Wednesday's Letters to the Editor
Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 5:05 p.m.
EDITOR: When Hamas fires hundreds of rockets from Gaza on towns in Israel, and one has only 15 seconds to find shelter, aren’t Israeli children and adults terrified and traumatized just as much as Gazans? When an Israeli child is killed, don’t you think parents deeply grieve? When a parent is killed, aren’t Israeli children orphaned as well? Are not Israelis also crippled for life from wounds inflicted by rockets?
Judging from the news and featured photos, it seems that only Gazans suffer trauma and pain. The press mixes a confusing, verbal brew that suggests the instigators of rocket fire are the true victims. The press has the power to sculpt opinions; it does so in this case by mixing up and masking chronological facts. Headlines usually begin with Israel’s military response to rockets from Gaza, but one has to get to the last paragraphs to find out how the conflict started and protracted.
Living as we do thousands of miles away from these events, we live in the virtual world created and slanted by the press. We know very little about what is going on in the real world, on the ground in Israel and Gaza.
Set politics aside
EDITOR: The election is over. A commentator on Fox said the president is a lame duck. What is actually true is that he doesn’t need to campaign any more and can do the job we hired him to do. Likewise, the Republicans can quit obsessing about making him a one-term president and do the job that we hired them to do.
Let’s see a little cooperation as we saw with the president and the governor of New Jersey after hurricane Sandy. Granted, they needed each other. The president needed to look presidential, and the governor needed expedited federal aid. This should also be true of Republicans and Democrats. They need one another to make this country work.
EDITOR: Hooray for Lance Janssen who dodged the three-strike bullet (“Courts putting Prop. 36 to work,” Friday). The article reported Janssen’s pleasure about the passage of Proposition 36, which mandates that “a third felony conviction be a serious or violent felony instead of just any felony.” So this 46-year-old career criminal who “has spent much of his adulthood in jail and prison” and has already compiled two strikes will likely be sentenced to seven years in prison instead of the recommended 50-to-life as a three striker.
His potential third strike was “fleeing police last year through Fountaingrove with a loaded handgun under the seat of his motorcycle.” Felons in California are prohibited from owning any type of firearm. What do we assume was his purpose for possessing that gun? Do we think any good was going to come from him possessing that loaded gun?
There is the very likely possibility that the police interrupted his third and final strike, even under the new law. This would have been the opportunity to lock away this individual for a long time, without additional victims. However, now that he’ll be out in a few years, there is the potential for additional victims of his next serious or violent felony.
EDITOR: Staff Writer Mary Callahan’s feature on veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder was heartening (“Innovative program aids returning soldiers battling PTSD,” Nov. 11). Because Pathway House’s thinking-out-of-the-box program is clearly helping vets in ways the Veteran Administration’s bureaucracy cannot, those in the program can lead more normal lives.
The crisis of returning vets with post-traumatic stress disorder is so overwhelming it may bankrupt the VA, and anything showing promise must be explored and expanded. Another group, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, has found great promise with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in treating PTSD, not only with veterans but also with victims of rape and other abuse.
The second phase of the study is under way. So far, the successful treatment rate is 83 percent, with some participants showing no symptoms after more than 3½ years. Naturally, the Department of Defense is interested in the results because of the crushing financial liability is has incurred after exposing so many of our citizen soldiers to the horrors of multiple deployments in two war zones.
Study details can be found at mdmaptsd.org.
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