Thursday April 15, 2021

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Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist

Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist

Buzz Davis, formerly of Stoughton, WI now of Tucson, is a long time progressive activist, member of Common Cause, Veterans for Peace and a former VISTA Volunteer, Army officer Vietnam Era, city and county elected official, union organizer, impeachment organizer, former Exec. VP of WI Alliance for Retired Americans, a retired state government planner, presently working to Stop VA Privatization. dbuzzdavis@aol.com

Have Veterans Damaged Their Future Health by Voting for Trump?

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, formerly of Stoughton, WI now of Tucson, is a long time progressive
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 07 January 2017
in Wisconsin

veteranAcross the country, 61% of veterans who voted chose Trump over Clinton. But how will a Trump - Republican administration affect the VA healthcare system which 7 million vets depend on for all or part of their medical care?


TUCSON, AZ - Vets helped Trump clinch the White House.  Across America, veterans cast 4 million more votes for Trump than Clinton.

Eighty percent (80%) of America’s 22 million veterans voted Nov. 8th. Exit polls reveal 61% of the vets said they voted for Trump and Republican House candidates while only 34% voted for Clinton and 38% voted for House Democratic candidates.

Some Republicans are working hard to PRIVATIZE the VA healthcare system which 7 million vets depend on for all or part of their medical care.

These Republicans who want to send vets to private for-profit and non-profit hospitals/clinics for healthcare at 30% higher cost, which computes to billions of tax dollars wasted, are doing an egregious disservice to our Nation’s veterans.

The effort to privatize VA care has never been stronger.  Wealthy citizens, such as the billionaire Koch brothers, have been spending millions funding groups calling for VA privatization -- a move that would create for them even more wealth.

Such privatization schemes will increase the profits of insurance companies, hospitals and clinics by enrolling America’s veterans.  Wall Streeters will then encourage insurance and hospital systems to merge making ever higher profits at the expense of veterans.

The 2014 Choice program is the strongest privatization law ever passed.  It enables any vet who lives 40 miles or more from a VA clinic or gets a VA appointment 30 days or more from the present to receive care in the private sector.

“Choice” has not been a blazing success -- because of all the veterans who use the VA, 72% of them oppose privatization!

Veterans, veterans’ organizations, unions, good government groups and activists have two years to stall the privatization efforts in Congress and to help veterans understand that voting for Republican privatizers in the Nov. 2018 Congressional races WILL NOT BE IN THEIR OWN BEST INTERESTS.

America spent 20 years in Vietnam and 16 years in Afghanistan/Iraq in illegal wars of aggression, trillions spent, millions killed – we veterans called to serve, or drafted, are asking:  “What do we have to show for it?

Three wars lost, countries and peoples ruined and hundreds of thousands of our own families destroyed.  The military/industrial/political complex is richer than ever, oil corporations continue their quest to grab the world’s oil while trying to use the US military as an enforcement hammer.  Our Nation is actively arming friends, gangs and terrorists worldwide while sending men and women to fight across the Middle East and Africa in countries most people can’t even find on the map.

The aftermath of these wars is millions of vets need healthcare for physical, mental and emotional wounds/illnesses.

Yet, decade after decade, disregarding opposition by a multitude of our Nation’s citizens, presidents and Congress argue “Sorry, we just don’t have money to fully fund and staff the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals across America.  In fact we don’t have money to fund America’s public schools or infrastructure either.  We only have money for more weapons and wars.  We do this only to protect you!”

We Americans have duped ourselves and been duped by our leaders falsely warning there are Commies and terrorists behind every tree.  They knew/know they were lying but they fear looking weak - so they pump up the propaganda, packaged up the kids and sent them off to wreak havoc across the world.

Today we have 22 million veterans still alive.

While millions of WWII and Korean War vets may not feel ‘’used”, many Vietnam Era and War on Terror soldiers/veterans DO feel used and abused.  More than 7 million of us receive all or part of their healthcare from the VA.  We, in general, are sicker than the average hospital/clinic population with many of us needing the specialized care for wounds, injuries and illness for which only the VA provides high quality care.

But in the 2014 and 2016 elections as vets we may have figuratively “shot ourselves in the foot.”

Those Republicans advocating privatization seem determined to destroy the VA healthcare system.

We veterans have less than two years to educate ourselves for the 2018 House and Senate elections and vote for candidates who OPPOSE privatization.  Will we be able to do it?

Or, will those human vultures driven by greed, who want to make a fast buck on war and misery,  destroy the VA.  Pushing all veterans into the already overloaded private care system will bankrupt the care for America’s veterans.

*****

Sign petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/we-oppose-va-healthcare-privatization

Written by Buzz Davis & Ian Smith, veterans

Buzz Davis, of Tucson, AZ, a long time progressive activist, is a disabled veteran, a member of Veterans for Peace and a former VISTA volunteer, Army officer, elected official, union organizer and retired state government planner. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Ian Smith, an Army Veteran, a native of Madison, WI, retired from a successful career with the VA spanning 40+ years, and is a long time, staunch Unionist having served two terms as President of a 1,400 member Local 1732 and remains a delegate to SCFL and WI AFL-CIO.   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Stein’s Recounts Will Hopefully Affirm the Integrity of the Vote

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, formerly of Stoughton, WI now of Tucson, is a long time progressive
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 29 November 2016
in Wisconsin

jill-steinStein is acting to preserve your right to know your vote is recorded and counted accurately, and she is paying the tab to do so.


MADISON - Friday Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein filed a recount petition asking for hand tally of all WI votes cast.  On Monday petitions were filed in Pennsylvania counties and Stein filed a sister petition with the courts.  She intends to file her Michigan recount petition on Wednesday.  These are the states with the closest Nov. 8 election results.

Stein is acting to support the most basic power in a democracy:  The right to know your vote is recorded and counted accurately and that all votes cast are so counted/recorded.

veterans-seniorThe America Revolution led to the establishment of our Constitution.  Under that framework, our laws have been developed by elected state and national legislatures.  The specific purpose of this government is to create a political environment wherein the Rule of Law is top dog  --  NOT the Rule of King or Queen whose every word or whim becomes law and violation of which is punishable by death.

Though our founders put the Rule of Law on the throne of power, they were certainly not pure.  Their groups of men and women working together as parties were as corrupt as many human beings before or after the Revolution.

You may remember the 1960 Kennedy Nixon presidential election. The famous Nixon campaign quote, the gist of which is, “they stole the election fair and square.”  Then, as today, political parties were corrupt.

Americans understand the VOTE is the only real power we have in our democracy “to throw the bums out” and put in new people.  Americans are very concerned about the corruption in the voting process.  Five in ten Americans say they have ”little” or “only some” confidence that their votes will be accurately counted.*

Stein petitioned the WI Election Commission (WEC) to require a hand recount of 100% of the ballots cast.  Election experts urged her to request recounts in three states:

  • Because of the close vote totals,
  • Because of the wide ranging hacking and attempted hacking of computers in the Democratic Party offices, campaign officials offices, federal and state government offices taking place and allegations of foreign powers doing the hacking, and
  • Because of the ease with which various voting machines can be hacked.

Stein says citizens in a democracy deserve to know their votes are recorded properly.  These recounts will reassure Americans three election systems are reliable.  Or these three states will prove the need for radical changes to American election laws, equipment and procedures.

In the unlikely event that Clinton is declared the winner in these three states, she then would become president.  (Clinton’s lawyers have now said they will help Stein’s lawyers.  Clinton has filed no recount petitions.)

Over 130,000 people contributed an average of $45 to help Stein raise $6.4 million thus far to pay for the recount and the lawyers’ efforts.

Wednesday Stein is due to pay the estimate $1.1 million WI recount cost to WEC.  The recount will start Dec. 1st.  The federal deadline to get all local and state work done in WI, PA and MI is Dec. 13th.  Electoral College votes Dec. 19th.  Jan. 6th the Joint Session of Congress meets to review results, raise objections if any, and certify the winner.  The new president is sworn in Jan. 20th.

In our democracy, our vote is the only way we can remove or elect our federal leaders.  We cannot recall them, as we can in WI.  Only the federal Congress can impeach and remove federal officials.

Thus, we have only our “VOTE” to protect us from tyranny.  When we are denied the right to vote, or when our votes are not counted accurately, that is when we have lost the power of democracy!

Of all the presidential candidates, only Stein had the courage to start and implement the largest presidential recount effort in our history!  May she succeed.

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Keeping the Faith in Troubled Times

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, formerly of Stoughton, WI now of Tucson, is a long time progressive
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 06 November 2016
in Wisconsin

voteSTOUGHTON, WI - These are troubled times. The glass is half empty and democracy is draining out of America. In a democracy the main power is the power of our vote – to throw the bums out OR to vote in folks we hope do NOT become bums. But our vote is becoming meaningless because swindlers are on the loose in both parties, while the prosecutors and courts along with elected officials sit on the side lines wringing their hands or stuffing handfuls of money in their pockets. Money dominates state and national politics – big money that expects big profits from the winners.

If you are not depressed and outraged by the last year of this pathetic democratic circus, you are not paying attention. We have two main candidates for president consumed by the greed for power and money. Everyone is a fool but them. They apparently believe the public can always be conned if big lies are repeated often enough. Many US papers read like Pravda, full of lies, during the height of the USSR empire.

But I think Studs Terkel’s book Hope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Troubled Times is right. We must live with hope for without it we will wither and die – emotionally, morally or physically. Only by fighting back can we sustain hope for the future. No fight – then maybe no future.

Most Americans have a great capability to say well that didn’t work, let’s try this. They hope things will be better for their kids and grandkids than they were for themselves.

Right now a couple of days before the election we can see that we have major candidates who are duds as leaders. We have an option on the ballot. We can start fresh with Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Will she win? Let me ask, would you have voted for Fighting Bob La Follette in 1924 or Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 if one of them was on the ballot as an independent next week? I would. They both fought against their own corrupt Republican Party though the Democratic Party was just as corrupt and controlled by Wall Streeters and corporations.

Many voters may have thought La Follette or Roosevelt would lose but vote for them they did. Would you be voting for Bernie Sanders as a Green Party candidate if he had chosen to join the Greens? I bet many of you would. Both Clinton and Trump are pro war. Obama was anti-war until he sat in the Oval Office. Sanders now says vote your fear of Trump by voting for Clinton. Then after she’s in the White House we’ll pressure her to change her policies which will be like pressuring a tiger to change its stripes.

If you wish to live by fear and false hope, the choice is yours.

But if you wish to make a positive statement on the direction America needs to go, then vote Green. Help build a third party that will hopefully in 2020 and beyond start actually building a new America rather talk about doing so for decades. Who knows America with a Green president may even stop all the illegal wars, killing, destruction, torture and spying Bush, Cheney and Obama became ‘so good at’ or should that be ‘so bad at”?

In this election November 8th, as in life, you can choose to do nothing, to go with the crowd or to fight back to protect your principles. The choice is yours, so please vote while you still HAVE the right to vote in this county.

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How Vets Vote Will Determine Whether VA Healthcare is Privatized

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, formerly of Stoughton, WI now of Tucson, is a long time progressive
User is currently offline
on Monday, 31 October 2016
in Wisconsin

veteransIt Depends on Whether Republicans Maintain Control of Both House & Senate! Republican Congressional members are interested in PRIVATIZING the VA, veterans are NOT.


STOUGHTON, WI - Within days over 22 million veterans will have the opportunity to vote in America. How veterans vote for Congressional candidates will be a key factor as to whether the House or Senate flips from Republican control to Democratic control.

Why? Because in 2014 over 54%, or nearly 12 million, vets voted. This is a far higher percentage than the number of non-vets who voted (41%). It is likely that the 12 million vets and their 12 million or more voting family members comprised over 26% of all the votes cast in 2014! Vets and their family members count big in American politics.

In 2014 6 out of 10 vets voted Republican. With the help of veterans, Republicans expanded their majority in the House and gained control of the Senate with the result bringing near political grid lock for the last two years.

What is stunning is that most of those Republican Congressional members are interested in PRIVATIZING the health care vets receive from VA hospitals across America.

Yet veterans themselves DO NOT WANT THEIR VA HEALTHCARE PRIVATIZED.

We hope veterans & their family members get the facts BEFORE

they vote for House or Senate candidates on Nov. 8th

1. The VA Choice program enacted by Congress in 2014 is a major step toward privatizing VA healthcare --pushing millions of vets out of the VA hospitals and into private sector healthcare. The Choice program gave every vet who lives more than 40 miles from a VA facility or who is given a VA appointment that is 30 or more days into the future, the right to go to the private sector for healthcare. Studies show private sector healthcare will cost approximately 30% more than VA care.

2. A 2015 opinion poll conducted jointly by Democratic and Republican polling companies, reported:

64% of all 22 million veterans oppose privatization of VA healthcare while 29% support privatization and 7% don’t know.

3. Vets who actually use VA healthcare know more about the issue than vets who do not use the VA for healthcare. When only vets who actually have used the VA were asked the same privatization question, the results were:

72% of vets who actually use VA healthcare oppose its privatization, 21% supported it and 7% don’t know.

The Need for Action

Nov. 8th. We urge veterans and their family members to vote for candidates for the U.S. House and Senate who support what veterans want and need: a fully funded and staffed VA with the modern healthcare facilities veterans deserve.

Regretfully, America has reached a divide – that, in general, to support veterans, it means a person must vote Democratic in House and Senate races. Sadly, the Republicans support pushing vets into private sector healthcare:

· Which is less able to provide the substantial care many vets require,

· Which will cost taxpayers approximately 30% more and

· Which will eventually require veterans to pay more for the physical and mental wounds they suffered during their service to America.

All citizens can take action today by asking their House member to co-sponsor Rep. Mark Takano’s House Resolution 918 which calls for “robustly” funding VA healthcare -- not privatizing it. Read the resolution here ** and contact your House member here.***

And most importantly all citizens can vote Nov. 8th to help veterans get the healthcare they need by voting for Democratic House and Senate candidates.

****

This commentary written by Buzz Davis & Ian Smith.

Buzz Davis, of Tucson, AZ, a long time progressive activist, is a disabled veteran, a member of Veterans for Peace and a former VISTA volunteer, Army officer, elected official, union organizer and state government planner. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Ian Smith, an Army Veteran, a native of Madison, retired from a successful career with the VA spanning 40+ years, and is a long time, staunch Unionist having served two terms as President of a 1,400 member VA Hospital Local 1732 and remains a delegate to SCFL and WI AFL-CIO. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

* http://www.vetvoicefoundation.org/press/VVF-Polling-Memo-151109-Veteransv2.pdf

** https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-resolution/918/text?resultIndex=94

*** http://www.house.gov/representatives/

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Ballot Box Has the Capability of Creating Political Revolution

Posted by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist
Buzz Davis, formerly of Stoughton, WI now of Tucson, is a long time progressive
User is currently offline
on Monday, 13 June 2016
in Wisconsin

voteOur American national political system is corrupt, but we still have the capability to create a revolution by our vote for a candidate at the ballot box - both in the primaries and the general election.


STOUGHTON, WI - To say that America is in flux is an understatement.

I argue our American national political system is corrupt, as all political systems have been corrupt throughout history.

Kings, queens, emperors, prime ministers, dictators, presidents, etc. are a few of the names of the political bosses. The eternal problem has been how to reduce the arbitrary power of the boss.

In America, a few white (mostly well to do) men designed, after a few false starts, a representative form of government for white men – not women, Blacks or Native Americans. At first only state legislators chose US Senators and the president was elected by legislators. Under centuries of political pressure from progressive forces and a Civil War, we now have popular vote of all persons over 18 of all colors voting for U.S. senators and presidents.

But we have far to go to create a fair election system. We are in a long term effort to change the operation of the American political and economic systems. In military terms we have won and lost battles but have not yet won the war. The 1%ers won the war decades ago. And we probably will not win the progressive war against them for years.

The presidential primary is a combined system of primary voting (closed and open), caucuses and Super Delegates which all combine at the Democratic Party national convention to select the Democratic nominee.

Americans rightfully see a “rigged” system - rigged to favor two parties, big money, and smoke filled back room deals by white guys and now a few women.

Americans want to do away with the caucuses, closed primaries, SuperDelegates and 1%ers and corporations flooding the system with big money asking for big favors from those elected.

Americans want open primaries, public financing of campaigns and then let the chips fall where they may.

But under the present corrupt system, we still have the capability to create a revolution by our vote for a candidate at the ballot box - both in the primaries and the general election.

This year a Revolution DID happen for the Republicans/Tea Baggers - they unexpectedly got Mr. Trump.

“The Revolution” did NOT happen for the Democrats/Progressives in the primaries.

Sanders, advocating political revolution, did NOT win the majority of those who voted Democratic in the primaries. Thus Sanders has lost the primary vote and pledged delegate race. As of yesterday, the SuperDelegates became the deciding factor.

Why? The parties have designed a Rube Goldberg primary system under which the two major parties control the process - pushing big corrupt money into and pushing other parties/candidates out of the presidential election process.

We could have a national system of a couple of primary days. All candidates run in the parties of their choice (Republican, Democratic, Green, etc.), people vote for the top two candidates in the party of their choice, month of TV debates ensues, a month or so later in a second primary citizens vote again for their top choice in the party of their choice, we then have a nominee for each party, more debates, a final election and a winner based upon the popular vote. The federal government would have to set the standards and supervise the elections rather than a mass of local jurisdictions. And Americans want public financing for elections.

At this point, we have several groups or forces in contention for power.

Group 1: On the Right, we have Mr. Trump who would create the political Revolution the conservatives have dreamed of: A nice clean America where the white rich boys run it all, push down women and minorities, get most of the income and wealth, privatize most government functions to make a buck and have the monopoly on “power.”

But they are screaming that the right winger who has brought them to the top of the mountain, where they can see their dream of taking the White House, Congress and the Judiciary is Trump. He’s a right winger who is just too crude. And he can NOT be depended upon to toe the right wing line. He reminds them too much of the crude right wing 1%ers who fund all their campaigns and think tanks.

Group 2: The Clinton dynasty has been pushing for 30 years to get rid of the progressive streak in American politics. They have been successful - one 8 year presidency, a 2008 strong run and a 2016 strong run. But oh my the baggage Ms. Clinton carries into the nomination.

Group 3: Because of Clinton’s “baggage” prosecutors and whistle blowers have the power to derail Clinton’s speeding train into the White House. The corruption of our political system is vast and nearly impenetrable. Various investigations can be leaked – think voting “irregularities in NY, CA and elsewhere. Or, President Obama’s Democratic duct tape damn preventing the Department of Justice from finishing the investigation into Clinton private email server and alleged transmission of sending secret information over unsecure lines can burst.

Or, investigation results can be leaked – remember Deep Throat?

Group 4:  Sanders and or his supporters have a number of options.

A.    Because Clinton does not have enough pledged delegates to win the majority on the first ballot, Sanders can try to neutralize the power of the Democratic party’s kings and queens called SuperDelegates or try to win them to his side.  And win the nomination.

B.   Clinton can choose him as her vice president nominee effectively shutting down his mouth.

C.   Sanders can immediately bring various law suits to challenge the voting in some states, ask for injunctions and possibly cause re-votes in places like NY where alleged “irregularities” have taken place.  Then he could win or lose based upon re-votes.

D.   Sanders can choose to stay in the Senate and campaign for Clinton urging supporters to do the same.

E.   Sanders can choose to run an independent presidential campaign or combine with a party like the Green Party and continue fighting for political Revolution in November.

It is likely that what happens in the next 7 weeks prior to the Democratic convention and at the convention will determine what he decides to do.

Right now in pledged delegates Clinton has 2,203 and Sanders has 1,827 - he is behind by 376. Only the Wash. DC primary June 14th remains with 20 some delegates.

So Sanders can NOT win based upon pledged delegates. Only hundreds of SuperDelegates flipping from Clinton to him can make him win – unless courts require re-votes.

So what can progressives do? Our horse in the race may or may not be chosen the nominee at the Convention. As stated a thousand times, the political Revolution is not about Bernie – it is about us.

The weekend of June 17-19 progressive groups are conducting The People’s Summit in Chicago. Readers can google The People’s Summit and join the thinking process of what we can do to push the political Revolution in America this summer and the years ahead.

The one thing we can NOT do is give up our Hope for a better America with a good future for our little kids. We, as adults, must Fight Back against the powers that wish to enslave Americans economically and politically.

And we must fight for political Revolution with peaceful means!

The genie of violence once out of the bottle is almost impossible to contain. Just look at the Bush/Cheney/Obama/Clinton debacles in the Middle East and North Africa.

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