A BIG BROWN BAGFUL of more news

Curing the Condemned

· Down on Arkansas' death row is Charles Singleton, a man who stabbed a grocer to death in 1979. He is said to have "decompensated" in 1987 (translation: gone raving mad). The state wants him forcibly medicatednot to stand trial but to be killed. The Circuit Court opined that "eligibility for execution is the only unwanted consequence of the [antipsychotic] medication." No one in his right mind would worry about it.

Wild Injuns

· A recent visitor to the Mouth House had recently visited what's left of the Hiawatha Asylum for Insane Indians in Canton, South Dakota. Now a golf course, that particular hellhole was in operation from 1899 to 1933. Read more about it at www.mindfreedom.org.

You Need Help

· The Exit Bag, a do-it-yourself death product, is packaged with instructions. Consumers of a compassionate death are basically told, Insert head, attach helium tank to valve, breathe deep, and kiss your ass good-bye but instructions also "strongly recommend the presence of a field-worker from either Hemlock's Caring Friends program, or Compassionate Chaplaincy." Guess they like to watch.

· News on the assisted death front: Barry Corbet, recently-retired editor of New Mobility, wrote for their May issue that he's changed his mind about death by compassion. Read his balanced, careful sorting of the issue at http://newmobility.com.

DNR to the Max

· A Johns Hopkins University study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society uncovered a shocking side effect of Do Not Resuscitate orders: physicians take them as instructions to treat patients as disposable.

"Based solely on the presence of a DNR order," the researchers said, "physicians are less likely to initiate procedures ranging from complex therapies, such as ICU transfer, to simpler interventions, such as blood transfusions.... Even hospital DNR policies have been shown to be confused about the scope of a DNR order."

Another side effect we've seen: If a surgeon for instance amputates the wrong arm of someone who's signed a DNR, no malpractice attorney will take the case. Doctors know that. In medical-legal terms, a DNR indicates Has No Dollar Value.

Leave No Monkey Behind

· Newly revised Department of Transportation guidelines will allow airline passengers to take cats, monkeys, and other animals on board with themon a case-by-case basisfor emotional support. Support spiders, rats and snakes, however, will not be tolerated.

Tote That Barge

· A report in the New York Times on the failure of Bush's supply-side economics called it a flashback to Reaganomics, another flop. Bush's new improved tax cut would exempt stock dividend income from taxes, thus "shifting the tax burden toward those whose income comes from wages." The White House claims that high deficits are "a small price worth paying" to make the rich richer.

Top Corporate Crooks

· Healthsouth, a top spinal cord and brain rehab outfit, scored right behind Enron on a May New York Times "corporate scandal scorecard." Ten criminal indictments, ten guilty pleas. This is one of the crews Mouth blew in to the FBI. None of the indictments was for kidnapping although they held people captive for health insurance ransom. As the FBI told us then, "Nobody would kidnap cripples. They're not worth anything. "

Granny Can't Deviate

· Technology will solve all our problems, right? Now there's E-Care Assistant, motion-detectors for your home where your movements are "analyzed by special computer software that looks for deviations from 'normal' senior behavior" and alerts authorities.