Thursday, October 30, 2014

Long Term 'Support the Troops' - Not in America, nor Britain, Canada Too

“We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration

DeJa-Vu, all over again!! And who do the people served and their hired representatives blame, why the agencies of course, for their failures!!

Iraq and Afghanistan veterans deprived of long-term support, say MPs
Cross-party group’s report says armed forces need more help to combat post-traumatic stress and alcohol problems

30 October 2014 - Britain’s armed forces are deprived of the help they need to combat post-traumatic stress, domestic violence, and “hazardous levels of alcohol consumption”, a cross-party group of MPs warn in a report released on Thursday.

They say veterans are faced with a “shocking” backlog in their claims for war pensions and compensation payments, and express concern about the long-term impact on troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan who have been injured, either physically or psychologically.

They say they are worried, as military operations there fade from the public eye, that long-term support for the injured will diminish, despite assurances from the MoD and the Department of Health. Leading charities have made clear they shared the MPs’ concerns.

The report, by the Commons defence committee, comes a day after leading professors in psychology and orthopaedics say the healthcare system is not providing veterans with the service they have been promised and that the government is failing to abide by the military covenant. read more>>>

“Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

The lid has been lifted on poor veteran care — now we need to improve it
October 29 2014 - Accusations are being made that the UK government is failing to meet the very standards it set for itself when it comes to veterans. Medical experts say former military personnel are not being given the priority NHS treatment they were promised in the military covenant that was signed into law in 2011.

Orthopaedic surgeon Tim Biggs and psychiatry specialist Neil Greenberg have both been quoted as saying that promises being made about veteran care are not being realised. Former soldiers say they are facing difficulties in getting NHS treatment and shadow ministers say the government of failing in its duty.

But this problem is not just about missing out on treatment. When veterans do get help, it is often not the help they need. Services still target veterans as a group, rather than as individuals with very individual needs.

The trauma and stress that service in war zones can cause mean that what happens to personnel after they leave is actually one of the most important aspects of military service. They suddenly find themselves away from what has been a life of strict discipline and intense pressure and can struggle to cope with the transition. Services are available to help but they often fail to recognise that each veteran is different. Services need to be more tailored to reflect the different problems faced by former military personnel, be they old or young. read more>>>

"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

Veterans Affairs, Feds Accused Of 'Inaction' And 'Inability'
06/08/2014 - Veterans of bureaucratic battles over the treatment of ex-soldiers unleashed a scathing critique Tuesday of the Harper government's record.

Outspoken advocate Sean Bruyea, at the centre of a privacy scandal when his personal medical information was leaked, testified to a parliamentary committee that MPs have failed to hold the department of veterans affairs accountable and to demand recommendations from previous studies be implemented.

The House of Commons veterans committee is reviewing the Conservative government's signature legislation, which governs the benefits and entitlements of those who've served. read more>>>

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014
Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!


DoD Statements on Monitoring for Military Personnel Returning from Operation United Assistance

Secretary of Defense Hagel: During an interview at the Washington Ideas Forum here, Hagel said the policy he signed this morning was “discussed in great detail by the communities, by the families of our military men and women,” who very much wanted a “safety valve” in place. 29 October 2014

Statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby on Controlled Monitoring for Personnel Returning from Operation United Assistance
October 29, 2014 - This morning, Secretary Hagel signed an order that validated a recommendation from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to place all U.S. military service members returning from Ebola response efforts in West Africa into a 21-day controlled monitoring regimen. This order will apply to all military services that are contributing personnel to the fight against Ebola at its source.

The secretary has also directed that the Joint Chiefs develop, for his review within 15 days, a detailed implementation plan for how this controlled monitoring will be applied across the force that takes into account the size and scope of the logistics required for this effort.

In addition, the secretary directed that the Joint Chiefs conduct a review of this new regimen within 45 days from now. This review will offer a recommendation on whether or not such controlled monitoring should continue based on what we learn and observe from the initial waves of personnel returning from Operation United Assistance.

The secretary believes these initial steps are prudent given the large number of military personnel transiting from their home base and West Africa and the unique logistical demands and impact this deployment has on the force. The secretary's highest priority is the safety and security of our men and women in uniform and their families.

Hagel: Monitoring Returning Troops Provides ‘Safety Valve’
WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2014 – A 21-day monitoring period for U.S. service members returning from areas affected by Ebola in West Africa provides a margin of safety that troops and their families wanted, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said here today.

During an interview at the Washington Ideas Forum here, Hagel said the policy he signed this morning was “discussed in great detail by the communities, by the families of our military men and women,” who very much wanted a “safety valve” in place. read more>>>


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ebola: U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

Medical Research Institute Develops Ebola Diagnostics
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2014 – The Ebola crisis in West Africa seized global attention in March, but scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases have worked for years on diagnostics, vaccines and drugs for Ebola and other lethal pathogens that adversaries might use in bioweapons targeting troops on the battlefield.

USAMRIID, based in Frederick, Maryland, has pioneered research since 1969 to develop such medical countermeasures, and its work has contributed to critically needed help in the current outbreak.

On Oct. 25, the World Health Organization reported 10,141 cases of confirmed and suspected Ebola virus disease in six affected countries -- Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the United States -- and in the previously affected countries of Nigeria and Senegal, and 4,922 deaths, all as of Oct. 23.

During a DoD News interview last week, a USAMRIID scientist discussed the institute’s work on Ebola diagnostics, a critical tool that allows medical workers in West Africa, and now around the world, to determine whether someone is infected with the Ebola Zaire virus.

The Ebola Zaire strain, one of four known strains of Ebola virus, is the one that has caused the current outbreak.

Diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutic drugs needed

In Africa today, some of the most-needed medical products are diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutic drugs to treat Ebola virus disease. USAMRIID and others are working on vaccines and therapeutics for Ebola, but none has been approved yet for use in patients. read more>>>

* * The Fight Against Ebola Is in West Africa, Not the US, Officials Warn * *

* * * DoD Helps Fight EBOLA in West Africa * * *

Navy Physician Provides Ebola Treatment Expertise to DoD Team
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, Oct. 27, 2014 – The Defense Department’s unprecedented mission of establishing a 30-member team to rapidly and effectively respond to any potential Ebola virus outbreak in the U.S. has brought some of the U.S. military health system’s best medical professionals together.

One member of the joint team brings real-world experience treating Ebola patients to the DoD training course that will assist in advancing the group’s proficiency. Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) James Lawler, chief of the clinical research department of the bio-defense research directorate, Naval Medical Research Center, Fort Detrick, Maryland, discussed his role on the DoD team serving as a subject-matter expert on Ebola treatment.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work in a couple of isolation treatment units in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said, “and recently, in May, I was at the Ebola treatment unit in Conakry, Guinea, as a consultant for the World Health Organization. He also worked with the local health ministry and with Doctors Without Borders, which runs the Ebola treatment unit in Conakry.

Advances in Ebola treatment

Lawler, an 18-year Navy veteran, said he thinks the treatment of Ebola has “evolved significantly” due to the outbreak in West Africa.

“We’re really rewriting the textbook on Ebola virus disease, because we’ve seen so many more cases in this outbreak,” he said. “I think we’ve tried to capture a lot of the lessons that have been learned from West Africa, and also from the repatriated patients who have been treated here in the United States. We’ve learned a lot about effective treatment and how important aggressive supportive care can be, and we’ve tried to impart those lessons to the team here.” read more>>>

DoD News Broadcast Channel Plans Ebola Special
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2014 – Defense Department leaders discuss mission, policy and protection of troops participating in the department’s Ebola response in a special program scheduled to air at 9 a.m. EDT Oct. 30 on the DoD News Broadcast Channel, Defense Media Activity officials announced today.

“Ebola Defense: A DoD News Special Report” also takes an in-depth look at the specialized training for service members deploying to West Africa, and the program also will present the latest information on the Army’s research on potential Ebola vaccines and treatments. helpful links found under report>>>

The Military’s Ebola Screening Machine Just Got Approved for US Hospitals
October 27, 2014 - Rapidly screening for Ebola at U.S. hospitals has just gotten easier thanks to military-funded technology. Salt Lake City-based BioFire announced over the weekend that they had received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for hospital workers to use their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening machine, the FilmArray, to screen for Ebola.

It’s the same machine that the U.S. military is using to fight the disease in Africa. But until Saturday, the FDA approved FilmArray for Ebola screening for research purposes only in U.S. hospitals.

The Dallas hospital that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who became the first individual to die of Ebola in the United States, but was not authorized to use it to test patients showing symptoms of Ebola. read more>>>


Monday, October 27, 2014

Peace Prize Laureates: "Release torture report"

Nobel Peace Prize Laureates to Obama: Release torture report
Oct 27, 2014 - Twelve Nobel Peace Prize winners have written an open letter to US President Barack Obama, urging him to release a Senate report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of torture.

“When a nation’s leaders condone and even order torture, that nation has lost its way,” said the letter, released Sunday by TheCommunity.com.

The prominent peace activists ask the US president for the “full disclosure to the American people, of the extent and use of torture and rendition by American soldiers, operatives, and contractors, as well as the authorization of torture and rendition by American officials.”

In the letter, the laureates also ask the Obama administration to specify a clear path to closing the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, along with any other US international “black sites” – secret overseas CIA prisons where US forces have conducted torture.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has compiled a 6000-page report on the CIA's use of torture after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Advocates for human rights have been urging the White House for two years to make the report public. read more>>>

* * * The British Iraq War Inquiry * * *
Released will carry private communications between GWBush and TBlair, like this already released: TB said there was a danger the Tories would see this as their chance to get rid of him … Bush said they would make it clear to the Tories that if they moved to get rid of TB "we will get rid of them".

* * * Iraq War Promoted Terrorism Rather Than Reducing It * * *

24 April 2014 - Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War promoted terrorism rather than reducing it and was a “strategic failure”, according to a major new report which estimated the cost of all UK conflicts since the end of the Cold War.
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014


Iraq & Afghanistan: War and Corporate For Profit Democracy

The Worship for the Corporate Controlled Government, long a Conservative and Libertarian Ideology, i.e. small government in name and personal only! Where the Government agencies would still exist, gotta have someone to blame, already done when corporate contractors do their thing, in a very lightly if at all unregulated with little to no oversite corporate control, private mercenary armies, so those hired to represent can build bigger budgets for growth of the corporate bottom line profits, think no-bid war contractor contracts and all costs on the credit card, less would then be on that credit card for the masses would be billed directly then and not given tax cuts along with costly, wealth enhancing, policies!

Is The U.S. Military Too Reliant On Contractors?
In war zones, private contractors can outnumber U.S. troops, but who controls them? NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Stanford's Joseph Felter and journalist Pratap Chatterjee about current safeguards.

October 26, 2014 - NOURI AL-MALIKI: (Through translator) We will never allow Iraqi citizens to be killed in cold blood by this company which doesn't care about the lives of Iraqis.

MARTIN: A month later, Blackwater CEO, Erik Prince, is taken to task on Capitol Hill. Here's Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman.

CONGRESSMAN HENRY WAXMAN: We're not getting our money's worth when we have so many complaints about innocent people being shot.

MARTIN: A couple weeks later, President George W. Bush says the incident will be investigated.

GEORGE W. BUSH: I will tell you, though, that a firm like Blackwater provides a valuable service. They protect people's lives.

MARTIN: But the company's reputation is crumbling.

snip

MARTIN: But there are still thousands of military contractors working for the U.S. government around the world - and questions about how they're held accountable. For more, I spoke with retired Army Colonel Joseph Felter, who teaches at Stanford University. And Pratap Chatterjee - he's the executive director of CorpWatch and the author of "Halliburton's Army." I started by asking them how dependent the U.S. military is today on contractors. Here's Pratap Chatterjee.

PRATAP CHATTERJEE: Since 9/11 we've had, on an average, anything between one and three contractors for every uniformed military in the various wars we've engaged in. So right now, in fact, at this very moment or at least a couple of months ago, there were 35,000 troops in Afghanistan and about 52,000 contractors. read more>>>

Right near the end of the discussion a comment is made showing what the subtle message really is in the agenda that started showing very clearly during the Bush administration and Conservative controlled Congresses:

FELTER: Well, Rachel, I think there's a disconnect between our current objectives and our - the strategy we're willing to take to achieve them. And I do anticipate increasing numbers of boots on the ground. You know, time will tell. But as far as using contractors, you know, we've got a couple options. Either we reduce the demand we place on our military or we increase the supply of uniformed military and government employees which, you know, means huge budget increases. So short of that, contractors are here to stay. And I think given that, we should start to integrate them into our command and control structures, integrate them into our preparations. And I think that's the way ahead.

They were quickly integrated, as Quick as the Country followed the beating drums in Abandoning the Missions and those sent to Accomplish after 9/11! Extremely quickly into Military Operations, Interrogation and Torture and into the Intelligence and more CIA operations, probably placing this private Merc Army behind the same wall the CIA maintains, secretive budgets and funding as well as operations 'In Our Name!'!!

* * * The British Iraq War Inquiry * * *
Released will carry private communications between GWBush and TBlair, like this already released: TB said there was a danger the Tories would see this as their chance to get rid of him … Bush said they would make it clear to the Tories that if they moved to get rid of TB "we will get rid of them".

* * * Iraq War Promoted Terrorism Rather Than Reducing It * * *

24 April 2014 - Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War promoted terrorism rather than reducing it and was a “strategic failure”, according to a major new report which estimated the cost of all UK conflicts since the end of the Cold War.
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014


Running For Congress: "I waterboard people"

“Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

GOP candidate in Montana congressional race uses military service as a calling card
October 26, 2014 - Backstage before a debate between the two main candidates vying for Montana's lone seat in the U.S. House, the moderator joked with John Lewis, the Democrat, asking whether he had brought his guitar to perform.

The Republican, Ryan Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, chimed in with his own brand of humor.

"John plays guitar," he said. "I waterboard people."

The comment was simply a joke, Zinke said in an email, though he acknowledged that waterboarding was part of his training. Still, the remark captures how he has tried to frame the race: a tough, decorated Navy officer versus a Washington, D.C., errand boy.

As military experience has become rarer, politicians who've served have elevated it to the top of their biographies. Zinke, one of four dozen Iraq or Afghanistan veterans running for the House or Senate, has gone further than most, making it the centerpiece of his campaign. read more>>>

Meanwhile - Reality in a Law, Laws we helped to create Internationally and Domestically and enforce as we condemn others who break same, Abiding Civil Society:

Refrains From Treating His Heroic Military Service as a Campaign Gimmick

Seth Moulton underplays military service
October 18, 2014 - The American political graveyard has more than a few monuments to politicians and public officials who embellished details of their military service, in some cases laying claim to medals for heroism or other military honors they never received.

And then, uniquely, there is Seth W. Moulton, the Democratic nominee for Congress in the Sixth Congressional District, a former Marine who saw fierce combat for months and months in Iraq. But Moulton chose not to publicly disclose that he was twice decorated for heroism until pressed by the Globe.

In 2003 and 2004, during weeks-long battles with Iraqi insurgents, then-Lieutenant Moulton “fearlessly exposed himself to enemy fire” while leading his platoon during pitched battles for control of Nasiriyah and Najaf south of Baghdad, according to citations for the medals that the Globe requested from the campaign.

The Globe learned of the awards — the Bronze Star medal for valor and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal for valor — after reviewing an official summary of Moulton’s five years of service, in which they were noted in military argot.

In an interview, Moulton said he considers it unseemly to discuss his own awards for valor. “There is a healthy disrespect among veterans who served on the front lines for people who walk around telling war stories,’’ he said. What’s more, Moulton said he is uncomfortable calling attention to his own awards out of respect to “many others who did heroic things and received no awards at all.’’

Moulton, who is facing off against Republican Richard Tisei in the Sixth Congressional District race, has been so close-mouthed about the medals that in his campaign, only his campaign manager – a former Marine – knew of the awards before the Globe asked for the citations on Wednesday. Even his parents did not know, and were told just this week, according to Scott Ferson, a campaign spokesman. read more>>>

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014
Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Marines Wrap-Up Afghan Combat Operations, Coming Home

Finally after the Missions, if there ever were any, for it took a new Executive Administration's DoD to take out bin Laden as just one of many, and those sent to Accomplish were so quickly abandoned after 9/11! Setting the stage for what quickly followed and has grown into even more extremist criminal terror and not only in that region!

U.S. Marines end Afghan operations, prepare to come home

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - October 26, 2014 - In a ceremony Sunday morning in dusty desert sunlight, U.S. Marines and British combat troops officially marked the end of their operations in Afghanistan, transferring Camps Leatherneck and Bastion to Afghan control. As national anthems from the three countries played, service members from all three countries stood at attention. The Marine flags were ceremoniously furled and cased, in recognition of the end of mission.

"This transfer is a sign of progress," said Brigadier Gen. Daniel D. Yoo, Commander of Regional Command South West. "It's not about the coalition, it's really about the Afghans and what they've achieved over the last 13 years. What they have done here is truly significant."

Every single combat Marine and British troop will soon board planes to head home - the exact date has been withheld for security reasons. It's a milestone in Helmand, the deadliest province for coalition forces throughout the war, with more than 940 troops killed, including 360 Marines. Five have died this year. read more>>>

Fact: Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014
Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bill 'Moyers & Company': The Fight — and the Right — to Vote

Full Show: The Fight — and the Right — to Vote
October 24, 2014 - This past weekend, the Supreme Court upheld Texas’ harsh voter ID law for the upcoming midterm elections, potentially disenfranchising some 600,000 mostly black and Latino voters.

The Lone Star state’s voter ID law is part of a nationwide effort to suppress the vote, nurtured by the right’s desire to hold onto power, as demographic changes are altering the electoral landscape. In the last four years, close to half the states in the US have passed laws restricting the right to vote, the most fundamental principle of democracy. read more>>>

Much More Found At: Moyers and Company


After Seven Years an Ounce of U.S. Accountability for Iraqi's, Finally

For we rarely do Accountability for the policies 'done in our names'. While we demand Accountability from all others, instantly if not sooner. As we collectively ask 'why do they hate us so?' or 'they're trying to take away or are jealous of our freedoms' as we destructively destroy their individual freedoms and more!!

In Iraq, Relief After News of Blackwater Convictions
OCT. 23, 2014 - Adel Ali Mehdi was tending his refreshments kiosk on Baghdad’s Nisour Square on Thursday when one of his regular customers stopped by with some important news: After seven years, Blackwater security contractors who had opened fire on the square had been convicted.

Seventeen Iraqis were killed in that fusillade, and the customer, Hassan Jaber Salman, was among more than 20 wounded. Mr. Mehdi, from his kiosk, had seen the whole thing unfold. Both men became witnesses for American prosecutors, and the trial ended on Wednesday with convictions of four of the former guards.

“Alhamdulillah,” Mr. Mehdi, 53, said to Mr. Salman. “Praise be to God.”

For many of the survivors of that event — the wounded, the witnesses, the relatives of the victims — the verdicts offered some solace after a traumatic event that became synonymous with the worst of the American occupation. read more>>>

* * * The British Iraq War Inquiry * * *
Released will carry private communications between GWBush and TBlair, like this already released: TB said there was a danger the Tories would see this as their chance to get rid of him … Bush said they would make it clear to the Tories that if they moved to get rid of TB "we will get rid of them".

* * * Iraq War Promoted Terrorism Rather Than Reducing It * * *

24 April 2014 - Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War promoted terrorism rather than reducing it and was a “strategic failure”, according to a major new report which estimated the cost of all UK conflicts since the end of the Cold War.
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014


Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Down By The Riverside"

Synopsis: Celebrating our 100th episode!!

We want to thank all of you for helping us to make this music, spread messages of love and hope, and build a global family. This one’s for you: “Down By the Riverside” around the world from our new CD/DVD, PFC3, and featuring Grandpa Elliott, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Congolese Choir of Grace.

In celebration of 100 episodes of music from around the world, we are also offering 25% off a wide selection of items in the PFC Global Marketplace for the next 72 hours. Our handcrafts, apparel, and music are great holiday gifts for loved ones, and each purchase supports the making and sharing of this incredible global music. Click here to shop now. Happy 100th Episode!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Imagine: John Lennon and Today's Youth

Imagine: Lennon's legacy still inspiring music in children
October 20, 2014 - It's not uncommon for an elementary school chorus to sing a John Lennon song.

It is quite the exception to the rule, however, to have Yoko Ono in the audience to hear it.

"It was good [to hear them singing]," said Ono. "So good."

Ono showed up in style at PS 171 in Manhattan. Alongside the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus which gives young, aspiring musicians the chance of a lifetime to record music and shoot videos in this state-of-the-art mobile studio.

CBS asked Ono: "You probably get asked all the time to lend your support and your name and John's name to all kinds of projects. Why did you decide to support this one?" read more>>>


Refrains From Treating His Heroic Military Service as a Campaign Gimmick

Seth Moulton underplays military service
October 18, 2014 - The American political graveyard has more than a few monuments to politicians and public officials who embellished details of their military service, in some cases laying claim to medals for heroism or other military honors they never received.

And then, uniquely, there is Seth W. Moulton, the Democratic nominee for Congress in the Sixth Congressional District, a former Marine who saw fierce combat for months and months in Iraq. But Moulton chose not to publicly disclose that he was twice decorated for heroism until pressed by the Globe.

In 2003 and 2004, during weeks-long battles with Iraqi insurgents, then-Lieutenant Moulton “fearlessly exposed himself to enemy fire” while leading his platoon during pitched battles for control of Nasiriyah and Najaf south of Baghdad, according to citations for the medals that the Globe requested from the campaign.

The Globe learned of the awards — the Bronze Star medal for valor and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal for valor — after reviewing an official summary of Moulton’s five years of service, in which they were noted in military argot.

In an interview, Moulton said he considers it unseemly to discuss his own awards for valor. “There is a healthy disrespect among veterans who served on the front lines for people who walk around telling war stories,’’ he said. What’s more, Moulton said he is uncomfortable calling attention to his own awards out of respect to “many others who did heroic things and received no awards at all.’’

Moulton, who is facing off against Republican Richard Tisei in the Sixth Congressional District race, has been so close-mouthed about the medals that in his campaign, only his campaign manager – a former Marine – knew of the awards before the Globe asked for the citations on Wednesday. Even his parents did not know, and were told just this week, according to Scott Ferson, a campaign spokesman. read more>>>

10/20/14 Veteran reporter exposes candidate’s secret: Valor
Rachel Maddow reports on the humility of congressional candidate Seth Moulton, who was so modest about his highly honored military service that he didn’t even tell his parents, and has refrained from treating his service as a campaign gimmick.

Captain America
October 20, 2014 - This is the most remarkable story of the midterm cycle, and I can't tell it to you without talking about the man who told the story in the first place. Walter Robinson of the Boston Globe is one of those investigative reporters whose names you do not want to see on your call sheet when you come back from lunch. Robinson is also a Vietnam veteran, and one of the conspicuous bugs in his ear are people who embroider their military records for political purposes.

(Full Disclosure: as it happens, when I was a young reporter at the Boston Phoenix, there was this fresh-faced millionnaire named John Lakian who was on his way to self-financing the Republican nomination for governor. Walter caught him making up his service and that was the end of him. Lakian sued and I got called as a witness to how widely Lakian had been peddling his bullshit, and because my earlier piece for the Phoenix had intimated that something was hinky about this guy. I hated being a witness, by the way. Avoid it if you can.)

Anyway, there's this guy named Seth Moulton, who is running for Congress as the Democratic candidate from the Sixth District up here in the Commonwealth (God save it!) Moulton already has done our republic great good service by ending the career of Democratic incumbent John Tierney by squashing Tierney in the primary. read more>>>


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pentagon Rapid Response Ebola Team Announced

Pentagon orders rapid-response team to tackle Ebola in US

Leadership!! Not FOX speak Conservative Fear, with blame everyone but themselves, as well as extreme failure by their private sector for profit hospital, Congressional Hearings, while on Vacation till after the Elections!! No Help At All From Conservative Congressional Representatives!!

19 October 2014 - The US Department of Defense has announced it is preparing a 30-person rapid-response team that will provide quick medical support to civilian healthcare workers in the US, as the Ebola hysteria sweeps the country.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered US “Northern Command Commander Gen. Chuck Jacoby to prepare and train a 30-person expeditionary medical support team that could, if required, provide short-notice assistance to civilian medical professionals in the United States," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement issued on Sunday.

According to Kirby, the team is in response to a request by the Department of Health and Human Services.

He added that the team, which will be ready to "respond quickly, effectively, and safely" in the event of more Ebola cases in the country, will include 20 critical care nurses, five doctors who specialize in infectious disease, and five specialists in infectious disease protocol training. read more>>>

* * * Operation United Assistance * * *

* * * DoD Helps Fight EBOLA in West Africa * * *

Ebola: 'Operation United Assistance'

Military Health Updates on Ebola Crisis


Bill 'Moyers & Company': 'Keeping Faith in Democracy'

Full Show: Keeping Faith in Democracy
October 17, 2014 - Marilynne Robinson’s new book, "Lila: A Novel", has been acclaimed by critics as “unflinching,” “an exquisite novel of spiritual redemption and love,” and “a book whose grandeur is found in its humility.”

This week, it was nominated for the National Book Award, the latest of a series of books she set in a fictional Iowa town that began with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead, published in 2004. In addition to her fiction, Robinson is also an accomplished essayist, and on this week’s show, Bill talks with her about her fervent belief in the power of grace and faith and her devotion to democracy, which she fears “we are gravely in danger of losing.”

She tells Moyers, “Democracy has been meant to remove the artificial constraints, poverty is the huge artificial constraint on human thought and action. In this country, there have been attempts to moderate that entrapment and we’ve abandoned that.” read more>>>

Much More Found At: Moyers and Company


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Military Health Updates on Ebola Crisis

Once upon a time, it does seem now like a fairy tail in these recent years, and not long ago Americans mostly supported Humanitarian responses to World problems and not with empty, Poser, patriotic words and symbols. The World watched as we joined together, mostly, to give aid and comfort as well as leadership. That's now long gone as we've erased the lines and crossed over to extremism in the name of politics. But I digress into the now reality, now an update:

The Military Health System published two new documents about the Ebola crisis:

- Fact sheet for families of Service members deploying to West Africa -
- Frequently Asked Questions about Ebola -

Ebola
Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).

Ebola is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. There are five identified Ebolavirus species, four of which have caused disease in humans: Zaire ebolavirus; Sudan ebolavirus; Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus; and Bundibugyo ebolavirus. The fifth, Reston ebolavirus, has caused disease in nonhuman primates but not in humans.

Ebola is found in several African countries. The first Ebola species was discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically in Africa.

The natural reservoir host of Ebola remains unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is animal-borne with bats being the most likely reservoir. Four of the five subtypes occur in an animal host native to Africa.

Learn more about Ebola: read more>>>

Earlier Post On Ebola: 'Operation United Assistance'

Face of Defense: Soldiers to Support Operation United Assistance

Guard, Reserves Available for Ebola Response
Oct 17, 2014 - The Commander in Chief OKs calling up Guardsmen and Reservists to assist in the West Africa Ebola response.

Oct. 17, 2014 - Obama Activates Reserves for Operation United Assistance

Oct. 17, 2014 – Transcom Widens Logistics Pipeline in Ebola Fight