Democrats announce Green New Deal
ACLU action prompted shutdown of mental hospitals
Your recent editorial blames Gov. Inslee for leaving people with mental illness untreated because of lack of facilities. Now I must defend a governor who I believe is incompetent in order to place blame for abandoning the mentally ill where it belongs: the ACLU.
From 1964 to 1968 I worked for the Department of Institutions (now DSHS). I was aware of Department of Institutions issues. The ACLU sued governments claiming patients were put into hospitals without due process and were mistreated; unfortunately they won their case.
Rather than solve the actual problem, the ACLU compared hospitals with prisons. Many mental hospitals were shut down after the court’s verdict.
Court cases should not only present perceived injustices; they should also present potential solutions. In criminal and civil cases this is called a verdict and results in an action by government. The ACLU failed the mentally ill citizens because their short-sighted complaint provided no solution. The courts released the mentally ill to homelessness on the streets.
The ACLU is responsible for the lack of facilities, not Inslee — the lack of mental health facilities predates Inslee. If the ACLU hadn’t concocted that court case, we would still have hospitals and staff for the mentally ill, and would have fewer homeless.
Wars and climate change
The Green New Deal has been given a prominent role in the upcoming election for many Democratic candidates. What seems to be missing in the resolution is any mention of holding the government accountable for the environmental problems it has caused, especially from these recent wars.
While the wars have been brutal on the people involved, we need to remember that the survivors will have to live in the environment that has been damaged by depleted uranium, numerous other toxic materials, and acts of war. That is a burden the people will have to deal with for years because of the environmental damage.
A study by the Watson Institute at Brown University states “Between 2001 and 2017 … the U.S. military emitted 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases. More than 400 million metric tons of greenhouse gases are directly due to war-related fuel consumption. The largest portion of Pentagon fuel consumption is for military jets.”
According to the Institute, the “Department of Defense is the largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels in the world and a key contributor to climate change.”
Speaking as a Libertarian, it is time that the government set an example and cleaned up its own act at home and abroad before telling the rest of us how to live.