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Sep 15th
Home Columns A Cup O' Kapeng Barako Doc Lee and Me: Two Veterans, Two Opposing Views on Mitt Romney's "47 Percent"
Doc Lee and Me: Two Veterans, Two Opposing Views on Mitt Romney's "47 Percent" PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - A Cup O' Kapeng Barako
Monday, 15 October 2012 15:54



By Jesse Jose

A Cup O' Kapeng Barako

D ear Readers, y'all know Doc Lee, right?  He's one of my cyberspace friends and I've written about him in my column, mentioned him and quoted him a few times in some of my writings. 


His first name is Licerio, but I call him "Doc Lee," because he used to be a US Navy Corpsman in Vietnam during the war there, and a Navy corpsman is called "Doc" by his patients and buddies and by his comrades and shipmates, with respect and affection.  


Doc Lee is also fine prolific writer, like my other cyberspace friend, Romy Marquez.  Romy is a prime-time, well-known, seasoned journalist, who is based in Toronta, Canada.  "Well-known" would be an understatement to describe Romy.  He's a famous, fearless Fil-Am writer, globally well-known. 


I think the reason Doc Lee is not well-known is because he shies away from publicity and from "exposure" of his fine writings. 


Doc Lee reminds me of Pulitzer Prize Winner, Harper "Nellie" Lee, the author of that classic of modern American Literature, "To Kill a Mockingbird," who after the publication of her enormously successful novel, went into seclusion and shied away from all kinds of publicity.  Whether Doc Lee and Harper Lee are related, I dunno.  But their passion for seclusion makes them appear like the "Bobbsey Twins," but not in appearance though. 


I am yapping again... 


That's not my story today.  I thought I would only casually mentioned a few things about Doc Lee, but me and my wild Barako imagination have drifted away again into the wayward.


My story today is about Romney's famous declaration of America's "47 percent."  And these two opposing views of Doc Lee and yours truly, is what this story is all about. 


These 47 percent of America's population, said Mr. Romney are those "Americans who pay no taxes and believe they are victims and entitled to an array of federal benefits."


And for saying that, Mr. Romney was jumped on and beaten up by the liberal media and by the "libs" amongst us, Americans.


Now, whether my cyberspace friend, Doc Lee, is a Lib or not, I don't know.  But we had a good debate about this "47 percent."


He emailed his views to me first, that cc'd several cyberspace friends.  I responded, and my response, Dear Readers, is the one you would read here first.  Doc Lee's views is right down below my response.  It's arranged that way, because this story is quoted from our emails to each other, where the response is always on top of the originating email.  But if y'all wish to read Doc Lee's email first, you may do so.




Hello Doc Lee,


Well said.  I, too, have a military retired ID card.  I, too, have been receiving Social Security for the past 10 years now and plus a little pension, too, from the state of Florida for my service as a Martin County Deputy Sheriff. 


And I, too, have a DAV card.  I am literally almost DEAF now, and considered medically as a deaf person.  Hearing aids help only a little bit.  My deafness is the result of my 20-year of service in the Navy.  I was exposed to several loud noises and EXPLOSIONS while serving our country in wartime.


I wrote in one of my columns that when I left the Navy (not realizing that I already had a hearing problem and didn't file a claim for it), so as to supplement my meager pension, I, too, had worked in menial jobs: driving taxis, digging ditches with Mexican day laborers, etc., simply because I didn't wanna be one of America's PALAMUNINS.


What I am trying to say, Doc Lee, is that even though I am now a "card-carrying" mendicant ( so to speak) of America, I, too, have EARNED what I now receive.  I worked for it.  HARD.  Like you did.  I laid my life for it.  I was exposed to all kinds of danger ... and got DISABLED for it!  And that now in my old age, I am reaping the rewards of my hard work when I was still young and able.  Like you, I have EARNED these rewards. 


It's NOT a dole! 


It's NOT a PALAMUNIN money! 


It's NOT a 47 percent money!   


On the back window of my 4X4 Toyota truck is a decal of an American flag and above it, is another decal that reads:

                           Land of the free

                           Because of the brave


And my license plates has these three letters on it: DAV.


YET, despite being RETIRED and DISABLED, I still pay taxes!  And I share some of my retiree earnings to charities.  My three favorite charities are the: Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans First ... and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), whose local Post here in Auburn, Washington, I have been an active member of for many years now.  I am also one of the officers of this Post.  The VFW motto is: "Veterans helping other veterans."  


Doc Lee, I don't consider myself as among those, who are in the 47 percent!


Those people who are in the 47 percent are those, who I call the PALAMUNINS and PARASITES of AmericaThey don't pay taxes!  These people are on a dole.  And they have been on a dole practically all their lives, or since arriving here in America.  These people know how to manipulate the system and suck America's taxpayers of monies and bennies.  These people take advantage of the well-known generosity of America.


They are, as one of my cyberspace friends, named SALVAHEY2, who coined the words, the "SKILLED MENDICANTS" of America!  They don't look like you and me.  Most of them are young, fit and able-bodied.  And, they are NOT VETERANS. 


Most of them, I hate to say it, are minorities and immigrants, who know how to manipulate the system.  Some of them are Filipinos, too! 


My wife works as a Social Worker, and she sees all these people all the time.  She sees all day long these long lines of PALAMUNINS and PARASITES, lining up for their free monies and bennies, next to the building where she works.  And some of them drive nice cars, too, when they come to get their dole-outs, can you imagine that?


My wife and two boys have been HURT by the Obama economy, Doc Lee.  Several hundred dollars are being taken out from my wife's monthly paychecks to give to these palamunins.  Washington state literally takes money from its workers' salaries to give to these palamunins.  And my eldest son got laid off from work and my other son in Denver has seen many of his friends from college got laid off from work. 


And all these three people, dear to me. voted for BHO in 2008.  How wrong they were!  They were fooled by Obama's mantra of "HOPE" and "CHANGE" and by his eloquent teleprompter speeches.


Under Obama, as we all know, America took a dive for the worst.  As Romney said: "It's an economy bumping along the bottom."


Like the words of that old, wailing song that goes: "At sixteen tons, what do you get?  Another day old deeper in debt..."  Yep, that's the Obama economy, Doc Lee.


Yep, Doc Lee, we, VETS, are not among those in the 47 percent!  We still contribute portions of our earnings to America.  We still pay taxes.  We give to charities. 


These people in the 47 percent don't give; they only say: "Gimme, gimme and gimme more!"


And the way I see it, America needs an accomplished businessman, like Romney, to bring this country back up again to prosperity, NOT an eloquent teleprompter speaker, like BHO, who made a mess of the economy of this country. 


Nor someone who had apologized to the Muslim world, after that American ambassador and three other Americans in Libya were lynched and murdered, and several US Embassies were breached, looted and burned.  And, the FLAG that we have fought for and laid our lives for, was trampled on, spat on, and burned. 


I was so angry about that, and still am, that I said in one of my Kapeng Barako columns that we should have "nuke 'em," instead of apologizing meekly to 'em, these MAD followers of Prophet Mu-Ham-MAD


BHO was once a Muslim, and once a Muslim, always a Muslim. 


The Muslims are America's enemies.  They were reared and brainwashed from birth to hate Americans.  I don't think we should be bowing or apologizing to enemies, who screams their hates and curses: "Death to America!"


NOPE!  I am not going to vote for Obama.  I've had enough of his palpak "HOPE" and "CHANGE" and UNFULFILLED PROMISES.  Yep, my vote goes to Romney.  The Brits might have called him "Mitt, the Twit," but I'd rather have a Twit, twitting: "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty...." rather than someone PROMISING AGAIN, ORATING AGAIN, his failed promises from a teleprompter ... and bowing and apologizing to haters of America.


That's my take, Doc Lee.  Take care now.  (Signed) Jesse


D OC LEE'S EMail: Here's the piece, en toto, that Doc Lee e-mailed me and several cyberspace friends:


When Governor George Romney talked of the forty-seven percent of the American population who are dependent on the government for a living, I was intrigued.  Who are these people?  The ones on welfare? On food stamps? Rural folks with farm subsidies? Homeless people? Government pensioners? Who are these people?


And then I realized I am one of them - a card-carrying (Navy retired ID card, Veteran's disability card and Social Security card) member of the forty-seven percent Romney was talking about!  My wife and I owe our daily existence to the government. It means that if the government shuts down tomorrow, my wife and I are doomed to starve to death.  We might survive a year or two on our savings; assuming that we stay healthy since we are also dependent on the government for our medical care. But I don't like the implication of the word dependent as Romney used it and the insinuation that we are members of a herd who don't think for ourselves.  There is the innuendo that we live on unearned government handout as useless parasites preying on American taxpayers.  Well, Governor, I earned every penny of that money I now receive from the government. 


I served for twenty-eight years (29 years for retirement pay purposes) in the U.S. Navy.  There were many years when we didn't receive annual pay increases but we couldn't and didn't strike because it was against military regulations, unlike today's teachers and other public servants. Law enforcement officers in some California cities have called in sick as a protest against limiting their pay and retirement incomes.  I was never a member of a labor union and thus was never able to negotiate my pay or pay raises. There were times when we qualified, as a family on Navy pay, to be on welfare or on food stamps but we never availed of these largesse.  I was too proud to do that.  Instead, I worked second jobs, when on shore duty, to earn extra income and when on sea duty, aboard ships or in combat zones, we managed to eke out a living on what the Navy paid me. I still have my pay slips as a janitor working in the wee hours of the morning before my Navy duties commenced. I also worked as a busboy, later a waiter and then a bartender in a restaurant. I worked for starvation wages (almost) as a Navyman but I stayed with it because it was the only route to American citizenship and to becoming a part of this great country I have learned to love.  I don't think Governor Romney was ever in the military but I can assure the governor that I earned every penny of that retirement pay.


I served two combat tours in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968 which exposed me to Agent Orange and resulted in my contracting diabetes, type II. I believe that my exposure to Agent Orange is the only cause of my diabetes (not genetic) since members of my immediate family (father, mother and siblings) never had or now suffer from diabetes.  I am now on medication and strict diet to prevent the onset of cardiac disease and other illnesses associated with diabetes. There are eleven other diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange - melanoma, prostate cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer and other deadly diseases.  So far I only have diabetes but who knows what tomorrow and the effects of Agent Orange will bring (God forbid!).  I earned every penny of my veteran's disability pay but I am willing to relinquish that pay if I could get my diabetes-free health again.


Social security?  I joined the Navy in 1954 when the military was not included in the social security program. In 1957, the government decreed that social security should include military personnel.  At that time I thought social security was another deduction from my pay that I could ill afford.  I think I was making less than $200.00 a month then but we didn't have a choice to opt out.  Should I live longer and get more from social security than what I contributed, that is not my fault or my concern.  Right now I am getting what I put into the program. I do object to the government's practice of doling money out from social security funds to people who never contributed to the program (SSI payments?).


I do volunteer work by visiting home-bound and elderly people, mostly veterans, who are unable to do for themselves. I do grocery shopping or drive them to doctor's appointments. Sometimes my wife and I just sit with them and provide companionship for a couple of hours. Many veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of having been in combat are members of Romney's forty-seven percent.  According to his own admission, he doesn't really pay much attention to or care for them. These are people who gave a lot to this country and they deserve not only our attention but also our help. Go to one of those places that feed the homeless on Thanksgiving and Christmas and you will understand why they are the ones very much in need of our benevolence and the government's beneficence. You will be surprised by how many of the homeless are veterans suffering from PTSD - their veteran's benefit not enough to rent an apartment or pay for a hotel room for a whole month. They didn't become homeless because they wanted to or because they are lazy. Something inside them snapped due to the stress of combat and they become dysfunctional but not impaired enough to be institutionalized.


I can show Gov. Romney my income tax returns anytime going back ten, fifteen or even twenty years.  I have nothing to hide and I paid taxes every year, except the years when our children were dependents and I was not making enough in the Navy to pay taxes.  I don't want to be pigeon-holed and stereotyped into and as an unthinking, non-tax paying and government-dependent forty-seven percent of the population. Unlike an unthinking member of a herd, I can think for myself!  Gov. Romney paid less than 15% in taxes on his millions last year by stashing his money overseas. I paid more than 10% on my meager retirement and social security incomes, using standard deductions for a married couple over 65 years old.  Standard deductions means that I did  not use medical payments, charitable contributions, etc. as deductions. I wonder if Gov. Romney used charitable contributions, as an example, to lessen the taxes he paid because, I was told that, the Mormon church requires tithing.


I still haven't made up my mind - Obama or Romney. Before the forty-seven percent brouhaha, I was leaning more to voting for Governor Romney because of his strong support for the military. Now I am keeping my options open. I did not get enough specifics on what he wants to do with the deficit, with taxes and with Medicare and Social Security. I also feel that the president should represent all the American people and not just segments of it. As a plus for Democrats, I feel that President Obama did very well in keeping the economy afloat after the morass he found it in when he took office. I feel that he delivered on George W.Bush's promise to get Bin Laden. The military is less judgmental and more tolerant and humane after the shelving of Do not ask, do not tell policy.  I was in the military for 28 years and I should know what I am talking about. Thank you, Mister President, we owe you one! But I still worry about the humongous deficit we now have.  Is America going to be another Greece or Spain or the other Euro countries on the brink of insolvency?


I am not asking my friends to vote for either one of the candidates.  Our votes are sacred to each one of us and should not be influenced by friends or relatives. I have never endorsed a candidate and I will not do it now.  I am just thinking out loud on the reasons pro and con for and against both candidates.  I think that's what makes for a well-informed voter and a better democratic government as a result. Unlike the dynastic plutocracy that now rules the Philippines.


Thanks for listening. (Signed) Doc Lee.


I closely listened, Doc Lee.  You've said it well.  May I also say that it's the fourth year now of a $1 trillion budget deficit.  It's also the year that the number of UNEMPLOYED Americans is still too high and the economic recovery is way down low.


The CHANGE that President Obama promised did not happen.  The HOPE that he spoke of four years ago, has become "hope against hope."  And to me, that means a HOPE, na naging HOPYA na!  Kaya, alisin na si BHOmama.  JJ   

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