Friday, December 26, 2008

Info for All Veterans: Social Security Benefits

This is information for all Veterans who are sick and unable to work. This has no affect on your claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs. This MAY POSSIBLY provide you with income and medical coverage while you are waiting for your DVA Claim. It is our understanding that these benefits may be received concurrently with any DVA benefits you may be receiving or may receive in the future.

If you are sick or injured and feel as though you cannot continue working, you should file a claim with the Social Security Administration [SSA].

So, what do you apply for? There are several programs that you may be eligible for: Supplemental Security Income [SSI], Social Security Disability Insurance [SSDI], or Social Security Retirement [which is age related].

SSI
Basically, SSI is for very low income single persons, or persons with very low income living with a low income family. In most states, SSI automatically makes you eligible for full Medicaid [not Medicare] benefits, which is usually administered by the State Department of Welfare or Health and Human Services, or DHS, or whatever it happens to be called in your state. You will likely also be eligible for the Federal Food Stamp Program. Check with your local Welfare office for eligibility for Medicaid and Food Stamps, but your SSI Application should go directly to the local SSA Office, or you can apply online.

Here is info on SSI from the SSA website on SSI:

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes):

It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and

It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

Am I eligible for SSI benefits? This link will take you to the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool. By taking 5 to 10 minutes to answer a few questions, you can find out if you are eligible for SSI or other benefits. (See also more detailed information on SSI Eligibility Requirements.)
SSI is essentially for those who have not paid into the Social Security System sufficient to be eligible for either Retirement or SSDI.

SSDI
SSDI is for those who have worked long enough to have paid into the Social Security Retirement system through payroll deductions. If you are disabled by disease or injury, you should be eligible for SSDI.

Here is info from the SSA's page on SSDI:

We pay disability benefits under two programs:

The Social Security disability insurance program pays benefits to you and certain family members if you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.

Your adult child also may qualify for benefits on your earnings record if he or she has a disability that started before age 22.

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources.

SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits.

For most people, the medical requirements for disability payments are the same under both programs and disability is determined by the same process.

Whether you apply for Social Security or SSI disability, we ask you for information about your medical condition, work and education history to help us decide if you are disabled under our rules.
Retirement
If you are over 61 years of age, you should make use of the retirement calculator below and get figures on your Social Security Retirment benefits.

How the Social Security Retirement Planner can help you now:
This planner provides detailed information about your Social Security retirement benefits under current law and points out things you may want to consider as you prepare for the future. If you are:

Looking for information, you can:
Find your retirement age,
Use our Retirement Estimator and our other benefit calculators to test different retirement ages or future earnings amounts, Learn about Social Security programs, Find out what happens if you work after you retire, and Learn how certain types of earnings and pensions can affect your benefits.

Already near retirement age, you can:
Discover your retirement options, Get information about how members of your family may qualify for benefits, Find instructions on how to apply for benefits and what supporting documents you'll need to furnish, and Apply for retirement benefits.

Reminder: You need to sign up for Medicare close to your 65th birthday, even if you will not be retired by that time. (If you are getting Social Security benefits when you turn 65, your Medicare Hospital Benefits start automatically.)

Applying for Benefits:
Finally, it is not necessary to travel to your local Social Security Administration Office to file an application, but it is advised. The Online Application is long and tedious, much like the DVA's VONAPP application.

Here is information from the SSA website about Applying for benefits:

Apply as soon as you become disabled. Most of the application forms can be completed online, depending on the type of benefit for which you apply:

Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI)
You can complete both the Application and Adult Disability and Work History Report online.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
You can complete the online Adult Disability and Work History Report. Call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or contact your local Social Security Office to set up an appointment to complete the SSI application form in person or over the phone.

Disability benefits for children
You can complete the Child Disability Report online. Call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or contact your local Social Security Office to set up an appointment to complete the rest of the application in person or over the phone.
Folks, these are benefits that you have paid into one way or another, which entitles you to make use of them when you have a need. Don't go through the DVA Claim process without applying for this ASAP. This can get you income and treatment while you are waiting for the DVA. Don't let your pride stand in the way of this. This is your money. Most of you will be eligible for SSDI. Some few will be SSI eligible. And some of you are over retirement age and have paid in enough to begin collecting your Social Security Retirement.

Once again, we advocate going to your local Social Security Office to apply for these benefits. They will assist you in completing your claim, and help you obtain supporting documentation. They are much, much nicer about it than the DVA folks.

These benefits will not be "the answer", but they can make the wait for the DVA benefits a lot easier on you.

Good luck!

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows than as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2008: VNVets Blog; All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Reaction to the Dr. Phil Show on Veterans

The Doctor Phil show just ended. Like many Americans, we wept at many of the segments, and felt anger at the entire situation.

But we were not surprised one bit about the problems identified as resident in the Department of Veterans Affairs. After all, we have been experiencing this for many years now. The problems identified are not new. What was new was the format in which those problems were presented.

It was not a news show. We did not get a 2 minute sound bite, we got nearly an hour [less commercial time], and real Veterans discussing their issues. And the experts, Chairman Bob Filner of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, and Fox News expert Colonel David Hunt were there to cement the credence of what the public was hearing, and the degree of severity of what was being presented.

We have been calling for criminal charges against DVA leadership for several years. It was satisfying to finally hear such personages as Colonel Hunt, and Chairman Filner, and later, Dr. Phil, actually call the DVA's actions criminal. And listening to Colonel Hunt call for a "perp walk" to wake the nation up to what the DVA has been doing for decades elicited a leap out of the chair and a "YEAH!" loud enough to set the dogs barking.

Most of all, we were pleased that Dr. Phil promised to keep the issue of DVA incompetence at the forefront. That sounds like an opportunity, and we may be able to get our issue onto a second version of the show.

We need to get the public informed of our plight. We need the public to support our proposed legislation. And most of all, we need to make sure we do not become politically triaged out of the benefits system.

So, in addition to your campaign to get support from your "Congresscritters" while they are home on recess [they go back for the January 6th swearing in of the 111th Congress], we should get started emailing Dr. Phil to follow up by telling our story. He was outraged at what he saw and heard today, even to the point of chastising himself for not doing this show earlier. Perhaps we can keep the momentum up by getting him to do another show.

Here is the link to contact the Dr. Phil Show.

http://www.drphil.com/plugger/respond/?plugID=9164

Turn to, folks!

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows than as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2008: VNVets Blog; All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Filner Discusses Veterans Issues on Dr. Phil Show

This just in from the office of Chairman Bob Filner, House Committee on Veterans Affairs:

NEWS FROM…

CHAIRMAN BOB FILNER

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS’ AFFAIRS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 17, 2008

http://veterans.house.gov

Filner Discusses Veterans Issues on Dr. Phil Show

Episode explores the needs of America’s returning service members

Washington D.C. – Congressman Bob Filner, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, will appear on Dr. Phil in an episode focused on honoring America’s contract with our military veterans. Dr. Phil talks with veterans and their families about the challenges of returning home after deployment. Congressman Filner shares his views about the medical and mental health care needs of returning service members. He also discusses the need for a good faith reform effort at the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve the care and services offered to America’s veterans. The show, entitled “Beyond the Front Lines,” is scheduled to air on Friday, December 19. Check your local listings for air time.

What

Dr. Phil episode “Beyond the Front Lines”

When

Friday, December 19 - Check local listings for air time

Who

Veterans and their family members

Congressman Bob Filner, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Colonel David Hunt, FOX News Military Analyst

Tammy Duckworth, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs

Paul Reickhoff, Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Beyond the Front Lines

Military men and women are true American heroes who fight for our freedoms. But are we doing all we can as a nation to honor our contract with these warriors? When a soldier survives war, oftentimes he or she comes home to face a different battle. Dr. Phil's guests are veterans who say they have returned from the front lines only to fight a medical system bureaucracy that is failing them. Randy was severely injured during an ambush while deployed in Iraq. His mother, Tammy, says the military lied to him, and used him, and that Randy was eventually lost in the system. She says getting any help from the Department of Veterans Affairs is a struggle with minimal results. Dr. Phil introduces this wounded warrior to two special people who want to make his life better. Next, Jerry says he got a "raw deal" when he returned from Iraq, and he's struggling with what he believes to be post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). His wife says Jerry is angry and violent, and she's afraid of him. You won't believe what they say the Department of Veterans Affairs advised Jerry to do to cope with his suicidal thoughts.

Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Congressman Bob Filner, and FOX News military analyst Colonel David Hunt passionately share their opinions about health care for veterans. Then, Kevin and Joyce say their son came home from Iraq a changed man. They say they tried to get him help for what they believed was severe PTSD, but it didn't come in time. And, Tammy Duckworth, director of the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs and Paul Rieckhoff, director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, weigh in on the cases. If you are an American, this is your call to arms to step up and help turn things around for the men and women in uniform.

###
This is a program that should interest all of us. Please make sure to watch. Check your local listings: for example, local to us, the Dr. Phil show is on NBC at 3 PM, Eastern, but double check your local channels to be sure.

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows than as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2008: VNVets Blog; All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Help for NHL Claims

We have posted a new file that is important for anyone with a claim that includes Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma [NHL].

The file is titled: VA NHL Letter.pdf and can be found on our companion site,
VNVets Files, or, by joining the Veterans Association of Sailors of the Vietnam War [click on the orange VASVW logo on the left sidebar. Click on "Join this group" when you get there.]

The letter is an Adobe portable document file [.pdf] [you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader so you can read this file.].

The letter is to Representative Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who happens to be the Representative for Susie Belanger, who is an extremely experienced activist advocating for our cause, among others. I received my copy from Chuck Graham...thanks Chuck.

The letter is from Admiral Dunne, The Undersecretary of Veterans Affairs for Benefits. In the letter he quotes a policy that was released to all the Regional Offices in September of 2008, ordering the release of all NHL cases from the Haas stay.

If you are getting the runaround, or the stone wall about your NHL case, print out several copies of this letter and either take them to your local RO, or have your VSO do it.

If that doesn't work...let me know, ASAP. Give it 3-4 weeks after you get the letter to them.

Seriously, email me if you don't get movement on your claim. I have a plan of action ready to go. Use the "Email Me" link on the left sidebar.

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows than as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2008: VNVets Blog; All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, December 07, 2008

"Air Raid Pearl Harbor, this is no drill!"
Sixty-seven years ago today, Japanese aircraft slashed through the morning skies over Pearl Harbor Naval Station, Ford Island Naval Air Station, Hickam Field Army Air Corps Station, and Wheeler Field and the Schofield Barracks Army Station on the northwest side of Oahu.

Alerted by the thump of bombs falling from high above, and from the rattle of machine gun fire from low flying Japanese A6M-2 Zero-Sen Fighters on strafing runs, the ships of the United States Pacific Fleet were slow to react. Slowly, battle stations were manned, and ammunition broken out from magazines was finding its way to US Navy gunners. It was far too little and far too late. Japanese Val dive bombers and Kate torpedo planes began streaking in on their runs, delivering telling blows to the big ships.

In human lives, the attack on Pearl Harbor was horrific. 2,403 were dead, and 1,178 wounded.

188 planes were destroyed, the vast majority on the ground, as only a few Army Air Corps fighters managed to get airborne. A further 159 aircraft were significantly damaged, leaving only 43 planes operational at attack’s end.

It was the toll in ships that was staggering, however.

“Battleships
· Arizona blown up with a loss of 1,177 men.
· Oklahoma capsized with a small part of her hull above water.
· California “sank gradually for about three or four days: and came to rest rather solidly on a mud bottom, with her mainmasts and the upper parts of her main batteries above water. “The quarterdeck [was] under about twelve feet of water...”
· Nevada, which had got under way, beached in the narrow channel opposite Hospital Point in a wrecked condition.
· West Virginia sunk at her berth.
· Maryland moderately damaged but not needing to go into drydock.
· Tennessee, seriously damaged aft in the officers’ quarters from fire and otherwise moderately damaged.
· Pennsylvania, in drydock, with considerable damages, “but not of vital nature.”
· Utah, then used as a target ship, capsized, having been at the Saratoga’s regular berth.
Light Cruisers
· Raleigh, Helena, and Honolulu moderately damaged.
Destroyers
· Cassin and Downes, in Drydock No. 1, severely damaged.
· Shaw’s bow blown off while in floating drydock, severely damaged.
Others
· Vestal (repair ship) was along side the Arizona when the raid commenced and was beached at Aeia to prevent further sinkage.
· Curtiss (seaplane tender) was badly damaged by a crashing plane and one 500-lb. bomb.
· Oglala (minelayer) capsized.”*

For the Japanese, the cost was minimal.

“Twenty-nine planes did not return: fifteen dive bombers and high-level bombers, five torpedo planes, and nine fighter escorts. The midget submarines inflicted no damage, and none returned to their mother ships; four were sunk, and one was wrecked on a reef, its captain captured. One I-class submarine was also sunk.”*

[*Dull, Paul S., A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy (1941-1945). United States Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1978.]

In spite of the overwhelming destruction inflicted on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were foiled by a number of things that did not go according to plan, or were missed by the planners. The attack called for strikes particularly on the US Aircraft Carriers, however, they were at sea at the time of the attack and were missed. Additionally, millions of barrels of oil were stored in large tank farms behind the US Submarine base at Pearl Harbor, and also between there and another tank farm near Hickam Field. The Japanese left them totally unscathed. They also failed to attack the submarine section of the sprawling naval base. With the exception of a number of Cruisers and Destroyers based elsewhere throughout the Pacific, the surface fighting arm of the Pacific Fleet was on the bottom at Pearl Harbor, but the Aircraft Carriers, their pilots and planes were intact, as were the submarines, and their facilities at Pearl Harbor. The remains of the Pacific Fleet would not suffer for the want of oil to patrol the waters of the Pacific either.

The Japanese sneak attack catapulted the isolationist American nation to a Declaration of War, made by Congress the following day, at the request of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his stirring “Day of Infamy” speech.

The rest of the story…
Arizona
was the ship that suffered the most damage. Devastated when a bomb ripped through the main deck and exploded in the forward magazine. Arizona has come to symbolize the events of December 7th at Pearl Harbor. Some of her dead lie still entombed within her, the rest buried in the cemetery at the “Punch Bowl”. The USS Arizona remains in commission as a U.S. Navy ship.

The former battleship Utah was converted to an auxiliary vessel in 1931 and used as a radio controlled target ship. Later, she was converted back to a gunnery training ship. Moored on the opposite side of Ford Island from Battleship Row on December 7th the Utah was in the spot where the aircraft carrier Saratoga usually was to be found. Utah received the attention of dozens of Japanese planes; struck repeatedly by bombs and torpedoes, she rolled over and sank. Later the hulk was raised and moved closer to Ford Island where she remains today.

Horribly mangled by bombs and torpedoes, the Nevada, the only battleship to get under way, was intentionally beached to prevent her sinking. Repaired and returned to service by 1943, she took part in a raid on the Aleutian Islands and eventually made her way to the Atlantic where she provided shore bombardment at Normandy on D-Day in 1944.

Capsized, the Oklahoma was eventually partially raised but never repaired. A frantic rescue effort went on for days after the attack trying desperately to free men trapped inside the overturned hull.

Flagship of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Pennsylvania was in drydock at the time of the attack, sharing the drydock with the destroyers Cassin and Downes. Pennsylvania’s damage was minimal, thanks in no small part to the sturdiness of the drydock caissons. Japanese aircraft tried repeatedly to torpedo the Pennsylvania, but the drydock walls absorbed the hits. Not so lucky were the two destroyers in with the Pennsylvania, USS Cassin DD 372 and USS Downes DD 375. The Downes and Cassin were both salvaged with much equipment taken off their ruined hulls and installed on new hulls in the U.S. Re-launched, these “new” vessels went on to fight in many of the western Pacific Campaigns from 1943 on. The Pennsylvania was quickly repaired and returned to service. In 1944 she participated in the bombardment of Guam prior to the invasion there, and later saw action at the Battle of Surigao Straits.

The Tennessee was moored inboard of the USS West Virginia, and was thus protected from torpedo attack. She was scorched by the flaming oil from the Arizona, and received two bomb hits on her main gun turrets. After a period of repair and modernization in California, the Tennessee resumed duty, participating in all the major offensives of the Western Pacific from early 1943 on. Tennessee took part in the Battle of Surigao Straits and later had a hand in the sinking of the IJN super battleship Yamato.

Severely damaged by torpedoes and bombs, and sunk at her berth, California was a major salvage undertaking and was not completed until January of 1944. She took part in the major Pacific campaigns of 1944 and 1945, and fought in the surface action against Japanese Battleships at the Battle of Surigao Straits.

Perhaps the least damaged of all the battleships at Pearl Harbor, Maryland turned out to be the unluckiest. After a brief overhaul stateside in 1942, Maryland returned to combat status. While supporting Marine amphibious operations at Saipan in 1944 she was torpedoed by a Japanese plane. After another repair period, Maryland returned to the firing line at the Palaus Islands, and operated with the fleet during the Leyte invasion in October 1944. A month later she was struck in Leyte Gulf by a Japanese Kamikaze aircraft, requiring still another overhaul. She returned to the line just in time for the end of the war in the Pacific.

Next to the Arizona, the West Virginia took the worst beating at Pearl Harbor. Several bomb hits and at least seven torpedo hits all on one side. Excellent damage control kept her from rolling over, and thus allowed many of her crew to escape. She was re-floated and repaired, and back in action by July of 1944, in time to participate in the closing months of the war in the Pacific.

USS Helena CL 50. Helena was a brand new light cruiser. At Pearl Harbor she was struck in an engine room by a single torpedo, and was repaired to fight in the southwest Pacific campaigns of 1942 by July of that year.

USS Raleigh CL 7. Unlike the Helena, Raleigh was a much older vessel, built in 1924. Like the Helena, she was lightly damaged at Pearl Harbor, receiving one torpedo hit and a near miss by a bomb. She was repaired and back in the fight by summer of 1942.

USS Honolulu CL 48. Another relatively new cruiser, the Honolulu received only moderate damage to its hull and by mid January was repaired and escorting a convoy to San Francisco.

USS Shaw DD 373. The destroyer Shaw was in a floating drydock and received serious damage from a bomb. Her bow section was completely blown off. Repaired and restored for duty, Shaw went back in action in the summer of 1942.

USS Helm DD 388. The Helm, a relatively new destroyer, was slightly damaged by two near-miss bombs. She remained in service.

USS Curtiss AV 4. The Curtiss was brand new seaplane tender. A bomb hit her and a Japanese plane crashed into her upper works. She was repaired on the west coast of the United States and back at Pearl Harbor by February, 1942.

USS Vestal AR 4. The Vestal, a repair ship, was moored alongside the USS Arizona on December 7th. Struck by two bombs and further damaged by the explosion in the forward magazine of the Arizona, Vestal was moved to another part of the harbor where she was grounded to avoid sinking. Vestal was repaired and by August of 1942 she was busy repairing ships involved in the Guadalcanal campaign.

USS Oglala CM 4. Oglala was the fleet minelayer for the Pacific Fleet. An old ship, she was damaged during the attack by nearby torpedo and bomb explosions. She rolled onto her side and sank. Raised and repaired, she was returned to action as a repair ship for internal combustion engines in 1944.

Amazingly, of the twenty ships mentioned above, which indeed are the ones that received any damage of a nature greater than superficial, only Arizona, Utah, and Oklahoma were not raised, repaired and returned to wartime service. And Utah was little more than a hulk to begin with. Ultimately, one of the real stories about Pearl Harbor is this superb salvage effort to get the ships repaired well enough for a voyage to a West Coast shipyard, where they were repaired and in many cases overhauled and modernized, often returning to service in much finer condition than prior to the attack. The men and women who performed these tasks at Pearl Harbor are as big a set of heroes as any crew who sailed their ships against the Japanese in the Pacific.

All the ships served with distinction later in the war, and it was a fitting event at the Battle of Surigao Strait when Admiral Jesse Oldendorf led six U.S. Battleships, among them Pearl Harbor veterans California, West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and Pennsylvania in a classic “Crossing the T” maneuver, just as Togo had done at Tsushima Strait in 1905, and sank most of Vice Admiral Nishimura’s striking force of battleships and cruisers.

The salvage work done at Pearl Harbor in the aftermath of the December 7th attack was finely managed and heroically carried out. Oldendorf’s victory at Surigao Strait is a testament to that effort. Icing to the cake was added barely six months later when the Naval Shipyard located at Pearl completed what would normally have taken several months to repair: the battle damage to the USS Yorktown from the Battle of Coral Sea, in 48 hours, allowing her and her aircrews to participate in the first major naval victory against the Japanese at the Battle of Midway. Aircraft from the three US aircraft carriers, the Hornet, Enterprise, and Yorktown, the ones that were missed at Pearl, sank four of the Japanese aircraft carriers that participated in the December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor, the Hiryu, Soryu, Kaga and Akagi.

Remember Pearl Harbor…67 years ago today.

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows than as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2008: VNVets Blog; All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Latest on Haas, and other Hi-jinks at the Supreme Court

Latest on Haas at the Supreme Court
The Department of Veterans Abuse was due to file its response brief on the Haas case on November 21st. It failed to do so, asking for an extension, which was granted, until the 22nd of December.

It may be likely that the DVA is going to ask for an additional 30 days, which would put the brief due at court about the same time Obama walks into the White House as President, [See below for more on that!].

Either way, the Bush Administration's influence on the Department is essentially gone. But they may try one last sneak attack, so be ever vigilant!

Watch Congress, and watch the courts.

In the meantime, keep at your Senators and Representatives. Please continue to record your successes in the poll at the top right.

<------------------------------------------->

Supreme Court to discuss Obama's eligibility for the presidency Friday
At the Supreme Court there are currently not one, not two, but three requests for review of cases claiming the Barack Obama is not eligible to be President of the United States. The suits claim a number of technicalities, but one of them seems to us to be more of a threat than the others. The claim is that Obama was not born in Hawaii, but in Kenya. The claim is that there is a record of his mother being denied access to a flight from Nairobi Kenya because of her pregnancy being close to term, in the week BEFORE his birth. His mother, of course, is a US Citizen, but his father was a Kenyan citizen [and possibly also a British citizen at the time], and that Barack's mother was then on the record as having returned to the US about 7-10 days later, presumably AFTER the birth of Barack in Kenya, which would make him a Kenyan Citizen and not a native born citizen of the United States.

The Constitution requires that the President be a native born citizen of the United States. Article Two states [in part]:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
That means that if Obama is a native born Kenyan, as the suit claims, then he is not eligible to be the President. Should it come to the fact that Joe Biden is not a natural born citizen of the US [and we know he is!], then he would not be eligible to step in to replace Obama.

The entire Court is meeting Friday, December 5th to decide whether to accept the case[s], and what, exactly, to do with them. They would have to move fast since the Electoral College vote officially making Senator Obama as President-elect [at the moment he has no title, he is "the guy who won the election", no matter what anyone says, not even the media! He does not become President-elect until made so by the Electoral College vote.]

<------------------------------------------->

File under "Showing contempt at the wrong place and time!!"
Three yahoos who happen to be citizens of the tiny island nation of Singapore were jailed for contempt of court when they showed up wearing t-shirts with pictures of kangaroos in judges' robes!

Two got seven days in the the Singapore jail, which may still be Changi Jail left over from WW II Japanese occupational use as a POW prison. The third was given fifteen days since he was the Assistant Secretary-General of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party.

Wait, it gets better...

The trial at which they appeared was for the party chairman and his sister, charged with defamation of the current and former Prime Ministers of Singapore!

Obviously, this is a party that took lessons from American politics and ran them to the extreme.

Hmmm...or did they?

VNVets

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