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.

U.S. Military Accused of Punishing Sexual Assault Victims in New Human Rights Report


First women couldn’t be in the military because it was too “tempting” to have women on military bases.  Next, we could have women in the military, but they could only do non-combat duty.  Now, women in the military can be in combat.

As a pacifist, I don’t want any of this; I’ve always been a pacifist and I’m sure I will die a pacifist.  As a feminist, however, I support a woman’s right to choose what do with her life, and that includes military service.

What disturbs me about women in the military isn’t that they want to go and serve their country, or that they want to be able to fight for their country; it is the fact that sex, once again, is being used as an excuse for harassment, molestation and rape.

For thousands of years, males — i.e. Adam and all non-feminist men after — have used the excuse “she made me do it”.  There is not a legitimate reason, ever, to sexual molest, rape, attack or violate a woman.  In actuality, these things have to do with power and control, not with sex.

The military is the American bastion of male power and control.  The good old boys are going to have to suck it up and get a grip on themselves; they need to realize that the only thing they have legitimate power and control over is themselves, and begin to act accordingly.

 US Military Accused of Punishing Sexual Assault Victims in New Human Rights Watch Report

Child Sexual Abuse and Rape in the Military


Military child rape and sexualabuse—what the Pentagon does not want you to know

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This is a tough one to write. In a recent report, a incredibly disturbing statistic has been revealed involving the military and child rape and sexual abuse.

There were at least 1,584 substantiated cases of military dependents being sexually abused between fiscal years 2010 and 2014, according to the data. Enlisted service members sexually abused children in 840 cases. Family members of the victims accounted for the second largest category with 332 cases.

Most of the enlisted offenders were males whose ranks ranged between E-4 and E-6. In the Marine Corps and Army, for example, those troops are corporals, sergeants and staff sergeants. Officers were involved in 49 of the cases. The victims were overwhelmingly female.

In one instance, Marine Capt. Aaron C. Masa sexually abused a fellow Marine buddy’s three-year-old stepdaughter. He also took sexually explicit photos of the toddler and her infant sister. The three-year-old began having nightmares and sleeping by the door. She said she “hurt down there.” When her mother took her to the hospital the child was happy and the hospital staff diagnosed her with a urinary track infection and treated her with antibiotics. It wasn’t until the child told a neighbor she didn’t like Masa and he touched her—and “made it hurt.” Military authorities stepped in and Masa, 24, admitted to five instances of sexually assaulting the toddler. He is currently serving 30 years in prison.

Clair Burnish with AntiMedia writes that the data accounts “only for cases involving military dependents” which are the only child victims.

In other words, children outside military families who are sexually assaulted by troops simply aren’t accounted for. This fact, in itself, creates enormous lingering doubts about the reasons for lack of tracking — and for the actuality of the victim count.

On international levels, ColumbiaReports.com cites historian Renan Vega of the Pedagogic University in Bogotá whose research reveals a 2004 case in Melgar where 53 underage girls were allegedly sexually abused by military contractors “who moreover filmed [the abuse] and sold the films as pornographic material.” Vega explained:

There exists abundant information about the sexual violence absolute impunity thanks to the bilateral agreements and diplomatic immunity of United States officials.

Burnish with AntiMedia adds that according to the Colombian report, “no disciplinary or legal action was ever undertaken, so tracking the perpetrators is next to impossible.”

But of those cases that do reach trial, the numbers are no less than shocking. According to a previous study by the AP from November 2015, this apparent rampant child sexual assault issue among the troops is clearly evidenced; of the 61% confined in the military’s prison network for sex crimes, over half the cases involved children as victims.

The question: What is the U.S. military doing to help end this military plague?

There are reportedly three Democratic senators who are urging Defense Secretary Ash Carter to lift what they called the military justice system’s “cloak of secrecy” and make records from sex-crimes investigations and trials more accessible. You can privately message or post on Defense Secretary Carter’s Facebook Page.  As for addressing the thousands of alleged military sexual assault crimes in Columbian, by U.S. military, U.S. President Barack Obama sent Special Envoy Bernie Aronson to Colombia to assist in the process. Sadly, Columbia is only one country—out of how many?

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​As well as addressing these atrocious crimes, causes and solutions must be explored so they don’t continue to occur. After helping and protecting victims/potential victims, extensive mental health evaluations and treatment for U.S. troops would do well to also top the list.

There is nothing worse than hurting a child in any way. These children have been traumatized and will carry the scars for ever. I spent a bit of time of counseling adults who had been molested as children. That it would happen in our military, makes me cry. We trust them to save people from war. Not to torture children with sexual abuse. I realize not all military personnel are guilty, but it is like the Catholic Church. How do you know who is a danger to children and who is not.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

Women are not Legally Equal


Justice for Women

Justice for Women

This is the year to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed. Congress needs to do much more to stop the War on Women. This is a very important issue.

The Amendment is divided into three sections and I will lay them out. Everyone needs to understand this Ammendment and to push Congress to quit playing games and roll up their sleeves and go to work for the American Woman.

Many are questioning the importance of the ERA, but here are some reasons for women and men to support the passage of the Amendment in 2013. I hope this might clear up questions people might have and make it possible to see why this Amendment is important actually vital in our country.

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce by appropiate legislation, the provisions of this article.
This Amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
Women are not a proteted class.I am going to discuss some ways this Amendment will benefit women.

Say yes to the ERA

Say yes to the ERA

First of all, the Amendment will protect women in the workplace. If a woman finds that her male coworker is earning more money and the woman sues the company, the Amendment will be cited and the company will be forced to give a reason why the woman is earning less. If there is no reason besides gender, the Constitution will protect her.

Another area where this Amendment will defend women is the charge of rape. If there is a rape and the woman presses charges and it goes to court the Constitution can prevent the woman from being victimized again. Rape is not a sexual act. It is all about power and control. Eighty year old women have been raped. Men use rape to control the woman.

So In court, if the defense attorney brings up that she has had alcohol or was wearing a short skirt or went out on a date with a man, the Constitution will protect the woman from gender discrimination. Men are not blamed when they are  victimized  if they have had a drink or if they look sexy.

Insurance companies discriminate on gender to determine how much a person’s premium will be. The Amendment will protect women from having to pay higher premium rates.  A Constitutional Amendment will ensure equal treatment and it is necessary to protect women’s rights for all time.

Women are now able to serve in the military if they wish. Unfortunately, many have been raped (power and control). The officers have been turning their heads and allowing men to get away with this horrible act. This is gender bias.
Women can now be drafted into the military and they must be treated the same as their male counterparts.

The organization UniteWoman.org is leading the effort to get this Amendment passed by Congress. A White House petition has recently received the number of signatures to be addressed by President Obama. Another organization working towards the huge job of getting this Amendment passed is NOW.  NOW stands for the National Organization of Women. It has been working for decades to promote equality for women. I have been a member for many years. Most cities have a branch of  NOW and like Unite Women, they always need volunteers. Whatever you feel comfortable doing would be deeply appreciated.

With the GOP working so hard to stop legal equality for women, we all need to pull together and make sure yhat not only we are protected but also the younger women coming up behind us .Our daughters and granddaughters will benefit as well as all of us. Feminist men are also needed in the effort to stop gender discrimination.

This is a reason we need the Equal Rights Amendment to be passed.

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