Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a tough problem and it’s not just a problem for veterans. We just think of veterans when we think of PTSD because the vets and their families get the PTSD problem stacked on top of the other issues.
Combat is not the only kind of trauma that can leave PTSD behind—sexual assault and child abuse can do the same. I’ve always thought it makes sense to worry about the effect of combat on veterans because even if the government lied about the reasons for fighting, the GIs often think they are fighting for us and they always think they are fighting for the GIs to their right and their left caught up in the same battle.
So Lockwood Animal Rescue Center near Frazier Park, California refers to their PTSD work as Warriors and Wolves. Great Big Story picked up on Warriors and Wolves for Veterans Day. LARC rescues wolves and wolf-dog hybrids who face an automatic death sentence in ordinary animal shelters because they are thought to be too dangerous for pets.
At LARC, they are allowed to live like wolves, but they do appear to bond with a human caretaker. In the Warriors and Wolves program, the wolves make the decisions. LARC just provides the opportunity by bringing in combat veterans as caretakers. According to LARC, the wolves have been excellent judges of character and the veterans find that bonding with a wolf levels out fight and flight impulses better than conventional therapy.
PTSD is set off by real horrors, and sometimes I wonder why we seek out horror as entertainment, but the fact is we do. Or enough of us do to keep Stephen King working.
An odd horror story factoid leaped out at me when I was doing some research on great public works projects. The Shining was filmed around one of those Great Depression projects built by the Works Progress Administration, the iconic Timberline Lodge resort in Oregon. Management asked director Stanley Kubrick not to use room 217 (site of much horror in the book) because the association with gore would make it impossible to rent the room.
Kubrick agreed and moved the action to a room that does not exist, 237. It appears that lots of fans of the movie also read the book, because the most requested room in Timberline Lodge to this day is……217.
My cousin Ray Sixkiller piped up his best Ghostbusters imitation, “I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost!”
President-elect Donald J. Trump is apparently afraid of a ghost, the shade of Alexander Hamilton…who has come back to the Broadway stage without his white skin. The New York Times reported that Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended a performance of the hit musical Hamilton. At the curtain call, Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, recognized Pence and thanked him for attending. Dixon then said:
We, sir — we — are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights. We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.
The audience in the theater applauded.
Pence had no negative comment and said he enjoyed the show, but Dixon’s remarks drew irate tweets from President-elect Donald Trump claiming that Pence had been “harassed” and demanding an apology.
Within a couple of days, the hashtag #BoycottHamilton showed up. The most common response was, “Oh boy, maybe ordinary people will be able to score tickets now!”
SFGate reported the most bizarre upshot of VP Pence on Broadway. The Hamilton Theater is the oldest in Ontario, and the Hamilton found itself the target of a minor Twitter storm from people promising never to darken its door again because of the disrespectful treatment of Mike Pence.
Leaving aside that the statement quoted above does not sound disrespectful and that Pence was not offended, Trump plainly has followers who can’t distinguish a play called Hamilton from a theater of the same name or place it within the correct country.
In another report, Times writers Ashley Parker and Maggie Haberman took on the question of whether being POTUS will change Trump and the scary answer is that it hasn’t happened yet.
Trump is 70 years old and it’s always been about him. So far, it still is. When you look at the physical wear and tear visible in Bush 43 or Barack Obama before and after it says something about the stress level of the job. The big stressor is the welfare of others, but that so far appears not to stress Trump. He appears determined so far that he changes the job rather than the job changing him.
Newsmax offered a series of reports from Trumpworld worthy of National Enquirer.
Melania Trump will not move to the White House so she can keep son Barron in his $40,000 tuition prep school.
Trump’s ex-wife Ivana wants to be named ambassador to the Czech Republic.
Citing the New York Post, Newsmax revealed that Trump’s ex-wife Marla Maples wants the POTUS to lobby the U.N. to appoint her ambassador to “somewhere in Africa.”
Cousin Ray insisted that I pass on the rumor from DuffelBlog that Ashley Madison will be named to lead Veterans’ Affairs. DuffelBlog quoted Trump asking “who has serviced our veterans more than Ashley?”
The Secret Service is reportedly complaining about the difficulty in securing Trump Tower, but it looks like they are stuck at least until Barron Trump finishes his school year.
Back in 2012, some Republican heads exploded when Malia Obama opted in to her school trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, where the students volunteered at an orphanage in addition to playing tourists. Judicial Watch complained that the trip cost her Secret Service detail $115,500.87. The White House requested that the details of the trip not be reported in the interest of safety, but the right wing echo chamber was all over it.
I was reminded of the controversial school trip when NBC reported that Secret Service security for the Trump family is costing $2 million a day before he’s even sworn in. I’m guessing the Trump children and their children are not going to stay home because of the cost of security when they travel.
With Trump playing fast and loose with his campaign promises already, I must wonder if the Trump supporters in the alt-right are going to cause security problems? Those guys have a serious tendency to invoke what they call “Second Amendment remedies” and the rest of us call pulling a gun.
Richard B. Spencer claims to have coined the term “alt-right” and if that’s so then he gets to say what alt-right means. The “core idea,” he told The New York Times, is “white identity.”
Seems to me that there are a slew of very different cultures carried by white people. In most white cultures, like most cultures generally, it’s a little tacky to settle arguments with a gun.
Of course, my Cherokee heritage is claimed to be similar enough to a Crow or a citizen of the Santa Clara Pueblo that we are all “Indians.” We all involuntarily share the Indian culture on display at Central Casting, where Indian actors could not get a job until very recently.
“To be white,” Spencer told a convention of alt-righters, “is to be a creator, an explorer, a conqueror.” Of the United States, he claimed, “It is our creation; it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”
In what alternate universe? In pre-industrial America, wealth was land and labor. The country prospered because it was hard to invade across the Atlantic or the Pacific and there was abundant land to be stolen from Indians and farmed with labor stolen from Africans imported for the purpose.
Cousin Ray observed, “It sounds less glamorous when you say it that way.”
Navajo Times reported that Radmilla Cody was collecting supplies for Standing Rock and delivering them herself. Geronimo Son was doing the same in Austin.
Cousin Ray suggested that it’s not a good idea to get on the bad side of entertainers because they are all opinion leaders and they can put the hurt on you with a guitar.
The Associated Press reported that the Nooksack Nation has now disenrolled 289 citizens, an act the Bureau of Indian Affairs refuses to recognize because the Tribal Council lacks a quorum. The terms of four council members have expired but there have been no elections to replace them.
Lawyer and sometime ICTMN contributor Gabe Galenda told the AP that as many as 10,000 tribal citizens have been kicked out of 80 tribes in 18 states.
If Galenda’s numbers are correct, we are getting rid of ourselves faster than the U.S. cavalry used to get rid of us.
“Tell the last Indian out the door,” Cousin Ray grumbled, “to turn off the chandelier in the casino ballroom.”