Friday, May 23, 2014

If Not Now...


At workday's end today (or truth be told by 11:00 am or so), we the people of these United States will be firmly immersed in our annual celebration of Memorial Day.  It is the unofficial start of summer after all; right?  It is a time associated with long weekends, outdoor activities, cookouts, picnics, trips to the beach and time spent with family and friends.  All of those things are good things.  They are not however THE thing.

Here is a fact - and it is one that cares not what side of the political fence you straddle or whether your state is Red or Blue or something altogether different:  The manner in which we the people of these United States treat the men and women who wear the uniforms of this nation's armed forces if fucking shameful.  Period.  End of conversation. 

These days, veterans are big news in the District of Columbia.  On the heels of Veterans Administration Secretary Eric K. Shinseki having disclosed that the results of an internal investigation that revealed utterly ridiculous wait times for treatment at VA facilities across the country and - better yet - the falsification of records at some of those very same facilities (Why treat them when you can simply doctor the records to make it appear as if you had?  Because when veterans begin doing really inconvenient things such as dropping dead upon having been denied the care for which records have been fabricated things tend to get messy.  Right Phoenix?), President Obama had a Howard Beale moment Wednesday. 

The President declared that he would not stand for it to continue, "So if these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it, period.  Once we know the facts, I assure you if there is misconduct it will be punished.”  Ah, Presidential hand-wringing.  There is nothing quite like it in all of the world.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/obama-sets-timeline-for-va-review-defends-his-record-on-veterans/2014/05/21/c1a23088-e0fe-11e3-8dccd6b7fede081a_story.html?hpid=z2

Except for Congressional hand-wringing of course.  A number of high-profile Republicans assailed the President's "wait and see" the results of the Inspector General's report approach.  Of course they did.  Mid-term elections are fast approaching and the GOP, needing to do whatever it can do to gain six seats in the United States Senate to take control of it, believes it has found an issue with a bit of meat on the bone.  http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/05/21/va-crisis-gop-obama/9374301/.   "Found" being the operative word in that sentence inasmuch as someone interested in finding it might have realized as long ago as March 2013, courtesy of testimony given to a House subcommittee, that there was indeed a marriage of smoke and fire.  http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/05/21/veterans-healthcare-scandal-shinseki-timeline/9373227/.  Makes for better television and poll numbers now it appears. 

How 'bout we the people of these United States do something that we have found it harder and harder to do here in the 21st Century.  Put our partisan bickering over fucking nonsense aside, look at this cast of characters we have elected to the highest offices in the country and order them to fix what is fucked up.  Stop talking about it.  Solve the goddamned problem.  The "This Way To Righteous Indignation" Bus Tour can wait.  Oh, and let us remind them too that simply blaming the other guy is not tantamount to actually solving the problem.   Spend two minutes or so taking a look at the video that was sent to me from the good people at Veterans Village of San Diego - who are doing really good things for our veterans - and then ask your Senator or Representative how much the men and women getting assisted by groups such as Veterans Village of San Diego give a rat's ass about who wins the hand-wringing war:



It is Memorial Day in America.  If not now, then when...



-AK 

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