American Veteran News 08.10.16

THIS WWII MARINE WAS KILLED IN THE PACIFIC THEATER. NOW, 72 YEARS LATER, ‘OUR BOY IS COMING HOME’ — S&S — Dale Geddes was killed in World War II during the Battle of Tarawa.

It was November 1943. He was 21 years old.

For more than 70 years, Geddes’s remains were buried on the island of Betio, where he was killed. As time passed, it looked as though they might never be found and returned to his family, according to a local newspaper report.

But in 2015, a group told authorities that it had discovered a burial site on that island in the Pacific, according to a news release from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

The remains of several U.S. Marines were recovered at that site. And DNA testing has determined that Geddes was one of them.

“Dale is finally coming home,” Linda Elliott, a grandniece of Geddes, told the Grand Island Independent. “He is coming home to his parents. I know that I speak for the family to say that we are all very happy, very privileged, to witness the wishes of Dale’s parents and Dale’s siblings. Our boy is coming home.”

Staff sergeant Kristen Duus of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency told The Post in a phone interview that Geddes’s remains were identified through DNA analysis.

“We used mitochondrial DNA, which traces the maternal line,” she said. “So that matched a niece of his.”



THE INVISIBLE WOUNDS OF WAR — WASHINGTON TIMES — On National Purple Heart Day, observed on Aug. 7, the nation paused to honor the decorated men and women wounded in combat while serving our country. But as we reflect on these noble sacrifices, Americans should remember to also recognize the veterans grappling with the invisible wounds of war who are ineligible for the Purple Heart and often overlooked or forgotten.

I should know: I was humbled to earn the Purple Heart for the bullet wounds I sustained in direct combat, while proudly serving as a U.S. Marine Corps captain during Operation Iraqi Freedom. But while these physical injuries eventually healed, my other wounds — the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — continued to haunt me.

Coming home as a civilian with PTSD was challenging and confusing. I experienced crippling depression, anxiety, night terrors and debilitating flashbacks. I grew increasingly isolated, spending day and night alone in my dark basement, self-medicating and contemplating suicide. At my lowest point, I was taking 32 medications — including a dozen narcotics — and drinking three six-packs a night to fall asleep. I had no external wounds, but inside, I felt broken.

Unfortunately, stories like mine are all too common. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that up to 20 percent of my fellow Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom veterans have PTSD. Some mental health experts suggest the percentage is much higher, citing the reluctance to seek out treatment as well as a lack of awareness about the condition, as reasons why PTSD frequently remains undiagnosed in veterans.



ILLINOIS DEDICATES MONUMENT TO PURPLE HEART RECIPIENTS — AP — SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois is honoring those who were wounded in combat with a monument in Springfield.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says it has dedicated a monument at the Springfield cemetery where Abraham Lincoln is buried to Purple Heart medal recipients.

Agency director Heidi Brown-McCreery says the agency hopes the memorial at Oak Ridge Cemetery that was opened Sunday will serve as reminder of the “tremendous sacrifices made by military personnel in all conflicts.”

The Purple Heart is the nation’s oldest military award. It traces its roots back to medals authorized by General George Washington in 1782 and has been awarded to nearly two million people since World War I.

The monument joins state-operated monuments honoring men and women who served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.



5 NEBRASKA FAMILIES RECEIVE FLAGS HONORING FALLEN SERVICEMEN — AP — OMAHA, Neb. — Five Nebraska families have received Gold Star flags honoring their loved ones who died while serving in the U.S. military.

The Omaha World-Herald reported that the Nebraska chapter of the Honor and Remember organization presented Gold Star flags to the families of Army Spc. Dustin Workman, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Keith Hanson, Army 1st Lt. Mark Noziska, and Army 1st Lt. James Moore and his brother Navy Petty Officer Gene Moore.

About 120 people attended the flag presentations, which were held in a Papillion event venue. Family members were also honored at Werner Park before an Omaha Storm Chasers baseball game.

People who have had a family member die while in the military or from an illness contracted while in service can request to receive a Gold Star flag.

“The pain is something that never goes away,” said, Kelly Hanson, Keith Hanson’s brother, who also served in the Navy. “A friend who went through the same thing told me that time doesn’t take away the pain, it just makes it less jagged.”

Kelly Hanson praised the commitment of the state’s Honor and Remember group, which has paid tribune to more than 100 families since 2012 and aims to honor 25 families this year.



COMBAT VETS NOW FIGHTING A NEW WAR: PAIN PILL ADDICTION — NJ.COM — The wars fought by this generation are different from the previous ones, and have left a different kind of disabled veteran: Lots of concussive brain injuries from homemade bombs, along with lots of Post Tramautic Stress Disorder from unpredictable combat conditions.

The combination has produced a new crop of veterans in chronic pain, while PTSD has lowered their thresholds for pain.

The result is a group of people especially vulnerable to pain pill addiction, said David Shulkin, the undersecretary of health for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Shulkin – who moved to the VA from his earlier post as the head of Morristown Medical Center – returned to the state Monday to join the U.S. Surgeon General and both New Jersey senators to talk about the crisis of opioid addiction.

How bad is the problem?



PROPOSAL WOULD BUILD TINY HOMES COMMUNITY FOR VETERANS — LAS CRUCES SUN-NEWS — LAS CRUCES – The Las Cruces City Council gave an informal thumbs-up to a proposal to create a veterans’ eco-village in the city.

The proposed development for retired military veterans could eventually include as many as 200 tiny homes, which average 186 square feet, comply with U.S. Housing and Urban Development requirements, and cost from $23,000 to $33,000 each.

Supporters presented the idea during a council work session Monday at City Hall.

Shannon Reynolds, an eco-village committee member, said in addition to housing, the community could also create micro-enterprises, such as machine shops, carpentry, organic farming, or construction of additional tiny homes, which could provide employment for previously homeless veterans.

Three potential locations were proposed by supporters.

Two of the three are on land owned by New Mexico State University: one on 50.2 acres west of the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, off of Dripping Springs Road, and the other on 29.81 acres south of Cholla Road, in the Arrowhead Research Park. Reynolds said the city and NMSU could work together to establish an eco-village if either of those locations were selected.



PURPLE HEART HOMES, STATE CREDIT UNION LEAGUES, AND CREDIT UNIONS JOIN FORCES TO HELP MILITARY VETERANS WITH HOME RENOVATIONS — PR NEWSWIRE — STATESVILLE, N.C. — Purple Heart Homes, a national public charity based in Statesville, NC, announces the kick-off of its inaugural campaign, Operation Veteran Home Renovation. The campaign is designed to engage and recruit the credit union movement to help spruce up homes that mostly older veterans own.

Credit unions have had a close relationship with all branches of the military and support veterans who sacrificed so much for the freedom we value today. So to help make life a little easier for older veterans and their caregivers, Purple Heart Homes has joined forces with the Cornerstone Credit Union League, serving approximately 500 credit unions in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas; Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, serving 121 member credit unions; and the Southeastern Credit Union League, serving 298 credit unions in Florida and Alabama.



FILLING GAPS IN CARE FOR VETS — HEALTH NEWS DIGEST — Rush University Medical Center’s Road Home Program is providing veterans of the United States military with an innovative option for treating post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions related to their service. The program fills gaps in government-provided mental health care for veterans whose trauma-induced mental health issues might otherwise go untreated.

“There are unique challenges that the veteran population faces in seeking and obtaining mental health care,” says Michael B. Brennan, PsyD, ABPP, the Road Home Program’s associate clinical director and a captain in the Army Reserve. “When a veteran needs additional therapeutic intervention that is more than once a week and less than inpatient, 24-hour monitoring, a residential intensive outpatient program can help fill that gap in order to address the clinical needs of the veteran. The Road Home Program’s intensive outpatient program helps fill that gap.”

Brennan recently completed five years of active duty that included several months counseling soldiers hours after they were in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. He knows that for many combat veterans, psychological and emotional wounds can linger for years. Many are able to receive care at Veterans Affairs hospitals, but thousands do not.



CON JOB: USA TODAY BLOWS COVERAGE OF VA OIG WAIT TIME INVESTIGATION — DISABLED VETERANS — A recent VA OIG con job, inaccurately called an “investigation” by USA Today, found no wrongdoing when VA executives misrepresented wait times to Congress.

Congress called for an investigation to address misrepresentations made by VA executive Skye McDougall, a VA executive in charge of numerous southern California VA healthcare facilities, now head of VISN 16 (yes, she got promoted).

Her misrepresentations were later spun by Secretary Bob McDonald. Secretary Bob’s spin made the deception worse when he provided erroneous information. The series of misrepresentations prompted a CNN investigation.

OIG was apparently asked to investigate. It instead limited its investigation only to Secretary Bob McDonald to spin the scandal and to shame CNN for reporting on it.

OIG head Michael Missal orchestrated the deception in classic Richard Griffin style.

Bravo. And USA Today ate it up, hook, line and sinker.



SERVICEMEMBERS’ PUSHUPS RAISE AWARENESS OF VETERAN SUICIDE, PTSD — S&S — Servicemembers worldwide are cranking out millions of pushups and posting videos of their efforts online to raise awareness about military suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder, a campaign that has crossed over into the civilian community.

Texas-based veterans organization 22Kill is asking people to video themselves doing 22 pushups a day for 22 days and nominate others to do the same. The goal is to reach 22 million pushups in honor of the 22 U.S. veterans who commit suicide each day, says the organization’s website.

22Kill Director Jacob Schick, a Marine who suffered from PTSD after losing a leg to an improvised explosive device in Iraq in 2004, said the challenge started as a fundraising effort in 2013 and went viral after a video was posted by country music star Brantley Gilbert.

Other celebrities and civilians have jumped onboard, and the challenge has spread overseas, where veterans of foreign militaries are grappling with some of the same issues as their American allies.



VA PAYS $197 MILLION IN FRAUDULENT CONTRACTOR SCHEME — DISABLED VETERANS — Three companies located in Milwaukee created a shell company scheme that fraudulently received $197 million in set-aside contracts according to federal investigators. Overall, the companies swindled $268 million in contracts between SBA and VA.

The construction contracts were intended for veteran-owned businesses and service disabled veteran-owned businesses. The fraudulent scheme basically involved placing veterans in positions of authority who were not actually present on the job site.

The companies had their VA contracts suspended once the agency became suspicious that the man running one of the companies was not the true owner. After flubbing investigators at the time, in 2012, VA reinstated the firm’s contracting privileges.

The present investigation is an example of how deserving veterans are scammed out of contract offerings by sharks willing to lie, cheat and steal. It is an old problem that VA has yet to sort out.

The shell companies were basically run by the same crew who moved a veteran in an out of the business to take advantage of contract deals they were not otherwise entitled to receive.



WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON WITH VETERAN EMPLOYMENT? — T&P — Veteran unemployment is on the decline, but it’s still difficult to know how veterans are doing in the economy long term.

After 15 years of war, there are big questions over how well the men and women who serve the country are faring after military service. The Center for a New American Security is launching a survey of veterans, HR professionals, and supervisors to figure out what’s affecting veterans’ performance in the workplace. By taking a better look at the challenges that exist for vets, we hope to find better ways to help them as they leave the military.

In response to a surge of unemployment for post-9/11 veterans, many groups launched fantastic efforts to address the problem. From the Veterans Jobs Mission to the Joining Forces initiative at the White House, both the public and private sector stepped up to the plate, seeing a moral obligation to help and that hiring veterans is smart business.

After several years of these efforts, veteran unemployment is on the decline, but it’s still difficult to know how veterans are doing in the economy long term. We don’t know if veterans are succeeding in building careers over time, the impact of how long they stay in their first job, and what the challenges are in transitioning from the military into a new company culture. The CNAS survey attempts to gather more information about veteran economic performance, to use it to shape programs aimed at recruiting veterans and keeping them employed.



VA LEVERAGES IT TO FIX SCHEDULING DEFICIENCIES — HEALTH DATA — A survey conducted by The Joint Commission finds that the Department of Veterans Affairs is making progress in improving access to healthcare for veterans, including the use of emerging technology such as a new smartphone app and enhanced website, according to the VA.

“The Joint Commission is one of the most widely respected healthcare organizations in the industry,” said David Shulkin, MD, the VA’s Under Secretary for Health. “Their analysis shows that VA as national healthcare leader is making progress in improving the care we provide to our veterans. This affirms our commitment to providing both excellent healthcare and an exceptional experience of care to all veterans served.”

According to Shulkin, the VA is modernizing its culture, processes and technological capabilities through the MyVA initiative to “put veterans first.” Earlier this year, the VA’s Veterans Health Administration established and launched MyVA Access to ensure that veterans gain more control of how they receive healthcare.



NAVY VET ADMITS HE FAKED DEATH, AGREES TO PAY FOR COAST GUARD SEARCH — SUN-SENTINEL — A Boca Raton financial adviser who faked his death last year, setting off an expensive and pointless U.S. Coast Guard rescue mission, pleaded guilty on Monday to communicating a false distress message.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Richard Winsor Ohrn, 46, has agreed he owes $1 million in restitution for the cost of the search.

He is under court order to sell his Estuary Drive home and reveal details of all his assets to the government before he is sentenced in October. The home currently has an assessed value of $550,000, according to the county property appraiser, but has a significantly greater market value.

The maximum penalty for the offense is six years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine but Ohrn may be sentenced to probation, records show. Ohrn has been free on $1 million bond since shortly after he was charged in February.



VITALITY FOR VETERANS: SPORTS CAMP CHALLENGES, CHANGES THEM — AP — PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Marine veteran Joyce Ralph sometimes stays at home in Massachusetts instead of going for a bike ride or doing other things she likes to do. She feels too anxious because of her post-traumatic stress disorder.

Army veteran Paul Miosek sometimes feels isolated at his home in New York. No one else he knows is in a wheelchair.

The two were among a group of about 50 veterans who took part in July in the Veterans Affairs New England Summer Sports Clinic in Rhode Island. For a week, they kayaked, water skied, cycled and sailed — activities designed to get them and other veterans thinking more about what they can than can’t do.

“This gives me a chance, with my anxiety, to push myself a little further, to realize there are safe places in the world,” said Ralph, 52, of Halifax, Massachusetts.

The veterans ranged in age from their 20s to 80s. The rehabilitation clinic is open to veterans with spinal cord injuries, amputations, vision loss, mental health problems and other disabilities.



VA HOSPITAL BOUGHT $300,000 WORTH OF TVS, THEN STORED THEM — DAILY CALLER — Detroit’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital spent $311,000 on TVs that were never used and remain in storage.

The federal agency’s facility ordered the 300 TVs “because they had funds available,” which “may have violated the bona fide needs rule,” according to a new report from the department’s inspector general (IG).

Now, the TVs have sat “in storage for about 2 1/2 years. Further, warranties for the TVs expired.”

Officials were going to use the TVs for a new patient area that had not been built. In May, 2013, they met with the contractor who was planning the future stalls and agreed they would have Ethernet hookups instead of cable. A month later, VA ordered cable-powered TVs instead of Ethernet-powered sets.

“This information was not shared with the … contractor and the compatibility issue with the TVs was not discovered until November 2013 when the facility received the first shipment of TVs,” the IG said.

At that time, they decided to pay the contractor more to install cable rather than return the TVs.

But the new patient area still hasn’t been constructed.



To THE VETERANS VOICE

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8 Survival & Emergency Preparedness Videos



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4 Firearm Related Videos



One Old Vet does not represent or endorse the accuracy, suitability, and or reliability of any information’s, content, videos or advertisements contained on, distributed through, or linked, downloaded or accessed from any of the services contained on this website, nor the quality of any products, advice, representation, information or any other material relied upon, displayed, purchased, used, or obtained by you as a result of an advertisement or any other information’s or offer in or in connection with the services herein.

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Parents of 2 Benghazi Victims Sue Hillary Clinton for Wrongful Death, Defamation

FOX NEWS — The parents of two of the four Americans who died in the Benghazi attack in 2012 filed a lawsuit Monday against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, alleging her “reckless handling” of classified information contributed to their deaths.

The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch USA on behalf of Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, and Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, for allegedly wrongfully causing the death of their sons as well as for defamation and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit suggests that Clinton’s use of a private email server contributed to the deaths of Smith and Woods, adding that terrorists were able to “obtain the whereabouts of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and thus the U.S. State Department and covert and other government operations in Benghazi, Libya and subsequently orchestrate, plan, and execute the now infamous September 11, 2012 attack.”

“Having used a secret private email server that we now know was used to communicate with Ambassador Christopher Stevens with confidential and classified government information, and which we also now know was likely hacked by hostile adversaries such as Iran, Russia, China and North Korea aligning with terrorist groups, it is clear that Hillary Clinton allegedly negligently and recklessly gave up the classified location of the plaintiffs’ sons, resulting in a deadly terrorist attack that took their lives,” Klayman said in a statement announcing the suit.

In addition to the wrongful death and negligence charges named in the suit, the parents also claim that Clinton defamed them in statements to the media, according to court documents.

“During her campaign for President, Defendant Clinton has negligently, recklessly, and/or maliciously defamed Plaintiffs by either directly calling them liars, or by strongly implying that they are liars, in order to protect and enhance her public image and intimidate and emotionally harm and silence them to not speak up about the Benghazi attack on at least four separate occasions,” Klayman wrote in his complaint.

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Obama Circumvents Congress, Offers U.N. Authority Over U.S. Nukes

POLIZETTE — Congress has a role in foreign policy — but you wouldn’t know that from President Barack Obama’s actions over the past year.

The most recent example involves Obama’s desire to ban nuclear testing. He has supported this goal since his earliest days in office, but has been unable to rally support for ratification of the nuclear test ban treaty in the U.S. Senate.

Facing the end of his second term, The Washington Post reports that Obama will bypass Congress and seek a United Nations Security Council Resolution that “would call for an end to nuclear testing” on the 20th anniversary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

The Senate voted to reject ratification of the nuclear test ban treaty on Oct. 13, 1999. It did so for sound reasons. For example, the treaty does not define what constitutes a nuclear weapons test. Russia and possibly China conduct hydro-nuclear experiments that allow them to explore new weapons designs and train a more proficient workforce in the national nuclear laboratories.

Even worse, the treaty is not verifiable. One can conduct nuclear tests and experiments in very small spaces or can decouple weapons tests so they wouldn’t be detected. The treaty is not likely to change this behavior.

OBAMA HAS NOTHING BUT WARM FEELINGS FOR THOSE WHO WISH DEATH TO AMERICA — POLIZETTE

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The Liar vs. the Meanie

SHERIFF DAVID CLARKE: HILLARY CLINTON ‘A STRAIGHT-UP COP HATER’ — WASHINGTON TIMES

HILLARY CLINTON BACKS $400 MILLION SECRET CASH RANSOM PAYMENT TO IRAN — FPM

KRAUTHAMMER ON HILLARY’S EMAIL COVER-UP: ‘SO MANY LIES NOW, SHE LIES ABOUT HER LYING’ — DC

NAPOLITANO: IF HILLARY TOLD THE TRUTH ABOUT HER EMAILS, SHE’D BE REMOVED FROM THE TICKET — DC

EXECUTED IRANIAN NUCLEAR SCIENTIST WAS NAMED IN HILLARY’S EMAILS — TOWNHALL

HILLARY’S FALLS RECALL THE HEALTH QUESTIONS JFK TRIED TO DODGE — WASHINGTON TIMES

AXELROD CALLS CLINTON’S EMAIL STATEMENTS ‘BEWILDERING’ — WFB

HILLARY FREEZES AGAIN!… HAS ANOTHER MID-SENTENCE BLACKOUT ON STAGE IN FLORIDA (VIDEO) — GWP

ON HANNITY: FOX MEDICAL EXPERT SAYS HILLARY MAY SUFFER ‘POST-CONCUSSION SYNDROME’ (VIDEO) — GWP

OUTRIGHT MEDIA FRAUD: LIBERAL MEDIA RESCUES HILLARY – FAKES PHOTO OF HER TINY FLORIDA CROWD

ECUADOR PRESSURED TO CENSOR JULIAN ASSANGE AFTER DNC LEAKS AND CRITICISM OF HILLARY CLINTON — GWP

CLINTON’S EMAILS COULD HAVE CHILLING EFFECT ON INTEL GATHERING, EXPERTS SAY — WE

STATE WON’T DISCUSS CLINTON EMAIL LINK TO IRAN SCIENTIST SPY EXECUTION — WE

COUNTERJIHAD: HILLARY RUBBER-STAMPED VISAS FOR RECORD NUMBER OF SAUDI VISITORS — BREITBART

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Pro-Illegal Immigration Group Demands Blacklist for Hostile Immigration Judges

DAILY SIGNAL — A group of special interest lawyers who support illegal immigration are pushing the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to produce a list of immigration judges who are hostile to undocumented immigrants.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with DOJ, asking them to produce a list of all ethics and discrimination complaints brought against immigration judges; now, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has authorized publication of the information.

Bush-era Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez began assessing conduct at the Executive Office for Immigration Review in 2006, when he instituted new training and evaluation procedures for all immigration judges, who are career DOJ employees. That work was continued in 2010 by Attorney General Eric Holder, who established a database for tracking complaints against immigration judges. Complaints may be brought for inappropriate or discriminatory conduct inside or outside of the workplace. Non-frivolous complaints are adjudicated by the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, which determines what disciplinary action, if any, is merited.

AILA asked the Department to release all complaints filed against immigration judges, and all records concerning the resolution of said complaints, according to the FOIA request. DOJ furnished the Association with over 16,000 pages of information, but redacted information it believed to be exempt from FOIA disclosure, including the names of immigration judges. In place of a name, DOJ provided a three digit code to identify the judge subject to a complaint. DOJ lawyers argue that the names of the judges are beyond the reach of FOIA, since such release would infringe their right to privacy.

A three judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District, found in favor of ALIA, ruling that the names of serial offenders ought to be made public. The D.C. Circuit did qualify the ruling, finding that retired immigration judges, or judges with a small number of complaints, may assert a legitimate privacy interest and avoid the disclosure.

“By enabling the public to make such connections, knowing the identity of that judge could shed considerably more light on what the government is up to,” the court’s ruling reads.

“The court’s decision recognizes the significant public interest in learning about complaints against immigration judges, particularly where the complaints concern on-the-bench conduct and judges who are repeat offenders,” said Julie Murray, lead counsel for the Association.

Repeat-offenders on the immigration bench will be identified, pending the outcome of proceedings in the lower court, though the D.C. Circuit’s ruling makes their publication a near certainty.

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As Nation’s Strictest Gun Laws Fail Chicago, City Marches Toward 2,500th Shooting Victim

 

 
TOWNHALL — Well, to no one’s surprise, the Windy City had another bloody weekend. Nine people are dead after being shot, with at least another 40 wounded. The city is approaching 2,500 shooting victims, whereas the city was a tad shy of 3,000 for all of 2015 (via Chicago Tribune):

 

 

Nine people were killed and at least 40 others have been wounded in shootings across Chicago over the weekend, authorities said.So far this year, more than 2,460 people have been shot in Chicago, while in all of 2015, the city had 2,988 shooting victims.

The weekend’s busiest stretch was from late Saturday morning into early Sunday when three were shot to death and 23 others were hurt in separate incidents.

The city had the bloodiest start to the year in nearly two decades, with 100 people getting shot in the first ten days into 2016. At the same time, it doesn’t help that confidence in the city’s police department is less than stellar after a string of questionable officer-involved shootings, namely Laquan McDonald, a damning city report accusing the CPD of institutional racism, and a mayor’s office that seemed to play politics with the McDonald shooting, allegedly delaying the video of his death to ensure his re-election. It’s going to be a rough year.

CPD ALERTS COPS THAT 3 WEST SIDE GANGS PLOTTING TO SHOOT OFFICERS — CHICAGO SUN TIMES

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Obama Adds One More Amnesty to the List

CIS — The Obama administration continues to broaden the list of immigration laws which they will not enforce, with the publication of a final rule expanding those eligible for the existing provisional waiver process. Illegal aliens who marry green-card holders or have parents in the U.S. can now escape the penalties for illegal presence in the U.S. as a result of this latest usurping of the legislative role by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

This new provisional waiver process amnesty is one of a long list of Obama amnesties, including: limiting workplace enforcement raids, exempting students who came to the U.S. as children from deportation proceedings, and not deporting any illegal alien who has not been convicted of a serious criminal offense.

Just days before this final rule was rolled out, Obama expanded the amnesty program which flies unlawful Central American Minors (CAM) to the U.S. from Central America. Now the program, never funded by Congress, will also pay to fly entire families and those claiming to be a caregiver of an unlawful immigrant minor to the U.S. to receive amnesty and eventually citizenship.

Prior to the latest rule change (which goes into effect on August 29, 2016), only immediate relatives of U.S. citizens could apply for provisional waivers prior to leaving the U.S. for immigrant visa processing. The new rule expedites present illegal aliens’ ability to apply for green cards, to compete for jobs with U.S. citizens and legal immigrants, and removes the penalty for illegal presence.

Presently to receive the waiver, the illegal alien must show that if they leave the country the qualifying relative who resides in the U.S. would experience “extreme hardship.” But the meaning of this term may be changing as well; USCIS has announced that new guidance is going to be given in the next few weeks on how the agency will determine “extreme hardship.”

As typical, USCIS declares their intent is “family unity.” But this rule, as with past administrative amnesties, has undermined U.S. law and the deterrent effect for future illegal aliens entering the country.

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A Practical Step Toward Dismantling Unlawful Sanctuary Rules

CIS — In a recent blog posting, my colleague Jessica Vaughan highlighted a Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (DOJ OIG) report finding that state and local governments with sanctuary rules are in violation of federal law by prohibiting employees from communicating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

As Vaughan notes, there are over 300 such sanctuary jurisdictions; and when they are states, such as California, they have a spillover effect because of their impact on county and local government practices as well.

Although DOJ OIG only examined a sampling of 10 jurisdictions due to resource limitations, there is little doubt that the remaining governments are also in violation of the law, 8 U.S.C. Section 1373. One of the commonalities DOJ found in these sanctuary rules and ordinances is that they often engage in throwaway language to the effect that communication is prohibited “except as provided by federal law” or the like – but that the language of this “savings clause” is deliberately ineffectual because absolutely no effort is made to ensure employees know that their right to communicate with immigration agents is, in fact, protected by federal law.

Making the violation even more egregious is the fact that many, probably most, of the offending sanctuary jurisdictions receive federal law enforcement funding – including, incredibly, under a program that disburses monies for “cooperating” with the federal government in identifying alien criminals under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP).

The belated zeal on the part of the Obama Justice Department in ferreting out these hypocrites who take federal funds in one hand while holding up the other in a “no go” signal to the immigration authorities is thanks primarily to the efforts of a single legislator, Rep. John Culberson , chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the Justice Department’s funding.

Now that it has been established that these jurisdictions are in violation of federal law, I’m hoping that Rep. Culberson will push DOJ to force these scofflaws to take remedial action. One form of such remedial action would to requiring them to post notices in relevant areas of the workplace making known the existence of the federal law. Something like this might be appropriate:

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Orlando Terrorist’s Father Endorses Hillary, on Display at Rally in Florida

HOT AIR — Apparently, the father of Omar Mateen, the radical Islamic terrorist who committed the deadliest terror attack on American soil since Sept 11, is a big fan of Hillary Clinton.

Clinton held a rally in Kissimmee, FL, a suburb of Orlando, the site of June’s terror attack, and she began her rally by paying tribute to those who were slaughtered by Mateen while the terrorists father, Seddique Mateen, sat right behind her, prominently displayed and in full view of the camera.

Here’s a report on the bizarre and discomforting display from the local NBC affiliate:

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Justice Dept. Lawyers Ordered to Take Ethics Classes After Misleading Judge in Amnesty Case

WASHINGTON TIMES — The Justice Department will order all of its civil division lawyers to take an hourlong remedial ethics class, hoping to head off even worse punishment from a federal judge who is furious about the way Obama administration attorneys misled him in the case involving the president’s deportation amnesty.

In a document filed with Judge Andrew Hanen last month and made public Monday, administration attorneys insisted they didn’t mean to mislead the court, but they acknowledged sloppiness and said their own use of technical jargon may have confused the judge.

But the lawyers pleaded with Judge Hanen not to slap any of them with sanctions, saying the errors were the result of groupthink and not attributable to any particular lawyer’s goofs. The lawyers asked the judge to keep in place the 108,000 three-year amnesties issued in defiance of his rulings, saying to punish the illegal immigrants who were improperly granted them “would be unwarranted.”

“We fully recognize that we used flawed phrasing, which is unfortunate and regrettable, and — quite understandably — has been exasperating for this Court. But the imprecision was inadvertent, not the product of an intent to deceive,” the department said in its filing. “We therefore respectfully submit there is no basis for imposing sanctions against any person or entity.”

Benjamin C. Mizer, principal deputy assistant attorney general for the civil division, issued an apology in a separate filing and said he would require the remedial ethics classes.

“On behalf of the Civil Division and the Department of Justice, I apologize to the court for the problems that arose in this case. I am very sorry and deeply regret that we failed to provide clear and precise information to the court,” he wrote.

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Concealed-Carry Permit Surge Could Play Decisive Role in These 2016 Battleground States

DAILY SIGNAL — The number of concealed-carry permit holders has skyrocketed over the last four years, noticeably in key battleground states and among women, according to a new report.

Two swing states have the highest number of permit holders in the country, with 1.58 million in Florida and 1.2 million in Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, 549,000 have permits in Ohio, another 556,136 in Michigan, and 530,092 in North Carolina. Indiana has issued 728,976 permits. These are all states that President Barack Obama—who supports gun control—carried at least once in his presidential election campaigns.

Fifteen percent of Indianans have concealed-carry permits. Pennsylvania has 12.2 percent of the population holding permits, and another swing state, Iowa, has 11.5 percent of the population carrying concealed-carry permits.

Depending on how significant guns are in the election, the increase in women permit holders and minorities could also be significant. Women have traditionally broken for Democrats in past elections.

“In eight states where we have data by gender, since 2012 the number of permits has increased by 161 percent for women and by 85 percent for men,” a report by the Crime Prevention Research Center says.

In Florida, women had 18 percent of permits in 2012. That rose to 24.1 percent in 2016. The rise went from 18 percent to 22.7 percent in Indiana from 2012 to 2015. In North Carolina, the number of permits for women went from 21.3 percent in 2012 to 27.5 percent in 2015. The study was based on the most recent available data for each state.

The increase among women with permits is even pronounced in the very blue state of Washington, the report said. Between 2005 and 2014, in Washington, “the growth rate for women getting new permits [was] twice as fast as that of men.”

“Women benefit more from having a gun than a man because of the large strength differential between a male-to-woman attacker compared to male-to-male attacker,” Crime Prevention Research Center President John Lott, a noted economist and researcher, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “Women with a gun would be able to better resist an attack from men. There has been a lot of fear about guns that have caused people to make the wrong decisions about guns, but that is changing.”

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After Voter ID Defeats, Lessons From Indiana’s Law That ‘Has Stood Test of Time’

DAILY SIGNAL — As courts over the last few weeks dealt a series of blows to voter identification laws in states across the country, Indiana’s Secretary of State Connie Lawson was feeling fortunate.

More than a decade ago, before it was the rage to do so, Lawson, then a Republican state legislator, co-sponsored a bill in the name of preserving election integrity that requires Indiana voters to produce photo identification to vote.

Three years after the legislation became law in 2005, the Supreme Court upheld it as constitutional, and today, Lawson, as the state’s chief elections official, is describing Indiana’s photo identification law as a success story. She says it’s a triumph that states discouraged by recent court rulings should learn from.

“When we wrote the legislation, we did everything we could do to make elections honest and make sure everyone can participate in the election process,” Lawson told The Daily Signal in an interview. “So we added protections [against disenfranchisement] that maybe some of the other laws don’t have. And now, our law has stood the test of time. It passed the test with the U.S. Supreme Court, and it’s been in place for over a decade now.”

Lawson says that turnout for presidential elections has increased since the law’s implementation—it jumped from 58 percent in 2004 to 62 percent in 2008, a year when President Barack Obama became the first Democrat to carry Indiana since 1964. Turnout fell back to 58 percent in 2012.

And she contends there is “no compelling evidence” to prove voters are being blocked from the ballot box because of stricter identification requirements, although she says it’s “impossible to measure” whether the law has prevented a case of in-person voter fraud.

The courts are making their own declarations on voter identification laws.

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Corrupt, Violence Riiden Mexico Launches Campaign to Boost Its Image in the U.S.

CIS — Mexico’s Foreign Secretary is embarking on a campaign to enlist lobbyists and allies in many spheres of American life in order to rehabilitate the nation’s reputation in the United States, according to an article in Mexico’s largest newspaper. Donald Trump has seriously damaged that image in his campaign for the presidency, El Universal reported on Sunday.

The newspaper reported that the campaign is being led by Foreign Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu, who made 15 trips to the U.S. between last October and July. It is being launched as an urgent response to the government’s own determination that “for Americans, Mexico is unhealthful, alien, remote, backwards, poor, corrupt, and tied with drug-trafficking,” according to the report.

An official in Mexico’s Foreign Affairs office told the newspaper that Americans change their negative perceptions of Mexico when they are informed that Mexico has the world’s twelfth-largest economy, produces a third of the world’s televisions, graduates more engineers than Germany and is the United States’ third-largest trading partner.

The campaign is intended to defend the North American Free Trade agreement, which has vastly expanded trade between the two countries but which Trump has condemned as devastating for American workers whose jobs have been moved to Mexico. It will enlist the help of professional American lobbyists. And it will direct the staffs of Mexico’s 50 consulates in the U.S. to develop allies in the media, academic life, and business.

GRAPHIC: DRUG CARTEL BURNS RIVALS ALIVE NEAR BORDER — BREITBART

DRUG LORD ‘EL CHAPO’ GUZMAN IS SO STRESSED HE’S GOING BALD, LAWYER SAYS — FOX

STOLEN RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL RECOVERED IN MEXICO — LAHT

A GROUP DUBBED ” THE SQUADRON OF DEATH”, HAS ARRIVED IN TABASCO TO CARRY OUT “JUSTICE” — BLB

MEXICO CONTINUES HUNT FOR VETERAN DRUG LORD CARO QUINTERO — INSIGHT CRIME

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Florida Investigates New Case of Apparent Local Transmission of Zika Virus

FOX — Florida health officials are investigating a new non-travel- related case of Zika virus in Palm Beach County, but it is not yet clear whether the person contracted the virus from local mosquitoes or from a recent trip to Miami.

Governor Rick Scott said in a statement on Monday that the infected person recently traveled to Miami-Dade County, which is experiencing an outbreak of Zika caused by local mosquito transmission. So far, 16 people have been infected in the Miami area. The Palm Beach case brings the state’s tally to 17.

An investigation was under way to determine how the person in Palm Beach County became infected.

The governor said the state still believed active transmission of the virus were confined to a one-square-mile (260-hectare) area in Miami-Dade County that includes Miami’s Wynwood district.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning pregnant women to avoid this area in Miami because Zika has been tied to birth defects, including microcephaly, which can case severe developmental problems.

With the school year approaching, Scott said he had ordered the department of health to work with the state’s department of education “to ensure students, parents, educators and district leaders have all the resources and guidance they need to combat the Zika virus.”

HERE’S $49,577,386 THAT COULD HAVE GONE TO ZIKA RELIEF — WFB

CRUZ, CORNYN PRESS OBAMA FOR ANSWERS ON UNSPENT ZIKA MONEY — DAILY SIGNAL

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The Buck Starts Here

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China Starts Combat Air Patrols in Disputed South China Sea Areas

WASHINGTON TIMES — China is still bristling at the arbitration case out of The Hague, which called its claims in the South China Sea baseless. The People’s Republic has especially chaffed at U.S. freedom of navigation sea patrols and flights in the disputed area. It seems the Chinese military has decided to increase tensions by starting combat air patrols over the territory it has claimed in violation of international law.

Air force spokesman Senior Col. Shen Jinke said in an online statement that the patrol was “to enhance combat capabilities to deal with various security threats” and to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. Shen said bomber and fighter aircraft, early warning aircraft, reconnaissance planes and planes that can refuel in flight patrolled the airspace around the Spratly Islands, Scarborough Shoal and surrounding areas, reports Fox News.

The U.S. and its allies have no choice but to stand up to these bullying tactics no matter the cost. Otherwise, the world descends into totalitarianism and war. Strength is the only path to peace unfortunately. Hopefully, the next American president will understand this.

JAPAN WARNS CHINA OF WORSENING TIES OVER EAST CHINA SEA ROW — REUTERS

NEW IMAGES SUGGEST CHINA HAS BUILT ‘REINFORCED HANGARS’ ON SPRATLYS — REUTERS

CHINA’S LONGER TERM STRATEGY: COOPERATION, COMPETITION AND AVOIDING CONFLICT — TNI

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American Veteran News 08.09.16

REMAINS OF MARINE KILLED IN WORLD WAR II RETURN HOME TO NEBRASKA DECADES LATER — FOX — GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – The remains of Dale Robert Geddes, a Grand Island native who was serving in the U.S. Marine Corps when he was killed 72 years ago during World War II, have been identified through DNA testing and are coming home.

A graveside service with full military honors is scheduled for Aug. 22, the Independent reported. Geddes’ remains will be buried next to his parents’ in the Grand Island Cemetery.

Geddes died in the Battle of Tarawa, which took place Nov. 20-23, 1943, as American troops fought to capture the island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. About 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and another 2,000 wounded. Authorities say Geddes died sometime on the first day of the battle, likely by sniper fire, according to a 1944 newspaper article.

Geddes’ casualty report, which was dated Oct. 18, 1949, said recovery of his remains was “improbable, if not impossible.” One reason is that his remains were buried along with others in an unmarked cemetery on the island, his family was told.



PEARL HARBOR SURVIVOR DIES AT 95 — FOX NEWS — RUSH COUNTY, Ind. – A Pearl Harbor survivor from Rushville passed away this week at the age of 95.

Norman Lee Vance was born in New Castle in 1921. He attended New Castle High School, and he was the first freshman in school history to letter in varsity track.

Vance enlisted in the US Navy in 1940 after graduating high school. He was on the USS Pennsylvania BB38 at Pearl Harbor when WWII started, and he survived the attack.

He was awarded many WWII ribbons and 11 battle stars.

After he was discharged, he moved to Rush County. He married Mary Henshaw on May 4, 1944. They had been married 51 years when she passed away on March 13, 1996.

Vance was well-known around Rush County as a manager at Carter-Lanning Paint Store. He retired from the store after 45 years.

He was also a self-taught musician and he played guitar with the Carter Lanning Band for several decades.

Vance will be buried with military honors on August 11.



TAYA KYLE ON GRIEF: ‘YOU CAN’T AVOID IT, AND YOU CAN’T OUTRUN IT’ — T&P — Taya Kyle was married to “American Sniper” Chris Kyle. Here’s how she is doing three years after his death.

In 2001, Taya Studebaker met and fell in love with a Navy SEAL named Chris Kyle. They were married in 2002, as U.S. armed forces became involved in two lengthy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Across four tours in Iraq, her husband became a legend — the deadliest sniper in American history. Despite the dangers of being a Navy SEAL and the hardships of frequent deployment, the couple managed to overcome the odds of military divorce to find happiness in each other. However, after he was honorably discharged, Kyle was murdered by a former Marine named Eddie Ray Routh on Feb. 2, 2013, leaving Taya and their two children behind.

Now, three years later, Task & Purpose caught up with Taya about how she began to move forward thanks to her faith and the knowledge that her husband lives on in the good he brought to the world.



STUDY CONFIRMS A PHYSICAL CORRELATE TO PTSD: “BROWN DUST” IN THE BRAIN — BOING BOING — Since WWI, doctors have speculated that PTSD’s underlying cause was some sort of physical damage caused by blast-waves from bombs, which literally shook loose something important in the brains of sufferers.

Since 2012, neuropathologist Daniel Perl has advocated for this theory: specifically that blast waves caused physical damage at the intersection of the brain’s gray matter and white matter, where microscopic analysis of the brains of former soldiers who suffered from PTSD reveals a “brown dust” of scarring, in regions that are neuroanatomically associated with sleep and cognition.

Unless you believe in souls, all mental processes have physical correlates, so in some ways it’s unsurprising to learn that specific kinds of injuries that reliably lead to specific behaviors have specific physical modes of action. But on the other hand, a long history of “dualism” (the belief that the mind is somehow separate from the brain) has created a split in how we perceive mental illness and “physical” illness, through which mental illness is treated as the expression of problems in the subject’s character and moral fiber. In the case of PTSD (which has previously been called “combat fatigue” and “shell shock”), sufferers have been branded as “shirkers” whose fear of battle drove them to express their symptoms.

Ibolja Cernak is a Bosnian scientist who conducted a study on 1,300 veterans of the Bosnian/Serbian conflict, which confirmed much of Perl’s hypothesis. Adherents of this hypothesis believe that the action of a blast weakens the material connections at their intersections — perhaps by compressing the body and forcing blood into the brain, putting a “shearing load on brain tissues.”

In 2007, Applied Research Associates studied the impact of blasts on military “breacher teams” who blow open doors with small explosive charges, looking particularly at trainers who are repeatedly exposed to blasts, which seemed to confirm the hypothesis as well.



HOW TO TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT PTSD — T&P — Talking to your doctor about your mental health can be stressful, but here are some tips to make it a little easier.

Asking for help is never easy and sometimes the hardest part is admitting you need it. When it comes to mental health, it can be especially difficult to talk to a doctor, for fear that he or she isn’t going to understand or just put you on medication and wave you away. If you don’t have a relationship with your doctor, it’s even harder to talk about deeply personal issues with a complete stranger, but that’s not a good reason to avoid seeking help.

If you do need to speak with a doctor about post-traumatic stress disorder, it’s important to do it as soon as possible.

According to the VA’s National Center for PTSD, symptoms are indicated by an answer of “Yes” to any three of the following:

    Have you ever had any experience so upsetting that it gave you nightmares or flashbacks?

    Do you ever go out of your way to avoid situations that remind you of it?

    Are you constantly on edge and do you feel overly watchful or easily startled, even when you know you’re safe?

    Do you feel detached from others or numb to activities and your surroundings?

A more in-depth checklist is provided on the VA website. For those exhibiting symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

Before any doctor’s appointment, make a list of questions about treatment recommendations, for example:



NINE MAJOR VETERANS AFFAIRS FAILURES — WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The Department of Veterans Affairs has never fully recovered from the firestorm of criticism it received after a whistleblower revealed a nationwide scheme to cover up long delays in healthcare in 2014.

The discovery that 110 VA facilities had used secret patient waiting lists to cover up veterans’ long wait times led to the ouster of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, but only three employees involved in the manipulation were fired.

More than a half million veterans still must wait at least a month to see a VA doctor, and even when they do manage to get an appointment, the care they receive is not always up to the standards patients expect to see in the private sector.

Current VA Secretary Bob McDonald struck a nerve when he compared VA wait times to wait times at Disney parks in late May. The backlash over his comments drew attention, if only for a moment, back to the shortcomings that have plagued the VA for years.

The following nine recent VA failures offer a glimpse at an agency that sometimes struggles to provide the most basic services to veterans.



SURPRISE INSPECTIONS SHOW VA HEALTH CARE IMPROVEMENT SINCE PHOENIX SCANDAL — GOV EXEC — The Veterans Health Administration has improved the quality of and access to health care for vets over the past two years, but the agency’s continuing struggle with hiring and retaining employees is undermining its mission, according to a newly-released report from an outside organization.

“Staffing shortages significantly impacted the organization’s ability to meet veterans’ needs and led to delays in care,” said a Joint Commission survey of 139 VHA facilities and 47 community-based outpatient clinics between October 2014 and September 2015. The Joint Commission, which is a widely-respected independent non-profit that accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the country, began conducting surprise surveys of the facilities soon after the 2014 scandal erupted in Phoenix involving patient wait times and access to care. The Veterans Affairs Department asked the Joint Commission to do the review, and provided performance data and other information as benchmarks so surveyors could target VHA’s biggest weaknesses and properly assess the validity of the agency’s statistics. Individual facilities, however, did not know when the Joint Commission planned to pop in for a review.



MONEY STOLEN BY INFAMOUS CON MAN ‘BOBBY THOMPSON’ FINALLY GOES TO VETS — ABC NEWS — Years after donors gave millions to the U.S. Navy Veterans Association – not knowing it was a scam charity preying on wartime sympathies – at least some of that money is finally reaching its intended target.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Friday his office would be handing a portion of the money seized during the capture of the fugitive scammer known as Bobby Thompson over to the Ohio Military Veterans Legal Assistance Project, which provides legal services to returning service men and women, as part of a $50,000 grant.

“These funds were originally given by generous donors who thought their contributions were going to help our veterans, but most of the money went to line the pockets of a con artist,” DeWine said in a press release late Friday. “As a result of the legal process that convicted Bobby Thompson, my office received some of the remaining funds with the provision that they assist veterans. This grant to the Ohio Military Veterans Legal Assistance Project will ensure the donations serve their original purpose by helping veterans.”



THIS NAVY VETERAN CALLS HIMSELF THE ‘CARETAKER’ OF THE VIETNAM MOVING WALL — THE HERALD — Navy vet Paul Chen says his home is wherever the wall takes him.

During the height of the Vietnam War in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, much was made of young American men dodging the draft to avoid military service.

There were others, such as Paul Chen, who did everything they could to serve their country and enter the fight. Chen joined the Navy in 1974 and left active duty several years later.

Now, he oversees the Vietnam Moving Wall, which has been touring the country for 30-plus years and is calling Hermitage home through Monday morning. The wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The wall visits locations where groups or organizations are willing to sponsor the moving costs and manpower.

This year alone he has visited a dozen locations.

“This is a dream job,’’ he said.

Preferring to call himself the wall’s caretaker, he said his home is wherever the wall takes him. With a little help, Chen saw to it that the Moving Wall was properly erected Thursday on East State Street across from America’s Cemetery.



VIETNAM WAR VETERANS STILL FEELING EFFECTS OF AGENT ORANGE — WBAY — APPLETON, Wis. – It has been several decades since American troops fought in the Vietnam War, but many veterans say they’re still suffering the effects of a chemical used to help level the battlefield.

Local Vietnam veterans say cancer, birth defects and other illnesses have affected generations of their families because of Agent Orange. The dioxin was used by the U.S. Military to kill foliage in Vietnam and Korea so the enemy couldn’t hide.

“In hindsight it did what they wanted it to do, but at what cost?” said John Margowski, who is with the Vietnam Veterans of America. “The cost then verses the cost now, and the cost now is significant.”

Fox Valley Technical College held a town hall presentation about the topic on Saturday. Organizers say they want lawmakers to pass a bill that would fund more Agent Orange research.

Vietnam veteran Don Falk says the presentation was eye-opening.



‘BUDGET-CRUNCHED’ VA HAS 167 INTERIOR DESIGNERS ON STAFF — DAILY CALLER — An army of 167 interior designers work at the Department of Veterans Affairs, picking window blind colors and buying millions of dollars of art each year, an investigation from The Daily Caller News Foundation has found.

The designers’ salaries are not included in recent findings that the VA has spent $16 million on art during the Obama administration. At least a dozen individual pieces of art cost a quarter million dollars or more each. Nearly $700,000 was spent on two sculptures at a hospital for blind veterans, the Palo Alto Polytrauma and Blind Rehabilitation Center.

At $100,000 in combined salaries and benefits — many actually make more — the cost of employing those 167 designers would add up to $17 million a year, or $136 million during the eight years of the Obama administration, making the salaries of the people in charge of picking out art dwarf even those art costs.

The list of VA interior designers from 2011 — created by a company seeking to sell to the VA, and spotted online by the Daily Caller News Foundation — shows that virtually every hospital has an interior designer, with some having many. It’s unclear what could possibly keep them busy full-time, considering the bulk of the work would come during major renovations or construction of a new wing.

The 167 designers are spread among the VA’s 75 hospitals and regional offices. The Cleveland hospital has five on staff. The Pittsburgh and Dallas hospitals have three each. The scandal-plagued San Juan, Puerto Rico hospital — which has multiple felons in high-level positions — also has three.



VA DROPS MILLIONS ON DELAYED SOLAR POWER PROJECTS — WASHINGTON FREE BEACON — The Department of Veterans Affairs has spent more than $408 million to install solar panels on its medical facilities in recent years, despite many of the projects experiencing significant delays and some of the systems not becoming operational at all.

The VA has failed to effectively plan and manage these solar panel projects, resulting in significant delays and additional costs, according to a report released by the agency’s inspector general last week.

The watchdog conducted an audit of 11 of the 15 solar projects awarded between fiscal years 2010 and 2013 that were still in progress as of May last year. The investigation, which was completed in March, found that only two of the 11 solar panel projects were fully completed.

“This occurred because of planning errors, design changes, a lengthy interconnection process, and contractor delays,” the inspector general concluded. “As a result, VA did not increase renewable energy for those solar projects in the time frame planned and incurred additional costs through needed contract modifications.”



VETERAN SURVIVES IED BLAST IN AFGHANISTAN ONLY TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING OUTSIDE FLORIDA HOME — NY DAILY NEWS — He survived a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan and lived through a nasty bomb blast about six years back. Then, earlier this year, Luke Shimer was equally fortunate to survive a harrowing lightning strike.

The veteran from St. Augustine, Fla., remains in rehab where he is doing everything he can to one day be able to walk, eat and breathe on his own.

He opens his eyes to watch the people around him; lifts his head to get his hair cut and, occasionally, mouths hello.

Those are some of the steps Shimer has taken since he was struck on the upper deck of his home on the evening of May 17.



MCCAIN AND VETERANS GROUPS AREN’T ALWAYS ON THE SAME PAGE — S&S — when it comes to questions of how to structure and pay for veterans’ benefits such as health care, McCain and veterans advocacy organizations are at odds at least as often as they are in lock step.

McCain’s is a mixed bag of a legislative record that in any other circumstance might be unremarkable. But as Donald Trump repeatedly pummels the senior Republican senator from Arizona, saying he has "not done a good job for the vets," that record is getting a second look.

In fact, there is an ongoing dispute between veterans groups and the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman over the access that veterans, in the wake of the Veterans Health Administration scandal, have to private doctors. McCain is in favor of more access, while veterans groups are against expanding it too far across the board, fearing such a move would undercut services at the VHA.

That may be why veterans groups have been basically mum when it comes to defending McCain from Trump’s slights, which came after the senator released a statement "deeply" disagreeing with the GOP presidential nominee over his attacks on the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim American soldier who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

The senator, who faces a tough reelection battle this year, still supports Trump, even though the GOP standard-bearer has slammed McCain’s record on veterans and initially refused to back him in his primary later this month.



LEAVING THE MILITARY? GET YOUR TRANSITION APP HERE — MILCOM — Transition, sponsored by Citi, provides members of the armed forces (Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard), the National Guard and Reserve, and their spouses with a personalized approach to the transition process. Whether you are a junior officer with 4-8 years or a senior officer with 20+ years of service, track your progress throughout the transition process with an interactive checklist. As a Veteran and job seeker, you can search jobs and view upcoming job fairs. In the Job tools section, translate your military skills to corresponding civilian occupations within the app. Receive notifications of upcoming tasks and important military paperwork as far as 18 months before separation so you never miss a deadline!



To THE VETERANS VOICE

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8 Survival & Emergency Preparedness Videos



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4 Firearm Related Videos



One Old Vet does not represent or endorse the accuracy, suitability, and or reliability of any information’s, content, videos or advertisements contained on, distributed through, or linked, downloaded or accessed from any of the services contained on this website, nor the quality of any products, advice, representation, information or any other material relied upon, displayed, purchased, used, or obtained by you as a result of an advertisement or any other information’s or offer in or in connection with the services herein.

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Obama’s Cash Payment to Iran Was More Than a Ransom — It Broke Criminal Law

NRO — Obama hoped to camouflage what he knew to be against the law.

Did it ever occur to President Obama to ask why he couldn’t just cut a check to the Iranian regime?

Outrage broke out this week over the revelation that Obama arranged to ship the mullahs piles of cash, worth $400 million and converted into foreign denominations, reportedly in an unmarked cargo plane. The hotly debated question was whether the payment, which the administration attributes to a 37-year-old arms deal, was actually a ransom paid for the release of American hostages Tehran had abducted.

It is a waste of time to debate that point further. The Iranians have bragged that the astonishing cash payment was a ransom — and Obama has been telling us for months that we can trust the Iranians. The hostages were released the same day the cash arrived. One of the hostages has reported that the captives were detained an extra several hours at the airport and told they would not be allowed to leave until the arrival of another plane — inferentially, the unmarked cargo plane ferrying the cash. The reason American policy has always prohibited paying ransoms to terrorists and other abductors is that it only encourages them to take more hostages. And, as night follows day, Iran has abducted more Americans since Obama paid the cash. No matter how energetically the president tries to lawyer the ransom issue, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck . . .

More worth examining is why the transaction took the bizarre form that it did. To cut to the chase, I believe it was to camouflage — unsuccessfully — the commission of felony law violations.

EXPERT: NO QUESTION IRAN PAYMENT WILL FUND TERROR — POLIZETTE

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July BLS Report: ‘Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative’

CAPS — For skeptics of the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, July provided plenty of fodder. Superficially, the numbers looked good, and were better than predicted: the economy added 255,000 jobs, more than Wall Street’s anticipated 180,000.

But the sub rosa picture is ugly. More than 75 percent of the new jobs are in the service sector, meaning they pay little and include many part-time jobs in the hospitality and health care sectors. Many jobs created in the summer months are, by definition, temporary. Wages increased .08 cents per hour, a figure analysts touted but pro-rated over July’s 34.5 average hours worked translates to $2.76 cents – gross income before applicable taxes!

Furthermore, more than 94 million Americans remain detached from the labor force, 55 million of them in the prime employment years of age 16 to 64. The true U-6 unemployment rate is an unacceptably high 9.7 percent, significantly worse than July’s official, “big lie” 4.9 percent.

Among those fortunate enough to have a job, 25 million are foreign-born. They’re the legal and illegal immigrants that candidates in the presidential and congressional November elections either want more or fewer of. But adding more immigrants to an economy that already has 25 million foreign nationals in the labor market at the same time 94 million Americans are on the sideline doesn’t make any sense.

What’s missing in the great immigration debate that dominates this election cycle is an intelligent discussion about what the effect has been of adding millions of work-authorized immigrants to the economy during the last two decades. Under the George W. Bush and Barack Obama immigration-friendly administrations, there are 14 million more American-born citizens not employed since the year 2000. More hurtful to unemployed and under-employed Americans, since Obama took office, the population of working-age foreign-born residents has increased by 6 million and those with jobs has grown by 4.5 million.

The pro-immigration argument claims that adding tens of millions of overseas workers grows the economy. On its face, the statement is true, but more immigration doesn’t improve American lives. Research by Harvard economist George Borjas found high immigration mainly benefits the immigrants themselves and redistributes wealth from American workers to the elites that profit from cheap labor.

Pledges to pass comprehensive immigration reform or to increase refugee resettlement must include an analysis of how adding still more employment-authorized foreign nationals would help struggling Americans (it wouldn’t).

CAPS Action Alerts offer opportunities to tell Congress that American jobs need to be protected. Send a message here to your representative to mandate E-Verify and here to end H-1B visa abuse.

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Clinton Promises Amnesty if Hispanics Help

FOX — Washington – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promised Friday an immigration reform that offers the quickest possible path to citizenship if she wins the November election and Hispanics cast votes that enable her party to control the Senate.

During a speech in Washington at a conference of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NABJ-NAHJ), Clinton said “we have a Republican nominee who has been virulently anti-immigrant,” for which reason she hoped results of the upcoming election will sent a clear message to Republicans that it’s time to stop blocking immigration reform.

Clinton asked Hispanics to get out the vote next November and elect lawmakers who support immigration reform, so that control of the Senate goes from Republican to Democratic.

That and an increase in the number of seats in the House of Representatives will enable the passing of a bipartisan immigration reform, the ex-secretary of state said.

Clinton, who answered questions from the press, something she has not regularly done during the campaign, said she will begin to work “immediately” for immigration reform if she is elected to the White House.

The Democratic hopeful also said she believes that Republicans realize the importance of winning Hispanic votes, but the nomination of Donald Trump as their presidential candidate could derail any such attempts.

Clinton said she takes seriously the interests of Hispanic voters, for whom she promised investments to improve job opportunities and increase the possibilities of success for entrepreneurs.

The Democratic leader also promised to close immigrant detention centers run by private companies and to study in depth the policy of deportations so it doesn’t affect moms and dads working hard for their future.

The latest polls in the U.S. show Clinton extending her lead over Trump, who has never achieved majority support either from Latinos or African Americans. EFE

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ICE Union Head Savages Paul Ryan on Out-of-Control Illegal Immigration

BREITBART — House Speaker Paul Ryan is under attack on a new front, after the national union which represents U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers accused the Speaker of enabling the border crisis.

Chris Crane, president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, said the 7,000 officers he represents “wish the speaker of the House would be more vocal in championing an immigration policy that defends the rule of law, and represents the interests of American citizens and lawful residents and protects their safety.”

Crane wrote Ryan deploys rhetoric which “could be adding to that perception” illegals believe they will be allowed to remain in the United States despite breaking the law — and accused Ryan of not caring about the children crossing the border who “are molested and perish.”

The border crisis has been a nightmarish crisis for women and children smuggled illegally into the U.S. “The rape trees are a common practice in this area,” as human trafficking investigator Daniel Walden told Breitbart Texas. “The women are warned in Mexico that they likely will be raped and assaulted during the trafficking process. It is common for mothers to put their young daughters on the pill or some other form of contraception before sending them north. Human trafficking is about the smuggler having power and control over their victims. The rape trees send a signal to those who follow about what will happen if you get out of line. The women are terrorized into submission.”

Such crimes against young women and children could be halted if the U.S. simply enforced its existing immigration law, Crane said.

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO GO BEYOND 10,000 SYRIAN REFUGEES — WASHINGTON TIMES

NOT IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD! VIRGINIA’S SYRIAN REFUGEES RESETTLED IN SMALL TOWNS HOURS AWAY FROM WEALTHY DC SUBURBS — DC

TELEMUNDO REPORTER CLAIMS IT’S NOT CRIME TO BE AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT — DC

‘FAIRNESS’: THE REAL REASON AMERICANS SOURING ON IMMIGRATION STATUS QUO — BREITBART

HILLARY VOWS NOT TO DEPORT ‘HARD-WORKING PEOPLE’ — BREITBART

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