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ffMfe tate*. Patton tried to slap a shell-shocked solder back to his senses, the nation’s understanding has not progressed by much. “Mental illnesses” are illnesses. Schizophrenia is a real illness with every indication of having a physical basis just as real as that of diabetes. Alzheimer’s is a real and ultimately fatal disease that can be demonstrated in an autopsy just as clearly as cancer or heart disease. The thought that mentally ill people are really suffering from some spiritual disorder or flaw of moral character is what might be called the conservative error. But there is a liberal error, too. Some mentally ill people really are crazy. There is a physical cause of their craziness, but they are crazy nonetheless. It is not that they have an odd or unusual view of the world, that they have chosen an alternate reality or lifestyle, or that they have found some other plane of consciousness; they are crazy, they are lunatics. And from time to time one of them does grip a barred window and shriek to get out. A person with a severed spinal cord is not having an alternate lifestyle choice or a spiritual experience, and neither is a mental patient. Alzheimer’s, of course, has no ultimately effective treatment. As palliatives go, there are now several for schizophrenia, which are very good at least by comparison to what came before. But we fault mental patients who refuse to take their medications in a way that we do not fault people who refuse to take their blood-pressure medication or who mismanage their insulin or who stray from their diets. We still have a long way to go. Lars Eighner is the author of Travels with Lizbeth, a memoir of homelessness, the novel Pawn to Queen Four, and other books, and is a frequent contributor to the Observer. Pick up your FREE copy at over 200 locations in Austin & Houston. For further information call 512.476.057 or 713.521.5822 CLASSIFIEDS ORGANIZATIONS WORK for single-payer National Health Care. Join GRAY PANTHERS, intergenerational advocates against ageism and for progressive policies promoting social and economic justice. $20 individual, $35 family. 3710 Cedar, Austin, TX TEXAS AIDS NETWORK dedicated to improving HIV/AIDS policy and funding in Texas. Individual membership $25, P.O. Box 2395, Austin, TX REVOLTED BY EXECUTIONS? Join the Amnesty International Campaign Against the Death Penalty. WORK FOR OPEN, responsible government in Texas. Join Common Cause/Texas, 1615 Guadalupe, #204, http://www.ccsi.com/comcause. TEXAS TENANTS’ UNION. Membership $10/six months, $18/year, $30 or more/sponsor. Receive handbook on tenants’ rights, newsletter, and more. 5405 East Grand, Dallas, TX 75223. END LOGGING OF ANCIENT FORESTS and roadless areas, stop clearcutting of our National Forests. Join the nationwide campaign to protect and restore America’s wild and natural forests. For a free brochure contact Save America’s Forests, 4 Library Court SE, Washington, D.C. CENTRAL TEXAS CHAPTER of the ACLU invites you to our noon Forum, the last Friday of every month, at Furr’s Cafeteria Banquet Room in Northcross Mall, Austin. For information call LIBERTARIAN PARTY Liberal on personal freedoms, but conservative in NATIONAL WRITERS UNION. We give working writers a fighting chance. Collective bargaining. Grievance procedures. Health insurance. Journalists, authors, poets, commercial writers. Forming locals in Houston, Austin, and E-mail: [email protected] PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Join the Texas Civil Rights Project, 2212 E. MLK, Austin, TX 78702. $25/year. Volunteers also needed. Contact Jim HarringEMPLOYMENT ENVIRONMENTAL COMPANY. Experiencing huge growth. Offices across the country. Looking for good people. ifm [email protected] .edu LABOR NOTES seeks staff member for organizing worker delegations and conferences, grant writing, writing for Labor Notes, union outreach. Experience: Spanish/English, cross-border organizing, grant writing, computer aptitude. Rsum to Martha Gruelle, Labor Notes, 7435 Michigan Ave, DeSERVICES MARY NELL MATHIS, CPA, 20 years experience in tax, litigation support, and other analyses. 901 Rio Grande, HOUSEBUYERS, The Consumer’s Agent. Specialists in representing central Austin residential buyers. WORLDWISE DESIGN, awardwinning graphic design studio. For creative, effective and professional designs for your educational and promoDIGITAL ARTS CONSULTINGSystems and training for community service and cultural heritage organizations. Presentations for Internet, CD-ROM and video. Multimedia learning, digital exhibitions and virc.com . TAOS SKIING AND MORE. Little Tree Bed & Breakfast. Authentic adobe hacienda near the slopes. See home page URL http://taoswebb.com/ FOR SALE “VOTE REPUBLICAN, It’s Easier Than Thinking” bumper stickers. $2 each or 3 for $5. Mighty Fine, 501 C-2 W. Live Oak, Austin, TX 78704. CLASSIFIED RATES: Minimum ten words. One time, 50 cents per word; three times, 45 cents per word; six times, 40 cents per word; 12 times, 35 cents per word; 25 times, 30 cents per word. Telephone and box numbers count as two words, abbreviations and zip codes as one. Payment must accompany order for all classified ads. Deadline is three weeks before cover date. Address orders and inquiries to Advertising Director, The Texas Observer, 307 West 7th, Austin, TX 24 THE TEXAS OBSERVER MARCH 28, 1997