Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Politics: POLITICIANS ERR IF THEY PREY ON TERROR FEARS IN THEIR CMPAIGNS

Thursday's arrests in London, breaking up an attempt to blow up as many as 10 airliners from London to the U.S., were a terrifying close call.

As we come up on the fifth anniversary of the hijackings and crashes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a farm field in Pennsylvania, it was a chilling reminder that we are nowhere near victory in the war on terror.

Fayetteville Online
August 13, 2006

Terrifying, of course, is exactly what it was supposed to be. Even though the plot was apparently foiled, it threw a wave of fear over Americans and Europeans and drew a dramatic reaction. The terrorists were at least somewhat effective, even in failure.

Something else verges on terrifying too. The reactions by some of our politicians were a chilling reminder of their willingness to use our fear to further their own agenda.

The terrorists aren't attacking one political party. They are attacking all of us. Politicians can, and should, debate our strategy against terrorists and the course of the war in Iraq. But questioning each other's patriotism or resolve against terrorists should be out of bounds. It is unecessary and divisive. And it is, quite simply, a diversionary tactic. Members of both parties have repeatedly shown by their votes strong support for the war against terror.

But even as British police were arresting some of the terror plot suspects, Vice President Dick Cheney was sounding off on Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman's primary defeat by a businessman who successfully made opposition to the Iraq war the centerpiece of his campaign. It shows "the direction the party appears to be heading," Cheney said. "What is particularly disturbing about it is from the standpoint of our adversaries...They are betting on the proposition that ultimately they can break the will of the Ameican people in our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task." Voting aginst Lieberman, he said, is encouraging "the al Qaida types."

***Oh my God! What a jerk! Did you ever notice how upset Cheney gets and comes out of his hole when he thinks that his "perpetual war" is going to end. He is all over anybody who wants to make any diplomatic attempt to get us out if the situation that him and his Republican cronies have gotten this country into? He is a danger and a threat to the safety of this country. Anybody who votes for Lieberman should have their head examined! Since when do Republicans, especially from this administration, stomp for Democrats? Lieberman has been giving away all of the Democratics plans to this administration for a long time now. He needs to totally get out of politics! And we are the ones that can do it. It would be like voting Bush back in for another term. Lieberman is a turncoat. Do some research and find out who it was that got Lieberman involved in politics in the first place and then you'll know what I mean! Lieberman was put into the Democratic party to end it! Bottom line!

Sadly, Lieberman himself was unable to resist the lines between the Iraq war and the war on terror. "If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants to do, get out by a certain date, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in the plot hatched in England," Lieberman said. "It will strengthen them, and they will strike again."

In his campaign against Lieberman, Lamont did not question or challenge the need for strong security and war against terrorists. HE SUPPORTED THOSE THINGS. He challenged Lieberman's continuing, unquestioning support for the war in Iraq---support stronger than that of many Republican members of Congress. THE VOTERS AGREED WITH LAMONT.

Thomas Kean, the Republican who chaired the nation's 9/11 commission, offered this thought on Thursday: "It shouldn't be a political issue. It should be something that everybody supports."

IT SHOULD. And we believe that most politicians do. Let's get on with strengthening our defenses and stopping the terrorists.

THE VOTERS KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OUR IRAQ WAR PROBLEMS AND THE OVERALL EFFORT AGAINST TERROR.

POLITICIANS WOULD BE WISE TO REMEMBER THAT.



Veterans Issues: THOUSANDS OF TROOPS SAY THEY WON'T FIGHT

Swept up by a wave of patriotism after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Chris Magaoay joined the Marine Corps in November 2004.

The newly married Magaoay thought a military career would allow him to continue his college education, help his country and set his life on the right path.

Less than two years later, Magaoay became one of thousands of military deserters who have chosen a lifetime of exile or possible court-martial rather than fight in Iraq or Afghanastan.

"It was something I did on the spur of the moment," said Magaoay, a native of Maui, Hawaii. "It took me a long time to realize what was going on. The war is illegal."

Magaoay said his disillusionment with the military began in boot camp in Twentynine Palms, Calif., where a superior officer joked about killing and mistreating Iraqis. When his unit was deployed to Iraq in March, Magaoay and his wife drove to Canada, joining a small group of deserters who are trying to win permission from the Canadian government to stay.

"We're like a tight-knit family," Magaoay said.

The Pentagon said deserters like Magaoay represent a tiny fraction of the nation's fighting forces.

"The vast majority of soldiers who desert do so for a personal, family or financial problems, not for political or conscientious objector purposes," said Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, a spokesman for the Army.

Since 2000, about 40,000 troops from all branches of the military have deserted, the Pentagon says. More than half served in the Army. But the Army says numbers have decreased each year since the United States began its war on terror in Afghanastan.

Those who help war resisters say desertion is more prevalent than the military has admitted.

"They lied in Vietnam with the amount of opposition to the war and they're lying now," said Eric Seitz, an attorney who represents Army Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to the war in Iraq.

Watada is under military custody in Fort Lewis, Wash., because he refused to join his Stryker brigade when it was sent to Iraq last month.

Watada said he doesn't object to war but considers the conflict in Iraq illegal. The Army has turned down his request to resign and plans to file charges against him.

Critics of the Iraq war have demonstrated on the lieutenant's behalf. Conservatives bloggers call him a traitor and opportunist.

Joe Davis, spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, said deserters aren't traitors because they've done nothing to help America's enemies. But he rejects arguments that deserters have a moral right to refuse to fight wars they consider unjust.

"None of us can choose our wars. They're always a political decision," Davis said. "They're letting their buddies down and hurting morale---and morale is evrything on the battlefront."

Because today's military is an all-volunteer force, troops seeking objecter status must convince superior officers they've had an honest change of heart about the morality of war.

The last time the U.S. military executed a deserter was World War II. But hundreds face court-martials and imprisonment every year.

Members of the armed forces are considered absent without leave when they are unaccounted for. They become deserters after they've been AWOL for 30 days.

A 2002 Army report says desertion is fairly constant but tends to worsen during wartime, when there's an increased need for troops and enlistment standards are more lax. They also say deserters tend to be less educated and more likely to have engaged in delinquent behavior then other troops.

Army spokesman Hilferty said the Army doesn't try to find deserters. Instead, their names are given to law enforcement officers who often nab them during routine traffic stops and turn them over to the military.

Commanders then decide whether to rehabilitate or court-martial the alleged deserter. There's an incentive to rehabilitate because it costs the military an average of $38,000 to recruit and train a replacement.

Jeffrey House, an attorney in Toronto who represents Magaoay and other deserters, said there are about 200 deserters living in Canada. They have decided not to seek refugee status but instead are leading clandestine lives, he said.

Like many of the people helping today's war resisters, House fled to Canada to avoid the Vietnam War. About 50,000 Americans sought legal residency in Canada during the Vietnam era.

"You would apply at the border and if you didn't have a criminal record, you were in," House said.

He said changes in Canadian law makes it harder for resisters to flee north. Now, potential immigrants must apply for Canadian residency in their home countries. Resisters say that exposes them to U.S. prosecution.

Gannett News Service
Air Force Times dot com
By: Ana Radelat
July 2006


Veterans Issues: DISSING PTSD VETERANS HAS BECOME A LIFESTYLE FOR DR. SALLY

And she's at it again in her latest "think-tank" article

"...new compensation awards will coincide with the retirement years..."

"...how to distinguish between...those who are seeking a free ride..."

"...some veterans' advocates...remain too ready...[for the] quick reach for the disability claims form..."

By: Larry Scott
August 15, 2006

Dr. Sally is on a roll again!

In her latest article for the American Enterprise Institute "think-tank" she uses innuendo and negative buzz words to paint veterans with PTSD as losers, liars or both.

story below:


Stressed out Vets

Believing the Worst about Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

By Sally Satel, M.D.

"Dear Dr. Satel: You are an ideologically constipated coward." So begins one of several dyspeptic communications I've received recently from Vietnam veterans and others.

What provoked their ire was a remark of mine quoted in the Washington Post on June 20. Under the headline "Iraq War Add Stress for Past Vets; Trauma Disorder Claims at New High," the article suggested that the current war is responsible for a surge in disability compensation among veterans' ranks.

While I do agree that current news coverage may prompt anxiety, sleeplessness, and distressing memories among veterans who have led productive lives since leaving Vietnam, I told the Post I was "skeptical" that veterans who had functioned well for three decades would now be permanently incapacitated.

My sentiments are unpopular---you "right-wing, bloviating [expletive deleted] psuedo-psychiatrist," wrote another reader on his blog---but my point is actually an encouraging one. That is, even if veterans are undone by news and footage of fighting in Iraq, few are likely to endure a subsequent lifetime of chronic anguish or dysfunction of the kind that requires long-term disability entitlement.

The technical term for such newly triggered incapacitation is "reactivated post-traumatic stress disorder," or reactivated PTSD. The clinical literature describes veterans of World War I, World War II, and the Korean War who, after briefly showing signs of stress disorder in the immediate aftermath of service, led productive lives for decades before breaking down in their sixties or seventies.

Clinical experience with such patients suggests that they can improve with treatment. The same is true with Vietnam veterans. When a traumatic event in civilian life causes a reemergence of PTSD symptoms, their response to treatment has generally been good. "There is no question that PTSD has been successfully treated," Matthew Friedman, a physician and the executive director of the National Center for PTSD, told me. "We know this from the patients' trauma and treatment histories."

And then there was the reaction to September 11. Veterans Administration medical centers in the New York area and even across the country had braced themselves for an influx of Vietnam and Persian Gulf veterans with reactivated PTSD. Yet researchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System at West Haven, writing in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2003, found no increase in the use of inpatient or outpatient mental health services at VA centers with a diagnosis of PTSD or any other mental illness in New York City or elsewhere in the United States in the six months after September 11. Another research team at the Bronx VA Medical Center did detect a rise but could not establish that it was actually due to the attack on the World Trade Center.

In yet another analysis, the West Haven team reported in 2003 in Psychiatric Services that "VA patients with pre-existing PTSD were, unexpectedly, less symptomatic at admission [to hospital] after September 11 than veterans admitted before September 11, and patients who had follow-up assessments after September 11 showed more improvement."

What about after the Persian Gulf war? No data have been published regarding the pattern of compensation awards to Vietnam veterans in the wake of that conflict. It would be interesting to see the data, but unless they showed quite a large bump in claims, they would be hard to interpret, for a couple of reasons.

For one thing, the VA was increasing its funding of services and outreach to Vietnam veterans from 1988 into the early '90s. In addition, evaluating claimants' motivation years after their original trauma is rarely straightforward.

The VA is facing this very conundrum today. According to a May 2005 report from its inspector general, the department is now paying compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder to nearly twice as many veterans as it did just six years ago, at an annual cost of $4.3B. The vast majority of the recipients are Vietnam veterans in their 50s and 60s.


But how to distinguish between applicants who can be helped with short-term psychiatric care, those who are seeking a free ride, and those who truly merit the diagnosis of chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (reactivated or not) and thus should receive long-term care and payments of up to $2,300 a month for life?

Among the latter are applicants who have "never been right," as their spouses often say, since their discharge from the military. The never regained their civilian footing and drifted further and further away from their families and communities. By the time they come to a veterans hospital for treatment, they are seen as having "malignant PTSD," that is, severe symptoms of PTSD complicated by drug and alcohol abuse and other mental problems like depression. They are notoriously challenging to treat.

Other veterans have significant life problems such as alcohol abuse, erratic employment, and domestic violence. But was traumatic exposure in the war the true cause? This is not always obvious, yet many VA mental health workers simply assume that whatever problem a veteran has is a product of his war experience.

Thus, to focus on the Iraq war as the primary reason for disability claims by Vietnam veterans is to miss a more complicated picture. More likely, other dynamics play a significant role in generating new claims of disability.

That picture comes into clearer focus when one asks, "Why now?" Today, the average Vietnam veteran is 60, which means any new compensation awards will coincide with the retirement years. Retirement itself, even for people with no latent store of wartime horrors, often leads to feelings of profound dislocation.

This is not surprising. After all, retirement can signify impending frailty and threats to one's identity, which in our culture is largely defined by occupation. It may also denote a loss of purpose, foreclose an important social outlet, or disolve comforting daily routines. Physical illness and the loss of a spouse may also hit hard at this phase of life.

The good news, though, is that when individuals encountering these difficulties seek care, clinicians report that they tend to do well and are able to find relief through new kinds of activity and revised perspectives on aging and other existential dilemmas.

Will the same hold true for veterans who suffered psychological trauma in wartime? Clinical experience with World War II and Korea veterans with reactivated symptoms---often brought on by retirement---strongly suggests that those who functioned well for the years between their military service and retirement will improve.

For others---those who led rockier lives and long attributed their drinking or concentration and sleep problems to job-related stress---the clinical challenge is greater, though not necessarily insurmountable. "Now sitting at home with 'the wife,' there's not too much camouflage handy," says Grant Devilly, trauma expert at Swinburne University in Austrailia, who has worked extensively with Korea and Vietnam veterans in his country.

How do these patients fare with treatment? "Quite well," Devilly tells me. But, he emphasizes, there is a marked difference between his country's mental health care system for veterans and ours. "We provide information on a healthier lifestyle, enhance beliefs and attitudes that the veteran can be an agent of change in his own life, and promote skills in linking and relating to family and others," DeVilly explains. "In the States," he says, eschewing political correctness, "therapists tend to see vets as PTSD on legs."

DeVilly has a point. It is well established that the prognosis for PTSD patients is highly dependent on "post-event" factors, such as expectation of lasting impairment, marital discord, poor physical health, and financial stress. Clinicians in the United States have come to recognize the vast importance of ameliorating "post-event" factors, but change can be slow.

I have often wondered how many of our veterans are never given a full opportunity to recover. Unfortuantely, some veterans' advocates and old-guard clinicians remain too ready to see psychological distress as tantamount to incurable PTSD---hence, the quick reach for the disability claims form.

Another veteran who wrote me was offended. "My hope is that if I need to seek professional help in 'coping' with my past, I will be met with compassion, respect, and an open mind instead of cynicism."

That is my hope, too. I am rarely cynical about patients' capacities for renewal, but I worry that my correspondent might fall into the hands of those too ready to cast him as a psychiatric invalid.




Politics: 100 REASONS WHY THE REPUBLICANS HAVE TO GO

Below is the list of reasons why we need to vote these Republicans out of office this election season:

1. FAILURE to plan for post-war Iraq

2. FAILURE to reduce violence in Iraq

3. FAILURE to be honest with the American people about WMD intelligence

4. FAILURE to hold Administraion accountable for failed policies in Iraq

5. FAILURE to conduct Congressional oversight of White House management of Iraq

6. FAILURE to listen to General Shinseki about troops levels needed in Iraq

7. FAILURE to honestly account for the fiscal costs of the Iraq War

8. FAILURE to provide adequate armor to American troops on the front lines in Iraq

9. FAILURE to prevent or even investigate contract abuse by firms like Halliburton

10. FAILURE to confront Abu Ghraib so that U.S. troops aren't further endangered

11. FAILURE to capture Osama bin Laden

12. FAILURE to capture Mullah Omar

13. FAILURE to prevent Somalia from falling to Pro-al Qaeda Islamic extremists

14. FAILURE to follow through on the war in Afghanastan

15. FAILURE to secure many terrorist convictions

16. FAILURE to effectively respond to Hurricane Katrina

17. FAILURE to secure U.S. ports

18. FAILURE to adequately fund first responders

19. FAILURE to adequately address rail security vulnerabilities.

20. FAILURE to secure chemical plants

21. FAILURE to enact the 9/11 Commission recommendations

22. FAILURE to emplement radio interoperability measures

23. FAILURE to curb billions of dollars of contract abuse in the Dept of Homeland Security

24. FAILURE to conduct Phase II of pre-war intel probe as promised by Chairman Roberts

25. FAILURE to conduct a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq since 2004

26. FAILURE to secure the Social Security numbers of 26.5 million veterans

27. FAILURE to implement key reforms included in 2004 intelligence overhaul

28. FAILURE to prevent a Pentagon budget shortfall

29. FAILURE to keep the military at readiness level needed to counter new threats

30. FAILURE to prevent North Korea from quadrupling its nuclear inventory

31. FAILURE to further prevent war in the Middle East

32. FAILURE to stabilize Middle East after Iraq, allowing Iran to expand its influence

33. FAILURE to improve America's standing abroad

34. FAILURE to implement a foreign policy that reduces global instability

35. FAILURE to stand up to Pakistan's nuclear proliferation efforts

36. FAILURE to secure "loose nukes"

37. FAILURE to prevent Russia's slide from democracy

38. FAILURE to heed warnings that VA was underfunded, resulting in a $1 billion shortfall

39. FAILURE to provide mandatory funding for veterans' health care

40. FAILURE to end record-breaking GOP-created budget deficits

41. FAILURE to resist the largest expansion in federal spending since Johnson

42. FAILURE to implement fiscally responsible Pay-As-You-Go legislation

43. FAILURE to reign in budget-busting earmarks

44. FAILURE to keep the debt ceiling below $9 trillion

45. FAILURE to responsibly reform the estate tax

46. FAILURE to provide a permanent AMT tax fix

47. FAILURE to stop giving tax breaks to companies that send U.S. jobs abroad

48. FAILURE to restore job growths to Clinton levels

49. FAILURE to reduce number of Americans in poverty

50. FAILURE to increase real household income

51. FAILURE to reduce income inequality

52. FAILURE to pass pension reform

53. FAILURE to pass a minimum wage increase that is viable

54. FAILURE to prohibit the Bush Administration from taking overtime pay from workers

55. FAILURE to prevent U.S. jobs from moving overseas

56. FAILUTE to hold gas prices in check

57. FAILURE to reduce reliance on foreign oil

58. FAILURE to make America a leader in renewable energy

59. FAILURE to revoke massive tax breaks for oil companies bringing in record profits

60. FAILURE to enact price gouging legislation

61. FAILURE to admit that global warming exists

62. FAILURE to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant as promised

63. FAILURE to force big polluters to help clean-up the messes they make

64. FAILURE to reduce power plant pollution

65. FAILURE to enforce the Clean Air Act

66. FAILURE to expand embryonic stem cell research

67. FAILURE to reduce the ranks of the uninsured

68. FAILURE to put seniors ahead of big drug companies in the new prescription drug bill

69. FAILURE to keep seniors from falling into a Medicare's "doughnut hole"

70. FAILURE to be up-front about the real costs of the Medicare Part D legislation

71. FAILURE to allow Medicare to use its purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices

72. FAILURE to allow seniors to reimport safe prescription drugs from Canada

73. FAILURE to provide a responsible solution to Social Security

74. FAILURE to give up on Social Security privatization even though majority oppose it

75. FAILURE to keep up with the Clinton administration's record on border apprehension

76. FAILURE to fix the broken immigration system

77. FAILURE to keep up with the Clinton administration's record on interior enforcement

78. FAILURE to pass comprehensive ethics reform even after Jack Abramoff's guilty plea.

79. FAILURE to close the revolving door between Congress and lobbyists

80. FAILURE to investigate the CIA leak

81. FAILURE to fire any administration official involved in the CIA leak case

82. FAILURE to make it through a Congress without having a member convicted of bribery

83. FAILURE to extend the expired college tuition tax credit for middle-class families

84. FAILURE to make college more affordable

85. FAILURE to fully fund No Child Left Behind

86. FAILURE to prepare states to meet the "Highly Qualified Teacher" standards in NCLB

87. FAILURE to fully fund Special Education

88. FAILURE to expand Head Start to reach more preschoolers

89. FAILURE to commit to reducing class size

90. FAILURE to boost maximum Pell Grant amount as promised

91. FAILURE to renew the ban on assault weapons

92. FAILURE to fully fund the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program

93. FAILURE to appoint an immigration enforcement chief with experience

94. FAILURE to confront the White House when it's wrong

95. FAILURE to resist the urge to pander by diagnosing Terry Schiavo from the Senate floor

96. FAILURE to implement a plan to reduce abortions by preventing unwanted pregnancies

97. FAILURE to implement Country of Origin Labeling despite inclusion in 2002 Farm Bill

98. FAILURE to take adequate steps to prevent country from Mad Cow Disease

99. FAILURE to focus on issues important to the public instead of pandering to conservatives

100. FAILURE TO GIVE VOTERS ANY REASON TO RETURN REPUBLICANS TO POWER IN 2006