Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘veterans’

National Vietnam War Veterans Day

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Today, March 29, is now officially “National Vietnam War Veterans Day.”

And as with so many things, it took an act of Congress to make it so.

But it was a bipartisan effort, for which – I suppose – we can be thankful. Especially given since the do-nothing GOP is now in control of Congress.

On February 3, Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-PA), sponsored S.305, and along with co-sponsor Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), introduced the bill in the Senate, which was read twice, considered, read the third time, passed without amendment by Unanimous Consent, discharged by the Committee on the Judiciary, Passed/agreed to in the House by voice vote, and was signed into law by President Trump March 23, 2017. It is the 14th law Trump has signed since his inauguration.

From the date of introduction to passage, it could very well be one of the most rapidly-enacted pieces of legislation in Congressional history. Of course, THE shortest was likely 1 day, for H.J.Res.131: “Making further continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2015, and for other purposes,” which was a government shutdown stopgap measure. Mysteriously, Congress gets rapidly active when their paychecks are imperiled.

As far as laws go, it’s a good law, because the Congressional Budget Office has declared it would cost nothing. When was the last time you ever read that?

And it’s a short law – another rarity in this day and age. In fact, there are only Read more… if you dare!

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Homeless Veterans: A Rational Perspective

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, February 19, 2016

Let’s get some perspective.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s January 2012 annual point-in-time count found that 633,782 people across the United States were homeless, 57,849 of which were veterans.

  

However, Read the rest of this entry »

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Historical Audio: Reagan supported increased wages & labor protection

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 11, 2014

Seems as if everything old is news again.

Of course, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

GOP Panics As Audio Emerges Proving Their Hero Reagan Would Oppose Current GOP Policies

Author: April 9, 2014 6:49 pm

A 1948 audio recording of Ronald Reagan shows that he would have opposed the GOP’s policies today. In fact, if the GOP actually knew anything about Reagan’s history, they’d wonder how he even ended up in the party to begin with. The right-wing lunatic fringe runs today’s GOP. Back when this recording was made, Ronald Reagan sounded far more like one of today’s liberal Democrats than a Republican. The difference is astonishing.

Ronald Reagan on the 1946 GOP’s plan to increase people’s real incomes:

“The profits of corporations have doubled, while workers’ wages have increased by only one quarter. In other words, profits have gone up four times as much as wages. And the small increase workers did receive was eaten up by rising prices, which also bored into their savings.”

Gee, that sounds an awful lot like what’s happening now. Soaring corporate profits should mean that workers’ wages go up, also. Instead, more people than ever live paycheck to paycheck, and fewer have any savings to speak of, let alone enough to pay six months of living expenses in case of an emergency. But the stock market has reached record highs several times. So everything’s cool, at least as far as the GOP is concerned.

Ronald Reagan on the “free market” and rising prices:

“High prices have not been caused by higher wages, but by bigger and bigger profits. The Republican promises sounded pretty good in 1946. But what has happened since then? Since the 80th Congress took over? Prices have climbed to the highest level in history, although the death of the OPA was supposed to bring prices down through ‘the natural process of free competition.’”

So, even back then, the Republican ideal of the free market didn’t work the way they insisted, and Ronald Reagan could see that. These days, they still want the government to stay out. They want competition to work for lowering prices and creating jobs. However, the so-called “free market” that they want tends toward monopolies and/or price collusion, which both drive prices up. These two situations prevent new businesses from entering the market to compete, and hurt consumers and workers, while driving profits sky-high.

Ronald Reagan on working Americans: 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 »

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Rand Paul, Conscription, Slavery, & Health Insurance Reform

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, May 14, 2011

Recently, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a “TEA Party” Republican from Kentucky, and ophthalmologist specializing in cataract and glaucoma surgeries, LASIK procedures, and corneal transplants, was quoted as saying that “a right to healthcare… means you believe in slavery.”

Dr. Paul is the ranking member of the Senate HELP Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging subcommittee, and made his comments at a Wednesday, May 11, 2011 hearing about emergency room use in American hospitals.

He said that, “With regard to the idea whether or not you have a right to health care you have to realize what that implies. I am a physician. You have a right to Read the rest of this entry »

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In Memory on Memorial Day

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 31, 2010

My Great-Grandfather Michael emigrated from Ireland to the United States, and enlisted in the Union Army in Corinth, MS, 1862, and served the United States of America in the First Alabama Cavalry as a farrier. For more history on Union soldiers from the South, and the 1st Alabama Cavalry United States Volunteers, specifically, please see: http://www.1stAlabamaCavalryUSV.com

Age: 38
Birthplace: Langford, Ireland
Rank at enlistment: Private
Rank at discharge: Corporal
Company Assignment: C

12/6/1862  Enlisted, Corinth, MS
12/22/1862  Mustered In, Corinth, MS
12/17/1863 Mustered Out, Memphis, TN

My Great Grandfather, my father – a Korean War veteran of the Navy …Continue…

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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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