.

The American Way??

The FDA inspectors
And Homeland Security
It's scary to think that
They are “protecting” you and me.

The AFL-CIO unions
And the good ol' ACLU
The Chambers of Commerce
Are all against us, too.

The IRS can rob us
And nobody seems to care
Then, take our hard earned dollars
And spend them, “over there”.

Now, they throw people in jail
And courts turn a blind eye
They take away our Freedoms
And nobody, asks, “Why?”

They call it, “free trade”
But, it works, one way
Other countries reap the benefits
While we just pay and pay.

We borrow from every nation
We owe most every one
And they'll end up owning us
Before the spending is done.

We play by the rules
(At least, us common folk)
But for most the others
Fair play is just a joke.

Our Government sells us out
To the highest (or lowest) bidder
And the downfall of our Nation
Is something we must consider.

The people we vote into office
Seem to want to leave us out
Few of them seem to understand
What, the “real” World is about.

Illegals will overrun us
As we pretend it isn't so
If the terrorists don't do it first
Then it will be too late, you know.

Our Military is not good enough
Civilian guards make all the bucks
To guard our “important” folks
That's not fair and really sucks.

Our laws are only enforced
When it suits the occasion
“All are equal under the law!”
Doesn't work well in our Nation.

Even our Pres is interfering
To save a rapist and murderer
Because Mexico says it's unfair
That's really scary, that's for sure.

The Iraq war is more important
Than our children's well-being
And taking care of old folks
If fact, it outweighs, everything.

The “news” they shove down our throats
Is controlled, (like Murdoch) by a very few
Britney and Paris make headlines
With things important, on page two.

Our kids can't even get safe toys
From companies we used to trust
We should hope they all get sued
Until those traitors all go “bust”.

We can't buy drugs from Canada
But half of the ingredients
We buy from Communist China
And that really makes no sense.

Now, they're talking about a ban
Of gun ownership by some Vets
While the criminals can get them
That's just how ridiculous it gets.

And we sit back and take it
Like, that's the way it should be
But, that's not the way it started
In this great, Land of the Free.

Our Founding Fathers would be shocked
To see, how their words are twisted
And they'd be shocked even more
To see how few of us resisted.

Del “Abe” Jones
10.14.2007


Americans consumed more than 31 billion liters of bottled water in 2006 – nearly 28 gallons for every man, woman, and child. Manufacturing all those bottles required 900,000 tons of plastic and emitted as much greenhouse gas as 500,000 cars! Trucking a bottle of water 500 miles can double its climate impact – and some are shipped much, much farther. http://c3.newdream.org/

ATTN: ALL VETERANS

by Chris Roberts, El Paso Times

An internal directive from a high-ranking Veterans Affairs official
creates a two-tiered system of veterans health care, putting veterans
of the global war on terror at the top and making every one else --
from World War I to the first Gulf War -- "second-class veterans,"
according to some veterans advocates.

"I think they're ever pushing us to the side," said former Marine Ron
Holmes, an El Paso resident who founded Veterans Advocates. "We are
still in need. We still have our problems, and our cases are being
handled more slowly."

Vice Adm. Daniel L. Cooper, undersecretary for benefits in the
Department of Veterans Affairs -- in a memo obtained by the El Paso
Times -- instructs the department's employees to put Operation
Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans at the head of
the line when processing claims for medical treatment, vocational
rehabilitation, employment and education benefits.

Veterans Affairs officials say prioritizing war-on-terror veterans is
necessary because many of them face serious health challenges. But
they don't agree that other veterans will suffer, saying that they are
hiring thousands of new employees, finding ways to train them more
quickly and streamlining the process of moving troops from active duty
to veteran status.

"We are concerned about it, and it's something we are watching
carefully," said Jerry Manar, deputy director national veterans
service for Veterans of Foreign Wars in Washington, D.C. "We'll learn
quickly enough from talking with our veterans service officers whether
they're seeing a dramatic slowdown in the processing of claims."

Manar and Holmes said Afghanistan and Iraq veterans deserve the best
care possible, but so do all other veterans.

"All veterans are important to us, and we strive to provide the best
service we can for all," said Mike Walcoff, VA associate deputy
undersecretary for field operations, in a telephone interview from
Washington, D.C. "However, the OIF and OEF veterans returning from
Iraq and Afghanistan are going through a very difficult transition."

In his 30 years at Veterans Affairs, Walcoff said, he has not seen the
kind of hiring that is now under way. Last fiscal year, which just
ended, the VA hired about 1,100 people and plans to hire about 2,000
more in the coming fiscal year, officials said.

Although Veterans Affairs has been hiring more people, Manar said, it
will be at least a year before the numbers make up for the normal job
turnover, much less meet the increase in claims. And the time it takes
to train new workers also creates a short-term problem.

"It takes three to six years before they're able to rate cases with a
reasonable accuracy and a reasonable amount of production," Manar said.

On average, the training takes from 18 months to two years, Walcoff
said, and "we are looking for ways to enable us to be productive faster."

Combat not required

What concerns veterans advocates most is that the priority designation
isn't reserved for seriously injured combat veterans.

"All OIF/OEF claims will be given priority by (Veterans Benefits
Administration) employees," the memo states. "This will allow all the
brave men and women returning from the OIF/OEF theaters who were not
seriously injured in combat, but who nevertheless have a disability
incurred or aggravated during their military service, to enter the VA
system and begin receiving disability benefits as soon as possible
after separation."

Enclosures attached to the memo specify strict deadlines for handling
the cases, the need to appoint staff to follow the cases and advocate
for the veterans, and oversight to make sure the deadlines are being
met. It states as a goal that all new claims from war-on-terror
veterans should be processed within 100 days.

Average processing time now is about 183 days, according to VA
officials, and the goal is 145 days.

Earlier this year, Cooper told members of the Senate Committee on
Veterans Affairs that the disability claims workload was growing and
becoming increasingly complex.

He said the number of first-time disability claims has grown from
578,773 in fiscal year 2000 to 806,382 in fiscal 2006, a 38 percent
increase. Already, he said, 685,000 of the more than 1.45 million
troops who deployed for the Bush administration's global war on terror
have been discharged.

"It is expected that this high level of claims activity will continue
over the next five years," Cooper said.

In recent history, the VA has consistently struggled with a backlog of
claims that never seems to dip below the hundreds of thousands.

Critics have complained about the way VA is funded. The department's
budget starts at zero every year and usually doesn't provide enough
money for the known client population, which means VA must receive
billions of dollars in supplemental funding halfway through budget cycles.

But Walcoff said the recent trends are good for veterans, noting, "The
administration and Con gress have been very good to us."

Nonetheless, the backlog has continued to grow.

As of Sept. 15, more than 639,000 cases are pending at regional
offices, Manar said, quoting VA figures. That doesn't include about
162,000 appeal cases and an additional 74,000 education cases, he said.

VA officials acknowledge that the backlog is growing, but they say the
numbers are misleading because fewer than 400,000 claims are
ratings-related. Those are the most difficult because they require
documentation and medical evaluations. And even if all claims were
processed as quickly as possible, about 318,000 cases would be pending
at any one time because of guidelines in law meant to protect
veterans, they said.

Other challenges

As Vietnam veterans -- part of the baby-boom bulge -- retire, Veterans
Affairs will face other challenges.

Psychological studies of Holocaust survivors show that many develop
symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder after they retire, when
they have time to slow down and reflect on their lives, Manar said.
The same appears to be happen to Vietnam veterans.

In the past 18 months, 148,000 Vietnam veterans have gone to VA
centers reporting symptoms of PTSD "30 years after the war," said
Brig. Gen. Michael S. Tucker, deputy commanding general of the North
Atlantic Regional Medical Command and Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
He recently visited El Paso.

Tucker said he believes the VA will make the adjustments needed to
meet all veterans' mental-health needs, including hiring more
mental-health workers.

But a study to determine whether VA compensation can replace lost
earnings indicated that veterans in the psychological trauma category
"were substantially under-compensated," Manar said.

Some of the older veterans say they don't mind a triage system that
puts people with the greatest need -- many of whom would be recent
combat veterans -- at the front of the line. But they fear that the
current system, which already lags in providing care, will cast them
aside.

Holmes, the El Paso veterans advocate, also says war-on-terror
veterans filing follow-up claims still receive priority over older
veterans' first-time claims.

"They still go to the front of the line for educational needs or to
add a new dependent," Holmes said. "They're (VA) trying to take away
our benefits at the same time they're adding on benefits for these new
people."

Ultimately, as billions of dollars flow weekly into the war in Iraq,
Manar said, some hard choices must be made.

"It's going to become a bigger and bigger issue," he said of the
piecemeal way VA is funded. "Money is going to get tighter and
tighter. ... At some point they're either going to have to bite the
bullet and raise taxes, or they're going to have to cut services."

The VA has programs to put the oldest veterans at the front of the
line, and it consulted veterans service organizations, including the
VFW, about the decision to prioritize war-on-terror veterans, Walcoff
said, adding that he welcomes their scrutiny.

"The veterans service organizations are part of a network that helps
us ensure no one falls through the cracks," he said.

An interesting idea >

"Taxes & Urine Tests

Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me.
I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as they see fit.
In order to get that paycheck I am required to pass a random urine test,
which I have no problem with.

What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who
don't have to pass a urine test. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to
get a welfare check, because I have to pass one to earn it for them?

Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their
feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sit on
their rear & do drugs on my tax money.

Can you imagine how much money the states would save if people had to pass a
urine test to get a public assistance check!"

NEW WEBPAGE http://mywebpage.netscape.com/delabejones/page3.html 

I was very honored to receive an award from Tony Pahl, The Aussie Bard.. Please visit http://iwvpa.net/jonesd/index.php for some more of my work.

http://mywebpage.netscape.com/delabejones/page2.html  (newer stuff)
http://mywebpage.netscape.com/delabejones/page1.html  (9/11 Memoriam) updated 5-18-04
http://mywebpage.netscape.com/delabejones/instant/memorial.html (more poetry)
Books, "OF NATIVE AMERICAN", and "MOONTIDES, AND OTHER CHANGES" as well as "THE WORLD, WAR, FREEDOM, AND MORE" are now available for free viewing or download in text format at http://home.att.net/~abeabe/index.html
To see pics of Ellis County Veterans Memorial in Waxahachie, Texas where two of my poems are inscribed go to http://www.rootsweb.com/~txellis/photos/veterans.htm
"Mankind’s greatest accomplishment is not the revolution of technology it is the evolution of creativity " copyright Del "Abe" Jones 1984

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