Archive for the ‘Columns’ Category

Is the GI Bill Just an IOU?

25 October 2009 Leave a comment

­­Shortened version published in the LA Times
25 October 2009

In the military you learn to expect screw-ups, especially when it comes to your money. So for those of us returning to school on the new GI bill, the Department of Veterans Affairs is easing the transition to civilian life by doings things the military way.

After weeks and weeks of waiting for Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits – tuition, fees, housing and book stipends – we can finally get our money.  Sort of. Veteran students, already nearly two months into the fall semester, can now apply to the VA for “Emergency Checks” of up to $3,000 to help ease the economic burden of not having received the money we applied for starting in May and were supposed to get in August.

At this rate, it will take longer for the VA to get me my education money than it took for the Army to turn me into a soldier. Read more…

Categories: Columns

“There’ll be No Revolution Anytime Soon”

13 September 2009 Leave a comment

Published in the San Francisco Chronicle
13 September 2009

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released on September 1st shows that 57 percent of Americans questioned oppose the war in Afghanistan; the highest since the war began in 2001. The poll comes as the debate over potentially sending an additional 21,000 troops to the country heats up on Capitol Hill.

But as the war in Iraq showed (unlike Vietnam), overwhelming public opposition means little to those in Washington. Despite the release of “The Beatles: Rock Band” and the movie “Taking Woodstock,” the Age of Aquarius is over. While there are some similarities – McCarthy would have loved the Patriot Act the social unrest that contributed to the opposition of the war in Vietnam is just not present in today’s society. Read more…

Categories: Columns

Free to Be or Not to Be

6 February 2009 Leave a comment

Published on Oakland North
6 February 2009

Regardless of your opinion of President Barack Obama’s inaugural address, there was one seemingly benign statement that made inaugural history: “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and…” While the content of the sentence was a much-needed acknowledgement of the religious diversity in this country, it contained one final word that has been absent from most political discourse, “non-believers.” Read more…

Categories: Columns