Monday, October 17, 2011

Veterans issues

Michael A. Fletcher (Washington Post) reports that, "Veterans who left military service in the past decade have an unemployment rate of 11.7 percent, well above the overall jobless rate of 9.1 percent." Not quite the crisis that's been portrayed in Congressional hearing after Congressional hearing that I've sat through. (The unemployment crisis is young, male African-Americans but Barack's refused to propose any plans for addressing that aspect of unemployment.) Some people may not be hireable. ____ _____ is examined by Fletcher. I'm sure he's a nice person and I employ many but I wouldn't hired him. "Later," Fletcher explains, "he worked as a psychological operations specialist, tailoring the U.S. war message to residents of Kosovo and, later, Iraq."

First off, if I hired anyone who'd done work in psy-ops, I would be blowing my credibility. Second of all, I would never hire anyone who has done that kind of work. Since 2005, we have called that work out repeatedly -- when someone I knew as a pudgy little brat was being waxed on by a War Hustler in the pages of The New Yorker. That work is controversial and ____ would be smart to leave that off an application. Did no one explain to him that those sort of activities could not take place in the US? Which, for the record, would render his training in that are obsolete. I'm confused as to how or why you would attempt to market training in a skill that is supposed to be legally barred within the United States?

Those who don't share my ethical opposition to that misuse of the social sciences still include a group of people who will not want someone working for them or under them who is trained in distortion, in misusing messages to control people.

I'm removing the veteran's name from this and if he's seriously looking for work, he should be removing the psy-ops from his resume or else attempting to work for a questionable marketing firm (try Rogers & Cowan) or the government.

Steve Magagnini (Sacremento Bee) reports on a Military Families Speak Out event yesterday in which the organization organized a workshop to prepare fammilies with returning service members. Experts on spoke on issues such as "post-traumatic stress [PTSD], traumatic brain injuries [TBI], substance abuse, divorce and a desolate job market." Among those speaking were social worker Carolyn Fink who spoke of sexual abuse within the military, veterans suicides and who qualifies for military benefits. Pathway Home's Fred Guzman is quoted stating, "The war will continue even after it's ended for those scarred by their experience."

Many returning veterans, especially in this economy, will be seeking additional education upon returning. Tom Philpott (Montgomery Advertiser) reports on the rush by for-profit colleges to sign up veterans who qualify for Post-9/11 GI Benefits. Philpott reports:

The top seven GI Bill pay­ment recipients were all for-profit companies: Apollo (which runs University of Phoenix), ITT, Education Man­agement Corp. (Art Institute and Argosy), DeVry, Career Education Corp. (Sanford Brown and CTU), Stayer and Corinthian (which runs Ever­est, Heald and Wyoming Tech­nical). These companies alone, through stepped-up marketing and aggressive sales tech­niques, saw payments from Post-9/11 GI Bill enrollments jump in a single year from $376 million to $975 million.
The eighth for-profit compa­ny among the top 10 institu­tions getting GI Bill payments is Kaplan, owned by The Washington Post. Its Post-9/11 GI Bill payments climbed in 12 months from $17 million to $44 million.
More disturbing for tax­payers and veterans is what they get for their money, senators said. Withdrawal rates for attendees at for-profit schools range from 44 percent to 68 percent, three to four times the withdrawal rates for the two nonprofit schools among the top 10 re­cipients of GI Bill dollars, the University of Maryland System and University of Texas System.

On this week's Law and Disorder Radio -- a weekly hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI (didn't air today due to a WBAI pledge drive) and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) -- topics explored include Occupy Wall Street with attorney Magaret Ratner Kunstler as well as extrajudicial murder and the murder of journalist Jose Couso.

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