A confluence of topics dealing with mental health, substance abuse, health, public health, Social Work, education, politics, the humanities, and spirituality at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. In short, this blog is devoted to the improvment of the quality of life of human beings in the universe.
The medicines are intended not only to help troops keep their cool but also to enable the already strapped Army to preserve its most precious resource: soldiers on the front lines. Data contained in the Army's fifth Mental Health Advisory Team report indicate that, according to an anonymous survey of U.S. troops taken last fall, about 12% of combat troops in Iraq and 17% of those in Afghanistan are taking prescription antidepressants or sleeping pills to help them cope. Escalating violence in Afghanistan and the more isolated mission have driven troops to rely more on medication there than in Iraq, military officials say.
It seems that fighting pre-emptive and immoral wars is not good for one's mental health. I wonder when we as a nation will realize the error of our ways and demand that our government do something about it?
I don't know of any other occupation that has this high a rate of mental illness. Would you want your loved one to enter such a career?
Prozac: The Military's Secret Weapon, MSNBC with Joe Scarborough. Video lasts 3:25
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.
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
The big lie of Reaganomics exposed. The little guy and the middle class gets screwed again as our plutocracy marches on manipulating our economy for the benefit of the rich and powerful and the politicians they are in bed with. So much for Friedman and his idiot disciples who preach a free market and a smaller role for government. I can't see how the Repbulicans have any credibility left with any Americans who have the brains to understand what is going on.
Under the Repbulican administration of the last 8 years capitalism has gotten way out of control. Now we have to pay for misguided policies and the foolishness of the American voters who put these idiots in power.
Milton Friedman and his disciples are a bunch of charlatans when it comes to their preaching about free markets. They are only free when the plutocrats are making money. When they loose money the markets quickly become socialized by the government and the taxpayers pay. When will the voters catch on to the nonsense that comes out of Washington?
The following synopsis comes from the school library journal posted on the Amazon web site.
The Silenced begins with Marena running late for her bus that takes her from her readaptation community to her Youth Training Facility. Classes are lead by instructors of public enlightenment and consist of recitation of Zero Tolerance Party propaganda. Stern, silent state officers patrol the halls. As the book progresses, Marena begins to remember things that she was somehow made to forget. It becomes clear to her that her father was there when the state officers dragged her mother from their home years before. As regulations tighten, she isn't sure who she can trust besides her boyfriend, Dex, and newcomer Eric. She realizes that, like her mother, she cannot remain silent in the face of state oppression. The three friends choose graffiti as their primary form of rebellion. DeVita's novel has many of the same character types and situations as other dystopic works—the enemy who has a change of heart, the unsympathetic character who nevertheless proves to be brave, and the friend who is a traitor. While readers may not find any conceptual surprises, this is a gripping read and young adults will certainly empathize with the characters' conflicts between self-expression and a desire to fit in. They will find the Zero Tolerance credo that the state's first priority must be the safety of its citizens to have a chilling resonance with statements in the news today.—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
While The Silenced is marketed for grade 7 and up, many adults have enjoyed this novel by James Devita. I heard about the novel on the NPR radio show To The Best Of Our Knowledge. Having read it, I am chilled by the similarities to the Bush Administration which we have lived through in the last 8 years. I think this is an important book that all Americans read who are concerned about the direction which our country has been going in especially in the last 8 years.
How desperate are Army recruiters to fill the ranks to fight in the immoral and illegal war in Iraq? Desperate enough to use unethical and illegal tactics to intimidate naive young people into signing up.
Army recruiters prey upon young people and threaten them with arrest and jail if they don't sign up. Amy Goodman on Democracy Now interviews parties involved in this latest scandal. This show aired on August 6, 2008
If you have young people or work with young people, this is an important show which provides information about unethical recruiting tactics by the military.
You can listen by going to the Democracy Now web site by clicking on the link below.
Reuters HealthDay reported on July 1, 2008 on a study in the July 2008 issue of Lancet Oncology that found that smoke free policies work.
It has taken a fight in many places to get smoke free policies in place. There have been many obstacles and barriers. It is always difficult to overcome addiction and to give up the profits that accrue from them. It turns out that the Public Health professionals were right all along.
Here is a snippet from the Reuters article:
Smoke-free policies are extremely effective at reducing smoking rates, exposure to secondhand smoke, and even smoking-related heart disease, new research shows.
The report, by an International Agency for Cancer Research working group, also found smoke-free rules don't affect business in restaurants or bars.
The researchers analyzed available evidence and found:
Implementation of smoke-free policies substantially decreases secondhand smoke exposure.
Smoke-free workplaces decrease cigarette consumption in continuing smokers.
Smoke-free policies decrease respiratory symptoms in workers.
Smoke-free policies don't decrease business in restaurants or bars.
Voluntary smoke-free home policies decrease adult and youth smoking and children's exposure to secondhand smoke.
“If the Left succeeds in gaining and retaining more power, the well-being of future generations will be at greater peril. I fear (our children) will inherit a nation that is less free and less secure than the nation we inherited from the last generation. It is therefore our job to stop them. Not just debate them, but defeat them.” — Sean Hannity
I found these words on page 11 of your book Let Freedom Ring. This book, and similar ones from your conservative colleagues Bill O’Reilly and Michael Savage, was found in the home of a man who read those words, internalized those words, and then loaded his shotgun. He took 76 rounds of ammunition with him to a place of worship—a place where he knew he could do his job to stop and defeat some liberals. At the Unitarian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, Jim Adkisson, a fan of yours, killed two people, wounded five others, and left an entire congregation and country shaken by his actions. Actions prompted, as he testified in his own written notes, by the ideas contained in your words.
"1953 - At the behest of the British government, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower approves a covert operation to overthrow Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq, Iran's democratically elected leader. Mosaddeq had been a driving force behind the nationalization of British oil holdings in Iran. With the help of British and American funds, along with direct CIA assistance, his government was replaced by the dictatorship of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlav, whose rule would last until the Islamic revolution of 1979."