Bozeman Lawmaker Says Avoiding Porn will Reduce Need for Mental Illness Funding

RepTomBurnettOfficialCowgirlBlogHeadshotA Bozeman, MT TEA Party legislator says he has the solution to Montana’s mental illness crisis: avoiding porn.

“Reading from holy books daily”, “weekly church attendance” and a “zero-tolerance policy for drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and porn”  are all part of the recipe for “preventing serious disabling mental illness,” according to one Rep. Tom Burnett, (TEA-Bozeman).  Burnett sent an email to fellow lawmakers this week saying that if everyone simply followed his advice, the state could cut help for needy families and reduce funding to to help Montanans who need health care to treat mental illness.

In a letter to fellow members of the Montana legislature’s Joint Health and Human Services Committee about Montana’s mental health crisis entitled “Curtailing Section B crisis” Rep. Tom Burnett (R-TEA Bozeman) wrote while his advice is not “guaranteed to forestall dementia, depression, or diabetes…research, and a few thousand years of human experience, have shown that the odds are greatly reduced.”

“Social program spending could be a fraction of what it is today if this recipe was followed by those at risk, (all people!), or those presently in crisis,” Burnett wrote.

UPDATE: You can read the Bozeman Chronicle’s report on Burnett’s latest here. 

GOP leaders and Health and Human Services Joint committee chair Ron Ehli (R-Bitterrooter) hand picked Burnett to be one of a handful of MT lawmakers charged with setting the budget for Montanans in need.  Last session, Ehli chose Rep. David Hagstrom (R-Billings) to fill the same committee slot.  You’ll recall that Hagstrom was the guy who made national news for sending a letter to his low income tenants explaining that they were just going to have get used to the fact that they were going to have to die sooner and not live as comfortably as they currently do— before it was revealed that when it comes to federal moneys that he makes his living from Section 8 rental subsidies he gets from the government for renting low-income housing to needy people. So, there is a pattern here it seems.

The issue of mental health funding has become a hot topic in the Montana legislature of late. That’s because Ehli and his fellow GOP-ers are working to block permanent, much-needed new funds to help Montanans who need mental health care by pushing a temporary, one-time-only, bandaid of sorts instead.  The bandaid approach is the way Ehli is blocking the increased, permanent, new additional dollars Gov. Bullock has proposed to fund a full spectrum of community and crisis mental health care needs.  No one (with any credibility) is falling for this of course.

But Burnett insists that not as much help would be needed if people would follow his “six-facet mode of life.”  You can read the whole thing here:  Burnett email – Feb 1 2015

Burnett is somewhat infamous for using nonsensical and offensive platitudes to argue against helping people in need. Proving once and for all  that the snake on a yellow background is the perfect symbol for the TEA Party, Burnett has become obsessed with preventing poor people from getting enough to eat.  Burnett has written extensively on the subject.  Sharing such beliefs as us that not being hungry “kills,”

Hunger is a normal part of a healthy person’s day. One should expect to be hungry six hours per day, the two hours preceding each meal. Satiety kills.

Burnett has proposed a massive federal food police bureaucracy to crack down on the poor to stop them from buying items that Burnett feels they don’t deserve. Those in need, says Burnett are characterized by “Indolence. Shirking responsibility. Indulgence. Enabled laziness.” He’s also published a credo of sorts–stern advice to hungry Montanans. Here it is:

Nine kids. One income, a teacher’s income. Federal Poverty Level.

Work 17-hour days. Expect little entertainment.
Work a full-time job, seasonal jobs, and home businesses.
No whining.
Get out of bed early. Stay out of bed and off the couch.
Glean potatoes, apples. Gather wild berries. Hunt.
When conditions allow, raise a garden. Raise rabbits, a calf, geese, chickens.
Slaughter. Butcher.
Can, dry, freeze and store food.
Cook from scratch. Use basic ingredients; flour, rice, beans, vegetables.
Cook in large batches. Goulash, Spanish rice, soups, stews, pan muffins, fried or baked potatoes, pancakes, waffles, bread, casseroles. Hot cereal is cheap. Boil wheat.
Plan ahead. Budget. Stretch a budget. Never buy junk food, prepared food.
Avoid fast food and restaurants.
Never waste a morsel. Keep and serve later. Meld into future dishes.
Refuse government aid, free school lunch, church charity.
Lunch: One peanut butter and honey sandwich, four carrot sticks, an apple.
Expect occasional hunger.
Fast two meals per month. Give money saved to “the poor” through the church.
Glean tomatoes and beans on the church welfare farm, “for the poor.”
Forego other spending. Wear undershirts until holes gape. Shop for clothes at the thrift store.
Never waste money on drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or electronic entertainment.
The dignity of self-reliance is not cheap. It is priceless.

Burnett has circulated some writings he calls a study entitled: “Childhood Hunger, the Myth” in which he reveals that pictures of fat kids he found on the internet prove that there is no such thing as childhood hunger.

 

 

 

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27 Comments on "Bozeman Lawmaker Says Avoiding Porn will Reduce Need for Mental Illness Funding"

  1. Today, this committee is taking public comment – they don’t do it often. 8am-10am. Let them know how you feel Rm 102. Subpeanas, poor-hating, denigrating Montanans with mental illness as morally inferior.

    http://leg.mt.gov/content/Publications/fiscal/approp_schedules/Health_and_Human_Subcom_Schedule_2015.pdf

    • Sometimes stupidity is so overwhelming that a response is difficult to articulate other than to simply laugh. This guy needs to spend more time reading the research, and less time being an idiot.

  2. Cowgirl, Have you seen this man’s blog – it is dedicated to criticizing poor people and spurious wacky theories.

    https://tomburnett.wordpress.com/page/2/

    There are dozens of postings about how he walks into a grocery store or gas station and asks “what causes poverty” and then writes down what the poor clerks say. It is very very strange.

    Here is but one example, but they are legion:

    https://tomburnett.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/happiness-and-poverty/

  3. He is a perfect example of why we need more spending on mental health and more spending on mental health hospitals that this wing nut clearly needs to be placed into before he hurts himself!

  4. This man is a certifiable LOON. Yet not a single Republican on that committee checks him. Ever. Ehli, Keenan, Webb–none of them ever disagree or shut him down. Think about it.

  5. “Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.” – John Stuart Mill

  6. He’s actually correct. Remove the ad hominems and snark from this post and there’s not much substance against him left. The truth is brutal and frequently at odds to collectivism; it remains, nonetheless, the truth.

  7. I believe Saudi Arabia is an example of where there is a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs, alcohol, and porn. http://riyadhconnect.com/half-of-saudi-arabias-population-is-mentally-ill/

    Sending them to jail or the public square for execution doesn’t seem to be effective for stemming mental illness.

  8. Ask pretty much any police officer and they’ll give you an earful about their frustrations concerning mental health by incarceration.

  9. I wonder how well his hunting, gathering, gleaning and bible-larnin’ would do for the woman with several kids living on Billings’ south side…or, for that matter, in his hometown of Bozeman. Surely, as a responsible legislator, he knows this data: http://www.city-data.com/poverty/poverty-Bozeman-Montana.html.

  10. Dear Cowgirl,
    Like it or not, he was elected by a majority in the house district he represents. His actions and opinions are a reflection of that majority in that part of Bozeman. “But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections of human nature?”-Madison Federalist #51
    This isn’t just about this guy, as Jeff McGrath mentions above. The politically undereducated and misinformed keep growing in numbers in this state, in this country. Could political barbarianism, (theocracy, plutocracy, corporatocracy, et al) eventually overrun us and put us into a political dark ages? Don’t hold your breath.

    Sincerely
    John Marshall

    • You make a good point, John, one I have spent hours sussing out a rebuttal to and can find none, save this: Madison’s quote is not a description of action but rather a plea for what is arguable fact.. Government should be “the greatest of all reflections of human nature” and instead it is a reflection of likely the worst we can be. It travels to the lowest common denominator because those people are the ones most interested in forcing others to believe their myth of ‘who we are’, and they vote.

      I am not being at all sarcastic, demeaning or putting on airs of superiority when I claim this: Bozeman is the most gender-equal, diverse, and educated of Montana communities. Still, we have no reach beyond this city itself. That does not speak well for Democrats going into the future.

  11. Conveniently, we now have his email and cell phone numbers. Commencing texts of porn in 5…4…3…2…

  12. As a mother of an eight year old bipolar son, I find his comments hurtful and reinforcement of the stigma all with mental illness face every day. I had to leave my son at the age of 6 in lockdown at Shodair in Helena. This was on of the most painful experiences of my life. If mental illness was as simplistic as Mr. Barnett suggests, then he would be right and there would be no need for funding. However, it is a complex, nasty, all encompassing disease that most people have no empathy or compassion for, as illustrated by his comments.

    • My mother, during a life she spends far better than she considers, helped to start the first halfway house for women coming out of Warms Springs state hospital in transition to ‘normal’ existence. I’ve been around the mentally ill for, what I consider, too much of my life. I’ve learned a few things quite well, that we as a society have no problem selling boner pills or wet-wear for those who’s bladders don’t function to speck. But we have made only the most timid steps at comprehending what happens and how to treat that happening when the brain goes wrong.

      Some would have it that mental illness is just a curse from God laid upon the wicked. Others would have it still that mental issues are the result of possession by demons. Still more think that it’s choices gone awry. Those of us more rational recognize the simple fact that mental illness is a disease like the common cold or ALS. It takes a terrible toll on all around it, because we are social beings. Mythologies won’t cure it. Incarceration won;t cure it. Religious denial won’t cure it. Tom Burnett is not just a loathsome human being, he is an idiot.

  13. Heh…
    Suit wearing 1%er… Some of them even are PAID to come to places like this, live here a while, then run for office. Look it up if you care.

    But nothing new about this. This is the oldest trick in the book;

    The false “Appeal to Morality” when they do nothing good for most people.

    Goes back – at least – to the dark ages… Actually the decline of the Roman Empire, but I’ll set the clock to the Dark Ages…

    Crops are bad, bandits rob people of what the local baron’s tax collectors leave them, disease is rampant and there’s rumors the Huns will invade again. The local Baron then screams “Witches! Witches are blighting the crops!” Then the peasants are entertained by hideously murdering some ancient widow with too many cats. They used “Jews” also, or “Muslims” in southern regions as an excuse. The Baron would oversee the witch hunt, the church helping and the entertainment and drama would cheer up most of the peasants and warn the radical ones what could happen to them in a heartbeat if they yap their mouths.

    And let me add here’s a quote quite verified from Thomas Jefferson – “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”

    Over the years they used “Witches” dry (save the Geraldo stuff in the 80s) “Jews” they can’t touch these days, “Communists!” well right now they are afraid people will start reading on that stuff, “Gays!” and “Deviants!” used to be another one… Really pathetic here, but if this guy gets what he wants guess what you won’t pay less taxes because less.. what? people who use public health care? They’ll still charge you the taxes, but it will go to rich elite donors, extra perks and salaries to officials. Yes, there are people who abuse public services, shame on them, but when all’s said and done welfare is cheaper than jail and the people that need the services suffer before the dishonest do.

    But its the same thing, the ruler who is unfit to rule, is only good at enriching himself will beat the drums of false morality as a distraction. It says in the preamble “Ensure the general welfare” not “Give the Kochs another tax break”.

    Vote this clown out. G-d knows what damage he’s done already.

  14. I take personal offensive to Rep. Burnett’s comments. My brother and his wife are mentally ill, with their illnesses under control due to Medicaid paying for their expensive drugs. And what feeds their mental illnesses? The messages they hear at their church–God and prayers can cure you. There is no need to take your meds. The last time this happened my sister-in-law was hospitalized on the psych ward for 6 weeks. Ah, Medicaid paid royally for God’s intervention.

  15. Speaking of the hat you normally photoshop on to those with whom you have such substantive disagreements, I’d say that Burnett is your perfect foil. Or am I giving away too much of your basic schtick, to hide your own ridiculous party behind the buffoons of the other?

    While the two party lines have many differences, in order to keep the two cults separated, they in fact share basic essentials in common. They both sustain the myth that state policy is a response to public sentiment, and they blame the other cult for providing support for the ‘bad’ policies. In fact US policy is made outside of government, by financial elites, and the state aims to control public sentiment, not respond to it. In this way we can see CNN and FOX as collaborators, sharing the common goal of hiding this fundamental truth from the people. The Democratic and Republican parties collaborate toward this same goal, using Congress as a stage, where they carry on a theater of divisiveness, providing the appearance of a democratic decision-making process. (Richard Moore)

    • Mark, there are those of us who truly hope that in your travels you will actually learn that this is a big planet with lots of people, too many for your self-important trolling to even make a dent. Sadly, that’s never the case.

      Tom Burnett exhibits every sign of the manipulative sociopaths that you think you understand and no one else does. When others do see the flaw in the person, you rail against them for having done so because you stupidly and brazenly think you are the only one who can really ‘understand’. No, you aren’t. You are a narcissistic twit, and not one person here still listens to your drivel. Go back to your protected space, where you can slyly insult your sycophants without them even noticing. You aren’t that important, Mark, except to yourself, and you aren’t that smart either. When you die, and you will, not one life here will be the worse because of it. That is the truth of your trolling, Tokarski.

  16. I’m glad that Neanderthal isn’t in my state.

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