Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dustin Vincent laid to rest

Amber Fischer (The 33 News, CW33) reports 25-year-old 1st Lt Dustin Vincent was laid to rest today at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery and she quotes his friend Jared Griggs stating, "He and I talked a lot. He's part of the reason I joined the army myself. You couldn't be mad, you couldn't be sad around Dustin. You couldn't even really be serious around Dustin. There was only two things that he was really serious about, and that was the Lord and serving his country." Vallari Gupte (University of Texas at Arlington's Shorthorn) noted:

Vincent, who graduated from UTA in 2009, was from Mesquite. Vincent, a 1st Lieutenant, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery of the 1st Infantry Division in Fort Riley, Kan. Vincent leaves behind a wife and daughter.
Kinesiology senior Christopher Harris was a freshman when he met Vincent in UTA's ROTC program. Harris was a cadet and Vincent was an officer of that year’s battalion.
"He was my leader," Harris said. "He would teach me some stuff and I would learn."
When Harris learned about Vincent's death, he grieved.
"It is hard to feel anything else right now. Just grief," he said.

Cynthia Vega and Steve Stoler (WFAA -- link has text and video) report that Dustin Vincent was on his first deployment to Iraq and "just six months into his deployment when the enemy threw a deadly grenade at his convoy."

Yesterday, Rick Perry, in his position of Governor of the state of Texas, had the nerve to issue a statement about Veterans Day. It was revealed to be complete b.s. and totally non-sincere as evidenced by the fact that Perry never issued a statement on the passing of Dustin Vincent and never ordered the state flags at half-mast in honor of the fallen. Those are two things governors are supposed to do. Not only can Rick Perry not handle debates but he also can't do the job he was elected to. If he's going to continue in his comedy of errors national tour, he might need to resign as governor since his failure with regards to Dustin Vincent's passing clearly indicate he can't roam the nation and also be governor.

In fairness to Perry, it's hard not to see a lot of elected officials as posing since Veterans Day would have been the perfect time to announce a Burn Pit Registry but that didn't happen. Deborah Fox (News-Bulletin) reports on Master Sgt Jessey Baca who joined the navy in 1978 and was first deployed to Iraq in the 90s and again in 2004 and 2007:

There were about 20,000 people on the base, and all the refuse of daily life in the war zone was disposed of by burning it in huge pits, some as large as 10 acres. They burned 24-hours a day, seven-days a week, Baca said.
"They burned human waste, chemicals, asbestos, plastics, tires, batteries, amputated body parts, pharmaceuticals ... and ignited it with jet fuel," said the now Albuquerque South Valley resident.
When Baca returned to Iraq in 2007, he "immediately got sick again, along with a lot of other people." "And I noticed my health deteriorating even more when I came back," Baca said.
"We went to many doctors here in Albuquerque. (They told me) 'It's allergies, it's an infection, I'm not sure, maybe this, maybe that.'"
His symptoms continued to worsen, so in 2009 the couple went out of state for help. By this time, Baca had a serious cough and often ran a fever. They decided to go to a specialist, a pulmonologist in Denver.

The following community sites -- plus, On The Wilder Side, FPIF and Dissident Voice -- updated last night and today:


We'll close with this from Sherwood Ross' "New ACLU Report Not Likely To Impact Private Prisons Without Public Support For Change" (Veterans Today):

The latest report by the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) is not likely to inspire politicians to shut down our private prisons when prison operators are pouring millions of dollars into their campaign coffers.
Jobbing out the incarceration business, said lawyer David Shapiro of the ACLU Prison Project “has been a bonanza for the private prison industry, which rakes in billions of dollars a year and dishes out multi-million dollar compensation packages to its top executives.”
And those top executives, in turn, between 1998 and 2000, for example, wrote over $1.2-million in checks to political candidates and political parties. And why not, when their firms have received such huge public subsidies as $68 billion in tax-free bonds to help them build?
Since the 1980s Reagan era shift to privatization, more than 150 private facilities---detention centers, jails, and prisons----with a capacity of about 120,000 have been opened, and 7% of all U.S. adults inmateshave been dumped in them.
“Abuse of prisoners, escapes, prison violence including prisoner-on-prisoner, prisoner-on-guard and vice versa, restricted and malfeasant health care, providing rotten food, and other prison management problems are characteristic of the private prison industry,” writes sociologist Margaret Rosenthal in “The Long Term View,” a journal published by the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover. Rosenthal is Professor Emerita, School of Social Work, Salem State College, Mass.
“One study found 49% more prisoner-on-staff and 65% higher prisoner-on-prisoner assaults in private medium and minimum security prisons than in public ones,” Rosenthal writes. Example: at the Northeast Ohio Correction Center in Youngstown, operated by industry leader Corrections Corporation of America(CCA), in a period of just 14 months there were 13 stabbings, two murders and six escapes that ended in violence. Rosenthal said other sociologists have documented “many other examples of brutality and incompetence perpetrated in CCA-run facilities.”

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