HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » unhappycamper » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next »

unhappycamper

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 16, 2005, 11:12 AM
Number of posts: 60,364

Journal Archives

VA numbers show staggering effects of sexual abuse in military

http://www.fayobserver.com/articles/2013/05/21/1258164?sac=fo.military

VA numbers show staggering effects of sexual abuse in military
By Kevin Freking
The Associated Press
Published: 12:40 AM, Tue May 21, 2013

WASHINGTON - New government figures underscore the staggering long-term consequences of military sexual assaults: More than 85,000 veterans were treated last year for injuries or illness linked to the abuse, and 4,000 sought disability benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs' accounting, released in response to inquiries from The Associated Press, shows a heavy financial and emotional cost that affects several generations of veterans and lasts long after a victim leaves the service. Sexual assault or repeated sexual harassment can trigger a variety of health problems, primarily post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. While women are more likely to be victims, men made up nearly 40 percent of the patients the VA treated for conditions connected to what it calls "military sexual trauma."

~snip~

But not all those veterans seek health care or disability benefits related to the attacks. The 85,000 who sought outpatient care linked to military sexual trauma during the latest fiscal year are among nearly 22 million veterans around the country.

The VA statistics underscore that the problems for victims of sexual abuse do not end when someone leaves the service.
Posted by unhappycamper | Tue May 21, 2013, 08:53 AM (0 replies)

Guantanamo inmates cost U.S. $900,000 each per year

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2013/05/18/Guantanamo-inmates-cost-US-900000-each-per-year/UPI-57481368920085/?spt=htr

Guantanamo inmates cost U.S. $900,000 each per year
Published: May 18, 2013 at 7:34 PM

WASHINGTON, May 18 (UPI) -- The 166 detainees remaining in Guantanamo cost U.S. taxpayers about $900,000 a year each, officials say.

The annual cost of the detention center at the naval base in Cuba is $150 million, CNN reported. That makes it far more expensive than the typical federal prison, where spending is about $25,000 a year per inmate, a figure that rises to $60,000 for the almost 500 inmates at the federal "supermax" prison in Florence, Colo.

More than half of the Guantanamo inmates are currently on hunger strike. There are also questions about the facility's future, since many of the inmates are on a list of those a presidential task force recommended in 2009 to be transferred to their home countries.

But the military is planning to spend millions of dollars for renovations at Guantanamo. Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly said the tab could run to $170 million because Guantanamo was created hastily in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon May 20, 2013, 11:00 AM (1 replies)

Military sex abuse victims seek VA help

http://mankatofreepress.com/statenews/x1169353879/Military-sex-abuse-victims-seek-VA-help

Military sex abuse victims seek VA help
KEVIN FREKING Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 85,000 veterans were treated last year for injuries or illness stemming from sexual abuse in the military, and 4,000 sought disability benefits. The numbers underscore the staggering long-term impact of a crisis that has roiled the Pentagon and been condemned by President Barack Obama.

A Department of Veterans Affairs accounting released in response to inquiries from The Associated Press shows a heavy financial and emotional cost involving vets that lasts long after a victim leaves the service.

Sexual assault or repeated sexual harassment can trigger a variety of mental health and physical problems.

VA officials stress that any veteran who claims to have suffered military sexual trauma has access to free health care. However, the hurdles are steeper for those who seek disability compensation.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon May 20, 2013, 10:57 AM (0 replies)

VA researcher quits over burn pit studies

http://www.newsherald.com/news/government/va-researcher-quits-over-burn-pit-studies-1.145419

VA researcher quits over burn pit studies
By RANDAL YAKEY / The News Herald
Published: Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 19:30 PM.

PANAMA CITY — Steven Coughlin had enough. He packed up and left D.C.

Coughlin was a research epidemiologist who was working on behalf of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C. When he found the impact of burn pits on veterans was going to be left out of a study he was working on, he quit, packed his bags and moved out West.

~snip~

“There were areas of this study that were completely ignored,” said Coughlin, who resigned after he was told to ignore information regarding burn pits in the Middle East.

Coughlin said anything that linked the burn pits to lung problems in military personnel was to be left out of the study.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon May 20, 2013, 10:51 AM (1 replies)

Militaries’ growing use of ground robots raises ethics concerns

http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/3904260-74/robots-robot-human

Militaries’ growing use of ground robots raises ethics concerns
By Andrew Conte
Published: Saturday, May 18, 2013, 11:00 p.m.
Updated: Sunday, May 19, 2013

If North Korea's dictator Kim Jong Un ever orders troops into the demilitarized zone, an army of South Korean robots could be waiting.

A Samsung subsidiary plans to deploy sentry robots to the tense South Korean border. The machines will be equipped with machine guns and cameras, thermal imaging and laser range finders capable of detecting intruders up to 2 1⁄2 miles away.

Samsung Techwin says the decision to fire must be made by a human in a remote bunker. Experts have suggested, however, that an operator could hack into the robot to enable it to make its own lethal decisions.

~snip~

Though unmanned drones in the sky have drawn a lot of attention, a Tribune-Review investigation finds that ground-based droids — the real-world descendants of Hollywood sci-fi movies — are becoming smarter and deadlier, pushing the line at which ethical questions must be resolved. The Army has more than 7,000 less-sophisticated ground robotics systems for missions such as reconnaissance and bomb detection and removal.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon May 20, 2013, 10:36 AM (0 replies)

Shadows of dishonor cast on the U.S. military

http://www.kansascity.com/2013/05/19/4244092/shadows-of-dishonor-cast-on-the.html#storylink=misearch



Shadows of dishonor cast on the U.S. military
May 20
Donald Bradley and Rick Montgomery
Kansas City Star

~snip~

Is the respect that America holds for its military — a pride shown Saturday in Armed Forces Day observances — being undercut by acts of mayhem, a growing sexual abuse scandal and a flurry of other misconduct cases grabbing headlines?

Jury selection is scheduled to start next week in the court-martial of Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder at Fort Hood, Texas. By the time testimony begins for Hasan, the trial for WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning should also be underway.

There is Robert Bales. He is the Army sergeant charged with the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children. At pretrial hearings, the military said it would seek the death penalty.

Throw in record suicides. Throw in what Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey deemed last week a “crisis” of military rape and vows by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to make the court-martial system more accountable.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon May 20, 2013, 10:23 AM (0 replies)

Military sex offenders rarely punished, while victims are discharged

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/military/article/Military-sex-offenders-rarely-punished-while-4526272.php

Military sex offenders rarely punished, while victims are discharged
By Karisa King, Staff Writer
Updated 6:13 pm, Sunday, May 19, 2013

Marine 2nd Lt. Elle Helmer woke up on a cold floor, lost and surrounded by darkness. Her body screamed with pain, her underwear had been removed and she tasted blood in her mouth. She could hear someone else in the room with her, breathing slowly.

Memories from the past few hours flashed through her mind as she crawled toward a doorway for light. On orders from her command on March 16, 2006, Helmer had joined her fellow officers for a St. Patrick's Day pub run, a night of bar-hopping that ended across the street from the prestigious Marine Barracks Washington, where she was in charge of public affairs.

A major followed Helmer out of the last bar and summoned the petite 25-year-old to his office, saying he needed to speak with her.

As soon as they entered the office, he shut the door and kissed her. She pushed him away and made it halfway out the door when he caught her arm and yanked her back into the room so hard she tripped and went flying forward.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon May 20, 2013, 10:03 AM (0 replies)

Misconduct discharges increase sharply in Army

http://theadvocate.com/home/6021196-125/misconduct-discharges-increase-sharply-in

Misconduct discharges increase sharply in Army
By The Associated Press
May 20, 2013

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The number of soldiers discharged from the Army for misconduct has risen to its highest rate in recent times, and some are wounded combat troops who have lost their medical care and other veterans benefits because of other-than-honorable discharges, according to an investigation by the Colorado Springs Gazette.

The newspaper reported Sunday that the investigation based on Army data found that annual misconduct discharges have increased more than 25 percent since 2009, mirroring the rise in wounded.

Among combat troops, the increase is even sharper.

Total discharges at the eight Army posts that house most of the service’s combat units have increased 67 percent since 2009.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon May 20, 2013, 09:59 AM (2 replies)

Health Insurance in America: Legalized Extortion

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Health-Insurance-in-Americ-by-Kurt-F-Stone-130519-426.html



Health Insurance in America: Legalized Extortion
By Kurt F. Stone
OpEdNews Op Eds 5/19/2013 at 07:45:32

Included in yesterday's mail were two ominous envelopes, one addressed to me, the other to my wife. They were from our health insurance company. Being that this is mid-May, I knew what the contents of the envelopes would be: one-page letters informing us what our insurance premiums are going to run in the coming year. With sweaty palms and racing heart, I began operating on the envelopes, terrified by the news that would be contained therein. Last year at this time, our premiums rose 14.6%; the year befo re that slightly under 13%; the year before that 15.8%. Envelopes open, I gingerly removed the one-page form letters addressed to "Dear Member." Reading the twin missives of doom took less than 30 seconds. My worst fears had actually been bested by the reality of it all; beginning July 1st, our premiums would be going up an additional 25% . . . 25% . . . 25%!

Yes indeed; as of July 1st, we will be paying the princely sum of $34,934.88 for a year's worth of "coverage" that includes neither dental nor vision nor podiatry, carries a $10,000 deductible, and is regularly refused by many doctors because the company doles out payment with a costive eyedropper. And, to add mortal insult to lethal injury, this outrage comes fast on the heels of my wife being denied -- once again -- coverage for a crucial pain-reducing procedure because, in the opinion of some company stooge she ". . . does not present sufficient pain to warrant said procedure." And just last month, they denied my doctor's order for an MRI because, once again, they deemed it "unnecessary."

Now mind you, my wife and I are both reasonably health-conscious people. We don't smoke or drink, stick to healthy diets (keeping kosher in a largely non-kosher world forces one to eat lot of salad, fruit and fish) and get a reasonable amount of exercise. (I for one am a long-time inveterate gym rat.) We are healthy people who live active lives despite having conditions that might lay others low. In other words, we do everything in our power to be as healthy as is humanly possible. And yet, we are about to begin paying nearly $35,000.00 for a year's worth of what is truly substandard health insurance coverage.

To put the rate of increase into perspective, two years ago, my wife's monthly take home pay from her part time position as an instructor at a local community college covered our monthly premium. With this newest spike (and a concomitant cutback in her teaching hours), it now will take nearly 3 month's take home pay to cover but a single month's premium. Our annual insurance premium will be about 50% more than what we pay for the mortgage on our home and a rental property.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon May 20, 2013, 08:57 AM (6 replies)

Matt Gurney: America’s bored nuclear triggermen

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/05/18/matt-gurney-americas-bored-nuclear-triggermen/



Matt Gurney: America’s bored nuclear triggermen
Matt Gurney
13/05/18 | Last Updated: 13/05/17 5:17 PM ET

It’s difficult to imagine a more alarming thought than bored, unruly nuclear-missile-launch crews. But a recent report by the Associated Press shows that this is indeed a problem.

As the AP reported earlier this month, 17 officers at an Air Force base in North Dakota were yanked from their jobs as control officers in Minuteman nuclear missile launch centres. Each centre contains two officers, sitting in a small capsule buried deep under the ground, whose job it would be — if so ordered by the president or his successor — to simultaneously turn their launch keys. That would send intercontinental ballistic missiles roaring off to deliver nuclear warheads to distant targets. This is, to say the least, a weighty responsibility.

The problems were first noted in March, when the base underwent a performance review. The control officers’ launch proficiency was assessed as “marginal” — barely a passing grade. There were also a series of disciplinary problems, as well as issues with morale and behaviour, that led a senior officer at the base to declare that there was “rot” within the launch officers.

The Air Force, desperate to put a better face on the sad affair, assured Congress that in most areas of assessment, the base performed well.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon May 20, 2013, 07:49 AM (2 replies)
Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next »