Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘soldiers’

What are taxes for? Who should pay them? Should you pay more, or less?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 31, 2015

Kroger Tools for Schools Drive sign

Kroger Tools for Schools Drive sign

It infuriates me to see signs & posters like these, because THAT is what taxes are for!

And, if there aren’t enough taxes collected from the wealthy (and obviously, there aren’t), then we see “drives” and other collection points like this.

Just this evening, in conversation with my neighbor, she shared with me about how her co-worker – a young, single mother – recently confided in her, and said that she didn’t earn enough money to make ends meet – to pay the rent, keep the lights turned on, and feed her family and that she regularly has to go to a local food pantry (which itself often runs out of food because the need is so great) to augment her meager ability to purchase food – and that she, herself, didn’t have supper because she chose to feed her children, instead.

My neighbor remarked, Read the rest of this entry »

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Report: 20% of all American suicides are new Veterans

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 15, 2012

UPDATE 19 April 2012:


The news you don’t hear…

Just because you don’t hear it doesn’t mean it goes away.

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, who is the Defense Department’s top enlisted leader, held a press conference in Washington, D.C. December 9, 2011 in response a report to Congress on suicide among America’s military veterans conducted by Center for a New American Security. Testimony was given December 2, 2011 before the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs, and may be found here. The findings are that suicide by veterans constitutes a serious threat to the stability of an all-volunteer military force. About 1 percent of Americans have served during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but 20 percent of suicides in the United States are former service members. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates 18 veterans die by suicide each day.

Never before have our military service members been asked to do so much. Never before have our military service members been asked – or required – to attend numerous tour of combat duty consecutively. Those changes occurred under Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News, End Of The Road | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Lazy, mediocre, “psychotic” Islamofascist

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, November 13, 2009

Dr. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Islamofascist psychiatric Army physician accused of murdering 13, and wounding 29 other soldiers and civilians at Fort Hood, TX recently, was described by former colleagues and professors at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and Walter Reed Army Medical Center as lazy, mediocre and “psychotic.”

The Associated Press is reporting that the source spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the incident, and wrote that Dr. Hasan “had a reputation for being a mediocre student and lazy worker.” The AP is also reporting that Dr. Hasan “as a psychiatrist in training was belligerent, defensive and argumentative in his frequent discussions of his Muslim faith.”

NPR is reporting that because of a “cumbersome and lengthy process for expelling doctors, involving hearings and potential legal battles,” Walter Reed Army officials and others “decided it would be too difficult, if not unfeasible, to put Hasan on probation and possibly expel him from the program.”

Published reports from the AP, NPR and others indicated that Army officials and others were:

• concerned of potential fratricide

• concerned of treason potential if deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan

• from Spring 2008 to Spring 2009 fellow physicians questioned whether Hasan was “psychotic” and mentally fit to be an Army psychiatrist;

and reported that Dr. Hasan was:

• described as disconnected, aloof, paranoid, belligerent and “schizoid”

• “as a psychiatrist in training was belligerent, defensive and argumentative in his frequent discussions of his Muslim faith”

• repeatedly given poor evaluations and warned about substandard work

• “behavior…  perceived as intense and combative”

Because Dr. Hasan’s actions are not presently linked to external terrorist networks, he will be tried in a Courts Martial, rather than a civilian court.

Doubtless, there will be changes to Army, governmental and civil procedures as a result of this man’s actions – as well they should.

* UPDATE * 11/15/09

At this juncture, I predict that Dr. Hasan’s defense will use the Insanity Defense – his colleagues attest to witnessing his behavior over a period of time that points to serious mental derangement – and am concerned of the possibility that he could very well be found “not guilty.” Concerning the mass murders, I think such actions were once called “Criminal Insanity.” Regardless of any trial or outcome, I sincerely doubt he’ll walk the streets as a free man again.

Posted in - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Veteran’s Day 2009

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 9, 2009

I’m proud to have served my nation in the uniform armed services, having done so voluntarily. I think every young American should do similarly. And, I believe our nation should provide significant benefit to those whom so choose.

Some years ago, I envisioned what I called a “234 Plan,” which would:

  1. Double pay grade for two years up to pay grade E-3 for initial enlistees;
  2. Require a minimum of Four Years of service;
  3. Pay for four years of higher education, up to and including Ph.D., with the ability to transfer benefits to first-degree relatives;

and perhaps most importantly,

4. Provide such income as federally Tax-Free, forever.

At current pay rates, that would be slightly under $76,000 for a period of two years at pay grade E-3 – not a bad nest egg. And then, there’s the 30 days paid vacation, head-to-toe health care, incentive/bonus pay for skills, BAH (basic allowance for housing), and a host of other remunerations and fiduciary potential – all of which are added to Basic Pay, thereby increasing take-home pay. Potentially, managing money wisely, a young enlistee could emerge from a four year commitment with very nearly $125,000 in pocket, VA health benefits, GI Bill benefits, and more.

The money could be used wisely, or squandered. But the principle would forever be federally tax-free – and I think it should be at the state level, as well. It’s well known that young enlistees have high levels of “disposable” income. But WISE fiscal management could yield significant benefits to them individually, and by extension, to our nation.

Part three of the plan I envisioned – higher education – was implemented when President Obama signed the Post 9/1 G.I. Bill, providing the most comprehensive expansion and provision of educational benefits our troops have received since F.D.R.’s presidency.

I recollect a report entitled “Young Virginians: Ready, Willing, and Unable to Serve,” having read and saved it September 2, this year. It was authored and advised by an impressive cadre of Generals, Admirals, field-grade officers, and senior executive NCOs, from all branches of the service, and “supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts, and Pre-K Now, campaign of the Pew center on the States.”

Interestingly, NPR has only recently reported on it.

The problems the report addresses are from a thorough examination of Virginia, though it’s findings can be extrapolated to the United States at large.

According to the report, the three greatest problems disqualifying American youth from service to our nation include:

1.) Criminality – felony and serious misdemeanor offense;

2.) Education – failure to graduate high school, and low achievement in reading & math, 30% unable to pass the Armed Forces Qualification Test; and

3.) Health – specifically obesity, although asthma, eyesight, hearing, mental health, ADHD and additional health problems factor in, thereby disqualifying over half of all young adults.

Additional disqualifiers include single custodial parenthood, and drug or alcohol abuse.

These are all social ills.

Mission: Readiness – Military Leaders for Kids is a bipartisan, nonprofit, national security organization of more than 80 retired generals and admirals,” whom “accept no funds from federal, state, or local governments,”  and “call on all policymakers to ensure America’s security and prosperity by supporting interventions proven to help America’s youth succeed academically, stay physically fit, and abide by the law. Pre-K Now collaborates with organizations and policy makers to lead a movement toward high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds.”

In recent political history, social programs have been an “easy target” for many of the Republican stripe whom have seriously reduced or eliminated such programs’ funding, effectively or outright killing the very programs that could have done much to have prevented these anathemas.

Ironically, prison construction and maintenance is a capital expenditure. And of all the world’s nations, ours has more incarcerations per capita than any other, having exploded (doubling 2.5 times) since 1980 (though incarcerations remained relatively stable since 1920, according to the U.S. Department of Justice).

How’s that THAT for the so-called “Reagan Revolution?” It sounds more like a “Contract on America” rather than “with America,” to me.

Wonder why no more.

Governance is much more than infrastructure expenditures, and military readiness includes a strong social component.

Our Constitution calls it providing “for the common defense,” by promoting “the general welfare,” to “secure the blessings of liberty.”

Healthcare is an integral and unequivocal part of that equation… as we can now painfully, and plainly see.

I suppose it would be apropos and germane – though perhaps trite – to conclude with a line from advertising: “You can pay me now… or, pay me later.”

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