“I can't address this particular situation, but based upon experience, men, and now probably women do some strange things under combat conditions. We have no way of knowing at this time if this soldier was/is suffering some kind of psychological impairment that affected his judgement. Being realistic, no member of our military would just stray alone into terrain where the enemy is lurking, especially knowing what happens to captured Americans. The entire situation and decision by this soldier is irrational. So before we all pass judgement on him, let's see what the facts are, the relevant evidence. If it was a case of just being AWOL because he felt like it, then he should be Court Martialed. And no, he can't be charged with desertion, Afghanistan isn't a declared war. If I remember my UCMJ, a member of our military can only be charged with desertion during a declared war by Congress. They can hit him with the AWOL charge, probably Missing a Movement, theft/misappropriation of government property, maybe a couple of other small charges, but that's about it.”
“Sadly, Boehner is the best of the worst when it comes to Republicans. The few Republicans eyeing the Speakership in the House are far worse than Boehner and his bag of tricks.
The VA will always be underfunded and staffed by political lacky's of one Party or the other. Lip service, nobody has the audacity to really take the bull by the horns and do what's required to make sure Veterans are not short changed. Been in the VA system since 6/69 and seen and heard it all. In the end, the bean counters dictate who gets what in funding. Heck, funding for the VA isn't even a guarantee! Congress could shut the tap and tell Veterans tough luck, you're on your own.
Could write a book about all I've seen/heard/been part of at the VA since 6/69. Doesn't justify it, but our new Veterans have no idea about how bad the VA was back in 69, the 70's/80's/part of the 90's. Today, VA services are 1,000% better. Not good enough yet, hopefully this event will finally get people off their butts to fix problems at the VA. And by 'people' I mean the American citizen finally demanding Veterans are well taken care off.
As an aside, heard McCain mouthing off about the situation. I always ask veterans who support this guy to look at his voting record on Veterans Bills. Of the 15 Bills introduced since he arrived in DC, meant to help Veterans, McCain has voted nay on 13 of those Bills! McCain and his right wing cohorts have voted nay just as he has done. Look at the Bill introduced by Bernie Sanders of Vermont and who voted nay on it? It sure as hell wasn't Democrats, with the exclusion of some who call themselves Democrats, but are really Republicans in sheeps clothing.
I wish we were allowed more space for replies, as there are some really simple resolutions to problems at the VA. As a Veterans Service Officer for a Veterans organization, believe I've seen it all in four decades, but too few will listen. Too many know it alls in VA upper management who don't belong there.
“Bob, do you utilize the services at the VA? If not, you know nothing about how the VA operates and functions.
Been in the VA system since 6/69, 100% disabled due to a bad day in Nam as a helicopter Crew Chief. I've seen the worst of the VA back in 69, through the 70's & 80's until today and today, the VA is 1,000% improved. Since about 1998, I've had very few problems when it comes to medical care. Any problem a Veteran has, you go see your patient advocte and it's usually resolved in a matter of minutes.
The problem at the VA; operating for the budget. Management is rewarded if they don't spend their entire budget and it has to stop. Being paid $150K to $225K annually should be enough to do any management job at the VA, they don't need a bonus. The other problem the VA has, it pays its physicians and medical staff too little, much less than a director at a VA facility, hence the large turnover of medical professionals.
The people in the trenches at the VA do an outstanding job of caring for Veterans. Problem with management; too many obtained their positions because of who they know and the right people making sure their compadre is hired, though they're not qualified for the job and most aren't Veterans...have seen it constantly over the course of 4 decades.
Let's hope this is the beginning of real positive change at the VA.”
“Very true Anthony. I always like to provide this little piece of data for people to dwell upon.
In 1956, you could take 46, 54, 63, 75 up to about 1982. In 1956, 24% of all federal revenue was derived from corporations, in 2012, it was 8%! Lot's of people talk about how much corporations and the wealthy pay in taxes. What's important isn't the Dollar amount, but the percentage paid on the taxable Dollars in question. And it's obvious based upon the current tax code, corporations and the wealthy don't pay anywhere near the actual Dollars they should be paying in taxes.
My next question is always; how do taxpayers think and believe this constant reduction in revenues from corporations and the wealthy is made up? The answer is simple; just look at the tax code for the average person. For people old enough, there was a time when all medical expenses were tax deductable. Not anymore...to deduct one Dollar, your medical expenses have to exceed 10% of your gross income. Ditto on nearly every other deduction...thresholds. Some deductions have been totally eliminated. The shortfall in revenues, well, we just keep borrowing the difference. And what's even more offensive, these massive tax reductions for corporations/the wealthy hasn't produced one single job promised for providing this largesse from real taxpayers...mostly the lower to upper middle class. There's been wealth distribution okay, but nearly all of it has gone to a small % of our population...a recipe for disaster.
“It's apparent by your post, you know little to nothing about our Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or of the writings of our Founders. I doubt you have, but have you ever taken the time to read the letters, diaries, communications extant of our Founders? To say yes would immediately indicate to me, and predicated upon your post, clearly demonstrate you haven't done so. The vast majority of our Founders, their vision for the new United States is far removed from what we now see; the culmination of 3+ decades of undermining Their expectations of the new America they created. Nowhere in their writings will you find a blind obsession with what we call capitalism. In fact, They were very concerned about how money, excessive wealth would corrupt the political/economic process They established and how it would undermine the progress of America and undermine the well being, safety, health and prosperity of all American citizens. They were very aware of the European forms of socio-economic systems and made no distinction between those of great wealth in America and European royalty when wealth was utilized to benefit only the few. What we now see in America is the last thing our Founders wanted to see occur; a bastardized economic process and system of taxation that benefits the few. Unbridled capitalism is just as dangerous as any other ism when it's controlled by the few, for the few. Honest capitalism hasn't existed in America for decades...maybe you haven't noticed?”
“"intimate and insightful commentary as they both speak with great authority and accuracy from a White House insider's perspective."
Sure, and pigs can fly! If what we hear from both of them is intimate, insightful, spoken with great authority and my favorite, their accuracy, it's easy to discern why administrations are so dysfunctional with the lame, pathetic and sometimes almost juvenile comments by either. So much for the 'brain trust' a president surrounds themselves with. Gimme a farmer, trash collector, taxi driver any American who's sole purpose isn't motivated and their existence predicated upon politics and speaking fee's. These types of people are an aberration within our society and I haven't met, heard speak or seen anything written by these types that contributes to the building of a stronger socio-economic system for all American citizens. They're just part of the political gravy train, will BS the American people at the drop of a hat just to maintain their vaunted faux importance to the Nation. Nobody should care about what these types of individuals have to say on any subject...it's all an act to feed their ego's and bank accounts no matter their claimed ideology. The only way we will see positive change in America; end the stranglehold the D's & R's have on the electoral process. Neither Party cares about the average American...ask nearly any lobbyist employed by the corporate despots, look at the legislation enacted the past 3+ decades...see who it's helped.”
May 13, 2014 at 10:35:28
HuffPost Live 321
“I agree, but what a terrible decision to have to make simply because health care in America is predicated upon profits. Now that PPACA is here, I'm hoping we will see less and less of desperate people needing health care, who couldn't afford it and do what's ever required to save a life. It's no way for any society to exist, especially our own. A healthier society is a more secure society, a more productive society, a happier society, a safer society...sadly, far too many people don't see the connection and would still seek to deny health care to every American citizen. This story is another perfect example of why our health care services in America had to be changed. The next step is removing the profit motive from medical care in America. As long as it exists, we will continue to witness horror stories in medical care for Americans. If we don't do something, we will have an even greater divide in health care between the haves and have nots...something we already see in so many areas of our socio-economic system.
“If your claim were true, I would suspect Obama would have never been elected TWICE! But I'm confident you believe the elections were rigged...and the Republicans let him get away with the vote rigging?
Regarding PPACA, I'm happy it is now Law. Now everybody has to ante up for their health care instead of sponging off of me and my wife. Why should our tax $$$'s go toward covering people who either don't care, refuse to obtain coverage even though they can afford it and who gladly lay their medical bills at my doorstep to be paid? Why should we have to pay inflated insurance premiums and inflated medical bills to cover the uninsured who want as much as they can get for free? To have maintained the status quo in medical care was going to bankrupt our Nation. The only part of PPACA that's absurd is the $$$ amount of the penalty for NOT obtaining coverage. It should have been at minimum in the 1st year 50% of the premium for coverage, 75% in year two and 100% in year three and with no offsets. Tell a bank you refuse to obtain homeowners insurance when asking for a mortgage...see how fast you're approved. Finance a motor vehicle of any kind and refuse to obtain the proper insurance coverage...see how fast they approve that loan.”
“Sorry for your loss. Nice to hear someone speak kindly of another human being. Being involved in politics no matter at what level, you become a target for the ignorant of our society. Despite the passing of many good people who were involved in politics, there are always those taking their cheap shots at the deceased. I hope it doesn't turn out to be the case in this instance. Based upon your narrative, Mr. Crisco was apparently the type of person our Nation needs and to lose him is a loss for all Americans and our Country.
If possible, please pass on my condolences to Mr. Crisco's family and friends if you have the opportunity? Will check and see if there is a memory offering available wherever the funeral is being held.”
“If you think and believe 'fairly regulated capitalism and free markets' exist in America, you're deluding yourself. Corrupt capitalism is just as dangerous as any other form of corrupted ism. Think not? Just look at what's been done to our socio-economic system due to faux capitalism and so called capitalists running the show? The Constitution and Declaration of Independence could be defined as containing many socialist concepts in many ways. In fact, I don't see the word capitalism or capitalist in either document or either being the basis for the establishment of our Nation.”
FREEDOMS SENTRY on May 12, 2014 at 17:42:23
“Capitalism has worked better in America than in any other country because of the Constitution. Unfortunately creeping socialism, cozy gov't/CEOs with self interests and not the country's, are making the future less certain. The Constitution is not based on socialism. The country would have failed long before now if that were so. Even your man Obama knows the Constitution is anti-socialist. He considers it flawed for the reason it doesn't give material things to people. We can be glad he's only got two more terrifing years at attempting to wreck the country via wealth redistribution.”
“This is a perfect situation where the United Nations should have a roll, though I'm sure Russia and China, probably both, would not go along with UN military intervention. The unanimous vote required by the UN Security Council is one of the biggest mistakes made in the UN Charter.
From an actionable operation now, the longer they wait, the more the girls will be dispersed to multiple geographical areas making the job of saving them all very doubtful. Things should have been set in motion operationally to rescue the girls in less than 72 hours at most.”
“No surprise here. Medical science has been aware of this phenomenon for at least 40 years. Finally with our technology, we can unlock another secret of aging and the infirmaties that go along with it. And for anybody who claims they wouldn't want to live a longer and healthier life if given the option; pure bovine scatology...to steal a phrase from the good General Norm.
I spent a number of years in medical research labs, met a lot of dying patients during those years. If aware, I didn't meet one patient who ever told me they wouldn't want to live longer and be more healthy now that death was staring them in the face.
As a point of interest to some, I read a recent research paper a few months back where the claim was made, the first person was already born who would live to be 150 years old. Easy to imagine with the integration of technology and the human body. Sorry, can't remember who published the article, but believe it may have been in an issue of Scientific American.
Sadly though, the technology will be abused...count on it. As usual, authors of sci-fi predicted such events 50, 70, 80 years ago. Some of the plots in The Foundation Trilogy, I Robot, Soylent Green, The Island, Coma, Blade Runner, etc all predated things that are now a reality or becoming a reality...our Brave New World. You can bet morality will truly mean nothing if you have the $$$'s.”
“Thanks and sorry you experienced abuse. Nuns for years were my favorite target. They were some mean cusses back when and cruel.
An old joke. Two Scouts see some nuns attempting to cross a busy street. The Scouts help the nuns cross the street. Once on the other side of the street, the nuns thank the Scouts for their help. One Scout pipes up 'any friends of Zorro's is a friend of mine.' I told that joke when I was probably 7 or 8 years old and it was overheard by a couple of nuns. Let's just say they didn't find it funny or humerous...it was a long day at school that day.
My favorite form of punishment was a thin willow branch brought down upon the extended palm of your hands. Pull your hand away and they usually added two more whacks to an already large number of lashes. Actually had to bare my back once while on my knees and being told to pray while getting a dose of the willow! Each succeeding punishment only made me more defiant. It was a fairly routine week for me to see one or both of my parents sitting in the office discussing their problem child with the chief nun in charge of the torture and punishment division of the Catlick church.
Your joke...missed my calling in life, should have been a comedy writter or comedian.
“It's about $$$'s. People have no idea about the amount of $$$'s acquired by the Vatican via their saints. Ever been to Vatican sanctioned souvenir stores? Even stores located inside of churches (more prevalent in Europe) and how much is for sale pertaining to a particular saint? How many $$$'s are donated to the church in the name of a saint? Saints are money making machines and adding two more to the list will only garner more $$$'s for the church from the gullible.
As a recovering Catholic, I believe the Catholic church is nothing more than any other cult. Certain individuals want power, control, other peoples money. And what better way than to tell people they will be damned for eternity, their mortal souls ravaged by demons residing in a place called hell than to dictate the rules and regulations of the game...but to get their, make sure you keep feeding the unholy trough with your $$$'s. Heck, the Vatican still sells Indulgences! So you see, $$$'s can cure, free a sinner and open the gates to the kingdom of heaven! My favorite though is Annulments of marriage. With the stroke of a pen and many $$$'s being handed over, the Vatican will gladly declare children to be bastards, worse, they don't even exist in the eyes of the church.
I'd love to see religions, especially the major ones totally dismantled. We should use the RICO statutes here in the US to do so...the church is a criminal enterprise.”
newvoyage on May 5, 2014 at 16:53:28
“I agree completely. In fact, I have also suggested that RICO fits the Roman Catholic Church quite well. Yes, it is about money. Even Pope Francis, who I like as a person, said what he needed to say because the Vatican gets most of its money from America. Now that America has moved away from the backward views of the Vatican, they suddenly issue statements of moderation. My response is, "Where were you when we needed you??"
I am like you; I take a dim view of their motives. I have been visiting a Unitarian/Universalist Church as of late. After a couple of visits, a lot of anger towards the Catholic Church poured out. I found a church that respects all people. There have atheists, agnostics, pagans, Catholics, Christians, humanists and all others. They don't tell you what to believe. In fact, the congregation runs the show; the minister doesn't have any more power than the people. They can even fire him if they vote to do so!
They preach love for all, including gays, lesbians and transgendered people. They say they respect "where you are on your journey" and also say that it's not about the destination, but the journey itself. So yes, the anger poured out when I realized how much better the world would be if all churches were like that. The contrast was astounding, and it made me realize what a depraved institution the Roman Catholic Church really is. You and I have much in common.”
“Thanks Ell, but nobody listened way back when and they're still not listening. Sure, there were numerous lawsuits filed, the church paid a few bucks to many, but it hasn't changed the mentality of the church and their efforts at, and covering up their sins. The abuse was far more pervasive than people can imagine. At 4 years old, my first day at school, my left hand was beaten so bad it was swollen and bruised. Be 4 years old and told 'the devil is left handed!' The humiliation of a couple of nuns attempting to change my left handidness to that of a right handed person was torture on an epic scale. Sat in a corner for an hour with my back to the class...and small friends of mine with no true sense of right and wrong witnessing and watching my humiliation and physical punishment and all because I was left handed. So the priest thing was just icing on the cake.
At 13 I was sent to England due to behavior problems and to attend school and live with my grandparents. The 3 years spent in England I believe saved my life and changed my attitude. It was a reprieve to get away from it all. I should mention my Dad believed me and stuck by me as did my grandfather, but it wasn't enough due to my resentment, anger, frustration and hatred. My years in England changed everything and I consider myself one of the lucky ones.”
Try being a young pre-teen, a priest tries to get funnny with ya? I punched him in the face, split his lip really good...ran home, into my room. Less that 30 minutes later the police are at the door. I'm arrested for assault! The SOB called the police! At the station, 2 cops beat the hell outta me. Nobody believed my story..2 years probation and ostrasized by nealy the entire neighborhood.
Fast forward to 1994 or so. Mom calls bawling her eyes out to tell me one of my best friends, one who stuck by me had hung himself. He left a letter, in that letter he mentioned my name. He didn't come forward to report this priest because he had seen what they had done and what happned to me, so he took the abuse during and many years after. It is torture living with such events when there's nothing you can do about it.
Big to do with the DA, but the SOB priest died of pancreatic cancer before he could go to trial. Believe me, the mental anguish & pain of being abused is torture. I consider myself lucky, take pleasure at having punched this priest in the face, but I paid a heavy price for doing so. Mom would drag me to church. This priest finally cornered me one day and asked: "did you really think they would believe you?" They didn't and for many years life was a torment.”
Robbert Bricker on May 5, 2014 at 07:02:24
“gordon... man... i am so, so sorry to hear that. been in s similar situation, although it was not sexual in nature, just physical abuse by clergy. they told my mom if they continued to exorcize (beat me repeatedly) the demons out of me, i could be "normal."
btw, how in the heck did you get that first line by huff moderation system a.k.a. "the joke"?
tweeties121 on May 4, 2014 at 02:13:25
“I am so sorry for the loss of your innocence as a child. You should have been protected by a society and adults that knew better. I would encourage you to write this same story as additional editorials and continue to write it in whole in the comments when these articles continue to come up.. You told it clearly and it is moving and meaningful. You are a courageous and brave man and you can help inform others and be a catalyst for continual needed societal awareness and push for accountability of the worldwide Catholic Church.”
“Good grief...'she's sleeping with them!' And how would you know that? Do you always cast aspersions upon people you don't know? Especially of the female persuation? I'm sure you're as pure as freshly wind driven snow on a winters day? You've never had your dalliences, a man of virtue I would suppose? You're a classic case of the male double standard. Besides, I'm thinking this guy can't get it up anyway, even with the help of a little blue pill. He took the shot dating her and was only looking for trouble. I guess maybe he thinks he owns this young lady like he 'owns' his team members? And that Magic, to be 'admired,' but hell don't be seen with that black skinned man, people may get the wrong idea! Are you kidding me!!!!!!!
I'm NOT black and can readily recognize racism when I see and hear it! Heaven help people of color with your type around.”
Mary Betowt on Apr 29, 2014 at 13:51:20
“Honestly I would always choose the young black man over this old white raisin. Haha! I say, she is the true sell-out for even being involved with Sterling in the first place. Old men like him don't deserve the comfort she has to offer... :p Especially if he wants to start picking her friends for her and per-screening all her internet posts...He must think he owns anyone around him.”
“How can it be a prophecy when science has already acknowledged things from space impact our planet on a daily basis? It's all part of the cosmos and lots of nasty things occur. It certainly isn't because this person they call Jesus ordained the situation. We know via science, there have been huge impacts on this planet courtesy of the rubble whirling around in space and the possibility exists we could get whacked again. I mean really, what does this Christ do to amuse itself? Yea, that looks like a decent asteroid, think I'll direct it toward planet Earth and wipe everything out today! If true, who in the hell would want to venerate such a deity? What, this Christ can commit wholesale murder and it's okay? How can any rational individual believe in such absurdities? I guess I'll get the Noah story now? Wasn't it only Noah's family on board the ark? If so, a lot of weird family dynamics go along with that story when it comes to repopulating the Earth. And all in the span of what, 6,000 years!
Roberstson and his ilk; examples of what's held back the progress of mankind...they've convinced people to believe in fairy tales. When bad things happen, it's all the work of this God they believe in who happens to have anger issues. Most religions are a scam, a way to separate money from hard working people.”
“I'd like to know what State this event occurred in? The States I'm familiar with, you don't walk into a court room willy nilly and ask a judge for a restraining order and it's given to you. You have to present relevant evidence for a judge to issue a restraining order. Nice anecdotal story, but that's about it. Look at the record and I'd bet there's a lot more to your story than some dad walking into a court room and asking a judge for an order against a son he hadn't seen for three years.”
Robert J Masters on Apr 23, 2014 at 09:21:58
“Minnesota. It was an ex parte order. The dad claimed that the son was a threat to his life. He claimed that the son had threatened him.”
“Why should anybody be shocked at this development? It would be great to see somebody put both sides of the political spectrum on the hot seat seeing as both political Party's are dysfunctional. Gregory's bias comes through loud and clear. Add to that he really asks softball questions of guests only compounds the problem. It amazes me how he lets people get away with presenting and making false claims and seems to never challenge them. Is it poor command of the subject(s) being discussed? He doesn't do his homework? I remember the days of the old Meet The Press and those old timers could be brutal, they didn't let people get away with presenting falsehoods. Very little journalism today that doesn't have a clear bias. That's what happens when broadcast rules and regulations are changed and the news rooms become sources of profit as opposed to reporting news in an unbiased manner.”
“Drug addiction will never be eradicated, just as alcoholism hasn't been.
I can't speak to other states, but it costs the taxpyaers of Connecticut something like $35K to $38K to keep a prisoner behind bars. It's been demonstrated the money could be better spent on prevention, treatment and some economic help, especially with citizens who have low economic expectations due to poverty and a lack of education. After serving a prison sentence, most prisoners are thrown into the streets with nothing more than the poor economic conditions they left behind. One thing has happened to most of them though; they become more hardened and more adept at breaking the law. Sitting in prison has the tendency to make many prisoners regular McGuivers. Sure, many believe there smarter as a criminal, but sooner or later they eventually get busted for something and they're back in jail.
Drug addiction is here to stay. We can either keep locking the offender up or, we can establish a new system of treatment and economic help that without such help, it will lead people right back into dealing/selling drugs to make ends meet.
The war on drugs has been an epic failure, time to try some other ideas to mitigate drug use and hopefully eliminate a lot of drug dealers in the process.”
“Replays are for cry babies. All they've done is make professional sports organizations who utilize video replays even more boring than they've already become. Blown calls were part of the mystique, the initiation of countless fans claiming 'we was robbed.' I'd rather watch a manager jawboning with the umps than sit and wait around for the video guru's to make a decision...jawboning and ejections all part of the entertainment, the ebb and flow of a game. What's next, calling balls and strikes via video? Some batter doesn't like a called third strike? I can see it now; the batter demanding a video review to see if the pitch was within an exactly measured electronic grid superimposed in a 3D program on some computer screen. A pitcher pizzed because of a ball four call with the bases loaded and the winning run is walked in! Hell, why not get rid of live players and just have huge animatron screens at stadiums for fans to watch a game between computer generated players? No bad calls, no injuries, no trade negotiations, no contract negotiations, no farm teams...just big screens.”