Sunday May 26, 2019

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Discussion with education and reason.

Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist

Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist

Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Treas. of Progressive WI – Lets Rebuild America, is a long time progressive activist, member of Veterans for Peace, a former VISTA Volunteer, Army officer, elected official, union organizer and retired state government planner. dbuzzdavis@aol.com

Americans are Far More Sane than Washington Warmongers

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Tre
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 12 August 2017
in Wisconsin

war2A veteran who served in Korea believes too many juveniles in the White House, Congress and the military, are like high school wise guys saying “Nobody can tell me what to do".


TUCSON, AZ - I was fortunate to serve as an Army officer in S. Korea rather than being sent to S. Vietnam in 1969.

The Korean people are a vigorous, smart group of people who want their country can be re-united someday.

Seventy six million live on the Korean peninsula. Nearly 128 million live in Japan a few miles away. Then there is China which considers N. Korea part of its empire - just as the US thinks of S. Korea.

Everyone knows wars are easy to start but very hard to stop. Decade after decade the weapons keep getting worse. Only a fool thinks their family can live through nuclear war. Forty five to 85 million died in WWII. Enough innocent children have died. We must stop the killing.

Our problem is we have too many juveniles in Washington in the White House, Congress and the military. By juveniles, I mean they’re like wise guy high schoolers - “Nobody can tell me what to do. I’m so smart!”

Fortunately a scientific public opinion poll of nearly 1,000 voters shows Americans are, once again, far ahead of our leaders in wisdom.

  • 86% of Americans think “…[d]irect talks with North Korea should be tried before taking military action.” ( action.votevets.org/NKPoll )
  • 57% say no preemptive strike.

The Washington crowd will listen if enough people contact Pres. Trump and their Congress members and demand “Diplomacy NOT War!”

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After 16 Year Afghanistan War, Let's Admit Defeat & Switch to United Nations

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Tre
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 06 June 2017
in Wisconsin

afghanistan-war-deadWe have bled our soldiers and other peoples of their blood, spent trillions of dollars that should have gone to building a better life for all Americans. A Vietnam War era and Korea veteran says it's time to stop.


TUCSON, AZ - Generals want another surge in Afghanistan. Only 5,000 will do the trick to help the peace process they say. Kill and bomb more people to encourage people to negotiate for peace. Do you believe it? The generals don’t say they need more troops in Iraq or Syria or Libya or Africa ---- YET.

We Americans are persistent. But when it comes to wars, we exhibit perseveration defined as “…the inappropriate persistence or repetition of a thought or action…”

“Repetition of thoughts” – example: war is the answer to all diplomatic problems. “Repetition of actions” – example: we accept lie after lie from our presidents pushing us into wars.

obama-trumpIn Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, tens of thousands of Americans have died along with millions of Asian and Middle Eastern peoples. One lying president after another tells us the sky is falling. It’s the commies, the horrible dictators, the treacherous religious terrorists. By late 1967 when the surge of American troops was really building in Vietnam, Pres. Johnson knew the war was a loser, as did Sec. of Defense McNamara, but both continued to lie and lie. And people continued to die and die. For what? Pride? Corporate empire? Presidents prey on our fears. We citizens accept the lies and off our youth go to war after war.

These politicians aren’t really interested in communists or terrorists. Politicians want the oil, gas, copper, tin, titanium, or markets for their 1%er corporate friends. They know war is good for their political career. And they will be rewarded by a grateful military industrial complex. WalMart, GM and so many others do hundreds of billions of business with the “commies” in China and Vietnam without a blink of the eye.

The oil soaked Middle East dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and Qatar fund the schooling, training and operations of religious terrorists yet these dictators are our buddies -- buying billions in American weapon systems. Simultaneously, we send our youth to fight the religious terrorists our CIA and these dictatorships created. And our military/industrial complex makes money providing weapons to both sides.

We have bled our soldiers and other peoples of their blood. We have bled our Nation of trillions of dollars that should have been spent building a better life for all Americans. War profiteers, CEO’s and share owners make hundreds of billions while the under funded Veterans Affairs hospitals try to take care of all our physically, mentally and morally crushed soldiers. And military families pay the highest price of all - dead and damaged loved ones.

The CIA with its mercenaries, billions and bags of tricks is forever starting wars saying it is trying to “save” a democracy or promote democracy or freedom. Then, American soldiers step into the quicksand of war. Wars don’t create peace. They create the silence of death. Bullets, torture or assassinations kill people but cannot kill ideas.

These are illegal wars of aggression - illegal under our Constitution and the United Nations Charter. The reason starting an illegal war is the greatest crime is because all other crimes will then be committed: murder, torture, rape, starvation, theft, religious, political or sexual persecution, genocide, repression… Everything imaginable takes place during war. Military leaders know wars are easy to start. They also know -- no one knows how to stop them.

And now Pres. Trump is supposed to decide if we need another surge of 5,000 American troops in Afghanistan. AFTER 16 YEARS OF DESTROYING AFGHANISTAN, WE NEED TO GET OUT!

We must admit that in the present wars, we are on the side of the gangsters, drug kings, murderous militias, dictators, torturers and power hungry religious fanatics.

What we’ve done in these countries has NOT worked. Our wars and weapons have pushed these countries from bad to worse. Millions are homeless and refugees. Their hatred will last decades or centuries.

We need to admit to the United Nations our failures and ask the UN to conduct peace negotiations in each nation. We must support those negotiations, pay the costs, withdraw all our troops and military equipment, stop the bombings and drone attacks and stop the surveillance and training assistance.

There has been too much killing to feed the unsatiable greed of our military/industrial/politician complex.

Citizens, we must prove we support the rule of law rather than the rule of empire or whim. We must prove we will NOT accept more lying and corruption.

We must impeach those presidents and generals who have led these illegal wars! We must make them examples of what America will do when elected leaders and generals forsake their oaths to preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and when they betray the American people.

Between 45 million and 85 million died in WWII. In a nuclear war with nations using just 1% of their nuclear weapons, it’s estimated tens of millions would die in the first hour. Millions would die afterwards from radiation effects and firestorms. Those firestorms, sweeping large areas creating dark dust clouds, would cause a worldwide, extended winter of possibly 10 years with drastically shortened food growing cycles. Two billion would be threatened with famine. Life on earth, as we know it, would be gone.

We must stop the wars. Stop creating wars. And stop supplying weapons to all sides.

We must request the UN take leadership in trying to peacefully resolve the quagmire we have helped create. Or, our posterity will eventually suffer the same cruel fate millions of families are presently suffering in the Middle East.

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Veterans, Who Know War, Say 'Try Peace'

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Tre
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 13 May 2017
in Wisconsin

Memorial DayVeterans, especially combat veterans, need to talk about the real costs of war. The veterans’ silence results in enabling power hungry politicians and greedy business persons to push war as the solution instead of creating a more peaceful world.


TUCSON, AZ - We approach Memorial Day honoring the ultimate sacrifices made by 1.4 million American military men and women who died in America’s wars since 1775. We must discuss the horrific impact of war on surviving soldiers and civilians. For only they can teach us working for peace is a better option than fighting wars.

Each death in war brings everlasting tragedy to a family. Each death damages the hope of loved ones.

Humans are brutal. We have many wonderful traits. But we must admit to a brutal streak. And we must hope that we do not exhibit that trait ourselves and are not forced into situations where we too become brutal.

Historians view history as a long string of wars. The most destructive war thus far was World War II. Between 45 million and 85 million men, women and children perished in combat, destruction and resulting disease and famine.

Historians estimate 400 million to 670 million soldiers and civilians died in the largest 35 wars. Wars always kill far more civilians than soldiers.

ChildrenThis drawing and caption of children at the graveside of a Civil War relative killed at Gettysburg depicts our basic problem.

Because a relative served in a long ago war, many children especially boys are socialized into thinking being a soldier is the good thing to do.

Society (families, media, schools, movies, religions) encourage this, many times glorifying war. Recruiters prey on these emotions.

As a future infantry officer, I spent a year of my life being taught how to kill people (fortunately I was sent to S. Korea rather than S. Vietnam in 1969).

"You bet I'm goin' to be a soldier, too,
like my Uncle David, when I grow up.”
"On Decoration Day" Political cartoon c 1900 by John T. McCutcheon.

The military does an excellent job of training men and women to kill. But our generals have no idea of how to train/educate people to “unkill.” Many of our 22 million veterans who were in combat and had to participate in, or were near, the killing, deaths and maimings have memories and emotions they try to control all their lives. Most don’t discuss these memories at all or very much with family and friends. Such discussions are extremely difficult to have.

The veterans’ silence results in enabling power hungry politicians and greedy business persons to use the military industrial complex to push war as the “solution” to problems/challenges nations face.

The result of silence is that millions of veterans are not teaching their children, friends and community that war is not the answer. Killing does not solve problems. It just makes problems more difficult to resolve. You can’t kill a religious idea or political idea with a bullet.

The military teaches team work and being in the military and combat encourages camaraderie. But each vet is on his/her own when it comes to controlling or squashing the bad memories and thoughts.

StatueAmerica spends over $600 billion per year on wars, weapons and designing more weapons.  We spend only $50 billion on the U.S. State Department and the United Nations.

Nine nations have 15,000 nuclear weapons.  Scientists say if just 1% of those weapons are exploded in a nuclear war, tens of millions would die in the first hour.  Millions would die later from the radiation effects and fire storms.  Firestorms, sweeping large areas creating dark dust clouds, would cause an extended winter of possibly 10 years with drastically shortened food growing cycles.  Two billion would be threatened with famine.  Life on earth, as we know it, would be gone.

Khatyn Memorial commemorating the loss of life in Belarus during World War II.

For decades we have had politicians creating more wars instead of creating a more peaceful world via diplomacy, cooperation, helping other nations improve safe water supplies, educational systems, infrastructure, health, food production and strengthening the United Nations to help improve the lives of peoples across this world.

Small steps for America are:  Veterans, especially combat veterans, need to discuss with their families some of what they did in “their” war.  Or skip their personal experiences, if they cannot talk about it, and talk about the horrendous cost in lost lives.  Vets can write letters to the editor of their local papers saying War Is Not the Answer and tell the readers what needs to be done.

Today our nation is controlled by Republican war mongers and meek Democratic followers.  We must all think ahead to November 2018.  We will have an opportunity to vote out of office those who foolishly advocate war.  But right now we must talk about why we must fight harder for Peace than we do for War!

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Trump Throws Another $54 Billion at War

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Tre
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 01 March 2017
in Wisconsin

vietnamwarPoliticians like Trump shovel praise upon our military, but feel that they, themselves, were too good to serve. It is time they learn the lessons of history. Wars do not beget peace.


TUCSON, AZ - Americans how long will it take for us to understand we have been “had?”

It is family, school, faith and community members who help each generation learn it is better to talk to people than fight, kill and destroy. These are the great Americans.

donald-trumpI am repulsed by so many politicians like Mr. Trump who shovel praise upon our military but who, themselves, feel they are too good to serve our Nation.

Nearly all the wars since WWII have been illegal wars of aggression under our Constitution, United Nations Charter and treaties. Yet the military, CIA, presidents like Bush, Obama and Trump and individual Congressional members keep howling for blood.

Did the Romans stamp out Christianity by all their killing? Did the US win in Vietnam by killing a million Vietnamese? Are we winning the hearts and minds of Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians, or North Africans by killing their families, lovers, babies and friends by the hundreds of thousands?

I say no! You cannot kill ideas with a bullet. Thinking human beings know that.

When Democratic and Republican presidential candidates call out “We will hunt down and kill all Al-Qaeda, ISIS, etc. members and their families” we know our Nation is being run by idiots.

Or, is it being run by lying actors who push wars for the benefit of the military/industrial/politician complex that makes big bucks off of continuous war?

On Nov. 6, 2018 we will elect a new Congress (all the House members and 33 senators will be up for election.) Is it time to throw the bums out, keep the few good ones and start turning America into a Nation of peace builders and turn our backs on war mongering?

Take your choice on Nov. 6th. And if you choose continuous war, get ready to donate your sons and daughters to war’s meat grinding machine – the draft will return because the American volunteer military is broken.

Trump and fools in Congress can throw another $54 billion on top of the $600 billion the Pentagon already gets for more tools of war. But the military system is broken and cannot be fixed with more dollars.

For the truth they do not know.

The US has been checkmated in all the wars from Vietnam onward. Why? Because one “enemy” after another learns NOT to fight Americans as Americans want to fight. Washington won the Revolutionary War because he did NOT fight the way the British wanted. Europeans fought marching into one another, firing as they marched. Washington avoided that sort of fight. He sniped, attacked small groups with overwhelming force and ran from the British to keep his army from being destroyed. In short he DID NOT FIGHT the war the British wanted to fight.

Ho Chi Min and his leaders learned history well.

Americans want to fight as in WWII and Korea – massive armies, tanks and artillery going at each other in large battles. Vietnamese learned Washington’s lesson: snipe, ambush, trail bombs, surprise night attacks and withdraw before the Americans can get organized to fight back. Al Qaeda and ISIS have learned how to fight back against overwhelming American firepower and maneuverability by making American troops fearful of even leaving their bases due to roadside bombs, sniping and suicide bombers.

We Americans know: When we try our best again and again and it does not work, it is time to change what we are doing.

The conflicts we have over raw materials like oil or markets cannot be resolved by force. We must improve our skills and abilities to make peace and create understanding in a rapidly changing world.

Today, just 1% of the world’s 7.3 billion people control half the world’s wealth. Children are starving while food is buried in landfills, babies die of cheaply cured diseases, many do not have clean water to drink. The inequality of wealth, healthcare, education, future and the cruel use of power creates hatreds. Hatreds cannot be dissolved by bullets.

So Mr. Trump you are so wrong. You are proving to the world that the super-rich and powerful can be smart and ignorant simultaneously and lead great nations toward their destruction.

Americans we must work together for the next two years to throw the bums out on Nov. 6, 2018 -- or sooner via impeachment. For Trump, the man who admires law and order, does not follow the laws himself.

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Ed Garvey Is Gone But Not Forgotten

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Tre
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 22 February 2017
in Wisconsin

ed-garvey-goneEd Garvey, Wisconsin Progressive, labor attorney, Director of the NFL Players Association, and Democratic leader died this morning at a Verona nursing home. He was 76. He had been battling Parkinson's disease, which led to his retirement in 2013.


TUCSON, AZ - Ed Garvey, the friend of many, the leader of "what could have been" and a good man has died and I am saddened.

When he and Barbara Lawton ran for governor and lt. governor in 1998, they were a fantastic team that offered hope and moxie to the people of WI. But big money talks. Gov. Thommy Thompson was running for his fourth term and as the ALEC (Am. Legislative Exchange Council) representative in the race, Thompson had most of the money.

Schools and local governments were already being financially strangled and local control had disappeared with the 1993 cost controls to rein in unions and stop local spending.

Here we are decades later and local control has been killed along with public unions. Barbara and Ed were right. We could have and still can create a WI good for families and the environment but not under Gov. Walker, a dour ALEC replay in some respects of Thompson.

I will not forget Ed in the drizzle.

US Rep Dennis Kucinich was running for president in the WI primary and Ed and I invited him to speak in Madison. The rally is set up at the small private airport in Madison early in the evening. A good crowd waited. Kucinich's plane is late. We had a speaker's platform set up, it's getting dark, looks like rain. I ask Ed to talk to take up time. Plane lands, drizzle starts, ends up Kucinich is exhausted, needs to eat, and we find some one to go get a vegan dinner while he rests!

I go back outside and get Ed's attention. I ask, "Can you speak some more while they get Dennis rested and fed?" Ed says "I already talked for 20 minutes," goes back to the mic and explains what is going on, laughs and says something like Buzz wants to know if I can speak some more. Crowd laughs, we held the media there, Kucinich gave a great speech and made the news.

Oh, Ed, you could talk, think, had no fear and you gave hope! Thank you! Your were and are an inspiration to many! You fought for progressive ideals for decades as we have to do now.

*****

Peace! Buzz Davis, fellow member of Veterans for Peace, formerly of Stoughton now of Tucson

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DeVos Has Spent Millions On Politicians

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Tre
User is currently offline
on Friday, 03 February 2017
in Wisconsin

money-behind-politicsBetsy DeVos and her family invested $3.2 million to help elect 21 US senators who will now vote. Will Monday’s Vote on Senate Floor Be Payback time? Will Sen. Johnson Pay Her Back or Recuse Himself?


TUCSON, AZ - In this last election cycle billionaire Betsy DeVos and her family invested $3.2 million to help elect 21 US senators who will now vote on whether she becomes Pres. Trump’s Secretary of Education.

The DeVos’ have given WI Senator Ron Johnson nearly $49,000.

betsy-devosMr. Trump proposes spending $20 billion for vouchers and chartered schools for inner city youth. In fact, DeVos and her family have spent $47 million since 2000 supporting politicians who advocate privatizing American public education.

How did DeVos get so rich? She earned her money the hard way: A. She was born in the wealthy Prince family. B. She married into the super-wealthy DeVos family (owns Amway).

She never went to public schools, does not know a lot about educational policy and laws but really wants to be Secretary. If confirmed she’ll certainly advocate to implement Pres. Trump’s effort to further privatize public schools.

Why do people who hate government want to work for government so much?

In our nation, schools for young children and colleges for older children have always been private and mostly church schools for those who had the money to pay for schooling. But in the 1800’s Americans advocated free, public, good educations for all. Over the last 200 years public schools have played a major role in the development of the middle class. Poor kids and all others have a chance to succeed.

This Monday the Senate may take its final vote on DeVos. The DeVos family has given 21 senators who are scheduled to vote on her nomination nearly $1 million with Sen. Johnson getting that $49,000.

Does it look like Pay to Play to you? Does the highest earner in your family even make $49,000 in a year? Does your whole family even make that in a year? Nearly half the families in WI do not even earn $49,000 a year.

And she gives Ron $49,000 for his 2016 re-election effort saying, “Please remember me, Ron.”

Sen. Ron Johnson should recuse himself from voting on her nomination. She did NOT give him the money because of his good looks. She and her family invested that money to get a payback. Will Sen. Johnson payback by voting for her this Monday?

All the 21 senators who received the $1 million in total donations should recuse themselves and abstain from voting on DeVos’ nomination.

You probably cannot stop all the senators from voting.  But you may be able to stop Sen. Johnson from voting.  Call Sen. Johnson’s offices in WI (920) 230-7250 and (414) 276-7282 and email him at:  https://www.ronjohnson.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-the-senator

Calls/email to Sen. Johnson need to be made before Monday. Just tell him to recuse himself because of the DeVos money and because she wants to privatize public education.

At this point 50 senators have said they will vote NO (48 Dems, two independents and two Republicans) while 50 Republicans are being pushed to all vote YES. If a tie happens, VP Pence will then vote YES breaking the tie - DeVos becomes Sec. of Education.

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Have Veterans Damaged Their Future Health by Voting for Trump?

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Tre
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 07 January 2017
in Wisconsin

veteranAcross the country, 61% of veterans who voted chose Trump over Clinton. But how will a Trump - Republican administration affect the VA healthcare system which 7 million vets depend on for all or part of their medical care?


TUCSON, AZ - Vets helped Trump clinch the White House.  Across America, veterans cast 4 million more votes for Trump than Clinton.

Eighty percent (80%) of America’s 22 million veterans voted Nov. 8th. Exit polls reveal 61% of the vets said they voted for Trump and Republican House candidates while only 34% voted for Clinton and 38% voted for House Democratic candidates.

Some Republicans are working hard to PRIVATIZE the VA healthcare system which 7 million vets depend on for all or part of their medical care.

These Republicans who want to send vets to private for-profit and non-profit hospitals/clinics for healthcare at 30% higher cost, which computes to billions of tax dollars wasted, are doing an egregious disservice to our Nation’s veterans.

The effort to privatize VA care has never been stronger.  Wealthy citizens, such as the billionaire Koch brothers, have been spending millions funding groups calling for VA privatization -- a move that would create for them even more wealth.

Such privatization schemes will increase the profits of insurance companies, hospitals and clinics by enrolling America’s veterans.  Wall Streeters will then encourage insurance and hospital systems to merge making ever higher profits at the expense of veterans.

The 2014 Choice program is the strongest privatization law ever passed.  It enables any vet who lives 40 miles or more from a VA clinic or gets a VA appointment 30 days or more from the present to receive care in the private sector.

“Choice” has not been a blazing success -- because of all the veterans who use the VA, 72% of them oppose privatization!

Veterans, veterans’ organizations, unions, good government groups and activists have two years to stall the privatization efforts in Congress and to help veterans understand that voting for Republican privatizers in the Nov. 2018 Congressional races WILL NOT BE IN THEIR OWN BEST INTERESTS.

America spent 20 years in Vietnam and 16 years in Afghanistan/Iraq in illegal wars of aggression, trillions spent, millions killed – we veterans called to serve, or drafted, are asking:  “What do we have to show for it?

Three wars lost, countries and peoples ruined and hundreds of thousands of our own families destroyed.  The military/industrial/political complex is richer than ever, oil corporations continue their quest to grab the world’s oil while trying to use the US military as an enforcement hammer.  Our Nation is actively arming friends, gangs and terrorists worldwide while sending men and women to fight across the Middle East and Africa in countries most people can’t even find on the map.

The aftermath of these wars is millions of vets need healthcare for physical, mental and emotional wounds/illnesses.

Yet, decade after decade, disregarding opposition by a multitude of our Nation’s citizens, presidents and Congress argue “Sorry, we just don’t have money to fully fund and staff the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals across America.  In fact we don’t have money to fund America’s public schools or infrastructure either.  We only have money for more weapons and wars.  We do this only to protect you!”

We Americans have duped ourselves and been duped by our leaders falsely warning there are Commies and terrorists behind every tree.  They knew/know they were lying but they fear looking weak - so they pump up the propaganda, packaged up the kids and sent them off to wreak havoc across the world.

Today we have 22 million veterans still alive.

While millions of WWII and Korean War vets may not feel ‘’used”, many Vietnam Era and War on Terror soldiers/veterans DO feel used and abused.  More than 7 million of us receive all or part of their healthcare from the VA.  We, in general, are sicker than the average hospital/clinic population with many of us needing the specialized care for wounds, injuries and illness for which only the VA provides high quality care.

But in the 2014 and 2016 elections as vets we may have figuratively “shot ourselves in the foot.”

Those Republicans advocating privatization seem determined to destroy the VA healthcare system.

We veterans have less than two years to educate ourselves for the 2018 House and Senate elections and vote for candidates who OPPOSE privatization.  Will we be able to do it?

Or, will those human vultures driven by greed, who want to make a fast buck on war and misery,  destroy the VA.  Pushing all veterans into the already overloaded private care system will bankrupt the care for America’s veterans.

*****

Sign petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/we-oppose-va-healthcare-privatization

Written by Buzz Davis & Ian Smith, veterans

Buzz Davis, of Tucson, AZ, a long time progressive activist, is a disabled veteran, a member of Veterans for Peace and a former VISTA volunteer, Army officer, elected official, union organizer and retired state government planner. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Ian Smith, an Army Veteran, a native of Madison, WI, retired from a successful career with the VA spanning 40+ years, and is a long time, staunch Unionist having served two terms as President of a 1,400 member Local 1732 and remains a delegate to SCFL and WI AFL-CIO.   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Stein’s Recounts Will Hopefully Affirm the Integrity of the Vote

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Tre
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 29 November 2016
in Wisconsin

jill-steinStein is acting to preserve your right to know your vote is recorded and counted accurately, and she is paying the tab to do so.


MADISON - Friday Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein filed a recount petition asking for hand tally of all WI votes cast.  On Monday petitions were filed in Pennsylvania counties and Stein filed a sister petition with the courts.  She intends to file her Michigan recount petition on Wednesday.  These are the states with the closest Nov. 8 election results.

Stein is acting to support the most basic power in a democracy:  The right to know your vote is recorded and counted accurately and that all votes cast are so counted/recorded.

veterans-seniorThe America Revolution led to the establishment of our Constitution.  Under that framework, our laws have been developed by elected state and national legislatures.  The specific purpose of this government is to create a political environment wherein the Rule of Law is top dog  --  NOT the Rule of King or Queen whose every word or whim becomes law and violation of which is punishable by death.

Though our founders put the Rule of Law on the throne of power, they were certainly not pure.  Their groups of men and women working together as parties were as corrupt as many human beings before or after the Revolution.

You may remember the 1960 Kennedy Nixon presidential election. The famous Nixon campaign quote, the gist of which is, “they stole the election fair and square.”  Then, as today, political parties were corrupt.

Americans understand the VOTE is the only real power we have in our democracy “to throw the bums out” and put in new people.  Americans are very concerned about the corruption in the voting process.  Five in ten Americans say they have ”little” or “only some” confidence that their votes will be accurately counted.*

Stein petitioned the WI Election Commission (WEC) to require a hand recount of 100% of the ballots cast.  Election experts urged her to request recounts in three states:

  • Because of the close vote totals,
  • Because of the wide ranging hacking and attempted hacking of computers in the Democratic Party offices, campaign officials offices, federal and state government offices taking place and allegations of foreign powers doing the hacking, and
  • Because of the ease with which various voting machines can be hacked.

Stein says citizens in a democracy deserve to know their votes are recorded properly.  These recounts will reassure Americans three election systems are reliable.  Or these three states will prove the need for radical changes to American election laws, equipment and procedures.

In the unlikely event that Clinton is declared the winner in these three states, she then would become president.  (Clinton’s lawyers have now said they will help Stein’s lawyers.  Clinton has filed no recount petitions.)

Over 130,000 people contributed an average of $45 to help Stein raise $6.4 million thus far to pay for the recount and the lawyers’ efforts.

Wednesday Stein is due to pay the estimate $1.1 million WI recount cost to WEC.  The recount will start Dec. 1st.  The federal deadline to get all local and state work done in WI, PA and MI is Dec. 13th.  Electoral College votes Dec. 19th.  Jan. 6th the Joint Session of Congress meets to review results, raise objections if any, and certify the winner.  The new president is sworn in Jan. 20th.

In our democracy, our vote is the only way we can remove or elect our federal leaders.  We cannot recall them, as we can in WI.  Only the federal Congress can impeach and remove federal officials.

Thus, we have only our “VOTE” to protect us from tyranny.  When we are denied the right to vote, or when our votes are not counted accurately, that is when we have lost the power of democracy!

Of all the presidential candidates, only Stein had the courage to start and implement the largest presidential recount effort in our history!  May she succeed.

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Keeping the Faith in Troubled Times

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Tre
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 06 November 2016
in Wisconsin

voteSTOUGHTON, WI - These are troubled times. The glass is half empty and democracy is draining out of America. In a democracy the main power is the power of our vote – to throw the bums out OR to vote in folks we hope do NOT become bums. But our vote is becoming meaningless because swindlers are on the loose in both parties, while the prosecutors and courts along with elected officials sit on the side lines wringing their hands or stuffing handfuls of money in their pockets. Money dominates state and national politics – big money that expects big profits from the winners.

If you are not depressed and outraged by the last year of this pathetic democratic circus, you are not paying attention. We have two main candidates for president consumed by the greed for power and money. Everyone is a fool but them. They apparently believe the public can always be conned if big lies are repeated often enough. Many US papers read like Pravda, full of lies, during the height of the USSR empire.

But I think Studs Terkel’s book Hope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Troubled Times is right. We must live with hope for without it we will wither and die – emotionally, morally or physically. Only by fighting back can we sustain hope for the future. No fight – then maybe no future.

Most Americans have a great capability to say well that didn’t work, let’s try this. They hope things will be better for their kids and grandkids than they were for themselves.

Right now a couple of days before the election we can see that we have major candidates who are duds as leaders. We have an option on the ballot. We can start fresh with Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Will she win? Let me ask, would you have voted for Fighting Bob La Follette in 1924 or Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 if one of them was on the ballot as an independent next week? I would. They both fought against their own corrupt Republican Party though the Democratic Party was just as corrupt and controlled by Wall Streeters and corporations.

Many voters may have thought La Follette or Roosevelt would lose but vote for them they did. Would you be voting for Bernie Sanders as a Green Party candidate if he had chosen to join the Greens? I bet many of you would. Both Clinton and Trump are pro war. Obama was anti-war until he sat in the Oval Office. Sanders now says vote your fear of Trump by voting for Clinton. Then after she’s in the White House we’ll pressure her to change her policies which will be like pressuring a tiger to change its stripes.

If you wish to live by fear and false hope, the choice is yours.

But if you wish to make a positive statement on the direction America needs to go, then vote Green. Help build a third party that will hopefully in 2020 and beyond start actually building a new America rather talk about doing so for decades. Who knows America with a Green president may even stop all the illegal wars, killing, destruction, torture and spying Bush, Cheney and Obama became ‘so good at’ or should that be ‘so bad at”?

In this election November 8th, as in life, you can choose to do nothing, to go with the crowd or to fight back to protect your principles. The choice is yours, so please vote while you still HAVE the right to vote in this county.

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How Vets Vote Will Determine Whether VA Healthcare is Privatized

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Tre
User is currently offline
on Monday, 31 October 2016
in Wisconsin

veteransIt Depends on Whether Republicans Maintain Control of Both House & Senate! Republican Congressional members are interested in PRIVATIZING the VA, veterans are NOT.


STOUGHTON, WI - Within days over 22 million veterans will have the opportunity to vote in America. How veterans vote for Congressional candidates will be a key factor as to whether the House or Senate flips from Republican control to Democratic control.

Why? Because in 2014 over 54%, or nearly 12 million, vets voted. This is a far higher percentage than the number of non-vets who voted (41%). It is likely that the 12 million vets and their 12 million or more voting family members comprised over 26% of all the votes cast in 2014! Vets and their family members count big in American politics.

In 2014 6 out of 10 vets voted Republican. With the help of veterans, Republicans expanded their majority in the House and gained control of the Senate with the result bringing near political grid lock for the last two years.

What is stunning is that most of those Republican Congressional members are interested in PRIVATIZING the health care vets receive from VA hospitals across America.

Yet veterans themselves DO NOT WANT THEIR VA HEALTHCARE PRIVATIZED.

We hope veterans & their family members get the facts BEFORE

they vote for House or Senate candidates on Nov. 8th

1. The VA Choice program enacted by Congress in 2014 is a major step toward privatizing VA healthcare --pushing millions of vets out of the VA hospitals and into private sector healthcare. The Choice program gave every vet who lives more than 40 miles from a VA facility or who is given a VA appointment that is 30 or more days into the future, the right to go to the private sector for healthcare. Studies show private sector healthcare will cost approximately 30% more than VA care.

2. A 2015 opinion poll conducted jointly by Democratic and Republican polling companies, reported:

64% of all 22 million veterans oppose privatization of VA healthcare while 29% support privatization and 7% don’t know.

3. Vets who actually use VA healthcare know more about the issue than vets who do not use the VA for healthcare. When only vets who actually have used the VA were asked the same privatization question, the results were:

72% of vets who actually use VA healthcare oppose its privatization, 21% supported it and 7% don’t know.

The Need for Action

Nov. 8th. We urge veterans and their family members to vote for candidates for the U.S. House and Senate who support what veterans want and need: a fully funded and staffed VA with the modern healthcare facilities veterans deserve.

Regretfully, America has reached a divide – that, in general, to support veterans, it means a person must vote Democratic in House and Senate races. Sadly, the Republicans support pushing vets into private sector healthcare:

· Which is less able to provide the substantial care many vets require,

· Which will cost taxpayers approximately 30% more and

· Which will eventually require veterans to pay more for the physical and mental wounds they suffered during their service to America.

All citizens can take action today by asking their House member to co-sponsor Rep. Mark Takano’s House Resolution 918 which calls for “robustly” funding VA healthcare -- not privatizing it. Read the resolution here ** and contact your House member here.***

And most importantly all citizens can vote Nov. 8th to help veterans get the healthcare they need by voting for Democratic House and Senate candidates.

****

This commentary written by Buzz Davis & Ian Smith.

Buzz Davis, of Tucson, AZ, a long time progressive activist, is a disabled veteran, a member of Veterans for Peace and a former VISTA volunteer, Army officer, elected official, union organizer and state government planner. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Ian Smith, an Army Veteran, a native of Madison, retired from a successful career with the VA spanning 40+ years, and is a long time, staunch Unionist having served two terms as President of a 1,400 member VA Hospital Local 1732 and remains a delegate to SCFL and WI AFL-CIO. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

* http://www.vetvoicefoundation.org/press/VVF-Polling-Memo-151109-Veteransv2.pdf

** https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-resolution/918/text?resultIndex=94

*** http://www.house.gov/representatives/

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Ballot Box Has the Capability of Creating Political Revolution

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Tre
User is currently offline
on Monday, 13 June 2016
in Wisconsin

voteOur American national political system is corrupt, but we still have the capability to create a revolution by our vote for a candidate at the ballot box - both in the primaries and the general election.


STOUGHTON, WI - To say that America is in flux is an understatement.

I argue our American national political system is corrupt, as all political systems have been corrupt throughout history.

Kings, queens, emperors, prime ministers, dictators, presidents, etc. are a few of the names of the political bosses. The eternal problem has been how to reduce the arbitrary power of the boss.

In America, a few white (mostly well to do) men designed, after a few false starts, a representative form of government for white men – not women, Blacks or Native Americans. At first only state legislators chose US Senators and the president was elected by legislators. Under centuries of political pressure from progressive forces and a Civil War, we now have popular vote of all persons over 18 of all colors voting for U.S. senators and presidents.

But we have far to go to create a fair election system. We are in a long term effort to change the operation of the American political and economic systems. In military terms we have won and lost battles but have not yet won the war. The 1%ers won the war decades ago. And we probably will not win the progressive war against them for years.

The presidential primary is a combined system of primary voting (closed and open), caucuses and Super Delegates which all combine at the Democratic Party national convention to select the Democratic nominee.

Americans rightfully see a “rigged” system - rigged to favor two parties, big money, and smoke filled back room deals by white guys and now a few women.

Americans want to do away with the caucuses, closed primaries, SuperDelegates and 1%ers and corporations flooding the system with big money asking for big favors from those elected.

Americans want open primaries, public financing of campaigns and then let the chips fall where they may.

But under the present corrupt system, we still have the capability to create a revolution by our vote for a candidate at the ballot box - both in the primaries and the general election.

This year a Revolution DID happen for the Republicans/Tea Baggers - they unexpectedly got Mr. Trump.

“The Revolution” did NOT happen for the Democrats/Progressives in the primaries.

Sanders, advocating political revolution, did NOT win the majority of those who voted Democratic in the primaries. Thus Sanders has lost the primary vote and pledged delegate race. As of yesterday, the SuperDelegates became the deciding factor.

Why? The parties have designed a Rube Goldberg primary system under which the two major parties control the process - pushing big corrupt money into and pushing other parties/candidates out of the presidential election process.

We could have a national system of a couple of primary days. All candidates run in the parties of their choice (Republican, Democratic, Green, etc.), people vote for the top two candidates in the party of their choice, month of TV debates ensues, a month or so later in a second primary citizens vote again for their top choice in the party of their choice, we then have a nominee for each party, more debates, a final election and a winner based upon the popular vote. The federal government would have to set the standards and supervise the elections rather than a mass of local jurisdictions. And Americans want public financing for elections.

At this point, we have several groups or forces in contention for power.

Group 1: On the Right, we have Mr. Trump who would create the political Revolution the conservatives have dreamed of: A nice clean America where the white rich boys run it all, push down women and minorities, get most of the income and wealth, privatize most government functions to make a buck and have the monopoly on “power.”

But they are screaming that the right winger who has brought them to the top of the mountain, where they can see their dream of taking the White House, Congress and the Judiciary is Trump. He’s a right winger who is just too crude. And he can NOT be depended upon to toe the right wing line. He reminds them too much of the crude right wing 1%ers who fund all their campaigns and think tanks.

Group 2: The Clinton dynasty has been pushing for 30 years to get rid of the progressive streak in American politics. They have been successful - one 8 year presidency, a 2008 strong run and a 2016 strong run. But oh my the baggage Ms. Clinton carries into the nomination.

Group 3: Because of Clinton’s “baggage” prosecutors and whistle blowers have the power to derail Clinton’s speeding train into the White House. The corruption of our political system is vast and nearly impenetrable. Various investigations can be leaked – think voting “irregularities in NY, CA and elsewhere. Or, President Obama’s Democratic duct tape damn preventing the Department of Justice from finishing the investigation into Clinton private email server and alleged transmission of sending secret information over unsecure lines can burst.

Or, investigation results can be leaked – remember Deep Throat?

Group 4:  Sanders and or his supporters have a number of options.

A.    Because Clinton does not have enough pledged delegates to win the majority on the first ballot, Sanders can try to neutralize the power of the Democratic party’s kings and queens called SuperDelegates or try to win them to his side.  And win the nomination.

B.   Clinton can choose him as her vice president nominee effectively shutting down his mouth.

C.   Sanders can immediately bring various law suits to challenge the voting in some states, ask for injunctions and possibly cause re-votes in places like NY where alleged “irregularities” have taken place.  Then he could win or lose based upon re-votes.

D.   Sanders can choose to stay in the Senate and campaign for Clinton urging supporters to do the same.

E.   Sanders can choose to run an independent presidential campaign or combine with a party like the Green Party and continue fighting for political Revolution in November.

It is likely that what happens in the next 7 weeks prior to the Democratic convention and at the convention will determine what he decides to do.

Right now in pledged delegates Clinton has 2,203 and Sanders has 1,827 - he is behind by 376. Only the Wash. DC primary June 14th remains with 20 some delegates.

So Sanders can NOT win based upon pledged delegates. Only hundreds of SuperDelegates flipping from Clinton to him can make him win – unless courts require re-votes.

So what can progressives do? Our horse in the race may or may not be chosen the nominee at the Convention. As stated a thousand times, the political Revolution is not about Bernie – it is about us.

The weekend of June 17-19 progressive groups are conducting The People’s Summit in Chicago. Readers can google The People’s Summit and join the thinking process of what we can do to push the political Revolution in America this summer and the years ahead.

The one thing we can NOT do is give up our Hope for a better America with a good future for our little kids. We, as adults, must Fight Back against the powers that wish to enslave Americans economically and politically.

And we must fight for political Revolution with peaceful means!

The genie of violence once out of the bottle is almost impossible to contain. Just look at the Bush/Cheney/Obama/Clinton debacles in the Middle East and North Africa.

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Bernie’s Healthcare Plan is Revolutionary

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Tre
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 23 February 2016
in Wisconsin

bernie-sandersJust what we need to control costs & provide single payer healthcare for all!


STOUGHTON, WI - The Democratic debate in Milwaukee on February 11th was not one of the best nights for either Sanders or Clinton when it came to explaining their competing healthcare plans for America.

Bernie’s plan basically is the Medicare for All bill supported by progressives for years in our Congress.  This plan would revolutionize healthcare into a single payer system in the US.  The Federal government would tax individuals and employers and with these taxes pay all the healthcare bills for every man, woman and child in America.

In a recent poll 51% of Americans support single payer while 37% oppose it.

Clinton’s plan is basically trying to improve on Obama’s Affordable Care plan by charging additional taxes to pay for incremental changes and expansion of that system.  Basically Clinton keeps the present broken healthcare system of insurance companies, drug companies and for profit and non-profit hospitals in control.

The single payer Medicare for all has gotten nowhere in the past because of continued  campaign finance corruption - whereby healthcare special interests dump bags of money into the political campaigns of politicians supporting the status quo.

Clinton repeatedly asked Sanders where does the money come from?  How much does it cost?  Will it raise taxes?  And of course she states her plan is superior to Sanders’.

Sanders’ plan, including additional taxes, is on his website hiding in plain sight.  It’s a few pages long: berniesanders.com/issues/medicare-for-all/

I am sure Clinton’s staff has studied it well.

It would replace the present US healthcare system with a new single payer system where the Federal government pays all the costs for the system and raises various taxes to pay the bill.  All Americans would receive complete healthcare including prescriptions, dental, mental health and long term care.  Americans would have no more co-pays, no more deductibles and no more arguments with insurance company clerks.

Present total healthcare cost is estimated at about $3.2 TRILLION/yr. for about 323 million people in the USA or about $10,000/yr. per person.

Proposed Medicare for All system cost is estimated to cost about $1.4 TRILLION/yr. with likely additional startup costs.

Taxes:  All present government revenue presently spent on healthcare would be placed into the Medicare for All account.

The following new taxes are added and get placed into the same federal account.

  • 6.2% income based healthcare tax by employers – estimated revenue $.63T/yr.  (Example:  For a person earning $50,000/yr. the employer would pay $3,100/yr.  On average an employer today pays $12,600/yr. for family health insurance.  Sanders plan would save the employer about $9,500/yr.)
  • 2.2% income based tax on households – est. rev. $.21 T/yr. (Example: Per Sanders, a family of 4, after taking the standard deductions, would pay 2.2% on their taxable income for healthcare.  That 2.2% would equal $466/yr.  Presently a family pays about $5,000 in premiums plus about $1,300 in deductibles for a total of $6,300/yr.  Thus the family would save over $5,800 annually.)

How can both the employer and the worker save substantially each year and still have quality healthcare?  Because the high money earners (both salary and unearned income) and the wealthiest Americans will pay higher taxes.  And various tax breaks related to company healthcare spending would be eliminated.

  • Increase marginal income tax rates – est. rev. $.11T/yr.

o   To 37% on incomes over $250,000/yr.

o   To 43% on incomes over $500,000/yr.

o    To 48% on incomes over $2 million/yr. (the top 0.08% or approximately 113,000 households)

o    To 52% on incomes over $10 million/yr. (the top 0,01% or approximately 13,000 households)

  • Tax unearned income (capital gains and dividends) the same as income from work – est. rev. $92B/yr.
  • Limit tax deductions for families making over $250,000/yr. – est. rev. $15B/yr.
  • Place a new tax system on the estates of the wealthiest 0.3% of Americans with estates over $3.5 million – est. rev. $21B/yr.
  • Savings from health tax expenditures.  Per Sanders plan “Several tax breaks that subsidize health care (health-related “tax expenditures”) would become obsolete and disappear under a single-payer health care system…” – est. rev. $310B/yr.

Total additional federal revenues per year equal approximately $1.388TRILLION or about $1.4TRILLION.

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All single payer healthcare plan is a healthcare plan that’s smart for kids, working families and seniors.  It’s smart for American corporations facing an unlevel playing field in developed nations that already have single payer healthcare for their workers.

Sanders’ Medicare for All is a revolution I am in favor of.  Are you?

Read more at berniesanders.com/issues/medicare-for-all/ to help you decide how to vote Tuesday, April 5th in the WI presidential primary.

 

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America Manipulated by 1%ers & Media

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Tre
User is currently offline
on Monday, 07 December 2015
in Wisconsin

san-bernardino-2015Vietnam era veteran Buzz Davis provides his views on the media blitz working overtime to puff out the fog of WAR that is drifting over America. Are the rich 1%ers, Wall Street bankers and the proponents of the military/industrial/political complex clapping their hands in glee because fear mongering is working so well?


STOUGHTON, WI - For 50 years our presidents and generals have been like losing football coaches who lose year after year but always say, “Just wait ‘til you see us WIN next week – we’re gonna crush em!”

McNamara and LBJ were pros at spinning losses into wins in the media.

But on the ground, millions of Vietnamese and soldiers paid a deathly price for their lying and the public’s gullibility. (I include myself in the gullible -- fortunately I was not sent to Vietnam in 1969.)

A month ago the US presidential primaries were debating inequality because activists, unions, economists and -- an unknown old man named Bernie Sanders had pushed America’s massive income and wealth inequality front and center into the presidential campaigns.

The 1%ers saw Sanders shoot up in the polls between March and now. They see he has smashed the hornets’ nest of inequality. 1%ers and their Wall Street/CEO welfare queens will get bit hard in the pocket book if Sanders wins.

How can they destroy Sanders? Dirty tricks? Dark Money floods? Assassination? Ah, how about MORE WAR? That wouldn’t cost us a dime and we’d actually make a buck.

Bam, almost like an orchestra conductor waving the baton, Paris erupts in screams, shots and terror. The media goes into “fear” overdrive ahla 9/11.

Reality be damned. Let’s do war!

You and I know the real terrorists are our neighbors. We have seen the enemy and it is us boozed up at our local bar.

We have had over 450,000 deaths in alcohol related vehicle accidents in the USA in the last 35 years and millions of injuries – many horrific and many permanent. Drunks are the terrorists Americans should be fighting!

But let’s flip back to the political reality of the 1%ers.

So the consultant says to the 1%er, “Sir, here is my proposal. We’ll pull the old war trick. We puff up the fear of a bearded terrorist behind every tree who steals young girls and does beheadings just like our Saudi pals. We call for worldwide war against terror, Republican candidates salivate like Pavlov’s dogs looking at red meat, we play Sanders as a wimpy lefty/socialist, Clinton will put on her aviator jump suit like Bush and struts like a tough guy, Sanders sinks like a rock, we put Dark Money behind Bush III cause he is the most trustworthy putty in our hands, the race is Bush III against momma Clinton, we drop the dirty trick bag on Clinton that Billy will be running the White House and Bush III wins with our Stop The Vote Drive.

Result: We have another nice hot war for our buddies in the military industrial complex. We make money. The peons forget this BS about income inequality. I figure it will only cost about $2 billion.

What do you think sir?

Do it. Have David cut the checks when you leave.

Thank you Mr. Koch!

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Every Successful Sniper Round Leads to a Knock on the Door

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Tre
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 05 February 2015
in Wisconsin

vietnamwar2One veteran's reaction to the new 'American Sniper' movie.


STOUGHTON - All the senseless deaths, grievous injuries and destruction in war.  Maybe we will "never learn."  Across the world many are fighting back against these death machines we call governments.  This is a fight we can never stop.

American Sniper is just one item in this world that shows how much we have lost our way.  The supposed moral leaders of our nation are for the most part silent on America's never ending wars - called the War on Terror.

For each successful sniper shot, somewhere in the world there is a knock on the door - the messenger of death has arrived.

It reminds me of some of the worst days of my life.  I was a lieutenant stationed at Fort Bragg, NC.  I was informed that I was to serve as a survival assistance officer.  I soon found out what that meant.

I had to go tell a family that their young son was missing in action.  The soldier killed was a young Black man about 18, drafted, in Vietnam just a week or two.

The Mother and Father were divorced or separated.  The Army demanded I go and tell the Father first.  I had to go to the Mother's town to ask were the Father was, then go tell him in another town where he was working and then drive back to the Mother's town and tell her.  The agony for the Mother and his sisters was probably terrible.  When people saw my military car and driver I am sure the phones started ringing and they all dreaded for those we were going to see.

A few days later the Fort received a telegram that the young man had been killed in action in a "firefight."

I told the colonel I should go tell the Mother first and then tell the Father after I found out where he was working that day.  But he said you will tell the father.

So I found the Father an older man in a large field near a pile of lumber.  By the time I walked across the field to him he was just standing there in the hot sun, shoulders slumped all alone with his hands at his side.  I reached him and he says I know what you're going to tell me.  And I said yes.  He says sit down.  So we sit on the pile of lumber and I tell him his son has been killed.  We talk a bit and he explains how much he appreciates me coming and telling him.  I thank him and we shake hands.  As I walk across that field back to my waiting driver I think I tell him his only son is dead and he is very kind to me and thanks me for coming all the way to tell him in person.

An hour or two later I am back at the Mother's home.  Of course they all know by now.  From the very bright sunlight his sister leads me to her Mom's bedroom.  She is in bed in the dark with just small low light lamp at the side of the bed and a chair.  She says he's gone isn't he.  I say yes and she wants me to sit down.  I open the telegram and tell her that her son has been killed in a firefight.  Then I hear a gasp in the room and I look up.  There are about 5 men and women standing around the bed that I had not seen in the dark...They had all been waiting with her.

The Mother then asked was he in much pain.  I said what?  With the fire and all.  Then I realized she thought I was telling her her son had burned to death.  And I thought to myself God we can't even get it straight how to tell loved ones their son is dead.

So I explain that her son was a gun battle which the Army calls a firefight.  She felt better that he son had not burned to death.

A week later I went back to escort his body to the funeral home and prepare everything for the funeral.  Fortunately a sergeant escorted the man's casket from the East Coast.  That sergeant taught me and the detail of soldiers sent to help with the funeral what to do.

The family wanted to have the casket unlocked - my orders were the military said the casket was to be kept locked.  I said to the funeral director and the sergeant I think the casket needs to be kept closed.  But I knew what they wanted to do.  By that time in Vietnam, there were some unusual things going on with bodies and some of course were badly destroyed.  So I left to do something else.  When I returned the sergeant and funeral director showed me the young man's body and we were all thankful everything was ok.

I will never forget giving his Mother, a very small slender woman, the American flag after we removed it from his casket at the funeral.

The chairs for the family were very close to the grave.  At the proper time, I knelt in front of her with the folded flag and said on behalf our nation and the president of the United States of America I present this flag in honor of your son's sacrifice to our nation.

Just as I finished this the rifles went off with a very loud crack a couple feet away from the foot of the grave.  People screamed and jumped up.  I was so startled I jumped up, the Mother jumped up, I started falling backward into the open grave toward the casket.  She reached out and grabbed me.  There we were holding on to each other with the flag wedged between us.  I then sat her back down, saluted, went to the back and the minister took over to conduct the ceremony.

I have blocked that young solder's name and that wonderful family's name from my memory.  I think my brain just does not want to revisit those times.

So much senseless death going on and on century after century.

Now our government has tricked us again.  The all-volunteer military has turned into a mercenary army.  Our young men and women are again being brain washed into fighting battles for the 1%ers -- the lying, cheating, conniving men and women with kill lists who would never lower themselves to serve their county in the military.  When will we ever learn?

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