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Fired VA Secretary Shulkin Issues Dire Warning: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits

  • Part 1: Fired VA Head David Shulkin Issues a Dire Warning on His Way Out the Door
    • The former Obama appointee fears privatization could harm veterans for years to come.
  • Part 2: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits
    • The Trump administration and Congress need to follow through on … reforms, give the VA the resources it needs, and hold the agency accountable.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest


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Part 1: Fired VA Head David Shulkin Issues a Dire Warning on His Way Out the Door

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  • Shulkin was one of the few remaining government officials who believe it is their respsonibility to help people, not businesses. His departure is worrisome to all of us who feel the same.
  • The former Obama appointee fears privatization could harm veterans for years to come.

Liz Posner,  AlterNet

https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/32906328735_20b1b50687_k.jpg?itok=W5JO-pse Photo Credit: The Department of Veterans' Affairs

March 29, 2018 | Donald Trump did the inevitable Wednesday night and dismissed embattled Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. The former Obama official has been replaced by the president's personal physician, Admiral Ronny Jackson, who has no qualifiable leadership experience and raised millions of eyebrows last year after publicly proclaiming that Trump was “in excellent health.” But Shulkin refused to go quietly, warning the country that the chaos in the White House could harm veterans for years to come.

In an op-ed for the New York Times published hours after his firing, Shulkin cited his various accomplishments during his tenure as the head of VA, including reducing veteran unemployment from 10.2 percent to 3.5 percent and cutting wait times for health care services. He also issued a blistering rebuke to the wave of free-market cheerleaders who have swept into the federal government since Trump’s election.

Liz Posner is a managing editor at AlterNet. Her work has appeared on Forbes.com, Bust, Bustle, Refinery29, and elsewhere.

Full story … 





Part 2: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits

http://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/headlines/capitol_protest.jpg?itok=zZIfkHtu Campaign finance reform advocates protest outside the Capitol building in Washington D.C., 2011. (Photo: takomabibelot/cc/flickr)

  • More than ever, American democracy is for sale, bartered to the most powerful, leased to the most connected, sold to the most moneyed.
  • The Trump administration and Congress need to follow through on these reforms, give the VA the resources it needs and hold the agency accountable. Men and women in uniform injured in service to their country should not have to wait years to get the benefits they have earned.

Tampa Bay (FL) Times

November 14, 2017 | American military members hurt in service to their country should not have to wait a lifetime for the benefits they deserve. But that’s a reality of the disability process at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which hasn’t made paying benefits a priority and needs a hard kick from Congress to clean up its act.

The veterans benefits system is a century-old behemoth that has not kept pace with the times or the demands on its resources. As the New York Times reported Tuesday, the system pays out more than $78 billion each year to 5 million beneficiaries. But there also are more than 470,000 veterans who have been denied benefits and appealed — and their cases are grinding through the claims process at a glacial pace, with some cases taking years if not decades to resolve.

Full story … 

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The Normalization of War

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  • A memo to the publisher of the New York (NY) Times
  • Crudely put, the central question that goes not only unanswered but unasked is this: What the hell is going on? Allow me to deconstruct that in ways that might resonate with Times correspondents.
  • Related: Media Owned By Warlords, Gov’t Owned By Big Money, Shock Doctrine
  • Related: How the Media Conditions, Controls, and Programs Society

 

Andrew J. Bacevich, TomDispatch / Truthdig

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Mar 21, 2018 | Dear Mr. A.G. Sulzberger:

Congratulations on assuming the reins of this nation’s — and arguably, the world’s — most influential publication. It’s the family business, of course, so your appointment to succeed your father doesn’t exactly qualify as a surprise.  Even so, the responsibility for guiding the fortunes of a great institution must weigh heavily on you, especially when the media landscape is changing so rapidly and radically.

Undoubtedly, you’re already getting plenty of advice on how to run the paper, probably more than you want or need.  Still, with your indulgence, I’d like to offer an outsider’s perspective on “the news that’s fit to print.”  The famous motto of the Times insists that the paper is committed to publishing “all” such news — an admirable aspiration even if an impossibility.  In practice, what readers like me get on a daily basis is “all the news that Times editors deem worthy of print.”

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR0qbHW5-BiczqTRkv2V8stt2uURyk38cj5p87YmEDw4HPApO2Jt9r7OO7z Andrew J. Bacevich is an American historian specializing in international relations, security studies, American foreign policy, and American diplomatic and military history.

Full story … 

Related:

Media Owned By Warlords, Gov’t Owned By Big Money, Shock Doctrine, Redacted Tonight / Rise Up Times

War profiteers and the media who hire them. Puerto Rico. Worker wages.

Related:

How the Media Conditions, Controls, and Programs Society (Video), the Arcane Front

Through TV, the power elite have succeeded in creating a distracted, misinformed, divided, and class-driven society suffering historical amnesia and completely oblivious to true realities of their surroundings.


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Help enlighten others. Be sure to pass this on to friends and kin. We must break the system's  ability to lie with impunity.

 

 

Decrypting the Appointment of John Bolton

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So perhaps the dominant wing of the Deep State is finally willing to cut a deal with Trump.

Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Bomb%20with%20US%20Flag_0.jpg March 26, 2018 | To many observers, the appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor is the functional equivalent of appointing the Anti-Christ--or maybe worse. Indeed, these observers would, when comparing the two, find grudging favor with the Anti-Christ.

Bolton is a founding member of the neoliberal, neoconservative, neo-colonial interventionist Globalist wing of the Deep State. The antipathy he inspires is partly due to the enjoyment he takes in wielding power. (Note that the Anti-Christ is not a victim--he enjoys being the Anti-Christ.)

Charles Hugh Smith: Here are some links which contain more information about my work and interests.

Full story … 

Related:

Noam Chomsky, Why National Security Has Nothing to Do With Security, Noam Chomsky, TomDispatch

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  • As General Butler observed, it is a near miracle that we have escaped destruction so far, and the longer we tempt fate, the less likely it is that we can hope for divine intervention to perpetuate the miracle.
  • Related: Cold War Then. Cold War Now.

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Special Project | One Big Thing: Students Protest the Gun Culture, Shootings; Demand Action, Week Ending March 24, 2018

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March for Our Lives: Everything you need to know about the #NeverAgain event * Teaching Students How to Dissent Is Part of Democracy * Teaching Students How to Dissent Is Part of Democracy * How Political Pessimism Helps Doom Tougher Gun Laws

  • Related: Special Project | One Big Thing: Students Protest the Gun Culture, Shootings; Demand Action, Week Ending March 10, 2018
  • Related: One Big Thing: Students Protest the Gun Culture, Shootings; Demand Action
  • Related: Parkland School Shooting Survivors Announce National ‘March For Our Lives’; Go After Rick Scott, Rubio, Paul Ryan As NRA Enablers.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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March 24, 2018 |

March for Our Lives: Everything you need to know about the #NeverAgain event, Morgan Winsor, ABC News

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Natl%20School%20Walkout%2C%20Winter%2C%202018.jpgSlideshow: Photos: National School Walkout

  • March 19, 2018 | "Not one more. We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students," the organizers say in their online mission statement.
  • Related: The Parkland Students' '60 Minutes' Interview Reveals The Powerful Reason They Refuse To Endorse Politicians

Teaching Students How to Dissent Is Part of Democracy, Sarah Stitzlein, The Conversation

Friday, March 16, 2018 | In scenes unprecedented in previous school shootings, the past few weeks have been marked by students taking to the streets, to the media, to corporations and elected officials in protest over gun practices and policies.



How Political Pessimism Helps Doom Tougher Gun Laws, Alec MacGillis, Pro Publica

https://assets.propublica.org/images/articles/_threeTwo1600w/20180218-gun-control-politics-illo-3x2.jpgFebruary 18, 2018 | Saying ‘nothing will change’ has empowered the NRA and ignores its declining punch.


'Throw them out': plans to eject politicians 'beholden to the gun lobby'. the Guardian 
February 17, 2018 | Moms Demand Action and Everytown launch campaign to empower voters following the horrors of Parkland


Related:

Special Project | One Big Thing: Students Protest the Gun Culture, Shootings; Demand Action, Week Ending March 10, 2018

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/4a8ed38b7555d9efb3ebe2b3444dbda61eb82e9b/0_0_3888_2332/master/3888.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=db74f279c0ac27ef647c76726c8e3e1fMourners at a candelight vigil in Parkland on Thursday evening (Feb 15). Photograph: USA Today/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock


Special Project | One Big Thing: Students Protest the Gun Culture, Shootings; Demand Action
 


Parkland School Shooting Survivors Announce National ‘March For Our Lives’; Go After Rick Scott, Rubio, Paul Ryan As NRA Enablers.

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March for Our Lives: Everything you need to know about the #NeverAgain event

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Slideshow: Photos: National School Walkout

  • "Not one more. We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students," the organizers say in their online mission statement.
  • Related: The Parkland Students' '60 Minutes' Interview Reveals The Powerful Reason They Refuse To Endorse Politicians.

Morgan Winsor, ABC News

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Mar 18, 2018 | What is the 'March of Our Lives'?

Students, teachers, parents and their allies will converge on the nation's capital next weekend to rally for gun control and school safety measures in the wake of last month's shooting in a Florida high school.

Thousands of people from across the country are expected to participate in the "March for Our Lives," organized by students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a gunman killed 17 people and injured others on Valentine's Day. The accused shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, was a former student at the school and was armed with an AR-15-style rifle he had legally purchased a year ago, authorities said.

Morgan Winsor, Breaking News Reporter, ABC News 

Full story ... 

Related:

The Parkland Students' '60 Minutes' Interview Reveals The Powerful Reason They Refuse To Endorse Politicians. Sarah Friedmann, Bustle

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  • The students' interview highlighted both the challenges and courage associated with their movement. It is very clear that the Parkland teens are not letting anyone take ownership of their campaign — and that they are highly committed to ensuring that rapid and effective action is taken to help end gun violence.
  • Related: March for Our Lives: Everything you need to know about the #NeverAgain event

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No Justice!  No Peace!  Please share this post.

Jackie Albano | We Call BS / Rise Up As One

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Emma Gonzalez, one of the most vocal survivors of the Parkland school shooting in Florida, isn’t backing down in the face of trolls or false accusations. González, who became famous for her fiery speech about gun control last Saturday, is one of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students that conspiracy theorists are accusing of being “crisis actors” paid by anti-gun lobbyists.

But the accusations aren’t slowing Gonzalez or her classmates down. Together they’ve launched the new #NeverAgain movement for gun reform, organizing school walkouts and marches and calling for change on national TV—all while still attending the funerals of their friends.

When asked about the conspiracies, which are now being repeated by more mainstream voices like Rush Limbaugh and one CNN commentator, Gonzalez told Buzzfeed: “It just shows how weak the other side’s argument is, like they have to attack the messengers since the message is airtight.”

Noam Chomsky, Why National Security Has Nothing to Do With Security

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  • As General Butler observed, it is a near miracle that we have escaped destruction so far, and the longer we tempt fate, the less likely it is that we can hope for divine intervention to perpetuate the miracle.
  • Related: Cold War Then. Cold War Now

Noam Chomsky, TomDispatch 

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Evergreene Digest Editor's Note: In the Shadows of the American Centurey is available in pdf format at the H-Net Book Channel.

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Alfred%20W.%20McCoy%20%7C%20In%20the%20Shadows%20of%20the%20American%20Century.jpgMarch 11, 2018 | If some extraterrestrial species were compiling a history of Homo sapiens, they might well break their calendar into two eras: BNW (before nuclear weapons) and NWE (the nuclear weapons era). The latter era, of course, opened on August 6, 1945, the first day of the countdown to what may be the inglorious end of this strange species, which attained the intelligence to discover the effective means to destroy itself, but -- so the evidence suggests -- not the moral and intellectual capacity to control its worst instincts.

Day one of the NWE was marked by the “success” of Little Boy, a simple atomic bomb.  On day four, Nagasaki experienced the technological triumph of Fat Man, a more sophisticated design. Five days later came what the official Air Force history calls the “grand finale,” a 1,000-plane raid -- no mean logistical achievement -- attacking Japan’s cities and killing many thousands of people, with leaflets falling among the bombs reading “Japan has surrendered.” Truman announced that surrender before the last B-29 returned to its base.

Noam Chomsky, a TomDispatch regular, is the author of numerous bestselling political works, including Hegemony or Survival and Failed States. A laureate professor at the University of Arizona and professor emeritus of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, he is widely credited with having revolutionized modern linguistics. His newest book (with David Barsamian) is Global Discontents: Conversations on the Rising Threats to Democracy (Metropolitan Books, December 2017).

Full story … 

Related:

Cold War Then. Cold War Now, William Blum, Dandelion Salad

  • https://farm7.staticflickr.com/6154/6186943798_22e6015151_z.jpgIn 2015 in Brussels, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) formally voted to accept the District of Columbia as a new member. UNPO is an international democratic organization whose members are indigenous peoples, minorities and unrecognized or occupied territories who have joined together to protect and promote their human and cultural rights, to preserve their environments and to find nonviolent solutions to conflicts which affect them.
  • Related: Bernie Keeps Promoting The New Cold War and the U.S. ‘Forever Wars’, and Yes, We Need To Talk About It


 

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