Showing posts with label veterans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label veterans. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Don't believe Trump's bullshit praise of men and women who serve in the military. Trump showed his disrespect for members of the military who have put their lives on the line to serve their country back in June when he blocked the the group on Twitter. For the small-minded president to attempt to silence a progressive veterans group to preserve his fragile ego shows once again his complete lack of principles and moral core.

Trump's policy-by-tweet banning transgender people from serving in the military, which surprised even the Pentagon, is one more example of his disdain. What are the tens of thousands of transgender members now faithfully serving to think? What will happen to them?

From Trump's speech on the way forward in Afghanistan.

Trump: The soldier understands what we as a nation too often forget, that a wound inflicted upon a single member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all.

(Especially when the wound is inflicted by the president)

Trump: When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry and no tolerance for hate.

(Except for transgender people)

Trump: Our actions, and in months to come, all of them will honor the sacrifice of every fallen hero, every family who lost a loved one, and every wounded warrior who shed their blood in defense of our great nation. 

(Except for Capt. Humayan Khan and his family and wounded warriors in VoteVets)

Trump: We will push onward to victory with power in our hearts, courage in our souls, and everlasting pride in each and every one of you. 

(Who do you mean "we", Mr President?)

I could go on and on about Trump's nothing speech, delivered in prime TV time, but I won't. I simply want to make my point about his lack of respect for those who serve or who have served in the military.

As far as I can tell, the purpose of the speech was to distract from the fallout from Trump's words about the "very fine people" in the neo-Nazi, white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Mueller's Russian investigation, and various other "challenges" that the president faces.

Sunday, February 5, 2017


The New Orleans Advocate front paged two stories about consequences in Louisiana of Trump's capricious executive orders, a state he won by a large margin.
When the gleaming new Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Canal Street opened its doors in November, officials boasted of an army of 2,500 doctors, nurses and support staff who would provide patients with cutting-edge medical care.
But a federal hiring freeze instituted in the first days of President Donald Trump’s administration has cast a shadow over plans to fill 1,000 of those positions over the next year.

While subsequent orders have loosened some restrictions on the VA — and on its newly opened hospitals in particular — questions persist about how the freeze will affect the wide range of services envisioned at the billion-dollar medical complex, more than 10 years in the making.
Trump promised to be a friend to veterans, and, as his policies play out, we see that's not true. It seems hiring of doctors and nurses will continue as planned, but support staff positions will be approved facility by facility.  Even if the hospitals hire more than enough doctors and nurses, no hospital can function without necessary support staff.

Did our incompetent president know this before he signed his executive order?  Who knows?  Act first; think later when unintended consequences follow.

Also, in today's edition of the Advocate is the article on uncertainty at the Port of New Orleans about consequences of Trump's promise to repeal NAFTA.
As far as global trade goes, "America First" may not necessarily mean "Louisiana First."

Reciting a familiar refrain, Trump last week called NAFTA "a catastrophe for our country." His argument is that bad trade deals have shifted American jobs overseas, hitting especially hard in the upper Midwest, where thousands of manufacturing jobs have vanished in recent decades.

But if the result of Trump’s policy turn is ultimately a decline in global trade, Louisiana could wind up as collateral damage in the effort to shore up U.S. employment.
Louisiana voted for Trump by 58 percent to 38 percent for Clinton, and this is the way he treats his friends.  Our representatives in Congress are all Republicans, except for Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA).  How quickly will our Congressmen (yes, all men) stand up to protect the Louisiana economy, which is already in dreadful shape because of the decline in oil and gas prices?  I'm not holding my breath.
Renegotiating NAFTA, the 1994 agreement with Mexico and Canada, might be felt in Louisiana as well. Overall, trade among the three countries has climbed from $293 billion in 1993 to almost $800 billion last year. Mexico and China — another target of Trump’s vitriol on the campaign stump — are Louisiana’s top trade partners.

Mexico accounted for nearly $5.9 billion worth of exports from Louisiana in 2015. A 20 percent tariff on Mexican imports — an idea floated by Trump's spokesman last month — could put a huge damper on that trade.
Mexico is now the enemy because President Peña Nieto stated he will not pay for Trump's wall on the southern border between the two countries.  Trump is determined to take revenge on leaders of countries he perceives to be his "enemies", even if consequences will be harmful to the citizens of the United States.

Monday, May 26, 2014


Each year it's more difficult for me to write something meaningful about the day, now especially, because members of our military are still dying and suffering from wounds today.  Though I have not lost anyone close to me in a war, I've lived through five wars in my lifetime, and that's not counting incursions or excursions, or whatever is the euphemism of the day for our interventions in countries with which we are not at war, including the drone attacks up to the present time.   Five plus is enough. 

We honor the fallen for their courage and dedication to duty. We extend our sympathy to their families and friends, whether the loss is recent or from long times past. We stand with you. We mourn with you.   In return, the highest form of honor to those who gave their lives is to care for their families as best we can and to care for their comrades in arms who survived the wars, but returned home wounded in body, mind, and spirit.  The fallen would have wanted it to be so, and, as was recently reemphasized, our past and present efforts fall far short of the needs of the veterans.  Shame on us.  We must do better. 

I posted the video below on Facebook in honor of Memorial Day, and it seems fitting to post it here, too.  Pete Seeger, the composer, and a good many other musicians have sung fine versions of the song, but Marlène's powerful performance is the most moving I've ever seen or heard.

When will we ever learn?
Lord God, Almighty and Everlasting Father, we pray for all those who have died in wars. We pray they rest in peace in the perpetual light of your love. We pray for your blessing upon the families and friends of all those who have died in service to their country. Console them for their aching loss. Bring them healing of body, mind, and spirit. Give them strength and courage to go forward, and, Lord God, above all else, give them your peace that passes understanding to keep their minds and hearts.  Amen.
Reposted from last year with slight editing.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Each Memorial Day seems sadder and more difficult to get through than the last.  Yesterday was a bummer, a miserable day.  Perhaps next year I'll ignore the holiday altogether, although I'll probably feel guilty if I do.  What are we celebrating?  Because of my ambivalence about celebrating the day, Charles Pierce's headline resonated powerfully with me. 
Loving the Warrior, Hating the Wars: Our Memorial Daze
The entire article is very good.  I linked to it yesterday and again today.  We are quick to go to war, but why then do we treat our veterans and their families so badly?

Does war lead to anything but more wars?  That is the question, as dithering Hamlet said.