Opinions expressed on the Whig Blog, in the Forums and in comments are those of the individual authors and do not necessarilly represent positions of the Modern Whig Party. The ability to post opinion pieces and comments is not restricted to Whig members (although blog entries are by invitation.) These items are not pre-screened but are subject to our Terms of Use. Please Contact Us if you have concerns about the content.

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New in the Whig Blog

Veterans Benefits Administration Consumer Satisfaction Survey

For all Servicemembers, Veterans, or family members who are currently receiving compensation benefits, please be aware that J.D.

On my way south... Just a little.

For those in the Seattle/Tacoma area, I will be there from April 24th to April 28th.  If you have veterans or military related issues that you wish to discuss, please email me and we can set up a venue so that I can meet with you face to face.  The veterans crisis is not over yet.  If you have VA related incidents to report, or need help getting your disability claim done, let me assist you or refer you to someone local who can help.

 

Doug Harvey, LTC, MS, AKARNG (RET)

Director of Veterans and active Duty Affairs

Debt Ceiling Again

How is it that our debt stands at 18.1 trillion dollars and it seems that Washington is not paying attention or doing anything to lower the debt?  Earmarks added all over every bill.  We also have so many special programs that are not needed for our nation to move forward.  There needs to be some serious change made in Washington.  We have relied so many times for the Republicans and Democrats to do something.  But now Washington is just managed from one crisis to another there are no real efforts being made to change our dept problem or our economy.  We need some common sense back in Washington.  Not politicians that make it a living.  We need real change in this country.

From the Chair: National Security Before Politics

With the deadline looming to continue funding the Department of Homeland Security without interruption, millions of American citizens are growing increasingly concerned about the safety of our nation. In the face of continuous terrorist threats, the prospect of the government department most directly tasked with preventing their execution being de-funded over a policy unrelated its central mission is unthinkable to the vast majority.

Coming soon to an island near you...

Aloha fellow Whigs and Veterans!  I will be traveling this week to Lihue, Kauai, HI from February 12th to February 17th, 2015.  Any veterans or party members in that area who wish to sit down and discuss issues/ideas please email me at veteransmodernwhig [dot] org and leave a good contact phone number.  Between SCUBA diving and hiking around the rain forest, I'm sure I can find time for some face-to-face meetings in a setting where I don't need to wear my parka.

Note: After posting the above, I noticed that the email address did not come across as intended.  The email address should be "veterans" followed by the "at" symbol "modernwhig" dot "org.

 

In the Forums

Steven from California

My name is Steven Butkus. I'm 23 years old and after being fed up with the right-left binary, I branched out and discovered the Modern Whig Party. I work in software and just want honest discourse about our nation and the beliefs of its people.

2nd Amendment questions

How does the Modern Whig Party stand on the Second Amendment right to bear arms? What are your views on the NY State S.A.F.E. Act?

I Have Arrived.

Hello! Im Logan L. Linseisen, Former Tea Party Patriot now a fellow Whig member. Im 14 & from the Houston, Texas area. I'm part of a Youth in politics group and i'm somewhat skilled in politics. I joined the whigs because I no longer fit the Tea Party. I would be glad to answer any questions you have for me and maybe debate? Cheers!

John from Philadelphia.

Hi, I joined this group primarly to network. I have worked as a paralegal and have a good amount of legal exp. I am just posting here to tell everyone that I am tired of this poor economy. I wouldn't mind working on some small projects to help contribute to the social good of this country.

Ultimate Resource list for Veterans

I am a former Navy Corpsman and retired San Diego Police Officer. One of my retired collegues sent this and asked that I forward it to anyone that needs it. Someone put a lot of work into this. If it helps one Vet, it was worth the effort.

Recent comments

  • National Sales Tax - Part 1   4 days 7 hours ago

    ~~Bluestreak2k5, thanks for taking the time to comment.

    I’m not sure if I have express my thoughts properly, so you understand what I am trying to say.

    You do understand that this is a ONE tax system, all other takes are to be removed.  As for “mailed checks”. This was to be a one time thing since the plan is to start in the middle of the year.   If you prefer it can always start “January” the following year.

    And no I did not forget about the poor.  I too am of the working poor class

    .
    If you feel the need to keep the IRS people to investigate tax fraud, I am fine with that.  But as far as collecting taxes, this will be done by the Treasure Dept.  A retail outlet simple mails his check in to the Federal Treasure Dept. as they current do for the State.

    As for the top 1% you are correct.  But what I was after in this part of the plan was to help the poor.  Right now almost one third of my income goes to taxes, so if I can have that money in my pay check, why wouldn’t that be a win for me? If I can buy two loafs of bread tomorrow, at the same cost for a loaf today, why wouldn’t be a win?  

    No, my plan does not call for taxing the 1% investments or their income.  Instead when that 1% spends that “2 trillion dollars in overseas money” they will pay a 30% sales taxes on their toys.

    As for corporations, currently 67 have already change their U.S. citizenship to avoid taxes.

    “Tracking Tax Runaways”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/infographics/2014-09-18/tax-runaways-tracking-i...

    More large U.S. companies are effectively renouncing their U.S. citizenship by adopting a legal address abroad. They’re being driven away by the highest corporate income tax in the developed world, and helped by a tax code so porous that they can choose from several means of escape. The most popular move, known as an “inversion,” allows a company to change its country of incorporation without a change in majority ownership, management, or headquarters.

    By eliminating all forms of taxes, it will cost the companies half of what it does now to do business. And hopefully they will move back to the U.S. and reemploy Americans at least at a living wage if not a prevailing wages. 

  • Church & State Separation   6 days 9 hours ago

    I agree with that.

  • Official Modern Whig Store   6 days 21 hours ago

    Hey Its desing is good but i agree with you really need some more changes.I have just found one more website about the new desing on this website you can check it.

  • Church & State Separation   1 week 5 days ago

    I am curious why all you supposed constitutionalist keep referring to the separation of church and state as if it were written in the constitution.
    This country absolutely was based on the belief in a creator, that is where our inalienable rights come from. To deny this gives away all your rights.

  • Same Sex Relationships   1 week 6 days ago

    Under the current US Constitution the Federal government has no business interfering in or defining marriage and many other things it is into.

    While this country is a Republic that just says what it is not. It is not a country with a monarchy. But this is also a Democracy where the majority is supposed to rule.

    Mentioned here that one cannot talk about gay marriage without bringing religion into the discussion but I will use ethics (Moral Philosophy).

    Actually, the Presbyterians just started to allow gay marriage ceremonies.

    One of the characteristics of good Ethical Theory is ‘Universalizability’. We should act so as to apply to everyone. We should not hope that everyone be gay if so we would end as a species in 100 years or so. If we cannot find gay actions ethical then how can we find gay marriage ethical? Actually, marriage is not itself universal. Many in this country are not married.

    Gays (LBGTs) have a right to marry somebody of the opposite sex, as do we all. This is assuming the other party wants to and can legally (not already married for example). Their right to marry has not been taken from them. They choose not to avail themselves of this right. If this is allowed what is to stop people from marrying their dog or horse? Many people love their pets more than humans and some actually have sex-- bestiality. To base a right on a sexual preference (outside of mainstream) especially one that is unnatural is wrong.

    Groups do not have rights. Groups usually get rights at the expense of others. We all have rights as individuals. It is called human rights. The UN’s Declaration of Human Rights, in 1948, states that everyone has a right to marry but marry to start a family. The LBGT community cannot start a family. A family includes children—offspring. Love should easily be capable of handling not being married. You can make a commitment without a piece of paper.

    So far as things from the government go—there are single people who do not get the benefits of marriage.

    Yes heterosexuals do not have to have children and some cannot but at least they can try. LGBTs cannot even try to have kids of their own.

    LGBTs can point to adoption. My father was adopted and his ‘parents’ I am sure loved him but he tried to find out his real parents. If it were I, I would be depressed and angered by this fact. There is also the problem of not knowing your family history. As it is I know of only half of family history and his personal history of course. I do feel slighted by not knowing 2 of my real grandparents.

    Regardless, an adopted child(ren) is (are) not offspring and neither is in vitro or other surrogate methods. The children will never know their real parents. Loving parents are essential but true parents.

     

  • Immigration   1 week 6 days ago

    Immigration--

    We are no more or less of a nation of immigrants then 99% of the world. The only true natives are those still in the Rift Valley on the continent of Africa. From there people migrated to populate the Earth.

    So far as the PC term Native American goes it is a misnomer. They are NOT native. They came here about 10,000 years across the Bering land bridge. There is DNA evidence that Indians are bout 15% European and some evidence that suggest that Europeans were here about 15,000 years or about 5,000 year before them.

    So far as immigration goes today giving those here illegally a pathway to citizenship is wrong. Reagan was both wrong to grant 3 million illegal aliens, no matter how they got here, citizenship in the 1980s and probably did not have the power to do so in the first place. This may have been what led to almost 21 million illegal aliens being here a few years ago and still have about 12 million today.

    When we were a fledgling nation immigration was fine, even though every major group were abused by the rich, when they got here. They wanted and still want a source of cheap labor. But today we are the third largest country on Earth. We have millions in poverty and out of work. We have enough highly educated people in this country without work or underemployed that adding more people will just may things worse. For the richest country on the planet to have millions in poverty is a travesty but it is also irresponsible to want more here.

    Many people of the Tom Brokaw’s Greatest Generation  (WWII) believed that that US was a melting pot. In fact I was taught this in high school in the 1970s. But in college in the 1980s I changed my mind. We are in a salad bowl. Granted many, in the past, learned English but not today. Even in the past people would form Italian, Irish, Chinatowns, etc. They would form their own little neighborhoods based on a version of their motherland. So, I am not sure that we ever were a melting pot. It is the old saying, birds of a feather flock together.

    We need to curtail immigration. We have too many people here as it is. That is, too many poor people. When we can take adequate care of the people who are here legally then immigration can be increased.
    So far as educated foreigners go we have many educated Americans here already. We just need to be trained for something specific.

    My wife is from the Philippines. She was here legally and is a naturalized citizen and has been for many years. So, I am not anti-immigrant. But to be practical it is irresponsible to want more mouths to feed when your family is too large as it is. People in that country speak many languages but Tagalog is the national one.

    By the way, if I were to immigrate to France I would want to know as much French as I could before going. I would not expect the people of France to have to learn English, nor would they. Some can speak it but it is not the national language. So, what is wrong with English being the national language of the US? You can still speak your native tongue. My wife does, but not to me. I understand only a few words of Tagalog.

    I know that the US military has had foreign soldiers in the Army, for example, that does not mean we need to continue it. I am fairly certain that they must have spoke English.

    I know that to join Canada’s Armed Forces you must a Canadian citizen first. Granted just because they are that way does not mean we should. I just mean that citizenship first is not without precedence.

    So again from a practical point of view immigration should be curtailed, if not stopped altogether.

     

  • Education   1 week 6 days ago

    I was trying to decide what political party with which I should align myself. I thought, with the exception of pushing agrarianism, I would be suited for the old Whig Party. However, I would be all for it compared to big business. But I am not sure that the New Whigs are right for me.

    Education should be to help make knowledgeable citizens. I believe that most of the stuff taught in high school is quickly forgotten by most anyway. It should be there to exercise the mind, to see what kind of a scholar you are and what subjects you are good at.

    Pushing people into any area is unethical. That should be a calling or otherwise a personal choice. One principle comes from Kant – Never treat a person as a means to an end, but as an end in themselves. Trying to coerce kids into STEM or anything else is wrong.

    Plus, there has not been a STEM shortage since about 1990, for 25 years now. Most STEM jobs are computer science type of jobs. There was a shortage of these types in the 1960s-1980s, perhaps that late. Employers took almost anyone they could find to train people to do programming, and that created quite a mess. Bill Bates and his ilk shipped good paying software jobs overseas in the 1990s, if not before, for the cheaper labor costs.

    Education so far as employment goes we have a glut of both STEM graduates and college graduates in general. With at least 5 engineers applying for every engineer job; with 20 Electronics Technicians applying for each Electronics Tech job; with over 60 applicants for a recent GIS job; with 1/3 of all computer science graduates never getting into the software field; we have a STEM glut.

    With 54.5% of all college graduates not having a job that requires a college degree (overeducated) we have a glut of college graduates in general, according the Huffington Post last year. This was in two articles.

    With fully 2/3 of all jobs from 2008-2018, according the US Bureau of Labor Statistics requiring only a high school diploma or less, college for work, is not necessary. Most of those can be done by people with an Elementary school education.

    Education of the masses (in the macro) has almost no effect on the economy. It does not generate jobs. It does tend to generate debt that is increasingly harder and harder to pay back.

    We became the largest economy on Earth in roughly 1880, when almost nobody was graduating high school, let alone college.

    In 1910, we had about a 10 high school graduation rate. In 1920, about a 20%, in 1930 about a 30% high school graduation rates. Thing is we had the most educated population in our history yet we had a Depression that lasted about 15 years. We should have had jobs coming out of our ears.

    With the spoils of war, winning WWII, we helped rebuild Western Europe and Japan. We had jobs aplenty. This allowed us to educate more of our young. They had jobs waiting for them from about 1950 –1980.

    Recently we had a little minor depression. Some say that a recession that lasts 2 years or more is a depression, with actually more people unemployed now than during the 1930s. Not percentage but shear numbers. Yet we now have about 44% of all adults have a college degree and 90% have either a high school diploma or GED. Yet we had the worst economy in 80 years.

    The only reason that the unemployment rate is low now is way the government calculates the rate. They do not count those that have given up looking or those that are underemployed. The actual unemployment rate is more like 20%, even more if you count the underemployed.

    Education is one of many areas that the Federal government is into and should not be. Education is NOT explicit for them to do so they should stay out of it.

    By the way merit pay has never worked according to Diane Ravitch, in her book, Reign of Error.

    Merit pay gets into accountability and the inability to accurately measure cause and effect. Nobody can say that any one thing caused some effect. They are trying to turn the Art of Teaching into a Science.

     

  • Veterans Benefits Administration Consumer Satisfaction Survey   2 weeks 18 hours ago

    “Every day, our dedicated VA employees, many of whom are Veterans themselves, strive to provide millions of Veterans with the excellent care they have earned and deserve,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  “Our Nation’s Veterans deserve the best care, and the ACSI survey results help us better understand how Veterans feel about their overall health care experience at VA. There is always more work to do, and we are focused on continuous improvement to the care we provide.”

  • Veterans Benefits Administration Consumer Satisfaction Survey   2 weeks 18 hours ago

    “Every day, our dedicated VA employees, many of whom are Veterans themselves, strive to provide millions of Veterans with the excellent care they have earned and deserve,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  “Our Nation’s Veterans deserve the best care, and the ACSI survey results help us better understand how Veterans feel about their overall health care experience at VA. There is always more work to do, and we are focused on continuous improvement to the care we provide.”

  • Veterans Benefits Administration Consumer Satisfaction Survey   2 weeks 18 hours ago

    In 2013, the overall ACSI satisfaction index for VA was 84 for inpatient care and 82 for outpatient care, which compares favorably with the U.S. hospital industry (scores of 80 and 83, respectively).   Since 2004, the ACSI survey has consistently shown that Veterans give VA hospitals and clinics a higher customer satisfaction score, on average, than patients give private sector hospitals. These overall scores are based on specific feedback on customer expectations, perceived value and quality, responsiveness to customer complaints, and customer loyalty.  One signature finding for 2013 is the continuing high degree of loyalty to VA among Veterans, with a score of 93 percent favorable.  This score has remained high (above 90 percent) for the past ten years.

    “Every day, our dedicated VA employees, many of whom are Veterans themselves, strive to provide millions of Veterans with the excellent care they have earned and deserve,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  “Our Nation’s Veterans deserve the best care, and the ACSI survey results help us better understand how Veterans feel about their overall health care experience at VA. There is always more work to do, and we are focused on continuous improvement to the care we provide.”

    Additionally, Veterans strongly endorsed VA health care, with 91 percent offering positive assessments of inpatient care and 92 percent for outpatient care.  When asked if they would use a VA medical center the next time they need inpatient care or outpatient care, Veterans overwhelmingly indicated they would (96 and 95 percent, respectively).

    Veterans also responded positively to questions related to customer service for both VA inpatient care (92 percent favorable) and outpatient care (91 percent).   Medical providers and appointment personnel were considered highly courteous with scores of 92 and 91, respectively.   Additionally, VA medical providers ranked high in professionalism (90 percent positive).

    “VA’s strategy of providing a personalized, proactive, patient-driven approach to health care is positively impacting Veterans’ experiences at our 1700 sites of care nationwide,” said Dr. Robert A. Petzel, VA’s Under Secretary for Health.  “We are transitioning to a health service focused on Veterans’ personal health care goals, and this is reflected in the ACSI score.”

    With over eight million Veterans enrolled, VA operates the largest integrated health care delivery system in the United States.  Our mission is to honor America’s Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.   VA provides a broad range of primary care, specialized care, and related medical and social support services.  VA provided 89.7 million outpatient visits last fiscal year. VA has 236,000 health care appointments per day.

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