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The Making and Life of a Blogger: The Story Continues: Chapter Twenty-Five–My Misc Postings

This is the final chapter discussing my blog and it covers the Category Miscellaneous (military, voting, economy, religion and etc) or basically, any subject that is not covered in my other categories. In other words, a junk drawer for my internet postings. It kind of also describes the contents of my brain, a hodgepodge of data. For someone like myself whom has such varied interests, a collection like this is important. It would just be impossible to have a breakdown of all my interests. The articles in this section pretty much cover the complete gambit of topics that exist today in our society.

This section is chockfull of interesting articles such as Ms-13, Are They From Hell?, Where’s the Gold?, Is Fort Knox Empty?, What is the BLM?, Air Force One Revealed, Gun Confiscation, Is It Legal?, What Is Build Back Better, No Really?, and Was 9/11 Avoidable? This is just a smattering of the articles in this category. This chapter will be somewhat shorter in that I will only include a few excerpts from my blog.

Voter Reform, My Final Words

Unless you are a deaf mute or are a rabid leftist you can’t  deny that during the 2020 presidential election serious issues arouse. I know many of these issues were created intentionally by the democrats so that it would be easier to cheat. So now we have to make some changes to offset the shenanigans they pulled. All of which were unconstitutional,  I might add. Since the covid pandemic arose, it has become evident that we needed a little more flexibility in our voting rules. The problem is, they went too far. So I am going to put forth my plan for fixing the problem.  There has been a few proposals made and some states have actually passed some legislation.  But I feel that they don’t address some of the  basic problems we have.

Firstly, most voters agree that we need a picture ID to vote. It just makes sense. Even if you don’t drive, every state offers the option of getting a basic photo ID. In most cases they are very cheap. So stop the griping and get an ID, so you can vote safely and securely 

The major problem that arises in todays society is that we as a people are highly mobile. One of the things that we fail to update is our voter registration. Also, even if you update your voter registration , there is no guarantee that it actually has been updated and your old account deleted. You may be registered in several cities or states and not realize it. If we keep on sending mass mailings without regards for accuracy, anyone receiving your ballot in the mail at one of your old addresses, can vote using your data. This is easy now, since many of the states don’t require Identification for mail-in ballots. Here is my solution for this conundrum. We need state databases that are tied to A federal voting database. This way any changes made in your voting status will automatically update the federal database. This sounds simple, but there are a few things that need to be done to make it work. Whenever changes are mad, flags need to go up at the federal database. The federal database needs to be the governing database to make sure that duplicates at the state level are not used. Once you vote in one district you are automatically blocked from voting in another district. This is done by the federal database. So when a duplicate pops up due to an address change, a tech needs to insure that the old accounts are deleted, that is why the federal database needs to have the overall control. This cannot be done at the state level.

There is a problem with the voting process, whether it be in person or by mail in, the ballots once filled out are anonymous. When a mail-in envelope is separated from the ballot there is no way to know who made the selections. The same holds true for the printed or computer generated in person ballots. It makes the audit process very difficult. This process needs to change. Your name and a unique scan bar with a time and date stamp needs to be attached to each ballot whether it be requested as a mail-in ballot, or you enter your selections in person. When you vote in person, your name, date and time and your unique scan bar, which never changes from your first time of voting follows you. This is where the federal database works. No ballot can be accepted without a name and a unique scan bar. If you try to resubmit your ballot it will be kicked out because the name and scan bar combination will be immediately blocked by the federal database. The database will also ensure that the voter is in fact living in the United states and is a legal resident.

As I stated earlier, the Covid-19 Pandemic stressed our voting system. The pandemic also gave unscrupulous politicians a means to make deleterious changes in our voter system. There form ideas I have discussed have taken care of all but the last one. The matter of how long and when can the voter vote till. Will votes be counted after election day for instance? I believe mail in ballots should be allowed one month prior to election day. I also believe that in person voting should be allowed 2 weeks prior to election day. Because of these generous changes, no ballots should be accepted after midnight on the election day. With the data on the actual ballot now, this process will be easy. Because the counting machines will now be able to differentiate late ballots by the time and date stamps and will be subsequently kicked out.

Yes these changes will cost extra money, but what cost is too high to preserve our way of life. This system can work with minor modifications for even the worst pandemic. Once the infrastructure is in place the costs will drop substantially for each election.

Another area that we can reform or election process, is to ban big tech involvement in the whole process. This is something that I have not addressed in my other election articles. It has come to my attention the Big Tech was funding election centers. Since almost all of big tech is left leaning I don’t see any problem here. In case you have just fell off the hay wagon, that was sarcasm. They have been buying off judges and election officials. So what is our government doing about this, the answer is nothing. When states try to clean up the mess by passing new laws regarding election reform, which by the way is allowed by our constitution, the federal government files lawsuits against them. We need to take all of our politicians, justice system, District attorneys, FBI, and CIA and ship them to a deserted island, and start from scratch.

Veteran Suicides, Where We Failed

According to the World Health Organization, almost one million people die by suicide every year, which is a global mortality rate of 10.7 per 100,000. In the United States (U.S.), someone attempts suicide every 31 seconds and an average of 1 person dies by suicide every 11.9 minutes, a rate of 13.3 per 100,000. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the country. An important consideration is that suicides have consistently been underreported for a variety of reasons. Experts have estimated that suicide incidence may be 10-15% higher than officially recorded.

The U.S. military reflects an important subset of the U.S. population with both shared and unique characteristics when compared to the U.S. population. Historically, military suicide rates have been lower than those rates found in the general population. Rising suicide rates among Service members and Veterans over the past decade have raised public and professional concerns. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. military. 

Veterans are twice as likely as civilians to die by suicide, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday in its latest report on suicide. Veterans make up more than 14 percent of all suicides, although they account for only 8 percent of the total population, the VA report said.

In the last four years, the official government estimate on the number of veterans who die by suicide has gone from 22 a day to 17 a day in the latest Veterans Affairs report. But the rate of suicides among veterans didn’t decrease over that span. Instead, the way the figures are sorted and presented did.

Instead, outside experts note that by many markers the problem has grown even worse. The total number of suicides among veterans has increased four of the last five years on record. From 2007 to 2017, the rate of suicide among veterans jumped almost 50 percent.

Veterans are 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide than Americans who never served in the military. For female veterans, the risk factor is 2.2 times more likely. “Our takeaway from all this is that what we are doing is not working,” said Chanin Nuntavong, national director of veterans affairs and rehabilitation for the American Legion. “Everyone has been focused on this, but we’re not seeing results.”

While the trend hasn’t changed since 2014, deaths by suicide are increasing among veterans just as they are in the general population, the VA found. Data for the study was obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Death Index. “After adjusting for differences in age, the rate of suicide in 2015 was 2.1 times higher among veterans compared with nonveteran adults,” the report reads. Data for 2015 was the latest complete set of numbers available.

The rate was 1.3 times higher for male veterans compared with civilians and twice as high for female vets, the report found. “In 2015, an average of 20.6 active-duty service members, nonactivated Guard or Reserve members, and other veterans died by suicide each day,” it said.

Suicides are up across the country. Report after report finds that they are becoming more common among men, women and children. It’s not clear why, but psychiatrists and suicide experts say it’s probably a combination of factors — a lack of access to mental health care, a growing sense of disconnection in society, economic woes and relationship problems.

Reducing veterans suicide has been the top clinical priority of VA officials for the last few years, and a major focus of executive branch and congressional leaders for at least a decade. In March, a special interagency task force established by the White House is scheduled to unveil its latest plans for that effort. At least one study showed that among veterans, quick turnarounds between deployments, or deploying military personnel too early, raised the risk of suicide.

Yet the impact of that work so far has been disheartening to many advocates who had hoped to see reductions in the suicide numbers by now. Despite some positive steps and mitigating factors, real progress on the issue is still out of reach. “In my eyes, this report tells us it’s time to do something different,” Nuntavong said. “We lost more than 60,000 veterans to suicide over 10 years. That’s ridiculous.”

About 6,100 veterans died by suicide in 2017, the latest year for which data is available. That number stayed roughly steady over the previous decade, even as the total number of veterans in America has dropped by about 15 percent. (1)

In the last few months I have researched and written over 200 blog articles. I have to admit this article is by far the most depressing, distressing and heartbreaking article that I have written. Since the Vietnam War, our military has been supplied solely by volunteers, which makes this story even more distressing. The reasons why young people join the military is as varied as the individuals themselves. Women as well as men now fight on the front lines. Many young people join the services for the GI bill, so they can get their college education paid for, while many join because of their love for America. Many join the services, because they have no idea what they want to do with their lives. The reasons are countless. However, once they join the service, they are provided with everything they need to succeed. Everything is the best money can provide. They are provided with a structured life, they have a new meaning and a purpose. They gain a sense of belonging and comradeship. They develop friendships and loyalties. When they are discharged from service all this disappears. They also have no one to share their experiences with, especially if the have experienced combat. They may find out that nobody understands what they are going through. They may loose their sense of self. They may not live close to VA services. Many of our VA services are subpar, especially when it involves psychiatric support. I am sure many woman find that their previous lifestyle and friends has become trivial, especially if the entered the military before they became married. Whatever the reasons these individuals have for ending their lives we have let them down. We need to do better. President Trump has worked at improving the care provided to our Vets. He has also worked on in breaking up some of the bureaucracy surrounding the VA. By making it possible to fire under preforming employees. The VA is not doing its job because there is not enough funding, it is because there is no incentive for the staff to do a good job. Thanks to new policies, Vets can seek care at civilian facilities, if they cannot obtain it at the VA. It is hoped that this will help reduce the suicide rates.

In 1917 Loretta Walsh became the first woman to enlist in the military. A 1948 law made women a permanent part of the military services. In 2015 the ban on women in combat was lifted in 2015 and women began integrating previously closed combat arms billets in January 2016. Five years is the length of a service academy contract and longer than the average enlistment contract. In 2015 18.8 men out of population of 100,000 vets, while 15.1 females committed suicide. While the current ratio of vets is 12.3% female to 87.7% male. So the percentage of females committing suicide is even greater than males. These are disturbing trends. They have to be addressed.

I figured that this was a fitting topic to conclude this section of my book. It is dedicated to those that given so much up for our country and have received so little. While I have not had the honor to serve this country by joining the military several of my family members, however, did so. I know this is not much but I do donate money every year to Tunnels To Towers which is a charity that either pays off the mortgages of veterans, police and fireman killed in the line of duty or it builds special houses for those who are disabled in the line of duty. It is an amazing charity and I hope it keeps on going long after the founder passes away. As a matter of fact, I think I will write an article on this charity.

Resources:

(1) militarytimes.com, “New veteran suicide numbers raise concerns among experts hoping for positive news,” By Leo Shane III;

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