The Civil War Inside the US Military

I have been writing a blog now for 10 years and I have always kept with my beliefs that we should not rush into conflict for any reason short of an attack on the nation proper……I can justify the invasion of Afghanistan but not the occupation for 14 years…..in all that time I have also been a keen observer of the budget battle especially the money that will be earmarked for the military or what we call the defense budget…..

This year is no different……I have been watching the battle for the budget on the Hill…..I have watched the propaganda machine go into full tilt boogey…..The Russian are coming seems to be the war cry…..

In early April, a battalion of senior military officials appeared before a Senate panel and testified that the US Army is “outranged and outgunned,” particularly in any future conflict with Russia. Arguing for a much bigger budget for the Army, they claimed that, absent a substantial increase in funding, the Russians would overtake us and, even scarier, “the army of the future will be too small to secure the nation.”

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! And before you know it, Brooklyn will be renamed Putingrad.

Source: The Civil War Inside the US Military – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

It will be interesting to see where this budget, the final budget, will lead our military….will the armed conflicts continue to rise or will calmer heads prevail?

Any bets?

I’d put Bill ‘in charge of revitalizing the economy’

Oh Crap!

I have never heard 9 more terrifying words uttered.  It sent a shiver up my spine.

These words were spoken by candidate Hillary Clinton when asked what job would she have for her husband if she is elected…..

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is beginning to hint at what role her husband, former President Bill Clinton, could have in her administration if elected president.

At a campaign stop in Fort Mitchell, Ky., Clinton said her husband would be “in charge of revitalizing the economy.”

Clinton said something similar at a campaign event in early May, saying she would bring him out of retirement to create jobs.

“He’s got more ideas a minute than anybody I know,” Clinton said. “Gotta put people back to work and make it happen. So we’re going to give it all we’ve got, absolute full-in 100 percent effort, because I worry we won’t recognize our country if we don’t do this.”

Now I know she wants history to be kind to her hubby but I do not have to be……Bubba’s signature policy NAFTA did more to kill the US manufacturing base than any policy before and his insistence that Glass-Steagall be repelled is what let banks go batcrap crazy that caused the economic collapse in 2007.

All I can say is that she is praying that the American voter has the attention span of a gnat and that they have the memory of a puppy.

People please before you vote for Clinton do a little reading or research and see what we got with the first Clinton in office……none of it is pretty.

Please do not let it happen again.

Downsizing?

I have always disliked that term……

Let’s go back to pre-Cold War….in those days military service was not the “hero” worship it is today……the peacetime military was small, skeletal force whose nain function was to train the civilian population to be used militarily if the need were to arise.

We are getting more and more involved in the situations around the globe…..and we have only a limited amount of troops to carry out the policies of our admins…..and it appears that those troops will lessened even further……we appear to be trying to return to the days of the skeletal force……

In 1940, the head count for active-duty soldiers in the US Army was 269,023, a low that hasn’t been reached since, the Army Times reports. But due to budget cutbacks, a drawdown plan announced last summer to whittle manpower by 40,000 troops has left the Army with its lowest post-World War II count yet: 479,172 soldiers, which is 154 fewer than those on active duty during the previous post-WWII low hit in 1999.

“These are not cuts the Army wants to make, these are cuts required by [the] budget environment in which we operate,” the Army’s vice chief of staff said in July when the plan was first announced, Fox News reports. Per the Defense Manpower Data Center, there are also just over 548,000 soldiers in reserve, bringing the total number of Army troops to 1,027,196. The ultimate goal: to hit a total force number of 980,000 by the end of September 2018.

Back in the day we had the draft to make up the difference in case of dire need…..but the Congress may finally eliminate that fall back position…..

This year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) looks set to decide the question of whether women aged 18-26 will have to register for the military draft in the United States, with a vote likely next week on Rep. Pete Sessions’ (R – TX) legislation attempting to block language that would require women to register.

The debate has happened off and on for decades and came up again with calls from the Army and Marine chiefs of staff calling for women to be brought into the Selective Service system in the name of “equality.” The Selective Service Act requires all men 18-26 to register, though none have been conscripted since 1973.

This led to some bipartisan efforts to satisfy the desire for equality in the more straightforward way, ending the Selective Service outright, though ultimately this didn’t happen and the committee put language into the NDAA forcing women to register. Sessions’ bill would remove that language.

Questions about who is or isn’t eligible for conscription have long been treated as purely academic, and officials have downplayed the money wasted on the unused Selective Service system. Secretary of State John Kerry, however, recently spoke out in support of bringing back the draft, saying he has “deep reservations” about America’s all-volunteer military.

Let’s say we drop the draft….what then when the country needs recruits fast?  Or will we start limiting our international entanglements?  (Raucous laughter…like that will EVER happen)

Veterans And The Choice Program

I have been an outspoken critic of the services that this country is withholding from its veterans…..and as usual Congress, especially the conservatives are looking for a “better” way for the vets to get what we owe them….

The Veterans Choice Program?  What is this?

For Veterans who have faced unacceptable waiting times for needed medical care, or for whom a regular VA medical facility is inaccessible, the Veteran Choice Program (VCP) will make it possible for you to receive the needed care from a non-VA health care provider in your community.

The Veterans Choice Card (Choice Card) has been distributed to all Veterans enrolled for care at VA. Veterans will receive a letter in the mail along with the Choice Card and information about eligibility. The cards were mailed first to those VA believes are in immediate need and meet the eligibility requirements. If you have recently moved or your primary residence has changed, complete VA Form 10-10EZR to update your information and contact your enrollment coordinator at your nearest VA medical facility.

The Choice Card will enhance other treatment options already available at VA and is designed to improve wait times and access. It does not impact existing VA health care or any other VA benefit – it just offers other options for care when VA cannot meet Veterans’ health care needs.

There seems to be a bit of a push back against this program by several veterans groups……

The nation’s largest veterans groups have lined up to oppose any expansion of the Veterans Affairs Choice program that would allow all veterans who are eligible for VA medical care to use it.

The stand, by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and others, places the groups squarely in the corner of VA Secretary Bob McDonald, who has called proposals favoring private care for veterans over VA facilities, a “dereliction” of department duties, and at odds with seven powerful U.S. senators, including Arizona Republican John McCain, who have proposed legislation to lift restrictions on Choice.

Source: Veterans groups oppose Choice program expansion

There seems to be a gimmick when it comes to the health of our veterans….why is that?

I am not very knowledgeable about this program but if there are any vets out there that would like to shred some light on this for the readers of IST……I would appreciate the help understanding.

Charter Schools: The Perfect Con

Since the announcement of the great idea for solving the problem of education in the US, the Charter Schools, I have been telling my readers the news that the media will not tell them about this con job on the American public.

The media has taken it upon itself to use the issue to brain wash the public into accepting the perfect con….originally I called it “education by lotto”……thanx to the media the idea of this con had grown into a major solution for public education….the problem is the MSM only reports on the successes that they can isolate and seldom mentions all the failures and snags in the program.

Charter schools pretend to be public and non-profit while pocketing big bucks and paying no taxes.

Charter schools are big business, even when they are run by “non-profits” that pay no taxes on the revenue they receive from public taxes or other sources.

Take KIPP, which describes itself as a “national network of public schools.”

KIPP (an acronym for the phrase “knowledge is power program”) operates like a franchise with the KIPP Foundation as the franchisor and the individual charters as franchisees that are all separate non-profits that describe themselves as “public schools.”

Source: Big Business Charter School Chains Seek Millions in Taxpayer Dollars With No Accountability | Alternet

So they get a states tax revenue to operate?  But these same states cannot find the cash for public education……now are you not glad you voted GOP?

This is the perfect con on the voters…..propaganda and indoctrination works and works well.

Education is too important to allow it to be a profit making enterprise……the US educational system has been suffering for decades thanx to the idiots that slash budgets in an attempt to make it fail so privatization will be the only answer……but will this solve all the problems with education……like why our math scores suck?

For years now, America’s elementary and middle school students have been showing steady gains in test scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. This has happened even as the underlying demographics of the public school population have shifted to include a larger mix of poor kids, nonwhites, and kids whose parents don’t speak English.

High school test scores, by contrast, stagnated during the early years of this process. But optimists hoped and assumed that when the higher-scoring elementary school kids got older and moved into the high school population, we would start seeing results. It’s now become clear that’s not happening. On the contrary, even as America’s ninth-graders keep doing better and better, its 12th-graders are doing worse and worse.

Source: The biggest mystery in American education, in one chart – Vox

This is just one problem……but turning it into a corporate enterprise is NOT the answer.

How Wartime Washington Lives in Luxury

I have written many times about how this government waste millions and even billions…..believe it or not most of the waste is NOT….let me repeat that for the thick headed…..NOT in the welfare system.

After 9/11 a new class of waste has arisen in Washington….those people that are profiting from FEAR…..in the name of national security truck loads of cash are been wasted and profiteering is at a premium…..

As usual….I can find a good article in the magazine, The American Conservative, and this one covers the riches being made off of FEAR and the illusion of national security.

In no place in America are the abrupt changes in the nation’s security posture so keenly reflected in real estate and lifestyle than the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In the decade after 9/11,

Source: How Wartime Washington Lives in Luxury | The American Conservative

Too many Americans will not see this for what it is…..instead they will blame Bertha with 4 kids and no job….sad how that works.

Only the Pentagon Could Spend $640 on a Toilet Seat

I try to point out just how much money the Pentagon wastes in the course of “doing business”…..we all know the famous stories of a $1000 screw or the $200 hammer and of course the “famous” $600 toilet seat…..but the waste goes much deeper than those that get highlighted occasionally….

What your tax dollars go towards at America’s defense headquarters.

From spending $150 million on private villas for a handful of personnel in Afghanistan to blowing $2.7 billion on an air surveillance balloon that doesn’t work, the latest revelations of waste at the Pentagon are just the most recent howlers in a long line of similar stories stretching back at least five decades.  Other hot-off-the-presses examples would include the Army’s purchase of helicopter gears worth $500 each for $8,000 each and the accumulation of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons components that will never be used. And then there’s the one that would have to be everyone’s favorite Pentagon waste story: the spending of $50,000 to investigate the bomb-detecting capabilities of African elephants. (And here’s a shock: they didn’t turn out to be that great!) The elephant research, of course, represents chump change in the Pentagon’s wastage sweepstakes and in the context of its $600-billion-plus budget, but think of it as indicative of the absurd lengths the Department of Defense will go to when what’s at stake is throwing away taxpayer dollars.

Source: Only the Pentagon Could Spend $640 on a Toilet Seat | The Nation

Yes this is an awful waste……if we accept that then the next point is how did this happen?

From spending $150 million on private villas for a handful of personnel in Afghanistan to blowing $2.7 billion on an air surveillance balloon that doesn’t work, the latest revelations of waste at the Pentagon are just the most recent howlers in a long line of similar stories stretching back at least five decades. Other hot-off-the-presses examples would include the Army’s purchase of helicopter gears worth $500 each for $8,000 each and the accumulation of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons components that will never be used. And then there’s the one that would have to be everyone’s favorite Pentagon waste story: the spending of $50,000 to investigate the bomb-detecting capabilities of African elephants. (And here’s a shock: they didn’t turn out to be that great!) The elephant research, of course, represents chump change in the Pentagon’s wastage sweepstakes and in the context of its $600-billion-plus budget, but think of it as indicative of the absurd lengths the Department of Defense will go to when what’s at stake is throwing away taxpayer dollars.

Source: How Not to Audit the Pentagon | The American Conservative

The truly sad part is that many Americans DO NOT care how much is wasted as long as it is not wasted on poor people or hungry people…..pathetic!