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Today the USDA implemented new nutritional standards for school lunches, including allowing the two tablespoons of tomato paste on frozen pizza to count as a serving of vegetables. Yep, according to our government, pizza is a vegetable . more › Continue reading here: The School Lunch Follies: LAUSD Lauds Themselves For Agreeing Pizza is A Vegetable
The death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il drew reactions of joy, hope and some concern from Korean Americans living in the Los Angeles area.
The Westside Cities Council of Government met Monday to discuss ways to support bicycling in the area; the House of Blues became a ” No Hate Zone ” Tuesday night, with more than 500 people celebrating the NOH8 silent protest photo campaign’s third anniversary; and a jury convicted 26-year-old Vitaliy Krasnoperovi»¿ in the 2007 revenge-beating and … (more) Read the original: Vitaliy Krasnoperov Convicted, Bodhi Tree Closing and ‘NOH8 Day’
In an effort to make traveling through the Westside easier, the transportation committee of the Westside Cities Council of Government (WSCCOG) met Monday to discuss ways to support bicycling in the area. The WSCCOG is a collaboration between the cities of Beverly Hills, Culver City, West Hollywood and Santa Monica as well as Westside portions of Los Angeles and unincorporated Los Angeles County. In attendance were the three elected officials on the committee: Councilmember Jeff Cooper of Culver City, Councilmember John Heilman of West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills Vice Mayor Dr. William Brien. The meeting also included WSCCOG Executive Director Maria Rychlicki, staff members from the member communities, a representative from the Federal Highway Administration and members of Angelenos Against Gridlock and Better Bike. Rychlicki said the WSCCOG unites the otherwise autonomous cities so they can take advantage of opportunities as a sub-region. Among the topics discussed Monday was closing the gaps in bike lanes created when they pass through multiple cities. An example given was a bike lane on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood that stops when it reaches Beverly Hills and resumes in Los Angeles. “The cyclist gets on the road and suddenly the bicycle lane drops off the planet,” Rychlicki said. The committee is working on identifying five bike routes to improve based on project feasibility, safety and connecting as many member communities as possible. In addition to closing the gaps between cities, the committee will recommend signage to help riders find the bike lanes. Possible areas to improve include the bike lane on Santa Monica Boulevard and a north-south route into Culver City, perhaps on Beverly Drive. The committee is also studying a bike-sharing program based on those used in Washington, D.C., and Paris, where participants check out bikes to use in different parts of the city in an effort to close the so-called “last mile” between public transportation and user destinations. The committee discussed the best ways to implement such a program in the Westside. “It’s essential that, in whatever program we develop, somebody can get a bike in West Hollywood, ride to Santa Monica, drop it off there and then, if they wanted, get a bike in Culver City and ride back to West Hollywood,” West Hollywood Councilmember Heilman said. The committee will discuss these plans further at its next meeting, which Rychlicki said may be scheduled before Christmas. The committee’s recommendations will be brought to the entire COG board in January for a vote on whether to adopt them as formal recommendations for the member communities. See the original post here: Westside COG Considers Biking Projects
The California Blogger , publisher of Californiality , is celebrating his birthday today… that’s me, dudes! When you’re middle aged, birthdays can seem like just another day, but I choose to celebrate today.
There is exciting new hope on the horizon for the treatment of combat-related trauma, and I feel that I have had a front-row seat in watching this ground-breaking and hopeful solution to one of our country’s most heart-breaking problems — Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the military. Let me elaborate. As a psychoanalyst, I had the pleasure of attending a conference in Los Angeles that highlighted the work of Dr. Russell Carr, a naval psychiatrist who heads up inpatient psychiatry at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Dr. Carr has spent a decade in military campaigns since 9/11 in both Iraq and Afghanistan. With this experience of his, if anyone can empathize with and develop ways to effectively treat PTSD in military personnel, I believe that Dr. Carr can. But before he was able to do this, first he had to look for ways to help himself. In an attempt to survive and to tolerate his own shattering experiences with war, Dr. Carr read widely, seeking knowledge from various areas in psychology and psychoanalysis. Although drawn to psychoanalysis, Dr. Carr found that psychoanalytic theory and treatments were not specifically developed to address problems that arise in adulthood, such as the effects of combat on soldiers; that is, until he discovered the work of famed Los Angeles psychoanalyst, Dr. Robert Stolorow. When he discovered Dr. Stolorow’s book, “Trauma and Human Existence” in 2008 while he was still in Iraq, Dr. Carr carried the book around with him all the time, squeezing every bit of knowledge out of it that he could: Stolorow’s book was more like a companion in the darkness of trauma, helping me to understand and bear the experiences of being in a combat zone. Otherwise, I was left in my isolation, only with answers that seemed to blame my childhood fantasies about my parents for the mortars exploding outside my office. Dr. Carr feels that his adoption of Stolorow’s ideas has saved both him and his patients from the isolation and despair of living in a shattered experiential world following combat. He began to shift his stance from a more intellectual understanding of the patient’s mind to one of empathic introspection on his part that follows along with the patient’s feelings. Dr. Carr strives to provide what Stolorow calls a relational home between two human beings in a therapeutic relationship, for those “wounded warriors” who are dealing with massive issues of guilt, shame and mortality. So just how does this approach work in ways that manualized cognitive-behavioral methods don’t? Instead of adopting a stance of “here’s your problem and here’s how to fix it,” Dr. Carr helps his patients to feel that they are coming up with solutions that fit their unique situations, allowing them to feel safe and trusting in the relationship, as they develop the ability to find words to describe their experience. The patient hopefully can feel a profound sense of being “found,” and of having their traumatic reactions witnessed. It is that process that leads to recovery. Another important aspect of treatment is the illumination of the patient’s shattered sense of innocence and illusions about life in general. Because we are all finite beings over whom death and loss constantly loom, Stolorow theorizes that human beings develop what he calls the absolutisms of everyday life . This means we all develop unquestioned beliefs and assumptions that we unconsciously live by, in order to flee from the uncertainties of life and to maintain a sense of continuity, predictability and safety. For example, when you say to a loved one, “I’ll see you tomorrow,” it is taken for granted that both you and the other person are going to be around. Stolorow writes, “It is in the essence of emotional trauma that it shatters these absolutisms, a catastrophic loss of innocence that permanently alters one’s sense of being-in-the-world.” (Stolorow, “Trauma and Human Existence”) When we can no longer believe in such “absolutisms of everyday life,” many of us feel that the universe becomes unpredictable, random, and unsafe, and it is especially traumatizing when this loss echoes what happened to us in childhood. But can you imagine how these absolutisms are destroyed completely for warriors who are confronted day after day with a dangerous world that threatens their very existence, and even their memory of a safer world? Because of this shattering of the illusions of safety, often traumatized people see the world differently than others do. They feel anxious, alienated and estranged in an unsafe world in which anything can happen at any time. Anxiety slips into panic when it has to be borne in isolation. In the absence of a sustaining relational home where feelings can be verbalized, understood, and held, emotional pain can become a source of unbearable shame and self-loathing. Therefore, this feeling of alone-ness is exactly what happens to wounded warriors, who are at great risk of falling into the grip of an impossible requirement to “get over it.” Could anybody ever imagine John Wayne developing PTSD and — even worse — admitting that he needed to seek help for it? Using an in-depth case example of a patient he calls “Major B,” Dr. Carr was able to impress upon the audience the complexity of the experiential world of a severely traumatized Major in the Air Force, as they worked together on the critical issues of guilt and shame. For Major B, it is not the violence he witnessed in Afghanistan that haunts him; it is his feelings about the violence he inflicted. He often maintained that, given the circumstances again, he would kill the same people, but that doesn’t make it any more bearable. He has nightmares in which he can’t stop killing people, and, seeing himself as an emotionless “killing machine,” he’s afraid that he won’t recognize the difference between what is normal and what is a threat. According to Stolorow, when these unendurable emotions cannot be processed with others, these feelings become dissociated and the individual feels a sense of deadness, dullness and a loss of vitality, and it becomes difficult to feel any connection with other human beings. As if these feelings of guilt were not difficult enough, the feelings of shame are even more painful. The worst part for Major B was his feeling that he couldn’t handle combat and that he needed help with the unbearable emotions from it. Before he met Dr. Carr, he believed he could not seek out other people to help him bear and process his feelings about killing large numbers of people. In his mind, he was supposed to maintain the persona of the stoic tough guy whom nothing bothered. Before he began to wrestle with the emasculating experience of admitting to his problems, and then seeking help, he turned to “Dr. Alcohol” and the comforting thought of committing suicide as antidotes to the feeling that he had lost his mind in Afghanistan. Dr. Carr states: By providing a relational home to the traumatic experiences of many combat veterans, I understand the guilt and shame that many of them feel. I understand why some severely traumatized veterans feel as if they deserve to die, why they feel more at ease sleeping under a bridge than rejoining the communities they fought to defend. And through my work, I understand better my own feelings of alienation from the rest of America after participating in a decade of military campaigns since 9/11. I feel profoundly privileged to have witnessed this important event in which the field of psychoanalysis has broken ground in the treatment of military personnel. Dr. Carr, whom I consider to be a national treasure, received a tearful and extended standing ovation from a large and seasoned group of psychoanalysts, who never imagined that the words “military” and “psychoanalysis” would be uttered in the same sentence! My hope is that Dr. Carr’s work will receive the acknowledgement it deserves, and that his methods can be implemented throughout the military to bring our wounded warriors the sense of hope that many of them have lost. See the original post: Helen Davey: Inside The Mind Of A War Vet
The involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, has been delayed because a witness’s family member died. Court proceedings were canceled on Monday, because the father of the prosecution’s last witness Dr. Steven Shafer died, CNN reported . Shafer is an expert in anesthesiology at Columbia University , started testifying on Thursday about the effects of the drug propofol, which was found in the King of Pop’s stomach after his 2009 death. Judge Michael Pastor suspended the trial for another day on Tuesday to allow Shafer more time to grieve for his father, according to CNN . The extra day off also gives the defense more time to review toxicology test results about what was in Jackson’s system when he died. The coroner’s officer concluded that an overdose of propofol killed Jackson and prosecutors accuse Murray of supplying the lethal dose in a cocktail of other sedatives to help the tormented singer sleep. The defense team plans to attack the official autopsy results from the coroner’s office. The trial will resume on Wednesday. WATCH MORE TOP NEWS: View post: Death Delays Michael Jackson Doctor’s Trial
SAN DIEGO — Three San Diego Marine corporals have been discharged for bad conduct after admitting they faked their marriages to receive housing allowances. The three pleaded guilty to stealing from the government through fraud at a special court martial, 1st Lt. Maureen Dooley, a Marine spokeswoman, said Monday. In the scheme, Cpl. Ashley Vice, who is a lesbian, and her girlfriend, civilian Jaime Murphy, pretended to be married to two male Marines, Cpl. Jeremiah Griffin and Cpl. Joseph Garner. As a result, they got a $1,200 monthly housing stipend meant for married Marines to live off base. Vice has previously said in media coverage that she and her partner were forced to enter sham marriages because they couldn’t afford to live off base without the extra money. The military doesn’t provide allowances for unmarried couples, Vice said. Despite the repeal of the military’s ban against openly gay or lesbian members, same-sex couples, even if married, would not be eligible for benefits because federal law defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The three Marines were assigned to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Camp Pendleton. In addition to discharge, they face $5,000 in fines. Vice will also serve three months’ confinement. The discharges were first reported by the Los Angeles Times. Go here to read the rest: Sham Marriages Lead To Discharge Of California Marines