line, not far from a supermarket. Preferably a separate room, rather than a roommate situation. Craigslist is where I expect I'll find something.

I'll probably get back to you with more questions in future, Marsha V. Hammond, Ph.D., if that's okay.

By Blogger Gary Farber, at Tuesday, January 26, 2010 11:47:00 AM  

Gary,

My heart goes out to you man. I've dealt with addiction, anxiety, and panic attacks for last half of my life and I understand just how hard it is for people w/o such issues to understand what a fucking monster it is. How something inside of you can just take over. I went in on a $5/subscription as it is all I can afford right now.

Stay strong, brother.
Ryan

By OpenID attacksmurf, at Tuesday, January 26, 2010 1:22:00 PM  

I'm often amazed at the wonder that is the internet and how much it helps to keep me sane. I went through a period of depression that lead to hospitalization, but to this day I know that I'm not and likely will never be "cured". I can't remember when I first came across your name in the blogosphere but in reading through ObiWi archives I knew to stop and read your comments. I appreciate the work that you've put into posts and into the content of your site and am happy to send $50 your way. It's a small consideration and I hope it and especially the community helps to make your hurdles feel smaller.

By Blogger Jon, at Wednesday, January 27, 2010 2:19:00 PM  

I see you mentioned Raleigh, and also that "I HAVE NO SUPPORT NETWORK of family, or local friends, alas. And I desperately need one". In Raleigh there is no need to be that way. Contact: http://www.alliancecil.org/

My son, who if he were just bi-polar would be nice, has been dealing with them for a while. It is mostly run by disabled to help disabled. They will know all the lawyers and appeals process. At least one of them is working on being a lawyer himself. They can connect you with any of the legal resources KDP mentioned. They have been great with my son. They on off the bus stop in a building at Cameron Village, so you can use the bus if you don't have transportation. They are a great support network. My son has made some great friends there and they have been instrumental in supporting him. Something about having a group of people in the same boat as you ... it just helps.

Also, contact the N&O. Yes, mainstream media. But they have a running issue with lack of mental health care, last piece was this week. http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local_state/story/306152.html Contact the reporter on that article: michael.biesecker@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4698

I am also going to suggest a church. I am assuming you don't attend one as you say you have no support network. It is the south and that is how most support networks connect. Stop gasping, they are even atheist friendly. You don't have to believe anything, and conversely you can believe something too and not agree with anyone. It's fine. It is the UUFR on Wade Ave. http://www.uufr.org/ That is also on a bus route. It is near Whole Foods/Quail Ridge Books. The weather this weekend may not allow much however. I recommend you start by just showing up at the discussion group at 9:30 AM in the Clara Barton Room. The people of the "church" as a whole can also give you a social support network.

These things work to provide a wonderful support network for my mentally ill son. I see no reason why they can't/won't help you. I don't usually show up here, hopped over from C&L and saw the "Raleigh". You can reach me at "hechicera" no quotes at google mail. Spelled out for no spam, sorry. Then if you want I can give you names so you can more personally introduce yourself at the two places I recommend to start a support network. Really too bad the weather will probably not allow travel Sat-Mon or so.

By Blogger Hechicera, at Thursday, January 28, 2010 6:11:00 AM  

I have the same problems. People don't know how crippling the things they can't see can be. Good luck to you.

By Blogger The Captain, at Thursday, January 28, 2010 6:33:00 AM  

P.S. Try clonazepam. Great for anxiety.

By Blogger The Captain, at Thursday, January 28, 2010 6:34:00 AM  

I clicked on some ads.

I too am 50 and have had one major health crisis after another.The last was full blown chicken pox virus.I found out I needed to give up gluten during that virus and have finally gained some robust healthy feeling again.The blood tests are not reliable for this unless you get the genetic test.$. The stomach is called the second brain, consider probiotics and fish oil for brain health.Best wishes.

By Blogger JayZee, at Thursday, January 28, 2010 4:25:00 PM  

I so sympathize, though that's all I can do. My SSD was denied years ago, leaving me with just SSI. I am looking at homelessness now, which will mean loss of therapeutic support and of my precious pets and of my beloved grandson and and and... I was so glad to see you get some subscriptions to help keep you above water. It gives me hope for my own situation. I have the room for a roommate, which would save me, and if begging and pleading will get me a decent person to share the house with me and my Autistic grandson, I will crawl on broken glass. Also thank you for describing what life is like inside a depressed and panic-stricken body -- it's not all a head thing, despite what many think. All of those days when one can't even get out of bed and the pillow is soaked with tears, when necessary things go undone... Thank you Gary, for being strong enough and word-smith enough to tell this story. I could not have done it. I hope that someday you can write that post and tell the whole story. And I really hope that this all works for you and that you get more subscribers so that you are more than just above water.

By OpenID WickedDaleWitch, at Thursday, January 28, 2010 8:37:00 PM  

If you kill yourself I am SO fucking not going to forgive yourself. There are better ways to go out than that.

I sent you money. I will send you more money when I can, because Fafnir said so.

Now, stop being so freaking out! You can live. Yes, it's insane when you have to obey minor dictates of others TERRIBLY TERRIBLY INSANE!

Really dreadful. But dammit, just hang in there. I'll be in touch. Hell, we'll be in touch.

Just stop all this pulling in shit. I know, I know. Pain, pain, pain. La vida es una puta. Deal.

I WILL send more money. I already did the five dollar a month thing. I NEVER do that Gary; I am totally vague about money.

I UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS TOTALLY FUCKED UP GARY. Srsly.

Love and hugs,

and hopefully better stuff in the future. Not to stalk or anything, but, ya know. I'm glad I found you, oh suicidal one. Fafnir is a good reference. I trusts me some Fafnir.

Now, all we need to do is get you somewhere where there are your peeps. I have a similar problem in this department, so I can give good advice. However, I will refrain from such because sometimes good advice is the last derned thing ya need, if you get my drift.

By for now. Kindly don't kill yourself. And oh my now there is all this other stuff on the left sidebar, you wily person you.

I already sent you money, Gary!

Yes, I gathered you were single. We could be friends, but unlikely lovers, because I already went through that dozens of times, Gary. People like you never wind up liking me. I'm an honest person, though. But apparently I'm something of a bitch.

I sent the money, Gary. Haunt away.

Love and snuggles, even though I am an unredeemable bitch,

Miep

By Blogger MiepRowan, at Saturday, February 20, 2010 1:05:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Bookmark and Share



 
This page is powered by Blogger.



Visitor Map
<