Friday, December 24, 2010

Steampunk Explained

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Broken Bodies - Broken Lives

Covering the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, I learned that most of the land mines that the Soviets laid were designed to maim, not kill. The Soviets knew that a dead body causes no tactical inconvenience. It only removes the one dead person from the field. But a wounded person requires the assistance of people all the way down the line who could otherwise be fighting. Likewise with the home front in a war. The dead leave an awful vacancy in the lives of loved ones, but those who are seriously wounded or psychologically traumatized can disrupt families and society more. Families of the dead can move on, as difficult as it may be, and as awful as it may be to say; the families of the seriously maimed, physically or psychologically, never can.
The long tail of suffering that extends from the war front to the home front, and from dead and wounded soldiers and marines, sailors and airmen, to their wives and children, and to their children’s children, is statistically numbing and heartrending. Of the 2.2 million American troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, several hundred thousand have sustained physical and psychological wounds. The figures of 4,417 dead from Iraq and 1,368 from Afghanistan (as of November 10, 2010) are well-known and oft-quoted. But the physically wounded from both wars number more than 40,000, a staggering number, and roughly three-quarters of them have been wounded in a serious life- and family-affecting way. According to the Army Office of the Surgeon General, between 2001 and 2009 doctors performed 1,286 amputations, three-quarters of which were of major limbs.

Wounded Warrior Mission:
  • To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members.
  • To help injured service members aid and assist each other.
  • To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.
  • Read more:

    Government Sanctioned Discrimination No Longer Legal

    President Barack Obama signed a landmark law Wednesday repealing the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the military, fulfilling one of his major campaign pledges and casting the issue as a matter of civil rights long denied.

    "No longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniform be asked to live a lie, or look over their shoulder in order to serve the country that they love," Obama said.

    "The implementation and certification process will not happen immediately; it will take time," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz warned in an e-mail that went out right after Saturday's Senate vote. "Meanwhile, the current law remains in effect. All Air Force members should conduct themselves accordingly." (Associated Press)

    It would appear that many of those opposed to gays serving in the military are of a similar mindset to those who once believed, or like Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association who apparently still believes, that both gay and Black men are psychologically incapable of controlling their libido.

    Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act Passed

    WASHINGTON -- After a filibuster and threats of obstruction by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), the Senate unanimously passed a bill on Wednesday that would provide health care for first responders to the 9/11 terrorist attack. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer reached a deal with Republican senators to support the bill earlier in the afternoon.

    Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing... after they've tried everything else. Winston Churchill

    Friday, December 03, 2010

    You Make the Call ...

    Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) identified President Obama as, "very, very urban." When was the last time a white politician was identified as "very, very urban?"

    Racist or Not Racist ... It's Your Call.

    In defense of Rep. King, I believe he's simply too ignorant to recognize the racial stereotypes on which his thoughtless comments were based.

    Insensitivity or ignorance?
    When referring to our duly elected president, many white conservatives are too quick to ....
    a) emphasize his middle name Hussein.
    b) question his citizenship status.
    c) denigrate his role as a community organizer.
    d) label him as a Muslim, meaning not a true Christian American.