Monday, May 03, 2010

Veterans employment and the continued Iraq War

Terry Pack was an aircraft mechanic serving in the Army in Iraq, spending two of the last six years in combat overseas.
Now that he's done his service for the country, he can't even get a job doing oil changes at Sears.
"It's tough,'' said the unemployed Clarksville veteran, who was honorably discharged in January. "I've been looking for any job."

The above is from Naomi Snyder's "TN veterans face tough battle to find employment" (Tennessean) about veterans returning to the US and the economic crisis where no one is hiring. (I believe NPR's Morning Edition this morning compares the ratio for hires at Universal Studios -- tour guide positions among other things -- had a rougher 'acceptance' rate than Harvard -- meaning they had a huge number of applicants for the 60 positions available.) Signe Wilkinson (Philadelphia Daily News) also notes veterans this morning:

Even worse, some say, is a profound disconnect between the trauma of their experiences and coming back to a country in which the latest twists in "American Idol" get more media coverage than bombings in Baghdad.
But it's not only new veterans facing serious problems: wars long ended are still taking casualties. According to a report last week from the Department of Veterans Affairs, 18 U.S. veterans a day commit suicide: more than 6,000 men and women who escaped death at the hands of the enemy take their own lives each year. Last year, 98 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan killed themselves. The bulk of suicides apparently are by veterans who left the battlefield - physically, at least - decades ago.

One of the biggest problems for veterans of today's ongoing wars is the lack of prep on the part of the government. St. Louis Today pretends to address the issue in an editorial entitled "Caring for veterans:"

In 2003, Bush administration officials estimated that about 50,000 U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq eventually would file disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In this, as with so many things about the wars, the administration woefully underestimated, this time by a factor of 10. Already some 500,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have filed for disability -- about one in every three who served.
With nearly 200,000 troops still deployed in the two nations, that number surely will rise. And the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are the smallest part of the VA's current disability workload.

I'm not in the mood for the lies, I'm not in the mood for the bulls**t. Blood on the hands doesn't wash off. Bush said it? And??? Who the hell believed George W. Bush by himself on anything? Nobody. Bush's lies on the number of veterans? Who pimped it? They trashed Senator John Kerry when he called Bush's nonsense and nonsense numbers out. They trashed John Kerry and claimed that their own 'independent' 'verification' 'process' backed up Bush.

Well, it's six years later and you were damn wrong. You've got blood on your hands, don't try to sneak into the room. Stand up and apologize, issue your damn correction.

They won't, they never do. is not about facts, it's never been about facts. It's not about reporting either. And they screwed themselves whoring for Bush (they whored for Barack in 2008) because the families of veterans will never forget. This will never go away. It will amplify and amplify and they will never recover from their blood lies. Nor should they.

Will at least all the US service members are out of Iraq, right? Barack kept his campaign promise. Wait! Julie Muhlstein (Everett Herald) reports on Richard and Jessica Secor, a father and daughter serving in Iraq. Richard Secor says, "Imagine serving with your daughter in a war zone." And David Patton (Bristol Herald Courier) reports on the Tennessee National Guard's 278th Armored Calvary Regiment serving another deployment in Iraq where they have just taken command of Contingency Operating Base Speicher.

B-b-but the Iraq War is winding down. It's practically over! Right because deployment send-offs always take place as a war is ending, right? Mike Wilkinson (Detroit News) reports:

They were words of comfort, probably spoken dozens of times yesterday, but Nicole Treadway wasn't buying it.
As members of the 322nd Army medical company readied for a yearlong deployment to Iraq, Nicole's mother, Tracy, hugged a fellow soldier and said, "I'll be home before you know it."
Her eyes still red and wet from crying, Nicole, a 15-year-old high school freshman from Toledo, was asked if she believed that. Her answer held no equivocation: "No."

In the US today, Senator Bob Casey holds a hearing on Wall St. Accountability:

For Immediate Release

April 30, 2010


Stephanie Zarecky


****Media Advisory****Media Advisory****Media Advisory****

Casey to Chair Hearing on Wall Street Accountability

PHILADELPHIA, PA U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) will chair a hearing entitled “Bringing Accountability and Transparency to Wall Street.” At the hearing, Senator Casey will hear from witnesses testifying on the immediate need for strong reform to our financial markets. Witnesses will include: Steve Kaplan, Secretary of Banking, Pennsylvania Department of Banking; Professor Jim Sysco, J.D, Business Ethicist Scholar and Assistant Professor of Business, Kings College ; Skip Voluntad, Member, Executive Council, Pennsylvania AARP; and Dr. Michael Gombola, Professor of Finance, Drexel University .

Who: U.S. Senator Bob Casey

Steve Kaplan, Secretary of the PA Department of Banking

Skip Voluntad, Member, Executive Council, Pennsylvania AARP

Dr. Michael Gombola, Professor of Finance, Drexel University

Jim Sysco, J.D, Business Ethicist Scholar and Assistant

Professor of Business, Kings College

What: Public hearing entitled “Bringing Accountability and

Transparency to Wall Street”

When: 10:30am, Monday, May 3

Where: Drexel University

Creese Student Center

3210 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia , PA

We note Jane Fonda often here and I really hear what she's saying this post so I'm noting it, "I Am Moving:"

This is a hard blog to write. I have been in Atlanta for 19 years. It has been my home and I have been very happy here. I came here with Ted Turner and when we separated, I stayed. It’s been 10 years since then. I built myself a loft that I truly thought would be my home till I died. I love it so. My daughter, my soon-to-be son-in-law and my two grandchildren live here. My 2 non-profits are here: The Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and The Jane Fonda Center at the Emory School of Medicine where the focus is on adolescent reproductive health and sexuality. So you see, my decision to move to Los Angeles has not been easy.

I went to L.A. to have knee replacement surgery last June and stayed for my rehab and recovery. It didn't take long for me to see that decision makers in the film industry didn't realize I still wanted to work in film. I was out of the business for many years while I was married to Ted Turner. And then, while I was almost finished writing my memoirs, I decided it was time to be an actor again. I made "Monster-in-Law," followed by "Georgia Rule" -- 2 movies in 10 years. That’s too few, but I couldn't seem to find films I wanted to do and that was partly because producers and directors didn't know I was available. Out of sight is out of mind. That's when I realized I had to live there. I do have family there as well…my son, daughter-in-law and stepmother -- and I'm in a loving relationship with Richard Perry. A lot was beckoning me just as a lot was pulling me to stay in Atlanta.

Richard Perry's a great guy (and known for his production work on the recordings of Carly Simon, the Pointer Sisters, Barbra Stresiand and many others) and long distance relationships are never easy. I'm hoping to carve two weeks in England this July but doubtful that there will be time.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Joan Rivers Presidency" went up yesterday.

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