The Audacity of the American Public

We sit around all day everyday bitching and complaining about one thing or another.  We look for someone to blame for all the ills that affect this world and we are not satisfied until we find a scapegoat to blame all our problems upon.  Some days this is easier than others but all in all we remain determine to point a finger at somebody else while several of our very fingers are pointing back at us.  We find it easy to blame others because it keeps the focus off us taking responsibility for our own actions or in some cases inaction.  I am ranting and raving about the recent discoveries that have come to light thanks to the ease of the restrictions regarding the Freedom of Information Act.  The new rules from this current administration and the fight for transparency has brought to light information known by a few but kept from the many.  Information that casts a very dim light on the phrase, “Thank you for your service and we support our Troops”  I am talking about the poisonous conditions veterans lived, died, bled and served in not only abroad but right here in the old US of A.

We are quite aware of the poisoned drinking water at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina but how many of us are aware of the positions conditions found upon the U.S. Army Base at Fort McClellan, Alabama where even on the VA website it is admitted that “From 1929 to 1971, an off-post Monsanto chemical plant operated south of Fort McClellan in Anniston. PCBs from the plant entered into the environment, and the surrounding community was exposed.
In 2013, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) completed an assessment of the potential health risks caused by airborne PCBs in Anniston and concluded that the concentrations found were "not expected to result in an increased cancer risk or other harmful health effects in people living in the neighborhoods outside the perimeter of the former PCB manufacturing facility."  Fort McClellan closed in 1999 as part of the Army Base Closure and Realignment Committee (BRAC) program. The BRAC legislation required the environmental cleanup of Fort McClellan prior to its transfer to the public domain. Oversight of parts of the base has since been transferred to the Alabama Army National Guard, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior, as well as to the community of Anniston, where the re-development and re-use of the land is overseen by the McClellan Development Authority”.  The question then becomes, why did Monsanto settle with the citizens of Anniston, Alabama where the military is based and why are so many who served there are plagued with these same conditions Camp LeJeune veterans are encountering and dying off from it?

Need more evidence check out the website speaking about “veterans exposed to herbicides while serving along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Korea will have an easier path to access quality health care and benefits under a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) final regulation that will expand the dates when illnesses caused by herbicide exposure can be presumed to be related to Agent Orange.  Under the final regulation published today in the Federal Register, VA will presume herbicide exposure for any Veteran who served between April 1, 1968, and Aug. 31, 1971, in a unit determined by VA and the Department of Defense (DoD) to have operated in an area in or near the Korean DMZ in which herbicides were applied.

In practical terms, eligible Veterans who have specific illnesses VA presumes to be associated with herbicide exposure do not have to prove an association between their illness and their military service.  This "presumption" simplifies and speeds up the application process for benefits and ensures that Veterans receive the benefits they deserve”. 

Still not convinced, check out about its reporting that “recently released documents indicate that herbicide agents and other chemicals were once present at the U.S. Army Machinato Service Area, now known as Camp Kinser, in Okinawa, Japan. In an October 5, 2015 article in the Asia-Pacific journal, a 1970s-era document states Agent Orange dioxin was once present at U.S. Army Machinato Service Area (MSA), now Camp Kinser, in Okinawa, Japan.  Writer Jon Mitchell states that a document released in September 2015 by the Pentagon revealed the presence of the toxic herbicide agent at the facility in addition to other hazardous chemicals. The 82-page document, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, includes the results of a 1974 study conducted by the U.S. Army Environmental Health Engineering Agency (EHEA) which found a “high concentration of chlordane, DDT, malathion, dioxin, and polychlorinated biphenyl” in samples taken from water, soil, sediment, and aquatic fauna at Camp Kinser. According to Mitchell, “The findings contradict Pentagon assertions as recently as 2015 that Agent Orange was never stored on Okinawa.”  The released document also states, “… from 1945 to 1973, the U.S. Army stored large amounts of hazardous materials/wastes in the opening alongside the shorelines at the U.S. Army Machinato Service Area (now Camp Kinser).” A detailed timeline within the first few pages of the document provide further information on studies conducted at the site, the contaminated areas and clean-up efforts.

Bottom line, American voters sit around and adopt a “Joe Sponge head” type attitude where you suck up all the lies and crap politicians and bureaucrats lay down without even taking a few minutes to verify that what they are saying is the truth.  We sit back and assume as long as it is not happening directly to us or anyone we may appear to care about then it is someone else’s problem.  The sad narrative is any issue that I have to deal with privately is an issue that you will have to face publicly because it is something we all must band together to fix.  We say we want our veteran to get the benefits that they deserve yet we send spineless idiots to congress every year who vote to deny these same veterans.  You say you want solutions to the world’s problems but we elect little boys and girls still with mommy and daddy issues who couldn’t pour water out of a boot even if the instructions was located on the bottom of the sole.  We keep sending these people and putting them in places where all issues are supposed to be addressed and can be fixed but we get nothing close to that in return.  Our audacity that sending the same losers to congress over and over again is going to solve the problems we say is most important to us in an election means that they have no other reason than to treat us like mindless idiots because our actions dictate that.

Starting today, Americans of Modest Means will begin a campaign to collect donations to publicly call out those who talk the talk but doesn’t walk the walk and make no mistake the idea that we will bend like all the rest is grossly overstated.  Our task will be to restore some modicum of faith in the intelligence of the American public if it is the last thing we do.


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