Screw The Vets!

Closing Thought–30Nov18

This country is failing the people at every turn…..the most blatant crap is the promise the veterans get with every election and with every election they continue to be crapped on by the very country they have signed on to protect.

This administration is NO different…it has been lying to the vets from day one……and veterans still support this goddamn poser in the White House why?

The latest debacle against the veterans is from the Trump people…..

A major snafu has hit benefit payments to student veterans under the GI Bill—and congressional aides tells NBC that they have been told the veterans are never going to be paid back. The aides say they were told by the Department of Veterans Affairs that the VA will not be making retroactive payments to veterans who were underpaid for their housing allowance because it would mean reviewing around 2 millions claims, further delaying implementation of a new system, which has already been pushed back to Dec. 2019. Under the Forever GI Bill signed into law by President Trump last year, students are supposed to be paid housing allowance based on where they take the most classes, not on where the school’s main campus is located.

Tanya Ang, vice president of Veterans Education Success, tells the Military Times that the VA’s excuse of retroactive payments creating too much work isn’t good enough. “That could be hundreds of dollars for some students—per month,” she says. “If this was a disability benefit, this would never fly.” The issue, which is the result of new legislation being introduced before the VA’s outdated computer system could handle it, has contributed to a backlog of claims that has forced some veterans facing final hardship to abandon their studies, the Tennessean reports. The agency is still working to process more than 58,000 claims, reports the Star Tribune. The paper’s editorial board calls the delays a “national disgrace.” “Those courageous enough to go into battle should face zero delays in getting the education benefits they’ve earned,” they write. (Read more GI Bill stories.)

It was not amusing to hear Speaker Ryan to stand before the military at the Pentagon and lie his ass off about what the veterans mean to this country…..they mean absolutely NOTHING from the White House down.

We hear about the obligation the people have to the country they love….sadly the country has NO such obligation toward its people.  This is the republic you keep voting for….boy are you guys morons!

Our veterans and service people deserve so much better than this country is giving them……and the country does not deserve the vets loyalty any longer.

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Just In Time For A Revolt

IST and the old Professor tries to find the history that historians try to ignore….history the Americans are seldom taught…..

There is one thing that all governments fear above all else…..the people.

We all know about the revolt because of high taxes….and then of course there was the famous “No Taxation Without Representation”….we know how all the events that took place and landed American in conflict with  her king…..the problem is my “revolt” is about 100 years prior to the now famous conflict……before the Tea Party and Shay’s Rebellion was the first test…….

It was called Bacon’s Rebellion…….

Bacon’s Rebellion of 1676 holds its place in the history books as the first rebellion (but obviously not the last) in the English colonies of the New World. Yet as historic as it was, Bacon’s Rebellion was also a petty, bigoted insurrection led by a lazy incompetent against a corrupt governor — and it nearly destroyed the colony of Virginia.

Bacon’s Rebellion and was a war between two actual cousins. One was the heavy-handed English governor, Sir William Berkeley, a veteran of the English civil wars. The other was Nathaniel Bacon, an immature, lazy schemer. His father had sent him to Virginia hoping he would grow up. When Bacon arrived, Berkeley gave him land and a seat on the council.

Bacon’s privilege aside, life in Virginia was harsh, filled with drought, starvation, and fighting with Native Americans. Meanwhile, white indentured servants, little more than slaves, did most of the work.

From the beginning, when Jamestown’s first settlers resorted to cannibalism to make it through the tough winter of 1609, Virginia was a harsh place to live. Throughout the 17th century, those conditions never really got much better — and eventually led to Bacon’s Rebellion of 1676.

https://allthatsinteresting.com/bacons-rebellion

Further reading for those interested…….

https://www.landofthebrave.info/bacons-rebellion.htm

What Of A World War 3?

This report I read got me to thinking and that got me to the research mode that I do enjoy…..

There was something that a British general had to say……

A British general is warning his country and the West about Russia—a threat he calls worse than anything posed by ISIS or al-Qaeda, the BBC reports. “The Russians seek to exploit vulnerability and weakness wherever they detect it,” General Mark Carleton-Smith tells the Telegraph. “Russia today indisputably represents a far greater threat to our national security than Islamic extremist threats such as al-Qaeda and [ISIS].” Carleton-Smith, who led Britain’s fight against ISIS and in June became head of the British army, says military action has weakened Islamic militants. But in the wake of alleged poisoning and cyber-attacks, Russia looms large.

“Russia has embarked on a systematic effort to explore and exploit Western vulnerabilities, particularly in some of the non-traditional areas of cyber, space, undersea warfare,” he says. But he opposes any notion (perhaps like French President Emmanuel Macron’s) that would weaken the military strength of NATO. He says the “center of gravity of European security” should hold fast. “In my experience, we should reinforce success.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov derided Carleton-Smith’s remarks while visiting Lisbon, Radio Free Europe reports. “We cannot influence the British government’s decisions as to whom they trust to head its armed forces,” says Lavrov. “I hope they check the appropriateness of such decisions.”
What are the reports that will help us fight any war against Russia or China?

America’s military superiority has “eroded to a dangerous degree,” leaving the U.S. in a “crisis of national security,” especially if faced with more than one conflict at once, a new congressionally mandated report concluded.

“The U.S. military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict,” reads the report, issued Wednesday by the National Defense Strategy Commission. “It might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russia. The United States is particularly at risk of being overwhelmed should its military be forced to fight on two or more fronts simultaneously.

https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2018/11/14/a-crisis-of-national-security-new-report-to-congress-sounds-alarm/

In case you were speed reading…..the report said that the US could possibly lose any conflict against China or Russia…..do I need to repeat that?

Russia or China?….does not look good…the predictions can be wrong but most times they are accurate…..time to re-think the “strong man” attitude and embrace a form of diplomacy.
But until we do that embracing…..read on and on…..

Congress commissioned a report from the National Defense Strategy Commission on Pentagon readiness. It is relatively predictable what these reports would boil down to, because they always come down to the same conclusion.

Despite vastly outspending every other country in the world on the military, the report concludes that US military superiority “has eroded to a dangerous degree,” and is facing a “crisis.” The solution they counsel is, as ever, a massive increase in military spending.

The report uses the typical scare-mongering to try to justify an increase in expenditures, claiming that the US “might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russia,” and that the US might be “overwhelmed” in the even of two or more war fronts simultaneously.

This echoes, if perhaps in even more dire terms, past reports that also claimed the constant fighting of several wars is eroding readiness, and that the US needs to spend even more money. The problem is, the increased spending has kept being approved, and every time, it leads to a new round of reports warning that they need all the more money.

The US is always spending many-fold more money than anyone else, and fighting more wars than anyone else. Yet despite nations like Russia increasingly limiting their military goals, the reports are forever claiming Russia is seriously a threat to carry out attacks on the US home-front. Such claims are preposterous, but have reliably worked in getting more money.

(antiwar.com)

Time to re-think the tactics of 50 years…..time to embrace diplomacy over the bully on the block attitude.

P.S. Don’t take it out on me…I am just passing along what some are reporting within the defense industry…..

The Senate And The Saudis

Many of us on the “Left” have been bitching about the way the Congress has turned its back on one of its duties….the declaration of war.

It seems the Senate has located a spine and taken up the war that the Saudis have brought to the Arabian Peninsula with the help of the US……..

But as usual the Neocons trot out their big guns to combat any change in the status quo…..

A congressional push to limit U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen would do “immense damage” to U.S. interests in the region, leave Iran in a stronger position, and do nothing to alleviate the humanitarian crisis generated by the war, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is warning lawmakers Wednesday.

Mr. Pompeo and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis were up on Capitol Hill ahead of an expected Senate vote on a resolution to curtail U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition, a resolution that has picked up support in the wake of the Oct. 2 killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi government hit team.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/nov/28/mike-pompeo-warns-senate-yemen-vote-could-harm-us-/

Sorry to say (not really) this tactic did not work on the weak willed….and the vote went ahead…..

In a 63-37 vote on Wednesday, the Senate agreed to a full floor debate of a bill challenging the legality of the US involvement in the Yemen War. The legal challenge is built around Congress never having authorized the US to join such a war.

Wednesday’s pre-vote efforts saw Secretaries of State and Defense Mike Pompeo and James Mattis taking senators into a closed-door, classified briefing that was aimed to cover both the Yemen War, and mounting concerns about the US relationship with Saudi Arabia.

All indications are that the briefing failed, with Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) coming out of the briefing saying he was now opposed to the war. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a former supporter of the war, has also changed sides, as have several others. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) has also said he supports the bill to end the war.

This mounting Senate support suggests the bill itself is very likely to pass, although it may ultimately stall in the House of Representatives, where a recent effort at a War Powers Act challenge to the war was derailed in favor of a wolf-hunting measure.

(antiwar.com)

I had accused Senators of being on the Saudi payroll……and then we find they were…….

At least five of the 37 Republican Senators who voted against advancing a resolution limiting the United States’ involvement in the war in Yemen have received campaign contributions from pro-Saudi lobbying groups.

Roy Blunt, John Boozman, Richard Burr, Mike Crapo and Tim Scott all received financial contributions from firms representing Saudi interests between 2016 and 2017, according to a recent investigation by the Centre for International Policy (CIP).

All five Republicans voted on Wednesday against advancing the resolution, which, if passed, would force the US to limit its support for the Saudi-UAE war in Yemen.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/pro-saudi-lobbyists-paid-5-senators-voted-yemen-bill-181129075933213.html

The best government money can buy….how true is that?

An after word:  Most Americans know that the biggest enemies we have these days is Al-Qaeda and ISIS, right?

A new study shows that our “greatest” ally in the region is arming these enemies of state…..

An investigation into weapons being used in the war in Yemen has shown numerous examples of arms supplied by the UK and the US, among others, ending up in the hands of militias including those linked to al-Qaida and Isis.

In an apparent abuse of trade agreements by the Saudi- and UAE-led coalition, sophisticated armoured vehicles, rocket launchers, grenades and rifles are among the weapons being purchased from European and US companies and reaching local factions and groups.

As international concerns continue to rise over the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the report by journalist Mohamed Abo-Elgheit and the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalists (Arij) alleges that not only are weapons being openly passed to militias aligned to the Saudi coalition but also to marginalised and feuding groups fighting their own territorial battles.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/nov/28/arms-yemen-militia-were-supplied-by-west-find-analysts

Now ain’t that special?

Closing Thought–29Nov18

I have found that too many Americans could care less about our service people one reason is that it is a volunteer military….but a new report shows that the military is falling behind their recruitment goals….

The Department of Defense released recruiting and retention statistics for the 2018 fiscal year that show the the Army having significant shortfalls in recruiting for it’s active, reserve and National Guard components, while the Navy, Air Force and Marines met most of their goals.

The active Army recruited 69,972 soldiers out of a planned 76,500 in fiscal 2018, or 91 percent of it’s goal. The Army Reserve and National Guard numbers were much more short of goals, with only 73 percent and 78 percent of their goals met respectively, leaving a total shortfall of planned recruiting for the service at over 25,500 personnel.

https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2018/11/15/Department-of-Defense-reports-mixed-results-for-2018-recruiting/8921542312407/

If this trend continues will the M-IC demand that the draft be re-instituted?  And believe me it will take the M-IC who calls most shot with our military.

If so then I can foresee the rebirth of an antiwar movement…..something we need…..

How About That Farmer’s Bailout?

In one statement…..It is Crap!

The Dear Supreme Leader has decided, in the past, that what the US needs is a good trade war to make everything okay for the future…..his trade wars and tariffs have hit our farmers the worst but not to worry the president has a plan to stop the bleeding of our farmers….a bailout!

SO now that it is in place how is it doing?  Are our framers making out okay?

American farmers are struggling to find storage for crops that would usually be sold overseas, with some being forced to leave produce rotting in fields as a last resort, as the trade conflict between the US and China continues.

Farmers in some US states are being forced into plowing their crops under — effectively burying them under soil in fields — as there is not enough room to store them in storage facilities, and they are unable to sell their products thanks to Chinese tariffs, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-china-trade-war-soybeans-left-rotting-thanks-to-lack-of-storage-2018-11

And the bailout?

Well $6 billion has been promised to our farmers to ease their pain and so far $838 million have been doled out….so things are better right?

Well let’s be honest……the plight of the American farmer still sucks!

President Donald Trump’s $12 billion bailout of farmers who had been hurt by his trade wars has been a massive bust politically — and a New York Times report has found that very little of it has gone to the struggling farmers who need it most.

According to the Times, the bailout program “has done little to cushion the blow” of the president’s trade wars, “with red tape and long waiting periods resulting in few payouts so far.”

In fact, the Times estimates, just $838 million of the $6 billion worth of bailout funds that have been authorized so far has been paid out.

https://www.alternet.org/trumps-12-billion-bailout-farmers-hurt-his-trade-wars-has-been-massive-bust-nyt

Will the pain continue for the American farmer or will these tariff thingys do what they were promised to do?

My guess is the promises will not be met…..something that is a reoccurring trait of Trumpism.

The Deadliest Month

I promised to update my post of a couple of days ago with the names of the troopers killed in Afghanistan….

Two Army Green Berets and an Air Force combat controller were killed Tuesday by an improvised explosive device in the eastern Afghan province of Ghazni.

The two Army Special Forces soldiers were Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29, of Lexington, Virginia, and Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39, of Brush Prairie, Washington. The two were assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-air-force/2018/11/28/pentagon-identifies-three-special-operations-troops-killed-by-ied-in-afghanistan/?utm_source=clavis

In Saner Thought

Just days ago I reported about the death of another American soldier in Afghanistan…..https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/11/24/us-service-member-2-afghan-troops-killed-afghanistan.html  and before the ink could dry more sad news about more American deaths in Afghanistan…..

A group of US soldiers got caught up in a roadside bombing in the Ghazni Province of Afghanistan on Tuesday. At least three US soldiers were confirmed killed, and three others wounded. Another American, a contractor, was also wounded.

This is the single deadliest incident for US troops in Afghanistan in 2018. High casualty incidents were more common earlier in the war, but US troops are less often on the front lines, or in places where they’re likely to directly face such attacks.

The condition of the wounded remains unclear, though officials did say that they have been evacuated and are receiving treatment. In general, details are limited until the families of the casualties are notified.

Taliban forces have been heavily…

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