A Citizen Soldier Stands Against the President

Is it time to take to the bunker yet? I do not think so.  Though, things are getting quite scary.  As a soldier and a citizen and a Christian, the President of the United States of America is an enemy of the people.  Not the press, not the Democrats, and not the Muslims of the world.  The President daily signs death warrants for soldiers he does not care a scrap for nor gives more than an afterthought over dinner.  The President has chosen his own power and prestige over truth and the good of the American people.  And it is our own President who incites violence (in violation of his own claimed faith) at home and around the world against Muslims, compared to the uncountable hundreds of thousands of Muslims who have taken up arms in our defense in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world… not to mention here at home in the USA.

As someone who risked his life daily for the American people, I resent the fact that the President has portrayed the US institutions of truth, science and the press, as enemies of the people, institutions without virtually any monetary reward and little notoriety who do their virtuous work in silence.  I deplore the fact that the President has deliberately undermined the Department of Justice and the FBI, organizations which have worked for decades and for over a century to work against the current of politics and protect every American’s rights.  And finally, I despise our President for putting his own politics above the integrity of our electoral system.  There is overwhelming evidence that members of his advisory team and cabinet were beholden to the Russians, and President Trump can do nothing but refuse to talk about the matter or lie.  He would rather repeat a lie than dig up the truth, a play fit only for the Mein Kampf.

Maybe I am exaggerating our situation, but I do not think I am.  There is not anywhere left for the Republican regime left to run except to crime.  This is not an evenly divided system between right and left.  The right has clearly gone off the rails.  They have their own networks of black ops that regularly and consistently distort the truth in a demonstrable and refutable manner.  They have constructed legislation behind closed doors without hearings.  If our Constitutional Republic can survive Trump’s assault intact, it will be a miracle.  We can only match this assault with an army of spirit-warriors.  Satyagraha is our weapon.  Only by peace, mercy and the truth will we find a foundation for a true government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

May our Republic survive by the way of love.  Amen.



Veterans as Pseudo-Experts

Chris Marvin, a former soldier who was wounded in Afghanistan in a helicopter crash, is on a campaign to strip away the illusion of the wounded warrior. The only problem is, the wounded warrior picture is no illusion.

A 2007 study found that fully 31% of OEF/OIF veterans seen at VA facilities received mental health and/or psychosocial diagnoses. Given the fact that mental health issues and alcohol abuse are grievously underreported, not to mention the well-documented fact that mental health issues are generally ignored due to military culture, it is very likely that the numbers of veterans suffering from mental illness could be well above those reported.

The problem with the media attention given to Mr Marvin is that veterans are not informed experts. An analogy makes the situation clear: a person with a brain is not an expert on neurology simply because she has a brain.

Giving credence to the uninformed is dangerous. For one, suicide, drug abuse, and mental illness are ravaging the veteran community right now and we need interventions. And for another, our democracy depends on a well-informed electorate, an electorate that is informed by the media. But the media is failing by taking the easy route of praising a veteran who has taken a voice for himself rather than exposing the lack of factual grounds for his position as well as the real damage Marvin is doing to the campaign to heal our wounded vets.

Ignorance is always dangerous, but in this case it is truly damaging.