Friday, June 22, 2007


A Kentucky VA Leading in PTSD Treatment

The Cincinnati Post - War of nerves: "When they got her out, they moved her first to New York and then to the Fort Thomas residential women's clinic in Northern Kentucky, one of six in the huge VA system. Blackwood was admitted so quickly because Bowersox knows the director. When he called, there happened to be a vacancy.
'I don't know whether I could do this without my friends helping me,' Blackwood said.
Fort Thomas offers intense, highly personalized care, and its program has proved to be one of the most effective in the country, the other side of the spectrum from what Blackwood experienced in Washington. The grounds hug a hill high above the Ohio River and are surrounded by hiking trails. Only 10 patients are admitted every seven weeks. They attend 25 hours of group sessions and two to four hours of individual therapy each week. The program's director, Kathleen Chard, is considered to be in the vanguard of PTSD treatment and will be training mental-health clinicians across the country for VA over the next 15 months."

For one year when I was young, I lived across the street from this very small and old installation. It shocked me when I was older to learn that there was real work going on there. We occasionally saw weekend warriors in humvees and things, but it was a seemingly out-dated place to me as a kid. There is a great park and a beautiful overlook to the Ohio River, but I didn't think of it as much more than that. Even as a teenager, I would go to dances at the Canteen. Again, just a gathering spot, but very little more. My ten year high school reunion was held on the grounds even. Other than the VA hospital which stands just behind the pre-school my parents sent me to and the very few homes that dot the acreage, it just seemed desolate and lonely. I have always pictured that area in black and white, save the very green grass. You know, even the homes seemed quiet. People lived in them, both the small homes as well as the larger officer's homes, but I remember it as without much life. In my mind, as I was reading the article, without realizing it, the VA, that was once a mere backdrop for my pre-school naptimes had a light shining from it.


Government In On the Fatwa

Rushdie fatwa looms again amid new protests: "Earlier Pakistan's national assembly -- the lower house of parliament -- unanimously passed a resolution again calling for London to revoke Rushdie's honour. It issued a similar call on Monday.
'This house again demands the British government take back the award from blasphemer Rushdie and apologise to the Islamic world', said the new resolution, moved by parliamentary affairs minister Sher Afgan Niazi.
And a legislator from the party of exiled former premier Nawaz Sharif called for Rushdie to be murdered. 'Whosoever kills him will be the hero of Muslims,' Khwaja Saad Rafiq told the assembly."

I wasn't surprised to see the headline, thinking that I would be reading of idiots in the street with mini-torches and signs, but the Lower House of Parliament? In fact, it doesn't matter that it is Pakistan's so much as it is ridiculous for any governmental body in any land on this Earth to be taking time to denounce a man who wrote a novel. Granted, Rushdie has been critical of their religion, but this situation reminds us of just how in defiance of freedom our enemies are.
When the time passes on these things, we sometimes get cozy with the thought that we have learned something, turned over a new leaf, begun a new era, where we will all know a little better, be a little smarter. We like to think those things can't happen again, that as the world modernizes and as we all get to know each other a little better that mistakes like fatwas for a novelist are useless and only serve to make the people who issue them seem backward. Really backward. That clearly is not the case here.
Is there a way to symbollically support this man? Is there a way to show solidarity?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Blog Link to Dawkins Site - The Official Richard Dawkins Website:

Maybe this week has been short of really good news, but it made me feel quite good to see that I had been linked to Richard Dawkins website. Spose' I'll need to read his book now...


With Nothing More Important Going On, The Vatican Urges Parishioners to Get Tune-Ups

Vatican: Motorists' 10 Commandments Issued - Automotive News Story - WLWT Cincinnati: "An unusual document from the Vatican's office for migrants and itinerant people also warned that cars can be 'an occasion of sin' -- particularly when they are used for dangerous passing or for prostitution.
It warned about the effects of road rage, saying driving can bring out 'primitive' behavior in motorists, including 'impoliteness, rude gestures, cursing, blasphemy, loss of sense of responsibility or deliberate infringement of the highway code.'
It urged motorists to obey traffic regulations, drive with a moral sense, and to pray when behind the wheel."

Are they serious? The article goes on to suggest doing the sign of the cross before and after driving. Aren't some of the thousands of road deaths each year people who do the sign of the cross? Did that help them or is it just that God works in mysterious ways?
The spokesman also says that saying the rosary isn't a distraction because of its calming rhythm. We have how many wars going on simultaneously and the Vatican is worried about men picking up prostitutes? Really, this is the evil you felt needed to be covered today? Really? Nothing more important out there? Notice they are not issuing daily apologies to the hundreds, if not thousands, of little boys being molested by their Church's leaders. No. They are issuing Godly Rules of the Road. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't take these people seriously. And cursing, really, that's a sin? Maybe a show of lower class, although I have found it rather common in those with high morals and good ethics, but whatever, not a sin! And car maintenance is now under the purview of their deity? He cares that you get oil changes and tune-ups? What would Jesus do? He'd get the air filter changed apparently. Won't QuikLube be excited? This is crazy. If I were a Catholic, I would be so incensed, so angry, so appalled, even if they weren't hiding child rapists for decades. Things like this make an absolute mockery of what others believe so strongly. It makes them feel stupid for following a Church that their parents believed in and wanted them to believe in too. Things like this give fodder to people like me. In fact, I thought about not writing about it, because it was just to freaking easy. These people are a damn pity.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Lawsuits: What Would Jesus Do? 06/17/2007 Museum group sued by fellow creationists: "There is trouble in paradise, with a fight of biblical proportions raging between a Kentucky-based creationist group and the Australian group from which it sprang.
Three days after the Memorial Day opening of Answers in Genesis' $27 million Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky, a group called Creation Ministries International filed suit in the Supreme Court of Queensland.
Among other things, the suit claims the Kentucky group stole subscribers for its Answers magazine by claiming that the Australians' Creation magazine was 'no longer available.'
The suit is the most public move in what has been a growing rift between groups that are spreading the same Garden of Eden creation message on opposite sides of the globe.
Both groups believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, that the earth and everything else was created in six days around 6,000 years ago.
But in the last several years, they have increasingly feuded about finances and power."

Whether it is true or not, the allegation is hilarious! And either way, somebody is lying. Oh, how fun is this?? No matter what happens, one thing is for sure...these creationists will have to spend money on a lawsuit that would otherwise have been used to spread this dopey message. Not to mention the fact that it will bring negative publicity to the brand new "museum". This makes me happy!

Friday, June 15, 2007


Watching Strippers is Not a Crime or a Moral Wrong

Duke Player Testifies in Hearing on Prosecutor - New York Times: "Durham County district attorney Michael B. Nifong admitted today that he “crossed the line” of ethical standards in some of the public statements he made about the Duke University lacrosse players he charged with rape.
Reade W. Seligmann, left, testified at a hearing on whether Michael B. Nifong violated ethics standards in pursuing the case against the three Duke students. But he said other mistakes made in the case, including mishandling evidence and not turning favorable DNA tests over to defense lawyers, were based on his inexperience in handling felony cases and oversight."

I am so very, very tired of listening to people say, "Nifong is a bad guy, but these boys hired a stripper. They aren't choir boys." There are strip clubs in every little burg in the world frequented by believers, atheists and even a church leader from time to time. This does not have anything to do with godliness, morals or anything at all like that. Whether you believe or not, sexuality is literally a part of our beings, and not everyone has a chance at missionary position when their partner happens to not have a headache a couple of days a week. It is really stupid and disgusting to try to cast aspersions on these guys for wanting to look at naked women. It's beyond me how anyone can be upset by that. Putting aside for the moment that they are college age, they are sexual beings. To look at naked women is a very natural desire for men of all ages, and we need to just get over our superiority complex when it comes to these types of issues. I don't think wanting to look at naked women should be a class issue anymore either. They are no less white collar for wanting to see skin. White collar or collarless, paying a woman who likes to show herself off is just not abnormal or immoral. Can we please stop saying that what has been done to them is horrible, BUT...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 / Companies / Media & internet - CBS blames sexism for bad ratings / Companies / Media & internet - CBS blames sexism for bad ratings: "Leslie Moonves, CBS chief executive, on Tuesday suggested that sexist attitudes were partly to blame for the faltering performance of Katie Couric, the news anchor he recruited to the network with a $15m annual pay package.
“I’m sort of surprised by the vitriol against her. The number of people who don’t want news from a woman was startling,” Mr Moonves said of the audience’s reaction to Ms Couric, who this month brought ratings for the CBS Evening News to a 20-year low."

I strongly doubt that Couric's ratings have anything to do with her gender. In fact, it is probably that they liked her more when she was more herself, playful and funny, on the Today Show than her seemingly unnatural starched persona on the Nightly News. I wondered about that when she took the job. She was ever so popular for a very long run at the Today Show, but this is really a shift for folks to see her this way. To think that Average Americans don't want news from women is dopey and ignoring the fact that we get a boatload of news from women all over the place. There is no shortage of women on news channels and women who are foreign and war correspondents. And we all need to take a deep breath and remember that people generally don't choose to like or dislike people for the big buzz issues. Generally the choice to like or dislike is based on more human concerns like relatability and whether or not the person is or seems genuine. Katie seemed more genuine and people had long related to her as her more casual self. Now they have rejected her as a back-straight-no-smiles person in the evening. Another problem is that CBS is trying to get key demographics from this newscast, a demo that has never had big numbers on any of the top three network newscasts. The 18-40 demo doesn't watch the evening news and never has in large numbers. These are people who work late, read their news on their Blackberries on the train or on the computer, and DVR their favorite shows at night. If Dan Rather did anything right, he targeted the people who had always watched the evening news, the grey-hairs. To do anything else seems wildly unwise.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Broadcasters Win Profanity Ruling -

Broadcasters Win Profanity Ruling - "Broadcasters scored a major victory as an appeals court ruled that inadvertently airing profanity didn't violate decency standards."

Everybody did.

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