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December 08, 2008

Eric Shinseki

Eric Shinseki has been chosen by the new administration to become Secretary of Veterans Affairs, what most people still call the Veterans Administration. He was a West Point graduate that was the Army Chief of Staff in his final assignment. He has a history of getting things done.

He will undoubtedly attempt to consolidate some facilities and that is way over due since the inception of the community outreach centers. He must always remember one thing, the Veterans Administration is the largest single purchaser of drugs in the world. He commands to power  negotiate price change as a result, and this must be the start of any health care reform in this country.

The abuses of the system that have occurred over the years in regards to housing homeless veterans are already in the process of being fixed, but the practice of using federal dollars to place patients in with released sex offenders must end immediately to restore credibility to the system. The system needs to repair its image to the public.

Cleaning house on staff is important, for too long the VA was used to place veterans in jobs as well. Recruitment of professional staff and seeing that affiliated institutions get with the program are needed now more than ever. Harvard Medical School is affiliated the Boston Regional VA, yet in ten years I never saw these people ever once. In other words stop using veterans as guinea pigs for new drugs.

The last is the issue I have been complaining about for several years now, that is making the issue of homeless veterans to the National Guard what Toys For Tots is to the Marine Corps Reserve.  Allowing CFC funds from drilling Guardsman to fill endowments for these facilities to ensure that they are not at the budgetary whims of politicians. Stop treating veterans like animals.

December 04, 2008

Letter to Hillary Clinton

By Jeff Benitz 


Having traveled the oceans, I have seen different countries and different countrymen. Talk to them and you can get a true take on matters. Propaganda is big business. America limits its information just fine. This last speech by Senator Barack Obama is an example.

I could go on for a bit about the rote: education; free ride from government; prosperity; rubbish that politicians always use, but I won’t. One thread came out in that piece I will address. The fact is, I’m tired of this fantasy all public officials and Hollywood actors talk about--- the popularity of America and how it has been injured by this recent war.

America is a bag of dog food. With the exception of parts of Europe and Japan everyone else is a dog looking to be fed. I take this analogy from Anne Sexton’s poem. She said dog owners think the dog loves them but that in fact the dog sees its owner only as a bag of dog food.

Anyone who has traveled outside the USA knows this. Not those who were sailors pulling into port with a load of cash where the whores or bars were expecting them, not the American that goes on a golf vacation to a compound or resort, not the Americans on a SCUBA diving trip to an exotic warm destination, but those who have actually traveled.

In 40 years of travel I have found the greater world HATES America. I don’t know what numb-skulls think different. Go to Central or South America and speak Spanish to the locals. Go to other continents and speak German, distance yourself from American identity, and you will get the true opinion of America from abroad. If you don’t speak the language, lets say Portuguese in Brazil or a language in African countries, tell them you are Canadian. See how fast they talk about the stupid Americans.

A friend of mine backpacked across Africa in the 1970’s. He said at the time you would sew a miniature flag on your backpack for hitchhiking. He told me he put a Canadian flag on his backpack because if you had an American flag you would be murdered.

This whole notion that the Afghanistan and Iraq war has made the USA unpopular is a fiction. We are a bag of dog food and don’t forget it! The dog does not love.

If the rest of the world could have its way it would dispose of us as Bolsheviks disposed of Tsar Nicholas II.

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