Bring ‘Em Home!

I remember in Trump’s SOTU speech this year (yes I am one of those geeks that would watch a Trump speech) and I applauded him when he stated that “Great nations do not fight endless wars”!

The hope was finally an American president that would bring our troops home and give them a much deserved rest…..to Trump’s credit he tried to bring them home from Syria and Afghanistan…and the M-IC went batcrap crazy! So bad that Trump had to pull back from his bold statement….which kinda amazed me since he claims to be his own man and would do what he thought was best….(well apparently that claim is total bullshit).

I bring this up because a veterans group has taken on the president, a Koch Brothers group, Concerned Veterans of America…….

A Koch backed advocacy group focused on veterans issues is launching a new effort to pressure President Donald Trump to make good on his campaign commitment to pull US troops out of Afghanistan and Syria.

During his State of the Union speech earlier this year Trump declared “Great nations don’t fight endless wars.”That quote will be prominently displayed on a new website and used in a digital advert as part of a campaign from the group, Concerned Veterans for America.

The group is investing six figures in the campaign which will initially focus on pressuring the White House and lawmakers in Washington to withdraw US troops from the frontlines. CNN is first to report on their campaign.”This will be a full-spectrum, integrated issue campaign. It is going to be nationwide. We are going to do a lot of work in DC and work on leveraging our grassroots army across the country,” said Dan Caldwell, a CVA senior adviser.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/09/politics/koch-veterans-trump/index.html

I am pleased to see someone with more resources than me trying to bring our weary troops home where they belong.

Is it possible that conservatives hate war as much as I?

Could be.  Let us look at history.

Conservatives’ detestation of war has no “touchy-feely” origins. It springs from conservatism’s roots, its most fundamental beliefs and objectives. Conservatism seeks above all social and cultural continuity, and nothing endangers that more than war.

Why Conservatives Hate War

If this is true then the GOP cannot claim to be conservative…is that not the logical conclusion?

Learn Stuff!

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Closing Thought For A Saturday

Veterans get screwed again!

The VA has been getting some bad press lately and unfortunately it just got worse.

A US Office of Special Counsel report based on complaints from three whistleblowers was sent to President Trump Wednesday, exposing scheduling and staffing issues at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis that led to a delay in medical care for veterans. While the center says it has since remedied those issues, one such delay led to a mistake called “unconscionable”: A veteran didn’t receive the at-home care he needed, and ended up losing his leg as a result, per the Indianapolis Star. The report details what happened in June 2017 after the veteran was discharged from the center following treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis and an ulcerated foot abscess. Someone was supposed to come to his home to change his bandages; when that assistance got delayed, his foot became infected, leading to an amputation below the knee.

“It is unconscionable that after serving his country, a veteran lost his limb not on the battlefield, but because of mistakes made by the agency entrusted to take care of him,” special counsel Henry J. Kerner says in his letter. Department of Veterans Affairs investigators found the unnamed chief and assistant chief of social work services at the center had told social workers to stop entering home consults into patient records because they felt it was “outside the social workers’ scope of practice.” In a letter last August sent to Kerner and seen by Task & Purpose, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie agreed with the investigators’ findings, noting the alleged issues led to a “system breakdown.” A rep for the VA center told the Star they’ll address the special counsel’s report in a statement

This goes to Trump? Will he read it? Will he do something to fix the VA? Or will he do what he always does…..NOTHING?

Closing Thought–02Apr19

Our veterans have to burden a lot on their shoulders…..they are looked up to as “heroes” whenever the need arises and ignored the rest of the time….they served this country honorably and the nation treats them horribly.

Our veterans have to deal with a VA that is inadequate for their needs……they try to live with PTSD unsuccessfully for many….and then I read this story…..

Inspectors with a government contractor found that veterans were harmed at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes in more than two dozen states, USA Today reported Thursday.

The inspections, conducted at 99 VA facilities, found problems resulting in “actual harm” to patients in 52 facilities, according to USA Today. In three facilities, inspectors found issues that put veterans’ health and safety in “immediate jeopardy.”

Eight nursing homes put veterans in harm and jeopardy, the newspaper reported, citing reports from the inspections conducted last year from April through December.

The facilities found to cause harm are in 25 states plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/436383-veterans-were-harmed-in-va-nursing-homes-across-half-the-us

This is shameful and will go mostly ignored….the MSM is as fickle as the people when it comes to our veterans…..

As a veteran I get pissed when I read these types of stories……because the people will remain silent and continue the pretense that the veterans actually matter.

A closing thought…..

To Help Our Veterans

I have been very critical of our president in the past……I will have to give him his props on one subject…..Veterans.

He has given them lots of lip service in the past but has shown little truly concern for their welfare….that is until yesterday…..

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at stemming a persistently high number of veteran suicides, urging expanded outreach by awarding grants to community programs. The order creates a Cabinet-level task force that will seek to develop a national roadmap for suicide prevention, bringing in state and local organizations to raise awareness among the high-risk group. It directs the task force led by Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to finalize a plan in 12 months, the AP reports. “Veterans suicide is a tragedy of staggering proportions,” Trump said at a signing ceremony surrounded by military families and veterans’ organizations. “Today we can help end this crisis.”

He said the problem of veteran suicide can only be solved if the entire country works together to build communities that support and protect veterans from the first moment they return to civilian life. “They courageously fulfill their duties to our nation, now we must fulfill our duties to them,” Trump said. Currently, about 20 veterans die by suicide each day, about 1.5 times higher than those who haven’t served in the military. The government says about 14 of those 20 were not under VA care, pointing to a need for improved outreach. According to the White House, the new task force will look to create a grant system similar to the Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing program, which provides funding to state and local programs. The effort, which is being dubbed the PREVENTS Initiative, will also aim to better coordinate research on suicide prevention across agencies, including Veterans Affairs, Defense and Homeland Security. PREVENTS stands for “President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide.”

I hope this is a real effort to help and not some “feel good” order.

I think we can save a bunch of money by admitting that war is the biggest contributor to the causes of vet suicides….end these worthless endless wars and the suicide rate may go down.

But DC will do what DC always does…..stretch this out for maximum cash outlay and issue a report that will not change a goddamn thing.

Giving Respect

Closing Thought–29Jan19

Recently I wrote a post about the respect shown to an “Unclaimed” veteran……..https://lobotero.com/2019/01/22/those-unclaimed-veterans/

And again an outpouring of respect for the “Unclaimed” veteran…..

When the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery announced that 72-year-old Joseph Walker was to be buried as an “unaccompanied veteran,” with nobody present but cemetery workers, the response was overwhelming. Roads around the cemetery were jammed and the service had to start late to accommodate the estimated 2,000 to 5,000 people who showed up to honor the Air Force veteran Monday, CNN reports. The cemetery said it had been unable to contact any relatives of the Vietnam-era vet, who served from 1964 to 1968 and received an honorable discharge. “If you have the opportunity, please come out and attend,” the Killeen cemetery said in a Facebook post. “We do NOT leave Veterans behind.”

Sen. Ted Cruz and CNN’s Jake Tapper were among those spreading word of the funeral. It was officiated by Marc George of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, NPR reports. “Today, we’re not strangers; today, we are family,” he said. “This is our brother, Joseph Walker.” Cemetery staff say the turnout included airmen and veterans from all over Texas. “It’s completely overwhelming,” Texas General Land Office communications director Karina Erickson tells the Killeen Daily Herald. “It really sends the message that this is Texas, and we don’t leave our veterans behind.” She says the agency, headed by George P. Bush, changed policies in 2015 to ensure that all veterans are buried with recognition of their service. (In New Mexico, a funeral home paid for a full military funeral for a veteran whose body was unclaimed in a hospital morgue.)

Bless the people that showed such respect….for NO veteran should be buries without people in attendance.

Screw Those Veterans Again!

Closing Thought–23Jan19

Everybody knows that the federal deficit is outrageous…..and everybody has a party that has a plan to control the deficit…..the only problem it is seldom that important until election time and then it is paramount and will destroy the nation if not brought under control.

All that is pure rancid manure spread by small minded idiots in the Right.

As usual the way to control the deficit is by screw someone in society…..the poor, the aging and the veterans…..well the CBO has a good plan to screw the veterans again……

Some vets use the VA but more have access to Tricare…….and this is where the CBO said changes needed to be made……

With the federal deficit expected to top $1 trillion this year, the Congressional Budget Office in December published a list of options for reducing the imbalance over the next 10 years, including three suggestions on Tricare and six that address veterans benefits.

In its Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2019 to 2028, the CBO laid out 121 opportunities for curtailing spending and raising revenue. These include raising Tricare enrollment fees for military retirees, instituting enrollment fees for Tricare for Life and reducing veterans benefits.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/01/14/cbo-suggests-raising-tricare-fees-cutting-veteran-benefits-slash-deficit.html

Here’s a better idea….since the problem is a lack of income thanks to all the mindless tax cuts for decades….approve the higher tax on the uber-rich and increase the income….will not solve all the problems but will help the loss of income.

History proves that taxing the rich is beneficial…..

Do high taxes really hurt the economy as much as they believe, and will lowering them have much of an impact on stimulating it? The economic literature is clear — tax breaks to encourage economic relocation or investment decisions are inefficient and wasteful. Hundreds of studies reach this conclusion. When businesses are surveyed regarding factors important to their investment decisions, taxes often come in behind proximity to markets, suppliers, and the quality of the labor force. These other factors occupy a larger percentage of a business’s budget than do taxes, and all of them are far more critical to long-term success than are taxes. Businesses occasionally admit this. Nearly 62 percent of those interviewed in a California study on hiring tax credits indicated that they had never or rarely affected their decision to employ individuals.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/09/tax-the-rich-history-proves-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-may-be-correct/

Please stop believing the LIE that tax cuts are beneficial!  They help very few and raise the deficit….time to consider the alternatives to GOP bullsh*t.

Those Unclaimed Veterans

Closing Thought–22Jan19

Before I go to the meat of this post….on this day in 1950 George Orwell died…the quote attributed to him…….”If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

Most move on…….

I try to focus on our veterans because I am one but my life has been a bit better than some….I also try to report on the soldiers that are killed in service to their country,

There are times when there are no family member to claim the bodies of the dead…has anyone ever asked what happens to their remains?

When the flags were removed from the caskets and folded with military precision, there were no family members there to receive them.

So, the banners were passed, hand-to-hand, through the crowd.

Some mourners wept as they clutched the flags briefly. Others kissed them. But the three veterans laid to rest on a rainy Memphis morning were strangers to most of those who gathered to honor their memory.

So, the banners were passed, hand-to-hand, through the crowd.Some mourners wept as they clutched the flags briefly. Others kissed them. But the three veterans laid to rest on a rainy Memphis morning were strangers to most of those who gathered to honor their memory.The service was part of a national effort by funeral homes, medical examiners, state and federal veterans’ affairs departments, and local veterans’ groups to pay final respects to members of the military whose bodies were not claimed by any relatives. Since 2000, Dignity Memorial and other funeral homes in more than 30 cities have organized about 3,000 funerals for soldiers, sailors and Marines who died alone, but still deserved a dignified funeral and burial, said Jeff Berry, Dignity’s general manager in Knoxville.
 
Army soldiers Arnold M. Klechka, 71, and Wesley Russell, 76, and Marine Charles B. Fox, 60, were laid to rest in a service attended by about 700 people at West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Memphis on Thursday. There was a gun salute, and a bagpiper played “Amazing Grace.”
 
But none of them had family members present.
 
Good to see that their remains were treated with care and the respect they deserve……
 
May they Rest In Peace!