Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall
October 27, 2013
Is it called “The American Dream” because you have to be asleep to believe it? Comedian George Carlin once said so.
We Americans have lost a lot in the past 25 years… you can mark the beginning of our losses to the beginning of the Presidency of George Herbert Walker Bush who took office in 1989 and who it appears, as the former CIA Director, brought to the White House with him an army made up of rogue intelligence operatives. Bush also brought with him the concept of a “New World Order.”
What is among the most disgusting losses is a burden borne by our military and its veterans. About a month ago, the federal government had sufficient funds to be only a hair’s breadth away from dropping bombs on Syria, but two weeks later could not afford to keep open military memorials so those who provide our freedom could visit them.
Far more serious problems resulting from the recent government shutdown were added to the burdens that are a normal part of any military family’s day-to-day existence. For example, VA Hospital health care is protected by a 2009 law passed by the Congress to fund VA health care a year in advance but under the recent closure things like disability, pension and GI Bill payments were under threat of non-payment. All October payments had already been sent at the time of the shutdown, but the VA announced that if it lasted longer than two or three weeks, November’s payments might not be made due to a shortage of cash.
You just don’t do that to people who have put their lives on the line to protect our nation!
Vets who filed VA claims found there were delays in processing them. No new claims were processed at all during the shutdown. All disability claims and appeals were halted. Over 7,000 Veterans Benefits Administration employees and close to 3,000 Information Technicians were put on furlough. But we could afford to expand our war effort in the Middle East to include Syria just two weeks before the shutdown? We’re not talking about someone needing care for a strained back here. We’re talking about people who have lost arms and legs and eyes!
There was tremendous confusion regarding orders that had been issued prior to the shutdown. Orders issued after the shutdown on October 1 – especially AT, TDY, ADT and ADOS – might still be valid or they might not be valid. Who knew? No one… even up the chain of command.
Perhaps the unpaid military benefits that resounded most loudly with the American people was the removal of death benefits. The $100,000 death benefit and travel expenses for family members wanting to go to Dover AFB for the return of their loved one’s body or to attend the soldier’s military funeral were unavailable and caused a national furor. The privately-owned Fisher House Foundation stepped forward and paid for these services. Legislation was rapidly passed to correct the problem, but it should not have occurred. Burials at national cemeteries run by the Department of Defense, were (at the very least) delayed, too.
It seemed apparent to the civilian world watching the unfolding of the government shutdown that the Obama Administration was using the military (perhaps because as the military’s Commander in Chief the President of the United States maintains more control over the military than he does over the rest of us?) for political gain. Specifically, the Barack Obamas and the Harry Reids and the Nancy Pelosis of the world wanted us – that’s you and me – to blame the Republicans for the cruelties resulting from the government shutdown. As we all know, the House Republicans passed and sent to the Democrat-controlled Senate legislation that funded every government program with the exception of Obamacare and so most of the sacrifices, civilian and military, were unnecessary. The Democrats in the Senate refused to approve the funding. Most of us know that. Many Democrats will deny it, but it is the truth.
The military has been hit in many ways beyond those that get publicized. For example:
The U.S. Senate failed to pass legislation that prevents veterans from losing gun ownership rights if they are deemed incapable of handling their financial affairs. If a veteran comes home from Afghanistan (or came home from Iraq) blind or unable to write a check to pay bills, the Senate (under the leadership of Senator Harry Reid and the Democrats) voted 56-44 to deny such injured veterans the right to own firearms.
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) sponsored the amendment rejected by the Democrats to enable veterans whose Second Amendment rights were being violated because they were declared incapable of handling their own financial affairs. Burr stated that the lives of 129,000 vets had been impacted. The Senate Democrats voted Senator Burr’s legislation down.
The decision as to whether a veteran can enjoy his or her Second Amendment rights to own firearms is made by a benefits administrator, not by a mental health professional, said Burr who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. “The current process is arbitrary. It does not look at whether they represent a danger to themselves or to others, and it is in no way relevant to whether the individual should have access to firearms.”
The current process, however, is approved by the Veterans Administration which submitted a statement to the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee saying that current procedures allow a veteran to have firearms rights restored by either getting the incompetency determination reversed or by petitioning the VA to have their firearms rights restored on the basis that “the individual poses no threat to public safety.”
In addition to losing Second Amendment rights, soldiers attending a pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood say they were told that evangelical Christians and members of the Tea Party were a threat to the nation and that any soldier donating to those groups would be subjected to punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The attacks against military freedom of religion have been fast and furious. So much for the protections of the First Amendment, too. Isn’t one of the primary purposes of our military to protect the loss of our constitutional rights – but they cannot protect their own? Hmmmm....
And all of us need to watch a recent CBS News broadcast about VA Hospitals. It explains how VA employees involved in deaths caused by the hospitals are getting large bonuses:
You and I expect people of sufficient intelligence to put their lives at risk so we can enjoy our comfortable American lifestyles while they fight this political war about Afghan poppies and the heroin that comes from them, a war about oil and gas and pipelines (the reasons for the Obama/Kerry decision to bomb Syria), the rejection of the central bank concept that is destroying the world’s economies (the reason for Libya) to willingly allow the U.S. Government to take from them their Second Amendment rights? They should willingly accept the fact that because they are sufficiently disabled that they cannot pay their bills so that makes them too dangerous to own firearms?
The way veterans and military personnel are treated makes me wonder why any of them would want to serve a nation bereft of moral character and abusive of those who serve. Some day you may wonder, too – like when we no longer have a volunteer military because people refuse to serve and accept the abuse.
One of the questions I have been asked many times regarding my support of Ambassador Lee Emil Wanta is why do I willingly place my name and reputation at risk over such a controversial issue. One of the major reasons has to do with making sure our military personnel are properly treated.
I have now finished writing Wanta’s official biography and feel better able to comment on such issues. You can find the book, WANTA! Black Swan, White Hat at the Amazon.com Web site. It is available on Kindle. It is not available in print because the links to hundreds of pages of documents cannot be made part of a printed book. This man’s life is so incredible, the links providing evidence of truthful commentary is essential for his history to be believable.
First, there is no doubt the U.S. Government stole the money Wanta raised to pay the debt of this nation when it became a threat to national economic stability – THAT WOULD BE NOW. Second, Lee Wanta has put together programs to stimulate new jobs, return America’s manufacturing base to help stimulate economic growth and to build a high-speed rail system that will not only create two million new jobs (with full benefits – and it won’t impact just America but Canada, too), and at the base of these two objectives is a training and benefit program for our veterans. Others will qualify too, but the program is directed at vets.
Anyone who has read WANTA! Black Swan, White Hat, knows the story about his creation of the largest fortune in history by one man -- $27.5 trillion – is accurate. There are hundreds of pages of documents linked to the manuscript to prove that what is said throughout the book is the truth. But there wasn’t room in the biography for me to write about the programs Wanta intends to implement with his funds once he receives them – and he will, eventually, receive them. His biography has generated much curiosity – and many angry nations, including China – around the world and it cannot be ignored forever.
Chapter 15 of the biography explains Wanta’s plan for high-speed rail and why such a program is of critical importance to the United States. Here, however, are some items the book does not cover (there just wasn’t room for a complete explanation of them):
1. Work with the numerous trade schools already in business (including those who teach construction skills at the Salvation Army) and pay for training veterans returning from service (and other qualified candidates). In addition to training them in the trade of their choice, teach them to run their own plumbing or roofing or tiling or electrical or carpeting businesses. Provide capital for their business startup.
2. Offer additional training to those who are interested and whose skills qualify them to start companies (capital provided) that manufacture the products most commonly used by plumbers, roofers, tilers, electricians, carpeters, and carpenters, etc.).
At the moment, most of the products we use in America are made in China… we all know that it began with NAFTA. The quality of the products goes beyond questionable to very low quality. I had a costly plumbing repair made recently. Two days later, the problem (a leak) returned. The plumber apologized. He said the parts the plumbing supply shops get from China must be returned and the customers’ problems re-addressed nearly half of the time. Why? Poor quality plumbing products from China.
Lee Wanta understands that capitalism (as defined by its creator, Adam Smith) is the result of millions of shopkeepers and independent businesses, not multi-national companies whose only loyalties are to the cheapest pool of international labor available to serve their product needs. He understands that if products can be made by unemployed, untrained people who become trained, and the products can be made at competitive prices, it will allow us to regain a small portion of our manufacturing base and build on it.
The only price people (not just veterans, but all people) will pay for the training he wants to provide to create tradesmen and women is a promise from them to purchase their products from those who will provide American made products at a reasonable cost. These companies who will be manufacturing American made products are not intended to grow into giant companies, just independent businesses large enough to serve the needs of their communities.
Those are not the only programs Wanta plans to provide to help heal the wounds of our stupidly run economy. Many people, including myself, believe the “stupidly run economy” has been an intentional effort to destroy the American Republic. For those readers who have forgotten, we are a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy.
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Finally, certain of the Wanta funds will go to buying or building apartment buildings to provide a free place for the families of veterans whose loved ones must suffer extensive stays in Veterans Administration Hospitals. There is a children’s burn treatment center planned in Phoenix, AZ. … there are many plans.
For those of you who have wondered why my support of this patriot has been so firm and unshakeable, I can only say the above programs outlining Wanta’s plans are just the beginning… but there’s no more room here to discuss how a floor can be put under the real estate market and how to force the unlawful foreclosures by too big to jail banksters to stop, cease and desist.
Rather than asking me why I support him, I think the better question is: Why aren’t you and all other Americans supporting Ambassador Lee Emil Wanta?
© 2013 Marilyn M. Barnewall - All Rights Reserved
Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall began her career in 1956 as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 years (plus) as a banker and bank consultant, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, was U.S. Consulting Editor for Private Banker International (London/Dublin), and other major banking industry publications. She has written seven non-fiction books about banking and taught private banking at Colorado University for the American Bankers Association. She has authored seven banking books, one dog book, and two works of fiction (about banking, of course). She has served on numerous Boards in her community.
Barnewall is the former editor of The National Peace Officer Magazine and as a journalist has written guest editorials for the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and Newsweek, among others. On the Internet, she has written for News With Views, World Net Daily, Canada Free Press, Christian Business Daily, Business Reform, and others. She has been quoted in Time, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and other national and international publications. She can be found in Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Finance and Business, and Who's Who in the World.
Web site: http://marilynwrites.blogspot.com