And still the Iraq War continues. Kahrin Deines (Billings Gazette) reports:
When Sgt. James Meyers of the Montana Army National Guard is deployed to Iraq next fall, he will be leaving behind his new wife, a baby on the way and most likely a new house in the Billings Heights.
"I have mixed feelings about it," Meyers said. "I'm excited to go. It's what I signed up to do is to protect my country. But I'm not excited to leave this new life that I'm starting."
Meyers is one of 600 members of the Montana Army National Guard called up for deployment to Iraq. Andy Malby (Belgrade News) notes that the deployment is twelve months and "will be the 163rd's second deployment since 2004." Brian Walker (Bonner Country Daily Bee) notes that approximately 1500 members of the Idaho National Guard are being deployed to Iraq in November: "This will be the second deployment of the 116th to Iraq. It was also deployed there from late 2004 to late 2005."
And from Bill Van Auken's "Hidden toll of US wars: 18 veterans commit suicide daily" (WSWS), we'll note this:
An average of 18 US military veterans are taking their lives every day as the Obama administration and the Pentagon grow increasingly defensive about the epidemic of suicides driven by Washington's wars of aggression.
The stunning figure was reported last week by the Army Times, citing officials in the US Veterans Affairs Department.
The department estimates that there are 950 suicide attempts every month by veterans who are receiving treatment from the department. Of these, 7 percent succeed in taking their own lives, while 11 percent try to kill themselves again within nine months.
The greatest growth in suicides has taken place among veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who accounted for 1,868 suicide attempts in fiscal 2009, which ended on September 30. Of these, nearly 100 succeeded in killing themselves.
Meanwhile Iraq War veteran Eric Jasinski suffers from PTSD and he shares his story (video and text) at Courage to Resist:
Even worse is the fact that this boils down to the military failing to treat my PTSD but I am being punished for it when I got to the R&R center on Fort Hood on 8 April because I felt like I was entering a crisis that landed me in the mental ward, on Fort Hood for 21 days in December 2009. I was told to wait until Monday 12 April and not do anything dumb by a psychiatrist. I feel as if I am being a threat to others or myself and still the Army mental health professional blow me off just like in 2009 when I felt like I had no choice but to go AWOL, since I received a 5 minute mental evaluation and was stop-lossed despite my PTSD, and was told that they could do nothing for me. The insufficient mental evaluation from a doctor I had never seen before, combined with the insufficient actions by the doctor on 9 April show the Army is not trying to make progress. The Army is simply trying to label us as outcasts and put together useless programs for public relations just like Vietnam.
I have tried to "do the right thing" as those in the Army say and all they do in return is destroy me even more mentally and publicly say that they are going to look out for me while behind closed doors the exact opposite is happening. The Army works off of a "good ole boy"
system and I have fallen out of the graces of the machine. So I have been tossed in the trash just like the brave and honorable resisters of Vietnam. The machine never stops and it never changes.
A quick alert to let you know that Jonathan is scheduled to be on The Brian Lehrer Show this morning at 10 a.m. to talk about Goldman Sachs, Wall Street and the selling of our democracy, You can tune in if you are in the NYC market or listen to live stream at http://beta.wnyc.org/shows/bl/
As you prepare for the show, check out Jonathan’s new video which sums up the Senate hearings on Goldman Sachs and in which he calls on his opponent and members of both parties to give back Goldman Sachs cash:
Jonathan has also issued public letters to the chairmen of both major political parties to cleanse the system of Goldman Sachs case. See the letters here and here.
Check out our special Wall Street greed web page at: http://jonathantasini.com/content/goldman-sachs-and-kirsten-gillibrand
Thanks for all you are doing.
The Tasini Campaign Team
Senate Democrats Are on Your Side: Standing Up to Republican Obstructionism on Wall Street Reform
Republicans have yet again put their political interests ahead of the well-being of the American people. By refusing to allow debate on Wall Street reform, they have sent a clear message: Senate Republicans are on the side of big banks and Wall Street CEOs. This disingenuous, obstructionist attitude was set in motion last month after Senate Republicans met behind closed doors with the CEOs of big banks. They returned and promptly started trying to water down legislation that would rein in corporate greed and excess on Wall Street.
Senate Democrats want to restore accountability and transparency to Wall Street, and have brought forward historic reform legislation to protect American consumers, investors and businesses from the greed and recklessness that brought our economy to the brink of collapse. The Restoring American Financial Stability Act puts in place the strongest consumer financial protections ever and will help put a stop to the reckless behavior that cost Americans over 8 million jobs and trillions of dollars in savings.
By choosing to side with Wall Street over the American people, Republicans have voted against legislation that will:
· End Taxpayer Bailouts. As long as giant financial firms believe the government will bail them out if they get into trouble, they only have the incentive to get larger and take bigger risks. This bill guarantees that taxpayers will never again be forced to bail out reckless Wall Street firms by creating a safe orderly liquidation mechanism for the FDIC to unwind failing significant financial companies; shareholders and unsecured creditors will bear losses; and management will be removed.
· End “Too Big To Fail.” The bill provides for strict new capital, leverage, liquidity, risk management and other requirements as companies grow in size and complexity, with significant requirements on companies that pose risks to the financial system. The Federal Reserve will be authorized, as a last resort, to require a large complex company, to divest some of its holdings if it poses a grave threat to the financial stability of the United States .
· Put a New Cop on The Beat. The bill establishes the Financial Stability Oversight Council to focus on identifying, monitoring and addressing systemic risks posed by large, complex financial firms as well as products and activities that spread risk across firms.
· Bring Sunlight and Transparency to Shadowy Markets. The legislation eliminates loopholes that allow risky and abusive practices to go unnoticed and unregulated – including loopholes for over-the-counter derivatives, asset-backed securities, hedge funds, mortgage brokers and payday lenders.
· Guarantee Clear Information in Plain English. The bill creates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will have the sole job of protecting American consumers from unfair, deceptive and abusive financial products and practices and will ensure people get the clear information they need on loans and other financial products from credit card companies, mortgage brokers, banks and others.
· Protect Against Bernie Madoff-Type Scams. The SEC has failed to perform aggressive oversight and is unable to understand some of the very companies it is supposed to regulate. This bill creates a program within the SEC to encourage people to report securities violations and mandates an annual assessment of the SEC’s internal supervisory controls. The bill also establishes a new Office of Credit Rating Agencies at the SEC to strengthen regulation of credit rating agencies, many of which failed in the past to warn people about risks hidden throughout layers of complex structures.
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