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Opening Arguments

Just dumb

Given the well-publicized abuse of veterans by the people who are supposed to help them, you'd think people dealing with them would start being a little more cautious in word and deed. Apparently a little slow on the uptake in Indianapolis:

A manager at the Roudebush Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis appears to mock the mental health problems of returning combat veterans in an email to her employees.

The email obtained by The Indianapolis Star contains photographs of a toy Christmas elf posing as a patient in what appears to be the hospital’s transitional clinic for returning veterans. In one photograph, the elf pleads for Xanax. In another, he hangs himself with an electrical cord.

The woman who sent the email is Robin Paul, a licensed social worker who manages the hospital’s Seamless Transition Integrated Care Clinic. The clinic provides returning veterans with transition assistance, including mental health and readjustment services.

Yeah, yeah, gallows humor. I get it. People who have to deal with horrific things day after day can go overboard with sick, grusome jokes just as a way to cope. Watch any episoe of "M*A*S*H." But still. Making fun of veterans' suicides in a clinic for veterans with mental illness? That's both callous and stupid.

Wasn't it just yesterday when we talked about people being stupid in emails? There have been examples lately of people being stupid even without sending emails. Consider the stupid frat boys on the bus singing that racist song. It never occurred to them somebody might capture it on a celll phone and put it online? And how about the jerks who viciously slammed Curt Schilling's daughter on Twitter? Guess they never figured he'd find out who they were and out them. One is a student now suspended, one a part-time ticket seller now fired.

It used to be that people could get away with being stupid in private. Ain't no private anymore.