Blind Squirrels and Nuts

| April 9, 2023

In the vein of even a blind squirrel occasionally finding a nut, I offer this anomaly. The government has in one small way appropriately acknowledged those who have defended this land, and the families of those who have never come home.

Since 2012, veterans and Gold Star families have been given free or reduced fee access to our Nation’s great treasure of National Parks. To avail oneself of this benefit, one need only prove they qualify with their, or for Gold Stars, their family member’s service. Oddly, this has been an annual pass requiring reissuance each year as if the fact of your military service, or your service member’s death, could somehow change.

Finally, some common sense has prevailed. A permanent, lifetime pass is now available. It can be obtained free of charge at the gate or entrance to many National Parks, or for $10.00 the lifetime pass can be ordered online. See this Link for details. I think this is the literal very least we can do. Even if you have no plans to visit a National Park, I implore you to avail yourself of this benefit, and sooner rather than later. It is only a matter of time until this anomalously well-planted nut gets washed away in the storm of anti-veteran sentiment brewing on the horizon.

Unlike this one, healthy and life-sustaining morsel, there are a few other nuts being prepared and nurtured by the blind squirrels masquerading as our duly elected representatives. It is my sincere hope the soil in which these other nuggets are being implanted is infertile. I also hope to see, live and in person, a unicorn. I wonder which fantasy will be fulfilled first.

There is one noxious nut that has already taken root and grown, and reminds me of the Bradford Pear. This tree is considered to be an invasive species despite at one time being widely and intentionally cultivated. It grows relatively quickly, providing both shade and decoration with its masses of white flowers in the spring. Despite their short show of pretty flowers, any fruit produced is toxic.

Bradford Pears also don’t live very long without lots of upkeep; they tend to be full of deadwood in the crown causing them to split and fall in high winds. As they were often planted on residential lots, the Bradford Pear’s demise frequently caused destruction to the home, cars, fence, etc., of the property they were intended to beautify. This species of tree is an apt analogy for most government programs, particularly those purported to benefit veterans and their families.

Case in point is the Widow’s Property Tax Exemption. Under this initiative, the widow of a service member who was rated as 100% disabled by the VA may be eligible for a homestead property tax exemption, just as was the deceased veteran. To be clear, these are state- or locally-enacted programs but the VA does control the veteran’s, and thereby, the widow’s eligibility.

For a widow who was living with and presumably caring for a disabled veteran this appears to be a kindness, a recognition of “second-hand service” to the Nation. After the veteran’s passing, losing their home due to an inability to pay property taxes would be terribly sad.

This program was not originally designed to include Gold Star widows. Once that oversight was corrected, the next obvious step was to allow a veteran’s widow to apply for this tax exemption on a property in which the veteran never lived. Afterall, Gold Star widows are not required to reside in the same home as they did when their service member lived, so the same should apply to veteran’s widows. Whether or not that logic follows is irrelevant, it is the argument that won the day.

The most salient part of the above deserves special attention.

This exemption can be claimed by a widow for a property that was purchased after the death of the qualifying veteran.

It may behoove the cardiac-challenged amongst us to sit down and keep the nitro-tabs at hand before reading further.

While some are looking to extend benefits to the tiniest minority of our military and veteran families, the Congressional Budget Office is looking at extinguishing service-connected compensation for veterans. Of course, this is being contemplated in the name of fairness, fiscal responsibility, and accountability, all of which are valuable virtue signals.

The CBO is proposing to accomplish this via a means test as of January, 2024 for all veterans seeking or currently receiving service-connected disability compensation. The dollar amount would be tied to a household income threshold level, and for every $2.00 above that mark, compensation would be reduced by $1.00. The intent would be to eliminate disability payments to veterans who, regardless of their VA rating or the cause of that rating, are capable of earning a decent living in other than the military occupation for which they trained. Again, this is irrespective of the condition, illness or injury which justifies the compensation and is based on the total household income.

Tying this to the household income is ostensibly proof this is not meant to disincentivize veterans from transitioning into other careers post service. This is merely to preserve the limited Federal dollars for those who most need them. There is the added, certainly unintended and un-thought-of cost reduction in VA education benefits as well. If veterans will lose their VA compensation by bettering their lives and earning ability, why would they go to school on their VA benefits?

Looking at this from a cost-benefit perspective, it all makes sense. If a veteran is capable of getting a degree in accounting and earning a decent living post-service, they obviously aren’t all that disabled. Afterall, you don’t need legs to sit at a desk all day, so why should you be compensated? This is at the same time we’re going to spend a little more, but not Federally, on an extension of the widow’s tax exemption on a property in which the veteran never lived.

On the one hand, it is good and right to extend a benefit to those who never directly served. On the other hand, it is good and right to eliminate benefits to those who did. Now, let’s spend a bunch of money on think-tanks, research, opinion polls, and Congressional hearings trying to figure out why enlistment, recruitment and retention are at all-time lows.

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Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Veteran Health Care

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I don’t have the vet’s pass, but I did get the senior citizen pass at the old rate of $10 for a lifetime pass. I made that up with my first visit to a park out West. For the most part, entrance fees are $25. I’ve saved hundreds of bucks with the pass.


They will cut the veteran’s benefits which will save a little and then turn around and hand out benefits to those who don’t deserve a dime at a huge cost to the taxpayer.


Of course they will. It’s what they do best.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

Another great post OAM, keep them coming.


I call ’em Parasitic Pears myself, OAM. Got one down to COP Timber Ranch. Cut it to the ground and it grows back…fast. Dug it up by the roots and it still came back. Would curse every time we had to place a telecom cable thru the branches of a line of them on the Right-of-Way, where dumbass homeowners had planted them directly beneath. Homeowner; “Why are you cutting the top out of my trees?” Me; “You planted your tree on my Right-of-Way and it is growing into and causing damage to these cables.” And they do remind me of our “duly (s)elected (FIFY) representatives” in that once planted they are hard to get rid of…and they make a mess.

I have no doubt that the “duly (s)elected representatives” of our Republic are ONLY concerned with getting re(s)elected and lining their pockets. Think how much taxpayer $s could be saved if we went back to paying the Kongress Kritters a per diem only, quit paying SSI/Disability to illegals and deadbeats and take care of the ones that made a true sacrifice for the Nation, including their caregivers/survivors. Throw the Vets a bone now and again, the War’s over, Soldiers and dogs keep off the grass.

Thanks for the linky on the pass, I may just spend the $10 to order me one. Had known about the program, just never bothered to take advantage of it.


FRAGO to find, fix and, as needed, dee-stroy the Good Idea Fairy that’s whispering sweet nothings in ears down at the CBO.

I have put a bounty on that fukker, one-of-one count menu 10 CHILI AND MAC MRE, 2020 vintage, and a 2 pack of pomegranate RipIt grenades.

Bring him back alive for ‘spirited debriefing’ and I’ll throw in a tin of cherry Skoal.

Ladies and Gents, you have your mission. Happy hunting!

Last edited 1 year ago by Roh-Dog

The disability debate is a very touchy subject. Where I work, at a certain compound on Ft Bragg, every other vehicle has a Disabled Veteran license plate. They are all GS’s with good jobs making good money. Does that mean that they were not injured during their service? No. Part of the reason they were hired is the experience and knowledge they gained during their military careers. Not needing legs to sit at a desk doesn’t mean the rest of your life is a breeze.
The contract I signed was that if I got hurt the military would fix me or compensate me. And they need to keep their end of the bargain.


Don’t worry, they will. At subsistence levels. What are those? They’ll let you know when you’ve crossed the line from complete dependence to functional independence.


Jus’ sayin’…
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Another one that is so apropos…

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I take it the gun also has a sexual harassment slush fund with nondisclosure agreements. Probably has no limit to insider trading or from passing legislation and profiting from it either.

This pistol should definitely be kept away from kids, especially if tha heater was made in Scranton and slummed around Delaware for a very unimpressive tenure… or something.

down by the river.jpg
Last edited 1 year ago by Roh-Dog

Yep, yep, yep, yep, and YEP! You nailed it. You musta read the Advertising Press Release.

RGR 4-78

sexual harassment slush fund”

TAX PAYER FUNDED sexual harassment slush fund.  😡 


Angry Cops has a YT video on the disability bit.
To say he is miffed would be putting it mildly.


Reposting it here because he’s worth watching.

Vets looking out for each other? Damn skippy!





Getting the free pass was easy. Read about it back in 2013 in the Ft Lewis Ranger. Live 45 miles from main entrance to Mt Rainier National Park. Wife had friends visiting that just arrived from the Philippines so we decided to take them to Mt Rainier to experience snow.

Got to park entrance gate, showed my retired ID and they had me drive in and stop at the Ranger station to apply. 5 minutes later we were driving up to the Paradise Visitors Center (elevation 5400 ASL) and a short hike to the snow line.

Got my pass in the mail 2 weeks later.


Kinda sucks for those of us that have been out of the service for a decade or more, already struggling to make ends meet with Brandonomics, and have that disability payment baked into our family budget.

Good news is, the CBO has no authority to enact anything, and has proposed similar foolishness in the past. As loong as Congress decide to take a hard pass on the CBO recommendations, we’re still good. But I’ll be pressing the wife to prepare for a significant cut in income. Would have to sell the house in a market that most likely won’t be conducive with the coming rate hikes. I could always quit my job, pay MUCH less in taxes (stop feeding the Beast in DC), and settle for the full benefit and living off the land I picked up here and there over the last few years.


I’ll just stick this right here. One of the reasons I supported Ben in the ’16 Primaries…
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