If You ‘Can’t Afford’ to Take Care of Veterans, DON’T Go to War

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“How is it that we can afford to allow 1 in 4 major corporations not to pay federal income taxes, but we can’t afford to help our veterans?” – Senator Bernie Sanders 

I hope someone gives Senator Sanders the answer to that question because I would also like to know why our government continues to send our men and women into harm’s way and then refuses to hold up to their end of the bargain.

Bernie Sanders is the Independent Senator of Vermont who tried to pass S. 1982 this week — a bill for improved care for veterans. This bill would have given much needed care for veterans: education, job training and improved health care.

Yesterday afternoon, Sanders motioned to advance the bill (which means move it from the Senate to Congress and then to the President’s desk) and he won by a vote of 56-41, but then Republicans invoked a rule that requires 60 votes to proceed. The bill never made it out of the Senate.

So who should you be mad at? My good friend Angus King, the Independent from Maine, voted in favor of the bill. Every Democrat voted in favor of the bill. Only two Republicans voted in favor of the bill. Sadly, the bill only needed three more Republicans to vote yes for it to go to Congress.

This legislation was backed by the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and virtually every other veterans’ and military service organization in the country.

Senator Sanders is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, so believe me when I say this Independent had the veterans’ best interests in mind.

When the American Legion heard about the decision, their spokesperson commented: “I don’t know how anyone who voted ‘no’ today can look a veteran in the eye and justify that vote.”

What this decision tells me is that our country is still run by ChickenHawks. They were chicken when it was their time to go to war, but they’re hawks now – sending everyone but their children to fight, die, or come back mentally or physically wounded.

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If I were president, I would try drafting all those ChickenHawk legislators who dodged the draft the first time. When the shoe is on the other foot, you bet they’d vote differently. I wrote about this in my book “Don’t Start The Revolution Without Me!” in homage to “War Is A Racket” by Major General Smedley Butler:

Every elected federal official must pre-designate an individual in their immediate family who has to begin Military Service — the moment that official casts an affirmative vote toward going to war.  This could be a grandchild, a niece or nephew, but someone.  It doesn’t mean they necessarily go the to the war zone.  What it does mean is that they and their family experience some personal discomfort because of this decision. Going to war “should” bring difficulty, especially to those who are the orchestrators or the authorizers.  Right now, it’s far too easy for them to go on TV with their bleeding hearts and give standing ovations to our service personnel.  War should not be laissez-faire.  If you’re not willing to send someone from your family, how can you be so willing to send someone else’s?

Remember people, this is an election year. Want to hold the politicians’ feet to the fire? Then call up your Republican Senators and tell them how you feel. Or call up those who voted in favor of the vote to express your support and gratitude.

And you know why you should call? Because Bernie Sanders isn’t giving up. He is going to push until he gets three additional Republican votes. Do you want to help him secure those three extra votes? Then do what we do best — call and annoy the hell out of them:

http://www.contactingthecongress.org

This bill (S. 1982) would have improved health and dental care services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It also would have allowed the VA to open 27 new clinics and medical facilities. Educational opportunities would have been expanded for post-9/11 veterans. There would have been improved access to care and benefits for veterans who experienced sexual trauma while serving in the military. Also full cost-of-living adjustments would be restored for future military retirees. So all the things our military men and women need most– as well as help for the survivors of our fallen heroes — would have been addressed.

I’ll leave you with some words from Senator Sanders:

“The cost of war does not end once the last shots are fired and the last battles are fought. When members of the military lose arms, legs and eyesight fighting in wars that Congress authorized, we have a moral obligation to make sure that those Americans receive all of the benefits that they have earned and deserve.  When American soldiers die in combat, we have a moral obligation to make sure that the spouses and children they leave behind are taken care of and do not live in abject poverty.”

We should be outraged! So be vigilant with me. Call these bums and complain! Here’s who voted against S. 1982:

Alexander (R-TN), Nay

Ayotte (R-NH), Nay

Barrasso (R-WY), Nay

Blunt (R-MO), Nay

Boozman (R-AR), Nay

Burr (R-NC), Nay

Chambliss (R-GA), Nay

Coats (R-IN), Nay

Coburn (R-OK), Nay

Cochran (R-MS), Nay

Collins (R-ME), Nay

Coons (D-DE), Yea

Corker (R-TN), Nay

Cornyn (R-TX), Nay

Crapo (R-ID), Nay

Cruz (R-TX), Nay

Enzi (R-WY), Nay

Fischer (R-NE), Nay

Flake (R-AZ), Nay

Graham (R-SC), Nay

Grassley (R-IA), Nay

Hatch (R-UT), Nay

Hoeven (R-ND), Nay

Inhofe (R-OK), Nay

Isakson (R-GA), Nay

Johanns (R-NE), Nay

Johnson (R-WI), Nay

Kirk (R-IL), Nay

Lee (R-UT), Nay

McCain (R-AZ), Nay

McConnell (R-KY), Nay

Murkowski (R-AK), Not Voting

Nelson (D-FL), Not Voting

Paul (R-KY), Nay

Portman (R-OH), Nay

Risch (R-ID), Nay

Roberts (R-KS), Nay

Rubio (R-FL), Nay

Scott (R-SC), Nay

Sessions (R-AL), Nay

Shelby (R-AL), Nay

Thune (R-SD), Nay

Toomey (R-PA), Nay

Vitter (R-LA), Nay

Wicker (R-MS), Not Voting

You can find out more information about the bill and who voted here: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=113&session=2&vote=00046

Peace,

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Gov. Jesse Ventura
#StayVigilant

Remembering Harold Ramis and ‘Caddyshack’

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IN HIS WORDS: Jesse Ventura discusses the legacy of Harold Ramis

HAROLD RAMIS was celebrated and mourned today at a private funeral service. The late director-writer-actor brought comedic joy to many generations.

When I was governor of Minnesota, I had the opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama and ask him the most important question I think you could ask – I asked him if he had ever seen “Caddyshack” because they make reference to him in the movie.

“Caddyshack” is one of my all time favorite movies. Any avid golfer would agree it’s comedy genius. In fact, Adam Sandler admits the movie inspired him to make “Happy Gilmore.”

From “Ghostbusters” to “Groundhog Day” to “Analyze This,” the comedies of Harold Ramis live on and inspire today’s comedians, filmmakers, writers, and actors.

Among the many who cite Harold Ramis as a mentor and a source of key inspiration: Judd Apatow (“The 40 Year Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up”), Jay Roach (“Meet the Parents,” the “Austin Powers” movies), Peter Farrelly (“There’s Something About Mary,” “Dumb and Dumber”), Jake Kasdan (“Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,” “Orange County,” both of which featured Ramis in small roles) and as I mentioned before, Adam Sandler.

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Win a Copy of “Whitewash” from my Book of the Month Club

MOVE over, Oprah! Jesse Ventura has a Book of the Month Club.

My very first book of the month is the series “Whitewash: The Report on the Warren Report” by Harold Weisberg.

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I’m giving away 5 copies of “Whitewash” to the fans who can answer this question – if you watch today’s episode, you’ll know the answer:

How many publishers turned down “Whitewash” out of fear of backlash from the government before Harold Weisberg had to publish the collection himself?

Submit your answer to the comments section below (don’t forget to include your email address). I’ll randomly pick 5 winners from those who answer the question on Friday, February 28th at 3 PM Eastern.

So, what are you waiting for? Submit your answer and win a book! You won’t be disappointed by this fascinating read that proves the Warren Commission was nothing more than a cover-up to frame Lee Harvey Oswald for the murder of President John F. Kennedy.

End the Cuban Embargo

listenIN HIS OWN WORDS: Jesse Ventura explains why the Cuban embargo must be lifted

A few weeks ago, a nonpartisan survey discovered that the majority of Americans nationwide are ready for a policy shift when it comes to the Cuban embargo. Even the majority of Cuban Americas say enough is enough: end the Cuban embargo.

The whole notion of passing a law to ban all forms of commerce, tourism, and communication with one country is like saying if we ignore them then they don’t exist. What kind of foreign policy is that? 

Cuba is not the only socialist country in the world. And here’s the hypocrisy: We’re allies with many socialist and communist countries.

Whether a country has a form of socialized healthcare like Canada or whether a communist party rules the government like China – it doesn’t matter. We import goods from them, we borrow money from them, we are free to vacation there, and in China’s case, they manufacture a majority of the products we own.

As of  October 2013, our total outstanding debt with China is $1.3 trillion (our total national debt is about $17 trillion). That’s right – we borrowed $1.3 trillion dollars from a country that doesn’t abide by our democratic beliefs. 

So what does our government have against the Cubans?

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When I was governor, I made it a point to visit Cuba. Let me tell you – the Cuban people are wonderful people. The embargo only hurts them. It hurts their economy, and it hurts our economy.

The embargo is doing nothing to remove President Castro. The embargo is doing nothing to change the government. And we gave it a fair shot: the embargo has been in place for over 40 years! We the People know it’s time to call it quits, now it’s up to Washington.

Peace,

Ventura_Signature

Gov. Jesse Ventura
#StayVigilant

Wrestling and Politics

MANY of my wrestling fans have asked me over the years, “Governor, what was it like working with Vince McMahon?” Now, if you know the legal history between Vince and I, then you know we got in a few disputes over the years. But while I was working for him, business always came first, not his ego.

People also ask me what I liked doing better, wrestling or commentating, and honestly, I enjoyed both but for different reasons. I truly enjoyed the wrestling when I did it, but commentating hurt a lot less, and by the time I started to commentate, I was making as much more more than I made wrestling. The business had switched to being based around television. Why would I go in there and beat myself up when I can make just as much money commentating?

People can say what they want about pro-wrestling – that it’s fake or whatever – but at one point in my career I actually wrestled 63 days in a row and let me tell you, that hurts. I always say wrestling is ballet with violence. Our moves and the final outcome is scripted and rehearsed like a dance, but that doesn’t mean the process of getting hit in the face with a metal chair or getting body slammed repeatedly doesn’t take a toll on you.

When I switched to being a commentator, it was the right time. It allowed me a smooth transition to go into retirement and I’m probably the only wrestler in the world who actually retired when he said he was going to. I don’t know of too many others that made the initial retirement statement and didn’t come back. When I left the business, I moved on and I’ve never looked back since. I’ve had many careers in my lifetime, and I’ve enjoyed every one to the fullest.

I’ll leave you with something to think about: politics is like pro-wrestling. In a way, wrestling prepared me for politics. When I was mayor and then governor, I discovered how much politics mirrors wrestling.  In wrestling, we go in the ring and say horrible things about our opponent, but once the cameras are off, we’re all friends. Politicians are the same way. On stage, they say the worst things about the other political party, but once the media has the story, they’re in a back room making deals. It’s all acting, it’s all show business, just like wrestling.

Peace,

Ventura_Signature

Gov. Jesse Ventura
#StayVigilant

Be a Vigilant Citizen Today

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IN HIS OWN WORDS: Jesse Ventura explains the significance of The Day We Fight Back

 

 

REMEMBER when we called our representatives and told them not to go into Syria? Don’t tell me your voice doesn’t matter because those phone calls were exactly what kept us out of another expensive, useless war.

When it comes right down to it, every voice counts. If you stand up for your rights today by calling your representatives, here’s who’s standing with you:

  • Over 6,000 web-based companies and other organizations, including Reddit, Imgur, Tumblr, Mozilla,  and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
  • Physical protests are planned in 15 countries.
  • Over 100,000 people signed an international petition opposing mass surveillance within a few hours of its launch.
  • Google.com, and said in a blog post that “we strongly believe that government surveillance programs should operate under a legal framework that is rule-bound, narrowly tailored, transparent, and subject to oversight.”
  • As of 4:00 pm Eastern time today, over 51,000 calls were made and over 100,000 emails were sent to Congress.

If you’re looking to get involved, you still have time to act. Call or email your legislatures and tell them enough is enough. This is the only way to truly change the system.

Congress is considering two major bills: 

Your job as an American citizen is to hold your politicians’ feet to the fire and tell Congress which bill to vote for.

If you don’t know who your representatives are, go to https://thedaywefightback.org/ – they’ll find out who you should call and they’ll give you that person’s contact information. 

Nixon was impeached for Watergate – he wiretapped ONE office. 

Tell me again, why do we allow the NSA to wiretap our ENTIRE nation?  

I keep saying #StayVigilant – but do you know what that means? Vigilance is all about acting and doing the right thing. You might not think mass surveillance is a big deal, but this is a slippery slope.

We have a chance to work together to turn our country around today. 

This is what Edward Snowden risked his life for. Don’t miss out on your chance to make a difference. 

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Stop Mass Surveillance #StoptheNSA

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IN a democracy, the people are the bosses. Well, it’s time the bosses start acting like we’re in charge.

There have been many revolutions in our country — all achieved through grassroots movements and non-violent protests such as: women’s suffrage, civil rights, child-labor laws, fair wages, health and safety hazards, the list goes on and on.

These are battles that We the People fought by ourselves, for ourselves, without resorting to violence. 

Want a more recent example?

Remember when we all called Congress and told them no, we will not go into Syria?

If you want to put a stop to mass surveillance, there’s an international movement going on all day tomorrow called The Day We Fight Back.

You have an entire day to harass your representatives until they oppose the FISA Improvements Act and support the USA Freedom Act, a piece of legislation that is the first step in reining in the NSA.

In January 2012, the SOPA and PIPA censorship legislation was defeated with the largest internet protest in history. Major websites like Google, Reddit, and Wikipedia went dark for a day to make a point. Guess what? Congress listened.

Folks, tomorrow is just the beginning. Tomorrow, on “Off The Grid” I hope to raise awareness of how dangerous the NSA has become, and I will be joined online with people around the world who feel the same way.

If you want to send a message to DemoCRIPs and ReBLOODlicans, who have passed bills like the Patriot Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, then join me tomorrow in telling them exactly how you feel.

Over 53 percent of Americans disapprove of the NSA. You know they’re monitoring everything you read online, everything you post, and everything you say into a cell phone.

One simple way to let the government know that you’ve caught on is to put this disclosure at the bottom of your email signature:

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More than 4,500 websites including Reddit and Tumblr are posting special banners and ads to urge people to call or email their members of Congress.  Follow #StoptheNSA on Twitter to see who’s being vigilant.

There is power in numbers. Let’s put new meaning to the expression “the phones will be ringing off the hook.”

Peace,

Ventura_Signature

Gov. Jesse Ventura
#StayVigilant