Today’s Veterans Need Help!

I have been an antiwar person since 1970 and have been writing about the crappy treatment this country gives to its veterans that they pretend to cherish so much…..I have been writing about the plight of our troops and veterans since 9/11.

I first went to a Veterans Health Administration hospital for treatment in 1981, when I was assigned to civilian graduate school in the Boston area and no active-duty option was available. In the words of Ernest Hemingway, it was a “clean, well-lighted place,” not fancy but very functional. The medical teams were good at their jobs, and after a painful procedure or two, my problems were resolved. It left a lasting, positive impression of the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Decades later, my daughter required a medical determination after her time on active duty as a Navy nurse. While there was a fair amount of red tape as she moved out of active duty and came under VA auspices, it was again a positive experience overall. 

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-12-16/iraq-and-afghanistan-veterans-need-help-with-jobs-health-care

These god forsaken endless wars are not solving any problems and creating more than the government is willing to solve.

War: Good for few, bad for most by Carlos Latuff | ArtWanted.com

We all pretend that being a vet is something special……but that is a lie.  We pretend that they are the saviors of our system….so we can justify the horrible treatment that they receive from the country they are protecting…..we blame the “other side” for the lack of benefits for our veterans…..that is easier than demanding that the vets get what this country owes them…..

This is not a new problem or a new bitch for me…..it has been occurring since Vietnam and just gets worse the more prosperous this country becomes….

Just a sampling of my thoughts on the lack of concern for our veterans….

https://lobotero.com/2017/11/13/americas-dis-regard-for-its-soldiers-and-veterans/

https://lobotero.com/2016/08/30/how-veterans-are-losing-the-war-at-home/

https://lobotero.com/2015/06/22/veterans-screwed-again/

There are many more on IST….just go and look around….

We say “thank you” for your service when we mean thanx for going so my kid can stay home and be a worthless lump of crap.

Kevin Larmee_anti-war art_antiwar__jesus_Protester.jpg Drawing by Kevin  Larmee | Artmajeur

If you truly want to thank the Veterans then demand and demand again that they get the benefits they were promised for service this country in our time of need.

That would be a “thank you” that veterans would appreciate.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Remember The War On Poverty?

Well I do.

And president-elect Biden is promising so much for the poor…..will he deliver?

Let us look at the LBJ version of the War on Poverty……

It was the program of the Johnson Administration….as the Encyclopedia Britannica remembers it….

Johnson announced an “unconditional war on poverty” in his first State of the Union address, in January 1964. He considered the depth and extent of poverty in the country (nearly 20 percent of Americans at the time were poor) to be a national disgrace that merited a national response. Furthermore, he identified the cause of poverty not as the personal moral failings of the poor but as a societal failure: “The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.” The speech was historic in its idealistic call for the creation of a more-just society. Johnson concluded it by saying:

On similar occasions in the past we have often been called upon to wage war against foreign enemies which threatened our freedom. Today we are asked to declare war on a domestic enemy which threatens the strength of our nation and the welfare of our people. If we now move forward against this enemy—if we can bring to the challenges of peace the same determination and strength which has brought us victory in war—then this day and this Congress will have won a secure and honorable place in the history of the nation and the enduring gratitude of generations of Americans yet to come.

The rhetoric of the War on Poverty quickly found its way into law and the creation of new federal programs and agencies. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 was passed by Congress and became law in August 1964. The act created the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), which provided funds for vocational training, created Job Corps to train youths in conservation camps and urban centres, and established VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), a domestic counterpart to the Peace Corps, and Head Start, an early-education program for children of poor families, among other programs.

The fight never really got into full swing for starting with Nixon each admin started chipping away at the Act and it never reached its full potential.

For those that break out in a rash if they must read….I have a short video to explain this…

There are lots of competing opinions on just how successful this fight had become…..the Urban Institute sees the outcome thusly…..

President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) declared that the War on Poverty launched by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 is “largely over and a success.” Although it is premature to declare an outright and absolute victory, it’s great that policymakers at the highest level of government recognize that our social safety net programs are working.

But if we are to continue to reduce hardship and promote mobility from poverty through access to good jobs, work and other means, we have to understand the nature of poverty today. It’s important that we draw the right lessons from the past so we don’t underestimate our current challenges and cede our hard-won progress in the War on Poverty. 

https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/have-we-won-war-poverty-not-yet

I want to be fair….so I will offer the analysis from the uber conserv think tank, the Heritage Foundation…….

The U.S. Census Bureau has just released its annual poverty report. The report claims that in 2013, 14.5 percent of Americans were poor. Remarkably, that’s almost the same poverty rate as in 1967, three years after the War on Poverty started. How can that be? How can government spend $9,000 per recipient and have no effect on poverty? The answer is – it can’t.

Census counts a family as poor if its “income” falls below certain thresholds. But in counting “income,” Census ignores almost all of the $943 billion in annual welfare spending. This, of course, makes the Census poverty figures very misleading.

https://www.heritage.org/marriage-and-family/commentary/the-war-poverty-50-years-failure

Of course they do not mention much about their attempts to screw the poor by leading the charge to repeal the Act……but I seldom expect conservs to admit to their lunacies.

What can we surmise about the War on Poverty?

Contrary to myths propagated by many critics, the War on Poverty was not narrowly focused on “expanding welfare.” “No doles,” stipulated President Johnson, and his legislative initiatives included aid to schools and universities, new job training programs, public housing initiatives, new Medicare health coverage for the elderly and Medicaid coverage for the poor, and other programs that have endured, such as Head Start, Job Corps, and Community Health Centers.

The War on Poverty’s pivotal assault on racial discrimination often goes unmentioned. In addition to persuading Congress to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Johnson administration used the federal purse to desegregate schools, hospitals, community boards, and neighborhood programs. As new grants flowed, threats to withhold funding made

Nor should the War on Poverty be discussed only in the past tense. It is still being fought today. Although the original coordinating agency, the Office of Economic Opportunity, was disbanded in the early 1970s, many programs are still funded under new names in other agencies.

(read on)

https://scholars.org/contribution/accomplishments-and-lessons-war-poverty

Of course…this program will always be viewed through the lens of political ideology….no amount of successes will ever be recognized….and that is the shame of this society.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–13Oct20

Do You Make $400,000 a year?

If so then according to the chairman of the RNC you are the same as 82% of the American people.

Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairperson of the Republican National Committee, on Sunday faced backlash after suggesting that “82% of Americans” make more than $400,000 per year.

In a tweet on Sunday, McDaniel pointed to a video clip from a conservative media group, which asserted that “middle income earners” will see a tax increase under a Joe Biden presidency. However, Biden has said that he will not raise taxes on individuals making less than $400,0000 per year.

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/10/twitter-buries-gop-scumbag-liar-ronna-mcdaniel-for-claiming-82-of-americans-make-over-400000-year/

Is this broad that out of touch?  Maybe she is just a long toad like her fearless leaders.

Are you in that false 82%?

I’m not.

This is just one example of why I have a hard time voting GOP at any time….they are just so damn out of touch with the society that they cannot possible do anything for the whole country.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Closing Thought–07Jan20

We are always looking for someone to blame for the poor nutrition of our children…..and we have found a new foes….Dollar Stores…..

This latest front in the food wars has emerged over the last few years. Communities like Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Fort Worth, Birmingham, and Georgia’s DeKalb County have passed restrictions on dollar stores, prompting numerous other communities to consider similar curbs. New laws and zoning regulations limit how many of these stores can open, and some require those already in place to sell fresh food. Behind the sudden disdain for these retailers—typically discount variety stores smaller than 10,000 square feet—are claims by advocacy groups that they saturate poor neighborhoods with cheap, over-processed food, undercutting other retailers and lowering the quality of offerings in poorer communities. An analyst for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, for instance, argues that, “When you have so many dollar stores in one neighborhood, there’s no incentive for a full-service grocery store to come in.” Other critics, like the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, go further, contending that dollar stores, led by the giant Dollar Tree and Dollar General chains, sustain poverty by making neighborhoods seem run-down. “It’s a recipe for locking in poverty rather than reducing it,” an institute representative told the Washington Post early this year.

https://www.city-journal.org/banning-dollar-stores

Sorry but blaming a store is just lazy and avoids responsibility…..

We could fix the problem of children’s nutrition….make healthy food cheaper….yep it is that simple……and yet not possible in our current society.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–20Nov19

The economic outlook for Gen Xers, those born between 1961-1981, will have a much bleaker future than us Boomers.

My daughter is a Gen Xer and I have watched her struggle with debt mostly from her college and I hate that I read that her future and retirement does not look well…..

In 1991 the demographers Neil Howe and William Strauss published their awkwardly-titled tome “13th Gen,” about Generation X—the Americans born between 1961 and 1981. If Xers had paid attention they would have committed suicide.

“Child poverty, employment, wages, home ownership, arrest records — in every category, this generation, the 13th since the American Revolution, is doing worse than the generation that came before,” New York Times book critic Andrew Leonard wrote at the time. “Indeed, for the first time since the Civil War, the authors of ‘13th Gen’ keep reminding us, young people are unlikely to surpass the affluence of their parents.”

Tellingly, the Times titled Leonard’s review “The Boomers’ Babies” as though their relationship to The Only Generation That Mattered at the time was their status as offspring. Which, equally tellingly, was incorrect. Most Xers’ parents belong to the Silent Generation that came of age in the 1940s and 1950s, not the Boom.

Gen X Faces a Bleak, Impoverished Old Age

I hate that she may be in dire straits in her senior years…I just hope that I do not have some debilitating disease and I can leave her a little something to help her  and her family out in their declining years.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–18Oct19

How do we fight economic injustice?

Appears AOC, one of Trump’s nemeses on the Hill, has a plan….a plan that she has put into motion as a bill/law…..

Representative Ocasio-Cortez believes that we must build a just society to protect our communities and uplift our neighbors. A Just Society legislation aims to combat one of the greatest threats to our country, our democracy, and our freedom: economic inequality

A Just Society aims to ensure that we are on a path towards shared prosperity for all. A just society provides a living wage, safe working conditions, and healthcare. A just society acknowledges the value of immigrants to our communities. A just society guarantees safe, comfortable, and affordable housing. By strengthening our social and economic foundations, we are preparing ourselves to embark on the journey to save our planet by rebuilding our economy and cultivate a just society. To learn more, follow the links below.

https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/ajs

Check out her plan and then tell me your thoughts.  Please keep the lies of socialism to a minimum…..if you cannot be constructive and unbiased……. then move along.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Screw The Elderly!

Closing Thought–05Sep19

When I was forced to retire I was fortunate that I had a good pension and Medicare but too many seniors must depend on others for some of the necessities like FOOD.

When I was working for the State I saw just how good such programs as Meals On Wheels were….but that successful program has run into monetary problems thanx to the GOP and their cuts to programs like Meals On Wheels……to the point that many seniors are going hungry.

And government relief falls short. One of the main federal programs helping seniors is starved for money. The Older Americans Act — passed more than half a century ago as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society reforms — was amended in 1972 to provide for home-delivered and group meals, along with other services, for anyone 60 and older. But its funding has lagged far behind senior population growth, as well as economic inflation.

The biggest chunk of the act’s budget, nutrition services, dropped by 8% over the past 18 years when adjusted for inflation, an AARP report found in February. Home-delivered and group meals have decreased by nearly 21 million since 2005. Only a fraction of those facing food insecurity get any meal services under the act; a U.S. Government Accountability Office report examining 2013 data found 83% got none.

https://truthout.org/articles/meals-on-wheels-is-starved-for-cash-leaving-many-seniors-hungry/

This should be unacceptable to ALL Americans.

I feel certain that somewhere some mental midget will try and blame this on immigrants…..as they always do to hide their racism……but this would not be a problem if diverted funds were used where they were needed……a wall is not that spot.

By the way….China built a wall to stop “immigrants” and it stopped nothing…..money pissed away just as the US is doing today.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Sunday Thoughts

Retirement!

AS a Baby Boomer I am enjoying my retirement but sadly too many Americans cannot say the same thing…..too many find themselves in poverty after retirement….we all have heard about the elderly couple that has resorted to eating cat food….right?

This is a situation that should never have happened…..originally Social Security was to help prevent this but too many cowardly presidents, both parties, have seen fit to tap the SS funds to pay for pet projects.

Retirement should NEVER mean poverty!

Vivian Majors spent her life cleaning houses while her husband, Martin, worked as a carpenter.

Their bodies broke down in their 60s. Martin now lives in a nursing home and has Parkinson’s disease. Vivian, now 71, lives on her own and ekes by on a $960 in social security, plus $50 in food stamps.

Hardened by years of physically taxing work that left her hovering around the poverty line, Majors, now retired, is girding herself for more years of financial hardship.

Social Security supposedly wiped out the scourge of old-age poverty. But inequality has widened the gap between the secure and insecure in all age groups, exposing American seniors to financial distress in ways that often go unnoticed.

According to research from the University of Massachusetts Boston, material hardship bedevils millions of Americans like Majors.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/29/retirement-shouldnt-mean-poverty

The big news of the day is the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso,,,,,,,

A suspect is in custody after a mass shooting left 20 people dead at a Texas Walmart on Saturday, the New York Times reports. Police say a gunman entered the store with an AK-47-style rifle and opened fire just before 11am, injuring 26 others and causing general panic before giving himself up to police. Officials are considering capital murder charges for the man in custody, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, and are reading an anti-immigrant manifesto to see whether the gunman wrote it—which could turn the massacre into a terrorist act or federal hate crime. “Hispanics will take control of the local and state government of my beloved Texas, changing policy to better suit their needs,” reads the manifesto, which says more Hispanics will make Texas “a Democrat stronghold.”

Over 1,000 customers and 100 employees were in the store at the time, including children holding a fundraiser, who were among those shot by the gunman, the El Paso Timesreports. “We heard shots and saw smoke,” says an eyewitness who works at McDonald’s in the store. “I saw a man on the floor full of blood.” A customer says he saw “people crying: children, old people, all in shock,” including a baby partly covered in blood. Nearby hospitals are treating the wounded, whose conditions and ages vary widely. The New York Times notes that El Paso is a mostly Hispanic city that has been flooded with thousands of Central American migrant families in recent months. “Terrible shootings in El Paso, Texas,” President Trump tweeted. “Reports are very bad, many killed.”

While the country was hearing all about this particular shooting there was more news….some mass shooting was a popular activity for the weekend…..

https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/crime–law/police-responding-active-shooting-oregon-district/dHOvgFCs726CylnDLdZQxM/

10 dead, including suspect, in Dayton, Ohio mass shooting

The sad part about this other than the loss of life is that society is so nonchalant about these attacks….it has become so commonplace that few seem to care.

I cannot wait to see what worthless reporting will do to change things.

I’m disgusted!

“Lego Ergo Sum”

Closing Thought–09Jul19

Homelessness

Our Dear Beloved Supreme Leader in an interview with Tucker Carlson made known a revelation that homelessness was a two year old phenom….

WTF? Right?

I have been writing about the situation for at least 7 years but not to be tooting my own horn here are some of the post from IST…….

https://lobotero.com/2012/11/25/the-homeless-planet/

https://lobotero.com/2013/04/03/can-washington-get-vets-off-the-streets-tens-of-thousands-homeless-despite-billions-in-spending-in-plain-sight/

https://lobotero.com/2014/10/24/21-us-cities-restrict-sharing-food-with-homeless-people-popularresistance-org/

https://lobotero.com/2018/10/24/homeless-and-hungry-just-another-country-song/

There is more but this is just a sampling……but now to why I fond the president’s statement as absurd…..

During his interview with President Trump that aired on Monday night on Fox News, Tucker Carlson got the president to weigh in on a topic that he and other Fox News hosts have devoted copious amounts of airtime to lately—homelessness in largely Democratic-run cities and states.

And, according to Trump, the homeless problem is a rather recent phenomenon.

Noting that they were in Japan during the president’s visit to the G-20 summit, Carlson contrasted the cleanliness of their metro areas to large American cities, adding that “there is no graffiti” or people “going to the bathroom on the streets” in Japan.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-to-tucker-on-fox-news-homelessness-is-a-phenomenon-that-started-two-years-ago

But if you hate to read then watch his comments…..

These deranged delusional rants are becoming more and more common…..almost like he may be losing his grip on reality…..but that is only my opinion.

Are You Middle Class?

Remember when that was something to strive for in your job search? Remember when that was the American Dream? Remember when you could work 40 hours a week and still have enough to live on and even save a little for retirement?

If you remember that then you are an old fart and are remembering something from the “good old days”.

The American Conservative has looked into the Middle Class……

Can we define the middle class in practical terms? To be sure, there are probably as many sociological definitions of the middle class as there are commentators seeking definitions. So let’s set aside the socio-swamp of beliefs, values, and taxonomies of class in favor of a definition with measurable thresholds.

Many commentators attempt to define the middle class by income, and people tend to self-report that they belong to the middle class based on income. The self-evident way to define the middle class by income is to set aside the top 10 percent (households earning $145,000 or more) and those defined as poor by the U.S. Census Bureau (households making less than $25,000), roughly 25 percent of all households.

Somewhere between the two is the middle class, though trying to narrow it down forces us into an impassable statistical thicket. For example, government agencies report income in different ways. The IRS reports individual tax returns (147 million) while other agencies report household income (117 million households).

Are You Really Middle Class?

If you are asking yourself….”what the Hell happened”? Then this can help explain it as simply as possible…..

Something massive and important has happened in the United States over the past 50 years: Economic wealth has become increasingly concentrated among a small group of ultra-wealthy Americans.

You can read lengthy books on this subject, like economist Thomas Piketty’s recent best-seller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (the book runs 696 pages and weighs in at 2.5 pounds). You can see references to this in the campaigns of major political candidates this cycle, who talk repeatedly about how something has gone very wrong in America.

Donald Trump’s motto is to make America great again, while Bernie Sanders’s campaign focused on reducing income inequality. And there’s a reason this message is resonating with voters:

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/this-cartoon-explains-how-the-rich-got-rich-and-the-poor-got-poor

We need to assign guilt to the best person….Ronald Reagan….his policies started this decline and it has never let up……

The Middle Class is quickly disappearing and as it does it is taking the American Dream with it.

And the GOP wants you to be happy with your decline…..

Listening to Republicans, it’s apparent they don’t have much respect for the intelligence of the American people.

Over 70 percent of Americans want a national health care system like every other developed country in the world has, but the GOP tells us that we just aren’t smart enough to make it work. It’ll be too confusing and complex for average Americans, they say, and, besides that, if the government “takes over” our health care system, we’re on our way to tyranny.

About two-thirds of Americans think that we should have free college education for anybody intellectually capable of attending, and free trade schools as well—like pretty much every other developed country in the world (and quite a few of the developing countries). Republicans tell us that we can’t use government funds to pay off our nation’s $1.5 trillion in student debt because we just borrowed that exact amount last year to give tax rebates to billionaires, so there’s nothing left. We’re just not smart enough to fix the problem.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/04/04/republicans-have-put-our-country-path-warp-speed-decline-and-they-want-you-think

As the article says….”as long as the GOP gets some of the people to believe their bullshit all the time”…..the rest of us are screwed!

On a side note……the Pentagon is also in the Middle Class screwing game……

According to SAIS Professor Hal Brands, progressives and Americans should embrace the social benefits military spending offers to the middle class. Not only does American military strength support the liberal world order that makes the world “safe for democracy,” Brands claimed, but military spending undergirds millions of middle-class jobs for service members, civilian employees, and contractors for the Pentagon.

In reality, the opposite is true: American military adventurism and massive spending undermines middle-class prosperity and makes the world less free and secure. A militarized approach to American foreign policy harms global freedom and security far more than it helps.

How the Pentagon Budget is a Threat to the Middle Class

You can stop this…….VOTE!

Vote for the candidate that has the best plan to stop this slide.

Vote for the candidate that best has the best interests of the country at heart.

VOTE!