Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Veterans' issues

Noting Barack Obama's weekly address given Saturday, Sarah Kliff (Politico) reports, "The address came shortly after the administration launched a months-long, multimillion-dollar television campaign featuring Andy Griffith to promote health reform's free preventive care and lower prescription costs." A multi-million dollar campaign? To sell what? A piece of crap legislation. Where's the money going? It's a PSA, where is the money going? Though no one in the press will bother to ask that question (look for those faux news segments on your local news trumpeting ObamaCare), note where it's not going: to address PTSD and veterans suicides.

July 14th, the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on veterans' suicides, chaired by US House Rep Harry Mitchell. From that hearing we'll note this:

US House Rep John Hall: Thank you. I know I'm over my time. But I would just mention that this committee has -- the full Veterans Affairs Committee on the House side has voted to give funding not just for PSA, as Ranking Member Roe mentioned, but for paid advertising. And IAVA who will hear from shortly partnered with the Ad Council in one effort to put together an ad that was more powerful than the average PSA -- Public Service Announcement -- shown in the middle of the night because that's when the time's the cheapest and the TV station will give it up to do there public service whereas what we really need is advertising during the Superbowl, during American Idol, during the highest rated shows, during prime time where the half-hours -- I mean, the thirty-second spot costs the most money. But we're willing to do that to advertise "Be All That You Can Be" [Army recruitment ad], or "The Few, The Proud, The Marines" -- you know, the lightening bolt coming down onto the sword. And if we want to recruit and attract people to go into the armed services and to go fight for our country, we'll spend the money for prime time advertising but when it comes time to help them find the resources that they need to stay healthy after they come home, we want to do it on the cheap. And just do it at 3:00 a.m. in the morning on a PSA. And I think that needs to change, something we in Congress should fund so that the outreach is just as strong afterwards as it is before they were recruited.

Millions aren't being spent on that. Despite the large number of veterans taking their own lives, despite the large number of service members taking their own lives. But the White House has multi-millions to waste as a campaign tool? US tax payer dollars being wasted for what really is nothing but propaganda purposes. The Baxter Bulletin notes today:

If they haven't yet captured the attention of the American public, the suicide rates in the U.S. Army have sounded alarms among veterans groups and in the active-duty military.
The Army suicide rates doubled from 2001 to 2006, even as civilian rates of suicides remained the same. Last year, 160 soldiers killed themselves -- the Army says 60 percent were "first-term" soldiers, or those with one or no deployments to war zones -- and more than 1,700 soldiers made attempts on their lives.

Today the Buffalo News offers the editorial "A victory for women veterans:"

So it is pleasing to see that the new Dorothy Kubik/Katherine Galloway Post 12097, Veterans of Foreign Wars, has officially opened within West Seneca Post 8113. There are the requisite 41 eligible veterans to constitute a new post; seven of them are men, some of them military spouses of the women building up the post.
The point worth celebrating here is the recognition of the service and the sacrifices of women from this region who carried this nation’s colors to such places as Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the current war in Afghanistan and the one in Iraq, women have been on the front lines, elbow-to-elbow with men. It can be seen as a nod to political correctness that women serving overseas or in a war zone aren’t necessarily visualized in the same manner or in as rough situations as their male counterparts. But any parent with a daughter serving in Afghanistan understands full well that she is not in a safe area.

And, as noted in yesterday's snapshot, Spc Faith R Hinkley is the most recent US military fatality, she was killed during an attack Saturday. Lance Benzel (Colorado Springs Gazette) speaks to a number of people who knew her including her grandmother Leona Edwards:

"I just don't understand it," said Edwards, also of Monte Vista. "You couldn't find a sweeter, gentler person than she was."
News of Hinkley's death shocked teachers and staff at Monte Vista High School, who remembered her as an outgoing overachiever poised for a bright future. According to Melissa Harlan, the counseling secretary, Hinkley was a cheerleader, a peer mediator and a clarinetist in the marching band. She also sat on the student council and participated in the Future Business Leaders of America and Key Club, a community service group.
"She was an excellent, top-notch student and we all loved her," Harlan said.

Kirk Mitchell (Denver Post) speaks with another grandmother, step-grandmother Orene Hinkley, who states that her granddaughter was due home in six weeks, "That's what is so hard. It's just devastating."

The following community sites updated last night and this morning:

The Dry Land is playing in three cities currently: Los Angeles, New York and Dallas. The Ryan Piers Williams directed film stars America Ferrera, Ryan O'Nan, Wilmer Valderrama, Melissa Leo and Jason Ritter.


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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends