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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Hey, thought you'd find this interesting:

Police services across the country are increasingly focusing on the need for better mental health training/internal supports (though they don't refer to anxiety and depression among officers directly).  The training they get tends to be academic, not hands on.

Through provincial consultations (Poverty reduction, youth engagement, etc.) happening now, mental health is emerging as a much more pervasive issue than has been fully recognized - it's the new left-handedness.  It also happens to be one of the few areas that all Parties, at all levels, have demonstrated a willingness to work together to address.

The Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods consultations are bringing up the connection between physical space (living in a slum, for instance) and mental health concerns.  Work being done in the States suggests that environmental plays a much bigger role in addictions than has been previously recognized.  
Mental illness in the workplace is having a massive impact on productivity and presenteeism (the act of being at work but functioning at less than 100%).  Apparently, something like 60% of OPS employees are receiving assistance for mental health concerns (details not sure of, but with a number that high, it suggests a structural concern).  This looks to be a symptom of management techniques and work/work space design not suited to the sorts of expectations being placed on people today.

With The Aspiring Workforce report, the other side of the equation is emerging - people with "mental illness" are having a hard time being hired.  Part of that is due to the fact they need special accommodations and understanding on the part of employers, much as do expecting mothers or persons with physical disabilities.  Due to this stigma, far too many able-bodied people are languishing on the margins of society, having run-ins with the law and ending up on the street and in the hospital (see previous points).

We've diagnosed the wrong root cause for our economic, democratic and quality-of-life woes.  We're focusing on treating lead poisoning instead of taking the lead out of the pipe, pushing people to adapt to an outdated work/life model instead of adapting our institutions to the times.  

The Mental Elephant In The Room

Across Canada, police are bearing the brunt of broken mental health care systems and are calling for increased funding for mental health and social services.
In August, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police issued a press release, arguing that "police should not be on the frontline on mental health issues." In mid-September, the Vancouver Police Department noted that 21% of its calls involve individuals with mental illness.
In 2011, Toronto police officers arrested 8500 people under Ontario's Mental Health Act, which allows police to apprehend people with mental illnesses and take them to hospitals if they pose potential harm to themselves or others.
Toronto Police Service spokesperson Mark Pugash was unable to provide further information or arrange an interview, however, saying "all of these issues are under review" in the inquiry into the shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim. Armed with a knife on a Toronto streetcar in July, Yatim died after being shot repeatedly by an officer.
Vancouver Police Department Chief Jim Chu says psychiatric episodes requiring a police response would be less frequent if mental health services played a more preventative role. Chu blames deinstitutionalization in the 1990s, coupled with subpar funding for community mental health services.
"We're encountering people that should be institutionalized," he says. "We deal with them and they're back on the street a day later, and then we deal with them and they're back on the street two days later."
Saskatoon Police Service Chief Clive Weighill notes that although crime has "come down steadily in Canada in the last few years, there's been an increase in this [mental health] field."
Dr. Kwame McKenzie, a medical director at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, says the problem is that "none of [the mental health hospitals] are responsible for mental health in the community," and thus it's left to police to fulfill the role of connecting psychiatric patients to health services.
As Chief Weighill explains, "We see people with substance abuse issues or other issues and are willing to go for help. But then we can't get them into the system for three to four weeks."
Police training, however, has been slow to reflect the growing burden of mental health emergencies on law enforcement. Most police academies introduced mental health training in their curricula only in the last 10–15 years, according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada. On-the-job training, meanwhile, varies widely by jurisdiction, according to the commission's 2010 study.
The commission is calling for a standardized curriculum for police and for mental health services to play a larger role in the community. "We can't, nor should we, expect police to be mental health professionals," says President and CEO Louise Bradley.
According to Pat Capponi, a survivor of mental illness and cochair of the mental health subcommittee of the Toronto Police Services Board, police need to be more aware that being yelled at or getting handcuffed can be major "triggers" for people experiencing trauma.
Chief Chu stressed, however, that police are "very good at de-escalating situations," and argued that there is a public misconception about police using excessive force against mentally ill people, because only the exceptional cases are reported. "[The Vancouver Police Department is] making 2500 Mental Health Act apprehensions a year, do you hear about them?"

Tuesday 8 October 2013

An App That Saved 10,000 Lives

No, not this one (yet).

I'm sure there are many people who've seen picture emerging over the past several years that I have; as a society, we're wriggling out of the of an old skin to fully explore the potential of a new one.

It's an exciting time to be alive.

An App That Saved 10,000 Lives

While most start-ups feverishly track figures like the total number of users, Ron Gutman, the founder and chief executive of the health information start-up,HealthTap, is more interested in a different data point.

This week, the start-up heard from its 10,000th user who said the site saved her life.
“My local doctor brushed me off and told me it was anxiety without doing any tests at all,” wrote one woman who turned to HealthTap after seeing her doctor. After spending two hours on HealthTap, she was told by a doctor who contributes to the site that her condition sounded like a blocked artery. She soon saw a cardiology specialist who later inserted a coronary stent.

Since its founding in 2012, the site has logged nearly a billion questions and answers, from simple queries about headaches or the flu, to more complicated ones, like whether mechlorethamine is a cancer medication. Questions are then routed to a physician who is both an expert in that particular field of medicine, and who is determined by an algorithm to be likely to respond fast, Mr. Gutman said.

None of that would be possible without the participation of nearly 50,000 doctors who contribute their advice free. (Every page on the site has a disclaimer saying that the site “does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.”)

HealthTap, which is both a Web site and a mobile application, was recognized at its introduction for applying the principles of gaming — features like badges, rewards and reputation scores — to health care. Today, however, that has shifted.

If “gamification” was the hot phrase driving new app design 18 months ago, today start-ups are increasingly looking to the principles of behavioral psychology to encourage behaviors and return visits. HealthTap’s evolution shows how moving to behavioral psychology has helped it increase its number of users and the number of doctors who offer knowledge on the site at no cost.

Instead of the goofy digital awards that were featured in an earlier version of HealthTap, the site’s rewards for doctors have been now recast as decorous professional markers of accomplishment. Instead of the “Doogie Howser Award,” physicians are given more serious designations like “advocates,” “mentors” or “founding experts.”

A special dashboard on the site provides a slate of ego-boosting statistics and prompts with physicians’ reputation scores, user comments and most crucially, areas in which other doctors consider them experts.

This way, the site appeals to the value that doctors place on reputation, expertise and authority. It is also marketed to doctors as a way to find new patients.

“There’s something really powerful in the ability to create positive feedback loops,” said Mr. Gutman, who learned through his many conversations with doctors that they craved something simple after days full of appointments — they simply wanted to be thanked.
So now, after a person receives an answer from a HealthTap doctor, they are prompted by the system to thank the doctor, or the site, or both. The woman with the blocked artery, for example, was even prompted to indicate if the service saved her life — a smart touch that not only helps the site track its success, but offers incredibly powerful reason for a doctors to keep coming back and answer more questions.

Commit Sociology? So Say We All!

Yuppers!  The same, oddly enough, is proving true for business, too.  

What, pray tell, is the catalyst for relationships?  A shared vision.  Where do we set out from in pursuit of that vision?  Common ground - which we're willing to look for when we focus on our being part of something greater than ourselves.  

And this business about psychological costs - psychology is a mental health thing, right?  Do we do psychological cost/benefit analyses - what would we find if we did?

Not a new idea - just a timely one.

The Economic Water Hole

Competition isn't about getting more by spending more, it's about getting more for less.  Social evolution relies on innovation and collaboration, not individual "fitness" and ability to get ahead.  When you apply biological evolutionary competition to a social evolutionary model, it becomes a race to the bottom.

Which why regardless of whether we want selfish competitiveness, what we need is visionary leadership.

Adding Value - Envisioning Strong Communities

I don't agree with Coyne's strictly market-based view of the world - I find that too much a two-dimensional approach to what's really a nuanced, multi-faceted social system.  Not everyone likes to commit sociology, I guess.

But I always gain something by reading him; new insight, new ideas to explore and of course, he just writes well.  Reading Coyne is an enjoyable experience; his writing adds value to my day.  For all these reasons, it's always a pleasure to promote his work; I want other people to share the enjoyment of his work that I do.

Why, though?  What's in it for me to share something positive with others?  On the surface, nothing; I'm not making any money from it.  You could say that if I post his stuff and link to my blog, I'm selfishly driving traffic - which is true, but that's not what motivates me.  In fact, at the sub-conscious level, the reverse is true.

It's not that I spread his Word to steal some of his brand market share; it's that at some level, I feel that serving as a sort of promotional wing-man to good writers, my brand increases by association.  This is the same reason that politicians will join a Political Party or the cool kids in school have groups that follow them; there's this sense that by associating with people that have general appeal, we increase our social status as well.   When you think about it, it's the same reason any charismatic leader from Ghandi to Martin Luther King Jr. to founders of faiths like Jesus or Mohammed inspire followings.

In behavioural sciences, this is called lekking.  In the crudest terms, males attempting to attract the best mates will seek out the most attractive male (who assumedly will attract enough attention to have freedom to choose the best female) to hang out with.  The evolutionary drive behind this is that once the alpha male has chosen, you'll stand a better chance of landing the next most attractive (and therefore healthiest/best adapted) female, furthering your chances of successfully carrying on your genes.  For the alpha male, the benefit is clear - the more wingmen he has, the more impressive he looks - strengthening his options.

For the female, the same is true - the more males you get in one place, the better your odds of selecting the cream of the crop.

Nonsense, you might say - humans are rational creatures, we make conscious choices; our behaviour isn't driven by genetically-transferred evolutionary motivation.  Which naturally explains why men in mid-life crises buy expensive cars, why profit-oriented people will waste money on poor financial management and why politicians/political consultants never do stupid things that will get them in trouble, right?  Why are people still getting law degrees when it's clear there's a glut in the law-practicing market?  The truth is, we aren't rational creatures that always act with our long-term best interests in mind.

Exactly.  Thanks, Ian.

But that's not the end of the story.  While it's true that not everyone is a social catalyst, adding value that others will strictly share, it's equally true that some catalysts have the ability to inspire others to create value as well, building on a theme.

I think it's telling that Coyne uses the Apple metaphor - it's the same one that Simon Sinek used to kick off his TED Talk about how great leaders inspire action.  Note that word - inspire.

It's unfortunate that many of the world's current crop of bosses feel that inspiration is too much of a hopey-changey frill concept, especially as we're suffering from a dearth of fresh ideas and new products/services to sell in the Knowledge Economy.  The reason this is so tragic is that it's the act of inspiration that catalyzes innovation.  

Inspiration can work in a couple of different ways - it can come in the form of challenging people to create solutions to problems with the pay-off being recognition, but it can also come in the form of sparking contributions with something that's so unbelievably cool and catchy that people want to be part of it in meaningful ways but adding their own value to the shared vision.

That's how memes manage to inspire people to spend ridiculous amounts of free time coming up with their own takes on a shared theme.  It's how using existing tools in new, shared-solution ways empowers people to contribute.  For the latter process to work, though, the catalysts need to connect with others and make them feel part of something greater - a process which is dependent on communication, trust and empathetic respect.

I've had the great fortune of attending two of the City of Toronto's Strong Neighbourhoods consultations, being held around the City with the intent of soliciting community ideas about how Toronto can do community (infrastructure, services, relationships) better.  The amount of effort the Strong Neighbourhoods team has put into the research and planning phase is palpable.  Their commitment to the process and depth of knowledge is comforting.  More than that, though, the infectious enthusiasm and excitement about sharing ideas from folk like Kimya and Fenicia make you want to be part of the process.

At the first session, when asked for input on things they could improve upon, it was suggested they add Twitter to the conversation.  By the next session, that was done.  Apart from growing the conversation, this simply act sent the message "we're walking the walk" - giving others the confidence that their time and participation would not be wasted.  

Communication.  Respect.  Trust - and as a result, value-added contributions.

To tie all these threads together; as Andrew Coyne states, the thing that inspires people to contribute isn't wealth (that inspires them to take away) or brand (which encourages them to share what's already been established) - it's vision.

With that in mind, riddle me this - what does Toronto mean to you?  What do you see Canada as a world-leader of?  What is the thread that weaves us together, the common ground we stand on?

At the moment, we don't have leaders who believe in vision, facilitation or shared solutions.  We also face a deficit of innovation and are bogged down by big, structural problems that folk can't seem to agree upon.

I'll leave the parallel-drawing to you.

You're waiting for a train...

Veterans Deserve Leaders, Not Bosses

Someone might have told Team Harper it's dangerous to ignore our veterans.  Not that they'd listen; after all, when you see yourself as an empire, you delude yourself into thinking you get to make up the rules as you go.

I would love to see statistics on how many Afghan vets have had run-ins with the correctional system (or for that matter, vets at large).  I would not be surprised to see a disproportionate number, similar to what we see with other marginalized demographics.   There's this thing when you are trained for life-or-death situations, spend time in combat zones (or surrounded by the fallout of combat) where that becomes your norm.  It's like going from the race track to driving a suburban road with speed bumps - the dissonance takes a toll.

But even worse - and this is truly heartbreaking - soldiers are trained to serve the country, follow orders, and put the team first.  In other words, it's beaten in to their head to never stand up for their own rights.  Just as individual soldiers are able to perform their duties most effectively when they don't need to watch their own back, there is a tacit expectation that in giving their all for their country, their country will have their back in return.

The "every man for himself" ideological approach Team Harper is taking isn't only a betrayal of that trust, it's an approach that is scientifically proven not to work.  It drives me absolutely nuts that we have some of the world's most advanced neurological research going on in Canada and yet we constantly see policy that's grounded in abstract economic theory, if even that.

I could add all the regular links, but I grow tired of repeating the same lessons to people who can't motivate themselves to care beyond their own limited perspectives.  

The Red Herring of Wealth

Not the money; the attitude.

What is that attitude, exactly?  Money-focused, selfish, competitive, functionally fixed?  Entitlement is our favoured slur when referring to 1%-type people.  The sense that one has a right to spend other people's money.

Here's where it gets interesting.

Because that's exactly what everyone else is supposed to be wanting - get paid more by other people (customers, taxpayers, either way your funders) to get more stuff.  That's what the capitalist system is designed to encourage.

As Ian Troop rightly stated, his folk were functioning within the parameters of their operating budget (though he also added "You follow your policy, but sometimes you don't realize that common sense sometimes has to intrude.")  I'd take it a step further - they were acting exactly as the free market would have them do.  They're taking an inch, maximizing their Return On Investment and only considering that maybe they should back down when there's an equal and opposite reaction.  Capitalism is all about maximizing personal profit, right?

Except here's the thing - I'd bet dollars to Tim Hortons' doughnuts that these high-paid executives are wasting their personal money in much the same way as they are their operating budgets.  The reason I say this with confidence is that I've seen it again and again - high-paid consultants who will aggressively push for contracts (and sometimes get in trouble for some of the work they do) completely ignoring legitimate expense claims, to their own loss.  Firms that charge by the hour will fritter away thousands of HR hours by not aligning and sticking to meeting times.  Perhaps profit-oriented isn't the same as financial-management oriented.

Think about it for a second.  Successful people with money don't peruse discount flyers - they don't care.  It's the middle-to-low income people that actually pinch and save around the margins.  Rich folk take beach vacations, same as anyone - their beaches are just further away.

What other sorts of things will rich people spend money on?  High-priced clothes.  Fancy cars.  Houses that are bigger than they can use.  More cars.  Overpriced food.  Access to other important people.  Exclusive conversations.  Drinks for peers or, occasionally, people they don't feel are in their class.  Exclusive items.  Note the trend?  It's not really about dollars in the bank or material wealth - it's about having and doing things other people can't.  

Let's go back to the entitled expenses again for a moment; people charging what common sense would suggest they not.  Why?  I'd say it's the same phenomenon as Wall Street refusing to clean up their act or billionaires envying zillionaires; it's not about maximizing profit, but reaffirming the competitive strength of being able to get more than the other guy.

We define wealth as lots of money, but that's not accurate.  When you get down to it, wealth is about having more than other people and being recognized for that position through status symbols.  It's the same story from Corporate America to the Egyptian pyramids (status symbols) to the Kula Ring.

In short, money and stuff is the how - respect and status are the why.

It used to be that land ownership was the thing that conferred status - lords and title, etc.  Now, you can be ridiculously wealthy and live in a condo.  There was a time when owning the means of production (the ability to make things other people needed or wanted) was the signature of success.  The stuff you could afford from being bourgeoisie was the social equivalent to a peacock's feathers - you can afford to be ostentatious with your resources, because you're that well endowed.

Big property is still a sign of status, as is the ownership of means of production, both technological and human.  Clothes and things of limited access to the majority are also still important, but there's something out there that confers even greater status on its owner and presents a greater challenge to the competitive folk who want to be #1:


You can own islands and not be original.  You could own massive machines, yet not have the capacity to innovate new ones.  You can partake in exclusive conversations in leather-chaired rooms, but if you're not witty, you won't spark as much interest on social media as will someone with something to say.

People with one or two ideas will promote them extensively, spending money on marketing to fluff up their brand; they might even be dismissive of other ideas, because it's easier to downplay competition than it is to keep coming up with new ideas.

In the polycultural justin time marketplace we want new, different, multi-purpose and yes, exclusive.  But with iterations happening so rapidly, you have to run to stay in place.  The ability to manufacture innovations is now desirable, the thing we're willing to invest in.  And those who come up with ideas, like true artists, retain a special place in the pantheon of social status.

Wealth is a red herring that doesn't produce the recognition it once did - big money is like a law degree, it's currency has been reduced by its increasing frequency.

Innovation, however, will never outgrow its value.  The funny thing about innovation is that, by its nature, it is collaborative, failure-reliant and problem-solving oriented (rather than material goods-oriented).

Whereas money used to be the thing that entitled one to attitude, it's now the right attitude that will earn you the money.

Monday 7 October 2013

The Invisible Social Barrier

If you read this blog at all, all of this will sound familiar.  

I like to call the concept of this barrier Plato's Desktop - like Plato's Cave, only networked.

Networked is a key piece not covered in this article; we might like to think we're independent silos, but we're not.  There's a fourth leg, a fourth dimension to that stool of our lives - and that's society.

The more we deny this fact and try to act as though we're not connected, the greater becomes the friction between us - witness politics on both sides of the border or the increasing tensions between the 1% and everyone else.

We're chafing against the glass walls of our own perceived limitations and will continue to do so until we break through.

That part is inevitable; it's the wait while pressure builds that is enough to drive one crazy.

OTTAWA -- Ninety per cent of Canadians with serious mental illnesses are unemployed due largely to prejudice about their conditions -- a startling state of affairs that costs the Canadian economy an estimated $50 billion a year, according to a sweeping new report.

The Aspiring Workforce report, commissioned by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, delves into the challenges facing those Canadians, targeting all levels of government, businesses, policy-makers and the not-for-profit sector in addition to the attitudes of Canadians themselves towards those who suffer from mental illness.

Obtained by The Canadian Press, the report -- conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the University of Toronto and Queen's University -- recommends collaboration among all sectors to find work for mentally ill Canadians, many of whom have training and skills.
"This report represents hope, it really does, for many people who are voiceless," Patrick Dion, vice-chairman of the commission, said in an interview.
"It's astonishing that 90 per cent of the mentally ill are unemployed. Our lives are a three-legged stool -- a home, a job and a friend -- and so if that job leg isn't there, the journey to recovery is made that much more difficult."
In its executive summary, the Aspiring Workforce report urges a "national program of action to change this situation. There are effective ways to increase employment; this is a problem that has solutions."

It calls for early intervention, noting that the longer someone spends away from the workforce, the more difficult it is for them to get back to work.

It also urges governments to remove disincentives to return to work, noting that those receiving disability payments often fear leaving those programs because their financial situation might become precarious, and could even worsen, by returning to work.

Dion calls that recommendation the most crucial part of the report.

"Imagine getting into the paradox of having employment programs that may provide you with your drug benefits and care around your mental health, and they get clawed back because you're making money that still leaves you marginally below the poverty line," he said.

"If provincial governments across the country were to move in unison to provide adaptability on those types of programs, that would certainly provide a whole lot more hope and a whole lot more employment."

The report, to be officially released on Wednesday in the midst of a worldwide Mental Health Awareness Week, also calls for stable funding for what's known as "best practices" -- programs that support the employment of the mentally ill.

Andrea Payne, a human resources manager for 18 Tim Hortons franchises in Kingston, Ont., has first-hand knowledge of how hiring and accommodating mentally ill employees has benefited her employer, J.E. Agnew Food Services, a Tim Hortons franchisee.

Payne has worked with community organizations that include the Frontenac Community Mental Health and Addictions Services to place many motivated employees over the past six years. There's been no downside, she said in an interview.

"They're not just screened, they have employment preparation," she said. "They come very prepared, they want to work and they're very eager. The job is definitely party of their recuperation ... it's a huge part of their recovery."

Many of the affected Canadians who responded to a survey by the Aspiring Workforce researchers reported that the stigma surrounding mental illness was a major barrier to their return to the workforce.

"People are afraid," one survey respondent said. "They don't understand (mental illness) and don't want to be educated. They don't want to realize it is the same as diabetes or epilepsy."
In 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the creation of the non-profit Mental Health Commission of Canada in response to a Senate committee that studied mental health, mental illness and addiction.

"Harper has moved forward where other governments haven't, and he should be applauded for it," Dion said.

Canada's first-ever national strategy to improve mental health for all Canadians was released by the commission last year. It emphasized recovery from mental illness and urged for more prevention, especially when dealing with young people.

Last week, a campaign aimed at reducing youth suicide rates in Canada was launched by the Partners for Mental Health and Michael Kirby, the former chairman of Mental Health Commission.

The campaign hopes to "draw attention to the fact that Canada is failing to meet the mental health needs of our children and youth with devastating consequences like youth suicide."
In an interview, Kirby said the response has been positive to the campaign, which urges early detection and treatment of mental illness among youth.

"It's not being rejected out of hand by anybody," he said. "The federal government recognizes that down the road, they can save money if they get kids treated earlier."

Dion is equally optimistic for the Aspiring Workforce recommendations.

"It's my hope that all levels of government will give careful consideration to these recommendations because there's lots that can be done easily, and wouldn't necessarily come at great expense," he said.

Indeed, the report found that working improves the lives of the mentally ill while reducing the economic costs. People with mental illness who work, for example, use far fewer hospital and other health services than those who are unemployed.

Approximately $28.8 billion is also spent every year in public disability income support for people with mental illness; the report argues that increasing employment will dramatically reduce those costs.

"Everyone is a winner if we make the right changes," the report states. "No country can now afford to have productive citizens sitting idle because of poorly designed health and social programs."

Into The Light: A Mentally Healthy Canada

Or left-handedness, for that matter.  But what is fear, if not a state of mind?

If you knew you had a massive, structural problem - a social cancer, if you will, growing worse and taking a greater toll on the economic, mental and physical well-being of the country, wouldn't you want to act on it?  If one common problem kept popping up in field after field, study after study, conversation after conversation, wouldn't you feel compelled to address it?

If someone opened a door - would you choose to walk out of the darkness?

Unsupported veterans with PTSD ending up in poverty or prison.

Individuals from structurally impoverished communities falling into further crime, or poverty.

Canadians living in the shadow of pervasive stigma becoming radicalized in their views and looking for places to belong - be it extremism of the political or religious variety.

Cognitive labour with all its positives (innovation, increased productivity, knowledge transfer communications efficiency and value-add) and negatives (presenteeism, bullying, harassment, suicide, depression, aggressive competition).

And the need to break down old walls and build on common ground if we're to move beyond these hurdles.

The picture is there; all we need to do is recognize the silos for what they are and start connecting dots.

Sunday 6 October 2013

Is Stephen Harper To Blame for Quebec's Charter?


Simpson on Canada's Consumer-Based Model of Politics

Words to Live By:

Image preview


The Road Less Travelled

Taken from my increasingly lonely blackberry on a damp forest path, deep in the heart of suburbia. 

You don't encounter many other travelers on the less-travelled path - which is why, every now and then, it's nice to share the journey.

Canada's Vets Deserve Leadership

Someone might have told Team Harper it's dangerous to ignore our veterans.  Not that they'd listen; after all, when you see yourself as an empire, you delude yourself into thinking you get to make up the rules as you go.

I would love to see statistics on how many Afghan vets have had run-ins with the correctional system (or for that matter, vets at large).  I would not be surprised to see a disproportionate number, similar to what we see with other marginalized demographics.   There's this thing when you are trained for life-or-death situations, spend time in combat zones (or surrounded by the fallout of combat) where that becomes your norm.  It's like going from the race track to driving a suburban road with speed bumps - the dissonance takes a toll.

But even worse - and this is truly heartbreaking - soldiers are trained to serve the country, follow orders, and put the team first.  In other words, it's beaten in to their head to never stand up for their own rights.  Just as individual soldiers are able to perform their duties most effectively when they don't need to watch their own back, there is a tacit expectation that in giving their all for their country, their country will have their back in return.

The "every man for himself" ideological approach Team Harper is taking isn't only a betrayal of that trust, it's an approach that is scientifically proven not to work.  It drives me absolutely nuts that we have some of the world's most advanced neurological research going on in Canada and yet we constantly see policy that's grounded in economic theory, if even that.

I could add all the regular links, but I grow tired of repeating the same lessons to people who can't motivate themselves to care beyond their own limited perspectives.  

We deserve more than bosses.  It's time for some leadership.