Marijuana and PTSD: Give the Joy of Life a Chance


Every once in a while a news story pops up that initially makes you want to laugh because it brings to mind an absurdity of modern life. In this case, the absurdity involves two major national issues: Helping war-stressed combat veterans cope with life back home and the 40-year-old War On Drugs. The New York Times reported recently that a group of researchers want to launch a study on the benefits of marijuana for Iraq … [Read more...]

The Chosen: On Being a Veteran in America


Growing up in the fifties after the Big War my imagination often turned on the prospects of soldiering.  All the boys I knew expected they'd be soldiers one day.  But I doubt any of us gave much thought to what it meant to be a veteran.  Those were the old guys wearing "piss-cutters,"[1] limping along behind the color guard at the 4th of July parade.  Their club house, the American Legion hall, had the off-limit's … [Read more...]

The Gaza Flotilla and the Blood-Dimmed Tide

Audacity SQ

What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? ... You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell. Me, I was part of the nastiness now. -- Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep. Lately, I find myself reading noir crime fiction and thinking about the genre as a way to explain the world. It may have something to do with the fact I’m an American critical of my government … [Read more...]

Militarizing Angel Fire


I first visited the Angel Fire Vietnam Veteran Memorial in New Mexico on February 9, 2002. Angel Fire -- a sacred burning -- is an appropriate name for this first national memorial for Vietnam Veterans, built to quell, not cure, the flaming love of a father for his son lost in war. David Westphall, a Marine Platoon Commander was killed in that abysmal war, killed along with 15 men in his platoon in a brutal ambush in Con … [Read more...]