U.S. nuclear arms in Japan: a firsthand account

Brian A. Victoria

Is it right for the lives of Japanese civilians near U.S. military bases to be held hostage to U.S. military activities on the Korean Peninsula?

Dear Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama,

In the fall of 1980 I was assigned as a civilian university professor to provide Japanese language instruction to the officers and men of the USS Knox (FF-1052), a destroyer home-ported in Yokosuka. Sharing quarters with the ship's nuclear weapons officer, I soon became aware that the Knox was outfitted with an ASROC antisubmarine missile system including nuclear depth bombs.

I say this because: 1) The operations manual for these nuclear weapons lay in plain sight on the floor beneath the officer's desk; 2) receipts for the nuclear weapons first loaded on the ship in Guam were on his desk; and 3) an armed marine stood guard 24 hours a day in front of a door on the ship marked with a radiation hazard sign.

Psychological impact of disasters on children

Zain Ul Abideen

A disaster is the tragedy of a natural or human made hazard (a hazard is a situation which poses a level of threat to life, health property or environment) that negatively affects society or environment. But, disasters in whatever intensity took place, affected psychologically nearly each and every person of the country and children due to their vulnerability were and yet until now are worst victims of these disasters. Children are mostly susceptible to disaster suffering, and it is noticeable in many complex psychological and behavioral symptoms. On the other hand, sometimes the post-disaster psychological effects in children are not recognized. Sometimes parents, teachers and other concerned persons underestimate not only the intensity but the extent of the stress reactions in children. As children are expected to have different level of emotional maturity, very limited coping strategies based on their age, that’s why psychological responses in children are different from those in adults. Methods of intervention for children following disasters reasonably differ from adults.

Responding to Carol Miller's Op-Ed Criticizing Health Care Reform

Tyler Taylor

This is a guest blog by Tyler Taylor, M.D., who has a solo, patient-focused medical practice in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The piece was written in response to Sunday's op-ed in the Albuquerque Journal North by Carol Miller.

As a member of Physicians for a National Health Plan for over five years, and an enthusiastic Obama supporter, I find Carol Miller's op-ed in the Albuquerque Journal disturbing. When people on the right misrepresent the facts, all of my capacity for surprise has been exhausted. It's more upsetting though when my progressive kin seem to be doing that.

I disagree with several of Carol Miller's main points. For example, there is much more in this bill than "health insurance reform." It also is not accurate to say that the "reference benefit package" will include fewer services than most insured people have today, since the commission that will decide that won't even be created till this bill is passed. I fully agree that waiting till 2013 for most of this bill to take effect is unacceptable, but assuming that's a cynical political ploy by Obama seems unjustified. Is it not more likely this was one of many compromises needed to get some Blue Dog support?

We Need Health Care, Not Insurance

Carol Miller

Imagine real reform, as simple as adding people ages 55 to 65 years old to Medicare in 2010, 35-55 in 2011, and so on until everyone is included by 2013. The bills that promote this kind of reform are under 200 pages, they are simple to implement, cost effective and equitable. Choose a doctor, choose a hospital when needed and let the government pay the bills. Everyone in one system. That is what real health reform would look like.

A very complex, mandatory private insurance scheme recently passed the U.S. House. The public is being overwhelmed by sound bites on one hand about how great it is, on the other, how terrible. We are hearing few of the details that are actually in the bill. Having read the bill, it is clear now that what started as health reform has emerged from the political process as health "deform," building on the worst, not the best of the current system.

The Heyoka -Living Life Backwards

Todd F. Eklof

Illustration: David Michael Kennedy

“Why did it all turn out for me like this?” George asks, after an afternoon of self-reflection at the beach. “I had so much promise. I was personable, I was bright. Oh, maybe not academically speaking, but ... I was perceptive. I always know when someone's uncomfortable at a party. It all became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I've ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat ... It's all been wrong.” Just then a waitress arrives to take his order.

At first he asks for the usual, tuna on toast, coleslaw and a cup of coffee. But then, in a moment of inspiration, he changes his mind. “Wait a minute,” he says, “I always have tuna on toast. Nothing’s ever worked out for me with tuna on toast. I want the complete opposite of tuna on toast. Chicken salad, on rye, untoasted ... and a cup of tea.” Although Jerry argues that salmon is actually the opposite of tuna since salmon swims against the current and tuna swims with it, George’s new lunch choice marks a bold step toward transforming his life.

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