Archive for November 25th, 2011

Remember the first Iraq War, in 1991, when hundreds of Iraqi soldiers threw down their weapons and ran for their lives as American soldiers gunned them down from helicopters? I know one of the gunners, and he is haunted by his actions to this day (as anyone would be who is not a sociopath). So this is really common sense, but at least the military is acknowedging the role of guilt in PTSD:

“A leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder is guilt that troops experience due to moral dilemmas faced in combat, according to preliminary findings of a study of active-duty Marines.

The conflicts that troops feel can range from survivor guilt from living through an attack where other troops died, to witnessing or participating in the unintentional killing of women or children, said researchers involved in the study.

“How do they come to terms with that? They have to forgive themselves for pulling the trigger,” said retired Navy Capt. Bill Nash, a psychiatrist and study co-author.”

From The Navy Times: http://www.navytimes.com/news/2011/11/gannett-marine-guilt-top-cause-PTSD-112511w/

Read Full Post »


For the first time in a long time there is hope on the horizon.

First there was the reaction to the antilabor law in Wisconsin. The law passed, but workers rallied, and some legislators were recalled. And the movement to recall the governor shows signs of success, if the polls can be believed.

Then here in Ohio we saw the overwhelming defeat of similar antilabor legislation.

And then, out of nowhere, the Occupy movement flowered. And unlike the 60s, when blue collar workers beat the young radicals, this time around they are marching with them. And there has been a huge awakening to what has happened in the last thirty years: the erosion of the middle class, the impovershment of workers, the concentration of wealth in the top 1%.

Of course the problem is that so far none of this is reflected in the electoral milieu. President Obama and other Democrats are already trying to co-opt the Occupy movement, just as the Republicans co-opted the Tea Party, but you’d have to be blind to fall for that, aside from the few Democrats who do stand up for the working class. And the Occupy movement, with its emphasis on consensus and deliberate lack of leadership, does not look likely to offer practical means of structural change. But it’s early, and who knows? The time is certainly ripe for a third party.

No one knows where all this is headed, but when was the last time that there was any hope at all for critics of capitalism?

Read Full Post »