Debate and Discussion

Homeless war veterans
kyupol at 4:46PM, Nov. 7, 2007
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These soldiers deserve better.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071108/ap_on_re_us/homeless_veterans


And if ever I do “make it”, I'd dedicate some resources into helping the homeless. Right now all I can do is contribute a few bucks to charity. :(

Veterans make up 1 in 4 homeless in US

By KIMBERLY HEFLING, Associated Press Writer
20 minutes ago



WASHINGTON - Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population, according to a report to be released Thursday.

And homelessness is not just a problem among middle-age and elderly veterans. Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job.

The Veterans Affairs Department has identified 1,500 homeless veterans from the current wars and says 400 of them have participated in its programs specifically targeting homelessness.

The Alliance to End Homelessness, a public education nonprofit, based the findings of its report on numbers from Veterans Affairs and the Census Bureau. 2005 data estimated that 194,254 homeless people out of 744,313 on any given night were veterans.

In comparison, the VA says that 20 years ago, the estimated number of veterans who were homeless on any given night was 250,000.

Some advocates say such an early presence of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan at shelters does not bode well for the future. It took roughly a decade for the lives of Vietnam veterans to unravel to the point that they started showing up among the homeless. Advocates worry that intense and repeated deployments leave newer veterans particularly vulnerable.

“We're going to be having a tsunami of them eventually because the mental health toll from this war is enormous,” said Daniel Tooth, director of veterans affairs for Lancaster County, Pa.

While services to homeless veterans have improved in the past 20 years, advocates say more financial resources still are needed. With the spotlight on the plight of Iraq veterans, they hope more will be done to prevent homelessness and provide affordable housing to the younger veterans while there's a window of opportunity.

“When the Vietnam War ended, that was part of the problem. The war was over, it was off TV, nobody wanted to hear about it,” said John Keaveney, a Vietnam veteran and a founder of New Directions in Los Angeles, which provides substance abuse help, job training and shelter to veterans.

“I think they'll be forgotten,” Keaveney said of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. “People get tired of it. It's not glitzy that these are young, honorable, patriotic Americans. They'll just be veterans, and that happens after every war.”

Keaveney said it's difficult for his group to persuade some homeless Iraq veterans to stay for treatment and help because they don't relate to the older veterans. Those who stayed have had success â?? one is now a stock broker and another is applying to be a police officer, he said.

“They see guys that are their father's age and they don't understand, they don't know, that in a couple of years they'll be looking like them,” he said.

After being discharged from the military, Jason Kelley, 23, of Tomahawk, Wis., who served in Iraq with the Wisconsin National Guard, took a bus to Los Angeles looking for better job prospects and a new life.
Kelley said he couldn't find a job because he didn't have an apartment, and he couldn't get an apartment because he didn't have a job. He stayed in a $300-a-week motel until his money ran out, then moved into a shelter run by the group U.S. VETS in Inglewood, Calif. He's since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, he said.

“The only training I have is infantry training and there's not really a need for that in the civilian world,” Kelley said in a phone interview. He has enrolled in college and hopes to move out of the shelter soon.

The Iraq vets seeking help with homelessness are more likely to be women, less likely to have substance abuse problems, but more likely to have mental illness â?? mostly related to post-traumatic stress, said Pete Dougherty, director of homeless veterans programs at the VA.

Overall, 45 percent of participants in the VA's homeless programs have a diagnosable mental illness and more than three out of four have a substance abuse problem, while 35 percent have both, Dougherty said.

Historically, a number of fighters in U.S. wars have become homeless. In the post-Civil War era, homeless veterans sang old Army songs to dramatize their need for work and became known as “tramps,” which had meant to march into war, said Todd DePastino, a historian at Penn State University's Beaver campus who wrote a book on the history of homelessness.

After World War I, thousands of veterans â?? many of them homeless â?? camped in the nation's capital seeking bonus money. Their camps were destroyed by the government, creating a public relations disaster for President Herbert Hoover.

The end of the Vietnam War coincided with a time of economic restructuring, and many of the same people who fought in Vietnam were also those most affected by the loss of manufacturing jobs, DePastino said.

Their entrance to the streets was traumatic and, as they aged, their problems became more chronic, recalled Sister Mary Scullion, who has worked with the homeless for 30 years and co-founded of the group Project H.O.M.E. in Philadelphia.

“It takes more to address the needs because they are multiple needs that have been unattended,” Scullion said. “Life on the street is brutal and I know many, many homeless veterans who have died from Vietnam.”

The VA started targeting homelessness in 1987, 12 years after the fall of Saigon. Today, the VA has, either on its own or through partnerships, more than 15,000 residential rehabilitative, transitional and permanent beds for homeless veterans nationwide. It spends about $265 million annually on homeless-specific programs and about $1.5 billion for all health care costs for homeless veterans.

Because of these types of programs and because two years of free medical care is being offered to all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, Dougherty said they hope many veterans from recent wars who are in need can be identified early.

“Clearly, I don't think that's going to totally solve the problem, but I also don't think we're simply going to wait for 10 years until they show up,” Dougherty said. “We're out there now trying to get everybody we can to get those kinds of services today, so we avoid this kind of problem in the future.”

In all of 2006, the Alliance to End Homelessness estimates that 495,400 veterans were homeless at some point during the year.

The group recommends that 5,000 housing units be created per year for the next five years dedicated to the chronically homeless that would provide permanent housing linked to veterans' support systems. It also recommends funding an additional 20,000 housing vouchers exclusively for homeless veterans, and creating a program that helps bridge the gap between income and rent.

Following those recommendations would cost billions of dollars, but there is some movement in Congress to increase the amount of money dedicated to homeless veterans programs.

On a recent day in Philadelphia, case managers from Project H.O.M.E. and the VA picked up William Joyce, 60, a homeless Vietnam veteran in a wheelchair who said he'd been sleeping at a bus terminal.

“You're an honorable veteran. You're going to get some services,” outreach worker Mark Salvatore told Joyce. “You need to be connected. You don't need to be out here on the streets.”

NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
Ronson at 8:17PM, Nov. 7, 2007
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And the same people pushing these people into battle are the same ones who think that tax cuts just make government better. Where do you think they start trimming? At the top, where department heads are? Not on your life! They cut wherever they can be fairly sure someone either won't complain or won't be heard. That means the poor and the military … and they do it every time.

I've said this before and I've been told it's unreasonable, but I think that every soldier that survives combat should be paid the equivalent of an average middle class salary for the rest of their lives - with full healthcare. Those that don't survive should be able to leave a similar monetary amount to their families, but I don't know how that would work.

That would have three benefits:

1. Our soldiers wouldn't be treated like crap upon leaving the military.
2. More people would join the military.
3. Our leaders wouldn't be so quick to throw them into harms way.

But invariably, the people who argue with me the most about the necessity for wars are the ones who argue strongest that the military “signed up for it, so they knew what they would get.”

Which is odd, because I tend to doubt that any soldier thought they'd be signing up for being homeless, or psychologically messed up for years.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Phantom Penguin at 4:28AM, Nov. 8, 2007
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I see this alot also, and i'm worried about it when I get discharged. I have college classes under my belt, but i'm in the same boat as the guy in the article, I only have tank training and theres not much use for that in the civilian world.

And now people are at the stage where they start to turn against us instead of people who make real choices in the country so it will be even harder to get by.

I donate regularlly to the Vets charitys because I feel for them. I'm hopeing to start some sort of charity drive.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
kyupol at 6:10AM, Nov. 8, 2007
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Phantom Penguin
I see this alot also, and i'm worried about it when I get discharged. I have college classes under my belt, but i'm in the same boat as the guy in the article, I only have tank training and theres not much use for that in the civilian world.

And now people are at the stage where they start to turn against us instead of people who make real choices in the country so it will be even harder to get by.

I donate regularlly to the Vets charitys because I feel for them. I'm hopeing to start some sort of charity drive.

But couldn't you be a police officer or security guard after your service in the military?

Arent they related professions… though an easier one actually since you wont be fighting TRAINED insurgents. They should let ex-soldiers have that option. In the Philippines they sometimes do that (or else one more TRAINED foot soldier in the ranks of the communists and muslim extremists :( ).

Or maybe you could go into a trade or something? like carpentry or any of that stuff. I've read stories of WW2 veterans who took that path though. Trades pay high here in Canada though I'm not sure of their payrates in the US.
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
Phantom Penguin at 6:15PM, Nov. 8, 2007
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I look into joining the police force or the DEA after I get out, but its always something I worry about for whatever reason.

And I did start a charity drive, the link is on my comic's page. =D
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
Kilre at 6:35PM, Nov. 8, 2007
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Ronson
But invariably, the people who argue with me the most about the necessity for wars are the ones who argue strongest that the military “signed up for it, so they knew what they would get.”


The people who say shit like that are the kind who would never sign up themselves.

Who also happen to be the ones who support the tax cuts as they are now.

They're so “patriotic” as to be completely unpatriotic.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:15PM
Priceman at 7:10PM, Nov. 8, 2007
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As a Active Duty solider, this is one of my biggest fears and concerns. I try to donate to organizations that are focused on vets as often as I can. They deserve so much better.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
bobhhh at 7:19PM, Nov. 8, 2007
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Kilre
Ronson
But invariably, the people who argue with me the most about the necessity for wars are the ones who argue strongest that the military “signed up for it, so they knew what they would get.”


The people who say shit like that are the kind who would never sign up themselves.

Who also happen to be the ones who support the tax cuts as they are now.

They're so “patriotic” as to be completely unpatriotic.

You know what really sucks is that radicals in the sixties gave anti war activists such a bad name because a lot of them were irresponsibly anti-soldier. I think supporting the troops shouldn't be a jigoistic pretty face on sending them into harm's way. Especially for no reason like in Iraq.

There will always be military enlistees, its just the reality of tradition, loyalty and economics. But with all the flag waving the hawks engage in, you think they would make equipping servicemen properly for battle, and then caring for them adequately after they return job one!! Before debating about the standard laundry list of bllsht political footballs(abortion, samesex marriage, tax cuts, etc)

Job one. period.

These neocons, and their democratic appeasers, who sent our young men and women into Iraq understaffed, ill prepared and then when they started getting blown up by IED's, cared for them in substandard ways upon their return, well..

…there should be a special place for these lawmakers, that charlatan in the white house, and his cronies, in hell.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
Phantom Penguin at 3:00AM, Nov. 9, 2007
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Don't wait for them to get to hell. Toss them to the vets.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
n_y_japlander at 7:22AM, Nov. 9, 2007
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Phantom Penguin
I look into joining the police force or the DEA after I get out, but its always something I worry about for whatever reason.

And I did start a charity drive, the link is on my comic's page. =D

When are you getting out?
If you need the help, I can tune-up your resume for you… It is not “what you know” it's how you can use it for any (and I mean any) situation!
After my 10 years in the AF, (motor pool mechanic, and MOB sight surveyer) I'm the manager/coordinator at a growing English school! with No lies on the resume!
People STILL want already trained managers, that can work under pressure and with short deadlines!
So, don't sell yourself short yet!!

And very good on you for starting the cherity drive!!!! I'll send people your way from my comics!!

Corey

last edited on July 14, 2011 2:19PM
Phantom Penguin at 9:34AM, Nov. 9, 2007
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I get out in June '09. And I think they have a deal going on that if you have at least 3 years in the military you can go to police academy without college credits or something.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
Poke Alster at 10:16AM, Nov. 9, 2007
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Its not fair :( if i ever get to be a millionaire i'll try my best to reduce these kinda things
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:46PM
bobhhh at 3:18PM, Nov. 15, 2007
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Don't wait for them to get to hell. Toss them to the vets.

Where are these vets who should be outraged with Bush? I keep waiting for a hail of bullets, a protest, a press conference…SOMETHING!!

Even Reagan got shot at. Where is the outrage??

Personally, I think he has succeeded in snowing the Vets by paying lip service to the flag. How else could a draft dodger have succeeded in portraying a war hero(Kerry) as a coward and a traitor? How else could Bush have negated McCain's military service and stature as a decorated war veteran in the primaries. Even Gore spent some time getting shot at as a military reporter, but Bush and his neocon chicken hawks get props as pro military When none of them have served in combat.

Someone ought to explain it to the vets, they are the only constituency that could wrest this false mantle of patiortism away from these flag waving charlatans.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
Mister Mxyzptlk at 8:16PM, Nov. 15, 2007
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bobhhh
Someone ought to explain it to the vets, they are the only constituency that could wrest this false mantle of patiortism away from these flag waving charlatans.

The candidate getting the most bucks from active duty and retired military right now is Ron Paul. Seems they like the cut of his jib.
My soul was removed to make room for all this sarcasm.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:04PM
Poke Alster at 11:05AM, Nov. 16, 2007
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and what do you mean by that?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:46PM
Mister Mxyzptlk at 12:39PM, Nov. 16, 2007
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Poke Alster
and what do you mean by that?

Simply pointing out who a good number of military types want to “wrest the false mantle of patriotism from the flag waving charlatans”. That's all. If you want to support their choice then you might want to look at Mr. Paul. If you just want to play the blame game for political advantage then go ahead and pick your usual brand of flag waving charlatan.
My soul was removed to make room for all this sarcasm.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:04PM
horseboy at 11:34PM, Nov. 16, 2007
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It has always pissed me off that the men who have volunteered to die for my safety are on food stamps. If I had my way I'd put them on the same pay scale as, oh, at least as much as those people who “work” at the DMV. Yes, I'd do it by removing the forestry and education departments, since they're not constitutional.
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Never seek for happiness, it will merely allude the seeker. Never strive for knowledge, it is beyond man's scope. Never think, for in though lies all the ills of mankind. The wise man, like the rat, the crocodile, the fly, merely fulfills his natural function.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:50PM
Ronson at 9:00AM, Nov. 17, 2007
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Well, “not constitutional” only through extremely narrow interpretation of the Constitution. Similar departments have been scrutinized by the courts which have held up their existence as within the bounds of our government. But that's an argument that ultimately comes down to agreeing or disagreeing with Supreme Court decisions. Something I'd prefer not to do since I just draw pictures.

You could actully easily pay for our soldiers by getting rid of excessively wasteful government defense projects … especially the missile shield, which won't work technologically for decades, and will be politically more trouble than it's worth even if it does work someday.

We spend tons of money with defense contractors, and shaft our soldiers mercilessly. It's shameful.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
TnTComic at 9:30AM, Nov. 17, 2007
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Ronson
I've said this before and I've been told it's unreasonable, but I think that every soldier that survives combat should be paid the equivalent of an average middle class salary for the rest of their lives - with full healthcare. Those that don't survive should be able to leave a similar monetary amount to their families, but I don't know how that would work.

What you're suggesting is every soldier winning the lottery 3 times.


horseboy
It has always pissed me off that the men who have volunteered to die for my safety are on food stamps. If I had my way I'd put them on the same pay scale as, oh, at least as much as those people who “work” at the DMV. Yes, I'd do it by removing the forestry and education departments, since they're not constitutional.

So let me get this straight…

You think people at the DMV are lazy.
You think we should get rid of the Forestry Service.
You think we should get rid of the Department of Education.
And you think veterans should be guaranteed a job for life.

Oooooookay!

You know what… I've known plenty of WWII vets in my life, and my experience with them makes me pretty irritated at the craaaaazy Vietnam vets that get all the pub. Shut up and get on with your lives. Its strange that the kids of the WWII guys who I hold in such high esteem turned out to be so different from them.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
bobhhh at 10:38AM, Nov. 17, 2007
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You know what… I've known plenty of WWII vets in my life, and my experience with them makes me pretty irritated at the craaaaazy Vietnam vets that get all the pub. Shut up and get on with your lives. Its strange that the kids of the WWII guys who I hold in such high esteem turned out to be so different from them.

Please tell me you aren't condemning combat veterans from your damn armchair!! The guys in WW2 had it bad, just as bad as Nam vets in some instances.

But they were fighting for something, they were defeating the Nazi's. Hitler was one of history's true black hats. If you suffered some trauma, at least you could find some solace that you and your fallen comrades died for something.

Nam vets died because of chest thumping. The cold war was no reason to die, we could have smoothed things over with russia many times, instead we rattled sabres and fought proxy wars that had no meaning. add to that the fact that infantry men in nam were much younger on average, and mostly drafted instead of enlisted, and you have a recipe for a much more confused and troubled vet.

But hey they ought to just suck it up , right?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
horseboy at 12:24PM, Nov. 17, 2007
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[quote="TnTComic
So let me get this straight…

You think people at the DMV are lazy. Lazy doesn't cover the half of it. I once spent a day and a half at the Glen Burnie, MD DMV trying to get a liscense reprint so I could fail a security clearing to go on a plane. Trying to figure out what the holy Hell took so long, I'd watch them “work”. They'd sit there, call someone over, help them. The customer would leave, then they'd disappear in the back of at least a half hour. They may come back, help two more customers then disappear again. They have to be union, there's no other way they could have kept those jobs.
You think we should get rid of the Forestry Service.
Yes, I am opposed to gestapos that kick people from their ancestral homes so the aristocracy can have some place to play.
You think we should get rid of the Department of Education.
Really, has it done any good?
And you think veterans should be guaranteed a job for life.
Oooooookay!
I think we owe them no less.
Ronson
Well, “not constitutional” only through extremely narrow interpretation of the Constitution. Similar departments have been scrutinized by the courts which have held up their existence as within the bounds of our government. But that's an argument that ultimately comes down to agreeing or disagreeing with Supreme Court decisions. Something I'd prefer not to do since I just draw pictures.
Well, I am a registered member of the Constitutionalist party. ;)
If it's not in Article I, Section 8 then Congress has no authority over it and therefor shouldn't spend money on it.
There is no such word as “alot”. “A lot” is two words.
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Never seek for happiness, it will merely allude the seeker. Never strive for knowledge, it is beyond man's scope. Never think, for in though lies all the ills of mankind. The wise man, like the rat, the crocodile, the fly, merely fulfills his natural function.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:50PM
Ronson at 3:02PM, Nov. 17, 2007
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TnTComic
What you're suggesting is every soldier winning the lottery 3 times.

I think that the analogy is lacking, as the purchase of a lottery ticket is usually very small, and these soldiers would be earning this money by putting their lives on the line.

But let's face it, all the defense contractors won the lottery a billion times over because of this war, and all they had to do was wine and dine government officials. If they gave up a sliver of their profits we could keep our veterans living comfortably as well as shoring up our failing infrastructure.

Right?
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Ronson at 3:11PM, Nov. 17, 2007
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horseboy
Well, I am a registered member of the Constitutionalist party. ;)
If it's not in Article I, Section 8 then Congress has no authority over it and therefor shouldn't spend money on it.

Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but the debate is usually about this bit (bold mine):

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States

Things like a basic education and an enjoyable environment could theoretically be headed under “general welfare”. There are also provisions about protecting the land and encouraging scientific advancement.

The question I would have is what happens to our public lands if the forestry department is abandoned? Who stays on fire patrol? Who runs the national parks?

If there's no public education, what will we do to educate our citizens? If we don't educate them, what will we do with a grossly uneducated society that hasn't even rudimentary education?

See, I didn't want to get into this, but here we are. Ultimately, the Constitution is interpretable in many ways - even the bits you only see from one viewpoint. Since we have a Supreme Court that interprets - and reinterprets it - it is bound to be interpreted in ways we don't agree.

I disagree with personhood for corporations, for example. But I doubt they'll be changing that anytime soon.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
TnTComic at 3:18PM, Nov. 17, 2007
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Ronson
TnTComic
What you're suggesting is every soldier winning the lottery 3 times.

I think that the analogy is lacking, as the purchase of a lottery ticket is usually very small, and these soldiers would be earning this money by putting their lives on the line.

But let's face it, all the defense contractors won the lottery a billion times over because of this war, and all they had to do was wine and dine government officials. If they gave up a sliver of their profits we could keep our veterans living comfortably as well as shoring up our failing infrastructure.

Right?

I wasn't talking about the odds of the lottery, I was talking about the actual payout. If you win a million dollars, they pay you 50,000 for 20 years. You're suggesting every combat veteran should get roughly the same.

Why, exactly? They get paid for their service. They learn skills. They pad their resume. They don't serve for free and get nothing in return. Why should they be multiple lottery winners?

And why should a defense contractor give up any of his profits? He's earned them, just as the soldier earns his pay.

Look, I just don't get it. Why do you believe voluntary military service should earn somebody a golden parachute for the rest of their life?


horseboy
[quote="TnTComic

And you think veterans should be guaranteed a job for life.

I think we owe them no less.



Why? To me this is hero worship to the nth degree. A lot of these guys are sold a bill of goods: join the military and they'll set you up for life. They offer signing bonuses, college tuition, et cetera.. all on top of the pay they get anyway. So if the soldier signs up in return for that, why should they get some guarantee of a job for life, or money for life? I don't understand.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
Ronson at 3:47PM, Nov. 17, 2007
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TnTComic
I wasn't talking about the odds of the lottery, I was talking about the actual payout. If you win a million dollars, they pay you 50,000 for 20 years. You're suggesting every combat veteran should get roughly the same.

Yes. I am.

Why, exactly? They get paid for their service. They learn skills. They pad their resume. They don't serve for free and get nothing in return. Why should they be multiple lottery winners?

I know, I'm suggesting an overhaul on how it is done. The current system makes the use - and misuse - of those willing to die for this country incredibly affordable. If there was a long term cost every time a war begins, then maybe we would look for other alternatives first.

Secondly, combat messes people up. The integration into normal society is not always possible. They need to have the means to afford the long term care they need.

Anyway, we can quibble about the amount if you'd like. Instead of $50,000, how about $20,000? Less? More?

And why should a defense contractor give up any of his profits? He's earned them, just as the soldier earns his pay.

Really? You think so? You think the missile sheild money we are pouring into a black hole is not at least somewhat being used to enrich defense contractor CEOs? How about the helicopter-plane thingie that has an incredibly high failure rate? How about corporate war profiteers feeding our soldiers sub-par food, building sub-par buildings and guarding our state officials in Iraq for 20 times what a soldier would be paid for the same work?

I don't know if you don't pay attention to the war much, but the corporations are cleaning up on the Iraq War. Private Contractors, Private Mercenaries and Oil companies have gotten many times richer than they could have in peacetime.

War is a guaranteed way to put a lot of wealth into a very small number of pockets.

If you don't understand how it works, read the words of Major General Smedley Butler from 1933:

Smedley Butler on Interventionism
– Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Look, I just don't get it. Why do you believe voluntary military service should earn somebody a golden parachute for the rest of their life?

….

Why? To me this is hero worship to the nth degree. A lot of these guys are sold a bill of goods: join the military and they'll set you up for life. They offer signing bonuses, college tuition, et cetera.. all on top of the pay they get anyway. So if the soldier signs up in return for that, why should they get some guarantee of a job for life, or money for life? I don't understand.

You obviously don't understand. You have a very naive view of what our soldiers go through. I suggest you do some research about it.

First of all those “guarantees” of bonuses, college tuition and whatever et cetera is are nickel and dimed to death. They are dealt out in piecemeal so that there isn't normally a huge chunk of cash the soldiers can use.

As far as education goes, if you get called back into service while a semester is in place, you have to drop the class. Do you think the military will make that cost up to you when you return to civilian life? No way! They will deny you funds until you pay for the course that makes up for the one they made you drop.

It isn't hero worship, it's fairness to the soldiers and a penalty to our government for starting needless wars. If they're going to use our soldiers' lives as chess pieces on the board, they darn well should pay top dollar for it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
horseboy at 4:26PM, Nov. 17, 2007
(offline)
posts: 139
joined: 8-27-2006
[quote="Ronson
Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but the debate is usually about this bit (bold mine):

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States

Things like a basic education and an enjoyable environment could theoretically be headed under “general welfare”. There are also provisions about protecting the land and encouraging scientific advancement.

The question I would have is what happens to our public lands if the forestry department is abandoned? Who stays on fire patrol? Who runs the national parks?

If there's no public education, what will we do to educate our citizens? If we don't educate them, what will we do with a grossly uneducated society that hasn't even rudimentary education?

See, I didn't want to get into this, but here we are. Ultimately, the Constitution is interpretable in many ways - even the bits you only see from one viewpoint. Since we have a Supreme Court that interprets - and reinterprets it - it is bound to be interpreted in ways we don't agree.

I disagree with personhood for corporations, for example. But I doubt they'll be changing that anytime soon.
Well, the national parks would be dissolved. The land given back to the descendants of those from whom the land was taken. As for the rest of it, just because I don't think the FEDERAL government shouldn't do it, doesn't mean I don't think the STATE government shouldn't either. The State is far more easily held accountable than the faceless federal bureaucracy. Therefore it gets slightly more power.
There is no such word as “alot”. “A lot” is two words.
Voltaire
Never seek for happiness, it will merely allude the seeker. Never strive for knowledge, it is beyond man's scope. Never think, for in though lies all the ills of mankind. The wise man, like the rat, the crocodile, the fly, merely fulfills his natural function.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:50PM
Mister Mxyzptlk at 5:52PM, Nov. 17, 2007
(offline)
posts: 377
joined: 11-3-2007
bobhhh
But they (WWII Vets) were fighting for something, they were defeating the Nazi's. Hitler was one of history's true black hats.

Sure Hitler was killing Jews, but at the time anti-semitism was all the rage in the western world. FDR sent a shipload of Jews who escaped back to German custody and every historian who isn't totally worshipful of FDR agrees he knew about the concentration camps. Churchill advocated using poison gas on the Iraqis back when Iraq was a protectorate of Great Britain between WWI and WWII. Stalin… well what else do we need to say besides “Stalin”. I don't have enough space here to list all the nasty stuff he did. The Turks, who eventually joined the Allies, had between wars slaughtered the Armenian Greeks. The French people greeted Hitler's troops as Liberators. The Allies fire bombed cities slaughtering hundreds of thousands of civilians. Seems there were plenty of “Black Hats” to go around at that time.
My soul was removed to make room for all this sarcasm.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:04PM
bobhhh at 5:53PM, Nov. 17, 2007
(offline)
posts: 893
joined: 5-12-2007
Smedley Butler on Interventionism
War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Well here is the rub, isn't it? Our young men and women being sent to slaughter so some rich douchebags can squeeze out another couple of bucks out of countries that aren't cooperating. Starting from the revolution(not really a revolution, just our rich folks refusing to send taxes to the king) we have been sold a bill of goods about freedom and equality. Luckily there were enough idealists among the framers that SOME protections exist, but face it. Poor people in this country have to eat shit, and part of that is being forced to do the dirty work of rich folks, and the worst case scenario of that is the military.

I often wonder how Bush and crew can face themselves in the mirror every morning when they know the real truth of why our soldiers are dying.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
subcultured at 5:56PM, Nov. 17, 2007
(online)
posts: 5,392
joined: 1-7-2006
Someone
I often wonder how Bush and crew can face themselves in the mirror every morning when they know the real truth of why our soldiers are dying.

with a stiff drink and numerous vacation times. i mean we hired this president to lead the country and he takes vacations while there is a war going on.
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:03PM
Mister Mxyzptlk at 5:56PM, Nov. 17, 2007
(offline)
posts: 377
joined: 11-3-2007
Ronson
Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but the debate is usually about this bit (bold mine):

general welfare

If that were the intention of the founders then why list specific powers at all? Why not just stop after that line? You need to read what Madison has to say about the General Welfare clause.


Ronson
If there's no public education, what will we do to educate our citizens?

Exactly what was done before the 20th century. Parents organized schools or taught their children at home.
My soul was removed to make room for all this sarcasm.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:04PM

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