Democrats & Liberals Archives

Why Does Bush Hate The Military?

President Bush loves the military — when he can use them as a backdrop for his speeches. But when it comes to actually showing the love he comes up short. For example, President Bush wants Iraq War vets to pay more for medical care and prescription drugs.

Annual health-care costs for the military have doubled to nearly $38 billion in the past five years [Gee, I wonder why - AP], nearly one dollar of every $12 the Pentagon spends. The price tag is projected to soar to $64 billion by 2015.

To help contain those costs, President Bush's proposal includes higher prescription drug co-payments for all beneficiaries of military health care except those on active duty, and increased annual enrollment fees for military retirees under age 65.

I've got an idea for containing military costs. How about no more unnecessary wars and realistic fiscal projections for the wars we do need to fight. Having real allies to pay for 90% of a war like they did during the first Gulf War might be a good idea as well. Paying countries to be our allies like President Bush did for the second Gulf War should be avoided.

President Bush is also nickel-and-diming our National Guard soldiers who play such a vital homeland security role as well as serving in Iraq. Massachusetts National Guard soldiers are reduced to suing the government to get reimbursed for food, fuel and lodging expenses incurred while guarding our borders

January's complaint says the National Guard owes the soldiers for meals, car fuel, hotel costs and daily allowances. Thursday's amendment to the suit says Massachusetts National Guard officers deliberately refused to pay the travel expenses of on-duty soldiers, as way to cut costs.

I've got a better idea for cutting costs. How about we let the capital gains, dividend, and estate tax cuts -- that only benefit the wealthiest American elites -- lapse and then threat these guys to a burger and a cup of coffee while they're on duty. Hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts for the rich at the expense of our National Guard soldiers during a war is just utterly stupid and offensive.

Funny story: I was at the Asian Aerospace show a couple weeks ago talking to a KC-135 crew from Kadena airbase in Japan. They were selling T-shirts and I asked the crew chief what they were going to do with the money. He says, "If we sell enough, we get to buy a new plane." Being the smart-ass that I am, I immediately shot back, "Well, if the Marines have to buy their own body armor, I guess that's fair." It was funny -- except it's not really.

Anyhow, for some reason, President Bush wants to cut production of our C-17 military transport planes. These aircraft are vital for quickly deploying military forces anywhere in the world to engage terrorists, and they recently won praise from our troops in Afghanistan for "the most cargo air-dropped to [the most] drop zones in the shortest amount of time from a single aircraft in the history of U.S. air-drop operations." Yet, President Bush wants to stop production on these indispensable tools in the war on terror.

President Bush and Republicans in Congress just do not understand the nature of the enemy or the conflicts we face this century. Their clumsy attempts to "contain" China and build a missile shield show that -- despite the rhetoric -- they're still stuck in a pre-9/11 Cold War mentality. They need to either get up to speed, or get out of the way and let Democrats fight an effective war on terror. For more Democratic thinking on the subject, check out Gen. Wes Clark's forward-thinking PAC that also promotes politicians -- primarily Democrats, of course -- who know how to win.

In addition, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is doing good work promoting veteran's issues and their "Follow the Money" project that tracks where your tax dollars appropriated for Iraq and Afghanistan are actually going is especially interesting. The IAVA's associated PAC is also spotlighting Congressional candidates who know how to love our military.

Speaking of which, congratulations to Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq veteran who just won the Democratic primary for Illinois' 6th Congressional District. She'll face off against her Republican opponent this November and will no doubt be subjected to personal attacks on her character, her service record, and probably her missing legs as well. That's the standard Republican strategy against military veterans. Duckworth is a brave woman to face that. God bless her.

Posted by American Pundit at March 23, 2006 11:31 AM
Comments
Comment #135484

So, what else is new? My husband spent 30 years in the Navy and earned every benefit he gets. I suppose they will cut retirement benefits next.

This is so disgusting, but not at all surprising. This whole healthcare mess for the military, active and retired, is a shambles.

Posted by: womanmarine at March 23, 2006 1:27 PM
Comment #135492

Yes, when military health care benefits started getting thrashed in 1993, along with a series of military hospital closings (all throughout the 90’s) which forced long car drives or expensive plane trips, military health care started to take a serious dive.

But to use either “hate” or “love” when describing Bush’s feeling towards the military is partisanly juvenile. If one wants to compare the Bush military pay raises to what is predecessor did, one might lean toward a different word than “hate” when describing GWB’s feelings.

But don’t let that notion diminish liberal extremist verbage … I wouldn’t dare try to stop that.

Posted by: Kevin at March 23, 2006 2:03 PM
Comment #135496

Kevin,

“If one wants to compare the Bush military pay raises to what is predecessor did, one might lean toward a different word than “hate” when describing GWB’s feelings.”

Apples and oranges, pal.

Posted by: Rocky at March 23, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #135502

I do not know Kevin, I would think that Bush really dislikes the military and America, and it shows in every aspect.
One, he has us in a war for no good reason other than to continue what his father has started, just for his own fininacial gain, so people are dying for no good reason, but he still is using security as a path to convince people that what he is doing is right.
Two, because of his war, the country is falling apart, we are not back in dept, just were we started when Bush Sr left office. Schools accross the country are falling apart because of no money, heath care is becoming too expencive for people to afford, cost of living is climing very quickly, yet for some reason wages are going down for the average american. We are loosing good jobs, but we can find min wages jobs, (so the books look good for unemployment). Republicans say that in order to keep high paying jobs that we are sending over seas, we need to educate ourselves, well, I do not know if anyone else has noticed, college tuition has been skyrocketing over the past few years, with less and less help from the govenment. I can keep going on and on.
Three, the world hates us, just six years ago, we did not have any problems, but as soon as Bush Jr. steps in we are back where we started with Bush Sr. Starting a war what we do not need any part of. But we can just say that this was all leading up to now and it is not President Bush fault. Well I hate to tell you, I do not buy that, at all. We always seem to be at war with a Republican in office and we are at peace with a Democrate in office, it is the Danmst thing.

Posted by: Jason at March 23, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #135503

We are all paying more for medical care for various reasons. I see no reason to single out the military to be a necessary exception to this.

Posted by: Schwamp at March 23, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #135507

Schwamp wrote:

We are all paying more for medical care for various reasons. I see no reason to single out the military to be a necessary exception to this.

Respectfully, I would submit that the extreme danger our soldiers face in Iraq and elsewhere, and the debilitating kinds of injuries they suffer are precisely the kinds of situations that would call for an “exception” to the rule of paying more for healthcare costs.

Posted by: Steve Westby at March 23, 2006 2:44 PM
Comment #135510

Steve,
You’re making a judgement that the military is undercompensated for what they do. You may or may not be right but what do you base it on? Extreme danger? Then after you increase their compensation one can immediately say the same thing for more political gain - i.e. that they are not paid enough for the danger.

Would you then decrease the compensation once the war ends? Respectfully, your point is pure politics.

Posted by: Schwamp at March 23, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #135511

Rocky,

The thread title is “Why does Bush hate the military?”. I then went on to discuss that, IMO, “hate” probably isn’t the best word to use. If he hated them so, why would he push for and sign their best pay raises in a decade?

I apologize if countering the title of the post is irrelevant. I’ll be sure to watch myself on that next time.

Posted by: Kevin at March 23, 2006 3:01 PM
Comment #135512

Jason,

Head’s up! The Sky! She’s a comin’ down!!!

Posted by: Kevin at March 23, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #135515

Schwamp wrote:

You’re making a judgement that the military is undercompensated for what they do. You may or may not be right but what do you base it on? Extreme danger? Then after you increase their compensation one can immediately say the same thing for more political gain - i.e. that they are not paid enough for the danger.

Would you then decrease the compensation once the war ends? Respectfully, your point is pure politics.

I would most humbly disagree. My motivation is one of fairness, not politics. I don’t believe it is fair for us to send soldiers to places like Iraq, to expose them to severe physical emotional and physical trauma, and then cut their medical benefits.

Would I cut medical benefits once a period of “severe danger” is over? Of course not. Remember, it is Bush who is cutting benefits here. If I had my way, we’d have a healthcare system where this wasn’t an issue because nobody would have to worry about whether they could “afford” healthcare.

What would I base my decision about healthcare benefits for veterans on? Simple. If you as a soldier are sent into combat duty, the military will not cut your healthcare benefits. Ever. End of story.

Posted by: Steve Westby at March 23, 2006 3:10 PM
Comment #135516

i have a solution for all liberal problem’s.first try for once to back your country if you do this the rest of the world will see that the u.s.a. is united and they being the enemies will not depend on you to help them kill americans.your tacktics have failed again and again to convince the american people that we are at fault.you have been able to show those who are not brain dead that the liberal media and the leadership of the dem. party are this countrys worst enemy.looking forward to november im guessing the dems. will lose a lot more seats in the congress and senate.don’you ever get tired of being losers?

Posted by: john counts at March 23, 2006 3:25 PM
Comment #135517

Kevin,

“I apologize if countering the title of the post is irrelevant.”

Oh, but you weren’t.

“If one wants to compare the Bush military pay raises to what is predecessor did, one might lean toward a different word than “hate” when describing GWB’s feelings.”

You were comparing Bush’s policies to Clinton’s. That has nothing to do with the thread as it was stated.
Clinton was dealing with a military that was already started to be pared down. The process was started by Bush1 and Cheney, after the “end” of the cold war.

Also you might have thought about the cuts in benefits that happened only recently.

Posted by: Rocky at March 23, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #135519

john counts wrote:

i have a solution for all liberal problem’s.first try for once to back your country if you do this the rest of the world will see that the u.s.a. is united and they being the enemies will not depend on you to help them kill americans.

Mr. counts, I would urge you to consider that those who disagree with you are not necessarily your enemies, nor are they out to ruin the country. Indeed, in my experience, both democrats and republicans, liberals and conservatives, want what is best for the country — they simply disagree about what that is.

Also, I would urge you to think about the fact that diversity of opinion, the ability within our country to have a vigorous debate, is largely what makes our country different from dictatorships. It is a sign of strength, not of weakness. Peace be with you, friend.

Posted by: Steve Westby at March 23, 2006 3:34 PM
Comment #135520

Steve,
I see you consider having to pay more for health care as a cut in benefits. Fair enough. But I’m saying just about every working person in the country has got a nice cut in benefits by your definition. Why is that fair?

Joining the military is different. It has advantages and disadvantages. The benefits for some people can be huge - just talk to a recruiter. And last I checked, it was still volunteer.

Posted by: Schwamp at March 23, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #135521

Kevin,
Okay, let me refrase my post, if the president loved his military and took care of them they way he claims to and and the rest of america, he would stop spending billions of dollers on a war what we should not be in and use that money to fix the problems that are here, such as medical benifits for the military, schools, the deficit. We are wasting a lot of energy and lives on a war that we can not win. If we just spend a fraction of that money going over seas on defence of our nation we would be more safe than now and in the future, no mater what the outcome of this war.

Posted by: Jason at March 23, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #135522

Schwamp……your statement is incredible !!! You really believe it’s okay to send these men and women to do Dumbya’s bidding….have them come home ( the lucky ? ones )maimed and mutilated then deny them long-term affordable health care????? I’m posting a link at the end f this, and I posted it on Jack’s “hero” site as well. Take a look…it’s all about a few people who believed that we, the non-military, non-political, non-government should stand up and help these people with their recovery and rehabilitation. And some of you don’t think we can unite as Americans?????
http://fallenheroesfund.org/fallenheroes/index.php

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 23, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #135523

Schwamp,

First of all, thank you for engaging in a discussion that is respectful and (I hope) meaningful. I pray that you will find my answers to be in kind.

In an ideal world, health care should be a “right,” in my view, not a “benefit.” However, since our current situation is not so ideal…

1. Of course, having average working families pay vastly more for health care isn’t fair. In fact, its a national tragedy, in my humble opinion, and one which we should fix in all haste.

2. I would also argue that our nation holds a special obligation to those brave individuals who go to war for us, either on a volunteer basis or not. I feel it should be a national priority that we care for them in their injury since they made such a sacrifice for our country.

I hope this makes my position clearer. Thanks again.

Posted by: Steve Westby at March 23, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #135524

Say you support the military but then raise their insurance premiums.

Say you support the military but then condemn their actions, say what they do is for nothing, call them criminals, call them brainwashed drones and call them murderers.

Gee, I wonder which stance the military will continue to support and why.

And getting allowances has never been a walk in the park when it comes to the military.
Hell, I remember at one time, the military wanted us to pay for MRE’s we ate while on duty. Does that mean my Commander In Chief hated me and wanted me to starve?

You guys are stretching here AP. Or is this one of those “throw it against a wall and see if it sticks” type of things to get find out what will get votes.

Posted by: kctim at March 23, 2006 4:02 PM
Comment #135525

steve thank you for you civil tone.i get frustrated when i see our enemies take words that this country’s leaders use to blast every thing good about america.you sound like a solid guy can you explain to me why some folk’s dont understand that when they make the president out to be the villan it takes focus off the job at hand.and who pay’s in the long run?our troops.is it worth the hatred some liberals and most media has for bush.

Posted by: john counts at March 23, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #135526

Bush doesn’t hate the military. He just doesn’t give a crap about them beyond the “political capital” they generated for his re-election. Now that the wounded need more money, they and the dead are costing him too much “capital”, so he discards them.

Do I really feel that way? I honestly don’t know. But Bush’s actions are consistent with that assesment and I don’t trust him further than I could throw Jon Brower Minnoch.

Posted by: Dave at March 23, 2006 4:12 PM
Comment #135527

AP, the President does not hate the military. He simply views the military as a tool at his disposal. His lack of respect however, for the personnel in the military is demonstrated by his willingness to continue to expend their lives and limbs in Iraq for the rest of his presidency as he announced this week on TV. And for what? A vain attempt to vindicate his wrong headed and unfounded decision to invade in the first place, nothing more.

We could put Iraq on notice that we are pulling out in December of this year, providing over the horizon support only after that. Does anyone doubt that this would motivate the Iraqi government to get their act together and hasten the training and development of their armed forces, police?

There can only be two reasons for Bush’s not pursuing this course. 1) personal vindication working against all odds to pull out some kind of miracle which makes the insurgency disappear, while maintaining his perceived only redeeming quality of his presidency, constancy, and/or 2) maintaining a staging area for invasion of Iran.

As for the latter, it really makes no sense, since our staging areas for over the horizon operations in Iraq would serve just as well if we needed to invade Iran.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 23, 2006 4:18 PM
Comment #135528

It doesn’t stop with the military. Have you read about Medicare lately?

Posted by: Bushy at March 23, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #135531
Schwamp……your statement is incredible !!! You really believe it’s okay to send these men and women to do Dumbya’s bidding….have them come home ( the lucky ? ones )maimed and mutilated then deny them long-term affordable health care???

Sandra/Steve,
You both have opinions on military health care costs viewed from the perspective of a wounded soldier. I’m talking about basic health care costs - premiums, deductables, the same things every worker deals with.

Posted by: Schwamp at March 23, 2006 4:38 PM
Comment #135532

Let’s play “suppose” for just a moment. Suppose some of you armchair generals became president and were actually in charge. You know your actions are correct despite polls suggesting the opposite and your political opponents hounding you every single day. Now…do you cave to the political pressure or do you continue with the policy you sincerely believe is right and best for the country? Will you bend in the wind and be Clintonesque or will you hunker down and follow your conscience and oath of office? When answering, please ascribe to President Bush the same virtues of honesty you subscribe to yourself.

Posted by: Jim Martin at March 23, 2006 4:50 PM
Comment #135533

*WMD - LIE
*Chemical Weapon Stockpile - LIE
*Iraq Connected to Al Queda - LIE
*Stolen Elections 2000,2002,2004
*Tax Cuts for the Wealthist 1%
*Lies about Lying
*Attempts at Killing Social Security
*Outlawing overtime pay
*Corrupt Prescription PlanDraft Dodger
*If the Iraqi war is so noble, Why are not his drunken daughters in uniform serving in Iraq.
N*VER, Never attending a fallen hero’s funeral
*Mother states dead body of returning heros as being “Irellevent.
*Federal responce to Katrina - New Orleans
*In San Deigo at a fundraiser while New Orleans citizens die
*Returns to Crawford to continue vacation while New Orleans citizens are dying
*Promises to assist New Orleans recover, not going to well
*Condalena Rice shopping while New Orleans citizen are dying
*Incompetent / Corrupt Partisian Political Hack appointees
*Incompetant Security of Defense
*Lack of Body armor for our troops.
*Charging the wounded troops for meals
*Phoney / Photo Opps

And much more I cannot at the present remember

Posted by: Charlie Hacker at March 23, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #135535

Oh yes
*Illegal Wiretaps / Spying on American citizens within the US.
*Shredding the Constitution
*Sheer incompetence / Indifference

Can anybody rationally / non partisianly refute this list?

Posted by: Charles Hacker at March 23, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #135536

Schwamp:

The military personnel are not “every worker”.

They can’t negotiate for raises or benefits.

They can’t change jobs (until their enlistment is up) to get different pay and benefits.

They can be sent into harms way at the drop of a presidential hat.

After the draft was discontinued, they VOLUNTEERED to go into harms way to protect you and me whenever necessary.

They are not able to sue for medical problems they endure.

That’s just off the top of my head.

No, they are not just “any worker”. Nor are their families.

What would you do if no one volunteered, or stayed in as a career?

Think on that.

Posted by: womanmarine at March 23, 2006 5:14 PM
Comment #135537

AP, very interesting piece, quite good in fact. It is my understanding that the problem (cost issues aside for the moment) that while there is a more than abundant need of healthcare services for veterans, there is a shortage of medical resources to meet the need.

A problem that needs to be addressed ASAP IMO is to provide enough facilities and medical personnel to be properly responsive to the need for veteran care. This I think is an important component of the overall issue.

Sadly, a friend of mine went to the VA Hospital for medical attention recently and waited 12 hours to be seen. This was not for an emergency, this was for an appointment. This type of thing has become the norm rather than the exception. I would say that cost is certainly impacted by these occurances.

There are many underlying reasons for proposed increases to the costs you allude to in your article. Certainly, there should not be any undue financial burden placed on military personnel (active or inactive/disabled).

Posted by: steve smith at March 23, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #135539

Charles,

You got part of it right…

Incompetent / Corrupt Partisian Political Hacker

Posted by: Gungadin at March 23, 2006 5:26 PM
Comment #135542

Charlie,

If the past three elections were stolen, why are the libs insisting they’re going to win back congress in November? Couldn’t we just steal that one, as well? The Democrats may as well give up, then. We’re going to steal every election from now on, until the Democratic party does the right thing and dissolves itself. But on a slightly more rational note, the entire vitriolic hatred for Bush by the
left has nothing to do with Iraq, Social Security, the debt, Katrina, or anything else that gets lobbed at him on a daily basis. It’s all about the 2000 election. He lost the popular vote, and won the EC by a little over 500 votes. In all fairness, I thought this scenario would play out in Gore’s favor in 2000, and I would have been furious if it had. However, I do not think I would accuse Al of stealing the election, or, even more outrageously, of stealing subsequent elections. Get a grip. All you conspiracy theorists out there should read some of the literary masterpieces by a guy named David Icke. He claims, among other things, that Bush is actually a big green reptile disguised as a human. Just google his name. This guy’s right up your alley.

Posted by: Duano at March 23, 2006 5:34 PM
Comment #135544

“Can anybody rationally / non partisianly refute this list?”

Why?
Its not a rational, non-partisan list of anything but your opinions, hopes and needs.

Posted by: kctim at March 23, 2006 5:36 PM
Comment #135545

Oh, yeah and shouldn’t the question at the top of the post read: “Why Does the Military Love Bush” They voted for him overwhelmingly, twice.

Posted by: Duano at March 23, 2006 5:40 PM
Comment #135546

Good play on words Gungadin, but no rational refutation of my post….

I was a Republican untill the Elder Bush’s term

And of course there is the Haliburtin corruption and the FACT the Bush has failed at every thing he has attempted, since before his Yale tears.

Oh Well, a corrupt moron for President is O.K for some.

Posted by: Charles Hacker at March 23, 2006 5:41 PM
Comment #135547

Duano:

Oh, yeah and shouldn’t the question at the top of the post read: “Why Does the Military Love Bush” They voted for him overwhelmingly, twice.

Because love is blind?

Posted by: womanmarine at March 23, 2006 5:48 PM
Comment #135548

Womanmarine,

So, the military is full of brainwashed idiots who are blindly devoted to an evil President?

Posted by: Duano at March 23, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #135550

“Oh Well, a corrupt moron for President is O.K for some”

Must be, we’ve had one for what now, 16 years.

Posted by: kctim at March 23, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #135551

Duano:

Go twist someone else’s words to your own agenda.

Eat my shorts.

Posted by: womanmarine at March 23, 2006 6:00 PM
Comment #135552

A hearty thanks to all of you who continue to call President Bush an idiot or moron. It is infinitly pleasurable to know that a conservative moronic idiot can beat the best of the Democratic Party elite.
Keep the sweet music playing. All American is listening. And…please continue to boo hoo about this moron stealing the election from the great “Party of the People”. I also find it interesting to hear the sobbing from all the liberals about how our Military is being treated. Where were all these sobsisters when your party attempted to keep the votes of service people oversees from being counted?

Posted by: Jim Martin at March 23, 2006 6:06 PM
Comment #135553

damnable neocons

Posted by: diogenes (i) at March 23, 2006 6:07 PM
Comment #135554

The health care is only going up for people who are retiring. As a proud service member who spent 9 months in Iraq i really think its funny when the “hotel room media” makes their claims. What ever happen to being objective, Now that i am retired i am goin to be a field reporter for C.N.N i wont even half to leave my house.

Posted by: army of one at March 23, 2006 6:08 PM
Comment #135558

Let’s see. President Hillary Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Secretary of State William Jefferson Clinton and Secretary of Defense Howard Dean. And last, but certainly not least, Ambassador to the United Nations Helen Thomas. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Oooh, just the thought of it gives me goosebumps!

Posted by: Bill M at March 23, 2006 6:24 PM
Comment #135560

army of one ,thank you! and wish you the best on your retirement

Posted by: JAY at March 23, 2006 6:27 PM
Comment #135561

womanmarine,

Thanks for the thoughtful comment. This time I won’t twist any words. Would you please explain what you meant by saying “love is blind” when referring to the military’s overwhelming support for Dubya, and for all Republicans.

Posted by: Duano at March 23, 2006 6:28 PM
Comment #135563

Duano:

It was a joke. You’ve never heard the phrase love is blind to explain strange attraction?

Please, you can feel free to ignore my posts, because I will certainly be ignoring yours.

Posted by: womanmarine at March 23, 2006 6:34 PM
Comment #135564

no thanks nessary, I loved everyminute of it even the Clinton years when we were the “Meals on wheels” Army. 20 years and out i am 48 years old, So please we in the service doen’t have it all bad.

Posted by: army of one at March 23, 2006 6:34 PM
Comment #135565

Anyone who has been in uniform since 1980 can tell you that since then, there has been a noticeable swing toward conservativism in the military. The Vietnam war taught aspiring career officers that they had better get politically smart quick if they were going to survive in a time when sociologists were just starting to understand the effect of a strong and pervasive media on the national mindset as it related to military action and attitudes toward the armed forces in general. Accordingly, this began virtually the same time as the draft was discontinued and our forces became a strictly volunteer effort. As a result, the vast majority of enlistees in any branch of the military are going to be from families and areas where there are fewer economic and educational opportunities - in other words, the countryside, which we all know is staunchly Republican in the first place. After all, are the Fleet Bank CEO’s kids who are living in suburban Boston more likely to enlist than the Nebraska independent farmer’s sons who see their father losing more and more ground to ConAgra and Archer Daniels every day and yearn to get the hell outta there? I refer you all to an interesting article that involves the politicization of the military in this month’s Harper’s that explores other issues as well and involves several retired senior American officers if anyone is interested. Unfortunately, it is not yet available for online viewing.

On the point of the current administration using military benefits repeatedly as opportunity to exercise their right to economic prudence, I will as a veteran tell you that there has been no other president in history that has done more to disassemble the extensive benefit system we have rightly created for our men and women in uniform and their families, both past and present. To cries of fairness because desk jockeys on Wall Street are paying more for health care, too, well - I say that you can stuff your desk and your insurance bills in your self-righteous ear if you think the infantryman in Fallujah is no more entitled to affordable healthcare than you are. He should be afforded the BEST at NO cost with NO waiting ANYTIME for the REST of his life. PERIOD. And don’t tell me it can’t be done, because if so many rich folks can pay so little in taxes, if so many multinational corporations can escape taxes altogether, if so many Congressmen and women can increase their pay and benefits every time the notion takes them, then you better bet it can be done. And I will vote against anyone who says otherwise, whatever their party.

Posted by: macsonix at March 23, 2006 6:37 PM
Comment #135566

womanmarine,

I think the correct phrase would be “What’s not to Love”!!!

Posted by: Duano at March 23, 2006 6:38 PM
Comment #135568

masconix,

I agree that every member of the military is of far more worth than any member of congress, and should be paid more. But isn’t it a Democratic idea to begin with the military when you start cutting spending?

Posted by: Duano at March 23, 2006 6:43 PM
Comment #135569

MACSONIX, I just retired from the Army, And in no way shape or form have my Benfits been cut or held up for any reason. Also i can go the store on base and get rx drugs ,and food for the house and not pay any tax. Most americans do not have that going for them. Like i said 48 years old and RETIRED. i just love writing that.

Posted by: Army of one at March 23, 2006 6:43 PM
Comment #135570

Macsonix:

Your last paragraph: thanks!! So true.

Wish I could see that article.

Posted by: womanmarine at March 23, 2006 6:44 PM
Comment #135576

Army of One,

Congrats on the retirement. I just want to thank you a thousand times for everything you have done to protect the rights of little peons like me to get on here and argue like a little kid. Again thanks a million. Enjoy retirement and don’t party too har…..WHAT? Party down, my friend, you deserve it!! See ya.

Posted by: Duano at March 23, 2006 7:10 PM
Comment #135578

AP, good post — but I don’t agree with the title.
I’m with Dave and David on that one. Bush uses and takes advantage of the military, but I wouldn’t say he actually hates them — just seems to disrespect them — especially the lower ranking grunts who didn’t make it into officers school. It always seems to come down to rank with these guys, whether we’re talking about the military, or economic class divisions. Anyway, how could a Neocon truly hate the military? After all, they love war so very much, don’t they?

Macsonix, great post. I agree completely.

Womanmarine, glad to see you’ll be ignoring that gnat that keeps trying to pester us here in the blue column. Drives them crazy when their endless buzzing gets no response.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 23, 2006 7:12 PM
Comment #135582

john counts wrote:

steve thank you for you civil tone.i get frustrated when i see our enemies take words that this country’s leaders use to blast every thing good about america.you sound like a solid guy can you explain to me why some folk’s dont understand that when they make the president out to be the villan it takes focus off the job at hand.and who pay’s in the long run?our troops.is it worth the hatred some liberals and most media has for bush.

And thank you, in turn, for an interesting question. My short answer would be that some wish to make the president into a villian because it serves their political interests — Democrats want Bush to do poorly, just as Republicans want Democrats to do poorly. As sinister as that sounds, it isn’t necessarily all evil. These are groups with widely differing points of view on what is right for the country — and want to be in power to further their agenda.

On the other hand, I would agree that this sometimes goes too far — it can happen in a way that is destructive both to our foriegn policy interests and to the political process here at home. The intriguing question becomes (and I don’t have an easy answer here) when does dissent go too far? I certainly would be leary of efforts to stifle dissent, because I believe that such debate is the heart and soul of our democracy.

On the other hand, I think dissent nowadays is done without regards for civility or prudence at times. Then it is at risk for becoming mere name calling. I hope and pray we can all rise above the temptation to sink to that level. We need statesmanship as much as we need debate, perhaps now as much as

Posted by: Steve Westby at March 23, 2006 7:38 PM
Comment #135584

Jason.

You sir are cerebrally challenged. The first gulf war was fought because Saddam marched his forces into Kuwait. Oops. Did you forget about that?

The rest of your argument is more of the same. Bad grammer and worse points.

How can cost of living be going up when latest reports are wages are on the rise and inflation is steady? You must not be a math major. Moving on…

Six years ago the world loved us and now they hate us? Wow. You must really have your finger on the pulse of the world. I’d be willing to bet you haven’t traveled 10 feet from the plastic lawn chair parked in front of your double wide. How the hell would you - Mr. Cosmopolitan know what the rest of the world thinks except from what you get off of CNNs Wolfie Blitzer. Have you traveled? I think not, otherwise you wouldnt be making idiotic statements.

Oh and by the way 6 years ago was 2000. So they loved us in 2000 when the were bombing the USS Cole, and our embassies around the world? 9/11 changed everything pal. Just accept the fact that there are certain people that hate us. That’s right US. Me, you, every free air breathing, red blooded American. And no amount of goodwill on our part will EVER change that. The only way to rid your house of rats is to call the exterminator. Or I guess you would be one to negotiate with them.

Fuck that - you kill em. Every last one of em. And for all you libs that hang on to “there were no WMD’s…Saddam wasn’t part of Al-Qaeda…” Who the fuck cares?!? You want Saddam reading stories to your grandkids? No way. The guy is a sick, twisted fascist loonie! He gassed his own people. He attacked a sovereign country. He continually defied the world. And guess what? We (US) weren’t the only ones who thought that. Did you know that there were more coalition countries in this past war than in the first one? Incredible.

You guys have one collective head stuffed up a giant ass. Start living in reality people.

Posted by: bombay at March 23, 2006 7:42 PM
Comment #135589

Jason:

Your memory is also bad. Woodrow Wilson (D) took us into World War I, Franklin Roosevelt (D) took us into World War II, Harry Truman (D) took us into Korea, John Kennedy (D) and Lyndon Johnson (D) took us into Vietnam and the Dems’ wonder boy, William Jefferson Clinton, got us involved in a civil war in Bosnia. Some of these wars were unavoidable, some were. But to say America is only at war when the Republicans are in office is just plain stupid.

Posted by: Bill M. at March 23, 2006 8:41 PM
Comment #135591

bombay,

Fuck that - you kill em. Every last one of em. And for all you libs that hang on to “there were no WMD’s…Saddam wasn’t part of Al-Qaeda…” Who the fuck cares?!? You want Saddam reading stories to your grandkids? No way. The guy is a sick, twisted fascist loonie! He gassed his own people. He attacked a sovereign country. He continually defied the world. And guess what? We (US) weren’t the only ones who thought that. Did you know that there were more coalition countries in this past war than in the first one? Incredible.

I’m with you…we should now invade Iran…North Korea…China…Sudan…Somalia…Saudi Arabia…Campuchia…you get the picture, I hope. Us ignorant savages might think twice before we used that as our only excuse for going to war. I guess that’s because we are unpatriotic.

All those allies we had during the first Gulf war, which was started for a specific reason, paid their fair share of the costs. Cheney/Bush’s war is driving our national debt into the cellar because he could get allies to share only the thought of conflict, not the cost.

But, then, that’s only the opinion of an unpatriotic fool of a Democrat.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 23, 2006 9:02 PM
Comment #135592

Army:
Many, many sincere thanks for your service and congratulations on your retirement. I hope you do not have to experience the vastly deteriorated VA medical system as I have since my separation from the Army in ‘92. Those stories of waiting 12 hours in the emergency room are all too familiar. Is it great that you are able to go to the PX and get your milk and soap and clothes tax-free? You bet. But the benefit system as a whole over the last six years has been raided while American companies and individuals with money, power and influence have been relieved of their share of our collective burden over the same period. And I am in no way suggesting that it all began with Bush and company. It just got a LOT worse with them. To the tune of oh, the worst in history.

womanmarine:
Thank you. The article is of course available at your local newsstand, and the price for a year’s subscription to Harper’s is joyfully quite inexpensive, especially considering the product.

Duano:
Yes, Dems and progressives of all stripes are consistently calling for defense budget cuts. And anyone who pays attention can see that there are opportunities galore for trimming wasteful, outdated, or just plain ridiculous programs, the details of which we’ve all read about and need no explanation. I hear very little, however, from the left and middle of the road politicians regarding cutting military benefits, and that is of course the issue on this thread. Show me a Dem who proposes to decrease hazardous duty pay and then you’ll have an argument. Until then, you are just playing dodgeball as is your custom.

Posted by: macsonix at March 23, 2006 9:20 PM
Comment #135600

To Macsonix:

I’m sorry you’ve had such a bad experience with the VA hospital system. I retired from the Army in 1985 and have had the opportunity to use the VA system. My experience has been just the opposite of yours. Luck, maybe? By the way, did you see the news coverage on NBC recently citing the VA hospital system as one of the best in the country and a model for civilian hospitals? Hope things get better for you.

Posted by: Bill M. at March 23, 2006 9:58 PM
Comment #135601

Ooops, I almost forgot. I live right across the street from the largest Veterans Home in Illinois. More than 600 residents on the 170-acre campus receive top-notch care, in spite of the ineptness of the home’s superintendent (appointed by a Democrat governor) the cut in funding by that same governor that has forced a reduction in staffing in critical posiions on the nursing staff. Fortunately, that governor is going to be looking for a job in November and the superintendent has resigned.

Posted by: Bill M. at March 23, 2006 10:12 PM
Comment #135604

john counts

some folk’s dont understand that when they make the president out to be the villan it takes focus off the job at hand
You mean like the Republican fascination with the Presidential Penis during the 90’s?

Bombay,

Who the fuck cares?!?
I love it. War for no apparent reason.

Posted by: ElliottBay at March 23, 2006 11:32 PM
Comment #135613

American Pundit,
I do have to agree with some people… I speak from experience here when I say this. It is across party lines.

I joind the USAF on Dec. 30th, 1976 on the deffered enlistment program. It was important to enlist prior to Jan 1st, 1977 because the Vietnam era GI bill would expire. I enlisted as a 17 year old senior in high school and 2 weeks after graduating I was in basic training.

The GI Education bill was supposed to be good up to 10 years after I got out. That means that if I served 20 years and got out in 1996 I would still have 10 years to use my benefits. Up to 2006.

I got out after 10 years and when I went to apply to use my benefits I was told that they expired Dec. 31st, 1987. When I questioned how this could be done I was told that it wasn’t in my enlistment contract. Just tv ads, recruiting brochures, recruiter pitches…

Congress had decided to terminate the Vietnam era GI Bill for later date ones. The problem? Myself and the thousnds of others in my position weren’t signed up for the later date ones because they were enacted after we enlisted and we were under the Vietnam era GI bil!

This was the Reagan years folks! So, please don’t talk about the overwhelming heartfealt committment. It was “Star Wars” and big flashy conracts to a few… peanuts to the service people. Remeber this.. the impact on the service person when you decide to say one President or another loves or hates the military.

It was through the CA state Veterans Affairs office that I was able to use my diability from the military to get my education. In actuality, it was a better deal for me… but they cut out our benefits without so much as a whimper from the American public.

To all vets or loved ones of vets. Go immediately to a STATE Veterans Affairs Office. Let them help you deal with the federals. Also, you should be assigned to a veterans organization as your advocate… such as the VFW or the DAV.

Remember, it is government policy to deny first applications. Appeal all! They like to “weed out” the people who meekly go, “Okay.”

Veterans organizations knew about the loss of benefits, but we were not at war so no one cared. They tried to fight it… but to no avail. So, they did everything they could to get everyone their entitled benefits through the disability program.

Personally, I hate the word entitled because of the sneer that comes along with “entitlement” benefits now days. As I use the word… I earned it. I served this country, went where they told me to go… often for years on end on top of mountains in foreign countries away from my family.

I will catch a lot of hell from people here because of what I am about to say, but it is from my experiences and beliefs drawn from them.

I hold those yellow ribbons and silly ass stuff in contempt. I was discussing this with my folks one time and they said that I wasn’t giving the people the benefit of the doubt and misjudging their sincerity… possibly… but more their committment.

The American public loves the military as long as they are in harms way… but once the bullets stop flying then it becomes a matter of awaking from the bloodfest with an emotional hangover and realizing that there are real people needing long term care which is expensive.

Before you try to bash me… if you are old enough to have experiences over the past 20 or 30 years… please stop and honestly think about it… My complaint while serving (and that of many others) was that even with Reagan, the money was going towards weapon systems and not to the people maintaining and possibly using them.

Even after being in the USAF for 3 years my income was below poverty level and I was elidgable for FOOD STAMPS!!!!

Also, evidence the articles cited at the beginning of this blog.

Committment isn’t rhetoric that you wrap yourself in and beat the other over the head with. It is action and there has been very little of it unless it is during times of conflict.

Okay… everyone start bashing me and denying. Oh, but before you do… note the comments regarding the military of Carter and Clinton… Preceeding and later Presidents are not mentioned… Not Ford or Reagan or President GHW Bush… just Democrats. Then, tell me it isn’t sometimes partisan. The military only seems to be “worthy” if there is a Republican in office…

Schwamp,

Thank you so much for illustrating my point exactly.. I can use your post as an illustration that I am not “wrong.”

“We are all paying more for medical care for various reasons. I see no reason to single out the military to be a necessary exception to this.”

There is a special comittment to serving in the military that is greater than going to the local factory and filling out an application.

There are years of sacrafice, personally and professionally that are entailed… even during peace time. The pay sucks… as noted above, but we are placated by being told that the compensations we get in other areas (deffered salary called retirement pay by some) health care after we are wounded… disability pay…

Thank you so much for having the guts to express what so many people conveniently forget they thought before the bullets flew.

Posted by: Darren7160 at March 24, 2006 5:06 AM
Comment #135619

Darren7160,
Welcome to the real world.
No-one has posted a case of a wounded soldier who had to pay for his own care. Just a lot of complaining about benefits.

Womanmarine, why not include other benefits of being in the military:
Free housing
Free meals
Free training
Travel
Chance to grow up
Retirement
comeraderie

Posted by: Schwamp at March 24, 2006 7:49 AM
Comment #135621

>>By the way, did you see the news coverage on NBC recently citing the VA hospital system as one of the best in the country and a model for civilian hospitals? Hope things get better for you.

Posted by: Bill M. at March 23, 2006 09:58 PM

Bill,

I’m pretty sure that coverage was a paid infotainment. The DOD (under Cheney/Bush) has started paying the media for positive spin…

As to the talking points…if during the fifty’s, sixty’s and seventy’s you added all the pay and benefits together, you could still end up below poverty levels. I retired in 78 so can’t speak to the issue after that, but many had to use special lunch programs to help feed their children while they were in school and utilize other welfare programs (especially when the spouse was overseas) to keep their heads above water.

I was promised free medical care for me and my spouse for life…it wasn’t until just before retirement time that I was informed that free care had expired by Congressional mandate two years before I inlisted. Recruiters were allowed to use that bait to lure folks in and keep them in out of pure dishonest need of retainment. That was done under ‘I like Ike’. Ike, of course, was a Republican who had previously worn five stars, and should have never let it happen.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 24, 2006 8:12 AM
Comment #135630

Bill M:
I have received services from VA hospitals in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and since 2002, Houston. While I take no issue with the quality of service - many world-class physicians work one or two days a week at VA facilities - the problem of long waits for service has been prevalent at all of them, Houston being by far the worst and Manhattan being the best. I think the worst wait with an appointment was around three hours and the longest as a walk-in was well into 15 hours. My personal theory is that while the actual practice of medicine itself does not suffer, the VA system is regularly starved of money and resources - which creates a snowball effect regarding the backlog due to increasing patient numbers every year while staff and equipment numbers are consistently shrinking. For Washington insiders or others, for that matter, to shrug off these effects (especially with the war in Iraq creating so many wounded) as indicative of strains generally impacting the overall state of our national healthcare system at large is unconscionable.

Posted by: macsonix at March 24, 2006 10:03 AM
Comment #135638

Dear Schwamp,
“Welcome to the real world.
No-one has posted a case of a wounded soldier who had to pay for his own care. Just a lot of complaining about benefits.”

Hmmmm. I would have thought that a war was much more real than this “real” world you are welcoming me to. When the vet comes back minus an arm or a leg… he is now in the real world.

Oh, and he should just shut up about benefits… cause he was paid for his time overseas getting shot or blown up… now he is just a recepient of our VA welfare anything else is politics?

We have a long history in our country of honoring and providing for those that have served to defend our country. The GI bill after WWII opend higher education up to men that most likely never would have gone to college… which increased the education level and the abilities of our business world beyond anything ever seen.

If you want to be cost effective then you would like what they are doing now… private armies… corporate warriors fighting for us.

Granted… we pay them a pretty good wage and once we are done with them we can wash our hands of them. No long term liabilities. Corporate armies. Isn’t that the epitome of business doing things better than our government.

What do we do with the corporate warrior that has PTSD? Oh wait, that is just a liberal label, not a real problem. They just need to suck it up, get a job and get back into the “real world.”

I know with ROBOCOP it was always kind of tounge in cheek that a corporation would provide vital services for society like defense or police work.. but I can see Conservative Republicans just loving the idea.

Would we still need to support them in war time if they worked for a corporation under contract for our country?

Gosh, I remember how terrible we all thought it was when we were learning about the Revolutionary War and the Hessians were used by the British. Hired soldiers to fight a war. That used to be a bad thing…

I hear a bit of Rush in your argument of where do we set the limit. He did this with the minimum wage… why stop at $5.75? Why not make it $9.95? $14.95? This makes any discussion of wages into a supposedly irrational “demand” based on want, not need. Cute… but only effective for conning “ditto heads.”

How about a wage that insures a respectable standard of living? Like not having to decide which bill not to pay so a person can buy groceries? It really would have been impossible to cook that turkey on Thanksgiving without the gas turned on anyway.

Thank you for the welcome into the real world… but I would have to say that I have been in it. Which means first hand experience of the treatment a vet gets in the VA hospitals since I am a disabled vet. Also the lack of benefits or assistance I get with other types of medical care who won’t treat me because I have the VA, and the VA won’t treat me because something might not be “service related.”

“Womanmarine, why not include other benefits of being in the military:
Free housing - Free meals — Free training - Travel - Chance to grow up - Retirement -comeraderie”

Did you miss the part about being able to get food stamps? Or just conveniently choose not to notice?

Did you also miss the arbitrary elimination of those same benefits, such as the Vietnam GI bill of which I mentioned. Or was that the real world you were referring to?

Couldn’t the real world be the real world because of the lack of committment to a promise? So, instead of honoring the committment we just don’t… and then tell people “Welcome to the real world.” Hahaha. You just got screwed… “Welcome to the real world.”

Can I use that as a synopsis of the Conservative/Republican platform? Welcome to the real world. The vets of today will be in my position 20 years from now with a lot of my experiences… and we can just say, “Welcome to the real world.”

I know. Stop whining. Geeeeee…. for 10 years I went where and when our country needed me. Told my wife and son to go to a friends house for Thanksgiving because they turned our gas off because I chose to buy diapers and groceries.

Had a bomb placed in my car by terrorists in Greece that put me, my wife and my child in danger. I was stationed on mountain tops in 30 month stretches. Went extended periods of time away from my loved ones… The way I see it… I lived up to my end of the bargain… but you are right… shut up, be grateful that they didn’t take more away and welcome to the real world.

Free Housing: For singles that means barracks. They are nice, but not a home. For married that means long waiting lists and for some, like me when I was in the service, I was never at a base that had base housing long enough to qualify for it before I was sent back overseas. You make it sound as if it is available to one and all. It isn’t.

Free meals: Again, this is for single people. If you happen to want to eat off base/post, then you pay out of your own pocket… but since you don’t get paid rations… that is like paying for that Big Mac twice.

Travel: I loved the travel personally. In 10 years I was permanantly assigned to Greece, Florida, Turkey, Greece and California. Some don’t really enjoy it that much… especially if they have family.

Chance to grow up. Thank you. Which is why I really do prefer to deal with ex-military because of their maturity. Too many civilians have a cavalier attitude such as “welcome to the real world” when the have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. It is just a convenient way to try to belittle, mock or intimidate.

Comradarie. Our service people and vets have a much better idea of what it means to be part of a group. A much better class all around. Their word is their bond.

Retirement isn’t actually retirement, but deferred payment. Thus, they justify the lower wages because of the deferred payments after 20 years… but you have to serve the 20.

Ohhhh… I don’t know… it is kind of like an employer that says I am paying you 2/3 of your wages now and I will continue to pay you a portion when you have worked 20 years… just make sure you serve 20 years. It can be a good deal… but don’t make it sound like it is for everyone. A lot can happen in 20 years.

By the way… if that is your real world… I would much rather not accept the invitation. We military people, current and vets do go in because we are idealistic… we believe that what we are defending is worthy… and the ideals are worth the sacrafice… so if I am not acclimated and accepting of your “real world” I hope you can exuse me. If you can’t? No problem… I served for a country I want my child to grow up in.

Posted by: Darren7160 at March 24, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #135640

Darren:

Thanks so much for your service. I applaud you AND your most eloquent post.

Posted by: womanmarine at March 24, 2006 11:15 AM
Comment #135641

Darren
I agree that no matter who is president, active duty and vets are not afforded the treatment they deserve.
But your rant was based on your personal experiences and you conviently left some things out.
Not sure if its because its been 20+ years for you or if you just dont know.
But I will say that things are alot different now. As good as they should be? No. But better.

Posted by: kctim at March 24, 2006 11:38 AM
Comment #135643

>>But your rant was based on your personal experiences and you conviently left some things out.

kc,

You called Darren’s post a RANT? Wow!

Not better at all…

Posted by: Marysdude at March 24, 2006 11:46 AM
Comment #135644

Darren…….wow ! That would be a ditto for me too, womanmarine.
I “grew up” during the VietNam era in California. I also didn’t agree with, or support that war, and that could easily be explained away because we were in that “flower child”….”hippie”…”peace” movement. But even then, and at a very young age, I had the greatest respect for what “you guys” were doing. My girlfriend and I spent HOURS, and put MILES on our cars taking guys from Mather A.F.B. to Travis A.F.B. to head out because we thought a smile and a hug might be a neat thing to remember. Some of you came back, a lot didn’t. I think it’s unconscionable that it took years for the vets to be recognized and thanked for their service. Although there are many differences in this war from that one, there are also many similarities, and I just pray that this generation of warriors meet with gratitude upon homecoming and not disgust. Sorry about straying, but I needed the forum to say my own personal thanks to each and every one of you, regardless of political choice, for your service !

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 24, 2006 11:50 AM
Comment #135647

Dude
Sorry, but thats how it read. We all tend to rant and rave about things we are passionate about.
This topic is very important to me and I feel Darren could have been more fair.

Posted by: kctim at March 24, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #135648

Macsonix

I never said things were perfect, only that my personal experience was okay. For the past several years, because I live so far from a VA facility, I have been using civilian health care facilities. The only insurance I have is TriCare through the Department of Defense. Initially, TriCAre sucked. They only paid about 40 percent of the total bill. But starting about two years ago, TriCare began signing contracts with the civilian health care facilities. Under the contract they have with my local hospital and clinic, I only have to pay about 20 - 30 percent out of my own pocket. For example, I recently had a procedure done that I was charged $3,200 for. My portion of that bill? $185! Under my Department of Defense prescription program, I pay $3 for a 90 day supply of generic medication and $9 for a 90 day supply of brand name medications. Am I the only one who’s getting this level of service? I think not. But I am concerned about Bush’s rhetoric about cutting retiree benefits or increasing our share of the bill. I gave 20 years of my life to this country and bled for her in Vietnam. My wife and children spent more than a few Christmases without me, not to mention anniversaries, birthdays, etc. How many civilian jobs require that level of commitment? Vets have earned every penny of those benefits a hundred fold.

Sorry, I got off on a tangent there, didn’t I?

Posted by: Bill M. at March 24, 2006 12:11 PM
Comment #135679

miss elliot bay hey genius american soldiers were not dying under penis breath in the 90s this is a real war !

Posted by: john counts at March 24, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #135681

War always has a purpose. If nothing else - to test out our newest technology.

Does this anger you? It shouldn’t. Accept the fact that the nature of man includes violence.

Get real. War/violence has been used ever since we figured out how to crawl out of caves - and for different reasons too! Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. We are a race that uses violence. Woulnd’t it be logical to just take that as accepted fact? Assuming that this is true, and you could have a choice, wouldn’t you want to be holding the cards of having the best equipped, best prepared, most technological, efficient and lethal fighting tools? And if this were true, wouldn’t you also have to spend money to design and develop new weapons. And test them too! Now lets see…how would one go about effectively testing a new weapon…

You see where I am going with this? Reality can be so unreal when your head is up your ass.

Posted by: bombay at March 24, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #135685

kctim,
I believe that I mentioned it was based upon my experiences which influenced my opinion.

So, can you please list something rather than a vague “you left something out”

I really cannot respond to something like that because I am not sure what you think I left out.

Posted by: Darren7160 at March 24, 2006 3:15 PM
Comment #135690

Darren,

Your minimum wage anology is not valid. Those arguments are with real hourly numbers. Everybody on this site is just saying more based on their experience from umpteen years ago.

The fact is, even though many are wounded, they are still a tiny percentage of the overall service personnel. What if only 1 person was wounded in action, would you still support more more more health benefits for every service person while the average worker has less less less?

Posted by: Schwamp at March 24, 2006 3:42 PM
Comment #135691

///
*WMD – LIE…to… *Phoney / Photo Opps … *Sheer incompetence / Indifference
Posted by: Charlie Hacker at March 23, 2006 05:04 PM

Thank you for posting all that, the list grows like pinocchios nose.
The older generation of Rpblcns were opposed to their children entering the military. Remember Bob Dole in 1976 with democrat wars . That was the attitude when GWBush was growing up. Their sons were considered nuts if they even allowed themselves to be subjected to the draft. The political alignment of north and south changed well after GWBushs time of military service .

the VA hospital system as one of the best in the country and a model for civilian hospitals? Posted by: Bill M. at March 23, 2006 09:58 PM
Apparently posted by a person who has never been to Hines, Ill.
the problem of long waits for service has been prevalent at all of them
Posted by: macsonix at March 24, 2006 10:03 AM

Obviously posted by someone who has actually been to a VA hospital. I have literally spent all day at Hines, waiting with a veteran in a wheel chair for a doctor to come over from Loyola U to perform laser surgery.

Please do not feed the trolls.
///

Posted by: ohrealy at March 24, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #135695

Darren
Sorry about that. I was rushed and should have included some of my personal experiences.
I served 1987-1997 in USAF.
I received BAQ for off-base living expenses and BAS when I was taken off “rations.”
While I’m sure some remain, many of the barracks have been converted to dorms now.
I’m sure you are also aware of how much cheaper it is to shop on base than on the economy.
Soldiers education is easily available and the Montgomery GI Bill is awesome. Most just don’t take the time to understand how it works. I am sorry your Viet GI Bill was such a pain, but steps have been taken for soldiers wishing to further their education.
Your right, the travel ops are great. Im not sure about when you served, but MAC flights can offer a family significant savings.
I also do not like the retirement plan. That combined with the devasting cuts of the 90’s and my CIC lack of respect for the military, made me decide to throw away 10 years of service, which was really hard because I believe I was born to serve my country.
Please understand, I was in no way belittling your experiences or your passion and integrity for this issue.
I am simply saying things have been done to make a soldiers life better and that every President has made cuts and decisions that were not popular.

Posted by: kctim at March 24, 2006 4:24 PM
Comment #135698

Krause,
I am not sure about the point… I used numbers to illustrate the argument. Wages are not a direct correaltion, but often times anaolgies aren’t. However, the concept is the same. How much is enough and how much is too much. When it comes to civilians and their benefits we should be able to compare compensation to be at least as equivalent… but there doesn’t necessairly need to be parity between what civilians get versus what the vets get.

As mentioned in other posts… if a person is concerned about the costs of the vet, well it is an absolute steal if the civilian doesn’t have to be the one getting shot. If it makes them feel any better… they can think of how by paying low wages/salary/compensation to the service people they are able to afford the after care.

When it does come to apples and oragnes… then you are right, just as wages are different than military compensation, we are also dealing with differences between civilians and military personnel.

A worker in a factory or office building is not making the same committment, the same expected sacrafice as a military person. I believe that one of the great deals for civilians is that with an all volunteer military they have the freedom to pursue their careers to their fullest abilities.

One does not go into the military to become affluent. We understood that. One hopes that they earn enough to be able to provide for their family. I did receive many of the benefits you listed. I loved the people I served with, I loved the travel… but actual military service even in peace time is nothing like the brochures and commercials.

What I disagree with is the “don’t complain” because you also have this… which minimizes the point that a person is illustrating. An agreement or acknowledgement of what that person says then a, “But, on the other hand…” or something along those lines means that there is an akknowledgement of what the person is saying. Simply implying that the person is possibly “whining” or “ungrateful” or whatever by only stating the good things can leave a person feeling frustrated.

Womanmarine was stating her experience. She wasn’t denying the good. Mentioning the good wasn’t her intention.

Just like the accusation about the media only reporting the bad things… how many people want to hear about a new school or a new firehouse when ther was a multicar pile up, a high speed chase or a foreign war. News, the media reports the exceptions in our lives… people point out the exceptions to the good in their experiences to make them better.

Now, my objection can be seen as too “toucy feely”, too “politically correct” or some other such stuff. However, it is the basics of communications… Listening to a person, feeding back what they are saying to determine if there is understanding and the giving an opinion.

It may be too college liberal and academic… but interestingly enough… corporations have seminars on it… it is the basis of diplomacy to find common ground among man. One that leads to solutions that don’t require the use of our military that we will be obligated to serve.

Obviously there would not be a need for an entire VA hospital for one wounded service person. That is a specious argument.

More germane to the discussion is the fact that we do have and will have increased health care responsibilities to these people.

If the argument was whether or not to utilize private health care versus VA health care… HMOs or some option that might make it easier to finance our committment, then wonderful. I am all for that. One is less expensive than the other.

However, that expense has to be paid. Not only for those serving now, but those that have served and will serve in the future.

Marysdude,
Thank you for your support here and other times. Considering what I wrote to be a “rant” may be valid…. however, like the word “whining” it can be a wonderful tool to completely discount or minimize a person’s message.

Other words, such as I mentioned in posts above can be just as useful with the appropriate tone of voice… such as “liberal”, “entitlement”, “compassion”, “multiculturalism”, “secular humanism”.

I just thought I would throw this in. For those that love to use the secular humanism and don’t even know what it means…:

sec·u·lar ( P ) Pronunciation Key (sky-lr)
adj.
Worldly rather than spiritual.
Not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body: secular music.
Relating to or advocating secularism.
Not bound by monastic restrictions, especially not belonging to a religious order. Used of the clergy.
Occurring or observed once in an age or century.
Lasting from century to century

hu·man·ism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (hym-nzm)
n.
A system of thought that centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth.
Concern with the interests, needs, and welfare of humans: “the newest flower on the vine of corporate humanism” (Savvy).
Medicine. The concept that concern for human interests, values, and dignity is of the utmost importance to the care of the sick.
The study of the humanities; learning in the liberal arts.
Humanism A cultural and intellectual movement of the Renaissance that emphasized secular concerns as a result of the rediscovery and study of the literature, art, and civilization of ancient Greece and Rome.

Posted by: Darren7160 at March 24, 2006 4:48 PM
Comment #135710

Bush could shut you all up about this if he would get his daughters to inlist. Come on girls,show us what the Bush family is really made of. Oh, they might be targeted. Last I looked all Americans were targets in Iraq. At least their unit would get armor.
Maybe some of the chicken hawks that like to rant here could join them.

Posted by: BillS at March 24, 2006 5:49 PM
Comment #135715

kc,

rant:verb
speak in a very loud, aggressive, aggressive, or bombastic way, usually at length and repetitively.

rant:noun
speech or language that is very loud and threatening but also unconvincing.

Which parts of Darrens post met ANY of those descriptions?

Posted by: Marysdude at March 24, 2006 6:17 PM
Comment #135731

>>”With that sorry record, the leaders of the Democratic Party have decided to run on the theme of competence. If they’re competent to fight this war, then I ought to be singing on ‘American Idol,’” Cheney said.

kc,

Now here’s a RANT! Cheney/Bush Swiftboating half the American people…

Posted by: Marysdude at March 24, 2006 7:36 PM
Comment #135739

The military has become a tool of the executive branch’s politicle will. It was such before my 8 years of service and has not changed since. What does change are the priorities put forth. To erode any further the benifits is a terrible way to further burden a vet, and speaks poorly to the priorities of the executve.

Posted by: Ted at March 24, 2006 8:56 PM
Comment #135756

john counts,

miss elliot bay
penis breath
My, how intellligent of you. If you can’t win an argument, start name-calling. Karl Rove would be so proud of you. As my grandfather told me, when you start calling people names, you admit that you’ve lost the argument. Thanks for admitting that you’re a loser.

Bombay,

Reality can be so unreal when your head is up your ass
Same goes for you.


Posted by: ElliottBay at March 24, 2006 11:27 PM
Comment #135791

kctim,
Too bad we couldn’t put my 1979-1989 together with yours and we could have almost 20 years… wanna split the benefits.

One of the reasons a lot of retired military members aren’t too happy with the “retirement” lable is because, first, they are liable for call up to active duty… so it is actually inactive reserve they are on. Second, when it comes to divorce a spouse is entitled to half the “retirement” but if it is actually “deferred payment” then they are not. This, at least, was the legal argument in a divorce in CA that the vets were following hoping to get it seen as such by the courts. I don’t think it flew.

The USAF was always the way to go as far as I was concerned. I was TDY (temporary duty) to Taylor Barracks in Germany an the Army had like 8 to a room. I was aslo rolling over in bed each morning while they were out running in formation. Hehehe, we figured that it you do thins right there is no need to run.

Most the of assignments I had are probably no longer there due to our no longer being in Greece and improved communications technology. I do know that the mobile communications vans I worked on have been replaced with digital technology vans and are now in use… they were introducing them into the USAF about the time I was getting out.

I am not sure about the military under President Clinton but I know that under Presidents Carter and Reagan weren’t anything particularly spectacular.

Under President Carter we were really just starting the all volunteer military witht the legacy of Vietnam still very fresh… under Reagan it was all about shiny toys and space weapons… not much for the personnel…

I am not sure how much can be attributed to a President when it comes to the military pay, benefits and such…. because money is controlled by congress that sets the budget… the administration tells congress what it needs and congress determines what it will give.

Thus, the pay raises are set by congress and it is usually attached to some other bill so it is never really voted on for its own merits.

I like to needle President Bush just about ever chance I get… heck, I told my wife when the first Bush was elected that he was going to get us into war… and I was right… twice.

It seems like the Bush men carry very personal grudges that they use the military to settle… Previous Bush allies quickly turn into America’s biggest satan that needs to be dealt with. Noreiga in Panama was a Washington favorite until no longer needed… same with Sadam… Maybe Tony Blair should be watching his back? (Grin).

President Bush wants vets to pay more for their health care? I have been to the VA hospitals many times for many hours… and a lot of those vets I saw didn’t have a whole lot of money. It wasn’t a matter of their just reaching into their wallet for another $10 or $20.

When it comes to serving our country and whether or not what is happening is worthy of our service… that is a good point. For some reason I was actually wathing C-Span and I saw Congresswoman Schmidt’s performance calling Congressman Muthra a coward I walked in and told my son I wanted him to reconsider joining the USAF.

I told him that I didn’t want him to be a pawn for one particular party to bash another with. That the people in the military joined to serve America, not a political party. They enlisted to protect speech… not the popular speech which requires little or no protection, but the unpopular speech that does.

Deciding whether speech in congress is “appropriate” is just another form of. may I say, political correctness? To limit speech in congress in fear of upsetting or aiding the terrorists is just that… fear. Altering our behavior or American freedoms and traditions in fear of any reaction is giving the terrorists power over us.

I believe we all want what is best for our troops… in the rationalization leading up to their use, the execution of their use and the care for those people afterwards.

When it comes to the care of the vets afterwards and the years down the road… if anybody needs to “suck it up” and pay, then it should be the ones that didn’t have to serve because those that did were there doing their duty.

That is why I came down kinda hard on kruse (my apologies kruse if you are reading this). It should be those that really received the benefits of the vets service who pay… and I believe that it is the people of America who enjoy everything they have due to the fact that some served.

Each person who used a college defferment (I am including President Clinton and VP Cheney) or used the National Guard/Reserve (President Bush and VP Quail) know in the deep dark recesses of their minds that they owe those that did go.

Posted by: Darren7160 at March 25, 2006 5:59 AM
Comment #135826

mr. or miss elliot bay speaking of losers my man is president yours is still running around telling people he is a war hero.my support goes to the troops your support goes to our enemy.my hopes and dreams are that all human being’s have the chance at freedom you think that only certain people deserve freedom.now you tell me WHO’S THE WINNER?I WILL GIVE YOU A CLUE THE U.S.A. NO THANKS TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: john counts at March 25, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #135832

>>WHO’S THE WINNER?I WILL GIVE YOU A CLUE THE U.S.A. NO THANKS TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: john counts at March 25, 2006 11:59 AM

john,

Someone forgot to tell you this ain’t no GAME. People are dying, being injured and maimed for life. You want to talk to THEM about how they are winning? Get a life…

Posted by: Marysdude at March 25, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #135869

john counts,

your support goes to our enemy
That is a despicable lie. And you know what that makes you.

Posted by: ElliottBay at March 25, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #135872

No one’s changing anyone’s mind. The fact is the thread is titled for a soap opera drama and not for reality. Whether you ask military personnel or civilians “Do you think Bush hates the military?” … well, let Gallup take that poll and then let us know the results.

Posted by: Kevin at March 25, 2006 6:15 PM
Comment #135923

>>Do you think Bush hates the military?” … well, let Gallup take that poll and then let us know the results.

Posted by: Kevin at March 25, 2006 06:15 PM

Kevin,

Gallup can only confirm what we already know…Cheney/Bush not only hates the military, he also hates and distrusts Americans. Why else would he spy on us, but defend those who sponsored the 9/11 terrorists?

Cheney/Bush says, in effect, “Americans terroriats so I should spy on them…UAE good friends, I should contract with them…”.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 26, 2006 8:19 AM
Comment #135927
the thread is titled for a soap opera drama and not for reality

Which part is factually untrue, Kevin? President Bush is proposing (again) to cut veterans’ benefits. Hopefully, Democrats can shame Republicans into ignoring him. Sometimes it works, sometimes they just have no shame. If it happens this time, you can bet Hastert will call the vote at 3AM.

Posted by: American Pundit at March 26, 2006 9:05 AM
Comment #140530

This sickens me to read the garbage you dems and libs put out. first of all any one in their right minds would be thanking our military and commander in chief for seeing that 9-11 dose NOT happen all over again you dems and libs twist a simple thing like ensuring this country’s freedom. You need to stop underminding our troops and this effort to ensure our freedom you also need to help not hurt the effort to secure our boarders remember you do not need new laws to enforce the laws in place. Remeber there is not thing wrong in calling some one Illeagal because it is what they are. stop trying to get votes of people who do not even have the right to vote.

Posted by: TIM at April 13, 2006 8:09 PM
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