Trump turns on Vets


Trump Just Took Away A Lifeline For Struggling Veterans

Millions of Americans are still reeling from the shock and horror of discovering one of Donald Trump’s first actions as President was to scrub the pages dedicated to civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and climate change from the White House website. Now Trump, a man who has sworn allegiance and devotion to veterans but has never actually shown it, has eliminated the Joining Forces page. Joining Forces was a program developed by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden that sought to help veterans find careers, help their spouses more easily move their careers between states, and expand wellness services.

According to the Military Times, “Over the last five years, Joining Forces has received more than 1.25 million hiring commitments for veterans and military spouses from its corporate partners. It also has helped broker legislation enabling spouses to transfer certifications across all 50 states.”

The initiative had wide appeal among everyone who was devoted to veterans’ issues. The launch of Joining Forces saw former Republican First Lady Laura Bush joining President Obama to publicly promote the new program. Rear Adm. Brad Cooper was Joining Forces’ first executive. He said in November,

“I can … also remember when we had only two states that had military spouse legislation [on career transferability]. Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden went to the governors meeting that year, and only ended up talking about military spouses. When you think about all the things they could have talked about, they chose just that one topic. They encouraged all the governors to pass legislation on that topic, and here we are today, with legislation in all 50 states.”

Every subsequent executive, all military officers, also praised Joining Forces for its important service to the veteran community. The only missing endorsement is Trump’s. On the campaign trail he refused to say whether he would continue Joining Forces if elected, while Hillary Clinton made a clear promise to maintain its good work. The uncertainty of whether Trump actually cares about protecting veterans is now even more uncertain with the removal of the Joining Forces page and the lack of announcement as to whether or not he will continue the program or restore it in some other form.

It is at the very least an attempt to prepare for significant changes and likely cuts to a program that is already producing incredible, life changing results.

More ominously, it seems to represent a willingness to stab veterans in the back after manipulating their support during the campaign with false promises and false hope. The men and women who courageously defend our country deserve better. They and their families make tremendous sacrifices on behalf of all Americans. For this, they should be honored and protected to the fullest extent by the government upon their retirement from service. They risk their physical and mental health, and their families risk losing a husband, wife, father, mother; it is our duty to repay them.

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vets                                                            

I had a different blog for today but I saw this article and I was shocked and angry. I will be honest with you, I am a pacifist and I was a loud protester against the Vietnam War; America’s illegal war. If you have never been to DC to see the Vietnam Memorial, I would suggest a visit sometime. After the war was over and the veterans came home, many of us did not welcome them home. Our feelings about them coming home were like an unsavory presence had invaded America. We thought of these vets as part of the government that illegally put us right in the center of another country’s civil war. Every night during dinner, the TV was on because the government would be picking the numbers of who would be the next to go to Vietnam. Every night. I had friends who went to Canada and some who registered as Conscientious Objectors. Guys would suddenly disappear.  It was as if they were already dead.

 

To myself and many others, they were the substitutes for the government that we were really angry with; the government who only listened when American youth were marching and protesting. Over the years, I met several vets who talked to me about their experiences. One man in particular had some awful things to say. He was a good man, who was not the same man as he was when he was sent to Vietnam. I began to see that they weren’t responsible for the decisions our government made.  They were scapegoats and, like all scapegoats, didn’t deserve the treatment they were given.

 

Since then, I see the difference between the youth who go to fight a war and the Presidents who put them on unfamiliar and hostile territory. In the wars fought in the Middle East, I still don’t support these wars, but I know that our young men and women veterans are trying to protect our country and the citizens of America.  Now, I feel bad when vets come home disabled, missing limbs and in emotional stress. I feel that we have a responsibility to help , understand, and to accept them back into American life.

 

Now Trump is making noise and seeming that he will be less supportive of vets. I am sure Trump and the GOP plan to send more of our brave youth into the unending Middle East wars. When these vets come home the government and the American citizens need to accept them and assist them. The Joining Forces page was written and managed by Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to assist vets by providing information that they would need to become re-acclimated to American society.  Trump seems to not be willing to continue the Joining Forces Page. Because Michelle Obama was part of the designers of the page? Perhaps because the page was run by women? It is hard to say, but the page has disappeared and this lifeline for vets has ended.

 

There are many things I don’t agree with in Trump’s administration, but I feel that it is unconscionable to turn his back on our country’s veterans. We need to continue to remind him that this country’s veterans are a large and important section of America.

 

veterans                                                            American active forces are prepared to protect America.

Michelle Obama’s Most Inspiring Quote


In Honor of Her 53rd Birthday, 15 of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Most Inspiring Quotes

  • By Diana Pearl
CHERISS MAY/NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES

Tuesday marks First Lady Michelle Obama‘s 53rd birthday — and her final one in office. In honor of the milestone, we’ve rounded up some of her most powerful and inspiring quotes from the past eight years.

1. On individual importance:
“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”

On a visit to South Africa in 2011

2. On the future of America’s young people:
“For all the young people in this room and those who are watching, know that this country belongs to you—to all of you, from every background and walk of life. If you or your parents are immigrants, know that you are part of a proud American tradition — the infusion of new cultures, talents and ideas, generation after generation, that has made us the greatest country on earth.”

From her final speech as first lady in January 2017

3. On measuring success:
“Success is only meaningful and enjoyable if it feels like your own.”

— From her 2012 commencement speech at Oregon State University

4. On being your own role model:
“If we want maturity, we have to be mature. If we want a nation that feels hopeful, then we have to speak in hopeful terms. We have to model what we want.”

— From her final interview as first lady with Oprah Winfrey in December 2016

5. On the power of education:
“I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong. So don’t be afraid. You hear me, young people? Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourself with a good education. Then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope, never fear.”

From her final speech as first lady in January 2017 

6. On overcoming fear:
“I am so tired of fear. And I don’t want my girls to live in a country, in a world, based on fear.”

At a campaign event in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 2008

7. On helping others:
“I will always be engaged in some way in public service and public life. The minute I left my corporate law firm to work for the city, I never looked back. I’ve always felt very alive using my gifts and talents to help other people. I sleep better at night. I’m happier.”

— From an interview with Vogue for their December 2016 issue

8. On being true to yourself:

“One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals.”

— From a 2008 interview with Marie Claire

9. On being the bigger person:
“When they go low, we go high.”

— From a speech given at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

10. On the importance of empowering women:
“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens.”

— At the Summit of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in July 2014

11. On what it means to be a leader:
“I know that true leadership — leadership that lifts families, leadership that sustains communities and transforms nations — that kind of leadership rarely starts in palaces or parliaments. That kind of leadership is not limited only to those of a certain age or status. And that kind of leadership is not just about dramatic events that change the course of history in an instant. Instead, true leadership often happens with the smallest acts, in the most unexpected places, by the most unlikely individuals.”

— At the Young African Women Leaders Forum in June 2011

12. On giving back:
“When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back.”

— At a meeting with the 2013-2014 White House Fellows in September 2012

13. On possibility and opportunity:
“This time, we decided to stop doubting and to start dreaming. How this time, in this great country — where a girl from the South Side of Chicago can go to college and law school, and the son of a single mother from Hawaii can go all the way to the White House – we committed ourselves to building the world as it should be.”

— During a speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention

14. On what to look for in a partner:
“Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. Look at how the guy treats his mother and what he says about women. How he acts with children he doesn’t know. And, more important, how does he treat you? When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good.”

— From an interview with Glamour in 2009

15. On the importance of humor:
“What I have never been afraid of is to be a little silly, and you can engage people that way. My view is, first you get them to laugh, then you get them to listen. So I’m always game for a good joke, and I’m not so formal in this role. There’s very little that we can’t do that people wouldn’t appreciate.”

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                                                                                                                         michelleobama

                                                                            Michelle Obama-2017

The Wisdom of the First Lady


” I wake up every morning in a house built by slaves.” —Michelle Obama

 

“Shut not your doors to me proud libraries,

For that which was lacking on all your well-fill’d shelves.

yet needed most, I bring,

Forth from the war emerging, a book I have made,

The words of my book nothing, the drift of it every thing,

A book separate, not link’d with the rest felt by the intellect,

But you ye untold latencies will thrill to every page.”

—Walt Whitman

 

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There isn’t much more to be said here except that we can listen to the wise words here and work to change our world from what it is today, to the visions that others like Michelle Obama see. We can make the American dream work again and we don’t need to exclude other people or be racists, or haters. We can build America up again with compassion, gentleness, helping, sharing and caring about each other.

 

Namaste

Barbara

Power to the People


Tomorrow is Election Day. Soon the ads will be over. We will be focusing on other issues very soon, but tomorrow, for twelve  hours we have the ability to have our say about who we want to guide our country for the next four years.

I realize there are some who do not plan on voting. They are sick of the negative ads and lies. I understand how they feel. I am sick of a Congress, elected by the people, for the people who has not done what they were elected to do. I say Shame on all of you for watching your backs first and the American people last.

The problem with not voting is that it gives officials too much power. Voting can prevent a dictator or someone like Hitler from taking the Power from the People. We as the American People need to vote and protect our land from complacency. As Americans, we are fiercely protective of our rights.

Historically, we have always debated, argued loudly and dissented. Even the Founding Fathers argued and loudly debated each other as they carved out what we know as the United States of America. Now, in 2012, we have our beautiful Democratic country. The founding fathers compromised on their differences and the only issue they could not hammer out was slavery. They decided to let future generations work that out.

Being a Democracy isn’t easy, but all the work we go through is worth being a country where each one of us is important, our voices count, and our votes are counted. Public policy belongs to every one of us and we can make a difference by becoming involved and working for what we believe in.

So please get out and vote. It is what a Democracy does to remain a Democracy. Vote and be proud because despite all of the rhetoric, we have a voice! Let’s use it and use our power. Many people around the world would give everything they have to have that vote and that voice.

Michelle Obama campaigns for her husband.

Vote because we live in a Democracy!

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