Veterans groups worry retirement cut is just the first step: Stars and Stripes


Here’s an article that was brought to my attention today. Another hurdle our veterans have to get over. I hope Congress puts it into high gear and gets this over turned. Our veterans and our country cannot afford the consequence of this action if by chance they start taking away the ability for vets to put food on the table. 

Ray Kelley, director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars legislative division, argues against plans to trim military retirement increases as part of a comprehensive budget deal, during a Capitol Hill news conference in December. LEO SHANE III/STARS AND STRIPES
Ray Kelley, director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars legislative division, argues against plans to trim military retirement increases as part of a comprehensive budget deal, during a Capitol Hill news conference in December.   LEO SHANE III/STARS AND STRIPES

By Leo Shane III  @  Stars  and Stripes

WASHINGTON — With Congress back this week, veterans groups are vowing to resume their fight against trims to military retirement benefits.

But what they’re really fighting for is relevancy, and to make sure the country hasn’t forgotten about them.

Military advocates worry that Congress’ willingness to attack veterans’ retirement checks shows that lawmakers — and perhaps the public — have already moved on from the wars of the last decade, and that the sacrifices and promises made will be forgotten.

“This is what happens when you have an unengaged population whose focus starts to shift away,” said Tom Tarantino, chief policy officer for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “When times get tough, people say everyone has to sacrifice. But not everyone has been sacrificing for the last 10 years.” Read more

Mid-week-MILspeak 1/8/14


This week’s lingo is brought to you by the US Navy and Wiktionary. 

Waging war is a risky, all-encompassing endeavor physically, emotionally, and psychologically. It displays humankind at its best and at its worst, and the war fighter’s slang reflects the bitter, terrible, and inspiring all of it. A quick scan of these phrases illustrates the spectrum: disciplined bravado provides the glitz and glamour; earned camaraderie, the sincerity and warmth; irony, the realist’s edge; scorn, the punishing barb; and insistent vulgarity, a rowdy,leveling earthiness. A little verbal bravado and swagger has genuine utility. Hollywood bravado is little more than chest thumping bluster, but seasoned vets know that disciplined bravado indicates confidence and courage.  Funny Military Pictures (10)  Physical and moral courage and the confidence they create are essential warrior virtues. But God—or the first sergeant—help the fake macho and especially the “REMF,” “fobbit,” or “suit” who talks the talk but hasn’t walked the walk.

 **NOTE: There are terms in these lists that could be considered NSFW.

  • Gaff Off: To ignore or purposely fail to show proper respect to someone more senior, such as by blowing off an assigned task, by not saluting, or by using improper forms of address.

  • Garden Party: A semi-formal social gathering requiring dress whites from the waist down and dress blues from the waist up.

  • Gator: Gator Navy vessel or sailor. Read more

This is What Happens When Americans are Asked to Label Europe and Brits are Asked to Label the US


At the end of last year, the BuzzFeed team asked students and co-workers to label a map. Those in the UK were asked to label a map of the United States, while those in the US were tasked to label a map of Europe.Yes there is a difference between labelling states of one particular country versus labelling countries in a continent. Sure some people were probably goofing around and not taking the request too seriously. And while many of the attempts will make you chuckle, some of the maps are quite commendable! Before you snicker too hard, maybe quiz yourself and see how you fare? If you’d like to test yourself, I’ve included blank maps at the bottom of the post. Read more

The Rise of Conservatism: Crash Course US History


In which John Green teaches you about the rise of the conservative movement in United States politics. So, the sixties are often remembered for the liberal changes that the decade brought to America.