J.R. Salzman is an Iraq War veteran and writer, and today is the seventh anniversary of the IED blast that changed his life. On Facebook, he gave thanks to his family and friends (and strangers) who have helped him along the way.

It was seven years ago today that I nearly lost my life on a war torn road in NW Baghdad. Through the grace of God, I survived the roadside bomb, but not without severe, life-changing injuries. I have done my best to persevere and not take one moment for granted since that fateful day. While I feel that I have been able to accomplish great things despite my injuries (with more planned), I will readily admit I did not get here on my own. Thank you to my family, friends, loved ones, and all the complete strangers who have opened their hearts and helped me get where I am today. I could not have done it without you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Salzman then began tweeting his account of that day seven years ago.!/jrsalzman/status/413886930661568512!/jrsalzman/status/413887381284999168!/jrsalzman/status/413887779118923776!/jrsalzman/status/413888436215357440!/jrsalzman/status/413888832472240128!/jrsalzman/status/413889258856792064!/jrsalzman/status/413889607457980416!/jrsalzman/status/413890190583668736!/jrsalzman/status/413890980517924864!/jrsalzman/status/413891516474462208!/jrsalzman/status/413891945040060416!/jrsalzman/status/413892438298603520!/jrsalzman/status/413892867694682112!/jrsalzman/status/413893153872035840!/jrsalzman/status/413893451843764224!/jrsalzman/status/413894127369998336!/jrsalzman/status/413894437870120960!/jrsalzman/status/413894866540589056!/jrsalzman/status/413895276051435520!/jrsalzman/status/413895914801995776!/jrsalzman/status/413896448418140161!/jrsalzman/status/413896929202819073!/jrsalzman/status/413897523053334528!/jrsalzman/status/413897825433313280!/jrsalzman/status/413898729276452865!/jrsalzman/status/413900168975503360!/JimmyPrinceton/status/413901955245690881!/DebFrmHell/status/413904122107011072!/iriswebb/status/413903597202833408

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1. Here is what Star and Stripes wrote:

Esquire magazine claims “The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden … Is Screwed.”

The story details the life of the Navy SEAL after the successful raid to take out the No. 1 terrorist, and it asserts that once the SEAL got out of the military he was left to fend for himself.

“…here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation:

Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family.”

Except the claim about health care is wrong. And no servicemember who does less than 20 years gets a pension, unless he has to medically retire.

Like every combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the former SEAL, who is identified in the story only as “the Shooter”, is automatically eligible for five years of free healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

2. Here is Esquire’s aggressive response relating to VA benefits:

Now granted, “The Shooter” is a long story, lots of words to sort through, but McCloskey is wrong here. We refer her to this paragraph deeper in the piece: “There is a Transition Assistance Program in the military, but it’s largely remedial level, rote advice of marginal value: Wear a tie to interviews, not your Corfam (black shiny service) shoes. Try not to sneeze in anyone’s coffee. There is also a program at MacDill Air Force Base designed to help Special Ops vets navigate various bureaucracies. And the VA does offer five years of benefits for specific service-related claims—but it’s not comprehensive and it offers nothing for the Shooter’s family.”

3. Here is the cached version from yesterday:

4. Here is Esquire’s article as it appears today:

5. [Update] This sentence now appears in the Esquire piece, but does not specifically mention adding the VA benefits:

6. [Update] Mike Nizza, an Esquire digital editor tweets this line about the VA benefits was left out of the online story:

7. [Update 2] Esquires response to Stars and Stripes now has a lengthy editors note:

8. A section criticizing the Stars and Stripes reporter has also been toned down:

The headline of this piece has been updated to reflect the latest developments.

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A New York doctor wasaccused of ejaculating on a patient’s face while she was heavily sedated.

According to New York Daily News, the woman, 22, went to Mount Sinai Hospital just before 10:30 pm on January 11 due to shoulder pain.

She was allegedly taken into a private room where nurses gave her two pain pills, a shot to combat the inflammation and another shot of morphine.

Apparently, after X-rays were conducted, emergency physician and Iraq War veteran Dr. David Newman, 45, entered the room.

According to reports, the doctortold her he was about to give her a shot of morphine, to which the woman responded a nurse already had. The alleged victim said her arm soon began to burn, however, giving her the impression Newman gave her the shot.

She claimed Newman fondled her breasts while examining her backand thenturned his back to her and masturbated.

Rendered immobile from the morphine, the woman said she then felt what appeared to be semen on her face.

Newman is said to have wiped the semen off her face with a blanket and seems to have left the room right after.

The woman regained consciousness when a nurse and another physician, Dr. Andrew Jagoda, woke her up.

Before rousing the patient, the nurse allegedly asked a staffer,

What is wrong with her? Why is she like this?

According to the patient’s account, shewent to the bathroom and discovered Newman ejaculated on her chest as well.

Sources saidshe wiped the semen off with a gown and put it in a plastic bag to eventually be given to police.

She asked Dr. Jagoda to speak to his supervisor but ended up leaving the hospital when the physician told her his supervisor was Dr. Newman.

Dr. Newman wasreportedly questioned about the allegations and is barred from seeing patients until the NYPD investigation, also involving the Manhattan District Attorneys Office, is finished.

Mount Sinaireleaseda statement, saying,

This is a matter under investigation and we are fully cooperating with the appropriate authorities. We take this matter very seriously and are conducting our own internal investigation.

Dr. Newman is the author of Hippocrates’ Shadow: Secrets from the House of Medicine,” and, according to online bios, hereceived an Army Commendation Medal for his time in Iraq.

The book apparentlydiscusses how to improve the relationship between doctors and patients.

Subscribe to Elite Dailys official newsletter,The Edge, for more stories you don’t want to miss.

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Withdrawing troops from the Middle East may save them from being killed in battle, but as this new data shows, they might still pose just as much of a danger to themselves.

According to Vox, a report from the Department of Defense has revealed that, despite a decrease in deaths from enemy fire, bringing our soldiers back home from Iraq and Afghanistan has had hardly any effect on the rate of military suicides.

A total of 475 active military troops committed suicide in 2013, while just 127 were killed in combat that year, the lowest number of lives lost on the battlefield since 2008.


This report, published last week, also said that 120 soldiers took their own lives within the first four months of this year.

That’s nearly one soldier committing suicide every day.

Washington has made only feeble attempts to solve the crisis, Vox reports, as legislation directed towards military suicides hasn’t made it out of the Senate and efforts from the Defense Department have proved fruitless thus far.

A great deal of these suicides could be attributed to the fact that US soldiers are only declared suicidal by answers they give to a specific series of questions.

According to Vox, Dr. Craig Bryan, a former US Air Force psychologist and adjunct professor at the National Center for Veteran Studies, said,

Questionnaires are self-reported and when the issue carries a stigma, it’s not hard to lie.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t even keep records of the success and failure of psychological treatments, according to an investigation from the Institute of Medicine.

via Vox, Photo Credit: Getty Images

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When Matt Fahey, a cameraman for Deadliest Catch, was diagnosed with colon cancer last November, he didn’t have health insurance. He nonetheless went through with surgery and got stuck with a $51,000 bill. Facing six months of follow-up treatments and a six-figure total cost, bankruptcy seemed almost inevitable.

Instead, his cousin, Chuck Horton, a former professional fundraiser-turned-software-entrepreneur, stepped in and set up a campaign called “Dumb Ass Cancer” to help pay for Fahey’s treatment.

“We wanted something up and running quicker than a traditional fundraiser,” says Horton. “Matt has a lot of friends on Facebook. We have a large extended family. We knew it was a good way to reach a lot of people really quickly.”

They came up with the idea on Friday. A week later it was live. Within two days, they had raised around $7,000. (The fund is currently approaching $40,000.)

“People jumped in so we can have him focus on recovering rather than worry about where the money will come from,” says Horton.

Fahey with his chemo pump.

Fahey is not alone. An increasing number of people are turning to crowdfunding sites to pay for their health-care costs, to the point that it’s becoming the number one category on some crowdfunding websites. Many campaigns — perhaps a majority — are for cancer treatment, but they also include help with HIV, gunshot wounds, organ transplants, and even infertility treatments. One campaign raised $171,525 for Farrah Soudani, who was critically injured in the Aurora shooting. Another hopes to raise $5,000 for an Iraq War veteran with Gulf War Illness.

Rally, which hosted Dumb Ass Cancer, is at the center of the trend. Originally intended as funding tool for political causes, it is now a platform for a wide range of fundraisers. People have used it to raise money for the March on Washington for Gun Control, for scientific research on great white sharks, and to bring the Buzkashi Boys actors to the Oscars from Afghanistan.

But over the past six months, health care has emerged as the site’s top category, accounting for one in ten of their campaigns. “When we first conceived of, we were acutely aware of walkathons and joint fundraising drives for various diseases,” a Rally spokesperson told BuzzFeed. “However, we did not anticipate the pent-up demand for a fundraising platform for individuals from all walks of life to pay their medical bills.”

“Given the seriousness of medical issues and related expenses, it makes sense that these campaigns generate the most support,” says a spokeperson for GoFundMe, another platform that has watched health care become its most popular category.

“People are turning to crowdfunding because they are much more connected socially through the internet, and the ability to crowdfund is becoming less complex,” YouCaring, another crowdfunding site, told BuzzFeed. Sixty-five percent of its campaigns are for medical issues. “Medical costs and the costs associated with sickness are completely out of hand. Many times when someone is sick they also cannot work, which causes even greater financial issues — even though they may have insurance.”

There are even some sites devoted entirely to raising money for health care, such as GiveForward. RareGenomics charter is even narrower: It helps raise money for patients with rare genetic diseases to get genome sequencing tests.

Numbers are rising across the industry. In 2012, there were approximately nine times the number of health-care campaigns on Indiegogo as the year before, pushing it up to the fourth most popular category on the site.

The rise of treatment through crowdfunding corresponds with other worrying trends in health care. Health-care expenditures are the number one source of bankruptcy, according to a 2007 Harvard study published in the American Journal of Medicine. The majority of those filing for bankruptcy — 78% — had medical insurance when they first got sick.

“The best thing of the whole ordeal is seeing how much people love me and have helped,” says Fahey. “Obviously the money is a reflection of that, but besides that, I have had a ton of support from friends and family.”

As grateful as Fahey is for the campaign, he admits that fundraising while ill can be exhausting and says he was lucky that his family took on the responsibility.

“I went to one of the first fundraising meetings and I got frustrated. I was like, ‘I have to go. I’m stressing out too much,’” says Fahey. “Cancer is a full-time job, especially with all the bills and paperwork I get.”

Publicly asking for help also takes an emotional toll. “Personally I don’t like being a charity case or asking for help,” he says. Fahey says it took him a while to reach out to people on his Facebook page — he was worried about how it might look.

Recently, Fahey signed up for a Preexisting-Condition Insurance Plan — aka ObamaCare — but is still facing tens of thousands in bills. “My fear is one asshole will repeal it before I finish treatment and then it will start racking up even more [costs],” says Fahey.

So far Fahey’s campaign has raised $38,000 out of the $65,000 goal. A separate, real-world fundraiser raised $7,000 — paling in comparison to the online contributions. But they still don’t have enough to pay for his chemotherapy and radiation treatment, which he is about to begin.

“The journey is not over,” says Fahey. “At this point, the financial part is harder than the treatment.”

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Arkansas Republican Rep. Tim Griffin told BuzzFeed he’s looking for ways to end delays have kept tens of thousands of student veterans from receiving their tuition and housing stipends on time, with some facing eviction or being shut out of classes at school.

“The least we could do is have a federal government administration or agency that facilitates [veterans] getting the benefits we’ve promised. It’s a pretty basic concept,” Griffin said.

Griffin criticized the failings of the VA described in a BuzzFeed report last week as “the type of things that happen with massive federal agencies.”

Griffin, an Iraq war veteran and former George Bush campaign aide, praised VA for promising to correct the G.I. Bill backlogs this week, as they did in a statement apparently released in response to BuzzFeed’s story.

But, he said, “we are looking at the legislative side. I’m not willing to say we’re settled on a particular legislative fix, but I’m absolutely willing to introduce legislation if need be.” Griffin, who has sparred in the past with the VA, introduced three G.I. Bill-related pieces of legislation to the House in November 2011.

The issue is of particular interest to his district, Griffin said: “We have doubled up our personnel working on those issues and we have a lot of veterans in our congressional district, so we are very attuned to this issue.”

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1. War Memorials

HJ Res. 70 would have opened all of our national parks and museums, including the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC that was initially closed to veterans by the administration. This attempt was blocked by senate democrats, and the measure received a veto threat from President Obama.

2. Survivor’s Benefits for Families of Slain Soldiers

HJ Res. 91 ensures that death benefits to families of fallen troops will continue to be disbursed during the government shutdown. The senate democrats have yet to act on the measure.

3. Back Pay for Federal Workers Furloughed Due to the Shutdown

HR 3223 provides for compensation of federal employees furloughed due to Senate Democrats’ government shutdown. This is similar to bipartisan legislation enacted during previous shutdowns. This legislation is pending action in the senate.

4. The District of Columbia

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HJ Res. 71 allows our nation’s capital to continue operating using its own funding. It was blocked by senate democrats and received a veto threat from President Obama.

5. The National Institute of Health

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HJ Res. 73 provides funding for the National Institute of Health, which is responsible for lifesaving medical innovations and cancer research. The measure to continue lifesaving practices going received a veto threat from President Obama, and it has been blocked from further progress by senate democrats.

6. Military Benefits and Services for Veterans

HJ Res. 72 provides immediate funding for critical veterans benefits and services, including disability claims, education and training, and more. The measure was blocked by senate democrats and received a veto threat from President Obama.


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HJ Res. 85 provides immediate funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It was blocked by senate democrats and received a veto threat from President Obama.

8. SNAP and WIC Programs

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HJ Res. 75 provides immediate funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, which “serves nearly 9 million mothers and young children,” and provides “vital nutrition that poor families might otherwise be unable to afford.” President Obama has threatened to veto the measure and Senate Democrats are blocking it from moving further. It seems democrats are channeling their inner Dikembe Mutombo…

9. The FDA

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HJ Res. 77 provides immediate funding for the Food and Drug Administration. It has been blocked by Senate democrats and received a veto threat from President Obama.

10. Head Start Programs

HJ Res. 84 provides critical education funding to support Head Start programs across the country. The measure was blocked by senate democrats and received a veto threat from President Obama. Anyone? Anyone?

11. The FAA

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HJ Res. 90 provides immediate funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This was also blocked by Senate Democrats and received a veto threat from President Obama.

12. Regular Pay Periods for Non-Furloughed Workers

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HJ Res. 89 ensures that federal employees who are still on the job during Democrats’ shutdown are paid on time. The measure was blocked by senate democrats and received a veto threat from President Obama.

13. A Bipartisan, Bicameral Group to Negotiate, Resolve Differences, Re-Open the Government, and Address the Federal Debt

The ‘Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth Working Group Act’ was initiated by HR 3273, but was blocked by senate democrats and received a veto threat from President Obama.

The GOP Has Tried, the Democrats Have Cried

I think it’s pretty clear who wants to keep the government running and get our nation’s fiscal house in order, and who is trying to inflict as much pain as possible.

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The ConversationMr. Trump, theres someone Id like you to meet.

Well, not one person per se, but the thousands of veterans Ive had the privilege to work with as a clinical psychologist over the past 20 years. Theyve served this country proudly shouldering the responsibilities of the world while others went to college or into family business. Theyve served in war zones in Germany, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and places some probably couldnt pronounce or find on a world map.

These men and women have seen direct combat and the aftermath of battle, and experienced extreme threats to personal safety. Theyve lived through the unthinkable rocket-propelled grenade and artillery attacks, seeing friends bodies ripped in half or faces blown off, handled human remains, intentionally killed enemy combatants and had to live with the haunting consequences of accidentally taking the life of women and children.

In the war zone, our brave mens and womens safety is often in danger. Alert around the clock, they are in constant fear of attack, have concern over encountering explosive devices and come within inches of their own death. Even in peacetime, our military face significant stressors assisting in disaster relief and other humanitarian efforts, exposure to hazards and harmful substances and strenuous physical demands.

I not only have treated veterans with PTSD but have studied PTSD extensively too, at several of our countrys most elite research institutions. Id like to lay out some evidence to explain why our combat veterans are not weak. They are the strongest people I have ever met.

And, they typically do not want to burden people with their pain. Most would never hold a grudge, go public on social media with their experiences or blame anyone else for their difficulties. Thus, I feel it is important, as a clinician and researcher, to defend these men and women who defended us.

Lives never the same

A wounded warrior and former President George W. Bush at the Symposium on Invisible Wounds. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Combat trauma is a powerful predictor for a number of mental health problems. PTSD is, of course, the most notable consequence, but veterans who have served in war zones also suffer alarming rates of depression, anxiety and substance abuse. And in recent years, the high suicide rates among U.S. service members have soared to an estimated 22 dying by their own hand each day.

If knowing that isnt enough to make most Americans including you hang their heads, pause in appreciation and potentially cry, Im not sure what would.

Sadly, veterans with PTSD also have what health care professionals call a reduced quality of life. They go to work less and use more health care services.

Unless treated, PTSD typically runs a chronic course and haunts a person for many years or decades. Thus, the substantial burden of PTSD is not just on a veterans back, but on their families, their communities and society as well.

And as for those who, as you said, cant handle war, a large research literature exists on risk factors that make a person more susceptible to develop PTSD. The science on risk factors for PTSD does not support the idea that veterans are weak! Longer deployment time, more severe combat exposure, more severe physical injury and traumatic brain injury are some of the variables that pack the biggest punch in contributing to PTSD.

Silent suffering adds to the burden

Years ago, while I was running large psychotherapy groups for Vietnam veterans and those who served in the first Persian Gulf war, one of my veterans said to me, Why do you do what you do? Without missing a beat, and straight from my heart, I said, Because there but for the grace of God go I.

I have no doubt that had I directly experienced or witnessed the things that they did, that I would come home with intrusive, gruesome nightmares, daytime replays of faces who died recurring in my mind, continuing thoughts that I could have done something differently. These are not signs of being weak. These are signs of being human. Caring, loving, wonderful souls.

Many of our nations veterans dont receive the services they need and deserve or wait decades before seeking help. Theres a host of reasons for this, including denial or minimization of problems, avoidance of trauma memories and reminders, stigma and wanting to solve problems on ones own.

But the biggest barrier, in my clinician experience, and one that has been verified in research is concern over being seen as weak. And so they suffer in silence. For way too long.

All these years, I thought was crazy

A veteran commemorating Veterans Day, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

About 10 years ago, one World War II veteran was referred to me by a primary care doc. Always dutiful, he came pleasantly to my office on his physicians orders not really understanding why he was there. As I rattled off some signs and symptoms of trauma-related distress, his eyes widened as if to say, How do you know whats been happening to me? He thought he had buried the horrors deep in his soul. He was shocked when he thought I could see it. This large, strong 80-plus year-old man openly sobbed and said, All these years, I thought I was crazy, lazy, weak and bad.

I wanted to cry too. This man suffered in silence for over 60 years. How sad is that?

In the line of duty and service to our country, men and women risk lasting impact on their mental and physical well-being, as well as on their families. They deserve respect, not shaming.

Joan Cook, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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Macey Foronda

WASHINGTON — Former Senators Bill Bradley, Tom Daschle, Christopher Dodd and Alan Simpson — all of whom voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 — told the Supreme Court Friday that “the original justifications for DOMA can no longer be credited today,” concluding that “our constitutional commitment to equality does not tolerate such discrimination.”

In urging the Supreme Court to strike down the federal prohibition on recognizing the state-sanctioned marriages of same-sex couples, the former senators tell the court:

DOMA is an especially poor candidate for any claim of deference to the constitutional judgment of the political braches. It was enacted hastily, with little independent consideration of its constitutionality, against the backdrop of a constitutional jurisprudence this Court has since abandoned. It was premised in large part on fears that subsequent experience has proven unfounded. And it effects a discrimination that we now have come to recognize as incompatible with our constitutional commitment to equal treatment under the law.

After detailing societal and legal changes — from state marriage law to the military — they conclude, “In short, the suggestion that our country’s vital institutions need protection from gay families has been thoroughly discredited by our national experience.”

Regardless of whether the Constitution prohibits the federal government from treating those gay and lesbian couples differently under the law, a group of law professors who hold differing views on that question told the Supreme Court that the DOMA is nonetheless unconstitutional because Congress has no right to pass such a law.

As groups and people opposing the Defense of Marriage Act’s federal definition of marriage file amici curiae, or friends of the court, briefs in advance of Friday’s deadline, the professors — primarily those with a libertarian focus in their work — oppose DOMA as an unconstitutional intrusion on states’ rights to define marriage.

This federalism argument has figured into the reason why two federal appeals courts have struck down Section 3 of DOMA, the federal definition of “marriage” and “spouse,” as unconstitutional. It is not, however, directly advanced by either Edith Windsor, the lesbian widow challenging DOMA at the Supreme Court, or the Obama administration, which has taken Windsor’s side in the case.

Several former senior cabinet and agency officials, including Health and Human Services secretaries under Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton — Louis Sullivan and and Donna Shalala, respectively — also filed a brief opposing DOMA on Friday. Other department or agencies represented among those who signed the brief are the Social Security Administration, the Department of Defense, the Department of Labor, the Office of Personnel Management, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Contrary to the defense of the law raised by House Republican leaders, the brief argues that “Section 3 of DOMA does not ease administrative burdens or simplify the determinations made by federal agencies.” The officials go on to note, “Despite significant differences among the states over the validity of marriages, Congress never imposed a single federal benchmark before 1996 and then did so only with respect to one particular aspect of marital eligibility.”

Military and intelligence officials — from former Defense Secretary William Cohen and counterterrorism official Richard Clarke to retired Army Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy and retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark — spoke out against the impact of DOMA on the military after the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Calling the limits that DOMA places on servicemembers “simply untenable,” the brief — authored by prominent Supreme Court lawyer Carter Phillips of Sidley Austin — contends that “DOMA harms the military by depriving a subset of legally married servicemembers and their families of the very benefits—including healthcare, housing, equal pay, and survivorship benefits—that common sense, military experience, and research have demonstrated to be essential to all military families and more fundamentally to military effectiveness.”

Other briefs have come in from 212 members of Congress, the American Bar Association and, perhaps most surprisingly, a former CIA officer who argues that “DOMA dissuades countless patriotic and intelligent Americans from entering or continuing federal service, regardless of the agency involved.”

The professors who signed on to the federalism-focused brief are Jonathan Adler from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Lynn Baker from the University of Texas School of Law, Randy Barnett from Georgetown University Law Center, Dale Carpenter from the University of Minnesota Law School, Ilya Somin from George Mason University School of Law, and Ernest Young from Duke Law School.

In explaining Friday’s filing, however, the law professors write:

The signatories of this brief hold a variety of opinions about same-sex marriage and about how the Constitution’s individual-rights provisions may bear on regulation of those marriages. But we agree that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is an unconstitutional and unprecedented incursion into States’ police powers.

Describing why, they note, “DOMA shatters two centuries of federal practice. Read plainly and fairly, DOMA creates, for the first time, a blanket federal marital status that exists independent of States’ family-status determinations.”

Addressing the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group’s defense of the law, they conclude:

DOMA falls outside Congress’s powers. Marriage is not commercial activity, and DOMA is not limited to federal-benefit programs that might rest on the Spending Clause. Any action by Congress that falls outside its specifically enumerated powers must be justified under the Necessary and Proper Clause, and DOMA cannot pass that test. …

BLAG is wrong. The legitimacy of same-sex marriage is a difficult and divisive issue, yet it is one that our federalism has been addressing with considerable success. Congress may regulate in this area to the extent necessary to further its enumerated powers. But it may not simply reject the States’ policy judgments as if it had the same authority to make domestic-relations law as they do.

The former CIA officer, Graham Segroves, worked for the CIA from 2002 through 2012, and argues that “one of the Federal Government’s most essential functions is to defend national security.” To that end, he tells the court:

Our Nation’s foreign enemies typically speak languages far different from our own, practice customs far different from our own, and, in some cases, do not recognize our right to exist. As a result, the threats that face our Nation today are exceedingly complex. Our defense against those threats requires a diverse workforce of dedicated public servants with unique skill sets, including the ability to speak foreign languages, understand foreign customs, operate discreetly within foreign nations, and develop leading-edge technologies.

DOMA hampers the Federal Government’s ability to attract and retain the personnel necessary to meet these unique challenges.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the DOMA challenge, United States v. Windsor, on March 27.

3. Former Senators, Opposing DOMA

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4. Federalism Professors, Opposing DOMA

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5. Former Cabinet and Agency Heads, Opposing DOMA

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6. Military & Intelligence Officials, Opposing DOMA

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7. Former CIA Officer, Opposing DOMA

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8. American Bar Association, Opposing DOMA

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A while ago,Icollaborated with famed dream expert,Lauri Loewenberg,todecodeany and all of your freakiest sex dreams. And Ive had a guilty conscience about it ever since.

I know there are far freakier sex dreams than the 22 general concepts that arementioned on that list. We all have deeply personal, weirdly detailed dreams that we sometimes just cant seem to shake out of our heads.

Like, WHY did you dream about that guy from the grocery store yesterday? WHY was he wearing atop hat and nothing else?!What does it mean? Do you have to tell your boyfriend? Are you actually into the weird grocery store guy?!

So, Ive decided to start a column.You guys can submit your sex,and we will have Lauri interpretone dream a week.

This week we have 24-year-old Jennifer*, who cant stop having dreams about her rapist:

I am running down a long hall, with doors lining both sides, trying to remember which one Im supposed to go through.

Suddenly, I fly through a wall and Im in my brothers room, having sex with my big brother and feeling guilty as hell, but I couldnt stop or go away. Then, my whole family walks through the door, pulls us apart and my step dad starts whipping us with his belt.

I have had this dream quite a few times. My brother raped me in real life, and my step dad was extremely abusive. Its just been freaking me out.

Heres Lauris Interpretation:

Repetitive nightmares that mimic an actual, real-life trauma are a classic symptom of PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder). PTSD is most commonly associated with combat veterans, but you dont have to have been through a war to have it.

Any sort of horrific event that scars the psyche is fertile ground for PTSD. If you havent yet, please, please, PLEASE seek out a mental health practitioner, so you can be properly diagnosed and treated.

In the meantime, Ill tackle this dream for you, and then, Ill give you a powerful technique you can start doing tonight to help end these nightmares.

Your dream takes place in a hallway, which means you are in some sort of transition in waking life because we use hallways to get to another room or another part of the house. This does concern me that, since youve had this dream quite a few times, you are in limbo somewhere in your life.

Just as you cant remember which door to go through, what area of your life seems to be getting you nowhere?

I think your dream is showing you that the source of your limbo is the rape you suffered at the hands of your brother AND the abuse from your stepfather. The emotions you have in this dream are indicative of what is going on in your psyche to this day: You feel guilty.

I have dealt with countless women who were abused in their past, and they continue to get dreams that the abuse is still happening.

And one of the reasons is that they carry guilt over it and beat themselves up because some part of them feels they allowed the abuse to happen.

It isa vicious cycle: The guilt creates the dreams, and the dreams enforce the guilt.

Therapy will help you get to the bottom of the guilt and help you to release its hold on you. In these dreams, your family pulls you and your brother apart. This is because your psyche desperately wants to separate from your past.

It seems you are still holding on to it.

Heres what you can do to start the separation process, so you can be free from the guilt and the painful past and these dreams.

Tonight, at bedtime, right before you turn out your light to go to sleep, write this dream down in a journal in as much detail as you can remember. Write down thethoughts you had in the dream, how you felt everything.

When you get to the end, the point at which you normally wake up, keep writing!

Then, write out a different ending, where you somehow take control. Create the ending you would like.

Its a dream, so you can be as creative as youd like. There are no rules! You can pull out your Harry Potter wand, cry out Furnunculus! and watch in delight as boils pop up all over your brothers and stepfathers bodies.

Remember, this dream is a creation of your own mind, so you have the ability and the right to recreate it.

It is also important that, in your dream recreation, you also write out what you would love to say to them if they were sitting right in front of you.

Get it all out of you and onto paper. Curse those mother-effers out, if you want to. Just get it out of your psyche and onto paper.

Once you feel you have exhausted yourself, rip it out of your journal and throw it in the trash. This sends the message to your subconscious that these dreams are useless to you.

I know one woman who, in doing this technique, peed on her journal papers after ripping them out. Ha ha! You are certainly welcome to do that as well.

I recommend you do this every single night for, AT LEAST, one week straight, and then again every time you get the dream. You can change up the ending every night, if youd like to keep it interesting.

By doing this, you are reprogramming your subconscious and letting it know this is the new story we are telling ourselves, not that old, awful one. Your subconscious will follow suit, and the dream will change or even stop entirely. Ive had clients whose dreams changed after the very first night!

So promise me you will do this and that you will also get some professional help, if you havent already. A therapist whospecializes in PTSD, and who does dream therapy, would be your best bet.

These dreams dont have to be a curse. They can actually be a very tangible and powerful tool in your healing process. And healing is absolutely possible!

I hope this was helpful to Jennifer and anyone else dealing with the aftermath of something so traumatic and horrible.

If this is something youre also dealing with, the PTSD Foundation of Americahas a hotline crisisnumber specifically for victims of rape, abuse and incest. Call them any time at1 (800) 656-4673.

If you have your own sex dream youd like to have Lauri interpret, feel free to email it to us at And read our last installment here.

*Name has been changed.

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