Friday, May 04, 2012

Because you may disagree with them doesn't make someone 'less' of a veteran

There is a veterans group called Veterans for a Strong America that are in the news and causing some very stupid reactions. John Hudson (The Atlantic) insists that this group calling out the use of Osama bin Ladne's death as a re-election talking point by the Barack Obama campaign is 'swift-boating' Barack ("The tactic credited with unraveling John Kerry's presidential campaign is being re-tooled for President Obama."). Barack groupie Sam Stein uses Huffington Post to sport his potty mouth because reporting is too hard for him. At the right-wing Daily Caller, Caroline May does what 'reporter' Sam Stein never thought of, speak with Veterans for a Strong America. Joy Lin (Fox News) also takes the time to speak to the group, to chair Joel Arends. Would Fox News and The Daily Caller have bothered to speak to the group if they were a left wing group? I don't know. I'll leave guesses out of it. But there's really no excuse for Sam Stein's garbage. And Joel Hudson needs to try learning what he's writing about.

Hudson offers:

What do we know about "Veterans for a Strong America"? Very little from FEC data at this point though its clear from the group's website it has a somewhat inclusive mission to represent "veterans and veterans' supporters as advocates in the public policy process." 

 Chances are, 'reporter' Hudson, we'll know very little about them unless you make the effort to speak to them.  The fact that you knew so little of them should have been the first clue that you weren't knowledgeable enough to write on the topic.

 The Swift Boating of John Kerry was about a group of veterans insisting that he had lied about his record. Whatever their motives, they attacked his service record from decades ago. Barack has no service record to attack. He's not being Swift Boated. He's attempted to make hay out of bin Laden's death.

mouser and glory hog

From May 5, 2011, that's Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Mouser and Glory Hog." 
 Our mouser president did not kill bin Laden so he's talking 'bravery' on the back of others. (My thoughts are already known on this topic, the murder was wrong. We're a nation of laws. We follow the laws.)  Political decisions may be 'risky,' they are not the same as being sent on a dangerous mission. 

Swift boating John Kerry was attacking his decorations and asserting he had not earned them. Swift boating John Kerry was mocking veterans who'd been awarded the Purple Heart by wearing band-aids with little hearts on them at the RNC convention. Saying that Barck's politicizing an event is not swift boating. It's really hard for Democratic Party organs these days. When Bush was in office, they'd embrace IVAW and pretend they were also against the war. Now that War Hawk Barack's in, they're at a loss of what to do. But they think it's okay to attack a veterans group because they disagree with Barack. The reality is that veterans are a diverse group of people with diverse beliefs. The ones criticizing Barack have as much right to do so as any praising him. Any group needs to have their facts right. Trashing their opinion really doesn't trash them, it just embarrasses you. I don't speak for veterans. We cover veterans issues here. If someone wants something noted or, more often, feels that something's not being tackled, I'll expound on it here. But I'm not a veteran and I'm not the voice of veterans. That reality appears to escape Stein and Hudson who seem to think they can determine who is the 'real' veteran and who isn't. (Pay attention, Hudson, because that is swift-boating.)

(For the record, Arianna Huffington thinks the Obama ad crosses a line.)

Last week a report from the VA's Office of Inspector General was released.  It's a real shame that The Atlantic and Sam Stein couldn't try focusing on something that really mattered.  Apparently finding no partisan angle to the report, they weren't interested.

We covered it in this community.  See last week's  "Fire everyone at the VA" by Kat,  "Scott Brown: It's clearly not working (Ava),"   "VA paid out nearly $200 million in bonuses last year (Wally)" and here the Wednesday's snapshot and Friday snapshot.  You can also see the piece we did at Third on Sunday, "Who's ripping off veterans?"   It was a serious issue.   The VA was caught lying about wait-times for medical appointments.  The Seattle Times covered it last week and their editorial board weighs in on the matter today:

Credit Washington Sen. Patty Murray with helping get to the truth. The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee she chairs pushed for the review.
"Getting our veterans timely mental-health care can quite frankly often be the difference between life and death. It's the critical period, not unlike the 'golden hour' immediately after a traumatic physical injury," Murray said in a statement. Yet, she noted, the report clearly shows the VA is failing to meet its own mandates for timeliness.
The VA knew what was coming, and pledged to hire 1,600 mental-health providers and 300 support staff. Since the early signs in 2007, the VA reports a 35 percent increase in veterans seeking mental-health services.

Allison Bybee (WBIR -- link is text and video) also uses her time for serious issues.  She reports on dogs trained to assit "disabled veterans as well as for children with autism." Rhoni Standefer states, "So many of our veterans are coming back and they have a lot of trauma issues to work through.  Lucy has the skill of being a comfort dog."  And KUNC's Grace Hood (link is audio and text) reports on veterans treatment courts with a focus on one in Colorado Springs.

The following community sites -- plus, The Diane Rehm Show, Watching America, NPR and Susan's On The Edge -- updated last night and today:

And we'll close with this from Tim King's "Sedition Charges Against Journalist in Bangladesh?" (

(SALEM) - Salem-News is contacting elected officials with the U.S. government, seeking their intervention to protect our Human Rights Ambassador and featured writer, William Gomes of Bangladesh.
Salem-News is asking Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who is due to visit Bangladesh on the 5th of May 2012, to please take time to discuss the security of William Gomes. His role as human rights ambassador for a media organization is a brave and unique approach to resolving otherwise ignored human rights issues worldwide.
We would be grateful if Sec. of State Clinton would take a position on this freedom of speech issue, as Mr. Gomes writes articles that expose injustice in the most shadowy corners of the world. He rallies for people all over the world, his articles can be viewed at this link.
The fact that he has also criticised his own country, should not place his life in jeopardy with his own government, however this possible charge could lead to that.
E activists with the ruling political party Bangladesh Awami League (BAL), are campaigning against our Human Rights Ambassador, and actually urging the government to file sedition charge against William Gomes in the largest political Facebook group of Bangladesh: “Blue Band call”) – the print screen is attached below.
    In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. In Bangladesh, a journalist charged with this crime faces the death penalty. - Wikipedia
      (According to Section 124 [A] of the Bangladesh Penal Court [Sedition] bears capital punishment.)
The pro government groups have been abusive, attacking his rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression. William Gomes has been a target for long time for his human rights activism and journalist works.
Salem-News urges to local senators to warn the Bangladesh government to stop harassing the human rights ambassador. Salem-News is urging all of our associated groups and international allies to stand by William's side and pass this article on to US officials to take the issues into account.

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