Monday, April 20, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Roger Ebert eviscerates Bill O'Reilly
Be...all that you can be...
Last month, the Air Force Times reported that "as many as 300,000 troops had PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] and received inadequate care." The Department of Veterans Affairs noted at the time that only "about half of all disability claims for PTSD are approved." It appears now that the Army's neglect of soldiers with symptoms of PTSD -- including nightmares, flashbacks, and "an inability to think clearly or remember things well, which makes performing basic daily takes difficult" -- is by design. An audio tape acquired by Salon provides evidence that "the military does not want veterans to be diagnosed with PTSD" because treating the condition is too expensive. Secretly recording a conversation with his doctor, a soldier asked why he had been diagnosed with an "anxiety disorder" rather than PTSD. "I will tell you something confidentially that I would have to deny if it were ever public," psychologist Douglas McNinch told the patient. "Not only myself, but all the clinicians up here are being pressured to not diagnose PTSD and diagnose anxiety disorder." McNinch added, "Unfortunately, yours has not been the only case. ... I and other [doctors] are under a lot of pressure to not diagnose PTSD. It's not fair. I think it's a horrible way to treat soldiers." Salon reports that "after the Army became aware of the tape, the Senate Armed Services Committee declined to investigate its implications." The Army has conducted an internal investigation but "cleared itself of any wrongdoing."
Monday, April 06, 2009
If you can't beat 'em, kill 'em
Last Friday, New York Times columnist Charles Blow warned of the escalating rhetoric of right-wingers like Chuck Norris, Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, and others: "They're apocalyptic. They feel isolated, angry, betrayed and besieged. And some of their 'leaders' seem to be trying to mold them into militias." In fact, the FBI says there were 1.2 million more requests for background checks of potential gun buyers from November to February than there were in the same four months of last year.
On Saturday, in Pittsburgh, a man who said he was afraid of "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon" shot and killed three police officers who were responding to a domestic disturbance call.
Never mind that Obama has never even threatened to ban guns and is, in fact, working to restore most of the rights Bush stole from us...but it's useless to try talking sense to people with red in their eyes...
Friday, April 03, 2009
Gay marriage? In Iowa?
I like how the Iowa Supreme Court put it:
We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective. [Iowa lawmakers have] excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification. [To issue any other decision] would be an abdication of our constitutional duty.
Damn, er, straight.