Defense act is troubling

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In any direction one looks, there is only corruption. As I have previously written, the National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law Dec. 31. It contained 919 pages that mostly dealt with the cost of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Unknown to the American people, sections 1021 and 1022 were sandwiched in the pages. It was written by our illustrious U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. What it said was: Upon order from the president, one could be arrested by the military without a warrant, held indefinitely without a trial, in an unknown prison.

When I approached U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, he said the reason for his signing off on the law was that “I was told that it did not pertain to the American people.” I was shocked. In other words, he did not read the bill before signing it. He accepted someone else’s word for it.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled that it was unconstitutional. She said, “The vagueness of Section 1021 does not allow the average citizen, or even the government itself, to understand with the type of definitiveness to which our citizens are entitled or what conduct comes within its scope.” The state of Virginia voted to reject Section 1021 of the NDAA.

On the state level, let me encourage you to call your state senator to sign on to Bill S1184, which would nullify the sections of the NDAA which authorize indefinite detention.

On the national level, we can support Ron Paul’s bill, House Resolution 3785, that would do the same.

Please do not believe anything that I have written or said unless you verify it. A good site for understanding this issue is the Tenth Amendment Center.

For us military and law enforcement, present and past, we took an oath to defend the Constitution, not our corrupt leaders.

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desertcat6
1140
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desertcat6 06/09/12 - 01:45 am
8
0
Seems like the Constitution

Seems like the Constitution is working if a US judge has ruled section 1021 unconstitutional already. As such, the NDAA for 2013 should include langugage to correct or our government should be seeking decision at the Surpreme Court to retain the old section 1021. Looks like Congress is adjusting the words to ensure citizens rights are retained while keeping the same detention langugage in the 2013 version of NDAA. Good Constitutional fun.

Techfan
6462
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Techfan 06/09/12 - 03:20 am
4
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The Tenth Amendment Center???

The Tenth Amendment Center??? The group that wants to "restore liberty" by not allowing us to have a direct vote for our Senators. That seems to be the antithesis to liberty.

southernguy08
532
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southernguy08 06/09/12 - 06:33 am
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NO READING ACT BEFORE VOTING
Unpublished

"We have to pass the bill, so you can find out what's in it." Sound familiar, Andy? It should, its from former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, regarding Obamacare. Unfortunately, the act of reading bills falls to "subordinates" of congressional members far too often. Not defending this, just stating facts.

omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 06/09/12 - 10:02 am
4
1
like the U.S. abides by its

like the U.S. abides by its own laws if its leaders doesn't want to.

harley_52
25787
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harley_52 06/09/12 - 12:13 pm
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A True Snake....

"It was written by our illustrious U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina."

That's the same U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham who recently stated with regard to retired military personnel....“I don’t believe anybody was promised free lifetime medical care. That’s a popular myth.”

It is most certainly not a "myth." It is a fact. Senator Graham has chosen to throw retired military under the bus to provide free health care for the millions on Medicaid, including, in many cases, illegal immigrants.

"Retire from the military and receive free medical care for yourself and your family." For most of my career, the promise included dental care, but that was taken away many years ago. Many of us made decisions to make the military a career largely because of this particular promise. As a company and later a battalion commander, I remember making the pledge to thousands of young men and women during Command Information classes I presented to my soldiers as well as re-enlistment presentations. Turns out it was all a lie, thanks to weasels like Senator Lindsey Graham who now claim it "never happened."

If you doubt my memory on the subject, check this website....

http://mrgrg-ms.org/basics.html

Millions of policemen, firemen, school teachers and other government employees are provided free healthcare after making a career of their profession and retiring. Some are, but many of them are never in any particular danger. None leave their families for months or years at a time to fight a war and live under what most people would consider unbearable conditions. Few of them uproot and move their families every year or two.

The United States government has broken faith with millions of military retirees and, in an impersonation of Ahmadinejad's claims of Hitler's death camps, Senator Lindsey Graham says it is a "myth" and that it "never happened."

burninater
9921
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burninater 06/09/12 - 01:14 pm
4
3
It's a lot easier to renege

It's a lot easier to renege on a promise when a contract was not involved. Kind of sheds a light on motivations for eliminating collective bargaining rights for public employees.

harley_52
25787
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harley_52 06/09/12 - 02:37 pm
3
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I see absolutely no

I see absolutely no relationship between the two issues.

Carleton Duvall
6308
Points
Carleton Duvall 06/09/12 - 03:09 pm
3
2
Bargaining rights for public emploees

I cannot imagine any two issues that could be farther apart. I cannot imagine any one thinking that they are similar.

burninater
9921
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burninater 06/09/12 - 03:22 pm
5
2
Of course not. There is zero

Of course not. There is zero similarity between two groups of public sector workers and their access to post-service benefits paid for with tax-payer funds. One group took a contract, the other took a promise, and surprise surprise, the promise turned out to be a lie, while the contract will at least force the issue to court if it comes to that.

Oh wait, nevermind, I just realized that the post-service benefits of a sector of public employees paid by tax-payer dollars has nothing to do with the post-service benefits of a sector of public employees paid by tax-payer dollars. My mistake, I was comparing apples to apples.

harley_52
25787
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harley_52 06/09/12 - 03:23 pm
2
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"I was trying to compare

"I was trying to compare apples to apples."

No, you were trying to compare apples to grapes. But I'm not at all surprised you think they're the same.

Carleton Duvall
6308
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Carleton Duvall 06/09/12 - 03:47 pm
2
1
Contracts

Contracts have to be done in good faith. When you have a contract negotiated by a union with the official that the union helped put in office it is no longer done in good faith. To compare that with the federal government making promises to young people in order to get them to join the military is far out in left field.( pun intended)

bubbasauce
24260
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bubbasauce 06/09/12 - 03:56 pm
1
4
Why is every one of

Why is every one of southernguy08 comments unpublished? Just curious if Augusta chronicle is offended by this name and feels as if it is politically correct not to publish his comments. What has this world come to?Unbelievable!

harley_52
25787
Points
harley_52 06/09/12 - 04:40 pm
3
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Nobody negotiates contractual

Nobody negotiates contractual agreements for soldiers. They are what the federal government chooses to include. Soldiers (or their agents/lawyers/union bosses) don't negotiate pay, hours, working conditions, moves, job security, or safety. When you sign up to serve your country you literally sign your life away. You agree to do whatever you're told, go wherever you're sent, and die (or lose eyes and limbs) if necessary.

Many people do it mainly for patriotic reasons. Some do it because it's a family tradition. Others are convinced they have an obligation to repay their Country for all the blessings they and their families have enjoyed, and others do it to help insure a better life for those to follow. To all, or almost all, of them there is an expectation that the U.S. government will "do right" by them and particularly that they will honor the promises made when the soldiers signed their initial entry and/or re-enlistment documents. Never, in a million years, does anyone even consider the possibility that the U.S. government will refuse to keep, let alone deny the existence of, those promises. It would be unthinkable.

People who haven't served in the military, particularly in time of war, really don't understand the difference between service in the military and a "job." There is no reasonable comparison. But it isn't surprising to see people who are ignorant of those differences make such comparisons.

How many lives, eyes, and limbs have been lost because of the promise of free health care for the rest of your life? How many families have been broken because of the loss of a husband, wife, son, or daughter who died believing in their government to do what they promised?

CobaltGeorge
175209
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CobaltGeorge 06/09/12 - 04:50 pm
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harley

Thank You, Thank You and a Thank You. That is putting tobacco in some pipes and telling them to smoke it.

burninater
9921
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burninater 06/09/12 - 04:51 pm
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2
The lesson that should be

The lesson that should be learned here is that service, and self-sacrifice, do not mean squat to someone like a Lindsay Graham, and our public and private sector is controlled primarily by people like Lindsay Graham.

So you don't rely on their promises, you use the language THEY use: contracts. People pulling the strings of power reached those positions because they only do things that A) benefits them, or B) they are legally obligated to do.

This is how this is apples to apples: these are both sets of public employees promised certain returns for their service. Through collective bargaining, the public employers were forced to put those promises into contractual form. Legally binding. In the case of the soldiers, who CANNOT collectively bargain, it remained a worthless promise from a segment of the population that CANNOT be trusted unless they are legally bound to act.

Carleton Duvall
6308
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Carleton Duvall 06/09/12 - 04:54 pm
3
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Well said, Harley

The things that you stated are some of the reasons that I feel that every young man should have an obligation to give his country two years of service either in the military or in non military service so they and their families will understand and appreciate how fortunate we who live in the US of A are. This service should be optional for women.

burninater
9921
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burninater 06/09/12 - 05:25 pm
2
2
I see how CG and Harley, and

I see how CG and Harley, and CD misunderstood my original post. I was not comparing going to war with teaching. I was comparing the types of treatment those people get from their employers in gov't, as they are both in the position of having their compensation determined by their gov't employers. And as I said in my last post, if neither group can protect themselves legally, they WILL GET SHAFTED by the Lindsay Grahams of the world. I really don't understand how that can be a point of contention. It's happening before our very eyes.

harley_52
25787
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harley_52 06/09/12 - 06:59 pm
2
1
There is at least one other

There is at least one other reason no logical comparison can be made between benefits promised to the military and benefits negotiated by government sector unions. Like the others I mentioned, it is a big one.

Simply stated.....American citizens cannot afford NOT to pay their military forces sufficient wages and benefits to keep them in the service of their Nation. Our very survival depends on it. We have chosen to have an "all volunteer" force and in order to build and maintain such a force participants will have to be remunerated with pay and benefits sufficient to entice their service even in spite of the danger, family separation, family turmoil, etc.. Nobody is negotiating for them, but the Defense Department must constantly monitor force structure requirements and insure manpower is available to meet those requirements. Adjusting the force based upon the world situation and domestic political realities is no small task.

Just as the building and maintenance of a military force is vital to our Nation's survival, so is the abolition of government sector unions. Unlike their private sector counterparts, government unions have no incentive to enhance profitability. Government doesn't exist to make profits. Goverment exists to provide services to citizens and since taxpayers (not politicians) pay the bills, it's politicians (not taxpayers) that negotiate pay and benefits with the government sector unions. Think carefully about that last sentence.....

In the private sector, unions negotiate with corporate management on how to share corporate profits. The more the profits the better for both parties. Without employees, there will be no production and therefore no profits. Without profits, there will be no wages or benefits and, therefore, no employees. All three participants (management, unions, and employees) have "skin in the game." Everything management loses in negotiations, dilutes their share of the profits and so they are cautious (aka stingy) only giving up the least share of profits necessary to satisfy the unions/employees. Give away too much and investors pull their capital in favor of an investment with greater return. Give away too little and the unions strike causing no production and no profits.

In government, unions/employees negotiate with politicians to maximize their pay and benefits. That pay and benefits package does not dilute the salaries of the politicians. In fact, when unions collaborate with politicians, and politicians pass laws requiring union membership and automatic deduction of union dues, an unholy alliance results where unions literally buy (through campaign contributions) the "management" with whom they "negotiate" how much taxpayer money will be paid their employees. Taxpayers have no say in the matter because politicians are elected via union financed campaigns which are funded by money involuntarily taken from union employees. Pay and benefits packages for these union employees are essentially unconstrained since the taxpayer has no advocate, only two parties (politicians and unions) deciding how much taxpayer money to divide between themselves and threatening to withhold vital public services should anyone try to restrain the growth of their pay and benefits. Taxpayers are the losers and, ultimately, the system crashes because it becomes unsustainable.

Carleton Duvall
6308
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Carleton Duvall 06/09/12 - 07:16 pm
3
1
Harley

Well said. Hopefully, others will understand your explanation. I cannot imagine my adding anything that would make it more understandable.

CobaltGeorge
175209
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CobaltGeorge 06/09/12 - 07:29 pm
3
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CD

I second that!

harley_52
25787
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harley_52 06/09/12 - 07:41 pm
2
1
Thanks Carleton and CG. It

Thanks Carleton and CG. It was pretty wordy, so many won't bother reading it and some don't want to hear it anyway. I wanted to continue the explanation of why attempting to equate the U.S. military to government sector unions made absolutely no sense.

Just my two cents....

KSL
143331
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KSL 06/09/12 - 08:58 pm
1
1
I so hope there are still

I so hope there are still enough of us that believe as you do.

Retired Army
17513
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Retired Army 06/09/12 - 10:34 pm
2
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Duty, Honor, Country

I'm sure glad I decided to play golf today instead of get involved in this fray. I had to give Harley a thumbs up on the post about promised benefits denied because that is also my experience.

In my own particular case I distinctly remember when my dental benefit was cut. I had been receiving that entitlement because of a service related illness, but suddenly one fine day told I was no longer eligible for the entitlement because the rules had changed. Not my physical condition mind you but the rules.

I asked an honest VA dentist why this had happened and the old words "budget cuts" were shame faced used. Looking back at it, this was in 1991-2 a time of huge cuts in all the military after the winding down of the first Gulf war.

Where I differ from Harley and CG is that we in the military profession have always relied on the spoken word to be honored. Stupidly maybe, but it is still our symbol of brotherhood. I served as both a recruiter and retention NCO for a small part of my years and buddy I passed out many a full color tri-fold brochure with the happy smiling faces of the senior citizens enjoying their "Free Medical For Life" entitlements. Certainly helped "close the deal" for many a fine young man or woman with a family into starting and making the Army a career.

I think what happens to military folks is, that we become so involved in the nature of the work and the honor of those around us that we forget that our culture is not universal. The fact that while most Soldiers have political leanings one way or another is hidden by our oath to leave that aside while actively serving. I myself despised a couple of the Presidents under whom I served, but I kept my word, shut my mouth and did my duty honoring my word/oath of enlistment. Most of us including those drafted did the same. And I think that many of my fellow retirees carry that into civilian life. Just get up in the morning and go to work hoping that our Congress will be honorable in their treatment of us after we're used up.

That may have been true with the congress's of years past when the great majority of serving senators and representatives had served in the military many with distinguished combat service records.

What happened? The voluntary military service happened. Now folks who have never served this nation with their lives at stake are changing the rules willy nilly and retirees from the greatest military in American history-the draftee military-are dying off.

Not hard to recognize in this era of TEA party demands of austerity. When budgets are cut the weakest-children and old people-will see the cuts first.

And that's why I agree with burnitator that promises made to those who would sacrifice for America should like Unions be codified into law/contracts, not the needs of the service as dictated by the budget hawks of congress. While we the service men and women can trust each others words, we cannot trust politicians of all stripes when it comes to promises made.

mikesaul
1020
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mikesaul 06/10/12 - 02:31 am
0
0
direct vote for our Senators?

"The group that wants to "restore liberty" by not allowing us to have a direct vote for our Senators."

Unfortunately, part of our problems at the federal lever stem directly from the fact that we have legislated ourselves away from the intent of the Constitution with regards to Congress. The House of Representatives is elected to REPRESENT the citizens, but the Senate was never intended to represent the citizenry! Senators were intended to represent the STATES at the federal level. They (Senators and Representatives) are in Congress to attend to specific aspects of the Constitution, namely those rights reserved to the states and those reserved, by definition or omission, to the people, respectively.

Really irks me that such a large part of our populace have no real clue how, or why, our federal government was created the way it was... Just like those who foolishly believe the US is supposed to be a democracy! We need to get real civics lessons taught in schools, again. What I've seen in the current stock of textbooks, history and political science, are just dreadfully inaccurate these days!

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