Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Things you shouldn't bother saying

Idaho Senator Says He Regrets Guilty Plea in Restroom Incident - New York Times: "BOISE, Idaho, Aug. 28 — Senator Larry E. Craig said Tuesday that he regretted his guilty plea in connection with an airport restroom incident, and he accused an Idaho newspaper of hounding him in recent months."

There are some phrases that carry a meaning well beyond the combination of words. One of those phrases is "I'm in charge here." Generally, if you have to say that something has happened that shows you're not in charge and you're trying to gain or regain control. "I'm not gay" is another of those phrases. If Senator Craig hadn't just recently entered a guilty plea to misdemeanor disorderly conduct he'd be holding a press conference on the importance of traditional family values instead proclaiming his heterosexuality.

The article quotes Senate Republican leadership as saying it's "a serious matter." I beg to differ. Iraq is a serious matter. The deficit is a serious matter. The public shaming of a hypocrite is not a serious matter. The public shaming of a hypocrite is more like an entertaining diversion before getting back to business.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Treating the trauma of war – fairly |

Treating the trauma of war – fairly | "Bennington, Vt. - The high incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among soldiers returning from Iraq is one of the many 'inconvenient truths' of this war. Inconvenient largely because it is costly: The most effective and humane means of treating PTSD are time-intensive and long-term.

The military, however, has changed the terms and given many thousands of enlisted men and women a new diagnosis: 'personality disorder.' While the government would be obliged to care for veterans suffering from combat-related trauma, a personality disorder – defined as an ingrained, maladaptive way of orienting oneself to the world – predates a soldier's tour of duty (read: preexisting condition). This absolves Uncle Sam of any responsibility for the person's mental suffering."

I joined back in the 80s. Back then, the understanding was: "Go where we send you, do what your country needs done and your country will take care of the rest." This is still partly true. You still go where you are sent, and you still do what needs done but the country does not take care of the rest.

It is my hope that one day we have a government that deserves the loyalty of the young men and women that do its dirty work.

Hopefully, the Veterans Administration is overturning these diagnoses.

Monday, August 20, 2007

APA Rules on Interrogation Abuse -

APA Rules on Interrogation Abuse - "SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 19 -- The American Psychological Association ruled Sunday that psychologists can no longer be associated with several interrogation techniques that have been used against terrorism detainees at U.S. facilities because the methods are immoral, psychologically damaging and counterproductive in eliciting useful information."

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Torture doesn't work. Torture did not work during the inquisition. Torture did not work during the Salem witch hunt. Torture has been the source of demonstrably false information during the war on terror.

A freedom-loving people does not condone torture.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The First Post: bunch of slobs

The First Post: Pic of the Day: food queues in Iraq

I can't tell you why stupid stuff like this pisses me off... but it does. The lazy, incompetent bastards at The First Post have captioned the above picture "US soldiers push back Iraqi women..." Two guys wearing "chocolate chips", carrying Kalashnikovs, one not wearing a helmet and the other wearing a black "fritz" helmet are not US forces. The uniforms and equipment are consistent with Iraqi Police, Iraqi Army and Iraqi National Guard. I really couldn't tell you which, but then again it's not my picture, not my web page and it's not my job to write the caption.

It would be nice if the people writing about Iraq actually knew something about the subject, but that's really too much to ask.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

This is not a double post

Guilty Plea Entered in Falwell Bomb Case - "LYNCHBURG, Va. -- A Liberty University student who pleaded not guilty last month to charges of possessing a bomb the night before the Rev. Jerry Falwell's funeral changed his plea in federal court."

Gomer started listening to his lawyers and changed his plea. He's looking at up to 10 years federal time. The federal system does not have parole.