Sunday, April 30, 2006

Outside the Beltway: Blogs and their uses

Vote for Terry Stulce for U.S. Congress

Vet Commission get OK to review SSD

In an unprecedented decision Congress has okayed the review of Social Security Disability benefits by the Veterans Disability Commission who is supposed to be reviewing Veterans Benefits, there are some on the committee who feel a disabled veteran getting VA compensation and SSD are being overpaid for being disabled in the line of duty to this nation.

They forget that VA compensation is a payment for two reasons, to compensate you for being HURT, the other is to offset your diminished earning potential. As most of the military view it as the "Promise" of a grateful nation. To then look at SSD as a government give away, it is like any other job, you pay the money every payday, if you never need the disability portion of it, you have still paid the premium every payday, just like life insurance, if you NEED it. Hopefully none of us will, but obviously some do, that is why it was created back in the 60's. For those of you who do not know it, SSD was not part of the orginal plan, it was added in the early 1960's.

The major factor here is, that you pay for that insurance, to ensure your family will have some money in case of disability, does anyone believe that an injured soldier who is getting SSD and VA compensation is getting rich off the combined incomes? No, they can have a comfortable life, but it is not a silver spoon existence. Many disabled veterans require enough care around the home, that their spouses can not work, thus depriving the family of that income, where is the government's responsibility in that arena? Would it be better to break the family up and place the veteran in a nursing home? I doubt it, where is the compassion in that?

The average SSD check is what 850.00 dollars a month, a totally disabled veteran with a wife and one child gets the grand sum of 2626.00 every month. 3476.00 a month, this is for a totally disabled man, less than 40,000 a year, yes it sounds like a great amount of money, and yes a family can live decent off that income, do not our veteran families deserve any less, they suffered while their loved one was off to defend this nation, and then were harmed.

Where was the out cry when this nation compensated the families of the victims of the WTC on 9/11, that cost billions, at once, veterans compensation is paid out over decades, there is no veterans family getting a multi-million dollar settlement. Speaking of settlements, when an employee gets hurt at work, there is worker's compensation, most employee's get a lawyer and sue the company and obtain a large settlement, the veterans do not have that option, nor can their families, you take what the government gives you, and most are grateful.
They understand that the life of a soldier has potential costs, how can they not, that is one reason the nation is having a hard time finding Army and Marine recruits, it's a very dangerous job, expecially in WAR time.

The Veterans Disability Commission is called a bi-partisan committee, it has 9 republican appointed members and 5 democrat appointed members, how "fair and balanced" is that? But to give these men credit, they do appear to be honorable men, the republicans have cracks in their ranks, some of them do not approve of the direction this is veering and have voted to oppose it. The vote on proceeding with the SSD investigation comes on May 19th 2006. Write the veterans commission at and let them know your opinion of what they are attempting to do, write and call your Congress critters and Senators and let them know your feelings on these issues. If we don't speak up now, we have no one to blame later, it is for us, our families and our nation's future, if they do this, who is going to come when they have the next war? The veterans who are already disabled? Why would a sane healthy man join the military for these options of dying as broke and as penniless that a grateful nation can leave you and your family.

My thanks to Larry Scott at VA for the article on this issue and all other veteran issues you can find to print, veterans all need to give this man a round of applause, he works tirelessly on our behalf.

Why Veterans and Military Can't afford to Vote republican in 2006

Why you should vote anti-republican in 2006 and 2008, I never thought I would be saying those words myself. I am a military man, thru and thru, I joined the Army at age 18 in 1973, I served this nation from the Vietnam War era, served on the DMZ in South Korea, armed combat patrols, border incidents.I went to Germany and saw the Cold War up close and personal, the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the feeling of impending doom from the Soviet Union. I left the Army in 1982 after helping establish this nation's desert warfare training center at NTC Fort Irwin.

I joined the National Guard and wrangled my way into a unit that was being activated for Desert Storm and went off to practice my profession, one last time, war. This is what an Infantry NCO trains for, to keep his troops alive thru combat, bring them home alive, write as few a letters home to greiving parents and wives as possible. I believed in General Patton's credo, "don't bleed for your country, make the other guy bleed for his" This is normally a republican thought process, not so fast, here is why military members and veterans and their families should vote anti-republican this election cycle, we have to we can't afford to vote against our families needs.
1. We can't financially afford to vote for Republicans, our families will suffer if we do
2. The federal government (Bush and friends) have empaneled a Veterans Disability Review Commission, the report is due out in February 2007, after the mid-term elections, are they that afraid of the recommendations? Some of the idea's being floated already are a complete review of PTSD, the awards, the percentages paid and if compensation is being paid at the appropriate level (usually means cuts are coming B) They are studying the idea of off setting your potential Social Security Disability payments against your Veterans Disability compensation payments (translation is if you are wounded in action or medically harmed on active duty, they want you to pay whatever your Social Security Disability Insurance payments, insurance for which you paid into with payroll payments, against your compensation from the VA for wounds you receive in combat or training, excuse me do republicans really think a service member is going to get rich off VA and SSD compensation? Compare it to the multi-million dollar settlements the same republicans gave to the victims families of the Twin Towers, does it even appear fair? Hell no. Let's be honest none of us joined the military to get well compensated for being blown up, shot or mentally destroyed, where and who is being asked to sacrifice, you and your family, again, why?
3. You were sent to war by men who say things like "you go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want" excuse me, Afghanistan and the Taliban were a war that was necessary payback for 9/11, the move to Iraq was the Republicans agenda item, a want to, not a need to, all the pretenses for going have been destroyed by facts. You were sent to war on the basis that he had to go because Saddam "gassed his own people" by a group of men who are no better, they ordered the use of chemical weapons and illicit drugs on enlisted soldiers in 1974 and 1975 while members of the Ford White House,. Donald Rumsfeld was both the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of Defense, and Dick Cheney was his successor as Chief of Staff, both positions had the need to know and approve of the continuation of the "human experiments" that violated the Nuremberg Codes of 1947. Congress forced the tests to end in 1976. President Ford ordered the end to them, they did not stop them because they were wrong, they stopped when they got ratted out.
4. These men used in the tests by the DOD and the CIA were found to be dead and disabled at a 75% rate in a March 2003 IOM report paid for by DOD, 2098 men dead and 2200 disabled , since March 2003 the DOD and the VA have not found or addressed one soldiers or their widows claims for veterans benefits.These are the republicans that keep telling you "A Promise Made Is A Promise Kept" ask the Edgewood Test vets about the "promise"....
5. Here is a manual wrote by the VA in October 2003 that shows the extent of the tests and the known medical problems on pages 13 and 14, pages 33 and 38 show there are no known tests to determine exposures, months later let alone 3-5 deacdes later. Yet on April 3 2006 a VA spokesman said when and if any of these veterans were hurt in the tests they needed to be examined and tested to see if they were exposed, WTF, a contadiction in known facts, the manual says there are no tests. What and how are they going to treat your exposures to DU from the new battlefields of the Middle East. How come almost 70% of Desert Storm veterans are drawing VA compensation, yet the VA and DOD say there are no known medical problems from the First Gulf War. Credibility sucks, and your families future is riding on these people's policies.
6. Caring for Veterans on the cheap shows that in the past 14 months that the government has treated 144,424 service members or their family members for wounds or mental issues related to deployments, over 200,000 anti-anxiety or anti-depressants have been filled, some by soldiers being sent back to combat, Prozac warriors, makes you question life in service.
7. The current administrations policies have led to lowered recruiting standards to fill the ranks, yes the service has a lot, a tremendous amount of willing committed patriots, but standing next to these fine men and women are some people who in better times would not be there with you. They are now approving plans to recall retirees back to active duty, in a national emergency, they have always had that authority, but with the new rules, they can activate the critics of the current policies and then under the UCMJ prosecute you for further statements, go ahead speak your mind then, you might find your retirement pay reduced after your last tour of duty, the thanks from a "grateful nation", remember back on active duty, you no longer have "free speech" insubordination is a real charge and has severe financial consequences, again affecting your family.
8. Bottom line voting republican is now harmful to your health, financial security, and the happiness of your family. Can you really afford to vote republican again? I encourage you and your family members to talk to their relatives and explain this or hand them a copy of this, and ask them to vote their heart and their conscience, anyone but a republican gets my vote in the next election cycle, my family is depending on it......a disabled vet
9. Bottom line is you just can't afford to vote republican, your wallet can't stand it

Blogs and their uses

I have been blogging now for almost two years, and I am constantly learning new things, like I really need spell check, the residuals of a stroke leave you wishing for the good old days, but hey in the good old days we didn't even have computers let alone the internet. I still remember transistor radio's that would not fit in your pocket, you needed a desk for them. Wolfman Jack, that nasty old new music they called it "Rock and Roll" god did my parents hate the Beatle's and Hermans Hermits, don;t even get them started on the Rolling Stones lol, sometimes the good old days are not what people make them out to be, they were just a different day.

Bare with me as I learn to change titles

This is a new venue for me and as times goes along I will learn how to change the posts titles and other interesting thigs to do with this. I write to vent and to share my ideas, I realize not everyone will agree with them, but tell me why, let us have an exchange of idea's and maybe all who read these msuings can grow. I am 50 now, and when I quit learning it will be when I have stopped breathing........ Mike

Why Do We Become Political

Why do we become political: Many of you have come to know me over the past few months, some of you read it for the points of views from a veteran, about the way our federal government really "cares" for the soldiers and veterans.
Then you found out I do have a few other passions that I as an American care about, our National Parks, who our elected officials should be, that I don't care for "American Idol" type democrats anymore than I do for "brain dead" republicans. Politics demand statesman, not photo ops, we need real leaders with real answers to real problems....

This country has become MORE divided now than at any point in the Vietnam war period, the hatred both both sides is bad, there is no common ground.
The only issue that appears to consolidate American's is border control, then there comes the problem with undocumented workers, even Caeser Chavez, the great farm worker of the 60's and 70's protested against "illegal" workers hurting his Farm Workers. All of us that are old enough to rember the "Grape Boycott" it was the same issue, that is before us again, undocumented workers.
The misuse of our nations military, and the refusal of this administration to admit it's shortcomings, Condi attempted to and Rummy slapped her down, with impunity, does this mean W likes Rummy better than Condi? Come on George fess up, does Laura know?
The refusal to fully fund the VA, and letting the veterans wait for Doctor appointments, at twice the percentage as last year. Yup, they really know how to care for our veterans, just ask any vet how well taken care of they feel.
Why are there 825,000 veteran claims on appeal within the VA system, and the federal government is reducing the number of employees to handle these appeals?
The federal deficits, have doubled in this administration, it took 42 Presidents to get us 4 trillion in debt, it has taken W just 5 years to get us to a debt ceiling of 9 trillion, way to go George, our great great grandchildren will still be paying this debt.
In the meantime you threw the middle class a bone and gave them 600 dollars in trade for reducing your rich friends tax liabilities and took us to a war, that was supposed to cost 1 billion, your underlings even fired the staff member that suggested the war might cost as much as 100 billion, as the facts now show us even he was wrong, by 200 billion, who should get fired now George? Rove maybe?
Then there is my newest pet peeve, the deal with Showtime and the Smithsonian, and the refusal to release the contracts due to confidentiality agreements, George the Smithsonian belongs to all Americans, from Maine, tp Florida, to Califonia to Washington State, Alaska, and Hawaii, it isn't the Republicans to sell, it wasn't a Wall Street company. What's next the National Monuments? Are we going to have to pay to see the Washington Monument, Abe, Jefferon Memorial, Grants Tomb, Mount Rushmore etc, you all get the point.
Where does the Congress finally get the back bone to say "We are mad as hell and we aren't going to take it anymore" it shouldn;t matter if they are Democrat or Republican, this is wrong, has been wrong and elected officials are accountable to all Americans, not just Democrats or Republicans.
You were elected to lead, either do it, or get the hell out of the way and let someone else do it......