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I saw this Washington Post article early this afternoon, before it was referenced in another diary currently on the Recommended list. I wanted to diary it myself then, but was busy at work with no time to do so. I'm going to the trouble to do so now for two reasons. One is that I am professionally troubled by the implication of the other diary that Bowe Bergdahl was "sick"--but I also feel that significant ideological issues suggested by that article seem to me to have been largely neglected by the community. I believe that the article, if read from beginning to end, gives a compelling picture of a complex young man. It also ironically damns those who have been in the forefront of crucifying him in the court of public opinion. In a very bad news week for the batshit wing of the Republican Party, this may turn out to be their biggest problem of the bunch.

Let me say first that I was not the least bit surprised to find out that Bergdahl was an emotionally troubled man. His was not a convenient "desertion", if at all that's what he did--not simply abandoning military duty to melt into a civilian environment, or impulsively running away from life-threatening combat. He apparently walked unarmed into an entirely unknown world, that of tribal frontier Afghanistan. In doing so he was abandoning every tether of humanity that he knew--giving himself over to the unknown in an act of irrational courage, with the high likelihood of worldly doom. It could only have been done by someone with self-destructive urges, or one who was driven toward spiritual surrender. The article suggests that Bergdahl had both these traits.

It's obvious in the article that Bergdahl was very thoughtful, unconventional, and loved by those close to him. He was a dreamer, a questioner who thought outside of the box, and frankly sounds like someone I would like and admire. He didn't know what to do with himself, and then surprised those who knew him when he decided to go into the Army. He was aware that he was putting himself at risk, but apparently accepted that fact--and even lamented that the war he was engaged in was not as intensely challenging as other past wars were. He was disillusioned by the shallow values of his peers in the service, as he was by many of his peers at home. He saw behind the masks of convention, seeing himself as a citizen of the world, part of a greater humanity--and in the midst of this war, began to deeply question his participation and its purpose. And his guiding light in the spiritual self-examination appears to have been Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"--the putative bible of the Libertarian Right.

Many of us here at Daily Kos are less than impressed with Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy, and for good reason. It celebrates the value of the individual, and dismisses the communal values that we Democrats hold dear. But let's give Rand some credit for not pragmatically compromising her worldview--at least not in print. (In her life, well, that's another matter.) In "Capitalism: The Unknown Value", Rand states:

Wars are the second greatest evil that human societies can perpetrate. (The first is dictatorship, the enslavement of their own citizens, which is the cause of wars.)
I consider myself a yellow dog Democrat--no admirer of Rand as a writer, philosopher, or human being--but I can't argue with that. I can take issue with the central tenet of Objectivism, which states that the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness--not because I disagree at all with the pursuit of happiness, but because of that "one's own" thing, and the fact that this is the central tenet. But any kind of self-examination in your youth is a good thing IMO, because it takes you to different places and exercises your mind--and is infinitely preferable to being spoonfed ideology without any self-examination.

But Rand's philosophy has now been distorted by the Libertarian Right into political pabulum--stripped of some of its more obstreperously inconvenient details such as atheism, antimilitarism, and antinationalism--so it can be used to rationalize corporate largesse and personal greed, without challenging other elements of the status quo. And the wonder of the internet has allowed millions of young Tea Partiers to have access to a spoonfed diet of RandLite, paradoxically creating a vast army of avowed individualists!

But what happens when you place a REAL individualist in a military encampment on a warfront, with no internet instruction on which parts of "Atlas Shrugged" and Objectivism one is supposed to ignore? Someone who doesn't think that "going Galt" means merely not paying your taxes, but rather liberating one's self from unhappiness, injustice, and national identification?

You might get a guy like Bowe Bergdahl--a guy who was young, unsure, and unformed before he entered the military and the war, who probably didn't belong there in the first place--and who began to question what purpose he was serving in the world by being in the Army fighting a war in Afghanistan.

“how far will a human go to find their complete freedom. . . ” he wrote. “For one’s freedom, do they have the right to destroy the world to gain it?”

On June 27, he sent an e-mail to his friends titled, “Who is John Galt?,” a reference to the hero of Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged,” about individualism in a dystopian America.

“I will serve no bandit, nor lair, for i know John Galt, and understand . . . ” Bergdahl wrote. “This life is too short to serve those who compromise value, and its ethics. i am done compromising.

Three days later, Bergdahl walked off his post.

I have problems with a lot of the medical jargon that is used to characterize the vast array of psychiatric disorders. I even avoid the term "mental illness", unless I'm referring to more overtly dysfunctional states like schizophrenia. And I can't for the life of me countenance the term "sick" for the troubling and occasionally bizarre comments that Bergdahl makes in this article. Is he any "sicker" or "crazier" than were his circumstances in Afghanistan, or a more "functional" soldier who happens to relish combat? The WaPo article uses the word "fragile"--while I prefer the word "troubled", since I'm not terribly sure how "fragile" he will appear once his full story is known. Either seems more appropriate than simplistically labelling him as having an psychiatric illness, at least until we no more about the man and his story.

But on the political front, what could be more ironically delicious than finding out that last week's whipping boy of the Far Right was a disciple of Ayn Rand--and may have put Objectivism into action in a manner that puts the vast army of Galt-wannabees to shame. I look forward to hearing more in the future from his family, and from Bowe Bergdahl himself--who I suspect has a fascinating story to tell, with no shortage of introspection. And the rankly partisan Democrat in me hopes that he will continue to be a thumb in the eye of the Libertarian Right for months, maybe years to come.

Originally posted to Making Sense of Psychiatry on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 10:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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  •  Tip Jar (239+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeminNewJ, Garrett, CJB, Subterranean, Geenius at Wrok, Emerson, Shockwave, Fabienne, OLinda, Gustogirl, joynow, fugwb, PeteZerria, bogbud, psnyder, annan, leevank, Lilith, Curt Matlock, Bluesee, ichibon, newfie, Chinton, brentut5, Tunk, sodalis, peacestpete, BachFan, Kingsmeg, tobendaro, Themistoclea, The Hindsight Times, hlsmlane, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, frostbite, Sapere aude, Russ Jarmusch, Mr K, gloriana, Stwriley, Matt Z, SeaTurtle, GeorgeXVIII, keyscritter, JDWolverton, MissyH, OleHippieChick, Youffraita, SMWalt, Laughing Vergil, triplepoint, codairem, Notreadytobenice, Keninoakland, Bule Betawi, dRefractor, bfitzinAR, kevinpdx, Thutmose V, parse this, NMDad, NJpeach, gramofsam1, Bmeis, turdraker, Chris Jay, dinazina, Jesse Douglas, Temmoku, mjjt, bnasley, cyncynical, kjoftherock, seefleur, Robynhood too, Lily O Lady, dandy lion, sawgrass727, JBL55, UtahLibrul, MKDAWUSS, Just Saying, leonard145b, Ronald England, Ginny in CO, Buckeye Nut Schell, Sylv, cardboardurinal, Barbara Marquardt, rmonroe, NoMoJoe, AllanTBG, LaughingPlanet, Wreck Smurfy, lcrp, EdSF, dewtx, Trevin, goodpractice, nuclear winter solstice, CDH in Brooklyn, Libby Shaw, ProgressiveOldMan, carpunder, CA Nana, BarackStarObama, Sun Tzu, JanetT in MD, bill warnick, shades at midnite, delver, boredeye, katrinka, vahana, Ellen Columbo, Paddy999, Rogneid, Dumbo, citizenx, Simian, Texknight, ginimck, tmservo433, whaddaya, Blue Intrigue, xynz, Heart n Mind, Vicky, Ice Blue, on the cusp, smrichmond, Nespolo, david78209, Militarytracy, Debby, lady blair, Risen Tree, maregug, tweeternik, xaxnar, Ironic Chef, defluxion10, CanisMaximus, Lujane, Things Come Undone, Nowhere Man, kaliope, BYw, laurak, dsb, BadKitties, ChocolateChris, anodnhajo, tofumagoo, dougiemac in WA, Chaddiwicker, Shotput8, deepeco, gmats, Whamadoodle, nice marmot, yoduuuh do or do not, Elizabeth 44, melo, kurt, badlands, jm214, eeff, quarkstomper, Arfeeto, Nebraskablue, DWG, MKinTN, roses, TomFromNJ, leoluminary, Dave the Wave, incognita, Jersey Jon, 1toughlady, Steve Masover, Gorette, millwood, mzkryz, Casper46, splashy, ladybug53, G2geek, WearyIdealist, ditsylilg

    Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

    by candid psychiatrist on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 10:45:32 PM PDT

  •  "Going Galt" implies that he was depriving... (13+ / 0-)

    ...a larger group than his unit of something important, like Galt's electrical converter. Bergdahl was only depriving his unit of his presence.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 10:51:40 PM PDT

    •  And? What's more important than human company? (8+ / 0-)

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 11:17:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The phrase has taken on a larger meaning (17+ / 0-)

      in contemporary circles. Google it if you want to.

      Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

      by candid psychiatrist on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 11:30:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Bergdahl story is mostly political (22+ / 0-)

        Those who supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are ready to castrate him, and those who truly love our grunts are willing to hear the whole story before condemning.

        I agree with most of the diary, however, I do not agree that "It could only have been done by someone with self-destructive urges, or one who was driven toward spiritual surrender."

        This Berghahl story is much like the Pat Tillman story. The pro-football player who believe the pro-war propaganda, and gave up a contract worth $milliions to serve in the war. Bergdahl, like Tillman volunteered for war based on pro-war propaganda.

        Sadly no soldier, or veteran can really know about the terrorism of war unless you actually serve on the front line, and can see how lives becomes worthless, and valueless in wars. Those who get to experience the horror while wearing a uniform have a terrible enigma.

        War is costly. Peace is priceless!

        by frostbite on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:51:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, let us not forget the Pat Tillman story. (6+ / 0-)

          I was just explaining it to a young person recently.

          We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

          by nuclear winter solstice on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 01:52:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          • assumes that you also explained the (0+ / 0-)

            friendly fire too.
            Unfortunately for me, I have experienced the reality of combat first hand. Lots of it. Now I(and those closest to me),
            live with the lingering effects many years later.

            The political fiasco that has developed around Bowe Bergdahl
            is truely disgusting. Should he have been in the armed forces
            to begin with ? In my opinion, no. A combat arms branch ?
            Definately not.

            Does his mental state excuse his walking away ? I am afraid
            I don't know the answer but I think he should be held accountable for his strolling away. Others depended on him to be there and he did leave.

            As to the "thumb in the eye of the Libertarian Right" ,
            as far as I'm concerned, it couldn't happen to a bunch of nicer guys. Idiots actually.

      •  Are you seriously diagnosing this young man based (0+ / 0-)

        solely on  information you have read about him? My, My, My!

        Have you seen Bergdahl and, have you ever talked to him ?  Even though we do not yet have a clear picture of what he did are you are saying that you not only know what he did you even seem to be saying you even know why he did what you say he did ?

        Incredible! Have you shared this information with DOD and the Sec. of State?  

    •  Urm. (64+ / 0-)

      If you read Atlas Shrugged, that's exactly the point of going galt. Denying your presence as a superman to the untermenschen who will starve without you because they're stupid and incapable parasites.

      Not my thoughts, but Rands.

      Denying your presence is the purpose of going galt in that damned book.

      Which I finally finished.


      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

      by OllieGarkey on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 02:03:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why. WHY would you do that to yourself. (17+ / 0-)

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:08:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Know your enemy. (25+ / 0-)

          That's why I finally slogged through The Fountainhead last summer and will get around to Atlas Shrugged sooner rather than later.

        •  I'm considering writing a novel in response. (8+ / 0-)

          With maglevs and everything. Some colony world goes into a time of economic chaos and the local "we think we're supermans" crowd takes over. What happens next is where things get ideologically interesting.

          But no author filibuster, because seriously, that book turned from "Who is John Galt" to "When will John Galt shut the hell up?!"

          Basically, my novel will set out to ask and answer the question: What would the world look like after a Randist revolution.

          I'm pretty critical of the character of Ragnar Danneskjold. He makes no fucking sense. None whatsoever. Not from a Randist perspective.

          "I'm going to do a lot of hard, dangerous work attacking government shipping with no expectation of reward and simply give the produce of my work to other people."


          The only parallel example I can give is what the Japanese thought of WWII when they were fighting it.

          It's laid out very clearly in the movie Emperor (Alternate title: A love letter to MacArthur, who should totes have been prez). In the scene I'm quoting, Hirohito is talking to General MacArthur:

          Yes, we seized territory in China, but did not Great Britain, even Portugal, precede us? Yes, we took Singapore and the Malaya, but we took it from the British. We did not take the Philippines from the Filipinos, but from the Americans, who themselves took it from the Spanish. If it is an international crime to take territory by force, who convicted the British, French, Dutch, and American leaders?


          And what is different with Japan?


          You see, General, we are simply following your fine example.

          Or as a very right-wing friend of mine who lives in Japan once said about Japan's thinking at the time: "China, India, The Philippines, Malaysia, the only two nations that weren't colonized at the time were us, and Thailand. Japan and Thailand were next. So we thought 'If Asia is going to be colonized, it damn well better be colonized by Asians, not by Europeans who have no business being there in the first place.'"

          That's how a character like Ragnar would likely think if he were a person and not a randbot sent to do the will of rand because WHO IS JOHN GALT.

          But there isn't a single person in the entire book who says "The world is broken, so fuck the rules, I'm going to do what I want to do, and everyone is too incompetent to stop me."

          There's no place for realism in Rand's world, and there's no one in the entire books who is actually motivated by self interest. They're all motivated by devotion to a particular set of political ideals.

          As some guy on the internet once said:

          Libertarianism is like Leninism: a fascinating, internally consistent political theory with some good underlying points that, regrettably, makes prescriptions about how to run human society that can only work if we replace real messy human beings with frictionless spherical humanoids of uniform density.
          What happens when rand's pretty libertarian system comes in contact with real, messy human beings who have motives other than economic growth and monetary profit?

          What happens if some of those people are radical political ideologues of a different philosophy? What happens when some of them are complete monsters? What happens when some of them are so culturally different as to function with a blue/orange morality system that throws your black/white metrics for a spin?

          And what happens when a Randist government that "Opposes Force" actually attempts to rule that kind of hot mess?

          What happens when these folks take power and expect everything to work out perfectly because libertarianism = utopia?

          In order to understand how to respond, I need to understand what I'm responding to.

          An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

          by OllieGarkey on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 12:08:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  because, one section aside, it is a good SF novel (0+ / 0-)

          One I reread every now and then.

          Rand was a quite decent writer with some brilliant ability to plot.  See Night of Jan 16th or a murder short story I can't recall the title of.

      •  You know... (6+ / 0-)

        self-flagellation would have been easier and less painful. I've picked up that book dozens of times and can't get past the first few pages.

        As private parts to the gods are we, they play with us for their sport. - Black Adder "Chains"

        by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:36:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Untermenschen wiki: (5+ / 0-)

        Untermensch (German for under man, sub-man, sub-human; plural: Untermenschen) is a term that became infamous when the Nazis used it to describe "inferior people" often referred to as "the masses from the East"
      •  As I usually like to point out during this topic (8+ / 0-)

        Most of the right fancies themselves to be John Galt or Dagny Taggart when in fact they are Jim Taggart or something even less.

        AS is really an odd utopian piece (or dystopia I guess if you are one of the excluded parasites), because hardly anyone in power acts the way the heroes do. As an aside, she sure is great at creating and destroying those poor strawmen.

        Misconduct by the government is by definition NOT a government secret.

        by Doug in SF on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:44:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've been saying that for years. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nancyjones, OllieGarkey, trillian

          Those "Randian" Wall Street VC douchebags are Jim Taggart, not Galt.

          But then I actually read the damn book :-)  

          The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

          by raboof on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 02:52:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I read it, too (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            trillian, Jahiegel

            which is why I rarely if ever join in the "discussions" on this site about her writing.  Her work was far more intelligent than the cartoonish commentary I read widely here.  I choose to believe that the commenters have not read her work or, like someone said above, read it so grudgingly that they will never forgive her the 7 or 8 hours of their life they spent reading.  

            I pity people like that... I find it pathetic that anyone who is disappointed with their own choice in how to spend their free time would blame such disappointment on anything other than their own poor choice.  

            I never finished Moby Dick.  I did finish All the Kings Men but resented every minute (I read it for a grade in school.) I hate both books, they do nothing for me, and I have no wish to waste my time reading then.  I don't blame Melville or Warren for wasting the time I spent trying to like it, I chose to read them, I take full responsibility for that choice. Nor do I despise people who read them all the way through and love or hate them .  In fact, I defer to them.Having never finished reading Moby Dick and having resented reading All the King's Men, I have no standing to comment on either's efficacy.  

            With regard to Rand's work, I have read much of it, many books more than once.  It is clear that some who comment here have, too, and I frequently find their points of view interesting and thought provoking.  For the most part, though, it seems to me that the large majority of people who post here about Rand's work (and the Bible, too, for that matter) have never seriously read it and are just jumping on the "Ayn Rand is evil incarnate, yeah, she's the mother of all tea partiers" bandwagon.  And that's just as boring as Benghazi.

            If you don't like it, attack the message, not the messenger. The former may convince me that I am wrong, but the latter will always convince that I am right.

            by nancyjones on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 05:32:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I respectfully disagree. (0+ / 0-)
              Her work was far more intelligent than the cartoonish commentary I read widely here.
              I have to disagree with this in the strongest terms.

              None of her characters are remotely human, at all. I can understand not liking Melville or All the Kings Men (the latter of which I haven't finished and need to find so that I can finish it, thanks for remind me.)

              There is not a single character who behaves as a human being would. Directive "Directive 10-289" is the most moronic thing that has ever been put to paper.

              I have never in my life as a leftist heard anyone advocate a single viewpoint remotely close to what Ayn Rand believes the left actually thinks.

              Her characters are inherently contradictory. We are told that they act primarily in their own self interest, when to the contrary, they universally act for the benefit of a particular political worldview. But Ragnar as the prime example gains nothing from his actions. He is putting his life in danger, routinely, and does not profit from it. Characters who wished to act in their own self interest would not be beholden to Ayn's philosophies in their actions, they would not behave as political paragons.

              They would behave as people. Messy, conflicted, people, instead of like neutered Nietzschean Übermenschen.

              And that's my main contention with Rand.

              She's in love with Nietzsche to a point, but thinks he goes too far. Where Nietzsche's Übermensch rules because he by definition must rule, (because all life exists to discharge its strength, and as a definitional result of life, the Übermensch will come to power) Rand removes the will to power from her characters, and creates a soft, genteel rightness to their actions. They are not the dominant force of life destroying that which lies between them and their destiny, they are the victims of a cruel, socialist world.

              As if Nietzsche's Übermensch would allow his or herself to become a victim in the first place.

              And that's what Rand is. She's an Emo Neitzsche who can't write human characters with realistic motivations, not someone whose work has any particular value.

              What Nietzsche says is the foundation of Rand's thinking. But there is one argument of Nietzsche's that I think sweeps all of Rand's work away, as it came before Rand and continues to be a more powerful expression of Rand's own point of view:

              Psychologists should bethink themselves before putting down the instinct of self-preservation as the cardinal instinct of an organic being. A living thing seeks above all to discharge its strength—life itself is will to power; self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent results thereof.
              .  .  .
              Die Physiologen sollten sich besinnen, den Selbsterhaltungstrieb als kardinalen Trieb eines organischen Wesens anzusetzen. Vor Allem will etwas Lebendiges seine Kraft auslassen – Leben selbst ist Wille zur Macht –: die Selbsterhaltung ist nur eine der indirekten und häufigsten Folgen davon.
              Yet her self-interested Nietzsche inspired supermen do not act in their own interests, they do not discharge their strength, (except for Ragnar who discharges his in the service of others rather than for himself.)

              I don't know if you enjoy Rand and agree with her, or if you're lamenting the lack of quality literary criticism of her, or both.

              But if you enjoy Rand, I implore you to read Nietzsche if you have not already. Read Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and Beyond Good and Evil. He's far better than she is, as his ideas are what she built her work on. And while many who stand on the shoulders of giants provide something new and interesting, I don't think she ever surpassed him with a single piece of her work.

              An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

              by OllieGarkey on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:14:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Enjoying Rand (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OllieGarkey, Doug in SF

                and simply saying don't be too dismissive are two different things. There is a reason we are talking about her and that her books have been so widely sold and are regarded as so influential.

                She actually has some good points which clearly resound with some people and we would do well to understand why they are wrong and frankly make some hay out of where they are right. But it is hard to believe that the folks who dismiss her (or become slavish admirers) because they think her philosophy is simply Greed is Good have read the books.

                Yes, her ideology is deeply flawed because, as you pointed out, people are a hot mess. We are not rational actors sensibly pursuing self preservation. What we really want is to be able to have what we want, when we want it, as often as we want it, and to worry about the consequences later, by which we mean never - unless the chickens come home to roost for us personally.

                But none of us like to believe that about ourselves. We like to believe that we are the exception...good, virtuous, sensible, rational...always acting in our own and therefore everyone else's long term best interests.

                If you want something other than the obvious to happen; you've got to do something other than the obvious. Douglas Adams

                by trillian on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 05:17:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I have actually (0+ / 0-)

                  enjoyed Rand where I agreed with her and disenjoyed her where I didn't.  I appreciate the way her work made me struggle with important ideas when I was a teenager and often the only female enrolled in my engineering classes at my previously all-male university.

                  If you don't like it, attack the message, not the messenger. The former may convince me that I am wrong, but the latter will always convince that I am right.

                  by nancyjones on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 08:54:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I'm glad I read your comment to the end (0+ / 0-)

                After the title, the quote, and the first sentence I got interested.  I've read Nietzsche.  In fact, one of the proudest mommy moments of my life was when my then seventeen-year-old son birthday-gifted me with an original air-brushed t-shirt created by a friend of his.  Black shirt, white airbrushing.  On the front were four images of Nietzsche, two squares on top, two on bottom, one big square comprised of four smaller square images.

                On the back, centered across the shoulder blades, in white letters of unremarkable but large font are the words..

                Nietzsche is dead.

                About kidney level and slightly left justified in the same unremarkable and smaller but still very readable font it says..


                I agree Nietzsche's work is more substantial than Rands, but I still hold to my opinion that Rand's work is more intelligent than most of the comments I read about it on this site (and any other site I've seen it mentioned, for that matter)

                Thanks for your remarks, I personally can find much that's human in Dagny Taggart and I never took Atlas Shrugged as suggesting I was a Jim Taggart because I'm a liberal.  The fictional Dagny effectively ran a railroad when women didn't DO that.  The unfictional me was a power plant superintendent in Texas (am pretty sure I was the first one) when women didn't DO that (and to be honest, they still don't for the most part.)  So maybe the reason you didn't find humanity in the characters is that you were looking at the wrong ones?  Or you had no basis for comparison?  

                If you don't like it, attack the message, not the messenger. The former may convince me that I am wrong, but the latter will always convince that I am right.

                by nancyjones on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 08:49:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  That's why Jesus went back to Heaven ??? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Leaving the Untermenschen to their native violence and ignorance.

        And to cults that twist The Revelation of St. John the Divine backward, so's the Rider on the White Horse is a savior instead of being the Final Anti-Christ.

        Not the promise of the Second Coming.

        Just going, going, gone. Taking His marbles with Him.

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

        by waterstreet2013 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 11:11:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's my take on it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        No wonder it appeals to young geeks so much.  "Those airhead jocks don't appreciate us sensitive intelligent guys in the AV club.  We should go Galt and make them run the projectors.  Boy, would that teach them a lesson!"

    •  How about refusing to kill or be killed? (12+ / 0-)

      For a corrupt cause, or based on national identification?

      Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

      by candid psychiatrist on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 05:15:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  From all accounts (20+ / 0-)

      he was the best soldier in his unit, in terms of training, theory, even practice.

      His colleagues were worthless....the metaphor of superman leaving those who NEED and who TAKE at gunpoint fits very well.

      Having actually read Atlas Shrugged, if he was a character in the book....he found himself in a unit which, in that book, would have been composed of Needers and Takers, with himself doing all the real work and being dragged down.

      I find the diarist's theory compelling.  Rand didn't think much of the military, and his unit exemplified much of what she believed was wrong with any agent of the government (governments are legalized bandits, essentially)

      •  no need to read the book (25+ / 0-)

        or give money to Ayn Rand's estate.

        most of the people claiming they live by her work have not read it either.

        I read Atlas Shrugged and the Fountainhead (which I liked better) more than once as a teenager and as a young adult.  Unless I can find one of my old copies or get one used I won't be reading either again any time soon, since sales of the book are being used to claim that more people are interested in following her philosophy.

        here is a portion from the online Cliffs Notes that applies to the conversation in this diary:

        Worsening the economic depression in the U.S. is the unexplained phenomenon of talented men retiring and disappearing. ...  As more great men disappear, the American people become increasingly pessimistic. Dagny dislikes the new phrase that has crept into the language and signifies people's sense of futility and despair. Nobody knows the origin or exact meaning of the question "Who is John Galt?," but people use the unanswerable question to express their sense of hopelessness.

        [hundreds of pages later...]

        She finds that John Galt does exist and that he's the man she's been seeking in two ways: He is... the man draining the brains of the world. All the great men she admires are here — inventors, industrialists, philosophers, scientists, and artists. Dagny learns that the brains are on strike. They refuse to think, create, and work in a world that forces them to sacrifice themselves to society. [emphasis mine] They're on strike against the creed of self-sacrifice, in favor of a man's right to his own life.


        Only when the moral code of self-sacrifice is rejected will the thinkers be free to create, and only then will they return.

        [about a hundred pages later...]

        ... the final collapse of the looters' regime occurs, and the men of the mind are free to return to the world.

        The deliciously ironic thing about this book in the current political environment is:

        scientists (especially engineers) are revered in it, as are creative thinkers like artists and investors, and great minds like philosophers, when most of the Rcons these days who are mouthing off about the book deny science, mock art, deliberately avoid independent creative thinking, and despise the system of high quality education

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:37:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Most of the Rcons these days deny science (10+ / 0-)
          The deliciously ironic thing about this book in the current political environment is: scientists (especially engineers) are revered in it, as are creative thinkers like artists and investors, and great minds like philosophers, when most of the Rcons these days who are mouthing off about the book deny science, mock art, deliberately avoid independent creative thinking, and despise the system of high quality education
          Rcons = Simpletons
          Simpletons! Yes, yes! I'm a simpleton! Are you a simpleton? We'll build a town and we'll name it Simple Town, because by then all the smart bastards that caused all this, they'll be dead! Simpletons! Let's go! This ought to show 'em! Anybody here not a simpleton? Get the bastard, if there is!
          A Canticle for Leibowitz
        •  For anyone interested in reading Rand's work (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Google the title of the book in quotes with the words "ebook torrent" after it.

          I often buy books after reading the pirated download, and urge others to do the same.  It's no different from going to the bookstore and reading 2/3rds of a book before taking it to the cash register.  Bookstores let you do that because they know it leads to more sales.  

            It would be cool if there was a way to pay authors direct; I realize publishers and editors do contribute, but in my estimation the author gets too little from the sale of a book.  

          In cases like this where the author is deceased, it's a tougher call on whether to buy the pirated book.  Is his estate wealthy?  Did he achieve fame posthumously?  Those are a few questions I'll think about before buying.  In Rand's case, "Did she contribute anything but a moral excuse for selfishness" is the question I'd ask, and then I wouldn't pay one cent for her refuse.

          It's not the perfect solution, but it beats shoving cash into the maw of Amazon and megacorporation publishers.

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 11:16:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The irony, yes! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TrueBlueMajority, Catte Nappe

          What I've enjoyed (but also suffered by) was the real world implementation of Rand's philosophy of self-interest without regard to anyone else.  The proclaimed adherence to her philosophy, whether purely done or not.  The end result was a crash of the economic stability that was supposed to be guaranteed under her rantings, for example. The real world implementation of her philosophy has been disastrous.  Repukes blame the Dems for that.  But, in truth, it's their own philosophy that is flawed.

          I'd love to have done a study to find out how many teenagers and young adults, with their personalities yet entirely formed or tempered by wisdom and life, who supported Ayn Rand, compared with their values at age 60+ age.   Even Alan Greenspan admitted that the philosophy wasn't good and that his entire life's economic beliefs were wrong.

          To apply these thoughts to the current diary is that idealism and philosophies rarely mesh very well with real life.  Bowe Bergdahl, bless his heart, had a very nasty intrusion of reality into the philosophy.

        •  inveNtors, not investors :-D (0+ / 0-)

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:09:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Asdf (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SpamNunn, frostbite

        Rand "didn't think much of the military"...

        What on Earth are you talking about?

        According to Rand, a well-prepared and funded military was one of the three foundations for the existence of the state and therefore one of the few just acceptable justifications for taxation!

        The best way to tell a Democrat from a Republican is to present someone requiring food and shelter. The Democrat will want them housed and fed, even if they be faking need. The Republican will gladly see them starve until all doubt is removed.

        by GayIthacan on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:37:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Source? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        From all accounts, he was the best soldier in his unit, in terms of training, theory, even practice.
        I have not heard a single person say that.  

        If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

        by SpamNunn on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:54:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If he was the best... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SpamNunn, Ice Blue

          ...then he should have led by example, not walked off.

          Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

          by JeffW on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:03:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Some spoke well of him (12+ / 0-)
          While others in his training unit – A Company 2-58 – used their weekend passes to hit up strip clubs, Bowe hung out at Barnes & Noble and read books. He was already an expert shot from his days firing his .22 in the mountains of Idaho. When his parents attended the graduation, the drill sergeant told them, "Bowe was good to go when he got here."
          At first, according to soldiers in his unit, Bowe seemed to embrace Army life. "He showed up, looked like a normal Joe," says former Specialist Jason Fry, who is now studying for a master's in theology. "When he first got to the unit, he was the leadership's pet. He read the Ranger Handbook like no other. Some people resented him for it." Bowe kept to himself, doing physical training on his own.

          Fancey, now a captain stationed in North Carolina, recalls Bowe as "quiet. He wasn't one of the troublemakers – he was focused and well-behaved." While other soldiers spent Thanksgiving at the NTC playing PSP and reading Playboy, Bowe sat alone on his cot, studying maps of Afghanistan. He was also made a SAW gunner, responsible for providing automatic firepower for the squad, and he did exercises with his cumbersome 15-pound machine gun as though he were curling weights at the gym. "We saw him, and were like, 'Whoa, Mr. Intensity,'" says Fancey.

          Mr. Sutton said he had struggled to square the popular portrayal of Sergeant Bergdahl as brooding and disenchanted with the soldier he knew. “He wanted to take the fight to the enemy and do the mission of the infantry,” he said, adding, “He was a good soldier, and whenever he was told to do something, he would do it.”

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:20:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's different than "all accounts" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe

            making him the "best" soldier in the unit in "training, theory and practice".   I thought Susan Rice was speaking again, when I saw this comment.

            This makes him a well trained and compliant soldier who left his base without permission, and that's all, until we know more.  

            Thanks for some facts, Catte Nappe.   Much appreciated.

            If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

            by SpamNunn on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:42:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And in fact (8+ / 0-)

              We don't actually know that he left his base without permission.

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 11:45:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for saying that! (2+ / 0-)

                What we know is actually very little.  He was there, then he wasn't.  Everything else is conjecture . . . or political bashing.

              •  We do know what his CO said. We may not really (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Catte Nappe, Yoda54

                know the whole story though.  

                I would not be surprised to find that he was sent on that trip to gather intel, and that the Taliban that were released were micro-chipped, like my hound!

                If that turns out to be the case, we'll never know, which is why I reserve judgment.   I know more than a few Afghan war vets who served in similar circumstances who are very reserved in their judgment.  We should follow their example.  He ain't a hero, and he ain't a bum, until we know for sure, and we may never know for sure, so we should leave him and his family alone.  

                If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

                by SpamNunn on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 01:06:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Two main things giving me pause (3+ / 0-)

                  This looks like permission, or at least not prohibition

                  In the early-morning hours of June 30th, according to soldiers in the unit, Bowe approached his team leader not long after he got off guard duty and asked his superior a simple question:

                  If I were to leave the base, would it cause problems if I took my sensitive equipment?

                  Yes, his team leader responded – if you took your rifle and night-vision goggles, that would cause problems.

                  ~ Michael Hastings' 2012 Rolling Stone Article


                  Along with this, which suggests a relatively benign destination

                  The observation post was rectangular, shaped like a horseshoe, perhaps 150 yards long by 100 yards wide. One end backed up to a hill near where a contingent of Afghan National Police was staying and was not fully encircled with concertina razor wire; Sergeant Bergdahl had been increasingly spending time with the Afghan policemen, who helped provide security for the back of the outpost.

                  “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

                  by Catte Nappe on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 01:42:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This reminds me of my wife's Uncle Rich, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Catte Nappe

                    who went out one cold New Jersey night for cigarettes and called the next day from West Virginia.  He came back the next night, though.

                    I''ll bet we'll never know how or why here, either.

                    If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

                    by SpamNunn on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 02:22:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Microchipped! (0+ / 0-)
                  were micro-chipped, like my hound!
                  My goodness!  I was thinking that, too!  It's what I would do if I wanted to keep track of my labrador!  ;)
        •  He was studying 3 languages, read up on the (0+ / 0-)

          people and the country, etc.

    •  i'm not so sure about that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, The Hindsight Times

      been years since I read it, but I think I remember that Galt was also focused on depriving the takers of his mere maker/thinker presence, not just the things he had already created but what he (and all those like him) could do for them in the future

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:04:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unit cohesion is everything (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in a theater of war.  It can be a fatal shortcoming if each of a platoon's individuals aren't there working for the good of the platoon.  

      Often a soldier will say he fought for bros in his unit.  Maybe some greater good is in the back of his mind, but deep in the shit, the fight is for the soldiers beside him.  

      Bergdahl walked away from his bros.  For his situation, it was the ultimate going Galt.

      Props to the diarist for a fresh perspective on Bergdahl's situation at the time of his capture.  So far it holds up better than the others, but if it was indeed the reason, I fear we will never have it confirmed by any official investigation.  The military certainly doesn't want to put any seeds in the minds of libertarian nutters that fill it's ranks, and the media, well, they would not know what to do with such info anyways.  "He went Galt?  But he wasn't a maker, not like us pundits!  We have his IRS filings, he paid his taxes, so he didn't go Galt!"

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:45:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And we still don't know if he was just going (0+ / 0-)

      walk about, as he had asked his sgt. for permission to take his weapon and night goggles and was refused, and was captured before his intended return.

  •  Who is the true Bergdahl? (5+ / 0-)

    Bergdahl's Facebook postings, provided elsewhere on the Internet today, are barely literate, filled with misspellings of even the simplest words, the complete opposite of the quote provided in this diary.  One or the other either was not written by him or was severely edited and spell-checked.  One represents the true Bergdahl, the other does not.  The only question is, which one is his work and which is not?

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

    by Neuroptimalian on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 10:59:39 PM PDT

    •  I recommend you read the whole WaPo article (22+ / 0-)

      Bergdahl was lazy and/or eccentric in his spelling, as noted in the WaPo article--and rather uninhibited in expressing his musings. It also appears to be an expression of his peculiar sense of humor--AND at times he uses symbols to approximate letters when he seems to be avoiding military censorship. As a psychiatrist AND a meticulous speller myself, I think it is an unreliable way to evaluate one's mental state.

      All the quotes I included were copied and pasted from the article, which included peculiar quotes as well. I believe they are all his work, NOT edited as you suspect.

      And ferchrissakes, I see misspellings on Facebook all the time! Some people just don't give a shit.

      Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

      by candid psychiatrist on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 11:41:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree (4+ / 0-)
        I have problems with a lot of the medical jargon that is used to characterize the vast array of psychiatric disorders. I even avoid the term "mental illness", unless I'm referring to more overtly dysfunctional states like schizophrenia. And I can't for the life of me countenance the term "sick" for the troubling and occasionally bizarre comments that Bergdahl makes in this article

        The problem is that at least some of what he said DOES SOUND like schizophrenia. He admitted to hearing voices and he wrote several pages of gibberish: "zipper/velcro/zipper/velcro"

        I have to say that it disturbs me that you as a mental health professional would ignore stuff like that.

        I do understand about your squeamishness about labels and stigmas but sometimes you need to call a spade a spade. A label is useful if it helps us to understand the situation. If he was mentally ill then this can exonerate him and also ensure that he gets the help he needs.

        You are correct to a certain extent that war is insane and those who live in an insane system and object to that cannot always be regarded as being insane themselves. The most sane person may be the one who bucks the status quo, the one who is brave enough to think for himself.

        However it sounds like that is not the whole story here and by framing it this way you can enable people who read this to deny if they have a mental illness or that someone they care about has a mental illness. The brooding poet/philosopher ideal that is romantisized in our culture is not always mentally well and many have commited suicide.

        I used to be the depressed poet a la Sylvia Plath style and have been told that I have some talent in that area but that is not a road I would want to travel again.

        I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

        by Pixie5 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 05:01:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please don't tell me about schizophrenia. (10+ / 0-)

          I've been a psychiatrist for 29 years. I would bet the rent money that he does not have schizophrenia.

          Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

          by candid psychiatrist on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 05:13:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because you have interviewed him??? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies

            I have some experience too, by working at a mental health social center for seven years and even living with an unmedicated schizophrenic.

            Please explain to me how hearing voices and writing senseless gibberish are not signs of mental illness.

            And explain to me why he was discharged from the Coast Guard for psychiatric reasons.

            I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

            by Pixie5 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 05:35:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hearing voices (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Catte Nappe, Elizabeth 44

              I think we need more information.  I'm not sure that the "hearing voices" comment is a self-evaluation of an actual experience (rare if you have a severe mental illness), or a metaphor.  I could say, I hear voices in the wind to describe an experience of standing in a grove of trees on a windy day.  But, I wouldn't mean that I'm "hearing voices" that are telling me to do . . . whatever, and a symptom of a mental illness.  To say that this is a symptom of a mental illness, which it is, but without a full psychiatric examination, is premature.  We are making conclusions on third hand observations from media reporting.

              We all keep grasping for understanding or explanation of what happened.  He was a deserter.  He has a mental illness.  Or even he went Gault (my apology to the author of this diary, because it is a valuable insight).  Until we hear from official sources and from Bergdahl himself, it is all speculation.

            •  I'm concerned about his "blackness" comments (0+ / 0-)

              He speaks of blackness, darkness overcoming him or his fighting against it.  I find that concerning and would love to know more.  I really can't agree with the diary's description of Bergdahl.  That may be the way he was heading, but he sounds far too unformed yet.  I think he was struggling to find his way, but I don't think he had a good sense of what that way was.

          •  I get it now, after going to your website (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies

            You are a anti-psychiatric medication psychiatrist.

            Let me tell you about a friend I have. In 1999 I met him at a facility run by Mental Health America. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He had schizophrenia. He had a LONG history of going off his meds and becoming homeless. This last time someone gave him info to go to the homeless assistance program at MHA. He did not think he was mentally ill, but went anyway. The got him medical and financial help and place him in a board and care. He thought he was required to take the meds for him to stay there, so he took them. After a while he came out of his psychosis.

            He managed to get a job with Mental Health America to run a peer-run center. He hired me to help out. He moved up the ranks to higher management. During the MANY years I knew him there was not a trace of odd behavior on his part.

            Until he went off his meds, quit his job, went on a crazy spending spree and tried to find a long lost relative who did not want to be found by him and then ended up homeless on my doorstep.

            I took him in which was a mistake. I should have sent him back to the homeless assistance program. He claimed that he was fine and that he had cured himself with diet. I could not make him take his meds. I had to deal with my house being wrecked and his gaining so much weight that he could not control his bowels. He used my sofa as a urinal, peeing UNDER the cushion and was completely surprised when I told him about it.

            He was delusional and at one point told me that he had never said he did not need medication, even though he had told me that for months. He just said he had run out. So I made him promise to take it. Later on he could not remember the incident and told me he was not going to take any medication. When once I showed him a book of poetry by Rumi he got scared and said that he would have to hide like Simon Rushdie.

            And yet even HE was not as bad as some of the cases I had seen on the job.

            He finally went through the homeless assistance program again and now he is well and working again for Mental Health America.

            After going through my own mental health problems where I inevitably had a breakdown every time I went off meds and also seeing it happen to others as well, I get a little upset when people minimize mental health issues.

            I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

            by Pixie5 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 06:19:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bullshit. (11+ / 0-)

              I prescribe medications for a living. Every patient I see is on medication, or otherwise they would be seeing a psychotherapist from another discipline. I simply think that psychiatric diagnoses are for the most part trumped up pseudoscience, and that academic psychiatry is in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry. It's not a rare opinion among the profession--I'm just more comfortable with the ambiguities of my work, and more open about my opinions.

              Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

              by candid psychiatrist on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:47:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Pardon my initial insensitivity to your response. (13+ / 0-)

                I'm hurried, and overreacted to your characterization of my beliefs. My best friend in high school had schizophrenia, which I thoroughly believe is a medical disorder. However it's a degenerative disorder, very malignant--and if Bergdahl had schizophrenia, it's highly likely he would be dead under his circumstances of the past few years.

                I don't minimize mental health issues at all. I just have a more holistic view of the brain-mind, and feel that the contemporary psychiatry embraces the medical model of psychiatric disease for reasons other than scientific truth. It's Big Pharma, it's the respect of other doctors, and it's psychiatry's historic desire to come up with convenient answers for things that are unanswerable.

                Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

                by candid psychiatrist on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:53:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  There are psychiatrists who don't prescribe meds (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                but natural stuff (orthomoleculer MD's for example). And there are a few out there that still do therapy.

                I simply think that psychiatric diagnoses are for the most part trumped up pseudoscience, and that academic psychiatry is in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry

                That is really all I need to know about you. You can't treat  a disease without a diagnostic framework. And the only thing I see wrong with the way things are is that some doctors, usually GP's, over-prescribe psych meds such as antidepressents without first determining whether the depression is endogenous or exogenous and whether it might fall into another framework such as bipolar or schizoaffective disorder. Antidepressants work no better than a placebo for situational depression, but work well with true clinical depression. I do not think that GP's should be allowed to prescribe psych meds, only qualified psychiatrists.

                I am curious why you would prescribe meds at all, if you do not trust the pharmaceutical companies?

                I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

                by Pixie5 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:15:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I wrote this before your last response (0+ / 0-)

                  so it is a bit harsh. I still would be interested in a response.

                  I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

                  by Pixie5 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:25:19 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Glad to answer that question. (10+ / 0-)

                  But first, would you please quit making declarative statements like "that's all I need to know about you"? Do you think Major Depression is a disease? Because, medically speaking, a disease is a pathological entity that has a consistent presentation, and a known cause--like, say, "streptococcal pneumonia". It's infection of the lung caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacteria.

                  Major Depression, on the other hand, is a collection of associated signs and symptoms, WITHOUT a known causative agent. No neurochemical deficit has been scientifically verified whatsoever, nor can it be done with contemporary technology. (Response to medications doesn't verify a neurochemical deficit, as is amply explained on my website and in my Youtube video.) Such an entity is referred to in other medical specialties as a syndrome, not a disease. And look at the checklist of symptoms--a disorder that is verified by increased OR decreased sleep, increased OR decreased appetite, psychomotor retardation OR agitation. Does that sound like a convincing "disease" to you.

                  Many contemporary psychiatrists simply prescribe pills, regardless of contributing stressors. If I think a patient's depression stems from a miserable marriage, I dare to share with them that concern, and explore the issue. Not many psychiatrists will trouble themselves to do so.

                  Scientifically speaking, the DSM is a crock of shit. We treat SYMPTOMS, not diseases.

                  Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

                  by candid psychiatrist on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:35:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Candid- Thomas Szaz (0+ / 0-)

                And a cynical former Legal Aide in NJ opened my eyes to that.

                You actually sound a lot like Szaz's (sp?) viewpoints. Which were a huge outlier.

                But everything in my psych and the law class was straight from the institutions in NJ he worked at.

                And the greatest themes I remember were that you could walk down any wing and see that every patient was showing signs of Tardive diskenysia (sp?).

                Yet early on every medical journal put the likelihood at well below 5% for 1st gen psycho drugs.

                Then suddenly the patent runs out, generics made. Everyone then agrees these new drugs are better and the numbers before were wrong and really were giving permanent impairment to many. So yeah they had to pony up the money for the "new + better" but the same (with patent).

                If you're wondering the class was about the concepts of involuntary institutionalization (wherein docs are actually statistically terrible at predicting violence), in consideration of CON LAW where stats show that offenders will offend again yet we let the go and this constitutional grey area where we have people we deem not the same fed drugs that permanently impair them . . . etc.

                •  I don't believe that mental illness is a myth (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mjjt, Ice Blue, Elizabeth 44

                  Thomas Szasz would probably despise what I think and do. I don't believe that mental illness is a myth. I believe that the rubric of psychiatric disorders is nowadays an ever-expanding list of labels that encompasses: all manner of passionate emotional states, some pathological, and some not; all manner of human psychic eccentricities, some pathological, some not; and some serious mental illnesses.

                  I think that contemporary psychiatry treats problems that are real--but in most cases they don't really know what it is that they're treating, because the brain-mind is devastatingly complex AND diverse.

                  Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

                  by candid psychiatrist on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 11:38:40 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  And people tolerated (0+ / 0-)

                  the tardive dyskensia because the unmedicated alternative was a thousand times worse.

                  Schizophrenia is a terrible disease.  Once the terror of the disease is appreciated, the 1st gen drug side effects seem relatively minimal.

                  "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

                  by Subterranean on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 11:56:23 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The problem with 1st gen drugs was compliance (0+ / 0-)

                    The side effects (EPS, akathesia) made the patients feel horrible. Zyprexa has horrible metabolic side effects, but patients tolerated it very well. It's been a tremendous frustration as a practitioner.

                    Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

                    by candid psychiatrist on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 12:06:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  So you dispense drugs (0+ / 0-)

                But you're not beholden to the pharmaceutical industry, because you don't agree with academics.

                What a rogue you are!

                "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

                by Subterranean on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 11:50:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't consider myself a rogue. (0+ / 0-)

                  I prescribe medications because I'm a physician, and because that's what I'm paid to do. I do primarily outpatient work, so the vast majority of my patients come to me requesting medication treatment, with no coercion whatsoever. They tell me that they benefit from the medications, they go to the pharmacy and get their medications filled, and take them on a daily basis. I'm not about to tell them that the medications don't help them. However, I am wary about the use of medications to address dysphoria that appears to be situational, or due to maladaptive personality factors. I go to the trouble to explain that medications are of little to no benefit in such circumstances, and try to redirect them to a therapist and/or address these issues myself.

                  I don't think that psychiatric medications are any better or worse that other medications, all of which have the potential for negative effects. I don't do work for pharmaceutical companies anymore, although I did in the past until my ethical concerns became more crystallized. I think that pharmaceutical companies are created to make money, by creating products that are useful to health care consumers and providers, and in that manner are no more evil than a company that, say, makes tires. They have to maintain product safety, and fairly represent their product, but are not ethically responsible for their medical application.

                  Providers are of course responsible, but are given guidance regarding their use from practice standards and research that is generated by academic medical centers. Such research has been generously funded by pharmaceutical companies. I don't blame pharmaceutical companies for promoting their products in this manner--but I do blame academic psychiatrists for taking this money, and especially for compromising psychiatric science because of this undue influence. I believe (idealistically) that academic centers are the stewards of science (i.e., truth), and it is their duty to maintain high standards of fidelity to the scientific process. The biological model of psychiatry that currently prevails, and justifies the obsession with medications as a solution for all psychiatric problems, is a simplistic pseudoscientific myth, buttressed with a ton of data--but no rigorous application of the scientific method for analysis of that data. In short, I see pharmaceutical companies as a bunch of johns--and I see the academic psychiatrists who collude with them as a bunch of whores.

                  I share these impressions with my patients, telling them that the TV ads for psychiatric medications are no more realistic than commercials for Axxe, or any other product. I accept the ambiguities of my work, and frankly love doing it. And I don't pretend to be any more than what I am.

                  Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

                  by candid psychiatrist on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:30:37 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  You sound rather Jungian. (0+ / 0-)

                “You think You're frightening me with Your hell, don't You? You think Your hell is worse than mine.” --Dorothy Parker

                by Ice Blue on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 05:48:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

                  What analytic orientation I have and use is primarily self psychology, i.e. Kohut. I'm a Buddhist, and also I used to play punk music--so I'm not afraid to be honest!

                  Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

                  by candid psychiatrist on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:32:43 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Agree with Pixie, (2+ / 0-)
            The problem is that at least some of what he said DOES SOUND like schizophrenia. He admitted to hearing voices and he wrote several pages of gibberish: "zipper/velcro/zipper/velcro"
            I'm not a psychiatrist but a family member has schizophrenia, and I've volunteered at mental hospitals and worked with schizophrenics.  I've also taken psychology courses through the 400 level in college (not the same as a degree, but surely worth something).

            Hearing voices
            Writing repetitive word patterns without meaning.
            Social detachment and isolation.
            Irrational, impulsive behavior.

            I'm not asking for a diagnosis, I'm asking why you can rule out psychosis given those symptoms.  Because my experience with schizophrenia suggests that those symptoms scream out for further investigation.  Frankly, I wouldn't trust any medical professional who concluded schizophrenia is impossible given those symptoms.

            "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

            by Subterranean on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 11:45:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think schizophrenia is impossible. (0+ / 0-)

              But having worked extensively with schizophrenia, I'd have to say that Bergdahl would likely be dead by now if that's what he had--by self-harm, or by his captors while acting-out. The guy has survived, with no current evidence of gross decompensation. If that's what he has, then it will be very obvious soon.

              Reporting voices is common as dirt in my business. Most of my patients who report voices do not have schizophrenia.

              Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

              by candid psychiatrist on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:37:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  This is debatable (6+ / 0-)
          He admitted to hearing voices
          As I read that I did not see the classic "hearing voices" of mental illness, I saw what could as readily be interpreted as the common metaphor of "listening to your inner voice".

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:42:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  He Wrote Gibberish? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Well, then, that would seem to support the "Ayn Rand disciple" theory....

          On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

          by stevemb on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:56:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Btw, I'm all about calling a spade a spade. (4+ / 0-)

          How about this--the DSM-whatever is a necessary evil.

          Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

          by candid psychiatrist on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:59:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  "a meticulous speller myself" (0+ / 0-)

        Check the last line in your next to last paragraph.

        We all make mistakes and typos.  :-)

        "The most dangerous worldview, is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world." Alexander von Humboldt

        by TX Freethinker on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:12:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well back when I made comments on (0+ / 0-)

        huffpo before they messed things up even worse now to get by the "moderation" eye wrote some strange l-ooking $tuff if ya know what Eye mean along withallthe other co-mmen-ters their and so maybe people hadhave to do something similar elswher on the intertubes,see what I mean by reading this comment.

    •  I have a slightly different take (32+ / 0-)

      My impression, from everything I saw today of his writings, is that he was a very creative person who could sometimes be poetic, although also troubled, but whose spelling could best be characterized as idiosyncratic, and who seemed to be decompensating mentally as his deployment continued. I've seen something similar happen with a friend when severe pressure intervened, although in that case it wasn't a military deployment, but rather the serious illness of a close family member.

      The fact that he had apparently been reading Atlas Shrugged not long before he walked off base further convinces me that zero good can be achieved by reading Ayn Rand novels. For most who aren't immediately repelled, it convinces them that the utmost selfishness is somehow a good thing. For others, it convinces them to do things like walking unarmed into a hostile country where one knows nobody and doesn't even speak the language.

      The Coast Guard evidently recognized, very early on, Bowe Bergdahl's lack of fit for military service. Unfortunately, the Army in 2008 was desperately needing warm bodies, and so they were willing to waive (in 20% of all case, from one article I saw today) things that would normally bar one from enlisting.

      The right-wing vilification of this young man and his family is one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen. I couldn't sleep if I was a part of their noise machine accusing him and his family of treason.

      Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

      by leevank on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 11:52:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well put. (5+ / 0-)

        Certainly I see the evidence of decompensation that you do in some of his writings. But it's difficult to discern precisely because of his eccentricity of expression, and the uninhibited nature of his communications in general. I'm more impressed overall with evidence in his writings of his obvious moral turmoil, than I am with the "proof" of "mental illness". He certainly was a peculiar sort of a person, with impressive vulnerabilities. If he went "crazy", then it's the kind of "crazy" I sort of understand, even if I'm probably too pragmatic to consider such an action.

        Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

        by candid psychiatrist on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 05:10:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is amazing the death threats being sent (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to people in his town and to his family. That is disgusting. But what do we expect from the party of Swift Boaters.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:03:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My boss. (0+ / 0-)

      She's very smart, has an awesome memory, is sometimes mean as a snake, smokes three packs a day, and routinely sends out emails that are barely readable.  When she slows down, though, she can write about as good as the snippet above.

      "Actually, I just like saying Benghazi. Benghazi benghazi benghazi benghazi!" --Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CA

      by jackdabastard on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:58:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My greatest hope is that Bergdahl will be given an (11+ / 0-)

    unbiased and compassionate evaluation.  My fear is that he will not.

    Thank you for a very interesting take on what might have happened to him.  

  •  Something that annoys me (9+ / 0-)

    in many of these analyses:

    He apparently walked unarmed into an entirely unknown world, that of tribal frontier Afghanistan. In doing so he was abandoning every tether of humanity that he knew--giving himself over to the unknown in an act of irrational courage, with the high likelihood of worldly doom. It could only have been done by someone with self-destructive urges, or one who was driven toward spiritual surrender.
    Bergdahl was living in a military outpost. Not a prison. He may have outside that outpost every single day. The only difference in the day that he disappeared is that he went out unarmed. He may have even done that more than once before. It's even possible that the others in that outpost had done the exact same thing before. He may not have been walking "into an entirely unknown world". It may have been, in fact, a world that he knew quite well, was familiar with, and even felt safe in. As it turns out, he wasn't safe, but that's really besides the point. We don't know if he was taken 10 yards outside that military outpost or 10 miles away. Too many of these analyses presume to know what he was thinking, when there is a very real possibility that absolutely none of these things ever crossed his mind that day. For all we know, he may have just been going out to get laid.
    •  The emails from the last days contradict you. (0+ / 0-)

      There's a lot of foreboding content in those last messages.

      Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

      by candid psychiatrist on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 12:22:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Only if you assume (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SGA, Heart of the Rockies

        that his walk out the gate that day had anything at all to do with anything he wrote. And you don't know that. You have absolutely no fucking clue. If he walked out that gate to get laid, then the link between what he wrote and his eventual capture is gone. And absent that link, that "foreboding content" completely disappears, and his writings may be no more than fanciful musings of an active mind. Nothing that he ever acted on.

        Hence my annoyance. You presume a connection. If you were writing about a politician, who has put himself or herself squarely in the crosshairs of the public eye, I might even applaud what you've written, using Hunter's classic words. It would be irresponsible not to speculate. But this kid is not a politician. He didn't put himself in the public eye. So I find it appallingly irresponsible to speculate as you have.  

        •  Are you kidding?????? (0+ / 0-)

          Do you think because I got on the Rec list here, that I'm the one that dragged him into the public eye? The reason why I diaried at all was because I was tired of seeing this poor young man pilloried in the media by a bunch of self-righteous assholes as a "worthless deserter" who ought to be allowed to "rot" in Afghanistan, or even be killed by his captors!!! I wasn't the one who released these emails--which were published in the Washington Post before I ever put keyboard to hand. They were released by his friends and/or family--i.e., the people who LOVE him--who evidently did so because they wanted the "real" Bowe Bergdahl, in response to the horrible vilification that's been done to him already.

          Did you not notice that the title of my diary is a QUESTION???? I don't pretend to have intimate knowledge of this guy--I was SPECULATING, OK? Now, if you feel that such speculation is unprofessional, that's your prerogative--but I myself think that it's constructive for those of us who are informed about psychological and psychiatric issues to speak up in such circumstances, rather than allowing the lay public to bandy about diagnoses that they don't really understand. Please note I never gave him any diagnosis whatsoever. I have tried very hard to have him seen as relatively normal, understandable, sensitive, and even spiritual--throwing water on inclinations to "pathologize" the eccentricities in his communications, discouraging readers from jumping to conclusions about supposed "mental illness".

          I wrote this diary not just from the head, but from my heart, in the hopes that the guy will be seen as neither a war criminal, nor "crazy". As I said, I like the guy, and I'm horrified by the mistreatment that he has received thus far. If you can't see that, then I wonder if some other prejudice is clouding your judgment of me.  

          Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

          by candid psychiatrist on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:02:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I appreciate your reply (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            candid psychiatrist

            If you'll please note, my original criticism was not solely directed at you, but at everyone who had done analyses of what's going on in Bergdahl's head. In fairness, yours is among the best. It is thoughtful, and I have no doubt it is from your heart. And from a much more qualified head than from where most of these analyses have originated.

            I agree that this young man has been abused. We may find out in the months to come that he is worthy of all the criticism. We don't know that yet, and we may find out just the opposite. All of these discussions have just been way too Nancy Grace for me. Too many presumption of facts not yet in evidence.

            My apologies for directing my disgust towards you. Your work is one of many, and among the best.

  •  He's an American soldier (14+ / 0-)

    We don't leave men (or women) behind. If he was loyal, we owe it to him to retrieve him. If he was a traitor (somehow), we owe it to ourselves to retrieve him and give him a fair trial.

    Civus romanus sum.  We take care of our own.

    Proverbs 29:7 “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”

    by nightsweat on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:29:29 AM PDT

  •  Young religious man in an intense situation, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kpardue, notagain, Anna M, trillian

    I think he wandered off to have a wank with nobody watching, that's all cool. I'll wait for a little information before I revise this theory, if there ever is any actual information.

    I support application of Common Core Standards to Congressmen.

    by Wood Gas on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:32:51 AM PDT

    •  best answer yet.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kane in CA

      It seems people know this guy better than I know myself, and I've known myself for a long time. The varied diagnosis are fascinating. Reminds me...if I ever go on trial for anything I should nix the jury thing, and go with the judge.

    •  Yeah, also maybe the boredom got to him (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Imagine hours, days, weeks, months of your life on guard duty in the middle of some barren land.  Why are you here?  You have the same boring (MREs) for food day after day.  The same group of guys to talk to.  What do a group of 20-something-year-old guys talk about for months at a time?

      Maybe he was trying to prove something to his buddies - a macho prank of some sort.  Or maybe he was trying to talk privately on a cellphone (or trying to get better reception).  Maybe one of the Afghan police he sometimes talked with offered him something - some tea, or food, or a souvenir he could buy, or information.

      So many possibilities, but it's all just speculation.  We will probably never know the "real" story, knowing the way the military works.


    There - problem solved.

    Wingers will, for the most part, have absolutely no problem with this.

    The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. -

    by No one gets out alive on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:38:53 AM PDT

  •  It is a common problem for deeper individuals (9+ / 0-)

    to become disillusioned by the reality of military life. Remember we built it up as if it were some kind of Warrior Soceity (with all that can be conveyed through that word) but in reality, that only maybe exists in some form, in some segments of the military service.

    The rest of it, especially for junior personnel has a lot more of the feel of working in fast food. You are surrounded by mostly teenagers, who still act like teenagers, and the people in charge, are often in the their mid 20s with only "older" individuals in their 30s and 40s as senior personnel because the service is a young person's "game".

    It's full of all kinds of bullshit politics within the ranks,  which many will refer to as "playing the game", and that alone is both frustrating and off putting.

    Some people come to the realization that they put their life on the line for an organization and a mindset that they discover is 180 degrees out from their own worldview and how they themselves define character qualities like integrity, goodness, courage, etc.,  And that can be a really rough realization to live through.

    I went through that when I realized that no one wanted me there as a woman. That no matter how brave I was, how well I did my job, I could save a hundred babies from a burning building and to them I would still be a "split tail" That made me understand that I was in an unequal partnership with the service. That the quality of the stuff of myself that I was giving them--Courage, loyalty, critical thinking, goodness, integrity, etc., was of a much higher quality and came at a greater cost than the bullshit that was being reciprocated.

    Perhaps Bergdahl had one of those moments. I didn't leave however. I stuck it out. I wanted my benefits in full. And I couldn't let the bastards win. However I was never in a situation where I had to potentially kill people to do my job.

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:59:32 AM PDT

  •  Excellent Diary! (7+ / 0-)

    Thank you for reminding us that people are more complex than soundbytes.

  •  Tea Party and Right Wing just hit RESTART Button! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Militarytracy, defluxion10

    Can you imagine the problems that Bergdahl could cause the Conservative right wingers who are not used to the idea of having to think through such ideological issues?  If Bergdahl was indeed a disciple of Ayn Rand and Bergdahl's actions were the actions of a Tea Party afficionado rather than an Obamano and President Obamo acted free a Tea Party hero rather than one of his own . . . .

    Rush Limbaugh might have to take a potty break to figure all this out.  Certainly, all of this is far beyond Sean Hannity's perfect hair-do!  Maybe, Laura Ingraham, the architect of the fall of Eric Cantor, can place all of this in the proper perspective.

    Or, maybe not.  Maybe, just maybe, it means that the Tea Party doesn't have any coherent policy or principles at all.

    Voters should select people to represent them in their government. People in government should not select people who may vote!

    by NM Ray on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:37:36 AM PDT

  •  I can't help liking him either (of what I know (6+ / 0-)

    about him).

    That quote toward the end of the article is so very insightful for someone his age. He obviously is a deep thinker. No way I could go there at his age, if even I could now decades older than he is.

    Thanks to the Obama administration (rescue), he now will have the opportunity to grow into himself. And/or, find that many of his peers as he ages become more thoughtful, introspective, and self aware. I'm not surprised he seems to have felt so alone there, even amongst the other soldiers.

    My impulse is to protect him and I feel it strongly. That is interesting as I don't normally respond this way. The premature, rabid condemnation has me very angry. Some people just have to 'decide" (ie close their minds, ie judge a situation/person), they are more comfortable. I am happy to leave it open and wait to see who he is and what happened.

  •  reading Bergdahl's stuff (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I though it had a familiar is much like Rand's turgid prose.

    "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

    by durrati on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:30:13 AM PDT

  •  Calvinism...Rand? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    From CNN: "The parents are devout Calvinists who home-schooled their children six hours a day and taught them the theologies of Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine. "Ethics and morality would be constant verbiage in our conversations," Bergdahl told the magazine. "Bowe was definitely instilled with truth. He was very philosophical about perceiving ethics.""

    Home-schooled by devout it possible that Bowe considered that God sent him the Holy Spirit because he was on the "saved list"?

    And the idea of "special people" seems to run through both Calvinism and Rand those targeted for Unconditional Election by the former, and the superhumans of the atheistic latter.

  •  john waters hitchhiking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    book, which was subject of colbert the other night, has parallels to this discussion.

    there's some 'not a red state not a blue state'
    but a mental state in this subject

    mental being, political being, individual needs and expressions.  there's no way to be definitive, or only clinical, etc.

    great post, loved reading it

    what lincoln said

    by rasfrome on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:56:33 AM PDT

  •  He is home. (3+ / 0-)

    "Let us heal."

    I am glad the man is back with his family.

    I didn't walk in his shoes and I won't judge him based upon what may or may not be true that we're hearing.

    He reminds me of Billy Pilgrim.

    Huey728 "I'm not really big on calling strangers on the phone, but I felt this election was too important to just sit back and watch." Elections are decided exactly this way; every damned election! GOTV counts... the votes!

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:20:08 AM PDT

  •  As the writer of the other diary, (2+ / 0-)

    I want to address your complaint about my use of the term "sick" in the title.

    My first imperative while writing that diary was to avoid trying to diagnose Bergdahl as mentally ill. I am not a medical professional in the first place, let alone one who would be able to diagnose someone from afar (I have grave suspicions about anyone who does that based on secondhand sources).

    So I tried to hedge throughout. The title is a hedge: note it says Bergdahl may have been sick. I stand by the hedge. The article makes clear to me that he was troubled, but it is not at all clear whether he was mentally ill.

    On the other hand, you are probably right that I should have chosen a different word, such as "troubled", instead of "sick" - it's both more precise and more accurate. In retrospect, perhaps "may have been" was not enough of a hedge?

    I'm honestly curious to hear your thoughts on how such things should be written. What would you have done differently if you had written my diary?

    •  It's nitpicking, really. (3+ / 0-)

      You obviously understand my drift, and as a professional I'm more sensitive to these kind of fine points. I don't have any other problem with your diary, besides the fact that you had time to diary it before I could. :-) I just feel compelled to advance a more nuanced and necessarily ambiguous perspective on psychiatric disorders--because from my experience, the medical model is simplistic, unscientific, and professionally self-serving.

      Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

      by candid psychiatrist on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 12:12:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fair enough. (2+ / 0-)

        I did want to make it clear that, when he walked off, he may have been in a position of diminished responsibility due to no fault of his own - as you know, mental illness is often stigmatized. I used the medical terminology at least in part because I did not want to play into that stigma and have people start blaming Bergdahl for his own instability; I wanted to emphasize that it was potentially a serious condition and not just a "bad mood".

        Of course, you'd probably argue "just because a condition is non-medical doesn't mean it's not serious" - and you'd be completely correct. I'll try to find better language next time.

  •  Interesting and thoughtful post candid- eom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  without knowing the guy personally, Bergdahl seems (0+ / 0-)

    to be somewhat of a kindred spirit to Christopher McCandless, theInto the Wild guy.

    elipsii: helping the masses express aposiopesis for...

    by bnasley on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 11:58:49 AM PDT

  •  I'm in therapy with a Child Psychiatrist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoda54, Heart of the Rockies

    who I consider to be gifted.  He's elderly, wise, and has helped me a lot being the single parent of a child (now young woman) of divorce.

    He is not one of THEM*.  He believes in GW, believes the ACA was a modest improvement over what we had, and has empathy for Bowe Bergdahl.

    I discussed (just the last coupla minutes of my time) the Bergdahl situation, and he told me President Obama broke the law, and that I could consider that to be a bigger concern.

    How does one answer that given the above*.

    •  If it's because he refused to inform Congress... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus, Militarytracy

      I think it was a law worth broking. Taking the issue to Congress would have destroyed the whole deal. I consider it an executive action, and if it was the law, it was a law worth breaking.

      Besides, the partisan Democrat in me was just fine watching Obama fuck over the Republicans in Congress!!!

      Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

      by candid psychiatrist on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 12:38:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We have most of the population (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus, Catte Nappe

      who believe that the news is factual, that someone checked their facts with research before putting a news story on the air.  That's how it used to be.  It used to be that a reporter who didn't report the facts or failed to give a balanced viewpoint would be fired very quickly, and their story fully apologized for in the next broadcast or newspaper.  That's how it used to be.

      How do you respond?  You tell them that the FCC law changed, that news sources are no longer required to give facts or check their sources or report anything remotely close to the facts.  You tell them that propaganda laws have changed also, so it is now OK to use propaganda on US citizens.

      How do you respond?  You educate them about current laws.

    •  Sorry. I always think more after I (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      post.  (Should think before I post!)  

      Anyway, after you educate someone about the changes to the law, you then suggest that what has been reported may have had a political motivation, and it may not be accurate that our President broke the law.

      •  Jonathan Turley sez he broke the letter of the law (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heart of the Rockies

        but the law itself may be unconstitutional.


        The president did indeed break the letter of the law, said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University.

        But there are questions about the law itself, he added.

        "There's two different questions here. One is, did he violate the federal law? The answer to that is most obviously yes," Turley said. "The second question is whether that law is constitutional. And the answer to that is more difficult.

        •  Don't most laws have exceptions? (0+ / 0-)

          If not specifically written into the law, then wouldn't a judge, generally speaking, take exceptional circumstances into consideration?

          For example.  There's laws that prevent killing another human being.  But, we allow it when life and property are in immediate danger.  Or, there's laws that say don't steal.  But, if a kid steals a loaf of bread for his brother dying of starvation, then does he go to juvvie without any compassion?

          My examples aren't near the same situation as Obama's and may not be good comparisons.  But, my point being that if Obama's response that Bergdahl's life was in danger if the swap was publicized is true, then I'd think those screaming impeachment are lacking some essential compassion and necessary objectivity.

          Yes, I agree with Turley.  The answer to 'did Obama break the law' is more difficult.  Thanks for your ideas.

  •  I reject the entire concept of mental impairment (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, Yoda54, Damnit Janet

    as it relates to this soldier. The day we label people who have the audacity to contemplate and think deeply is the day I'll publicly advocate the nuking of the human race into extinction.

    What IS insane is our current culture, the state of our politics, our level of inhumanity to others, our vile fetish with guns, our cult of Christianity.

    Bergdahl strikes me as being very sane, living with eyes wide open to the rampant lies that drive our culture.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony Everything good a man can be, a dog already is. - pajoly

    by pajoly on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 12:41:22 PM PDT

  •  Bowe Bergdahl a true TeaBagger & GOP-betrayed by (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoda54, hamm

    TeaParty and GOP.

    TeaParty and GOP shows their natural beliefs, they hate everyone and will use anyone to push their political agenda.

    What is that agenda?

    Why it is to destroy America and the American public. To turn Americans into a cheap labour force for the rich and powerful. A labour force will accept the slave wages that are now paid to illegal immigrants. Those wages are sure to lower in the future when all the unions are busted.

  •  Hybridize "Atlas Shrugged" with "3 Cups of Tea" (3+ / 0-)

    and if you take both with deadly seriousness, what you will get is a VERY confused young man.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 01:10:35 PM PDT

  •  candid, your diary and remarks are awesome. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, Yoda54

    My grandson has taken a challenge to find my persona on this site.  Wish him luck.  My software blocks many dk enhancements like rec/tip.

    imho, news commentators, like former Col. Jack Jacobs, express their bias in opposition of Obama.  I'm disappointed that we focus on this one event, one person, one idealogy as defining any person.  I don't know what, why or how a young person joins a military he opposses. We need more decent civilian jobs in the so-called heartland (not KXL jobs please).

  •  Great post about a troubling reality. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thank you.

  •  Bergdahl seems to be a thoughtful and humane (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, Heart of the Rockies

    person.  That is not a good match for the military.  Especially when they are engaged in wars that kill and destroy those it is supposed to protect as much if not more than they kill the enemy.

  •  My wish for Bowe is that he is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Able to process all he has been through and be whole.  What a tender thoughtful idealist he was.  Very in touch with his feelings from the git.

    It took two combat tours for our soldier and our family to begin to understand the stages of anger, doubt, and detachment that are involved in going to war or having an immediate family member go to war.

    Sadly it was psychological information that the military already had, they just chose to not share the realities with us until the wars began to break us all.  I suppose they thought this war would be the different war, somehow this war would be magically nontraumatic :)

    When I read his writings, I could identify many of the thoughts, feelings, and emotions our family has experienced..but no varnish.  What a tender raw soul that went to Afghanistan.

  •  His sin is that he grew up (0+ / 0-)

    and woke up.  And why was there was no commander to see that he had proper counseling so that he could make a less self-destructive choice?

  •  Thank you for this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I know this will probably go unread, but I had to say your point of view is the one which I hope will be adopted by all concerned. I feel like I understand his actions better.

    Media be damned.

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 06:45:16 PM PDT

  •  Shocking development. (0+ / 0-)

    The guy that the right wing has been trying to destroy was reading their free market bible, "Atlas Shrugged," instead of "The Audacity of Hope"?

    Not a prob for the right wing. They simply will never report it, just like they did for the Las Vegas police murders by right wing terrorists. Inconvenient facts will never get in the way of a good public lynching.

    "Nationalism, religious bigotry and feudal loyalty are far more powerful forces than…sanity." —George Orwell, “Wells, Hitler and the World State” (1941)

    by Blood on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:22:00 PM PDT

  •  Dictatorship, Enslavement of Citizens a cause of ? (0+ / 0-)

    Enslavement of citizens and dictatorship has NEVER been the cause of war.  For thousands of years, dictators took turns posing as Gods, enslaving their citizens--in fact, the most enslaved citizens preferred the most ruthless--and feared-- leaders.

    Revolution is caused by a discontent middle class--not the enslaved, not the poor.  Revolution needs organization--and the money and leisure time to create it.

    Until we understand that--as the Republicans ) inspired by Orwell) know all too well--we will lose.

    Old Hippies Never Give Up!

    by ravenrdr on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 11:19:31 PM PDT

  •  No need for the Galt comparison (0+ / 0-)

    What a disgraceful display from right wing.  They would abandon a soldier just because they hate the President.
    End of story.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 07:40:10 AM PDT

  •  This story also has a "Catch-22" feel to it (0+ / 0-)

    Is he a mentally troubled individual doing something unusual in the middle to a crazy situation or is he a fully cognizant person doing something sane in the middle of a crazy and insane situation?

    I ask him if he was warm enough? "Warm," he growled, "I haven't been warm since Bastogne."

    by Unrepentant Liberal on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:42:06 AM PDT

  •  Dude went Galt then got gone (0+ / 0-)

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:12:25 AM PDT

  •  pot calling the kettle black (0+ / 0-)

    The current object of republican Tea Party hatred is recently released POW Bowe Bergdahl. With no evidence to back it the tea party hate machine has tried to spread the story that 6 Americans were killed searching for Bergdahl. How many of these tea party chicken hawks hold it against Dick Cheney that thousands of US soldiers and Marines died searching for the WMDs that he lied about?

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