Closing Thought–04Sep19

We all, well most all, grew up with the values that our parents instilled into us…..for me it was patriotism and country more than anything else…..I was taught that this is a country for all and that I should work to that end…..and I have watched those values slowly erode away…..to an ugly shadow of its former self.

Erode to the point that my values are no longer the focus of the country…..

The values Americans consider “very important” are undergoing fundamental shifts, according to a new poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News. However, one thing hasn’t changed from a similar survey 21 years ago: “Hard work” was at the top then (83%), and it remains at the top now (89%), per Axios. But beyond that, attitudes are shifting:

  • Patriotism: The percentage who consider it very important dropped from 70% in 1998 to 61%.
  • Religion: This dropped from 62% to 48%.
  • Having kids: Down from 59% to 43%.
  • Money: Up from 31% to 41%.
  • Community involvement: Up from 47% to 62%.
  • Age divide: Age of respondents is a big factor. For example, 79% of those older than 55 say patriotism is very important. For those 18 to 38, the figure drops to 42%, per the Hill. A similar age divide occurred in the ranking of the importance of religion.
  • A takeaway: “There’s an emerging America where issues like children, religion and patriotism are far less important,” Republican pollster Bill McInturff tells the Journal. “And in America, it’s the emerging generation that calls the shots about where the country is headed.”

Fascinating how times and ideals change.

Also fascinating that the political parties are not addressing the values of the voters anymore……only what gets them votes no matter how outlandish they are.

The values of the donors are more important than those of the average voter.

Maybe you should take that under advisement when you decide where to place your vote.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

“et Certa Apud Verbis”

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Military Vs Police

These days things are not quiet balanced…..for instance conservs say when cop shoots an unarmed civilian that it is not murder……mostly white pundits hold this belief…I have asked several what would the call be if it were their child and of course they go off on tangents like conservs always do so they do not have to answer the question that they are uncomfortable with.

I started thinking about this subject when I read that the ex-Blackwater operative was sentenced to life in prtison for the murder of civilians in Iraq in 2007…

A former Blackwater security contractor was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for his role in the 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians in Iraq that left 14 people dead, the AP reports. Federal judge Royce Lamberth issued the sentence after a succession of friends and relatives requested leniency for Nicholas Slatten, who was found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury in December. Prosecutors charged that Slatten, 35, was the first to fire shots in the September 2007 massacre of Iraqi civilians at a crowded traffic circle in Baghdad. In all, 10 men, two women and two boys, ages 9 and 11, were killed. The defense had argued that Slatten and other Blackwater contractors opened fire only after they saw what they mistakenly thought was a potential suicide car bomber moving quickly toward their convoy.

Like I said…this got me to thinking….do the police face less discipline than soldiers?

Well thanx to Truthdig I have an answer…….

The problem is that the US military missions, themselves, are inherently aggressive. America’s professional imperial soldiers occupy the streets and villages of several Greater Mideast locales and fan the flames of unrest, intolerance, and Islamist extremism. That military – usually through airstrikes – also kills many many civilians. And here’s the rub: that martial chauvinism abroad has come home to roost in the form of militarized police – a disproportionate number of whom are veterans – and their militarized tactics swiped from US wars and counterinsurgencies overseas.

What’s more, ironically, America’s highly lauded police face far less scrutiny – or consequences – for their behavior in impoverished, usually minority, communities than do their military counterparts. It’s a veritable perfect storm: Utilizing US military tactics – and increasingly outfitted with surplus military gear – today’s cops often treat the neighborhoods they police like occupied territory, “Indian Country,” as some have cheekily admitted. Black and brown people are shot and often killed in shocking numbers by law enforcement personnel across this country. Of course that’s always gone on, but in today’s YouTube generation the incidents are disturbingly visual, caught, as they are, on camera. Almost no cops go to jail or face much, if any, consequences for this extreme behavior, and even less for their everyday banality of abuse and harassment. Sure, it’s not all cops who act thus; but it’s far too many.

Do Police Face Less Discipline Than U.S. Soldiers?

I think the police punishments are less harsh…..I suggest that a new Code of Uniform Officers be installed in every PD across the country.  This would set the code of conduct that ALL officers should be held to in the duties for the communities they supposedly service….especially training on how to handle situations without having to draw the weapon.

Too many dead civilians, mostly minorities, it is time for society to get a grip on the spiral of violence committed by those that are paid to protect and serve.

The new police department is similar to a city army with military gear, vehicles and tactics…..but with these “improvements” things have gotten worse….

Evidence suggests the militarization of police forces leads to more civilian deaths.

And….

https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/police-man-cometh/

And…..now try this one……

https://lobotero.com/2017/02/17/coming-of-a-police-state/

Is there a good reason why the police seem to get “away with it”…….

There are major legal, institutional and social impediments to prosecuting police. Thousands of officers are involved in shootings every year, resulting in about 400 deaths annually. However, successful criminal prosecution of a police officer for killing someone in the line of duty, if no corruption is alleged, is extremely rare. Even when officers are convicted, the charges are often minimal. For example, Coleman Brackney, a Bella Vista, Oklahoma, police officer who was convicted of misdemeanor negligent homicide in 2010 after shooting an unarmed teen to death while in custody in his cruiser, went on to rejoin the police and was recently appointed chief of police in Sulphur Springs, Oklahoma.

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/11/ferguson-police-misconductdarrenwilsongrandjury.html

The police have an easier time “beating the rap” than a soldier does…and the reason is the UCMJ…..so logically it is time for a “Code” for conduct of police…a unified code…..not the mish-mash that we have today.

“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”

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/

 

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.