The government has put America on suicide watch.
That's right, the government has rolled out a new mental health Web site, titled "Getting Through Tough Economic Times" because people apparently just can't handle stress on their own anymore.
The site — which makes New York's DMV Web site look cutting edge — lists a number of warning signs, most of which I seem to have:
• Persistent sadness/crying? Yes.
• Excessive anxiety? Check.
• Excessive irritability? Yes!
• Lack of sleep and constant fatigue? Check and check.
• Difficulty paying attention or staying focused? Wait... where were we?
Oh yeah, the Web site.
So they suggest that for help you can turn to spiritual groups, civic associations or — wait for it — the federal and state government.
But wait a minute, I thought we were almost through this horrible, desperate economic period; after all, the president just told us we should buy stocks and that he saw "signs of progress."
You know who would punch us in the face for needing something like this? Our grandparents. Can you imagine the Greatest Generation fighting World War II, defeating Hitler and then coming back and needing a government Web site to coddle them?
I'd be out back in the snow barefoot for a month cutting wood if I ever said that to my grandfather. We all should know better. We didn't need a Web site after Oklahoma City, Columbine or 9/11.
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So why is now the time for this Web site? I can think of four possibilities:
One, the government really is our savior — I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that is a remote possibility.
Two, the government is a heroin pusher, using smiley-faced fascism to grow the nanny state. If you look at the logo on the Web site, it's a child surrounded by a parent, surrounded by an eagle.
Three, maybe it's for data gathering purposes and it'll be used to show how many people are depressed and don't have health care.
Or four — and I think this is the most likely one — things with the economy are much worse than they've been telling us.
On a completely unrelated note, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development said Tuesday that the economies of their 30-nation group are going to shrink 4.3 percent this year — a projection that is 10 times higher than the one they made just four months ago!
They say that everything being equal, the simplest answer is usually the right one. In this case, the simple answer is that the only kind of patient you put on suicide watch is one you think is likely going to turn to suicide soon.
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