The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

Chris Hedges: The Maimed
"We wander through life with the deadness of war within us. There is no escape. There is no peace. We know an awful truth, an existential truth. War exposed the lies of patriotism and collective virtue of the nation that our churches, our schools, our press, our movies, our books, our government told us about ourselves, about who we were. And we see through these illusions. But those who speak this truth are cast out. Ghosts. Strangers in a strange land."

Chris Hedges: The Maimed

"We wander through life with the deadness of war within us. There is no escape. There is no peace. We know an awful truth, an existential truth. War exposed the lies of patriotism and collective virtue of the nation that our churches, our schools, our press, our movies, our books, our government told us about ourselves, about who we were. And we see through these illusions. But those who speak this truth are cast out. Ghosts. Strangers in a strange land."

President Obama: As U.S. veterans and allies, we ask you to uphold your campaign promises by freeing Private First Class Bradley Manning (.pdf)

Bradley Manning served with conscience. Words attributed to him in May 2010 show he acted because he wanted "people to see the truth… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public." President Obama made a similar statement in May 2011, when he stated, "In the 21st century, information is power; the truth cannot be hidden; and the legitimacy of governments will ultimately depend on active and informed citizens." We now ask that President Obama honor those words by freeing American truth-teller Bradley Manning.

Calling ‘hero’ everyone killed in war, no matter the circumstances of their death, not only helps sustain the ethos of martial glory that keeps young men and women signing up to kill and die for the state, no matter the justice of the cause, but also saps the word of meaning, dishonouring the men and women of exceptional courage and valour actually worthy of the title. Political correctness: Hero inflation (via azspot)

(via azspot)

In Chicago, Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans Put NATO's Endless War on Trial | Robert Naiman

At the intersection of Cermak and Michigan streets in Chicago yesterday, veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq told their stories when they threw back their service medals in protest at NATO leaders, echoing a famous protest against the Vietnam War.

A lot of media coming out of Chicago last night focused on street skirmishes between a handful of apolitical adventurists and the Chicago police. But some media got the real story.

Zach LaPorte, a 28-year-old mechanical engineer from Milwaukee who served in Iraq in 2005 and 2006, said, “I witnessed civilian casualties and civilians being arrested in what I consider an illegal occupation of a sovereign nation,” Reuters reported. Former U.S. Army Sergeant Alejandro Villatoro of Chicago, who served during the Iraq 2003 invasion and in Afghanistan in 2011, said: ”There’s no honor in these wars…There’s just shame.”

The local ABC news affiliate in Chicago produced an exemplary story which highlighted the ceremony in which Afghanistan and Iraq veterans threw back their medals, giving veterans the center stage they deserved for telling their stories.

Veterans return medals at NATO summit

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

CHICAGO — Chanting “N-A-T-O, NATO has got to go,” rows of veterans marched in formation Sunday leading thousands in an anti-war protest as world leaders gathered here for a two-day NATO summit.

Upon arrival near the convention center where the summit is taking place, one veteran threw his medals on the road, calling them symbols of lies. ”I choose human life over war,” Jerry Bordeleau shouted through a microphone.

Dozens of veterans followed suit, with many dedicating their medals to the children of Afghanistan and Iraq.

(via jayaprada)

#Occupy Homelessness and Drug Addiction | End the Wars

occupyonline:

truedemocracy:

There have been several deaths at Occupy camps. Most recently, a man named Darwin Cox was discovered dead in his tent at Occupy Denton (in Texas). Occupy Denton had this to say about Darwin’s death:

One of Occupy Denton’s core issues is the struggle against homelessness. Specifically, the lack of a safety net and inclusive shelters for the homeless left Darwin with nowhere else to go.  Tragedies like this happen every day and fail to make the nightly news or the newspapers.  Our current social structure criminalizes the homeless as well as those suffering from addiction.  This is one of the reasons why Occupy Denton emerged, why Darwin joined, and why Occupy Denton will continue the struggle for the marginalized and oppressed.

The Occupy movement isn’t the cause of homelessness and drug addiction in our society. They welcome all people with dignity and respect, and that is attractive to individuals who are used to being shunned. People within the Occupy movement are trying very hard to make up for the fact that there is little support in this country for the homeless, for veterans, for the variously marginalized. The problems presented by trying to serve these communities can be overwhelming, particularly for a group of people who have taken on the equally overwhelming task of ending government corruption and restoring democracy, and this has led some to call for an end to the encampments. But these problems will exist even if the camps go away. Instead of continuing to ignore them, we need to find solutions.

My first proposed solution: end all foreign wars and use some of the $2 billion dollars a week saved to give our veteran community the kind of support it deserves and so desperately needs.

My second proposed solution: end the drug war and use some of the $450 million dollars a week saved to treat drug addiction in our society.

And that should be just the beginning…

(Source: citizen-earth, via occupyonline)

Walker's Controversial Appointee to Veterans Affairs Board

wisconsinforward:

Earlier this year, while most of the state was focused on his union-busting efforts, Scott Walker quietly took control of the power to directly appoint the head of the Veterans Affairs Board.

With this new authority, Walker appointed John Scocos, a man who had already been fired from this position in 2009.  Scocos is also currently suing the board members and the agency, seeking $500,000 in damages. 

As a result of this controversial appointment, Peter Moran, the Vice Chairman of the Board and a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, resigned today. 

(via sarahlee310)

To wit, 44 percent of Social Security recipients, 41 percent of military veterans, 43 percent of unemployment recipients, 40 percent of Medicare recipients, 43 percent of college Pell Grant recipients and 27 percent of welfare recipients all said they had never used a government social program. Too many Americans ignorant about their use of government programs - Caveat Lector (via robot-heart-politics)

(via sarahlee310)

pantslessprogressive:

Drugs Found Ineffective for Veterans’ Stress

Drugs widely prescribed to treat severe post-traumatic stress symptoms for veterans are no more effective than placebos and come with serious side effects, including weight gain and fatigue, researchers reported on Tuesday.
The surprising finding, from the largest study of its kind in veterans, challenges current treatment standards so directly that it could alter practice soon, some experts said.
Ten percent to 20 percent of those who see heavy combat develop lasting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and about a fifth of those who get treatment receive a prescription for a so-called antipsychotic medication, according to government numbers.
The new study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, focused on one medication, Risperdal. But experts said that its results most likely extend to the entire class, including drugs like Seroquel, Geodon and Abilify.
[…] The use of such drugs has grown sharply over the past decade, as thousands of returning soldiers and Marines have found that their post-traumatic stress symptoms do not respond to antidepressants, the only drugs backed by scientific evidence for the disorder. [read more]

pantslessprogressive:

Drugs Found Ineffective for Veterans’ Stress

Drugs widely prescribed to treat severe post-traumatic stress symptoms for veterans are no more effective than placebos and come with serious side effects, including weight gain and fatigue, researchers reported on Tuesday.

The surprising finding, from the largest study of its kind in veterans, challenges current treatment standards so directly that it could alter practice soon, some experts said.

Ten percent to 20 percent of those who see heavy combat develop lasting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and about a fifth of those who get treatment receive a prescription for a so-called antipsychotic medication, according to government numbers.

The new study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, focused on one medication, Risperdal. But experts said that its results most likely extend to the entire class, including drugs like Seroquel, Geodon and Abilify.

[…] The use of such drugs has grown sharply over the past decade, as thousands of returning soldiers and Marines have found that their post-traumatic stress symptoms do not respond to antidepressants, the only drugs backed by scientific evidence for the disorder. [read more]

(via pantslessprogressive)