War Damages Our Morals As Much As Our Mind And Bodies

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Photo by Staff Sgt. Warren Peace

Discussions on post-traumatic stress disorder from war and combat often focus on mental health, rather than the lingering pain caused by a moral break or crisis of conscience --- and for some, especially those who have served in combat, it is often the latter that does the greatest damage.


“Trauma destroys the fabric of time,” wrote David J. Morris in “The Evil Hours,” a book about the long-term moral effects of trauma. “In normal time you move from one moment to the next, sunrise to sunset, birth to death. After trauma, you may move in circles, find yourself being sucked backwards into an eddy or bouncing like a rubber ball from now to then to back again. ... In the traumatic universe the basic laws of matter are suspended: ceiling fans can be helicopters, car exhaust can be mustard gas.”

President Donald Trump hands a pen to Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie during a spending bill signing ceremony at VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Associated Press/Evan Vucci)

The Trump administration wants to shift billions of dollars from government-run veterans' hospitals to private health care providers. That's true even though earlier this year the administration vehemently denied it would privatize any part of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The privatization of essential government services is nothing new, of course. Over the years, countries have privatized dozens of services and activities that were once the sole domain of governments, such as the provision of electricity and water, road operations and prisons and even health care, with the ostensible aim of making them more efficient.

But before going down that road, the question needs to be asked whether privatizing essential human services such as those for military veterans serves the public interest. New research we recently published suggests that privatization may come at a social cost.

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Jilmar Ramos-Gomez was a lance corporal in the Marines and received awards for service in Afghanistan. (Michigan ACLU)

KENT COUNTY, MI – The ACLU is demanding an investigation after a Grand Rapids-born U.S Marine combat veteran was held for possible deportation.

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Ronald Reagan's dream of space-based lasers shielding the United States from ICBMs will not come to fruition in the near future, despite the Trump administration's focus on space.

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The Coast Guard is officially shit outta luck for a paycheck thanks to the government shutdown, which means that zero coasties have been paid to create some of the amazing memes being shared as a way to vent their frustration.

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