In this Christmas season, let us not forget the cripples

In this holiday season, it’s hard to be hard-hearted. So you’ll pardon me if this week I refrain from writing one of my usual missives condemning the waste, fraud, arrogance and generally thuggish behavior of our government masters, claiming they need more of your paycheck because their budgets have been “cut to the bone” when in fact they’re still bigger than last year’s.

Instead, I’d like to take this opportunity, as the Christmas carols waft from the little radio over in the corner that cartoonist Jim Day locked into the “on” position sometime before 1990, till we’ve all wondered more than once whether it would be possible to short the thing out before it finishes “My Little Tin Drum” (pa rum pum pum pum) one more time by drowning it in lukewarm Coca-Cola, to ask us all to take a moment to think about the less fortunate.

Who is it that most deserves our kindness and our charity, in this Christmas season?

The cripples, of course.

Of course, if someone in your family is temporarily out of work, you may want to step in with your checkbook and try to make their holidays a little more cheery. But the able-bodied can generally be expected to “get back on their feet” again, as it were.

Not so the lame, the halt, the blind, the spastic — your actual cripples. They have to struggle along manfully (or womanfully, as the case may be), knowing they’re not likely to wake up in any better shape tomorrow. Why? Because they’re crippled.

By now, a handful of readers are probably asking themselves, “How can this guy Suprynowicz be so insensitive? Does he live in some cave? Doesn’t he know that we refrain from using words like ‘cripples,’ these days, in order to avoid giving offense? Doesn’t he have editors who can take him aside and explain that we now prefer terms like ‘handicapped,’ ‘disabled,’ or — for those who took the Advanced Credit course in Politically Correct Euphemisms — ‘differently abled’ … words that sound nicer, while meaning the same thing as ‘crippled’?”

Ah, but do they?

At the bottom of the front page of the Dec. 2 Review-Journal appeared a story out of the Los Angeles Times, headlined “Young adults in U.S. riddled with disorders, study finds.” Surveying young Americans aged 18 to 24, some gang of shrinks from Columbia University determined that 45.8 percent of college students — and an even larger 47.7 percent of young people who are of college age but not actually attending college — suffer from serious disabilities.

Holy cow! Nearly half of our college-age young people crippled?! Was it those darned land mines? With all our other investments tanking, is it time to start investing in firms that manufacture crutches and wheelchairs?

Not necessarily. Because when the psychiatric industry tells us we’ve got millions of people “disabled” or “suffering from serious disorders” — and then takes the opportunity to “call for earlier treatment” of these young adults “to prevent lifelong dysfunction or disability” — such announcements are meant to make it SOUND like we’ve got a national emergency involving vast number of young cripples in need of tax-funded therapy, when in fact what they mean is that the kids are … ready? holding onto your chairs? … drinking and smoking and not calling girls back the next day like they promised.

“Psychiatric disorder” sounds like it means “crazy,” and it’s meant to. But even claiming 46 percent of our young people are “crazy” wouldn’t pass the laugh test, because we all know what “crazy” means, and we all know 46 percent of our young people are not running naked through the streets, hooting like apes, nor are they convinced the CIA and/or the space aliens are controlling their actions through small radio receivers implanted in their bodies.

The most common “psychiatric disorders” reported by the Columbia University survey of 5,000 young people — technically, the “National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions” — were “alcohol abuse” (20.7 percent of college kids), “nicotine dependence” (20.7 percent of non-college kids) and other non-specified “personality disorders,” which combined strike slightly less than 20 percent of this populace.

Can you imagine? Our young adults are drinking, smoking, and occasionally acting boorish and insensitive. And here we thought al-Qaida was a threat to our way of life!

Apparently not measured in this particular survey were such other crippling — pardon me, “disabling” — ailments as Halitosis and Visible Panty Line.

It would be bad enough if this were merely a transparent scam to get the government to recognize these “psychiatric disorders” so the members of the psychiatric fraternity could tap into our insurance or tax moneys to fund the largely fruitless endeavor of “treating” them (which it is, of course), since the idea of more-or-less coercive “treatment” of someone’s voluntary choices is really appropriate only to clinics run along lines pioneered by Joseph Mengele.

But it doesn’t stop there. Once the psychiatric gang got these conditions recognized as actual “disabiliites” — something they could never achieve until they convinced everyone we were being “insensitive” if we refused to substitute the highly nebulous and hard-to-define term “disabled” for words like “crippled” or “crazy,” clear and simple terms no English-speaker had had any trouble defining for five hundred years — the government actually started issuing “disability checks” to layabouts clever enough to enlist some tax-funded shrink to certify them as suffering from one of these “disabilities”!

I kid you not. Go visit your local post office on the first of the month, and check out all the able-bodied men standing in line, waiting for their government checks.

Welfare checks? No, “disability” checks!

But how can these men be “disabled” if “disabled” means the same thing as “crippled” and they’re obviously able-bodied?

You see, Bill Clinton promised to “get rid of welfare as we know it.” And he did. Mind you, pretty much the same people are still getting the handouts, funded out of your paycheck and mine. Only now it’s known as “disability.”

And no, it doesn’t mean the same thing as “crippled.”

Meantime, since we’re on the subject, letter-writers keep writing in, following the massive Nov. 4 electoral victory of Barack Obama and the collectivists, braying that “Trickle-down economics is dead! Now it’s time for trickle-up economics. Yay!”

It will be interesting to see how this works. Should you now have the misfortune to be laid off or have your work hours cut back, apparently the current recommendation is that, instead of visiting the personnel office of some outfit owned and financed with whatever minimal assets Obama’s IRS decides to allow some greedy rich guys to keep, you instead head down to the post office on the first of the month, tap some of those guys waiting in line on the shoulders, and ask if they’d be willing to get together and “trickle you up” a job.

Let me know how you do.

And Merry Christmas.

# # #

Turning to the mailbag, M.D. Henry E. Jones writes in, in response to my recent column on free-market medical care: “I retired in 2004 after 40 years of medical practice and I must say you mostly have it right. But we can’t advertise lower prices as the medical boards won’t allow it. Also, once a person hits 65 years of age it is illegal for a physician to negotiate with him for a lower cash price. Once a person is Medicare-eligible Medicare must be involved no matter if the patient is a billionaire!

“Then there is the basic problem of control of the number and types of physicians by the Federation of State Medical Boards using their control of medical education. So the monopoly over health care is orchestrated at every level, from the drugs allowed by the FDA to the individuals allowed to practice medicine, to the hospitals and medical schools that are granted accreditation. It’s just thoroughly rotten from top to bottom. Over 100,000 deaths are caused by the system every year, just for starters!

“You may have to hold your nose but keep on writing about it. Every article shines a little sunlight into the AMA’s rotten business of letting people die for political power and money!”

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