Tag Archives: american

How to watch the eclipse without trashing the Earth

The moon will pass in front of the sun on Aug. 21, cutting a swath of shadow across the country and blocking our nearest star for about two minutes in the middle of the day. Millions of Americans are traveling just to stand in the passing darkness.

The problem is, all those humans (as many as 7 million by one estimate) could do a lot of damage. The official eclipse website compares the event to “20 Woodstock festivals occurring simultaneously across the nation,” which sounds rambunctious indeed. Max Yasger’s farm took more than a month to clean up.

So here are some tips for making your Great American Eclipse as low-impact and environmentally friendly as possible.

Watch out for cars

As small towns prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime level of crowding, the potential for real emergency is high. Traffic jams are predicted for Charleston, South Carolina, and Salem, Oregon, which could make it harder for emergency services to respond to accidents in the hours surrounding the solar eclipse. Plus, hours of inhaling all those exhaust fumes take a toll on your health.

Taking a plane, train, or automobile? Looks like it’s time to research some carbon offset plans. If not, consider giving yourself and the planet a break by taking a bike or bus to your viewing site.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire

It’s wildfire season in the West, which means popular eclipse viewing sites in Oregon — where as many as a million visitors are headed — could be near an active blaze. Multiple wildfires are burning in the state.

Officials expect small fires from eclipse enthusiasts, whether from careless campers or from cars pulling over into tall, dry grass at the edge of the road. The long, wet winter has given way to a hot, dry summer, which means conditions are prime for wildfire. Even a few small fires could get out of control quickly, and evacuation routes will be clogged with tourist traffic.

All of this means officials have placed the risk of a major wildfire emergency at “moderate to high.” One fire scientist wrote: “In short, I fear a disaster; an eclipse apocalypse. I really hope I’m wrong.”

Yikes. You should check wildfire conditions near you before you head to your viewing site. And if you’re camping out for the eclipse, abide by any fire bans and make sure to put out all fires completely. For more information, the Oregon Department of Transportation has a complete guide on how to avoid starting a fire here.

Don’t be trashy

With so many eclipse chasers flocking to small towns and campgrounds along the eclipse route, a lot of garbage will be left behind. Residents of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, are already calling for volunteers to help tidy up. Some towns are putting trash cans and port-a-potties near major access routes, but even these emergency facilities are sure to be overwhelmed. Pro tip: Take your trash with you; bonus points for separating out the recyclables. Basically, don’t make a mess wherever you are. You know, just like any other day.

Be remote

Of course, the lowest-impact way to watch the solar eclipse is from afar. Even though only 14 states will experience the total eclipse of the sun, all of the lower 48 will see some degree of partial eclipse. So pick up some eclipse glasses (even more important if you’re not in the path of totality) and go stand outside on Monday.

NASA will also live-stream the entire event from multiple space crafts and weather balloons, ensuring you get a prime view, minus the traffic jams and carbon emissions. Just pretend you planned it this way all along.

Link: 

How to watch the eclipse without trashing the Earth

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, KTP, ONA, Paradise, solar, solar panels, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

See the Great American Eclipse of August 21, 2017 – Michael Zeiler

READ GREEN WITH E-BOOKS

See the Great American Eclipse of August 21, 2017

Your guide to the total solar eclipse

Michael Zeiler

Genre: Astronomy

Price: $2.99

Publish Date: May 1, 2016

Publisher: Great American Eclipse, LLC

Seller: Great American Eclipse, LLC


Nature’s grandest spectacle is a total eclipse of the Sun and for the first time in several decades, a total solar eclipse is coming to the United States in 2017. “See the Great American Eclipse of August 21, 2017” is a richly illustrated and clearly written book that gives prospective eclipse viewers all the information needed to safely view the eclipse. The book is written in non-technical language that anyone can understand. Inside are sumptuous graphics that explain the essentials plus over 20 pages of detailed maps of the best places to go. The book includes a description and photos of the magnificent spectacle of a total solar eclipse, a summary of how eclipses occur, a short history of eclipses seen in America, scientific results from eclipses, strategies to successfully view the eclipse, and 18 pages of gorgeous and detailed maps for finding a perfect spot to view the eclipse.  This book is an essential planning resource as well as a memento for this celestial event. The book topics are: ✔︎ The Splendor of Totality ✔︎ How to safely view the eclipse ✔︎ Sun, Moon, Earth ✔︎ Types of solar eclipses ✔︎ Timeline of the eclipse ✔︎ Strategy for success on eclipse day ✔︎ Great places to view the eclipse ✔︎ Science from solar eclipses ✔︎ Historical solar eclipses across America ✔︎ How dim is sunshine on outer planets? ✔︎ Solar eclipse facts ✔︎ Totality across America ✔︎ Path of totality ❁ Oregon  ✔︎ Path of totality ❁ Oregon & Idaho   ✔︎ Path of totality ❁ Idaho & Wyoming  ✔︎ Path of totality ❁ Wyoming & Nebraska  ✔︎ Path of totality ❁ Nebraska, Kansas & Missouri ✔︎ Path of totality ❁ Missouri & Illinois  ✔︎ Path of totality ❁ Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee, & North Carolina  ✔︎ North American Eclipses Past and Future

Original post:

See the Great American Eclipse of August 21, 2017 – Michael Zeiler

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, GE, LAI, ONA, PUR, solar, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A top scientist ‘felt bullied’ to downplay facts by EPA chief of staff.

The new Museum of Capitalism in Oakland, California, explores “the ideology, history, and legacy of capitalism.” Surprise! One of the most detrimental legacies of capitalism is … climate change.

Bear with us (and the museum’s curators): The fossil fuel production that drives climate change is due to global (read: American) desire for profit and growth.

The museum — funded largely through a grant from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation — exhibits several works examining how humans despoil the environment in our quest for more things. Some are simple, like a bright blue baseball cap emblazoned with “COAL = JOBS” in white, akin to the ubiquitous MAGA accessory.

“American Domain,” an exhibit curated by Erin Elder (below), explores the ways in which land in the U.S. has been “continually staked and claimed.” Photographs of the Mexican-American border hang alongside images of drilling equipment, suggesting inconsistency in the United States’ attitude toward borders when it comes to fossil fuel access versus immigration.

“American Domain”Brea McAnally/Brea Photography

In another section of the museum, a video by Kota Takeuchi shows a worker undertaking cleanup of the Fukushima disaster. The worker slowly points at the audience through the camera lens, a designation of blame lasting over 20 minutes.

It’s a succinct gesture that gets to the point of the whole museum: We’re all complicit.

See the original article here – 

A top scientist ‘felt bullied’ to downplay facts by EPA chief of staff.

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, For Dummies, G & F, GE, LAI, ONA, PUR, Ringer, solar, solar panels, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A top scientist ‘felt bullied’ to downplay facts by EPA chief of staff.

The Eighty-Dollar Champion – Elizabeth Letts

READ GREEN WITH E-BOOKS

The Eighty-Dollar Champion

Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation

Elizabeth Letts

Genre: Nature

Price: $2.99

Publish Date: August 23, 2011

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman on a truck bound for the slaughterhouse. The recent Dutch immigrant recognized the spark in the eye of the beaten-up nag and bought him for eighty dollars. On Harry’s modest farm on Long Island, he ultimately taught Snowman how to fly. Here is the dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo. One show at a time, against extraordinary odds and some of the most expensive thoroughbreds alive, the pair climbed to the very top of the sport of show jumping. Their story captured the heart of Cold War–era America—a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all. They were the longest of all longshots—and their win was the stuff of legend.

Link:  

The Eighty-Dollar Champion – Elizabeth Letts

Posted in alo, Anchor, Casio, FF, GE, LAI, ONA, PUR, Ultima, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Eighty-Dollar Champion – Elizabeth Letts

Dear climate visionaries: Resist France’s allure

Back in February, when France’s then-presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron thumbed his nose at President Donald Trump and invited jaded U.S. scientists and inventors to come build a sustainable future in France, I applauded and played along.

“[L]et’s face it,” I wrote. “France is a tough sell. The food is irritatingly fresh, the architecture tends to distract people from their cellphones, and the high-speed rail lines get in the way of SUVs.”

But now that Macron is president and has backed up his words with substance, setting up a program to bring American climate visionaries to France, it’s no longer funny. If you’re an entrepreneur, scientist, or engineer disillusioned with Trump’s America and tempted by this offer, please don’t go. It’s a terrible idea. Do you hear me, Katharine Hayhoe?

Mais porquoi? you say, after thumbing through your French phrasebook. Because the United States, the world’s second-biggest polluter, is a much more pernicious driver of climate change than France, the 18th. We need you here. The world needs you here. The future needs you here.

OK, I’ll cop to getting a little carried away. We should give Macron his due. He’s offering a four-year grant to people from anywhere in the world, so they can come work on climate change projects in France. That’s great! Science, technologies, and companies created in France won’t be constrained by French borders. We’ll all benefit. And it’s just for four years, the nominal length of Trump’s (first) term. But c’mon, be real: Nobody goes to France to live for just four years.

This screenshot from Macron’s new website, titled “Make Our Planet Great Again” seems to confirm my concerns that France wants to keep our smarties forever.

I’m worried about a brain drain. We can’t afford to lose the political heft of scientists as communicators and U.S. citizens. The United States needs people who weigh evidence and allow that evidence to change their minds. We need men and women like this of all political stripes living in American towns, talking to their American friends, going to American churches, and helping to make this country sane again. If we all sort ourselves into like-minded factions, and a chunk of the rational faction moves to France, we’re screwed. We really can’t afford to lose Neil DeGrasse Tyson to the Riviera. James Hansen, Pam Ronald … stay!

Link:

Dear climate visionaries: Resist France’s allure

Posted in alo, Anchor, Citizen, FF, G & F, GE, LG, ONA, Ringer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dear climate visionaries: Resist France’s allure

Obama Slams Trump’s Withdrawal From Paris Deal

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

As President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement on Thursday, former president Barack Obama released a statement denouncing the move as one that “rejects the future” and reduces American leadership on the international stage.

He also expressed hope that cities and states would take the lead in the fight against climate change, even without the administration’s support.

“I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack,” Obama said. “But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.”

The statement, which was released as Trump was speaking from the White House Rose Garden, was a rare rebuke from the former president, who has largely avoided criticizing his successor.

Trump defended his decision to pull the country out of the historic accord, claiming the treaty was “very unfair to the highest level” to Americans. He said he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

Trump’s exit from the Paris accord is his most consequential move so far to undo his predecessor’s legacy in combating global warming. The decision adds the United States to a group of just two countries, Nicaragua and Syria, that have rejected the landmark agreement.

Read the article: 

Obama Slams Trump’s Withdrawal From Paris Deal

Posted in Citizen, FF, GE, LAI, Landmark, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Obama Slams Trump’s Withdrawal From Paris Deal

Trump Is Already Guilty of Aiding Putin’s Attack on America

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

The Trump-Russia scandal is the subject of multiple investigations that may or may not unearth new revelations, but this much is already certain: Donald Trump is guilty.

We don’t need additional information about the Russian covert scheme to undermine the 2016 campaign, or about the curious interactions between Team Trump and Russia, or about Trump pressuring and then firing FBI Director James Comey, to reach the judgment that the president of the United States engaged in wrongdoing.

From the start, Trump and his crew have claimed they had nothing to do with the hack-and-leak operation mounted by Russian intelligence to help Trump nab the presidency. They have dismissed the matter as fake news, and they have insisted there is no issue because there has been no proof that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia. In May, for instance, Trump proclaimed, “Believe me, there’s no collusion.” Nothing to see; move along.

Explicit collusion may yet be proved by the FBI investigation overseen by special counsel Robert Mueller or by other ongoing probes. But even if it is not, a harsh verdict can be pronounced: Trump actively and enthusiastically aided and abetted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plot against America. This is the scandal. It already exists—in plain sight.

Did Team Trump conspire with the Kremlin? Here’s a timeline of everything we now know about the attack on the 2016 election.

As soon as the news broke a year ago that the Russians had penetrated the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems, Trump launched a campaign of denial and distraction. For months, he refused to acknowledge the Kremlin’s role. He questioned expert and government findings that pinned the blame on Moscow. He refused to condemn Putin. Far from treating these acts of information warfare seriously, he attempted to politicize and delegitimize the evidence. Meanwhile, he and his supporters encouraged more Russian hacking. All told, Trump provided cover for a foreign government’s attempt to undermine American democracy. Through a propaganda campaign of his own, he helped Russia get away with it. As James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, testified to Congress this spring, Trump “helps the Russians by obfuscating who was actually responsible.”

On June 15, 2016, the day after the Washington Post reported that the DNC had been hacked and that cybersecurity experts had identified two groups linked to the Russian government as the perps, Trump’s campaign issued a statement blaming the victim: “We believe it was the DNC that did the ‘hacking’ as a way to distract from the many issues facing their deeply flawed candidate and failed party leader.” The intent was obvious: to impede somber consideration of the Russian intervention, to have voters and reporters see it as just another silly political hullabaloo.

Help us dig deep on Trump’s ties to Russia. Make a tax-deductible monthly or one-time donation to Mother Jones today.

In the following weeks, Trump continued to claim the Russia story was fiction. After WikiLeaks dumped nearly 20,000 DNC emails—a move that nearly blew up the Democratic convention—Trump tweeted, “The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails, which should never have been written (stupid), because Putin likes me.” Two days later, he proclaimed at a news conference, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” Trump supporters including Rep. Mike Pompeo, who would become Trump’s CIA director, and Roger Stone, the longtime political dirty trickster, cheered on WikiLeaks.

By midsummer, numerous cyber experts had bolstered the conclusion that Russia was behind the hacks. And President Barack Obama echoed those findings. So anyone paying attention to the facts—say, a presidential candidate and his advisers—would have been aware of this fundamental point. Indeed, in August, during his first intelligence briefing as the Republican presidential nominee, Trump was reportedly told that there were direct links between the hacks and the Russian government.

Still, he didn’t change his tune. During a September 8 interview with RT, the Kremlin-controlled broadcaster that has been accused of disseminating fake news and propaganda, Trump discounted the Russian connection: “I think maybe the Democrats are putting that out. Who knows, but I think it’s pretty unlikely.” (Yes, he did this on RT.) He repeated a similar line at the first presidential debate at the end of that month, with his famous reference to how the DNC hacker “could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?”

The Spy Who Wrote the Trump-Russia Memos: It Was “Hair-Raising” Stuff

Private experts and US intelligence had already determined that Russia had pulled off this caper. Trump had been told this. Yet he continued to deny Russia’s culpability, actively protecting Moscow.

Many Republicans followed his lead. Trump’s stance—treating a widely shared conclusion as controversial speculation—essentially foreclosed a vigorous and bipartisan response to the Moscow intervention. It is hard to imagine how this did not embolden Russian intelligence and reinforce Putin’s belief that he had backed the right horse.

On October 7, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence blew the whistle on Moscow, issuing a statement that the DNC hack and related cyberattacks had been authorized by “Russia’s senior-most officials.” Yet Trump remained on the side of the enemy. That same day, the now notorious grab-them-by-the-pussy video surfaced—and less than an hour after that story broke, WikiLeaks began releasing thousands of stolen emails from John Podesta, the Clinton campaign’s chairman. Trump’s response, at the second presidential debate: “I notice, anytime anything wrong happens, they like to say ‘the Russians.’ Well, Hillary Clinton doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking. Maybe there is no hacking.” The next day at a campaign rally, Trump, citing some of the Podesta emails, exclaimed, “I love WikiLeaks!”

What could be better for Putin? The US government had called him out, yet the GOP presidential candidate was discrediting this conclusion. Trump made it tougher for Obama and the White House to denounce Putin publicly—to do so, they feared, would give Trump cause to argue they were trying to rig the election against him.

At the final debate, Clinton accurately summed up Trump’s position: “It’s pretty clear you won’t admit that the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people.” Trump replied, “Our country has no idea” who pulled off the hacks.

Read about the disturbing Trump-Russia dossier, whose existence was first reported by MoJo’s David Corn.

After the election, he maintained this stance. “It’s time for the country to move on,” he said in December. Two weeks later, after the US intelligence establishment released a report concluding Putin had implemented this covert op to install Trump in the White House, the president-elect compared the intelligence community to Nazi Germany. Though he did at one point concede Russia was the culprit, Trump continued calling the Russia story a hoax whipped up by Democrats and eventually reverted to form, asserting that the hacks might have been waged by China or others. And he still showed no signs of confronting Putin. At the Russian leader’s request, he jovially hosted the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in the Oval Office—and then disclosed top-secret information to them. Moreover, he did this the day after brazenly ousting Comey, who was overseeing the bureau’s probe of Moscow’s meddling and links between Trump associates and Russia.

It’s been common for political observers to say the Trump-Russia controversy has generated a great deal of smoke, but the amount of fire is yet to be determined. It’s true that the various links tying Trump and his associates to Russia have yet to be fully explained. Many questions remain: Was there any specific coordination? If not, did the Trump camp privately signal to Moscow that Russia would get a better deal if Trump were elected? That alone would have provided encouragement for Putin to attack.

This country needs a thorough and public investigation to sort out how the Russian operation worked, how US intelligence and the Obama administration responded, and how Trump and his associates interacted with Russia and WikiLeaks. But whatever happened out of public view, the existing record is already conclusively shameful. Trump and his crew were active enablers of Putin’s operation to subvert an American election. That is fire, not smoke. That is scandal enough.

See our entire updated Trump-Russia timeline dating back to the 1980s.

See the original article here – 

Trump Is Already Guilty of Aiding Putin’s Attack on America

Posted in alo, Cyber, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Trump Is Already Guilty of Aiding Putin’s Attack on America

"My Guilt Will Never Go Away"

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website.

“My guilt will never go away,” former Marine Matthew Hoh explained to me. “There is a significant portion of me that doesn’t believe it should be allowed to go away, that this pain is fair.”

If America accepts the idea of fighting endless wars, it will have to accept something else as well: that the costs of war are similarly endless. I’m thinking about the trillions of dollars, the million or more “enemy” dead (a striking percentage of them civilians), the tens of thousands of American combat casualties, those 20 veteran suicides each day, and the diminished lives of those who survive all of that. There’s that pain, carried by an unknown number of women and men, that won’t disappear, ever, and that goes by the label “moral injury.”

When I started Hooper’s War, a novel about the end of World War II in the Pacific, I had in mind just that pain. I was thinking—couldn’t stop thinking, in fact—about what really happens to people in war, combatants and civilians alike. The need to tell that story grew in large part out of my own experiences in Iraq, where I spent a year embedded with a combat unit as a US State Department employee, and where I witnessed, among so many other horrors, two soldier suicides.

The new book began one day when Facebook retrieved photos of Iraqi children I had posted years ago, with a cheery “See Your Memories” caption on them. Oh yes, I remembered. Then, on the news, I began seeing places in Iraq familiar to me, but this time being overrun by Islamic State militants or later being re-retaken with the help of another generation of young Americans. And I kept running into people who’d been involved in my war and were all too ready to share too many drinks and tell me too much about what I was already up all too many nights thinking about.

As these experiences morphed first into nightmares and then into the basis for research, I found myself speaking with more veterans of more wars who continued to suffer in ways they had a hard time describing, but which they wrestled with everyday. I realized that I understood them, even as they seemed to be trying to put their feelings into words for the first time. Many of them described how they had entered the battle zones convinced that “we’re the good guys,” and then had to live with the depth of guilt and shame that followed when that sense didn’t survive the test of events.

Sometimes they were remarkably articulate, sometimes anything but. It seemed not to matter which war we were talking about—or whether I was reading a handwritten diary from the Korean War, an oral history of the Pacific War, or an old bestseller about a conflict ironically labeled “the Good War.” The story always seemed to be the same: decisions made in seconds that lasted lifetimes, including the uncomfortable balancing of morality and expediency in situations in which a soldier might believe horrific acts like torture could save lives or had to accept civilian casualties in pursuit of military objectives. In war, you were always living in a world in which no action seemed ideal and yet avoiding acting was often inconceivable.

Matthew Hoh, that former Marine, now a veterans advocate, introduced me to the phrase “moral injury,” though the term is usually attributed to clinical psychiatrist Jonathan Shay. He coined it in 1991 while working for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

We are, of course, beings with a complex sense of right and wrong, which can be messed with in disastrous ways. There are boundaries inside us that can’t be crossed without a great price being paid. Though the term moral injury is fairly new, especially outside military circles, the idea is as old as war. When people sent into conflict find their sense of right and wrong tested, when they violate deeply held convictions by doing something (such as killing a civilian in error) or failing to do something (such as not reporting a war crime), they suffer an injury to their core being.

Examples of this phenomenon are relatively commonplace in popular culture. Think of scenes from Tim O’Brien’s iconic Vietnam War book, The Things They Carried, William Manchester’s World War II odyssey, Goodbye Darkness, William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice, or films like William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives and Oliver Stone’s Platoon.

You can find similar examples as far back as the Iliad and as recently as late last night. Lisa Ling, for instance, was a former Air Force technical sergeant who worked in America’s armed drone program before turning whistleblower. She was perhaps typical when she told the makers of the documentary film National Bird that, in helping carry out drone strikes which killed people across the globe by remote control, “I lost part of my humanity.”

Once upon a time, society expressed skepticism or worse toward such formulations, calling those who emerged visibly suffering from the acts of war “cowards” or dismissing them as fakes and frauds. Yet today post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a widely acknowledged condition that can be identified by MRI tests.

PTSD and moral injury often occur together. “I think having both PTSD and moral injury are the normal things for us,” Ling says of those in the drone program. Moral injury, however, takes place at the intersection of psychology and spirituality, and so is, in a sense, all in someone’s head. When experiencing moral injury, a person wields guilt and/or shame as a self-inflicted penalty for a choice made. PTSD is more physical, more fear-based, and often a more direct response to an event or events witnessed in war.

Think of it this way: PTSD is more likely to result from seeing something terrible, moral injury from doing something terrible.

Moral injury doesn’t just affect soldiers, but civilians, too. Noncombatants are not just victims or targets, but often complex participants in war. This reality led me, as my book developed, to interview now-elderly Japanese who had experienced World War II as children. They described the horrific choices they faced, even at a young age. In a wartime landscape of hunger, survival often depended on small, grim acts that would never be forgotten.

Sometimes, I sensed in talking to them, as in interviewing former soldiers, that the psychic injuries of wartime don’t end until the sufferers do. Moral injury turns out to be a debt that often can never be repaid.

Those survivors of the end of the war in Japan who got the food necessary to live had to pay a price for knowing what happened to those who didn’t. In a landscape ravaged by war, just because something wasn’t your fault doesn’t mean it won’t be your responsibility. An act as simple as which of her children a mother offered a disappearing supply of water to first could mean the difference between life and death. And though, in truth, it might have been impossible in such circumstances and at such an age to know that you were responsible for the death of your sister or brother, 70 years later you might still be thinking about it with an almost unbearable sense of guilt.

And here’s a small footnote: Did you know that it’s possible to sit quietly on a Tokyo park bench in 2017, perfectly aware of whose distant relatives and countrymen dropped the bombs that took away the water that forced that mother to make that decision, and still shamefully continue taking notes, saying nothing as you witness someone else’s breakdown?

What help can there be for something so human?

There are, of course, the bad answers, all too often including opioids and alcohol. But sufferers soon learn that such substances just send the pain off to ambush you at another moment, and yet, as many told me, you may still look forward to the morning’s first throat-burning shot of something strong. Drinking and drugs have a way, however temporarily, of wiping out hours of pain that may stretch all the way back to the 1940s. You drink in the dark places, even after you understand that in the darkness you can see too much.

Tragically, suicide is never far from moral injury. The soul isn’t that big a place.

One former soldier told me he’s never forgiven his neighbor for talking him out of going into the garage with his rifle. Another said the question wasn’t why he might commit suicide, but why he hadn’t. Someone I met knows vets who have a “designated driver,” a keeper not of the car keys but of their guns during emotional rough patches.

The Department of Veterans Affairs counts a stunning average of 20 veteran suicides a day in America. About 65% of those are individuals 50 years old or older with little or no exposure to the country’s twenty-first-century conflicts. No one tracks the suicide rate for civilians who survive war, but it’s hard to imagine that it isn’t high as well. The cause of all those self-inflicted deaths can’t, of course, be traced to any one thing, but the pain that grows out of moral injury is patient.

For such sufferers, however, progress is being made, even if the trip back is as complex as the individual. The Department of Veterans Affairs now acknowledges moral injury and its effects, and in 2014 Syracuse University created the Moral Injury Project to bring together vets, doctors, and chaplains to work on how to deal with it. In the meantime, psychologists are developing diagnostic assessment tools for what some call “soul repair.”

One effective path back seems to be through helping patients sort out just what happened to them and, when it comes to remembered transgressions, what part of those may be their own responsibility (though not necessarily their own fault). What doesn’t work, according to Matthew Hoh, is trying to convince veterans who view themselves as damaged that, in the present American manner, they are really heroes.

Others suffering moral injury may try to deal with it by seeking forgiveness.

Lisa Ling, for example, traveled to Afghanistan, with a desire to truly grasp her role in a drone program that regularly killed its victims from thousands of miles away. To her surprise, during an encounter with the relatives of some civilian victims of such drone strikes, they forgave her. “I didn’t ask for forgiveness,” Ling told me, referring to what she had done in the drone program, “because what I did was unforgivable.”

Killing by remote control requires many hands. Ling worked on databases and IT networking. Analysts studied the information in those databases to recommend humans to target. Sensor operators manipulated lasers to pinpoint where a drone pilot would eventually slam his missile home for the kill.

“Like all of us,” she added, “I spent time on the mission floor, or at briefings where I saw and heard devastating things, or blatant lies, but to actually connect my individual work to single events wasn’t possible due to the diffusion of responsibility. For sensor operators, it is more like stepping on ants. For analysts, they get to know people over time. As watchers and listeners they describe an intimacy that comes with predictably knowing their family patterns. Kissing the kids, taking children to school, and then seeing these same people die.”

Another way back is for the sufferer to try to rebalance the internal scales a little by making amends of some sort. In the case of moral injury, this can often mean drawing a line between who one was then and who one might be now. Think of it as an attempt to re-inscribe those internal borders that were transgressed so long ago.

Perhaps not so surprisingly, the connections between moral injury and whistleblowing, like those between moral injury and suicide, appear to run deep.

For example, Iraq War whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s decision to leak video of civilian deaths caused by members of the US military may have been her version of amends, driven by guilt over silently witnessing war crimes. Among the acts she saw, for instance, was a raid on a printing facility that had been billed as an al-Qaeda location but wasn’t. The US military had, in fact, been tricked into shutting down the work of political opponents of Iraq’s then-prime minister Nouri al-Maliki. Until Manning finally tells her story, this remains speculative, but I was at the same forward operating base in Iraq as she was and know what happened and how it affected me, as well as the others around us.

Whistleblowers (and I was one of them) talk of conscience, of a realization that we were part of something that was wrong. Jonathan Shay suggests that the failure of moral agency does not have to rest with the individual alone. It can involve witnessing a betrayal of “what’s right” by a person in legitimate authority.

That part of moral injury could help explain one of the most significant whistleblowers of our time. In talking about his reasons for blowing the whistle, Edward Snowden invoked questions of right and wrong when it came to the actions of senior American government officials. It would be a worthy question to put to Snowden: How much guilt and shame—the hallmarks of moral injury—do you retain from having been part of the surveillance state, and how much was your whistleblowing driven by trying to rid yourself of it?

After all, for those suffering from moral injury, the goal is always the same: to somehow reclaim the good parts of oneself and to accept—but not be eternally defined by—what one did or didn’t do.

I know, because for me, this is so much more than fiction.

“You mean that Vietnam helicopter thing?” A well-meaning family doctor asked me this when I got back from Iraq in 2010, referring to the way some vets react to the sound of a helicopter, sending them “back to the jungle.” No, no, far more than that, I responded, and told him a little about my sorry role in administering reconstruction projects in Iraq and how it left me more interested in vodka than my family. That was my own personal taste of moral injury, of a deeply felt failure to accomplish any of the good I’d hoped to do, let down by senior leaders I once believed in. It’s why I tell the story in Hooper’s War in reverse order, opening with a broken Nate Hooper in his late eighties finally finding a form of redemption for the events of a few weeks at war when he was 18. By moving toward an innocent boy as far away in rural Ohio as one can be from war, I felt I was working through my own experience of the damage war causes deep inside the self.

In tallying the costs of war, what’s the price of a quick death versus a slow one? A soldier who leaves his brains on the wall in the den two decades after his war ended or one whose body remains untouched but who left his mind 10,000 miles away?

The price of endless war is beyond calculation. As our wars continue to morph and roll on, the costs—financial, emotional, and in blood—only pile up as the men and women who have been welcomed home as if it were all over continue to be torn apart. The nasty conclusion on the scales of moral injury: that our endless conflicts may indeed have left our society, one that just can’t stop itself from making war, as one of the casualties.

Peter Van Buren, a former State Department official, blew the whistle on waste and mismanagement during the Iraq “reconstruction” in his book We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. His latest book, Hooper’s War, is a novel set in World War II Japan.

Source – 

"My Guilt Will Never Go Away"

Posted in alo, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, PUR, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on "My Guilt Will Never Go Away"

These Early ’70s Ads Tried to Convince Kids the US Army Wasn’t Totally Uptight

Mother Jones

In the early 1970s, the US Army had a serious problem with its brand. It was stuck in an unpopular and bloody war. Morale stank; even President Richard Nixon conceded to West Point cadets that “It is no secret that the discipline, integrity, patriotism, self-sacrifice, which are the very lifeblood of an effective armed force…can no longer be taken for granted in the Army.” Plus, Nixon had promised to stop the draft and the Pentagon had agreed to reintroduce an all-volunteer force in 1973. That meant military brass could no longer rely on a steady stream of warm bodies to fill the ranks—they would have go out and convince new recruits that Army life wasn’t a drag.

Iconic and unseen war photos from Vietnam and Iraq AP Photo

So in 1971, the Army enlisted Madison Avenue to help. Not literally Madison Avenue, but N.W. Ayer, a venerable Philadelphia advertising firm that held the Army recruitment account and had coined copyrwriting gems such as “A diamond is forever.” Armed with a $18.5 million budget—a sixfold increase from 1970—would-be Don Drapers and Peggy Olsons started brainstorming ways to sell the Army to a target demographic that had come of age amid peace protests and love beads.

This wasn’t the first time Ayer had tried to convince young Americans that the military got them. In 1969, it created an ad targeting young women titled “The Army needs girls as well as generals.” Beneath a photo of an aging staff officer and his fresh-faced assistant—his hand creepily touching hers beneath a manila folder—the ad gushed about the need for “girls who can keep things moving in the office.” And if the chance to wage bureaucratic warfare in a potentially hostile work environment wasn’t enticing enough, the copy promised the chance to meet “young people who want to go places and do things.”

N. W. Ayer Advertising Agency Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

The generals who oversaw the 1971 Army rebranding project were unimpressed by Ayer’s initial pitches. One rejected concept, described by historian Beth Bailey, featured an image of a chicken wearing dog tags with the tag line “Bye Bye Birdie.” (Sorry, Sal Romano.)

Eventually, the firm sold a reluctant Army Chief of Staff General William C. Westmoreland on the slogan “Today’s Army Wants to Join You”—a twist on the old “I Want You for U.S. Army” posters that one ad exec said was meant to evoke “individual expression and changing lifestyles.” (The other branches of the armed services also deployed new slogans to woo the Me Generation: The Navy: “If you’re going to be something, why not be something special?” The Air Force: “Find yourself in the United States Air Force.”)

N. W. Ayer Advertising Agency Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

N. W. Ayer Advertising Agency Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

The resulting youth-friendly campaign featured a variety of print ads published in mainstream magazines such as Popular Science and Field and Stream. Ads aimed at African-Americans ran in Ebony, Jet, and other black magazines. “When was the last time you got promoted?” asked an ad depicting a young African-American woman in an office. There was no mention of doing a general’s paperwork; instead, the ad talked up interesting work—”at the same starting salary our men get.”

N. W. Ayer Advertising Agency Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

The campaign also included TV and radio ads as well as records like the one below. Inconveniently, Bailey notes, the TV spots rolled out just as Lt. William Calley was being tried for his role in the 1968 My Lai massacre. A survey found that the ads didn’t shift young men’s interest in enlisting; some unswayed viewers called them “slick garbage.” The TV campaign ended after three months and its funding was not renewed. But Westmoreland later reported that the short-lived campaign was “eminently successful.”

The external rebranding effort was matched by an internal one. In preparation for the end of the draft, the Army rolled out reforms at a few bases as part of Project VOLAR (Volunteer Army). Changes included an end to reveille and bed checks, fewer inspections and more privacy, and other moves toward easing discipline and breaking down military hierarchy. Commanders could even allow the sale of low-alcohol beer in mess halls and barracks.

Operation Dessert Storm: The military loves giant cakes National Archives

In 1971, a couple of recent enlistees hit the road on their motorcycles on a new kind of recruiting mission. “Rapping with kids on street corners, at dances, at bowling alleys and high schools from New York to Baton Rouge,” according to the Soliders magazine, the duo talked up the perks of the new, laid-back Army. At one high school, Specialist Mike Speegle boasted about his two-person room: “I had black light posters, peace signs, a little styrofoam beer cooler in the corner.”

The changes went all the way to the top. Following “an extensive study of Army policy on haircuts,” restrictions on longer hairstyles, sideburns, and mustaches were eased. A LIFE magazine article on “liberated” Fort Carson, Colorado, reported that the new three-inch haircut rule allowed “enough for a spectacular Afro.” One recruitment ad focused on the new hair policies. “You’ll find that today’s Army is pretty relaxed about how you cut and style your hair,” it read. “You’ll discover that we care more about your head than we do about your hair.”

In 1971 LIFE asked cartoonist Bill Mauldin to view “the new Army” through the eyes of his grizzled World War II dogfaces. Life/Google Books

Soliders

The closest the “Today’s Army” campaign came to acknowledging the Sexual Revolution was an ad that suggested a tour of duty in Germany was a chance to see some action. In it, a GI in civvies and almost-civilian-length sideburns fraternizes with an attentive blonde at what looks like a Parisian café.

N. W. Ayer Advertising Agency Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

A photographer follows soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan—and back. Peter van Agtmael

By the mid-1970s, many of the VOLAR reforms were scrapped. Officers and lawmakers alike worried that the changes, exemplified by the “Today’s Army…” slogan, were indicators of deteriorating post-Vietnam morale and readiness. “Because of slogans like that, and because of the felling that they have beer in the barracks, no reveilles, and things like that, it was perceived by a great many Americans that the Army would be an undisciplined Army,” Secretary of the Army Bo Callaway told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee in 1974.

In 1973, “Today’s Army wants to join you” was replaced with a new slogan, “Join the people who’ve joined the Army.” (N.W. Ayer would later lose the Army account after a kickback scandal.) But the campaign’s basic message—that a stint in uniform was a chance for self-realization rather than mindless submission to conformity—would remain a fixture of future recruitment campaigns, from “Be all you can be” to “An Army of one.”

View original article:

These Early ’70s Ads Tried to Convince Kids the US Army Wasn’t Totally Uptight

Posted in FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Oster, Prepara, Smith's, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on These Early ’70s Ads Tried to Convince Kids the US Army Wasn’t Totally Uptight

The Mystery Behind the Half-Million Dollars Michael Flynn Received as a Foreign Agent

Mother Jones

It is hard to keep track of all the Michael Flynn scandals. The former national security adviser for President Donald Trump—who lasted only 22 days in the job—is at the center of various investigations. He has drawn scrutiny for his contacts with the Russian government (and for lying about those contacts), for his pocketing of $45,000 from Kremlin-backed RT (and his failure to disclose the payment), for his lobbying for Turkish interests (and his failure to disclose that as well), and for attending a meeting with Turkish officials during which a plan reportedly was discussed for abducting a US-based foe of that country’s president. But one Flynn mystery has received little attention: What was the original source of the $530,000 he was paid last summer and fall—when he was Trump’s top national security aide—to be an agent for Turkish interests?

In March, Flynn, who weeks earlier had been fired from the White House job for lying about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, retroactively filed with the Justice Department as a foreign agent. (It’s illegal to lobby for foreign interests and not register with the Justice Department, and Flynn is reportedly under investigation for not registering at the time he did this work.) Flynn’s retroactive disclosure noted that he had been hired in August 2016 by Inovo BV, a Dutch consulting company run by Ekim Alptekin, the chairman of the Turkey-US Business Council.

The paperwork Flynn filed with the government is confusing. Some of the records note that his company, the Flynn Intel Group, was hired to compile opposition research on Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric living in Pennsylvania whom the Turkish government claims helped orchestrate an unsuccessful coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last summer, and to prepare material on Gulen—presumably derogatory material—that could be publicly disseminated. But an attachment to the filing, citing an American law firm representing Alptekin, says that “Inovo represented a private sector company in Israel that sought to export natural gas to Turkey, and it was for support of its consulting work for this client that Inovo engaged Flynn Intel Group, specifically to understand the tumultuous political climate at the time between the United States and Turkey so that Inovo could advise its client regarding its business opportunities and investment in Turkey.” In March, Alptekin told one reporter that he had hired Flynn “principally to produce geopolitical analysis on Turkey and the region” for a “regional energy company that is considering an investment in Turkey.”

It’s unclear why there are conflicting accounts about Flynn’s work for Inovo and Alptekin. And though Alptekin has asserted that his firm had no official or financial connections to the Turkish government, Flynn’s retroactive registration—his company shut down in November—stated, “Flynn Intel Group’s work for Inovo could be construed to have principally benefitted the Republic of Turkey.” It was through his contract with Inovo that Flynn ended up in a September 19 meeting set up by Alptekin at the Essex House hotel in New York City with Turkish government officials, where reportedly the participants considered kidnapping Gulen. (A Flynn spokesman insisted Flynn had not discussed any illegal actions, and Alptekin has denied there was any talk of abducting Gulen at this gathering.)

Much is hazy about Flynn’s work for Alptekin, including, most notably, the source of the funding for the project. According to Flynn’s disclosure filing, Alptekin’s Inovo made three payments to him from September 9 to November 14 totaling $530,000. None of the money came from Turkey, according to Alptekin’s American attorneys. In an interview with a Dutch newspaper in April, Alptekin said the funds for the Flynn project came from a loan from his wife and payments from Ratio Oil Exploration, an Israeli natural gas company.

Here’s where the story gets curious. An Israeli news station in March contacted Ratio Oil Exploration, and the firm said it had no relationship with Alptekin.

A day after disclosing that news, the Israeli station reported that Alptekin had told it, “I have never stated, confirmed, or denied that I acted for Ratio Oil.”

Yet weeks later, Alptekin was telling the Dutch newspaper that some of the money for Flynn had indeed come from Ratio Oil Exploration. Was Ratio Oil part of the Flynn deal? It would seem not, given that the company denied any connection to Alptekin. For his part, Alptekin had initially been dodgy about its possible involvement before stating that Ratio Oil had helped to finance the Flynn project. (Ratio Oil did not respond to a request for comment.)

As for his wife, Nigar Alptekin, she is an Azerbaijani fashion model who once was in a Turkish pop group with two other models that was called Adrenalin. Neither Nigar Alptekin (also known as Nigar Talibova or Nigar Talibzade) nor the music group have a prominent online presence. A music video from the group posted on YouTube in 2012 had only been viewed 4,387 times as of Thursday. Nigar Alptekin’s Twitter feed has 155 followers.

Ekim Alptekin this week was in Washington for the 36th Annual Conference on US-Turkey Relations. When a reporter for Mother Jones, looking to ask about the source of the money and his wife’s role, approached Alptekin, he declined to be interviewed. Alptekin did not respond to multiple email requests for comment. And a lawyer for Flynn also did not respond to a request for comment.

It’s possible that Alptekin used money from a fashion model and an Israeli energy company to pay for Flynn’s secret lobbying for Turkish interests. But confirming the source of these funds could well be on the to-do list of FBI investigators working the Flynn case, a list that seems to be rather long.

Visit site:

The Mystery Behind the Half-Million Dollars Michael Flynn Received as a Foreign Agent

Posted in Bragg, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Mystery Behind the Half-Million Dollars Michael Flynn Received as a Foreign Agent