RANT: PTSD is pushed under the table

The long road home
Boston Globe
by Bob Kinder

“Men and women, having seen years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, are killing themselves in record numbers. Many are divorcing. Some are addicted. Scores are angry and violent, unable to process their wartime experiences. Yet, routinely, these same brave veterans are kicked out of the service and denied benefits or hope of getting well. The problem isn’t new. … In 2007, under intense congressional pressure to improve mental-health care for combat veterans, the Department of Defense acknowledged it was unfairly discharging combat troops by erroneously claiming a service member had a personality disorder rather than post-traumatic stress disorder.” (11/11/10)


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Interesting. How does that jibe with the nation’s “care”?

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GOLD: If not golden Dinar, how about a golden Punt?


Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Better the euro dies than we leave it

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Okay, call me nuts and I don’t really believe that our government or Department of Finance folks have this sort of courage, but what if our government has suddenly realized that the euro doesn’t suit our economy? Would it be better to leave the euro with our tail between our legs or to hope for the complete collapse of the currency?

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Ireland could become the “economic Switzerland” with one “modest” change. Very simple. Leave the euro, create an Irish Currency Unit (the golden Punt?), and tie it to some amount of gold. Forget the current price of gold. Figure out the number of Punts in circulation and how much gold or silver is in the Treasury. Then, the Central Bank opens the “gold window” to buy them back for gold and sell them for gold. Purchasable from the central bank in gold and redeemable by the average joe — paddie in your case — in gold. From the Central Bank’s concern it’s a near zero some game; they can even have a few basis points small commission on each transaction to cover their costs. As the world’s only non-fiat currency, it would quickly become the world’s reserve currency. It makes the Punt worth something intrinsically. internationally as the only non-fiat currency it becomes a proxy for gold. The Central Bank could even mint the golden punt — like the Sadam supported, proposed im Malaysia, golden dinar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_gold_dinar . What a shock to the global economy. It would hamstring the Irish Gooferment to only spend what it could afford in taxes. But, wow, the recovery would be dramatic.

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CRYPTO: Crypto can’t be trusted

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Date: Fri, 05 Nov 2010 17:47:43 -0700

From: Gene Wirchenko <genew@ocis.net>

Subject: Getting Crypto Wrong

Neal Ungerleider, How Haystack Risked Exposing Iranian Dissidents,

FastCompany.com, 20 Sep 2010


In 2009, Iran was in turmoil, and the Islamic Republic was blocking and monitoring sites used by opposition groups — until a team led by American IT specialist Austin Heap built a program, Haystack, and touted it as a secure and anonymous Web portal for Iranians. *The Guardian* lauded it, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally praised Heap. The U.S. government even gave him rare permission to export his cryptological software to Iran. Among an elite group of beta testers — and many more unauthorized users — Haystack was a godsend.

Then in Sept. 2010, security experts discovered a problem: Iranian authorities, the very ones Haystack was supposed to circumvent and shield against, were exploiting massive holes in the encryption scheme to snoop on dissidents.

[Beware of anonymity-bearing gifts. As we have noted here before, ALWAYS look a gift (trojan) horse in the mouth. PGN]

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It all comes back to how do you know the stuff works?

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GUNS: Seven years for being a responsible gun owner


Brian Aitken’s Mistake
A New Jersey man gets seven years for being a responsible gun owner.
Radley Balko | November 15, 2010

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Putting Brian Aitken in prison isn’t going to make New Jersey any safer. It might, however, make some of the state’s residents think twice before calling the police, particularly if they own guns. It might even make some New Jersey gun owners wonder if they have more to fear from the state’s ridiculous laws and overly aggressive cops and prosecutors than they do from criminals. Given what happened to Aitken, those fears wouldn’t be unfounded.

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Where’s the appeal on Second Amendment grounds?

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