Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2 soldiers are laid to rest and a third's funeral is today

The tempo of deployment cycles in the Iraq War is higher than for any war since World War II, and military survey data suggest that posttraumatic stress
disorder (PTSD) is not uncommon among service members. To assure ample mental health resources to care for returning troops, it is important for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to forecast the timing and number of new PTSD cases over the coming years, which is complicated by the fact that many cases have delayed onset. We combine a dynamic mathematical model with deployment data and PTSD data from the Iraq War, and we estimate that the PTSD rate among Iraq War veterans will be approximately 35%, which is roughly double the rate from the raw survey data. This doubling is due to the time lag between the PTSD-generating event and the
onset of symptoms and to the fact that many surveyed troops will do subsequent deployments. Consequently, the VA system, which is already experiencing significant delays for PTSD treatment provision, needs to urgently ramp up its mental health resource capacity.

That's from [PDF format warning] "Magnagement Insights" in the latest edition of the journal Management Science. We'll stay with service members to note funerals and memorials. Thomas P. Lyons was buried yesterday. The US soldier was killed in Iraq September 8th. F.T. Norton (Lahontan Valley News) reports, "From a handle on the end of his flag-draped casket Tuesday hung the dogtag of newly promoted Spc. Thomas Lyons. Around the neck of his 4-month-old son, Erik, dangled another set. As the infant reached out to touched the red, white and blue cloth presented to him by an Army general, his daddy's dog tags danced over it. All around a heartbroken family wept." Lyons was one of four US service members killed in Iraq that day. Lyons was killed, along with two others, in an attack on a US patrol in northern Iraq. KOLO TV has video of yesterday's motorcade. and they note "Lyons was only 20-years-old." Joseph Helton was also killed September 8th in Iraq; however, he was killed outside of Baghdad, from a bombing attack on his vehicle. Reno Gazette-Journal notes the other two service members killed in the assault were Zachary Myers and Shannon Smith and adds, "A family fund has been established at Frontier Financial Credit Union, with proceeds shared Lyons' former Boy Scouts troop and the church, according to Sgt. 1st Class Christian T. Baughman of the Nevada Joint Forces Headquarters." Rick Badie (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) notes Joseph Helton's memorial will take place today (four p.m.) "at the First Baptist Church of Monroe. An additional service will be held at 7 p.m. that same day at Meadows Funeral Home in Monroe. On Thursday, a procession will leave the funeral home at 11 a.m. for a military graveside service at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton." Badie notes survivors include Jennifer and Joseph Helton (parents), Jessica Helton, Jordanne Helton and Jeanee Rhea (sisters) and Victor Holden and Dennis Helton Jr. (grandfathers).

Todd Willis Selge died September 3rd while serving in Iraq. Yesterday a service was held for him. Mark Brunswick (Minnepolas Star-Tribune) reports Tracy Selge remembered her brother dressing as Captain America in high school and saying, "Todd was a patriot, even then." His brother Brent Selge stated, "I was looking up to him now, whether it was his family or how squared away a soldier he was, and he just made want to be a better person. I've asked myself a thousand times why God would take Todd out of us all and find comfort in knowing that Todd's faith was as strong as I've ever seen and that if anybody was ready to go home it was him." KARE 11's Scott Seroka reports (link has text and video), "Hundreds were at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Lakeville Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the life of Staff Sergeant Todd Willis Selge. [. . .] On Tuesday, he was awarded a bronze star. His father says he loved the flag, and he loved the men and women who served under it, quoting General Patton as he remembered his son. 'It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died, rather we should thank God that such men lived,' Paul Selge said."

Todd Selge loved the men and women who served under the US flag, his father says the same day former US President Jimmy Carter decides to spit on Americans who exercise their right to free speech and dismiss them as racists?

If Jimmy Carter feels 'talkative,' how about he get talkative about his blame for 9-11? Instead of looking at Americans and seeing only racists, how about the Georgia ass get honest about how his actions helped bring about 9-11, how he and his trashy administration set the whole thing up? Instead he wants to say that right-wing objection to Barack must be racism?

The term for what Carter did is "projection" and it's about time all these White people screaming "racism" every time anyone objects to Barack start getting honest that they automatically go to racism because they're honestly racist themselves and their entire lives -- and this was always true of Carter -- is about their 'deep dark secret' being kept hidden. Admit your own racism, Jimmy, and if you want we can dig into your family as well and I'm not talking just Miss Lillian.

Carter, the former president in a bubble, still surprised at all the controversy his neo-liberal, union sellout policies created domestically, turns 89-years-old in October. [Correction, 3:22 pm, 9-16-09, Crazy Ass Carter turns 85 in October, not 84.] Translation, he doesn't know the first thing about anyone not in his peer group (most of whom lack his fine health insurance and have already died). So he's speaking for himself. The racist isn't the United States, the racist is Jimmy Carter. Shame on the Peanut Head racist (whose the child of racists) for ranting that Americans who criticize their president -- a long tradition in the US -- must suddenly be racists. At nearly 89, it's sad to say, Jimmy Carter needs to grow the hell up. The odds are those of us on the left are never going to like Republican presidents. And those on the right are never going to like Democratic ones. There will be exceptions (when all love someone and all hate someone). But that's just the way it is and people choose to be Republicans or Democrats (those who are) because the parties speak to them in some form or the other major party doesn't speak to them at all. Their objections come from that and the way they see life. It's really appalling that Jimmy Carter wants to spit on a huge part of America -- a country he allegedly represented for four years as president -- and dismiss their very real political differences to reduce it all to his simplistic argument of "racism." Again, the term for Jimmy Carter's actions, "projection."

Remember too that one day the people of Afghanistan will overcome and will write and tell their history, including the very real racism that made them a target so many times. When that day comes, Jimmy Carter will be among the ones known around the world as a War Criminal. In the meantime, service members die in Afghanistan and that's partly due to Jimmy Carter's actions. Maybe he ought to think about that before he accuses others of racism? Maybe he ought to get honest about how his own racism allowed him to see Afghanistans as not 'real people' and pawns to use in his chess game with the USSR? Maybe he ought to grasp how damn offensive his attacks on Americans, the people he was supposed to serve, come off and how disgusting he really is? Smartest move for him right now would be to issue an apology and then bow out of public life for good. In America we have the right to criticize any sitting president and we have always used it -- as the failure Jimmy Carter should damn well remember -- and shame on anyone who pulls the crap Carter did but especially shame on them if they are still being paid by US tax payers.

As disgraceful as Jimmy Carter's actions are for still being on the US dime, it's all the more disgusting that the man -- who brought back registration for selective service, lest we forget -- disrespects the freedoms that this nation is supposed to be built upon. He really should be ashamed. In honor of Jimmy, I feel a song coming on . . .

You come on like a prince
You've got everyone convinced
That you're a prince of a man
But I'm the one who knows you baby
I'm the one you show
That you don't give a damn
-- "Can't Give It Up," written by Carly Simon and Andy Goldmark, from Carly's Spoiled Girl

Remember Carly's album comes out the last Tuesday in October (no calendar before me, believe that's the 27th). The following community sites updated last night:

The e-mail address for this site is

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends