Weekend wound up: Rainy day

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Cold and rainy in Chapel Hill. A good day to be out on the streets protesting. Not.

What's up for you this weekend?

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From a diary at Daily Kos

Dr. Brandt's quote, which you will read shortly, is from testimony he gave at the preliminary hearing of First Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside, who was charged with the following crime by an Army prosecutor: attempted suicide and endangering the life of another soldier in Iraq. Yes, you read that right: her crime was attempting suicide by self inflicted gunshot wound while serving in Iraq.

If convicted, she faces life in a military prison. While being treated at Walter Reed after her first suicide attempt, she was diagnosed by the psychiatrists there as suffering from a severe mental disorder likely triggered by the stress of her duty in Iraq. Her superiors however, disagreed with that diagnosis. They thought she was using her condition as an "excuse" to escape military service. In short, apparently they believe that her attempt to kill herself was not genuine, that it was part of some scheme to dishonor her country and constituted criminal conduct on her part. They didn't trust her doctors' diagnosis of mental illness, or they simply didn't care, although these psychiatrists were also serving military officers. They wanted to make an example of Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside.

As someone who has had too close a relationship with suicide in my family, this story just breaks my heart.

I wish I understood the military better

I thought we were an all volunteer army. Do we want people out in the field who don't want to be there?

I suppose there are morale concerns, and it's a slippery slope from common sense compassion to the dissolution of military discipline.

It's hard for me to understand how imprisoning the traumatized lieutenant helps the military or the mission. Then again I don't understand how imprisoning over 100,000 Americans helps keep my nephew safe from illegal drugs either.

- - - - -
McCain - The Third Bush Term

Unfortunately, this is merely

another result of the continued misuse of the military and is to be expected.

I suppose there are morale concerns, and it's a slippery slope from common sense compassion to the dissolution of military discipline.

That's part of it I'm sure, but don't forget that these commanders are also subject to the stresses of continued redeployment into a combat zone. And for many of them, each death or catastrophic injury of one of their people hangs around their neck like a lead weight.

It's hard to remain objective and compassionate for the plight of one individual under those circumstances, which is why a medical assessment should not be so easily overridden by the commanding officer.

Reading this story brings back many memories..

As a volunteer non-com in the early Vietnam years, I realized very quickly that military justice is a slippery slope. I did four years active, but because of some events concerning others I knew, I spent much time counting the days until my term ran out. We had a saying back then about there being a "right way, and there's the Navy way!" I like the part in your story where her "superiors" knew better than the psychiatrists. That is typical, and unless you have spent time in the military, you can't imagine how easily it is to be in a completely frustrated position without recourse to any method of grievance settlement. It all comes down to the "luck" factor. If you happen to be serving with a pretty fair and open minded command, you were lucky. But much of the time they were assholes like Capt. Queeg in 'Caines Mutiny'.(movie)

bradford Seems like an

bradford

Seems like an appropriate place to put this for Marshall Adame...not to capitalize on someone else's horrific problems, but it caught my attention shortly after I finished writing this press release...

Jacksonville, N.C. - 3rd District Democratic Party Congressional candidate Marshall Adame riticized Congressman Walter Jones today for Jones’ vote against the Mental Health Parity Bill that passed in U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday.
“I would have supported this bill, because our nation must make sure that mental illnesses are treated as seriously as physical illnesses," Adame said."
"We have all seen the devastating impact serious mental illnesses can have on families. Those instances are real and no less serious than physical illness.
"Additionally, a great number of our Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, military and civilian, are suffering from mental illness related to their experiences and injuries received in those conflicts, and many of them have gone without assistance or treatment."
"I believe that our nation must make sure that all citizens have access to affordable and effective health care, through some form of National Health Care, and there is absolutely no reason not to include mental health illnesses in that plan. Congressman Jones should be ashamed.”
After more than a decade of struggle, the House on Wednesday passed the bill by a vote of 268 to 148, with 47 Republicans joining 221 Democrats. The 268 votes were 22 short of two-thirds majority of 290 votes need to override a presidential veto. President George Bush endorsed the principle of mental health parity in 2002. But on Wednesday, the White House opposed the House bill, saying it “would effectively mandate coverage of a broad range of diseases.”
Adame said the president’s opposition to the bill points out another reason for 3rd District voters to replace Republican Jones.
“I believe our next president is going to be a Democrat, but that president is going to need a veto-proof majority in the House and the Senate in order to get many pieces of key legislation passed over Republican opposition,” he said. “Every Democrat we send to the House gets us closer to undoing the terrible damage President Bush and the Republicans have done to this country.”

Marshall truly believes this about mental health issues. It's near and dear to his heart. He allowed me to post this here after I suggested that the recent ActBlue focus on mental heatlh issues made it appropriate.
If you guys feel it's not appropriate to excerpt a press release here, tell me, and I won't do it again. But the tragic story related on Kos and posted by James made it seem OK to me...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

bradford

Bradford, this may be quibbling,

“I believe our next president is going to be a Democrat, but that president is going to need a veto-proof majority in the House and the Senate in order to get many pieces of key legislation passed over Republican opposition,”

but the use of the phrase "veto-proof" in this context is a little confusing. Theoretically, a bill the President likes merely has to pass by one vote (in each house) for him to sign it into law.

Now, if you want to say the Democratic majority needs to be "stronger" or "more solid" I would agree. But that would be more about countering Dems that might vote in opposition to the President's wishes as opposed to a Republican threat.

Filibuster proof

That's really what will matter if we have a Dem in the White House. We need a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.

Or maybe we should consider exercising the nukular option.

:)

Bingo.

We need a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.

That's the ticket.

And yet...maybe this is me, but I came away from the whole Bill Frist fiasco with a softer spot in my heart for the filibuster in general, and a dislike for those who would seek to nullify it.

It would definitely be an advantage to have such a majority (for us), but I'm not sure how well the average voter would perceive that as a "goal", if you know what I mean.

Going to my first

Moore County Democratic Women luncheon tomorrow and even better, the speaker will be Jerry Meek!

Oh, did I tell you that I am now the 3rd vice chair of the Moore County Dems?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Mo -

I have a lot of confidence having you on the team. I found the bumpersticker, and if I make it to the luncheon, I'll give it to you tomorrow!

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Linda...please make it

I want that sticker AND I need to get together with you. Thanks for the statement of confidence, you know I need it. ;P

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

no plans but good news

We connected our solar panels to the grid and produced over 30 kilowatt hours of electricity for Piedmont Electric. I probably already bragged about this, but we have been working toward this for several years. While our home renovation is not complete, it is really such a happy moment for us. Our little boy thinks that it is the coolest thing ever - and he loves the idea that we have power in batteries now so if there is a power failure, he won't be in the dark like the other night.

awesome

Sounds great to me. I wish I had the money to invest in solar panels.
For now I have invested my money in a new Prius. Hey, it's a start.

Let me know when I can come by

and take some pictures. One of my (future) Sustainable Development pieces is going to focus on residential Solar exclusively, and I need some various house designs/styles to show what people are doing.

Our little boy thinks that it is the coolest thing ever

He's right. :) Tell him I said that.

send me a private message

and we can arrange it. We don't care to advertise our street address, but the whole point is to share what we know with others.

By the way, even on this rainy day, my husband checked and we are still producing power! Okay, I am a bit giddy, but it is still nice to know.

oh and it's raining...

Our lakes in the Triad are looking full and the National Weather Service says we got.59 inches. How about y'all?

Truth in Comedy.

Colbert Nails it again.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Blown Away

I went out this morning door knocking after the rain stopped, but after a few hours the wind starting tossing cats (I'm not kidding - I saw a cat fly!) and I figured that was my sign to get indoors and catch up on the blogosphere.

---
Ed Ridpath
www.EdRidpath.com

---
Ed Ridpath
www.EdRidpath.com

Bush vetoes anti-torture bill

Bush vetoes bill banning waterboarding

WASHINGTON - President Bush said Saturday he vetoed legislation that would ban the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods such as waterboarding to break suspected terrorists because it would end practices that have prevented attacks.

We need to ask both Democratic candidates if they would have signed this bill. My hope is that they would both agree with Speaker Pelosi, who is quoted in the same article cited above.

In the final analysis, our ability to lead the world will depend not only on our military might, but on our moral authority

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

This veto cements President Bushes legacy

as the torture President.

Beyond that, this is a very sad and regretful day in American History.

The New President, a Democrat will reverse this, but even so, when we have a President of the United States saying that one of our most valuable tools in the fight against terror is torture, we have signaled the world our moral degredation....

Now we are using terror itself as a primary tool according to our President. Sad...So very sad.

I'm not kidding.....Somtimes I want to cry. Our eagle is not flying today.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

Eloquently put, Marshall.

I hope that the 110th Congress is able to over-ride this veto. If they're not able to do it, I know that you and your colleagues in the 111th will be able to do it.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi