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Female Vets and Homelessness

Female Veterans Struggle To Stay Off Streets

 

Dr. Diane West (center), who runs a program for women at U.S. Vets, a nonprofit in Long Beach, Calif., with transitional housing residents Margaret Ortiz (left) and Andrea Guara.

July 11, 2010 More than 240,000 female service members have been deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but for many, reintegrating into civilian life and trying to find employment is not within their reach.

The Department of Veteran Affairs has acknowledged that women are nearly four times as likely as men to end up homeless.

In Los Angeles, outreach efforts are under way to get them off the streets and into the VA's transition assistance program.

Children and PTSD

Slowly, but much much faster then over the previous four decades, the country has woken up to PTS in the civilian society especially in abused and traumatized children!!

Children's hospital screening for PTSD

July 6, 2010 Badly injured kids who have disorder are being offered treatment, free of charge.

Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin is now screening the most severely injured children those who come through the hospital's trauma center for post-traumatic stress disorder.

US Doctors Approved Torture and Denied Medicine to Captives


US Doctors Approved Torture and Denied Medicine to Captives
By Sherwood Ross

American doctors in the Middle East routinely approved the torture of captured suspects and denied them critical medications such as insulin, sometimes with lethal consequences, according to a documented report published in the “Utne Reader.”

In Dec., 2002, Defense Secy. Donald Rumsfeld issued a directive allowing interrogators to withhold medical care in nonemergency situations so that “men with injuries including gunshot wounds were denied treatment as a way to make them talk,” writes author Justine Sharrock. Although the directive was soon revoked, “the practice continued,” she said.

Interrogations conducted at the infamous Abu Ghraib correctional facility in Baghdad had to be preapproved by a physician and psychiatrist, and the CIA got like orders for the punishments it inflicted at its sites.

Sharrock quotes medic Andrew Duffy of the 134th medical company of the Iowa National Guard who told her the attitude of Abu Ghraib’s medical officers toward prisoners was “screw these guys” and who said he was ridiculed for trying to save one man’s life using CPR.

Long after the world-shaking Abu Ghraib photos were published in 2004 and the Pentagon vowed to stop abusing prisoners, “men were still being strapped into restraint chairs and left in the sun for hours or locked in cells too small to lie down in,” Sharrock writes. “The medics regularly found prisoners dehydrated, wrists bloody from overtight handcuffs, ankles swollen from forced standing, joints dislocated from stress positions.” (Abu Ghraib’s former commandant Gen. Janis Karpinski once estimated 90% of the prisoners were innocent.)

A Soldier's Eye on War

Local veteran's suicide reflects troubling trend

 

July 5, 2010 Orrin Gorman McClellan is among the war casualties that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has just begun to track — young men and women who served in the post-9/11 military, and killed themselves after struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and other war wounds.

DEAN RUTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES Perry McClellan and Judith Gorman put a flagpole in front of their home to commemorate their son's life and service. A talented artist, he helped his parents create a new veterans center on Whidbey Island before taking his life in May.

Making Sure One Always Has An 'Enemy'!

Thus much easier to control your own, and prosper from in power, stature and wealth!

Thousands missing out on education in Gaza

Photo: Suhair Karam/IRIN Nuha Abed Rabbo, 9, on her way to an UNRWA elementary school in eastern Gaza

GAZA CITY, 5 July 2010 (IRIN) - Thousands of Palestinian refugee children in the Gaza Strip are unable to receive adequate education, according to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

About 39,000 child refugees in Gaza will not attend UNRWA schools this year, since the agency is unable to build or re-build schools due to the Israeli blockade, damage sustained during the 23-day Israeli offensive (27 December 2008 - 18 January 2009) and population growth, UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness said in Jerusalem.

Iraqi War Refugees: Post-Traumatic Stress

This is unprecedented news and much needed research study. Except for many veterans, mostly of the brothers and sisters of our conflict in Vietnam, and some of the civilian professionals and advocates through these past decades, it is rare, if at all, that not only this country but any other takes into consideration those invaded and occupied especially the mental stress of living within or being forced into a refugee status for years or forever!

$2.6 million US-backed study at Wayne State targets trauma among Iraqi war refugees

July 4, 2010 The U.S. is funding a $2.6 million study of post-traumatic stress among Iraqi war refugees in the Detroit area.

Genetic Damage And Health In Fallujah Iraq Worse Than Hiroshima

Genetic damage and health in Fallujah Iraq worse than Hiroshima | Brussels Tribunal | Press Release | 02 July 2010

Results of a population-based epidemiological study organized by Malak Hamdan* and Chris Busby are published on 03 July 2010 in the International Journal of Environmental Studies and Public Health (IJERPH) based in Basle, Switzerland. They show increases in cancer, leukemia and infant mortality and perturbations of the normal human population birth sex ratio significantly greater than those reported for the survivors of the A-Bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Results of a survey in Jan/Feb 2010 of 711 houses and more than 4000 individuals in Fallujah show that in the five years following the 2004 attacks by USA-led forces there has been a 4-fold increase in all cancer. Interestingly, the spectrum of cancer is similar to that in the Hiroshima survivors who were exposed to ionizing radiation from the bomb and uranium in the fallout. By comparing the sample population rates to the cancer rates in Egypt and Jordan, researchers found there has been a 38-fold increase in leukemia (20 cases) almost a 10-fold increase in female breast cancer (12 cases) and significant increases in lymphoma and brain tumours in adults.

Study by Minneapolis VA

Adjustment is rough for returning combat vets

July 2, 2010 A study from the Minneapolis VA, finds anger, substance abuse, social difficulty, shows the need to treat behaviors as much as symptoms.

A study by Minneapolis VA researchers finds that as many as 56 percent of returning Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans report readjustment problems ranging from dangerous driving to increased alcohol, drug use and anger problems.

The national study of 754 veterans, most of whom have been discharged for at least three years, is one of the first to look at how combat veterans fare once they return home, resume civilian work and attempt to reenter society. The lead researcher of the study says the results show a need for more community-and family-based programming to address the adjustment issues.

A Leader Using Ones Military Soldiers

Iraq Inquiry: Tony Blair was warned of 'damage' to Armed Forces

Tony Blair was warned on the eve of the war in Iraq that a prolonged operation in the country would do “long term damage to the Armed Forces.”

02 Jul 2010 Senior ministers told the then-Prime Minister that Britain would have to manage its deployment in Iraq carefully to avoid putting harmful excessive demands on the services.

The warning was made in classified documents published by the official inquiry into the Iraq war.

The inquiry also heard more evidence from officials that by keeping thousands of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan simultaneously for several years, ministers broke Ministry of Defence guidelines on the Armed Forces.

NY Times Reporter Confirms Obama Made Deal to Kill Public Option

NY Times Reporter Confirms Obama Made Deal to Kill Public Option
By Miles Mogelescu | Huffington Post

For months I've been reporting in The Huffington Post that President Obama made a backroom deal last summer with the for-profit hospital lobby that he would make sure there would be no national public option in the final health reform legislation. (See here, here and here). I've been increasingly frustrated that except for an initial story last August in the New York Times, no major media outlet has picked up this important story and investigated further.

Hopefully, that's changing. On Monday, Ed Shultz interviewed New York Times Washington reporter David Kirkpatrick on his MSNBC TV show, and Kirkpatrick confirmed the existence of the deal. Shultz quoted Chip Kahn, chief lobbyist for the for-profit hospital industry on Kahn's confidence that the White House would honor the no public option deal, and Kirkpatrick responded:

"That's a lobbyist for the hospital industry and he's talking about the hospital industry's specific deal with the White House and the Senate Finance Committee and, yeah, I think the hospital industry's got a deal here. There really were only two deals, meaning quid pro quo handshake deals on both sides, one with the hospitals and the other with the drug industry. And I think what you're interested in is that in the background of these deals was the presumption, shared on behalf of the lobbyists on the one side and the White House on the other, that the public option was not going to be in the final product."

Kirkpatrick also reported in his original New York Times article that White House was standing behind the deal with the for-profit hospitals: "Not to worry, Jim Messina, the deputy White House chief of staff, told the hospital lobbyists, according to White House officials and lobbyists briefed on the call. The White House was standing behind the deal".

This should be big news. Even while President Obama was saying that he thought a public option was a good idea and encouraging supporters to believe his healthcare plan would include one, he had promised for-profit hospital lobbyists that there would be no public option in the final bill. Read more.

Toxic Exposure - The Environmental Reality of Wars

Toxic Exposure - The Environmental Reality of Wars
By Tracy Emblem

The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have created toxic environments. This past April, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs reported in an environmental hazards training directive: “Exposure to open burn pits has created significant concern among Veterans and their families.”

“Burn pits” are open air burns used to dispose of waste products such as plastic, rubber, Styrofoam, paints, solvents, medical and human waste, petroleum and lubricant products, munitions and other unexploded ordnance.

Veterans and their families should be concerned. Recently, the American Lung Association called for a military ban of open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. ALA Chairman H. James Gooden testified on Capitol Hill. He told the Senate Defense Subcommittee hearing members: “Emissions from burning waste contain fine particulate matter, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and various irritant gases such as nitrogen oxides that can scar the lungs.”

Improve and Strengthen Medicare by Expanding it to All

The following text is the testimony that Dr. Margaret Flowers presented to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform at its June 30 hearing in Washington. Dr. Flowers is congressional fellow for Physicians for a National Health Program.

I am Dr. Margaret Flowers and I am here today on behalf of Physicians for a National Health Program, the leading physician research, education and advocacy organization in support of a truly universal single-payer health system in the United States. I will speak specifically about the contribution of health care costs to our national deficit and the evidence-based remedy to control these costs.

When compared to health care in other advanced nations, the United States excels in only one area – the amount of money spent per capita per year. Despite our high spending, the U.S. leaves a third of the population either uncovered or underinsured and thus vulnerable to financial ruin.

Agent Orange - Graves' Disease

Agent Orange Exposure Linked to Graves' Disease in Vietnam Veterans, UB Study Finds

June 28, 2010 Vietnam War-era veterans exposed to Agent Orange appear to have significantly more Graves' disease, a thyroid disorder, than veterans with no exposure, a new study by endocrinologists at the University at Buffalo has shown.

Ajay Varanasi, MD, an endocrinology fellow in the UB Department of Medicine and first author on the study, garnered first prize in the oral presentation category for this research at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists annual meeting held in Boston in April.

"Our findings show that Vietnam veterans who came in contact with Agent Orange are more likely to develop Graves' disease than those who avoided exposure," says Varanasi.

Navy & Coast Guard Ships Affected by Agent Orange

VA Lists Navy Ships that Qualify for Presumptive Agent Orange Exposure

6/10 – The Department of Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension Service has issued 2 lists of naval vessels it has verified conducted operations on the inland “brown water” rivers and delta areas of Vietnam. The lists also identify certain vessel types that operated primarily on the inland waterways. If a veteran’s service aboard one of these ships can be confirmed through military records during the time frames specified, then exposure to herbicide agents (e.g., Agent Orange) can be presumed. The lists include all vessels of Inshore Fire Support (IFS) Division 93; all vessels with the designation LST, LCVP, PCF (“Swift Boats”), and PBR during their entire Vietnam tour; all Coast Guard WPBs and WHECs during their Vietnam tours. Several other vessels and time frames of operations are included in these lists. See list issued 1/10, and list issued 6/10 (below).

Agent Orange Exposure Linked to Graves' Disease in Vietnam Veterans, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (June 28, 2010) — Vietnam War-era veterans exposed to Agent Orange appear to have significantly more Graves' disease, a thyroid disorder, than veterans with no exposure, a new study by endocrinologists at the University at Buffalo has shown.

Ajay Varanasi, MD, an endocrinology fellow in the UB Department of Medicine and first author on the study, garnered first prize in the oral presentation category for this research at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists annual meeting held in Boston in April.

"Our findings show that Vietnam veterans who came in contact with Agent Orange are more likely to develop Graves' disease than those who avoided exposure," says Varanasi.

Do Spending Cuts Cost Lives?

ScienceDaily (June 28, 2010) — Radical cuts to social welfare spending to reduce budget deficits could cause not just economic pain but cost lives, warn experts in a study published online in the British Medical Journal.

While there is a major debate under way about the potential economic impacts of radical budget cuts in Europe, David Stuckler from the University of Oxford and his colleagues dissect the effect of public spending on people's health.

Their analysis shows that levels of social spending in Europe are "strongly associated" with risks of death, especially from diseases relating to social circumstances, such as heart attacks and alcohol-induced illness.

As such, they argue that, although governments may feel they are protecting health by safeguarding healthcare budgets, social welfare spending is as important, if not moreso, for population health.

BMA council chairman condemns privatisation of the NHS

Call to ditch market ideology

British Medical Association
News
28 June 2010

By Anita Wilkinson

The government needs to overturn incoherent and divisive market-based policies in healthcare, BMA council chairman Hamish Meldrum has insisted.

He called on health secretary Andrew Lansley to reverse the market reforms that pit trusts against one another, secondary against primary care, increase costs and duplicate services

Dr Meldrum was applauded by doctors at the BMA annual representative meeting when he said: ‘We can’t go on promoting a failed market philosophy, with its burgeoning bureaucracy, competitive fragmentation and increasingly perverse incentives. It’s time for change.

National PTSD Awareness Day Arrives

This is going to be short.

Meant to inform of this day, to send you to one extremely dedicated individuals own post, to hopefully send some to search out even more {if you haven't followed the real issues}, for the trolls who won't see these issues on conservative blogs or news? sites, and we probably won't hear a peep on any of the Sunday Morning empty blab shows or news outlets.

30 Years in the Making, National PTSD Awareness Day Arrives

Rapidly Expanding Veterans Care Needs, Finally!

And many more related, long needed but ignored, other area's as to Veterans Issues!

VA secretary visits project

 

Jun. 24, 2010 Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said he wants veterans to know there is a safe place for them to heal after war.

{LEIGH COLEMAN/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki, left, stopped to talk to local veterans during his tour of the construction site at the VA Gulf Coast Veterans facilities on Thursday. Chris Levelle, right, was working at the site when Shinseki visited.}

Shinseki spent Thursday touring the $310 million construction project at the Biloxi VA.

Prosecutors Perpetuate Prejudice in Jury Selection

Linn Washington Jr.

After spending more than ten years in jail without a formal sentence, Curtis Flowers now can point to another unenviable distinction – he’s the first person in U.S. history subjected to six murder trials for the same crime.

Two of the five previous trials of this Mississippi man charged with the 1996 murder of four people in a rural town ended in jury deadlocks. State courts voided Flowers’ three convictions, each time citing outrageous misconduct by prosecutors.

One instance of prosecutorial error in the tortured Flowers trial saga involved biased jury selection procedure so egregious that Mississippi’s Supreme Court tagged it the worst case of “racial discrimination we have ever seen…” – an extraordinary declaration considering that state’s history of over-the-top racism.

Lejeune Marine or Family Member, 1950's to .........

This has been another, drag it out for as long as one can so the Country doesn't pony up or even admit their culpability, ongoing and information now growing, long term Military and Veteran's of issues that finally is seeing the light of day, Way to Late for Many who've already passed on, soldiers and their family members!

Documents: Tanks leaked fuel near Camp Lejeune well

 

June 24, 2010 Federal scientists studying the history of water contamination at Camp Lejeune, N.C., have learned of another source of leaking fuel — this one less than a football field away from a drinking well that once served thousands of Marines and their families.

The well was closed in December 1984 after benzene was found in the water.

The Nation Is At War, Not Just The Military

Ask yourselves why Veterans have to continue seeking Private Funding and not only about the obvious needs of Veterans but also the Memorials to!! A Draft for Military Service isn't needed, what is needed is to Demand Sacrifice, paying for the Results of our Wars, Huge Sacrifice, they will end almost instantly and the Nation will think more then twice as to Wars of Choice!

 

June 24: Rachel Maddow emphasizes the importance of civilian leadership demonstrating to the military as well as the country as a whole that the nation is united in the war effort in Afghanistan.

 

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, 2010 Update


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, 2010 Update
By Karen Davis, Ph.D., Cathy Schoen, M.S., and Kristof Stremikis, M.P.P. | Commonwealth Fund

The U.S. health system is the most expensive in the world, but comparative analyses consistently show the United States underperforms relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance. This report, which includes information from the most recent three Commonwealth Fund surveys of patients and primary care physicians about medical practices and views of their countries' health systems (2007–2009), confirms findings discussed in previous editions of Mirror, Mirror. It also includes information on health care outcomes that were featured in the most recent (2008) U.S. health system scorecard issued by the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System.

Among the seven nations studied—Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States—the U.S. ranks last overall, as it did in the 2007, 2006, and 2004 editions of Mirror, Mirror. Most troubling, the U.S. fails to achieve better health outcomes than the other countries, and as shown in the earlier editions, the U.S. is last on dimensions of access, patient safety, coordination, efficiency, and equity. The Netherlands ranks first, followed closely by the U.K. and Australia. The 2010 edition includes data from the seven countries and incorporates patients' and physicians' survey results on care experiences and ratings on various dimensions of care. The most notable way the U.S. differs from other countries is the absence of universal health insurance coverage. Read more.

“LOST ANGELS” at LAFilm Festival, Friday 6/25: Director Thomas Napper Illuminates Skid Row

by Linda Milazzo

lost_angels_poster
Sometimes you just know when something's not right. You see it, or hear it, and you know instinctively there's something missing. You sense a faint beat where there should be a strong heart. You see a short phrase where there should be a full story. That happened to me just over a year ago in the early afternoon of April 24, 2009, when I saw the Los Angeles screening of THE SOLOIST, helmed by British director Joe Wright. The film just wasn't right.

Campaign for Liberty Crafts Declaration of Support

The Obama Administration has unleashed its Federal Election Commission attacks dogs on Campaign for Liberty. They know our efforts to fight back against their statist power-grabs are succeeding and they want to shut us down.

By filling out the Declaration of Support below, you are sending a clear message to the Washington power structure that you will not be silenced. Go directly to Campaign for Liberty website. Or, read on

Email excerpt:

This battle is over a very fundamental idea - that Campaign for Liberty and our members should have a voice in lobbying their legislators and exposing the radical views of candidates for office.

Exposing what they're up to - that's what the powers that be can't stand. That's because they don't want Americans to know:

  • Congress is spending at a record pace and has now left us over 13 TRILLION dollars in debt, with no end in sight.
  • The out of control FED has not accounted for nearly 2 trillion dollars and has doubled our monetary base, risking our entire economy.
  • The federal government has imposed a mandate that every American either purchase a health care product the Feds approve of, costing tens of thousands of dollars, or risk fines and jail time.
  • The federal government has attempted to take away your 1st, 2nd and 4th Amendment rights, all in the past year, with more certainly to come.

We're exposing them - and holding them accountable as they come back home to seek reelection.

Of course, this may not sound like the end of the world. But just think: the FEC has an ARMY of lawyers and a budget of nearly $70 MILLION dollars. That's a lot of lawyers. Go to "Declaration of Support."

Kindra Arnesen Venice LA Local At The Gulf Emergency Summit

Hear the horrors of the front lines and behind scenes workings of the BP Gulf Oil Spill Catastrophe.

Congress Questions Military Leaders on Suicides, Traumatic Brain Injury

Congress Questions Military Leaders on Suicides, Traumatic Brain Injury
by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, and Daniel Zwerdling, NPR | ProPublica

Senators pressed senior military leaders today to improve their efforts to address traumatic brain injuries, suicide and other wounds suffered by soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Responding to what he called "disconcerting" reports by NPR and ProPublica, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said at a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the military needed to better address the wide range of medical and behavioral problems affecting troops.

Earlier this month, we reported [1] that the military was failing to diagnose and adequately treat troops with brain injuries. Since 2002, official military figures show more than 115,000 soldiers have suffered mild traumatic brain injuries, also called concussions, which leave no visible scars but can cause lasting problems with memory, concentration and other cognitive functions.

But the unpublished studies that we obtained and the experts that we talked to said that military screens were missing tens of thousands of additional cases. We also talked to soldiers at one of the military's largest bases [2], who complained of trouble getting treatment. Read more.

Obama Warns Health Insurers Not To Hike Rates

Obama warns health insurers not to hike rates | Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama warned insurance firms on Tuesday not to use his healthcare overhaul as an opportunity to enact big rate increases and said the federal government would work with states to monitor them.

"Insurance companies ... shouldn't see it as an opportunity to enact unjustifiable rate increases," Obama said, after meeting with state officials and insurance company executives.

Obama said companies must publicly justify any rate increases on both the federal health Web site and their own sites, adding that there are "genuine cost drivers that are not caused by insurance companies." Read more.

Survey of People Who Purchase Their Own Insurance | Kaiser Family Foundation

While most people in the U.S. get health insurance through their employer, about 14 million people under age 65 have coverage through the non-group or individual market, which has faced scrutiny recently in news reports about some insurers’ steep rate increases and in the market reforms in the new health reform law that will take effect in 2014.

This survey provides insight into the current state of the non-group market and finds policyholders report that their insurers most recently requested premium increases averaging 20 percent. Most say they paid the increase, but some say they switched plans, either buying a less expensive policy from their current insurer or switching companies altogether.

The survey also provides national data on the average premiums and deductibles reported by people who buy their own coverage in the non-group market. It examines policyholders' views and experiences with non-group coverage and a focused look at the issues facing policyholders with pre-existing conditions.

The survey involved a nationally representative random sample of 1,038 people ages 18-64 who purchase their own health coverage, conducted between March 19 and April 2, 2010. Read the report.

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