Thursday, June 14, 2012

El Somnabulo at Delaware Liberal: Veterans are not "worthy of all these special bennies at state expense"

Today's wrap-up of Delaware General Assembly action at Delaware Liberal, penned by El Somnabulo, takes the opportunity to editorialize against State-sponsored benefits for US military veterans:
Yet another bill designed to help veterans (I’m sorry, but yet another protected class, as far as I’m concerned) will likely pass unanimously today. HB 275(Jaques) creates the Veterans Opportunity Credit, which provides yet another tax credit for businesses who hire veterans. Sure would be nice to see a similar bill for those who lost their jobs during the recent economic downturn.
--snip--
[The Veterans Affairs] committee was formed and basically told to ‘go crazy’ when it comes to devising bills that give special benefits to veterans. Hey, we’ve got an all-volunteer military now. Veterans chose that profession. I respect veterans, I respect them a lot. But I don’t think they are worthy of all these special bennies at state expense and at the expense of other citizens who find themselves in the same straits as do veterans. Oh, did I mention there’s an election in a few months?
The "I respect veterans, I respect them a lot" throwaway line is utterly ridiculous when followed by "I don't think they are worthy of all these special bennies at state expense and at the expense of other citizens who find themselves in the same straits as do veterans" because "We've got an all-volunteer military now.  Veterans chose that profession."

You're an idiot, and that's the nicest way I can put it.

We have an all-volunteer military in which people who signed up, and of whom over 2,000,000 have now served in combat theaters since 2001.  Over 800,000 have served at least two tours in a combat theater.  Many thousands (the Pentagon won't release the numbers, but best-guess estimates are around 125-150,000) have had their tours of duty involuntarily extended under "stop-loss orders."

Over 10,000 of those folks have died, and somewhere on the order of 70,000 have been wounded. 

Between 300-400,000 of those soldiers have returned home with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome; only half of those have received treatment.  

Military suicides are at their highest levels in American history.  Military divorce rates are many points above the civilian norm.

Congress has repeatedly cut not only services to soldiers on active duty, but benefits for veterans.

The composition of the US military--specifically in the enlisted ranks--is still disproportionate poor, disproportionately Hispanic, and disproportionately African-American, because a high percentage of enlistees join when their are no other jobs available.

You compare them to people who have "lost their jobs during the economic downturn."

Again, you are an idiot playing phoney equivalence games that you apparently don't understand.

People who have lost their jobs during the economic downturn have not been placed in harm's way on repeated occasions so that your ungrateful ass could sleep at night.

People who have lost their jobs during the economic downturn haven't generally lost arms, legs, eyes, or genitalia blown off by IEDs, while you tapped at your keyboard pretending you were contributing to society.

People who have lost their jobs during the economic downturn haven't been separately by half a planet from their families who lived in fear for months and years that they might never see them again, while you decided that people renting mobile homes were more deserving of government protection and support than them.

People who have lost their jobs during the economic downturn as the equivalent of veterans?

You are an idiot.

Don't get me wrong:  I oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Yemen and Somalia and Uganda and Pakistan and Libya, and I'd love the opportunity to cut the Defense budget and stop sending our young people over there to kill and be killed.

But I am not going to spit on the young people who put their asses on the line so that people like you can compare what happens to them in Iraq and Afghanistan to being laid off from a civilian job.

I see them every semester:  husbands and wives who come into my classes and casually say, "Doc, can I finish this course up early--I'm due to ship out to Afghanistan in early April."

Or the former Marine who walks with a limp and has a speech impediment probably related to all those fresh scars running down the side of his face.

Or the Phamacist's Assistant who came home from her second tour in Afghanistan to discover that her non-military husband had bolted, taking her two kids to parts unknown.

"Another protected class"?

You make me sick.

1 comment:

Hube said...

A very thorough -- and needed -- fisking, Steve. Well done.