Sunday, August 30, 2009
Written by Veterans for Common Sense Thursday, 27 August 2009 12:36
August 27, 2009 - The claim that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a manual encouraging veterans to 'commit suicide,' made by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, is an asinine assertion with no basis in fact.
Steele made the charge two days ago (August 25th) on FOX News. Steele's egregious comments are an outrageous slander against VA designed to create an atmosphere of mistrust and fear among the millions of our veterans who rely on the VA for medical care. Veterans demand an apology from Steele and FOX News." read more at link above
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Picket number two was held on University and 13th right next to UF campus at peak afternoon traffic time. It is the regular spot for VFP to picket against the war for the last 6 years. A good crowd showed up with an changing cast of demonstrators before and after the afternoon rainstorm that came about half way through. More UUs showed up before the rain and after we saw students from UF representing Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) alongside the regulars from Veterans for peace and the labor party and assorted citizens including some UF faculty and Sierra Club members. Thanks to all of you who joined the picket. Great signs and great company! I chatted with the students, several of whom said they were uninsured, and we discussed the hazards for young people of having no health insurance as they try to make a start on their careers. As the sign on the web album shows young people make up 60% of the uninsured. We were well received again with lots of passers by responding positively to our presence and our signs. You will see some additional photos uploaded on the web album shown above. Thanks again! There will be another picket on Wednesday night supporting the public option organized by Code Pink and Move On. It will be held at the North Regional Medical Center across from Oaks Mall form 5:30to 7:30.
Important note to single payer supporters: Dennis Kucinich has an interesting amendment which passed and was added to House bill 3200 that includes the public option. That amendment would allow individual states to implement their own single payer systems. This is an important amendment to preserve because several states have already moved in this direction and this will enable them to proceed.
Over two dozen people braved the hot August temperatures and traffic to demonstrate for Health care reform and against War today at the intersection of 34th Street and Archer Road. Groups represented included Veterans for Peace Gainesville Chapter 14 who sponsored the "Health Care not Warfare" picket and displayed their Cost of War Signs which showed taxes paid for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how much health care those same taxes would buy for uninsured and under-insured Americans. The Vets were joined by the Alachua County labor party who support HRS 676 bill for single payer Universal health care, also known as Medicare for all. This bill will be debated and voted on in the House this Fall along with other proposals for health care reform. Various members of local groups including members of the Unitarian Fellowship also joined the demonstration to address the moral issues involved citing the golden rule and other biblical quotes as they pertain to health care.
Spirits were high and the demonstrators were for the most part well received with lots of motorists responding to the "Honk for Affordable Health Care" sign waved by one member of Vets for Peace. Look for the appearance of these demonstrators again on a street corner near you!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Why We Need Reform
of uninsured Americans are Young People Ages 18 - 34
1,000,000,000,000 (One Trillion) Dollars & Counting
Afghan and Iraq War Costs will Surpass 1 trillion this year
50,2000,000,000 (50.2 billion) & Counting:
Cost of War to Florida Tax Payers
We could have bought 27,748,505 children health care for a year with these taxes
217,500,000 (217.5 million) & Counting:
Cost of War to Gainesville Tax Payers
We could have bought 76,753 people health care for a year with these taxes
Percent of American people who want health care reform
137,000 American Lives lost 2002 - 2006 due to lack of health insurance
Death rates are rising as the number of uninsured increases
Note we have spent one trillion dollars plus on "The War on Terror" in the same years that those 137,000 lives were lost, far more dead Americans than have resulted from terror attacks or even our own foreign policy decisions in the Middle East that have now cost us over 6000 American soldiers. All these lives are precious so why aren't we willing to commit our fortune to protect them equally? Obviously lack of health care kills many more young Americans that the War on Terror. So why is this problem too expensive to solve?
Congresswoman Barbara Lee once said the Federal budget is a moral document that says a lot about American values.
Martin Luther King Said: "A nation that continues year after year to spend more on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
Health Care Not Warfare!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Warfare and Healthcare | CommonDreams.org
"Martin Luther King Jr. described the horrific trendline four decades ago: "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
If a society keeps approaching spiritual death, it's apt to arrive. Here's an indicator: Nearly one in six Americans has no health insurance, and tens of millions of others are badly under-insured. Here's another: The United States, the world's preeminent warfare state, now spends about $2 billion per day on military pursuits.
Gaining healthcare for all will require overcoming the priorities of the warfare state. That's the genuine logic behind the new "Healthcare NOT Warfare" campaign.
I remember the ferocious media debate over the proper government role in healthcare -- 43 years ago. As the spring of 1965 got underway, the bombast was splattering across front pages and flying through airwaves. Many commentators warned that a proposal for a vast new program would bring "socialism" and destroy the sanctity of the free-enterprise system. The new federal program was called Medicare."
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Remember the time we could not visit the war memorial because of these folks? They are back! Does anyone know this guy? He is supposed to be a Marine. Also note that there is a huge disconnect between their mission statement below and how I saw them conduct themselves at the memorial when I was there in 07. In fact it is just the opposite of what I saw them do. If you would like to ses these folks on the streets in Washington during our marches here are some photos I took over 2 years. A picture is worth a thousand words!
"The teabagger who appeared in the video of the Hartford, CT anti-health care rally has been identified by Christine Stuart of CT News Junkie as James Bancroft. The man made the evening news shows last night when he appeared in a video from a teabagger rally, encouraging Chris Dodd (who recently announced he had prostate cancer) to kill himself:
"How come we don't just give Chris Dodd painkillers? Like a handful of them at a time! He can wash it down with Ted Kennedy's whiskey...!"
Dodd is scheduled to have prostate surgery during the August recess. Bancroft said "Dodd asked if he wanted to talk to him and he declined."
Bancroft is the Connecticut Coordinator of an organization called a Gathering of Eagles, a group that was formed in 2007 to protect the Viet Nam memorial wall from being defaced during a peace march that year oppose the war in Iraq.
From their mission statement:
[W]e are adamantly opposed to the use of violence, vandalism, physical or verbal assaults on our veterans, and the destruction or desecration of our memorials. By defending and honoring these sacred places, we defend and honor those whose blood gave all of us the right to speak as freely as our minds think.
Dodd served in the United States Army Reserve. I guess that doesn't count."
I wonder if they will get a barbecue at the White House like the one Rove arranged a few years ago? Maybe the insurance companies will give them one this year.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
"The NYT on Friday published a memo from Col. Timothy R. Reese, Chief, Baghdad Operations Command Advisory Team, MND-B, Baghdad, Iraq, in which he argued for a more or less immediate departure of US troops from Iraq."
"What Reese says is:
1. The new Iraqi army, despite its extensive deficiencies including massive corruption, sloth, Soviet-style rigidity, etc., can now nevertheless patrol on its own and can face down Sunni guerrillas and Shiite militias. It is just all right for internal security. The US military can now leave that task to the Iraqis.
2. The main US military mission now appears to be further training of the Iraqi army, which is not necessary, at least on the scale contemplated, because that army is already just all right and is unlikely to get much better than that, despite further training, any time soon.
3. Because of an aggressive interpretation of the Status of Forces Agreement by the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, US troops are now increasingly sitting ducks. There is a significant danger of them being attacked in a way aimed at ruining US-Iraqi relations if they are kept as sitting ducks, and which might force an ignominious US withdrawal harmful to US prestige.
4. There is little political progress in Iraq, which is extremely corrupt and factious, and there is not likely to be any political progress any time soon, so if that is why the US military is remaining on this scale, it may as well leave now.
5. The very US military presence is generating the terrorist attacks that the Americans are attempting to curb. Such terrorism against the US military in Iraq is now instrumental and a way for local forces to jockey with one another for relative power.
Although Col. Reese at one point portrays his memo as concerned with strategy rather than tactics, for the most part it remains tactical. The question for him is, what is the military mission and how (tactically) to accomplish it?"