Archive for the ‘war on veterans’ Category

No, this is not a joke. It is estimated that there are thousands of veterans who have been deported. They qualify for benefits but can’t get them because they’re not allowed back in the United States. They fought for this country but have been banished to Mexico or other countries because they were not U.S. citizens.

Wishing a Happy Veterans Day to veterans who have been deported is like wishing Merry Christmas to a rape victim that was just raped. It ought to raise some eyebrows. Alas, it doesn’t, because they’re just unseemly brown people, after all.


– Badtux the Celebrating Veterans Penguin

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So, there was this dude in Ohio, Esten Ciboro, who protested Target allowing transwomen to use the women’s room. He said it would lead to a situation where women could be raped and abused by men entering the women’s restroom. Despite the fact that transwomen, well, don’t do that.

So Ciboro and his father were just arrested for keeping a 13 year old girl chained in their basement.

Why am I not surprised? There’s only one kind of person who obsesses about deviant sex day and night, and the way to describe that person isn’t “normal”. I wouldn’t trust one of these “anti-gay” or “anti-trans” types who spend so much time obsessing about gay or trans people unsupervised near pets or small children, with good reason. Stories like this just reiterate that reason.

Meanwhile, happy Memorial Day to all the veterans that the United States has deported. U S A! U S A! Woot yeah!

So, moving on, of course Donald Trump backed out of his proposed debate with Bernie. History has shown that chickens should beware of men named Sanders, after all. (Ba da SHOOSH!).

And I was going to talk about mental health treatment in America but ran out of time. So here’s a couple of links to read:

Mentally ill man kept in solitary confinement for 1001 days in prisoner rather than given proper mental health treatment.
Parents of mentally ill girl, having no idea what to do with her after she is released from a mental health facility in the St. Louis area, lock her in a room except for limited periods to use the restroom and eat food.

Should we blame the mentally ill man for the solitary confinement? No, you can blame the fact that he’s mentally ill for his lack of control. Hearing voices since age 6? Dude. If we had a society that was worth a damn, he would have been getting intensive psychiatric help for the past 17 years of his life, not solitary confinement and a psychiatrist talking to him once a month and a month’s worth of psychiatric pills when he got out. But hey, it’s easier to believe that we can punish the mentally ill into not being mentally ill. Costs less money right, and lets us feel better about the fact that we’re a vicious vindictive mean-spirited nation, and when did that happen anyhow, it wasn’t true when I was a child forty years ago…

– Badtux the Disgusted Penguin

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I will break liberal orthodoxy here and say that it was the right thing for General Shinseki to resign as head of the VA.

That is a sad thing for me to have to say, because Shinseki is a good man. He tried hard, and he did make some small reforms. Unfortunately he never really successfully made the transition from being a military leader to being a civilian leader. The most damning thing was that he was totally blind-sided by the revelations coming out of Phoenix because he relied totally on the reports they were sending to Washington as his source of information. As a civilian leader, he was surrounded by yes-men who told him what they thought he wanted to hear. But that was not what he needed to hear, and he completely and utterly failed to develop alternate sources of information to validate what he was getting from channels.

The new leader of the VA will need to be someone who can do that — someone who has a small group of trusted friends who can independently verify information, someone who has the ability to develop ties with Congressional constituent services offices that in many cases had known about the problems with VA scheduling for years, someone who is capable of navigating the political landscape of Washington both to get the VA the resources it needs and to make good use of the resources that it has. Shinseki is a good man, but he never seemed to quite “get it” when it came to the details of how a civilian leader in a democracy has to do his job. That’s the problem with being career military, I suspect… you forget that in the civilian world, the chain of command is far looser and less reliable than in the military world, and relies on persuasion and cunning more than it relies on issuing orders and requests.

So it goes. One suggestion I have for Obama: the new VA director should be a veteran, but not career military. The new VA director should be some schmuck who spent maybe six years in, then went out and succeeded in civilian life. Political experience would be a big plus. The VA is too important to our veterans to leave in the hands of amateurs who’ve never run a large civilian enterprise before. Just sayin’….

Oh yeah, the real scandal? Simple: The VA is underfunded to deal with the 3M+ new veterans that have entered the system over the past eight years. You know whose fault that is, right?

– Badtux the Political Penguin

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Bruce Springsteen, “Born in the USA”, off the 1984 album by that name.

Bruce Springsteen wrote this about the Vietnam war and how the veterans were treated once they came back. Different war, same shit — hiring men are not hiring veterans of the War on Terra for the same reason they didn’t hire veterans of the War on the Yellow Man, ’cause they figure veterans are, like, these crazy people who are gonna go Rambo and kill everybody and shit. Yay hurray USA. Proud to be an American, yessiree, where we can send men off to fight our wars for us then treat them like shit once they come back and all that happens is that rockers write bitter songs that fucking morons think are patriotic hymns to American greatness. Sigh!

– Badtux the Music Penguin

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Today’s music arrives early, because it is combined with today’s post (the music that was originally scheduled here has been moved off to next month). This is Jason Isbell, “Dress Blues”.

Today is Memorial Day, where we celebrate cookouts and baseball and some folks we don’t know who “died for our freedoms”, though I don’t think anybody can name a freedom that the people who died in Iraq-nam or Afghanis-nam or Viet-nam died for, but hey, cookouts and baseball, yo! Meanwhile 12,000 homeless veterans sleep rough in Los Angeles, while various Americans mouth vacuous platitudes like “thank you for your service” that, along with $1.50, will buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. And another story. So it goes.

– Badtux the “Hypocrisy, much?” Penguin

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First some asshole Republican Senator put a hold on a bill to give disabled veterans a cost of living raise. Trillions for General Dynamics, not a slim nickle for those disabled veterans who, like, lost legs or arms or even had their brains shaken not stirred in the wars that these Republicans cheerleaded, let those poor bastards eat cake, I guess. So this mystery Senator, who didn’t have the balls to let himself be named so I’ll just call him Senator Marie Antoinette, put a hold, meaning that the Senate couldn’t pass the bill.

So of course the Democrats started making hay with it to tar all Republicans as hating veterans, at which point Senator Marie Antoinette not only did not come forward and identify himself and why he’d put a hold on a pay increase for disabled veterans, he simply dropped the hold and then slinked off to whatever dank and loathsome lair Republican lizard people slither to lick their wounds when their attempts to turn human beings into meals don’t work.

Marshmallows. That’s all I gotta say. Marshmallows. Ain’t nothin’ clangs when that feller walks, that much I can tell ya.

— Badtux the Lizard-despising Penguin

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Well, it’s the first anniversary of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, so let’s look at the impact it’s had on the troops. So: Has repeal of DADT caused a breakdown of discipline? Problems retaining troops? Poor morale amongst soldiers? Suicides amongst soldiers? Uhm, no. All of those still are at the levels they were before the repeal of DADT. Has repeal of DADT caused problems recruiting soldiers? Again, no. Anybody who’s a badass in a place where all the jobs are dead-end or there are no jobs at all ends up walking through military recruiters’ doors because the alternatives are worse. So what’s the impact? Well… None.

But I will tell you what impacts all of that: The fact that we have trillions to wage war, but, apparently, according to Senate Republicans, not even one measly little billion to put the veterans of those wars back to work when they get back home. Excuse me? What the fuck? Dudes, if you can’t afford a billion dollars, you can’t afford a trillion dollars. If you can’t afford a billion dollars for the veterans of your trillion dollar wars, then don’t wage trillion dollar wars, for cryin’ out loud!

You want to know why we have record numbers of homeless veterans, why we have record numbers of returning veterans committing suicide, why soldiers who’ve been discharged with disabilities are having tremendous problems that aren’t being addressed, why soldiers have poor morale after looking at how they’re going to be treated after discharge, look right there at the attitude of Senate Republicans and their “trillions for war, not a slim dime for the veterans who fought the wars” attitude. Marie Antoinette was compassionate by comparison. At least she offered cake.

— Badtux the Pissed Penguin

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