The Call For “National Service” (Again)

Looks like the political “idea” of the week will national service…..Mayor Pete made news with his reiteration of his plan from a couple months ago…….https://lobotero.com/2019/04/23/petes-national-service/

More news on Mayor Pete’s plan……

Pete Buttigieg hopes to see 1 million more young people volunteer to serve their country, and not just in the military. The Democratic presidential candidate, who signed up for the Navy Reserve after college and was deployed to Afghanistan, announced a plan Wednesday to create new service corps opportunities centered on senior care, climate issues, and community health, the Washington Post reports. One year of service would entitle participants to student loan relief. Buttigieg has spoken of his military experience as transformative, especially the connections he formed with people of different backgrounds and beliefs. “You shouldn’t have to go to war in order to have that kind of experience,” he said in a statement, “which is why I am proposing a plan to create more opportunities for national service.”

There’s a demand for such opportunities, Buttigieg says. The acceptance rate is 13% for AmeriCorps, 25% for the Peace Corps, and 20% for the military, per Vox. The Democrat’s plan would immediately raise the number of available national service positions from the current 75,000 to 250,000, per Politico. The recruiting emphasis would be on students at high schools, community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and vocational schools, and anyone between 16 and 24 who isn’t in school or working. The program would be run by a chief service officer and would aim to eventually establish a pipeline for as many as 4 million high school graduates every year to enter national service. The potential cost wasn’t specified. Buttigieg said he hopes that “Where did you serve?” someday becomes as basic a question in a job interview as “Where did you go to college?” is now

Mayor Pete is not alone in his call for a national service…..Gen. McChrystal also thinks a “national service” is a stellar idea….

Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal led U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan during his long military career. He was in charge of Joint Special Operations Command, the nation’s premiere military counter-terrorism force. But, quoting Abraham Lincoln, McChrystal told “CBS This Morning” Monday the greatest threat to the U.S. isn’t abroad.

“Describing what would destroy the United States, the greatest threat, he said there’d never be a foreign power who could do that. If we would die, it would be by national suicide,” McChrystal said. “I think that’s true.”

The general said people learn responsibility through experience and the ability to serve.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/retired-general-stanley-mcchrystal-advocates-for-one-year-national-service-campaign/

Back in 2008 when the idea was floated by the two presidential candidates….I was not impressed but a lot of water has rushed under that bridge…….today I see it as a way to pull this country back together from the massive divisions that are tearing it apart.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Further Reading:

https://lobotero.com/2008/09/12/national-service-not-lip-service/

https://lobotero.com/2019/04/23/petes-national-service/

 

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Suicides

Closing Thought–24Jun19

I have been watching the rate of suicides among our veterans and farmers as well….It is troubling at the rate these groups are killing themselves…..I wrote recently about military suicides……https://lobotero.com/2015/04/02/military-suicides-arent-linked-to-deployment-study-finds/

More articles:

https://lobotero.com/2019/03/06/to-help-our-veterans/

https://lobotero.com/2008/05/29/gi-suicides-at-record-high/

Let’s look at the suicides by active military personnel……

The suicide rate among veterans and, now, among active-duty GIs is at an historic high. The U.S. Marine Corps, for example, just turned in an all-time record in 2018 for attempted and successful suicides in a year (354 active and reserve). Marine Colonel Dom D. Ford, writing in the Marine Times, is grasping at straws to explain the rising rates, from claiming there is too little Christian religion in the ranks to the Marines not being willing to accept counsel and advice. As for the too little Christianity in the ranks, as an advisory board member of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, I know the opposite is true: there is too much Dominionist Christianity in the ranks. In fact, as soon as Colonel Ford made his comments, the phones at MRFF began ringing.

But might there be far greater reasons than these desperate efforts suggest behind such a deadly development?

GI Suicide: Maybe It’s the Job?

Once the soldier leaves the service he becomes a stat for the VA…..let’s look at those issues as well….

Veteran health care and specifically veteran mental health is a severe problem in this nation. The Department of Veterans Affairs has over 150 hospitals nationwide and over 2,000 community-based outpatient clinics.

Still, 20 veterans each day lose their lives to suicide — a number that has not changed for almost a decade.

The same number of suicides occur each day despite billions of dollars being funded to the VA through Congress to hire mental health clinicians, develop and implement programs and services, and increase awareness and provide education to veterans.

https://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/veteran-suicide-is-not-just-military-issue-1.585829

This one issue is so sad for it is the easiest to help…..the VA needs to be more in-tuned to the needs to vets and stop playing politics with the rest of the toads in DC.

Our veterans deserve the best care money can buy….not bargain basement pseudo-science that the deficit hawks would have them treated with……we need to do better…..much better.

Now the hardest hit group by suicide is Trump supporters……

In 2017, 47,173 Americans killed themselves. In that single year, in other words, the suicide count was nearly seven times greater than the number of American soldiers killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars between 2001 and 2018.

A suicide occurs in the United States roughly once every 12 minutes. What’s more, after decades of decline, the rate of self-inflicted deaths per 100,000 people annually — the suicide rate — has been increasing sharply since the late 1990s. Suicides now claim two-and-a-half times as many lives in this country as do homicides, even though the murder rate gets so much more attention.

A Deadly Epidemic Is Hitting Trump Supporters the Hardest

Then there is the info about Native American women…

Suicide rates for Native Americans have been rising faster than any other group, a new CDC analysis says: 139% for women and 71% for men since 1999. Experts say poverty, substance abuse, unemployment, and lack of access to mental health care are all contributing factors, USA Today reports. For the US overall, suicide is up 33% in the same period. A 2018 report from the CDC listed the suicide rate non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Natives was more than 3.5 times higher than the incidence among racial and ethnic groups with the lowest rates.

Maybe now would be a good time to make mental health a priority…..and spend less time debating semantics.

Just A Thought!

Seriously? Again?

OMG! This sort of thing is becoming all too commonplace these days.

I was not going to post of this tragedy but some things need saying…..at least one more time.

Yes we have yet another senseless shooting that kills….gun violence.

It is sad that this needs reporting again.

This time it is in Virginia again……remember the Virginia Tech shootings from years ago?

A longtime, disgruntled city employee opened fire at a municipal building in Virginia Beach on Friday, killing 12 people before police fatally shot him, authorities said. At least five other people were wounded in the afternoon shooting, including a police officer whose bulletproof vest saved his life, said Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera, per the AP. Five patients were being treated at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and a sixth was being transferred to the Trauma Center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. The shooter opened fire in Building 2 of the municipal center, which is adjacent to City Hall. The building houses the city’s public works, public utilities, and planning departments, according to City Councilwoman Barbara Henley.

Megan Banton, an administrative assistant who works in the building where the shooting happened, said she heard gunshots, called 911 and barricaded a door. “We tried to do everything we could to keep everybody safe,” she said. “We were all just terrified. It felt like it wasn’t real, like we were in a dream. You are just terrified because all you can hear is the gunshots.” Cervera identified the shooter as a disgruntled employee of the Public Utilities Department. He did not release his name.

Of course the media is all over this and the constant speculation is wearisome….why?

Yes it is news….but they pretend that their over-reporting will help the nation carry on a debate about guns and violence……it is crap!

Reporting has done NOTHING to change the culture of violence this country lives under…..gthe people that have suffered from this violence have done more to move the debate forward than all the speculation and redundancies of the MSM…..

This country will never move past the violence and the deaths…..so move on to something else…….bitching and whining will save NO lives…..live with your shitty decisions on this matter.

Sorry that this horrible news could spoil your Saturday….

Suicide…The Other “S” Word

There is never good news when I read about a suicide…this time it is an American serving in Israel…..(do not get me started on that deal….the serving not the suicide)……

A 19-year-old American woman serving as a combat soldier in the Israeli army died by suicide last week.

Michaela Levit, 19, is the third Israeli “lone soldier” to die by suicide this year. Lone soldiers are largely expatriates who serve in the Israel Defense Forces while their parents live overseas.

Levit, whose parents reside in Miami, moved to Israel in 2017 and served in a mixed-gender combat battalion.

The Israeli military and soldiers’ advocates denied reports of a “worrying trend” of rising suicide rates among the lone soldiers following two suicides and a deadly drug overdose this year. 

The report I read states that there is a rise in suicides among young girls……

Boys are still more likely to kill themselves than girls are, but a new study has found a change in the established patterns, CNN reports. Suicide rates among girls are climbing faster. An analysis of a database run by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that, starting in 2007, the suicide rate for girls age 10 to 14 rose 12.7% per year, compared with 7.1% for boys the same age. For those age 15 to 19, the rate went up 7.9% for girls and 3.5% for boys, said the study, published Friday in JAMA. Suicide is the No. 2 cause of death among those 10 to 19 years old, per the CDC, after accidents and unintentional injuries. Rates of suicide have historically been higher for boys than girls across all age groups, and that remains the case now.

And boys age 15 to 19 still kill themselves with guns much more often than girls do. But girls employ hanging and suffocation in rates nearing those of boys. “What we’re seeing is alarming,” says Donna Ruch, one of the study’s authors, per Time. “On top of the fact that females are thinking about suicide more and attempting suicide more, now they’re actually completing suicide.” The reasons aren’t clear, but the findings illustrate the need for gender-specific suicide prevention strategies, Ruch says. An accompanying editorial also questions whether the rise of social media is playing a role, reports Bloomberg.

It is sad when a young person is so desperate that they think suicide is the only answer….

I sincerely wish there was an easy answer but there is not……we need to do more with our mental health policies and maybe we could help some of these young people before it is too late…..maybe not in Israel but in this country.

National Service

There seems to be a renewed interests on the policy of national service……it all started with the CCC of the FDR days….and then later with the Kennedy-Hatch Act….

The year is 2008…….

Hatch announced the bill with Caroline Kennedy, Sen. Kennedy’s niece, in New York City at the ServeNation Summit, a gathering of business and government leaders discussing public service at the anniversary of 9/11.

John McCain and Barack Obama appeared at that summit on Thursday, and Hatch said both have agreed to co-sponsor the bill.

Hatch said he and Kennedy had long discussed the bill as a way “to marry two formerly competing visions of service,” the full-time national service programs such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps pushed by Presidents Kennedy and Clinton, and less structured volunteering through charities pushed by Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Hatch said it would spend $5 billion over five years seeking to draw 175,000 more people into giving a year of service to address specific national challenges.

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/700258365/Hatch-Kennedy-team-for-voluntarism.html

Obama had signed on to this idea and I wrote about it in 2008…….https://lobotero.com/2008/09/12/national-service-not-lip-service/

Fast forward to the 2019 scramble for the Dem nomination…..one of the “rising stars” Mayor Pete has joined the call for a “national service”……https://lobotero.com/2019/04/23/petes-national-service/

Now The American Conservative has joined in the call for shared experience for Americans…a call for a national service…..but their idea is a “Civilian Militia”…..

I received some fascinating responses and comments regarding my recent column about how the West can save masculinity. One email in particular caught my attention. It was from a friend of mine named Troy, a socially conservative, politically libertarian member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Troy is happily married with three young children and has been working in the IT field on the East Coast. However, he is feeling torn between his desire to serve in the military and his need to continue working a job that supports his family but leaves him feeling bereft of purpose and masculinity.  

Troy recently passed a preliminary screening to beginning the process of applying to  the Green Berets and is weighing his options. Although he badly wants to serve the country, he told me he doesn’t believe that the military will allow him enough time with his young children. He also disagrees with many of America’s current military deployments overseas.

Time to Bring Back Mandatory Citizen Militias?

While I totally agree with the concept of a National Service I have a problem with this idea of a “Civilian Militia”……but I try to give all sides of most ideas…….

Any thoughts on this?

But We Cannot Afford It!

It is a new voting cycle and we will hear and see so much total BS that your head will spin. The Green New Deal, Medicare For All, etc etc……for now I shall let others handle those (I said for now!  There is always tomorrow!)…….the biggest lie is that we cannot afford these policies for there is not enough money…..

I want to talk about the Pentagon in this thought……Our defense budget just keeps growing and growing and our wars just keep expanding and expanding…….and we cannot afford any policies that help our citizenry or the country any good……..

Pentagon spending is on track to grow significantly for the fifth consecutive year, but “very few in Congress are questioning” how the U.S. can afford it.

That’s according to the Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein and Aaron Gregg, who reported Thursday that “the United States is expected to spend more on its military in 2020 than at any point since World War II, except for a handful of years at the height of the Iraq War.”

In his 2020 budget request, Trump called for $750 billion in Pentagon spending. Democrats countered with a $733 billion offer, which would still represent a substantial increase over the Pentagon’s 2019 budget.

Either number would bring U.S. military spending to “near-historic highs,” according to the Post.

 
Time for someone, a candidate, to step up and demand that the Pentagon budget be reduced and more spend on the nation….wait!  We have one of these candidates, Tulsi Gabbard.  She does not get the coverage she deserves because media favorites like Biden and Mayor Pete are sucking all the air out of the early days of the campaigns.
 
If she is not elected then the cycle of endless, worthless wars will continu and Americans will continue to die and be maimed….and the tax dollars will be thrown away as they are today.
 
Use your vote to send a message…..choose a candidate and help them win…..
 
As they say…”it is your choice….choose wisely”……

Taxing The Rich!

It is TAX DAY!

OMG! That is almost blasphemous these days.

The lie spread is that the less tax the wealthy pay to more economic activity they produce and in turn the better the Middle Class and workers will do.

Pause here for the inevitable dash to the Google machine……..

Just about every viable candidate for the Dems has some plan or other to tax the rich so at least we get something from these people….Warren, AOC, Bernie, Yang et al…..it is a popular meme for Dems this cycle.

The 1990s Democratic Party made friends with the rich. The 2008 Democratic Party was eager to bail them out. The 2019 Democratic Party seems ready to declare war.

In just the past few months, at least three major Democratic Party figures, two of whom are presidential contenders, have proposed large tax increases targeted at the richest Americans:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) floated a big increase in top marginal income tax rates in an interview on 60 Minutes. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) proposed an annual wealth tax. Sen. Bernie Sanders. (I-VT) proposed a drastic hike in the estate tax.

There is a way and there is a desire by the people to see the rich to start paying their share of the American Dream……

https://www.vox.com/2019/3/19/18240377/estate-tax-wealth-tax-70-percent-warren-sanders-aoc

How successful will these people be in this endeavor?

If you listen close enough you can hear the big guns of corproate America being prepared for war.

2020 is the voters chance to change the course of the crumbling America……but do they have the guts to step up for change or will they roll over like they have been doing since the 1990s?