Hedges writes in the Introduction that he wrote the book \"not to dissuade us from war but to understand it... - so that we, who wield such massive force across the globe, see within ourselves the seeds of our own obliteration.\"  Reviewer Abraham Verghese concludes that \"war's seduction and inevitability and sometimes even necessity are a recurring theme in this book.\"
Chapters include \"The Myth Of War,\" \"The Plague Of Nationalism,\" \"The Destruction Of Culture,\" \"The Seduction Of Battle And The Perversion Of War,\" \"The Hijacking And Recovery Of Memory,\" \"The Cause,\" and \"Eros And Thanatos.\" In them, Hedges explores the causes of war, such as nationalism, the uses of myth to justify it, and the opposing forces of Eros and Thanatos, that is, love and death, that lie behind its attraction.
This means that anyone who served on active duty during the Gulf War, regardless of where or for how long, is entitled to preference if otherwise eligible (i.e., have been separated under honorable conditions and served continuously for a minimum of 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty). This applies not only to candidates seeking employment, but to Federal employees who may be affected by reduction in force, as well.
This service is also referred to as MPA man-days because it is funded out of the military appropriation account (MPA), an active duty account. Man-days support short-term needs of the active force by authorizing no more than 139 days annually to airmen and officers who are typically placed on active duty under 10 U.S.C. 12301(d) (ordered to active duty with the individual's consent). This authority should appear on the orders. Man-day tours are supposed to accommodate a temporary need for personnel with unique skills that cannot be economically met through the active force.
A preference eligible who at age 60 becomes eligible as a reservist for retired pay under 10 U.S.C. chapter 1223 (previously chapter 67) and who retires at or above the rank of major (or equivalent) is considered a preference eligible for RIF purposes at age 60 only if he or she is a disabled veteran as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2108(2) (includes categories XP, CP, and CPS). Receipt of retired pay under chapter 1223 meets the requirement that retired pay not be based on 20 or more years of full-time active service. Eligibility for retired reservist pay occurs at age 60; up to that time a reservist is not considered a retired member of a uniformed service and, if otherwise eligible, is a preference eligible for reduction in force purposes.
The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) of 1998 as amended by Section 511 of the Veterans Millennium Health Care Act (Pub. Law 106-117) of November 30, 1999, provides that agencies must allow preference eligibles or eligible veterans to apply for positions announced under merit promotion procedures when the agency is recruiting from outside its own workforce. (\"Agency,\" in this context, means the parent agency, i.e., Treasury, not the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Defense, not Department of the Army.) A VEOA eligible who competes under merit promotion procedures and is selected will be given a career or career conditional appointment. Veterans' preference is not a factor in these appointments.
The VEOA gives preference eligibles or veterans access and opportunity to apply for positions for which the agency is accepting applications beyond its own workforce under merit promotion procedures. Access and opportunity are not an entitlement to the position and it is not a guarantee for selection.
Employees who believe that an agency has not complied with the law or with the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) regulations governing reduction in force may appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board as discussed in Chapter 3.
\"I believe that the Federal Government, functioning in its capacity as an employer, should take the lead in assuring those who are in the armed forces that when they return special consideration will be given to them in their efforts to obtain employment. It is absolutely impossible to take millions of our young men out of their normal pursuits for the purpose of fighting to preserve the Nation, and then expect them to resume their normal activities without having any special consideration shown them.\"
The act, in essence, was a consolidation of the various preference provision already in effect by the various Executive Orders and CSC regulations. It went a step further by broadening and strengthening existing Veterans preference rules by giving them legislative sanction. Thus, the Executive Branch could no longer change the provisions of Veterans preference. Any changes must now be sought through legislation. In addition, the act made clear that preference was to be a reward for patriotic duties by a grateful country willing to recognize the sacrifices of its servicemen when peace comes. The Act would help ensure that veterans obtain or regain an economic position they otherwise would have attained had they not served in the armed forces.
The Veterans preference Act of 1944 defined to whom and under what circumstances preference would be granted. It provided that Preference be given in competitive examinations, in appointments to positions in the Federal service, in reinstatement to positions, in reemployment, and in retention during reductions in force. Preference would apply to civilian positions - permanent or temporary - in all departments, agencies, bureaus, administrations, establishments, and projects of the Federal Government, and in the civil service of the District of Columbia. Further, the law provided that preference apply to positions in the classified civil service (now the competitive service), the unclassified civil service (positions excepted from the competitive service), and in any temporary or emergency establishment, agency, bureau, administration, project and department created by acts of Congress or Presidential Executive order. The legislative and judicial branches of the Government, as well as positions in the executive branch, which are required to be confirmed by the Senate, except Postmaster-ships, in the first-, second-, and third-class post offices were exempt from the Act.
In 1988, a law was passed that required the Department of Labor to report agencies' violations of Veterans preference and failure to list vacancies with State employment services to the Office of Personnel Management for enforcement.
50. Together, we can seek the truth in dialogue, in relaxed conversation or in passionate debate. To do so calls for perseverance; it entails moments of silence and suffering, yet it can patiently embrace the broader experience of individuals and peoples. The flood of information at our fingertips does not make for greater wisdom. Wisdom is not born of quick searches on the internet nor is it a mass of unverified data. That is not the way to mature in the encounter with truth. Conversations revolve only around the latest data; they become merely horizontal and cumulative. We fail to keep our attention focused, to penetrate to the heart of matters, and to recognize what is essential to give meaning to our lives. Freedom thus becomes an illusion that we are peddled, easily confused with the ability to navigate the internet. The process of building fraternity, be it local or universal, can only be undertaken by spirits that are free and open to authentic encounters.
52. Destroying self-esteem is an easy way to dominate others. Behind these trends that tend to level our world, there flourish powerful interests that take advantage of such low self-esteem, while attempting, through the media and networks, to create a new culture in the service of the elite. This plays into the opportunism of financial speculators and raiders, and the poor always end up the losers. Then too, ignoring the culture of their people has led to the inability of many political leaders to devise an effective development plan that could be freely accepted and sustained over time.
68. The parable clearly does not indulge in abstract moralizing, nor is its message merely social and ethical. It speaks to us of an essential and often forgotten aspect of our common humanity: we were created for a fulfilment that can only be found in love. We cannot be indifferent to suffering; we cannot allow anyone to go through life as an outcast. Instead, we should feel indignant, challenged to emerge from our comfortable isolation and to be changed by our contact with human suffering. That is the meaning of dignity.
86. I sometimes wonder why, in light of this, it took so long for the Church unequivocally to condemn slavery and various forms of violence. Today, with our developed spirituality and theology, we have no excuses. Still, there are those who appear to feel encouraged or at least permitted by their faith to support varieties of narrow and violent nationalism, xenophobia and contempt, and even the mistreatment of those who are different. Faith, and the humanism it inspires, must maintain a critical sense in the face of these tendencies, and prompt an immediate response whenever they rear their head. For this reason, it is important that catechesis and preaching speak more directly and clearly about the social meaning of existence, the fraternal dimension of spirituality, our conviction of the inalienable dignity of each person, and our reasons for loving and accepting all our brothers and sisters.
105. Individualism does not make us more free, more equal, more fraternal. The mere sum of individual interests is not capable of generating a better world for the whole human family. Nor can it save us from the many ills that are now increasingly globalized. Radical individualism is a virus that is extremely difficult to eliminate, for it is clever. It makes us believe that everything consists in giving free rein to our own ambitions, as if by pursuing ever greater ambitions and creating safety nets we would somehow be serving the common good. 153554b96e