California Suicide Watch, Part 3: Bring Back the Lunacy Commission?

With even the Los Angeles Times asking in an editorial, “How Can a Place with 58,000 Homeless People Continue to Function?“, perhaps it is worth looking back a hundred years or so to this section of California’s 1916 state budget, which proposed establishing a “Lunacy Commission” and a “Deportation Bureau” to send “insane” people back to their home states.

The first line of the second paragraph below, in case you can’t make it out, reads: “Because of her wonderful climate and conditions of living California is the haven of many sick people and attracts among others the attention of the relatives of insane patients. . .  In the majority of cases they would become life-long charges upon the state.”

Of course, we all know what happened instead: California in the 1980s set up a commission on “self-esteem,” and today we elect our lunatics to statewide office or send them to Congress, having made California a sanctuary state for lunacy. Who needs a commission for that?

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