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Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 07/17/2018 11:52:11

Good Morning.

A perturbing story to start our day. Nevermind the flaccid citron fuckstump; we'll start right here in New Jersey. A new initiative to help homeless veterans was proposed for a Newark neighborhood. Sounds like an all-around win. A dilapidated old building would be renovated into transitional housing, vets would live there 60-90 days with a host of support programs and eventually head out into permanent housing with new skills and new lives.


Except, Newark said no. The reason is actually astonishing.


Independence: A Family of Services Inc. has filed a lawsuit in federal court, accusing Newark and the Central Planning Board of discrimination against veterans when the board rejected its application in April.

The lawsuit, filed last month, said the veterans, including some with disabilities such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, are a protected class of citizens under the Fair Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

The City of Newark, which supported the plan, could not be reached for a comment.

In the lawsuit, IFS says the planning board had "no legal basis" to deny its project to serve 40 veterans in a building that IFS owns on Van Buren and Elm streets in the Ironbound section of the city in East Ward. Under its proposal, the veterans would live in the three-story building for 60 to 90 days and receive help with finding permanent housing. During their stay, they would also receive behavioral mental health counseling and life skills.

"The board's decision was not based on merit of the application,'' said IFS President Margaret Woods. "I don't know what the planning board was thinking. We felt we had no recourse but to bring a complaint.''

Woods said the location of the building is a permitted use, even though variances would have to be approved for its operation.
*snip*
Residents said they are not against veterans, but they worry about those suffering from PTSD, saying the building is across the street from a preschool and blocks away from East Side High School. They questioned if the facility would be just for veterans, and wanted to know what happens to veterans if IFS is unable to find permanent housing for them in 60 to 90 days.

A subsequent meeting was held this year, but residents were still not convinced, as they disagreed with a study from an engineer hired by IFS that said there was ample parking in the area.

The planning board couldn't be convinced, either, voting down the plan, 8-0.

East Ward Councilman Augusto Amador acknowledges the need for veteran services, but he still maintains the IFS building is not suitable for what the agency wants to provide.

"My position has not changed,'' Amador said. "I don't think this is the place for the program. It's not appropriate for them (IFS) to go against the will of the community.''


I hate to say it, but now it appears combat veterans are being lumped in with all those other perceived "undesireables" promoted by our leaders. NIMBY to an extreme, is the only thing I can see.

Following up on a story from last week, the US Navy has now chimed in on any such "MAVNI" discharges. They say they're not doing it either. So now the watery branches of our services haven't received the Trump memo - or maybe they have and have decided to defy it.


There are still a dozen sailors in uniform who entered the Navy under a program that fast-tracked citizenship for some troops, and none will be discharged from the service, according to officials.

The Navy admitted 29 sailors under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest, or MAVNI, program. Twelve remain on active duty, while the rest completed their service agreements and transferred to the Inactive Ready Reserve, said Lt. Christina Sears, a service spokeswoman at the Pentagon.

Dozens of soldiers admitted under that same program are being discharged from the Army because their background checks have not been completed or they've been labeled security risks, The Associated Press reported earlier this month.

"No sailors have been moved toward separation as a result of the policy the Army is following," Sears said. "No MAVNI-accessed sailor is or has been labeled as a security risk."

The Navy has completed security-clearance investigations on all 29 of the sailors admitted under MAVNI. The service maintains valid security clearances for the dozen sailors still serving, Sears added.

The MAVNI program was suspended in 2016. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said last year he supported foreign-born recruits joining the military to fast-track their citizenship in exchange for their service. He cited security concerns when discussing the MAVNI cancellation, though, adding that future programs must guard against espionage attempts by those born outside the U.S.


Heading off to North Korea, I am shocked that a scheduled meeting to discuss repatriating MIAs from the long-ago conflict was rescheduled. Really, who could have seen that coming?


The U.S. is expected to try again Sunday to meet with the North Koreans at Panmunjom on the Demilitarized Zone to discuss the return of the remains of U.S. troops missing from the 1950-53 Korean War.

A U.S. team went to Panmunjom Thursday for the meeting, arranged by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but the North Koreans were no-shows. Defense Department, United Nations Command (UNC) and U.S. Forces Korea officials were left waiting in the DMZ's Joint Security Area.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said later that the North Koreans called at about midday Thursday to ask for a postponement until Sunday.

The North Koreans gave no reason for the postponement but offered to meet on July 15th, Nauert told reporters on Pompeo's plane returning to Washington from the NATO summit, according to an Associated Press report.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that the North could be balking on whether the talks should be government-to-government, or involve U.S. Forces Korea and the UNC.

U.S. Forces Korea has already moved about 100 wooden transfer caskets to the DMZ in anticipation of the return of remains. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said the UNC would initially take custody of the remains and preside at the dignified transfer to the U.S. military.

When and if the remains are returned, they would be taken to Osan Air Base, south of Seoul, and then to DPAA's laboratories in Hawaii to begin the painstaking and lengthy process of identification.

A phone line exists at Panmunjom to connect North Korea with the UNC, which oversees the armistice in effect since 1953, but for years the North has refused to pick up the phone, Yonhap reported.

When the UNC has a message to deliver, an official walks up to the Military Demarcation Line and shouts it out, Yonhap reported.

President Donald Trump has touted the return of remains as one of the major achievements of his Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.


We'll wrap up today but dusting off the old "Cost of War". Remember, part of the Munich Agreement with North Korea was to cancel the planned annual military exercises with South Korea. Well, we did, and it's saved a whopping $14 million.

So we can use those savings to pay for a whopping 10% of our next aircraft carrier, which of course is in drydock because of "manufacturing defects".


The USS Gerald R. Ford's stay at Newport News Shipbuilding will address some well-publicized problems, many of which have involved its cutting-edge systems.

For instance, work at the shipyard will address any kinks involving the gear that's used to catch fighter jets as they land, said Naval Sea Systems Command spokesman William Couch, who announced the Ford's arrival in Newport News. The shipyard will also remedy a ship propulsion problem that was created by a manufacturing defect.

The Ford's stay at the shipyard is a normal step toward combat readiness, which is expected in 2022. But the $13 billion carrier's development has been far from routine.

The Navy's most expensive warship has drawn criticism from government watchdogs and members of Congress for delays, glitches and cost overruns. Navy officials and some experts have said problems are expected to arise— and be worked out — on the first ship in a new class. Two more Ford-class carriers are under construction, and more could be built.

The new carrier is designed to carry a wider variety of planes, potentially including unmanned aircraft, and operate with several hundred fewer sailors. A new electromagnetic system for launching planes is supposed to increase flying missions by a third.

But in January, the Navy's Operational Test and Evaluation Force highlighted "poor or unknown reliability" issues involving the Ford's new launch and land systems as well as its new radar and weapons elevators. The report said the ship "is unlikely to be able to conduct the type of high-intensity flight operations expected during wartime."


(Yes, I geeked out. We could have built 13 Essex-class carriers of WWII vintage for the same amount in today's dollars.)

 

28 comments (Latest Comment: 07/18/2018 12:39:01 by Scoopster)
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Comment by Scoopster on 07/17/2018 12:53:09
Mornin' all! About to read today's bloggie but I had to share this:

From last September: Remember this controversial meeting with Russian intelligence officials in the Oval Office? Look in the background of the second photo & tell me who you see.

Comment by wickedpam on 07/17/2018 13:05:04
Morning

Comment by Will in Chicago on 07/17/2018 13:19:44
Good morning, bloggers!!!

TriSec, I fear that people are turning inwards and that compassion is diminishing in our country. I fear that what we saw in Newark will happen more, as we define ourselves more narrowly and define more people as undesirable others.

I am still stunned by yesterday's events. There are conservatives still defending Trump. "Faux and Fiends" is gently criticizing Trump, perhaps fearing that he will wish them to the cornfield. Sadly, Rod Serling is not going to walk out and give us a moral for a Twilight Zone episode. This is real. The question is, what will the American people do about this?

Comment by Raine on 07/17/2018 13:23:46
Quote by Scoopster:
Mornin' all! About to read today's bloggie but I had to share this:

From last September: Remember this controversial meeting with Russian intelligence officials in the Oval Office? Look in the background of the second photo & tell me who you see.

Until that gets an official confirm, I remain skeptical. I went back to this article that showed the pictures and I don't see her there.

go to the 1:01 / 2:51 mark


Comment by Raine on 07/17/2018 13:26:02
good morning.

Comment by Raine on 07/17/2018 13:33:50
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Scoopster:
Mornin' all! About to read today's bloggie but I had to share this:

From last September: Remember this controversial meeting with Russian intelligence officials in the Oval Office? Look in the background of the second photo & tell me who you see.

Until that gets an official confirm, I remain skeptical. I went back to this article that showed the pictures and I don't see her there.

go to the 1:01 / 2:51 mark

I should clarify, that I believe she probably was there, I just want confirmation. I am not calling you out Scoop.

Comment by Raine on 07/17/2018 13:38:45




Comment by Raine on 07/17/2018 13:40:18
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Scoopster:
Mornin' all! About to read today's bloggie but I had to share this:

From last September: Remember this controversial meeting with Russian intelligence officials in the Oval Office? Look in the background of the second photo & tell me who you see.

Until that gets an official confirm, I remain skeptical. I went back to this article that showed the pictures and I don't see her there.

go to the 1:01 / 2:51 mark

I should clarify, that I believe she probably was there, I just want confirmation. I am not calling you out Scoop.





Comment by TriSec on 07/17/2018 13:41:45
It's that time of year folks. Sunday morning I'll be heading off into the backcountry of New Hampshire for a week at Scout Camp....blessedly off the grid for the week.

Which means next Tuesday's spot is open (07/24) and also the Saturday (07/28).

Javi is staying for two weeks this year, and depending on whether I go up to camp the following Friday or not, August 4 may be available as well.



Comment by Will in Chicago on 07/17/2018 13:52:13
Quote by TriSec:
It's that time of year folks. Sunday morning I'll be heading off into the backcountry of New Hampshire for a week at Scout Camp....blessedly off the grid for the week.

Which means next Tuesday's spot is open (07/24) and also the Saturday (07/28).

Javi is staying for two weeks this year, and depending on whether I go up to camp the following Friday or not, August 4 may be available as well.



I can work something up, although I may need to write the night before.

One of my Facebook friends posted this photo with a certain Mariia Butina circled in it.
https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/37256255_10212561148207259_7539547125118402560_n.jpg?_nc_cat=0&oh=4f8dfdd5d6de2e71092d90dfb3606819&oe=5BE6F8F6


Comment by Raine on 07/17/2018 14:06:57
Another reason I remain cautious about this photo is becuase I remember what FreeRepublic and the Right wing did to Dan Rather.


The smells like a set up to me. Call me paranoid == I;m ok with it.

Comment by Will in Chicago on 07/17/2018 14:07:17
From USA Today, Tom Nichols, a professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College, says that yesterday Trump sided with Putin against our own national security agencies.

Every single person involved in this fiasco — national security adviser John Bolton chief among them — should be given no rest from questions about why this happened, what they intend to do now, and whether they think they can still serve the president now that he has unveiled a new policy of no-limits appeasement.

Meanwhile, Trump’s performance will raise concerns not only about the president’s personal stability, but about the future and safety of the United States and its allies that will last long beyond this moment. Trump thinks he solved everything in four hours, but we are all now in more danger than we were a day ago.

The Russians, at this moment, continue to attack us and they will attempt to interfere in the 2018 elections. Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, has told us point-blank that all of the warning lights of an impending attack of some kind are flashing red, which is not language that the DNI — and a Trump ally — would use lightly. If Putin now thinks he can act against the U.S. and NATO with impunity, as he surely must, then we are headed for one of the most dangerous periods since the end of the Cold War.

But the president, the commander in chief of our armed forces, the man whose oath requires him to defend us, has taken sides. He has taken Putin’s side. We are in significant peril, and it will not abate soon.


Comment by Scoopster on 07/17/2018 14:20:58
Quote by Raine:
Another reason I remain cautious about this photo is becuase I remember what FreeRepublic and the Right wing did to Dan Rather.


The smells like a set up to me. Call me paranoid == I;m ok with it.

I was checking news stories from that meeting and here's the same photo in a PBS Newshour story (link is timestamped). In this one, you can't see her at all.

And here's the same one from WaPo, also timestamped (I couldn't open the link below cuz paywall). In this one, you can see someone standing behind that last person on the right edge. The clothing of that hidden person matches what she's wearing in the photo posted earlier.

It's not that the photo is shopped at all. There are multiple photos that were taken over a short period of time, with people moving around as they're being taken.

Comment by livingonli on 07/17/2018 14:24:32
Who saw the front page on today's Daily News?

Comment by Raine on 07/17/2018 14:32:47
Quote by Scoopster:
Quote by Raine:
Another reason I remain cautious about this photo is becuase I remember what FreeRepublic and the Right wing did to Dan Rather.


The smells like a set up to me. Call me paranoid == I;m ok with it.

I was checking news stories from that meeting and here's the same photo in a PBS Newshour story (link is timestamped). In this one, you can't see her at all.

And here's the same one from WaPo, also timestamped (I couldn't open the link below cuz paywall). In this one, you can see someone standing behind that last person on the right edge. The clothing of that hidden person matches what she's wearing in the photo posted earlier.

It's not that the photo is shopped at all. There are multiple photos that were taken over a short period of time, with people moving around as they're being taken.

I don't necessarily think it's photoshopped,

as was pointed out by yglesias that could be a WH staffer.

Comment by Raine on 07/17/2018 15:58:58




Comment by livingonli on 07/17/2018 16:16:21
And the treasury department wants to say that organizations involved in political activity don't have to reveal where their money is coming for like the NRA.

Comment by Raine on 07/17/2018 19:00:06
OMFG.

"I said would instead of woudn't." DOTUS said this.

What the ever loving fresh hell is this? is this traitorous ass asking for a mulligan?

Comment by Raine on 07/17/2018 19:14:31
While DOTUS was speaking:






Comment by Scoopster on 07/17/2018 19:27:45
Quote by Raine:
While DOTUS was speaking:




Sounds like he's been keeping witnesses as anonymous & protected as he can, for obvious reasons. If the Russians are willing to cross borders to kill journalists, former govt officials and their own retired spies, then they're certainly willing to kill witnesses too.

Comment by Raine on 07/17/2018 19:46:01
Quote by Scoopster:
Quote by Raine:
While DOTUS was speaking:




Sounds like he's been keeping witnesses as anonymous & protected as he can, for obvious reasons. If the Russians are willing to cross borders to kill journalists, former govt officials and their own retired spies, then they're certainly willing to kill witnesses too.

I think that's right.

Alexander Litvinenko is a perfect example. Scotland Yard believed they were poisoned.

Comment by Will in Chicago on 07/17/2018 19:49:51
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Scoopster:
Quote by Raine:
While DOTUS was speaking:




Sounds like he's been keeping witnesses as anonymous & protected as he can, for obvious reasons. If the Russians are willing to cross borders to kill journalists, former govt officials and their own retired spies, then they're certainly willing to kill witnesses too.

I think that's right.

Alexander Litvinenko is a perfect example. Scotland Yard believed they were poisoned.


It is dangerous. We have Russia committing acts of war.

Comment by Scoopster on 07/17/2018 19:53:53
Looks like Linda Sanchez plans to challenge Pelosi for leadership of the House Dems.

Comment by TriSec on 07/17/2018 20:54:41
Quote by Raine:
OMFG.

"I said would instead of woudn't." DOTUS said this.

What the ever loving fresh hell is this? is this traitorous ass asking for a mulligan?



President Trump pulled Putin's penis out of his mouth to state "I misspoke". He then inserted his own foot instead.





Comment by Raine on 07/17/2018 21:28:36
Quote by Scoopster:
Looks like Linda Sanchez plans to challenge Pelosi for the leadership of the House Dems.

You know, I kinda want us to gain control of the House first.

That said if there is a challenge to Pelosi, I want someone who is not just a woman, but one that has been in office for a while and understands why experience matters.

This is why I am NOT pro-term limits.



Comment by TriSec on 07/18/2018 00:17:24
I think I'm taking this whole Russia thing too far.

Borscht, some cheese, dark bread, and vodka for an evening snack.



Comment by Scoopster on 07/18/2018 12:39:01
Ack.. wrong bloggie!