Saturday, May 31, 2014

Raymond Settle VA Crisis --Who Tried To Prevent The Crisis, Who Stood in Their Way! | Anthony W. Orlando

Raymond Settle Daily Journal Letter To Editor,Veterans Admin. Scandal 5-27-14:

"Monday was Memorial Day. We can only remember and appreciate those who have passed on but there is another group that we can show our appreciation for – living veterans. They especially need our support as we learn more about the Veterans Administration scandal."
"These veterans were promised medical care and they have earned it with their sacrifices for us. However, that has turned out to be a broken promise for many of them. Candidate Obama promised in August 2007, 'Caring for those who serve and for their families is a fundamental responsibility of the commander-in-chief. … It’s time for comprehensive reform. When I am President, building a 21st century VA to serve our veterans will be an equal priority to building a 21st century military to fight our wars.'”--Raymond Settle
"Six years later President Obama reported, 'And today I can report, we are not where we need to be, but we are making progress. After years when the backlog kept growing, finally the backlog is shrinking.'”--Obama
Raymond Settle: Now we know how that backlog was shrinking. Those who could not be seen within the required 14 days for new patients or 30 days for returning patients had their names moved from the main list to hidden lists to give the appearance the hospital was meeting the goals. Some of those veterans o n the hidden lists have been waiting over a year to see a doctor. Some names were removed from the lists without receiving care after a year. Even worse we know some veterans died waiting on the medical care they were entitled to. We provide much better care for the terrorists at Guantanamo Bay than we do for our veterans. The ratio of terrorists to healthcare providers is 1.5 – 1 with no waiting while the ratio for veterans hospitals is 35 – 1. This situation is beyond inexcusable, it is [criminal.]Raymond Settle, Emphasis ABratt's 
I suggest the best tribute we can pay to our dead veterans is demand our promise be kept to our living veterans. No more excuses. It is a matter of honor for each of us. The veterans have done their part and it is our responsibility to fulfill our commitments to them.
Raymond Settle
Blue Mountain, MS

Linda Bilmes and Joseph Stiglitz predicted the VA scandal.
Back in 2008, the eminent researchers -- one a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, the other a Nobel laureate in economics -- published a book called The Three Trillion Dollar War, where they argued that most Americans were drastically underestimating the cost of the Iraq War. They didn't specifically describe the events that have unfolded in recent weeks, but they did point out the enormous burden that would be placed on the VA system as veterans returned from Iraq -- a burden that we were not preparing for.
And that was before the surge in Afghanistan.
Upon taking the oath of office, Barack Obama tripled U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, sending over 60,000 troops into combat. Only now, five years later, have troop levels reverted to the level they were at when he took office. So you can add 60,000 troops for five years on top of the costs projected by Bilmes and Stiglitz -- projections that were verified and replicated by the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, as well as Nobel laureate Lawrence Klein, the father of modern economic forecasting.
And yet, Congress refused to boost the VA budget.
For years, discretionary funding for the VA health care system had been growing at approximately 6 percent per year, slightly less than health care costs for the average American family, making it the most cost-efficient system in the country. Meanwhile, it ranked at the top of quality rankings, better than all its private competitors, year after year. It was the best medical care system in America.
That is, until the troops came home.
"Republicans beat back a Democratic attempt to provide almost $2 billion in additional health care funding for veterans," reported the Washington Post in 2005, "rejecting claims that Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals are in crisis."
The following year, Bilmes told ABC News, "In 2004, the VA had a backlog of 400,000 cases. Last year it was 500,000 cases. Now the backlog is 600,000 cases. That's just in two years. And the big wave of returning Iraqi veterans has not even hit yet."
And yet, the VA budget kept growing by 6 percent per year, as if the war didn't exist at all.
As if that wasn't a big enough problem... "Proposed cuts in Department of Veterans Affairs spending on major construction and non-recurring maintenance threaten to derail efforts to update the department's aging infrastructure," reported theWashington Post in 2012. And so, Democratic Senator Patty Murray led the charge to boost the VA's construction funding, only to have it beat down by Republicans.
Later that year, Paul Ryan, the Republican chair of the House Budget Committee, released the party's annual budget proposal. Had it become law, the VA would've sustained billions of dollars in budget cuts, forcing smaller facilities to shut down in rural areas.
So it wasn't surprising to Senator Murray when allegations surfaced of VA hospitals lying about the number of veterans on their waiting lists because they didn't want the world to know that they were unable to give their patients lifesaving treatments. "In an environment where everybody is told, 'Keep the cost down. Don't tell me anything costs more.' -- it creates a culture out there for people to cook the books,"she said in a recent interview.
Who would've ever thought, after years of relentless cost-cutting in the halls of Washington, that the federal government actually spends our money on important stuff? Who would've thought that wars cost money, and tax cuts cost money, and maintaining our infrastructure costs money? Not the Republicans, that's for sure. While the Bush administration plunged us into two wars and cut taxes on the rich, who were already taking a bigger piece of the pie than they had since the Roaring Twenties, Republicans in Congress were blocking every Democratic attempt to give the VA the funding they needed to give our veterans the medical care they were promised. And then, when the Obama administration tried to correct this funding crisis, Republicans responded by proposing deeper spending cuts.
Let this be a warning to every politician and every voter who thinks we can cut our way to prosperity: Those dollar figures represent real services that the government provides to real people. Every cut has a cost, and not just in money. In lives.
This op-ed was published in today's South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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Friday, May 30, 2014

An Unpublished Letter To Editor J. Rutherford, Daily Journal: AFA Warns 'Homosexual Aggression' Has Banned Christians From '7 Common Careers'

Original Post By Miranda Blue, RWW, 4-23-14

Re-posted to ABratt's Liberal Tupelo, MS Blog by ABratt, Fri. May 30, 2014.

In a fund raising email today, American Family Association president Tim Wildmon warns that the list of careers that Christians can hold in America “is quickly shrinking as homosexuals pro-actively seek opportunities to wreck the personal business and career of any Christian who declines to support the gay lifestyle.”
The email lists “7 common careers Christians may no longer hold in America,” which it says includes photography, broadcasting and teaching. Wildmon cites a few cases in which business owners have been sued for refusing to provide services to gay people and have sought broad exemptions from anti-discrimination laws that apply to businesses operating in the public square. He also cites the case of Craig James, who was hired by a regional Fox Sports network before being fired by the national network, which he claimed was because of his “personal religious beliefs.” Wildmon claims that James, who has since been hired by the Family Research Council , is a martyr who has been banned from broadcasting thanks to “homosexual aggression.”
[As usual, the Daily Journal Columnist, Tim Liar, Liar Pants On Fire Wildmon, deliberately refuses to print the whole, staring-in-your-face truth when he submits his Community Column To Editor Joe Rutherford for publication every other Sunday in the year:]
 Tim Wildmon:
"7common careers Christians may no longer hold in America" [this statement by Wildmon comes without any reference to the fact that at least 4 of these "faith-based" businesses operated in states where anti-discrimination laws against GLBT people were in effect at the time these Christian business people were busy refusing services to members of the GLBT Community. aka, another case of ignoring the law to further harass a minority group of American Citizens. Wildmon fibs on a regular basis in his Tupelo Daily Journal Column. Editor Rutherford is his long- time friend and colludes with him to hide the true facts in Journal posts he has control over.] 
April 23, 2014 Wildmon:
"Many Christians choose self-employed careers because they want to be able to run their business according to the dictates of their faith and conscience.
That list is quickly shrinking as homosexuals pro-actively seek opportunities to wreck the personal business and career of any Christian who declines to support the gay lifestyle.
Don't be fooled. This is a focused effort to ostracize and humiliate faith-based businesses and their owners. Here are a few recent examples:"
  • Photography - A Christian photographer in New Mexico was fined $6700 for politely declining to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony. The Supreme Court allowed this fine to stand.
  • Baker - A Christian baker in Oregon is facing both civil and criminal penalties, including jail time, for politely declining to bake a cake for a gay wedding ceremony. Her business has closed.
  • Florist - Baronelle Stutzman, a Christian florist in Washington, is being sued by the state attorney general for politely declining to prepare an arrangement for a gay wedding ceremony.
  • Broadcasting - Craig James was fired by Fox Sports Southwest after only one day on the job for expressing his support for natural marriage while he was a candidate for the United States Senate.
  • Counseling - Jennifer Keeton was dismissed from the counseling program at Augusta State University for her religious reservations about the homosexual lifestyle.
  • Innkeeping - The Wildflower Inn in Vermont was fined $30,000 and forced to shut down its wedding reception business after politely declining to host a lesbian ceremony.
  • Teaching - Ms. Gillian John-Charles was kicked out of a doctoral program in education at Roosevelt University for expressing in class her belief that homosexuals aren't born gay."


AFA Warns 'Homosexual Aggression' Has Banned Christians From '7 Common Careers' | Right Wing Watch

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Miller: Mississippi's Non-Discrimination Sticker Campaign Is Anti-Christian | Right Wing Watch

There is absolutely nothing that the American Family Association (AFA) Homoboogers on the "Dark Side" of Tupelo, MS Won't Dream Up in their continual efforts to bash the LGBT community, all in the "Name Of God" and "Tax-Exempt" to boot! However, I predict this one will backfire on them bigtime as they are slowly but surely losing their war against tax-paying American Citizens.--ABratt, Tupelo, MS citizen.

Read the complete article from the link below:

Miller: Mississippi's Non-Discrimination Sticker Campaign Is Anti-Christian | Right Wing Watch

Monday, May 26, 2014

Far-Out Religious Right Comes Out of a Crazy Mold

"Far-Out Religious Right Comes Out of a Crazy Mold"--Excerpt From Article By James Haught,Secular Web. by ABratt, 5-26-2014.   
"Think not that I come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." -- Jesus, to his Disciples (Matthew 10:34)
The Religious Right: 
America [...] has a fundamentalist mass movement with a violent fringe attached. Television evangelists and their political organizations -- the Christian Coalition, the Christian Action Network, etc. -- endlessly call abortion murder and portray clinic doctors as monsters. Yet they deny any responsibility for the True Believers who take their words at face value, and resort to guns.
"America is more pious than other advanced democracies, and suffers a high rate of religious ferment. Currently, the so-called Christian Right, allied to the Republican Party, is gaining ground for its political goals. It seeks to impose religion in public schools, ostracize homosexuals, censor movies and magazines, increase executions, revoke women's right to choose abortion, curb sex education, cut welfare for the poor, stop teaching of evolution, provide tax money to church schools, end public funding of arts, allow carrying of pistols, reduce day-care centers, amend the constitution to require a balanced budget, etc. To call this agenda 'Christian' seems bizarre." (100)
 "The Republican-fundamentalist alliance also is embarrassed by the goofiness of some leaders. TV minister Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition, has declared that his prayers can deflect hurricanes, that he is 'God's prophet,' and that the European Community may signal the coming of 'the Antichrist.' In his nutty book, The New World Order, Robertson said a conspiracy by the Illuminati secret society and Jewish international bankers causes most wars and other horrors. He said American presidents unwittingly serve 'a tightly knit cabal whose goal is nothing less than a new order for the human race under the domination of Lucifer."' (100)
 The Gun Cults:
"Vaguely allied to the Religious Right is America's zoo of armed, white, hate groups: self-styled 'militias,' the 'Christian Identity' movement, neo-Nazis, Posse Comitatus, white supremacists, the Church of Jesus Christ Christian Aryan Nations, skinheads, the Cosmotheist Church, the Covenant, Order and Sword of the Lord, the White Aryan Resistance, the Christian Patriots Defense League, etc."
"Leaders of these outfits tend to be born-again ministers or gun dealers, or both. They preach pure paranoia: that U.S. officials are conspiring to disarm 'patriots' and allow the United Nations to suck America into a 'new world order' -- that Los Angeles street gangs are being trained to seize guns from American homes -- that government black helicopters stalk 'patriots' by night -- that secret prison camps have been built to hold the 'patriots.'"
"In my state of West Virginia, one militia leader, the Rev. Ervin 'Butch' Paugh, solemnly told news reporters: 'The U.N. forces worldwide are going to be the powers that help enforce the Antichrist's dictates."'
"Researcher Philip Weiss wrote: 'There is a religious component to the hard-bitten right. Dan Fuller, a retired crop duster who last year joined a 'Christian covenant community' in Idaho, glimpses signs of the 'mark of the beast' from Revelations in government fiscal policy. He shares a widespread fear among Christian patriots that bodily implanted microchips will replace cash, ultimately spelling slavery for ordinary Americans. Vicki and Randall Weaver had visions of an apocalypse brought on by a Babylonian Federal Government, or ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government)."
"The Weavers were white supremacists involved in a government siege, in which Vicki and a son were killed. They've become martyrs of the militia movement -- as have the armed cultists who died in David Koresh's Waco compound."
"Out of these right-to-bear-arms fever swamps came the plotters responsible for the Oklahoma City tragedy. The stew of guns and crackpot beliefs simmered until it produced horror."

Text Book War:
"Among America's various zealotries, the one I know personally is bound-for-glory mountain fundamentalism. As editor of West Virginia's largest newspaper, I'm a seasoned observer of the Bible Belt, with its serpent-handling churches, talking-in-tongues congregations, money-grubbing evangelists, 'holy rollers,' and all the rest."
"I've seen how easy it is for religious agitation to turn violent -- as it did in The Great West Virginia Textbook War of the 1970s. It began when evangelists denounced sex education in the public school system based in Charleston. (The same ministers sought a return of the death penalty in West Virginia.) Rallies were held against 'pornography' in the classroom. A preacher's wife called sex education a 'humanistic, atheistic attack on God.' She became the movement's candidate for school board, and won in a flood of religious votes."
"As a board member, she advocated Bibles for students and expulsion of pregnant girls. Then she started a wildfire by proclaiming the school system's textbooks 'godless.' A committee of 27 born-again clergymen called the texts 'immoral and indecent.' (Rascals like me hunted for indecency in the books, but found only ordinary school topics.)"
"More than 1,000 protesters surrounded the school board office. A group called Christian American Parents picketed for removal of the books. Evangelists urged 'true Christians' to keep their children out of school. Attendance fell 20 percent. One minister, the Rev. Marvin Horan, led a rally of 2,000 irate Christians. Mobs surrounded schools and blockaded school bus garages. Teachers were threatened. So were families who didn't join the boycott."
"About 3,500 coal miners went on strike against the texts, and picketed Charleston industries. Flying rocks, screams and danger were constant. Frightened people began carrying pistols. During confrontations at picketing sites, two people were shot and wounded, and one was savagely beaten."
"Several ministers were jailed for inciting violence. One of them prayed for God to kill school board members who had chosen the books. A grade school was hit by a Molotov cocktail. Five bullets hit a school bus. A dynamite blast damaged another grade school. A bigger blast damaged the school central office. Near-riot conditions continued. Robert Dornan of California, a pornography foe, addressed 3,000 book protesters in Charleston, and the national exposure boosted his ascent to Congress."
"Minister Horan and three of his followers were indicted for the bombings. Ku Klux Klansmen held a Charleston rally to support them. During the trial in 1975, other followers said Horan had led the dynamite plot, telling them there was 'a time to kill.' They said the plotters talked of wiring dynamite caps into the gas tanks of cars in which families were driving their children to school during the boycott. All four defendants went to federal prison."
"Nobody was killed in the textbook war, luckily -- but it was a vivid demonstration of how baseless religious accusations can bring mayhem."


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mormons declare war on masturbation in creepy new video

"A recently released video by Brigham Young University–Idaho compares masturbators to wounded soldiers, and encourages students to identify to religious officials friends they think are masturbating."

Read more from the link below:

Mormons declare war on masturbation in creepy new video

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

GOP Senators Urge Harry Reid To Bring Up Abortion Bill

GOP Senators Urge Harry Reid To Bring Up Abortion Bill

"Apparently, these GOP leaders are slow to learn their lesson. The vast majority of Americans support the reproductive rights and legal abortion. Voters in this country are looking for leaders who expand freedom, opportunity, and respect personal decision making for all Americans, not restrict them. This ban on abortions is not only blatantly unconstitutional, but it has been beaten when put to the test at the ballot box. That's because once people learn that these procedures are exceedingly rare and represent the most complicated cases of severe anomalies and threats to health and life of the pregnant woman, the vast majority agree these decisions are not well suited for blanket legislation and meddling from politicians who cannot know the details of each case."
Read the complete article here>