1/4 - 1/3 of females in the United States military are raped by their fellow soldiers

I was reading at article recently which said that 1/3 of female soldiers in the United States military report being raped. I thought, "How can that be? That can't be right," and so I did a little research and it not only is right, but 1/3 may be low. Here is a snippet from an article in the Los Angeles Times from March 31, 2008. Here is a snippet:

The stories are shocking in their simplicity and brutality: A female military recruit is pinned down at knifepoint and raped repeatedly in her own barracks. Her attackers hid their faces but she identified them by their uniforms; they were her fellow soldiers. During a routine gynecological exam, a female soldier is attacked and raped by her military physician. Yet another young soldier, still adapting to life in a war zone, is raped by her commanding officer. Afraid for her standing in her unit, she feels she has nowhere to turn.

These are true stories, and, sadly, not isolated incidents. Women serving in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq.

The scope of the problem was brought into acute focus for me during a visit to the West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, where I met with female veterans and their doctors. My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41% of female veterans seen at the clinic say they were victims of sexual assault while in the military, and 29% report being raped during their military service. They spoke of their continued terror, feelings of helplessness and the downward spirals many of their lives have since taken.

Numbers reported by the Department of Defense show a sickening pattern. In 2006, 2,947 sexual assaults were reported -- 73% more than in 2004. The DOD's newest report, released this month, indicates that 2,688 reports were made in 2007, but a recent shift from calendar-year reporting to fiscal-year reporting makes comparisons with data from previous years much more difficult.
To read the whole LA Times article click here.
My wife and I had 9 children: 3 sons and 6 daughters. We have 12 grandchildren: 8 granddaughters and 4 grandsons. I would be opposed to their being in a situation where they were that likely to be raped. Using the 1/3 rape rate that would mean that 2 of my daughters and almost 3 of my granddaughters would be raped if they were in military service. It is a terrifying thought which leaves me with the conclusion that the greatest threat of terrorist attack to my loved ones would be in the United States military, not for Al Queda or whoever it is we are supposed to be afraid of.

NOW on PBS covers rape story.

Video lasts 3:45 CNN - Recruiter rape - Video lasts 6:20

This is article #3 in a series on militarism.

The boot camp of life

Boot camp In the book, Daily Afflictions, Andrew Boyd uses many concepts and phrases which are eye catching. One such phrase is "The boot camp of life." In the glossary at the back of the book, Boyd, defines this phrase as - "A traditional child-rearing practice in which the child is trained to handle the dysfunction of adult institutions by being relentlessly drilled in dysfunction by his own family." p. 91

As a therapist as well as in my personal life, I am continually struck by the observation that parents don't deny the dysfunction that their children are subjected to but excuse it as being good for them. There are many phrases such as "what doesn't kill you will make you stronger." "Compared to what I have to endure this is nothing." "He better get used to it now so he is prepared for real life." etc.

I have referred to this as the callous theory meaning that parents excuse the abuse that their children suffer as "toughening them up" so that he/she can better deal with abuse later on in life.

I don't think there is any research evidence to back up this callous theory - that abuse and dysfunction earlier in life makes one more resilient later on in life. In fact, the research evidence appears to be the opposite, that abuse and dysfunction earlier in life is a risk factor for problems later on in life.

This callous theory is part of what John Bradshaw named "poisonous pedagogy".

One of reasons that my wife and I decided to homeschool was to protect our children from the institutional dysfunction that occurs in Middle school. Schools are bureaucratic institutions which are very self serving and subject children to dysfunction which mirrors the dysfunction in families, - bullying, cliques, playing favorites, mind numbing worksheets and busy work, obedience and compliance with requirements that are artificially imposed, loss of control over one's own life, disrespect, and fear being used as a motivating factor.

In the criminal justice system, boot camps began being popular 25 years ago where rigorous physical exertion and browbeating inmates for compliance was thought to  bring about compliance, obedience, and self discipline. Research has found that boot camps don't work. The belief that dysfunction and abuse is somehow good for people is similarly erroneous. Whilte the boot camp of life is an eye grabbing metaphor, one would do well to question, deconstruct, and dismiss this idea as beneficial for facilitating the development of a high quality, healthy, happy life.

Psychologists engage in torture and war crimes

On Friday, July 18, 2008, Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now, interviewed Jane Mayer, the author of the new book, The Dark Side, about the role that psychologists, and the APA played in torturing prisoners in the so-called "War On Terror".

It seems that America has lost its way under the Bush administration and has engaged in war crimes. Americans have lost their ideals under this administration as they have watched their leaders justify and engage in policies and behaviors that  disregard human rights, dignity, and justice.

It seems ironic that a President who engaged in illicit sex in the White House is impeached, while a President who is an international war criminal is ignored. What has happened to the American people?

Amy Goodman's interview is well worth listening to or watching. You can do so by clicking on the link below which will take you to the show on the Democracy Now web site.

Here is part of the interview. It lasts 8:29

Democracy Now! | July 18, 2008.

McClellan is finally getting it right about how the Bush administration has gotten it wrong. Illuminating the gaslighting being perpetrated against the American people

Former Press Secretary Scott McClellan now thinks telling the truth is important even though Republicans suggest he is disloyal and should have taken the lies to his grave. Really. They really suggest this. Watch the associated press video which lasts 1:50 seconds.

In some ways this is good therapy. It is time, in the United States for the truth. The gaslighting which has been going on for 7 years is finally being exposed. Do Americans have the stomach for the truth or do they still want to be lied to? I sure hope they have the courage to face up to the truth. These hearings are a form of national psychotherapy which is good for the national soul.

U.S. Supreme Court gets it right for the third time and George W. Bush continues to get it wrong about Guantanamo

Eugene Robinson's column in the Washinton Post on June 13, 2008 describes the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the Bush Administration's policy re: Guantanamo and depriving defendents of their civil and human rights. The really alarming thing is that McCain defends there illegal policies and wants to continue them.

It shouldn't be necessary for the Supreme Court to tell the president that he can't have people taken into custody, spirited to a remote prison camp and held indefinitely, with no legal right to argue that they've been unjustly imprisoned -- not even on grounds of mistaken identity. But the president in question is, sigh, George W. Bush, who has taken a chainsaw to the rule of law with the same manic gusto he displays while clearing brush at his Texas ranch. So yesterday, for the third time, the high court made clear that the Decider has no authority to trash the fundamental principles of American jurisprudence. In ruling 5 to 4 that foreigners held at Guantanamo Bay have the right to challenge their detentions in federal court, the court cited the Constitution and the centuries-old concept of habeas corpus. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's majority opinion seems broad and definitive enough to end the Kafkaesque farce at Guantanamo once and for all.

Eugene Robinson - A Victory for the Rule of the Law - washingtonpost.com.

Video lasts 2:25

McCain on Guantanamo and U.S.Supreme Court decision. Video lasts 3:48

The Imperial Presidency and the disintegration of our democracy

On March 28, 2008, This American Life with Ira Glass, one of my favorite radio shows, broadcast a 55 minute show entitled "The Audacity of Government." This is a radio show which every American should listen to in the home of the free and the land of the brave, to understand better how the Bush Administration and the Republican's idea about government are turning our country from a democracy into a fascistic dictatorship. I know these are strong words, incendiary, and yet under the surface, in ways our corporate media have ignored, Americans are slowly loosing their freedoms because of the undermining of our constitution with a philosophy of an Imperial Presidency which is above the law.

The Bush administration says it can torture, detain, render, surveil on its citizens and people from other nations because we are at war with unknown entities and people who are described as "terrorists". The administration signs laws passed by congress but attaches "signing statements" which state that the administration does not intend to follow these laws or enforce these laws. In other words the President and the executive branch are above the law, not bound by it, and will do as they see fit. Does this sound like a democracy or a dictatorship?

Our congress does nothing saying that impeachment is off the table while the current President and executives engage in high crimes and misdemeanors. The reason that the democats in congress have chosen not to pursue these matters is because they want these dictatorial powers for themselves when they take over the White House.

It is interesting and disturbing how the Bush doctrine of an Imperial Presidency has had so little discussion and debate. The reason is that the Corporate Media stands to gain by an Imperial Presidency which is above the law as they attempt to manipulate domestic and foreign policies which they believe are good for their businesses even if not for the good of the country.

In the Audacity of Hope radio show, three cases are examined: one in which the Federal government, once again as with the Geneva Conventions, decides that it will not abide by an International Treaty. This treaty deals with how to manage the U.S./Canadian border which has been in existence for over 100 years. In another case, the Immigration service decides to deport an immigrant married to a U.S. citizen with a 1 year old child by him because of the arbitrary reason that the marriage did not last 2 years because he died suddenly of a heart attack. The lawyer who has been working on this case pro bono now has over 100 such cases, and says for the life of him he can't understand what the U.S.' interests are in deporting these people. In the third segment, Ira interviews Charles Savage, the author of a book dealing with the Imperial Presidency.

I wonder where all three Presidential Candidates stand on the philosophy of the power and authority of the executive branch? Is it indeed above the law and can make up the rules as it goes along as the Bushies have done?

Our democracy is at stake and it is slowly disintegrating because of the grab for power by the President.

To listen to this show go to the This American Life web site by clicking here.

Short video on signing statements. Lasts about 2 minutes

Will Senator Chuck Schumer support impeachment hearings?

Chuck Schumer is one of my senators from New York along with Hillary Clinton. For the most part I like Senator Schumer and I think he does a pretty good job. He strikes me as more honest and sincere than Hillary.

I have become a big fan of The Hillbillyreport which is made of James Pence videos. Jim is a funny guy. He does this brief 1 minute video on impeachment hearings. I think he nails it when he tells Senator Schumer to grow some balls.