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The Easiest Way To Show Your Disrespect For Soldiers Is To Say What These Officers Said To Her

In the civilian world, things are hard enough when you are attacked. In the military world, the struggle can be far worse. Their stories are often covered up, they are dismissed and often booted from the military they volunteered to join while the perpetrator remains.Olivia Gatwood (who is not a soldier), was sitting in the airport one day when she heard a bunch of troubling stories on CNN about female soldiers and what they go through when they are sexually assaulted. So she wrote a piece about it. This is the story that too many women in the military know far too well.TRIGGER WARNING: She talks about assaults and the cover-ups that occur after.

The Easiest Way To Show Your Disrespect For Soldiers Is To Say What These Officers Said To Her
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NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation

I asked Olivia what the poem meant to her, and she responded: "After thinking it through, I realized what struck me the hardest was how formulaic the process was; how all of the women had almost identical stories. It was so obvious to me that this was a systematic erasure, such an obvious cover-up.

"In America, we talk so much about supporting the troops, but the reality is, women are being raped in extremely high numbers and then being discharged for 'emotional problems.' I knew I wanted to showcase this, so the best angle was from the perspective of the actual U.S. armed forces. What better way to expose how this system works than to articulate the rules they've already created?"


The facts about sexual assault in the military are astonishingly awful. Less that 2.5% of the reported sexual assaults result in charges against the perpetrators. Around 75% of the men and women who are assaulted report the crimes in the first place. 40% of the time, the assailant is their ranking officer. Women make up about 15% of active duty forces but account for 47% of the victims. 90% of the victims are involuntarily discharged. The numbers go on and on.

So it's important that more people know this stuff. I'd appreciate it if you shared this.

If you'd like to see more of Olivia's work, you might want to Like her on Facebook.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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