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The Radicalization of America

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posted on May, 23 2008 @ 06:08 PM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



You're not wrong. It's ironic that I'm posting this on the start of a Memorial Day weekend.


Decoration Day, May 30, was first established in 1868 by the GAR - Grand Army of the Republic made up of Union Army veterans. A day set aside to decorate the graves of dead soldiers with an American flag. At some later point in time it became Memorial Day. Then, in what was jocularly called the “Holiday Inn” act, it is celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays).

The following website has an electronic petition for your signature if you want to return Memorial Day to May 30. www.usmemorialday.org...

I am convinced that conditions here are not nearly so bad as to be conducive to popular revolt. Anything less that a widespread and nearly simultaneous revolt is doomed to failure. 1000s of local SWAT teams are as heavily armed and are similarly trained as are the Army and USMC Special Ops. The one thing that could bring it on - not this year - is a price of gasoline TOO high for 85% of the people to pay. I suggest $6 in today’s prices. I’m surprised the candidates are not talking about those high prices. I guess it is because THEY HAVE NO SOLUTION. You don’t raise an issue you cannot sensibly address.

On another thread I have urged the IMMEDIATE closing of the Commodity Futures Exchanges around the world! We don't need them. They are driving us ordinary folk to the wall!

See "World’s Commodity Futures Markets MUST Be Closed At Once!"

[edit on 05/05/2008 by donwhite]




posted on May, 23 2008 @ 07:37 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite
reply to post by Justin Oldham
 





I am convinced that conditions here are not nearly so bad as to be conducive to popular revolt. Anything less that a widespread and nearly simultaneous revolt is doomed to failure. 1000s of local SWAT teams are as heavily armed and are similarly trained as are the Army and USMC Special Ops. The one thing that could bring it on - not this year - is a price of gasoline TOO high for 85% of the people to pay. I suggest $6 in today’s prices. I’m surprised the candidates are not talking about those high prices. I guess it is because THEY HAVE NO SOLUTION. You don’t raise an issue you cannot sensibly address.





On the question of a popular revolt - I agree with you about the conditions not being right - but have a question about a scenario for a future time when conditions are perhaps different - one of the Coastal cities perhaps - say in the Pacific Northwest - experiences a popular revolt -
( the "authorities" almost turned the WTO protests into such a scenario - if the times had been a little different...who knows?) and succeeds in capturing communications and transport - could this be a catalyst ?? Or would it have the opposite effect?..... Most certainly the Navy would embargo the coastline and try to cut off any aid....but still the whole thing could be quite galvanizing...

The riots in L.A.after the Rodney King incident were also an excellent example of how quickly a struggle can become widespread...the media went to great lengths to give the impression that the protest and riot was confined to South Central L.A. when in fact the entire basin and beyond was in upheaval - with over 3000 separate fire incidences covering over 60 miles in any direction...I'm using this as an example of what is possible in a short space of time - not holding it up as an ideal -

I hope I am not violating any ATS rules by posing this question? if so I apologize - if anyone has some feedback on my question but do not feel comfortable posting - you can U2U me....
cheers
realshanti



posted on May, 26 2008 @ 02:13 PM
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Originally posted by realshanti
I hope I am not violating any ATS rules by posing this question? if so I apologize - if anyone has some feedback on my question but do not feel comfortable posting - you can U2U me....
cheers. realshanti


I'd like to encourage more people to take part in this discussion. the radicals who grab the headlines in the next decade are among us right now. Some are soldiers. Others are just hard working tax payers who are being opressed.



posted on May, 26 2008 @ 02:36 PM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



" . . radicals who grab the headlines in the next decade are among us right now. Some are soldiers. Others are just hard working tax payers who are being oppressed.


The juxtaposing of TAX and OPPRESSED caused me to comment. I do not sense that ordinary people object to being taxed, per se. They know it costs money to run the government. What I think they don't like is being taxed and still not getting good governance.



posted on May, 26 2008 @ 02:51 PM
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You'll get no argument from me on that point. those of us who advocate for smaller government would have a lot less ammunition to work with if we did get more of what we're supposed to be paying for.



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 09:54 AM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



You'll get no argument from me on that point. those of us who advocate for smaller government would have a lot less ammunition to work with if we did get more of what we're supposed to be paying for.


Over my lifetime of watching how things happen, I have concluded that between 20% and 33% of all public funds are misspent or stolen. That seems to remain constant in my personal view. The issue is therefore, can we STOP LOSS or is this the bottom line price for a FREE government? In other words is it realistic (or just idealistic) to ask for 100% well spent public monies? And on that point, I do not have an answer. George Washington went through a series of quartermasters before finding one who did not steal the Army blind.

We more or less agree that $6 gasoline would produce widespread protests of people who really cannot pay the price. Marginal farmers could neither afford the fertilizers nor run the tractors to plant the seeds. Already high food prices would rise even higher. We just had a bank robber here in Jax who apologized for the robbery but he said he did it for his family. The police said that was not the first time they had heard that.

One congressman has introduced a bill imposing a one year moratorium on foreclosures on homes owned by veterans and active duty servicemen (and women). I assume if it passes Bush43 would veto it? Him being an AWOL Air Guardsman and VP Cheney being a 5 deferment draft dodger (including one pregnancy of his wife which makes me wonder whose gonads did that).

Historically, the first time the US Congress has treated the veterans well and honored their promises to them, was in 1943 with the passage of the GI Bill of Rights, arguably the most significant law ever passed by Congress. The PL550 or Korean GI Bill, my bill, was a mere shadow of the WW2 law. But then, the Korean War was but a mere shadow of WW2. By the time we got to Vietnam, the best we could do was the Montgomery Bill which was a sharing arrangement.

And for Iraq, there has been NOTHING. I do believe the Dems will change that in '09. That will reduce the likelihood of a veterans led radicalization of the US.



LONDON (Reuters) - Hundreds of trucks converged on London on Tuesday driven by road hauliers demanding help over rocketing fuel prices. They say fuel bills have risen by almost half in a year. They launched the protest as members of PM Brown's Labour Party, fearful after dismal electoral results, called for a rethink of plans for fuel and road tax increases.

Diesel fuel is now around 130 pence a liter - more than double the price in the United States. Britain levies the highest fuel duty in Europe with nearly 65 per cent of the pump price of petrol due to tax.


130 pence is equal to $2.56 US. The British price would be $9.72 per gallon over here.

[edit on 5/27/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 04:47 PM
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The next President, who ever they are, does have a chance to prevent a great deal of the radicalization we're talking about in this thread.

based on my experience as a civil servant, I don't think you're wrong about the 30% figure, when it comes to bureaucratic wastage. While we can't stop it, we do have an obligation to prevent as much of it as we can.

It's likely that the next President will introduce new veteran's benefits in their first 100 days. Democrats and Republicasn alike would be highly incentivized to do this.



posted on Jun, 6 2008 @ 05:17 AM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



The next President, whoever they are, does have a chance to prevent a great deal of the radicalization we're talking about in this thread. based on my experience as a civil servant, I don't think you're wrong about the 30% figure, when it comes to bureaucratic wastage.


Let me remind all, that WASTE is NOT a problem exclusive to the government. Corporations suffer from the same problem and I’d guess, to the same extent. Employee theft is one of the largest “cost” items in business and government. I spent a bit more than 1 year working on a forensic audit. We - 3 of us - covered the prior 10 years of the largest ready-mix concrete company in Louisville. 1980-1989. The company did about $2.5 million annually. We discovered just over $1 million stolen in the 10 years. The president of the company aided by his loyal secretary had accomplished this. Included was about one-half million $ in raw materials, sand, gravel and cement.

The thievery included one leased car. When the lease expired, the car disappeared. It ended in the possession of the president’s wife. But for a gasoline credit card charge which included the car’s license number and her signatures, we would not have known about the car. That trick required the active cooperation of the leasing car dealer. The wrong-doers had stripped out of the records all the gas charge cards but for one year. They missed it but we did not. For reasons never explained, in a court trial without a jury - to save money - the shareholder was awarded only $250,000.



It's likely that the next President will introduce new veteran's benefits in their first 100 days. Democrats and Republicans alike would be highly incentivized to do this.


I’ve been reading a lot of books lately. Many on the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and World War 1. As we should all know from history, in 1932 Gen. MacArthur under orders from Pres. Hoover drove the WW1 Army veterans OUT of W-DC violently! That act alone contributed mightily to FDR’s victory!

I mention this only to remind everyone that the Congress reneged on its promises to the Revolutionary War veterans. The Congress reneged on its promises to Civil War veterans. The Congress reneged on its promises to World War 1 veterans. The FIRST time Congress was steadfast to its promises was at the instigation of FDR, in 1943, Congress passed the GI Bill. Arguably the most significant single bill ever enacted by Congress. Congress did enact a Korean GI Bill, about half the value of the 1943 bill. Then it got cheaper still in the Vietnam War. I don’t know if there is any GI bill for the volunteer Armed Forces. I doubt it.

So much for all this crapola about America LOVING its veterans. Only on Memorial Day!



posted on Jun, 6 2008 @ 03:33 PM
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Today happens to be the 64th anniversary of the D-Day landings. I had a chance to do a five minute spot on a radio show to contrast the differences in American society. 1940's vs. today. I mentioned so of the points you've mentioned here. Just thought I would passthat litle bit of serendipity along. Each time wo do reneg on our veterans, we radicalized a few, and we pay for it later.



posted on Jun, 6 2008 @ 08:38 PM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



Today happens to be the 64th anniversary of the D-Day landings. I had a chance to do a five minute spot on a radio show to contrast the differences in American society. 1940's vs. today. I mentioned so of the points you've mentioned here. Just thought I would pass that little bit of serendipity along. Each time wo do reneg on our veterans, we radicalized a few, and we pay for it later.


Despite being nearly half as old as Methuselah, I cannot recall where I was either on December 7, 1941, or on June 6, 1944. I do however recall where I was on August 6 and August 9, 1945.

In late 1955 I was a tech school instructor at Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS. I became aware of an old soldiers home at Gulfport, MS, about 20 miles west of Biloxi on US 90. Which road runs alongside the longest man made beach in the world. About 30 miles. Another airman and I drove over to see the old soldiers. It was a very nice 3 story facility built next to a smallish lake. (We would call it a pond in KY but down south anything you can't pee across is called a lake).

The men who lived there were HOMELESS veterans. They lived two men to a room, and there were about 400 of them in the facility. If they had no income, they were given a monthly allowance of $20. (1955 dollars). Of course, all else was furnished. Food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and some entertainment. Sad to say, the facility was ALL white.

I have heard people who should know say that 25% of homeless people in 2008 are veterans. Whether or not that number is exact or just how many it is, it shows just how much American people (really don't) CARE ABOUT VETERANS. Their “care” and $3 will get you a Starbucks.

[edit on 6/6/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 6 2008 @ 09:39 PM
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I feel I can say this without going off topic . The way a country has a whole treats its veterans is one of the things that reflects on society has a whole . On this front things reached a low point in the 60s when service men returned home from Vietnam to protests and were not admitted into there respective return services organisations e.t.c .

This thread may be of interest in light of the direction the topic is going.



posted on Jun, 8 2008 @ 06:11 PM
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You make a good point. Veterans fall thrug the cracks all the time. Those who are less wealthy and less educated don't tend to get the treatment they deserve. The VA system is notorious for being "adversarial." Don can say more to this than I can.



posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 08:28 AM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



You make a good point. Veterans fall through the cracks all the time. Those who are less wealthy and less educated don't tend to get the treatment they deserve. The VA system is notorious for being "adversarial." Don can say more to this than I can.
`

My first contact with the VA came in 1964. I am still in contact with the VA having 2 appointments in July. For the most part, all the clerical staff I come into contact with is made up of veterans. At the beginning of my experience, everything started at 8 AM and you had to sit (in very comfortable chairs) until your name was called. Sometimes that would be in the PM. That was a carry-over from the military way of doing business. Your time was worth next to nothing - (E1 entry pay was $78 a month). Sometime after the end of the Vietnam War, in the mid or late 1970s, that changed. Today you are given a stated time and very frequently, you are called within 10-15 minutes of that time. I always arrive early and I have been called before my appointed time. Because I cannot drive, I usually tell my driver to come back in 1 hour after dropping me off at the facility. More than 9 times out of 10 I am waiting for my driver.

My recent experience with the VA has been on an out-patient basis. (Since 2000). I have had no serious medical issues. I can say that all the people - including the private contract employee - have been very courteous and seem (to a layman) to be competent in their assigned field.

What I don’t know about the VA is how many people I see on the premises actually work directly for the US government or instead work for a private contractor. I do know for a fact the person who meets me first - the VA starts every visit with a weigh-in and blood pressure measuring - does not work directly for the US Government but is a private contract employee. That poses a real problem for me and for American taxpayers. Thank you Ronald Reagan.

The very simple reason I am piqued by the VA having private contract employees is this. Taking blood pressure and weighing in is a very low skill level job. I’d set that pay scale at $15 an hour. Plus all the standard fringes, the cost of which I’ll estimate at 30% of payroll. I will assume without knowing the job I’m discussing can be filled for $10 an hour in Louisville, Ky. A low cost city. And minimal fringes would run 20% of the payroll.

From recent general news I have learned the ratio between what a job is paid and what the Government pays the contractor runs 2X or 3X. If the person worked for the VA, taxpayers would spend $780 a week. I would not be surprised to learn the VA is paying a private contractor $24 to $30 an hour for furnishing that service on their premises. What that means is the VA may be paying a private contractor $960 to $1,200 a week to furnish an employee paid $8 or $10 an hour, $320 to $400 a week. The obvious next question is whose brother-in-law owns the private contract company?

Addendum.
I should ad this. Originally the VA was distinctly paternalistic. They took their obligations towards the veteran as their cause celebre. At least into the 1970s, to discourage private lawyers from getting into their way, the maximum fee a lawyer could charge a veteran client was $10. That’s right. Ten dollars. And the Feds take such limits seriously. You can be sure that at some point in any trial the Federal judge would ask the veteran - him under oath - how much his lawyer charged him. Post Reagan Revolution this may well have changed. Staff reductions. As in Social Security where delays of up to 2 years are current. "If you can't kill it outright, you can wreck it over time!" RR.

Many a lawyer who did not know the limitation was shocked and ended up begging to be released from the case. The Disabled American Veterans - DAV - provided lawyers to some veterans at no charge to the vet. Every adverse ruling is automatically appealed to the next level up, ending at the Secretary of VA. I do not know if the $10 limit still applies.


[edit on 6/11/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 02:57 PM
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Do have have any contact with Iraq war vets? I'm just curious to know. As long as we are on this subject, it might be good to hear from Iraq war vets on ATS.



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 11:36 AM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



Do have have any contact with Iraq war vets? I'm just curious to know. As long as we are on this subject, it might be good to hear from Iraq war vets on ATS.


No. To answer your question directly. I do sit with some in the waiting room, but that is only for a short time and vets rarely complain. Out loud. It's part of the military code of conduct. I'm using complaining as opposed to griping. It is a service man's right to gripe. The two are not the same.

Gripe: The food is no good. Complain: There was not enough food. Gripe: It's always hurry up and wait! Complain: The top brass are out of touch.

I have seen a number of Vietnam vets still going to the psychological side of the clinic. I have utilized psychiatric services (outside the VA) 4-5 times in my life. I'd go it again tomorrow if I felt the need. Hey, if a tooth hurts, you go to the dentist. If your head hurts inside, you go to the head doctor!

I have heard the level of treatment is not uniform across the country. That is most likely due to 1) lack of funds, and 2) lack of oversight. The DAV says the current $34 b. budget ought to be $54 b. But as you know, it is a lot easier to TALK UP LOVING VETS than it is to actually do anything about them. Just ask the GOP and Bush43!

[edit on 6/24/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 01:54 PM
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We are fortunate to be having a slow news week. It could be like this until the end of July. I'm glad we're having this discussion before the elections heat up again.



posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 07:40 AM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



We are fortunate to be having a slow news week. It could be like this until the end of July. I'm glad we're having this discussion before the elections heat up again.


Don't tell me Bush43 does not know what a SUPPLEMENTAL appropriation request is.

Every year since 2003, the president has asked for a “supplemental” appropriation for the WoT which includes Iraq and Afghan but may also include other items either not known to Congress or just not generally discussed. Like secret prisons. Bush43 has shrewdly chosen that irregular means of financing what I must call HIS war. It is outside the well publicized General Operating Budget thus keeping the projected deficits lower by that much. More important to him, by asking for supplementals, he is able to skirt the usual channels of seeking funds, the sub-committee hearings, followed by public committee hearings and then voting on the floor of the House and Senate subject to the amending process.

By putting off his WAR money requests until the last minute he has cleverly maneuvered Congress into a "corner." If Congress acts irresponsibly as the 2006 voters thought it would and refuses to send more money thereby ending the War, then Bush43 can lay the “blame” on Congress for not SUPPORTING the troops in the short term and "blame" it for the consequent FAILURE of his misdirected and misstated foreign policy in the long term. A win-win for him. On top of all which that entails HE DON’T’ GIVE A S*** ABOUT IRAQ ANYWAY. He has ignorantly made IRAQ his L E G A C Y. (4,109 KIA as of 6/25/08 up from 3,895 on 12/31/07) Note: the US suffered 138 KIA before Bush43 a/k/a by his friends as DUMBYA, jumped out of a warplane wearing a custom fitted flight suit onto the deck of the USS A. Lincoln and prancing around under a sign proclaiming MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, meaning that 3,971 have gone KIA since he made yet another misstatement of fact. Say again L E G A C Y.

Now, for those of you who haven’t been paying attention to the REAL causes for the Iraq insurgency and the resurgent Taliban, let me lay it out here: The US is trying to impose a government of our choosing on the Iraqi people and the Afghans. Exactly as we tried to do in Saigon. Deja vu all over again. Let's order some more black onyx slabs for The Wall? Let's rename The Wall the Last Roll Call of Bungled Wars.


[edit on 6/25/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 01:31 AM
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You get no argument from me about VA funding. I've seen for myself that many VA services are still under-funded. It costs more to treat our wonded than we realize. I had a chance to talk with a vet from Iraq recently, and he was bitter. Not about the war, but about his treatment by GOVERNMENT officials after returning home.



posted on Jun, 29 2008 @ 06:49 PM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



It costs more to treat our wonded than we realize. I had a chance to talk with a vet from Iraq recently, and he was bitter. Not about the war, but about his treatment by GOVERNMENT officials after returning home.


Why capitalize "government?" Government is an inanimate object. In fact, "government" is not a material object but is a figment of our imagination. We conjure it. Government is the means whereby many people working together can accomplish more than by working separately. The people who are elected to manage our government can and do fail us in many ways. But we shoot ourselves in the foot if we blame the institution. If we destroy the institution because some crooks and miscreants are working for the government. We must be wise enough to understand why there are failures. In big-time politics NOTHING happens by accident.


[edit on 6/29/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 29 2008 @ 08:39 PM
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My own personal opinion is that veterans wont be a possible a marginalized segment of the population until the next twenty years have gone by . I estimate that return services organisations in Australia and New Zealand only have twenty to thirty years of life left in them . Once all the World Two vets have died out there will be no one left to run return services organisations. Vietnam vets aren't going to be to keen to run the organisations that refused to admit them when they came home .

That could be the seeds for further trouble because once in another twenty years or so after the returned services organisations have closed down Vietnam veterans will start to die out leaving combat vets has a very small minority of the population . The danger is that number crunches will want to remove veterans services on this basis even thou younger NZDF personal will have served in peacekeeping roles . Judging by the number of people that attend Anzac dawn services I don't think that anything like this will happen . Rather I am just putting forward ideas for discussion .


Note I in no way mean to take away from the those who have and will see service in peacekeeping roles .



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