Archive for January, 2009

Google Reader Feeds

January 20, 2009

            These are the feed I have chosen for my Google reader subscriptions and a short explanation of why I have chosen them.


            Alive in Baghdad: This pod cast shows the lives of everyday Iraqi’s and is produced by Iraqi journalists in association with American correspondents.  This pod cast will show me what life is really like in Iraq and will give me a personal look at day to day life that a news organization wouldn’t.


            BBC News Middle East:  The BBC is world renowned for its excellence in journalism and its impartiality.  I have always held the BBC with the highest regard and I believe this feed will give me opinions and stories that would not be readily available to me from American news agencies.


            Fox News:  I chose Fox because it is a mostly conservative news agency.  This feed will give me a point of view that, in general, is in stark contrast to my own.  Fox will give me a distinctly conservative and American take on world events.


            Israel and Palestine Conflict search query: I chose this search because there is always an abundance of news on this conflict and it will allow me to get a grasp and understanding behind the history and hopefully the future of this ongoing conflict.


    This is a great feed because it literally puts me inside of the soldiers’ mind.  It gives me a grasp of what it is like on the ground no matter where a soldier is stationed.  It also gives me an understanding of what how the soldiers are feeling about the war, about missing home, and about trivial matters as well.  This blog covers a wide variety of issues and that is why it is a great feed.


            USA Today:  I chose this news agency because tends to be in the middle as far as ideology goes.  I believe that I can get a general understanding of a given situation and use other more partisan feeds to understand both sides of the story.


            Al Jazeera Middle East and America:  I have picked this feed to get an entirely different perspective on world news.  I believe Al Jazeera will, in most cases, will serve as a polar opposite to fox news. It will also give me a perspective on situations that I would not be able to get from any American news organization.  I chose to subscribe to both their Middle East and American feed to get a grasp on how they feel about America and our relationship with the rest of the world.


            This is the first time that I have ever used or even heard of the Google reader or any other RSS application.  I am astounded at the amount of information that it gathers and places at my finger tips.  This is truly a ground breaking application and I am sure I will use this long after this semester ends.


Loneliness of the Mental

January 13, 2009

Wilfed Owen’s poem Mental Cases gives us an image of the damage done by the carnage of war. 

 “These men whose minds the Dead have ravished” (Owens, 22).

“Once called shell shock or battle fatigue” (Associated Press) today we label these men that rock back and forth as having post-traumatic stress disorder. In all the articles I read about post-tramatic stress disorder from the times to MSNBC, they always dealt with the subject scientifically opposed to personally. These articles throw figures out like 1 in 6 Iraq war veterans have some sort of stress disorder (Anahad) but they never deal with who is to blame for these soldiers’ sicknesses.

 The military obviously does not feel responsible.  In a recent decision, the Pentagon stated that these Mental Cases do not deserve a purple heart. Technically, soldiers suffering from PTSD were never injured by an

“intentional enemy action” (Alvarez). The Pentagon stated that

“current medical knowledge and technologies do not establish PTSD as objectively and routinely as would be required for this award at this time” (Alvarez).  So the 300,000 sufferers of PTSD estimated by the Rand corporation study in 2008 (Alvarez) get no acknowledgment of the injuries they have suffered. There is hope though.  The fact that the Pentagon even investigated this matter is a good sign, but for the time being, there is no justice for the PTSD victims. It seems that in Owens day and today there is no love for the Mental Cases, no feeling of social responsibility. This is a stark contrast to the mannor in which Owen depicts these Mental Cases.  Owens, in his final stanza, writes

“Snatching after us who smote, them, brother,/ Pawing us who dealt them war and madness” (Owens, 23).   Owens is pointing the finger at everyone who supported the war as the culprits behind this affliction. The same can be said for the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Everyone from the President to the peasant who supported the war is responsible for the tormented souls that resulted.  In the end I am responsible.

.Times article
 MSNBC article
New York Times Article


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January 7, 2009

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