Archive | November 2013

One in 4 Veterans in the U.S are Homeless!

Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11% of the general adult population, according to a report to be released Thursday.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-11-07-homeless-veterans_N.htm

 

 

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Armistice (Veteran’s) Day 11 November: “A Day to be Dedicated to the Cause of World Peace”

Vets for Peace

An Act of Congress, approved May 13, 1938, made November 11th of each year a U. S. federal holiday. Bells were rung throughout the world on November 11, 1918, the day that World War I, which the U.S. Congress called “the war to end all war”. The Act stated that it was the nation’s desire to have peaceful future, away from war, and that each November 11th from then on “shall be a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.”

However, on June 1, 1954, the 83rd Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans”, which enabled Americans to honor all veterans of wars the U.S. has engaged in. The organization Veteran’s For Peace, Inc., holds that Congress’s changing the word “Armistice” in the original law to “Veterans” the 1954 law changed the focus of the holiday from preserving the peace to “honoring warriors and war”, furthermore states “that too often rhetoric and patriotic symbols are used instead of genuine compensation for the extraordinary sacrifices and services of military personnel…”.

The Veterans for Peace also states (in its 2008 proclamation) that “the ringing of bells is so much more fitting and peaceful than the often practiced gun salutes and fighter plane flyovers” and Veterans For Peace, Inc. urges its membership to adopt the procedure of honoring peace by focusing on bell ringing on Armistice Day, November 11 and other solemn occasions”. The following, as well as the picture above, is taken from their website:

Veterans For Peace calls for the observance of Veterans Day to be in keeping with the holiday’s original intent. Congressional Act (52 Stat.351: 5U.S. Code, Sec.87a) approved May 13, 1938, made November 11th of each year a legal Federal Holiday,“A day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.”

The ceasefire on the, “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918 along the European Western Front was such a relief to all those involved as the world had never seen such horror and carnage as World War I. The horrible conflict that had come to be known as the “War to End War” brought the bulk of humanity to contemplate abolishing war.

Veterans For Peace calls on its members and allies to observe Veterans Day by rejecting militarism and the glorification of war. We call on the nation to honor veterans and all those who have died in war by working for peace and the prevention of war. There is no better way to honor the dead than to protect the living from the fear, terror and morale deprivation of war.

VFP Resolution Submitted by Bob Heberle, VFP Chapter 27, (Endorsed by VFP Chapter 27)

Whereas bells worldwide were rung on November 11, 1918 to celebrate and recognize the ending of WWI, “The war to end all wars” and

Whereas to commemorate that peaceful pledge, bells were rung November 11 for over 35 years, and

Whereas, legislation making November 11 a holiday passed in 1938, ” Shall be a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” and

Whereas the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars, and

Whereas the substitution of the word “Armistice” to “Veterans” changes the focus from peace to war by celebrating and honoring warriors and war, and

Whereas that November date symbolized the nation’s desire to hold to a peaceful future and away from war, and

Whereas, too often rhetoric and patriotic symbols are used instead of genuine compensation for the extraordinary sacrifices and services of military personnel, and

Whereas 90% of victims of wars are now civilians and by honoring only veterans, the public is distracted from the awful price paid by those other than military members, and

Whereas Chapter #27 has for over 17 years promoted the ringing of a bell eleven times at its ceremonies on November 11 and at other solemn occasions such as funerals to remind the public of that Armistice Day peace pledge, and

Whereas the ringing of bells is so much more fitting and peaceful than the often practiced gun salutes and fighter plane flyovers.

Therefore Be It Resolved that Veterans For Peace, Inc. urges its membership to adopt the procedure of honoring peace by focusing on bell ringing on Armistice Day, November 11 and other solemn occasions.

Approved at the 2008 VFP national convention.

nov11bell

Governor Walker’s $100 Million Tax Cut Not in Wisconsin’s Best Interest*

no+tax+cuts

I do not believe Governor Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature’s decision to give Wisconsin property owners a $100 million tax cut over the next two years was in our state’s best interest. The bill was rush through both houses and signed by Scott Walker in order to have it reflected on this year’s billing. But for the sake of efficiency our government clearly discouraged us from having any input.

 I would have told them to use the money to help Wisconsin’s residents and businesses lower their carbon dioxide footprints instead. As I recall, that was one of your newspaper’s main goals this year and I supported that.  Considering the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – that it is “extremely likely” (with 95% certainty) that our burning of fossil fuels (in things like power plants, automobiles,motor cycles, trucks, jet airplanes, ships and ATVs, etc.) is causing our planet to warm, resulting in rising sea level, ocean acidification, ecosystem changes worldwide, more and longer (and deadlier) heat waves and other extreme weather events like heavy rainfall and flooding, faster and faster melting of the polar ice cap, the permafrost region, mountain glaciers, more drought and fire threat and increased threat of a whole of other climate changes caused by rising carbon dioxide other greenhouse gas concentration in our atmosphere.. According to the scientists who wrote the report, these threats will increase in severity the more heat absorbing greenhouse gases remain in our atmosphere, and the effects will be felt for centuries.
 
 
The $100 million tax cut comes on the heels of the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) decision to withhold utility contributed rebates to Wisconsin homeowners installing solar panels for electricity or hot water, rather than their continued use of fossil fuels (natural gas, electricity from coal or natural gas burning power plants.
 
 
I was not pleased, either, to read the Associated Press article saying federal renewable energy aid for American farmers is doubtful after this year as well, due to heavy lobbying by coal and other fossil fuel industry interests.
 
 
It was disheartening to me as well to read the quotes of the federal representatives from this area and our two senators in Washington. In my opinion, Senator’s Baldwin and Ron Johnson; and Representatives Mark Pocan, Ron Kind, and Paul Ryan. All promised to work harder on creating jobs and growing the economy and paying down the federal budget debt. It is so terribly discouraging for me to see that, despite the overwhelming cost that global warming is already bearing down upon us, our governmental leaders at the federal and state level continue to act as if its “business as usual”, procrastinating on meaningful and timely actions that are urgently needed now to minimize our GHG contributions and not just keep waiting be better and more efficient technology. It’s a problem that is already causing great hardship;  we do not have the luxury of waiting for better technology to solve the problem. Future Americans and Wisconsinites will have it the worst. Our governmental leaders as well as all of us should step up to the plate now and do something. We risk having the game get over before we even get our chance to bat.That’s what happens when one waits too long, and does use their finances resources wisely.
 
 
* Copy of a letter I sent to the Wisconsin State Journal editor, October 21, 2013. /MTN

92,000 Wisconsites Formerly on BadgerCare Insurance May Be Uninsured Come January 1st

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The Gov. Walker administration has informed about 92,000 poor or disabled Wisconsin residents that  their BadgeCare health insurance has been terminated as of January 1, 2014,, the day the state expects those people to move to insurance coverage planned to be available at the federal marketplace exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act.

The letters also inform the Medicaid recipients they need to purchase health insurance through the new online exchange, or marketplace, by December 15. That is the federal deadline for obtaining ACA coverage by January 1st. Governor Scott Walker’s budget has striped BadgerCare Medicaid benefits from those who earn between 100 percent and 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Governor Walker then rejected $119 million of federal money over two years that would have paid to keep those earning up to 138 percent of the poverty level enrolled in Medicaid.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett asked Governor Scott Walker in a letter late last week to delay changes in the state’s BadgerCare program to ensure that the 92,000 persons  who were informed that  their health insurance coverage was being terminated will have a reasonable opportunity to enroll in an alternative health insurance plan by the December 15 deadline. Reason is that the highly publicized problems with the new federal marketplace have created widespread enrollment problems, potentially leaving thousands of people who had formerly been covered by BadgerCare completely uninsured come January 1.

“The simple solution to this problem is to postpone implementation of all BadgerCare changes until March 31, 2014,”, Mayor Barrett wrote to the Governor. “This is all about the well-being of tens-of-thousands of vulnerable Wisconsinites who are likely to lose their healthcare coverage while being unable to secure a federally approved marketplace policy in time.

Barrett says that because people would have to sign up by Dec. 15 to get the federal coverage by Jan. 1, and there have been problems enrolling in the federal program, the state cutoff of BadgerCare should be delayed three-months. to March 31. Walker denied his request, saying “we’re still going to believe the federal government, in the comments that they made, that it will be operational by the end of the month.”