Friday, NRA TV highlighted the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act in its interview with DisabledVeterans.org founder Benjamin Krause (me).

Last week, I was interviewed on NRA TV about veterans rights and the 2nd Amendment pertaining to a new bill just passed by the House of Representatives. The bill is aimed at forcing the federal government to provide veterans with the same rights as nonveterans.

The current state of administrative law within VA allows the agency to adjudicate whether a veteran is competent to handle their finances. If the veteran is not competent, VA will appoint a fiduciary and the veteran loses all control of their VA benefits.

Contrary to distortions primarily from liberal media sources, the bill is not intended to give mentally incompetent people the right to own guns. That is not what this is about.

The bill is all about protecting the fundamental right of veterans to own a firearm unless a judge in court determines that the respective veteran is mentally incompetent.

That is the law as it relates to nonveterans.

Nonveterans get a competency hearing in front of a judge. Veterans, the same individuals who fought to protect such rights, are not presently afforded that same protection.

This bill is simply about protecting the rights of veterans using the same due process protections afforded to those who did not serve.

No one wants mentally incompetent people to own firearms, but all Americans deserve a right to be heard in court before being stripped of a fundamental right.

This bill seeks to do just that despite what is being asserted by NPR and other media outlets.

Make sense?

Background On ‘No Buy’ List, Financial Incompetence Issue With VA Fiduciary

In 1998, President Clinton’s FBI signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with VA that required VA to send the FBI the names of any veterans not competent to manage their finances for inclusion in a no buy list for firearms. Other agencies were required to do the same.

Since then, law disproportionately affected veterans. Of the 175,000 Americans affected by the reporting requirement, over 99% are veterans.

The screwy part of the legal framework at play here is that the law is really focused on individuals who, due to a mental defect, are a danger to themselves or others, or are unable to contract or manage their own affairs. This kind of determination impairs an individual’s right to property and to a right to buy a firearm.

Here is the screwy part.

It is important to note that nonveterans must be tried before a judge to reach a conclusion that the person, due to mental defect, should not own a firearm. That judge will need to decide whether the nonveteran is a risk to himself or others, or if the nonveteran is incapable of entering into a contract or to manage their own affairs.

Boiled down, the big difference is that nonveterans get a trial with a judge and likely a lawyer.

VA merely focuses on whether the veteran can manage their VA benefits without limitation. The latter qualification, “without limitation,” is quite important because it lowers the bar rather than raises the bar for a determination of incompetence when compared to the nonveteran equivalent.

Further, this determination only removes control of the veteran’s VA benefits but not their other finances. For example, a veteran who inherits money will have full control over that money or assets. The VA fiduciary will still maintain full control over their finances.

VA Incompetence Determination Is Different

So, when VA makes the limited determination solely for the purpose of managing VA benefits, it is not the same as the same determination for a nonveteran.

Not only is the purpose of the VA fiduciary scheme different, but the veteran is not afforded a competency trial in front of a judge. Instead, VA adjudicators handle the decisionmaking meaning a nonlawyer decides the fate of the veteran related to not only control over their money but also the fundamental right to own a firearm.

This begs the question, why do veterans get fewer rights or less protection of their rights than nonveterans who never served?

Last week, fourteen generals came out against the bill with a chicken little cry for help. They claim veterans will commit suicides more if VA is forced to provide veterans with the same rights as nonveterans. The generals fail to cite any research or source, only apparent hyperbole.

RELATED: Ex-Generals Capitalize On Veteran Suicide Epidemic To Oppose Gun Rights

It is a fact that 20 veterans commit suicide every day. Approximately six of these veterans receive benefits from VA. There exists no study or evidence that more veterans would commit suicide if the law changes.

However, even if such evidence did exist, could that same evidence be sufficient to justify denying the fundamental right of gun ownership without a competency hearing before a judge?

No. Veterans deserve a right to a hearing just like other Americans they fought to protect.

The Dirty Secret

The other dirty secret of this unconstitutional scheme is that VA is totally and completely unable to consistently adjudicate disability claims with any level of accuracy.

Of the claims overturned by the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, an astonishing 70% or more are vacated because VA took a substantially unjustifiable position. This means VA completely screwed the pooch in over 70% of the remanded cases.

How can any agency that gets disability adjudications, the basis for any fiduciary claim, grossly wrong with such frequency be trusted to correctly and fairly adjudicate a veteran’s fundamental right?

Adding insult to injury, veterans erroneously pushed into the program by mistake are then unable to hire an attorney to represent them against the agency because the VA fiduciary then controls all the money.

This seems like a very effective, anti-veteran catch-22 the agency has created, no?

There is no question some veterans should not own firearms due to a mental defect. No one would argue otherwise. But do even these veterans no deserve their day in court?

After all, these same veterans were severely injured as a result of protecting the rights of all other Americans.

Compounding matters, VA was just cited by OIG for again failing in its ability to merely set up suicide prevention call centers called the Veterans Crisis Line.

How can an agency unable to figure out call centers be trusted to successfully and accurately adjudicate matters related to any fundamental right?

What To Do About Fundamental Rights

It is time America has a grown up conversation about how it treats veterans. Why do we have fewer rights than nonveterans?

Did anyone tell us that when we enlisted, we also signed away numerous rights for life?

We have no real choice in who provides us with health care.

We have no right to hire a lawyer to help with our benefits until after VA builds its case against us – this is an infringement of the right to contract.

We also have no reasonable protection against deprivation of property or a right to keep and bear arms.

All veterans fought to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans. Little did we know we were sacrificing our own rights for life.

Source: https://www.nratv.com/series/stinchfield/video/stinchfield-ben-krause-protecting-the-rights-of-veterans/episode/stinchfield-season-1-episode-54

54 COMMENTS

  1. Can’t believe this administration is still allowing OIGs in duplicative form through all the agencies. OIGs are just mere stool pigeons when someone is on the Agency’s trail for the truth. You have fbi, oigs, gaos, legos, poptarts and a fat lady in a tu tu wasting tax payers money. People are so afraid of guns, they should be afraid of polonium warfare :p

  2. Great Interview, Ben!

    There are many veterans in Hawaii who have been relieved over the years of their weapons for simply daring to seek mental help with the VA.

    Hawaii’s Politicians By and Large are really quick to say, “Thank You for your Service” but when it comes to ACTUALLY helping veterans, they fall far short of the mark.

    Case in point: When I wrote my letter to President Obama concerning my wrongful separation from the U.S. Navy and subsequent indebtedness to the government – – – none of our Congress Critters even wanted to hear, or read my story.

    So, I sent it to the President. Nothing came of it – – – of course.

    When I sent Tulsi Gabbard (who is an Iraq Veteran) an e-mail requesting some assistance with my situation, her response was basically that I was not in her district. Sorry, Ms. Gabbard. When it comes to veteran’s issues/casework – – – you are a United States Congresswoman. I reside in your state, and my service was to the nation. When a veteran residing in the State of Hawaii has a valid issue such as I do with the federal government, you should be leading the charge to help. Rather than sitting in your comfortable office debating lines on a map.

    Of course, I also remember when she was campaigning in 2004 to retain her seat for the 42nd District in the State House. Then after she volunteered for service in Iraq, she argued that her upcoming deployment to Iraq would have zero bearing on her ability to properly fulfill the duties as a State Representative for the 42nd District.

    That position, sparked a lot of controversy on Oahu. Lots of talk about that on the local radio stations. The local TV News did a few stories about that as well. Ultimately, the reason she stopped campaigning was because Rida Cabanilla who filed for a rematch, constantly called upon her (the incumbent) to resign because she would not be able to properly represent her district from Iraq. Cabanilla won the Democratic primary, 64%–25% that cycle.

    However, Ms. Gabbard remembers this period in her life quite differently. This is what she told Time Magazine for the October 15, 2014 issue:

    “After 9/11, our nation’s leaders committed to seeking out and destroying the Islamic extremists who declared war on us, through their attacks, which killed close to 3,000 people on that fateful day. Like so many others, I enlisted in the Army to fight that fight, and shipped off to Basic Combat Training, in Fort Jackson, SC.

    In 2004, as I campaigned for re-election to my seat in the Hawaii State House, the Hawai’i National Guard’s 29th Brigade Combat Team was activated for an 18-monthlong deployment to Iraq. As I sat at my desk reading the notification email, I found out that I was not on the mandatory deployment roster. Someone else had already filled the job I was trained for.

    However, I knew there was no way that I could stay home in my cushy job, in beautiful Hawai’i, and watch my brothers and sisters march off into combat without me. So I withdrew from my campaign, was trained in a different job, and volunteered to deploy with them to Iraq, setting off on an experience that would indelibly change my life.”

    Hmmm. Slight difference there . . .

    You can bet your boots that Tulsi will be against any veteran having the same rights as any other citizen. Hawaii already has the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. Because of our (to the US) unique geography – – – the Cops and the Crooks are oft-times best friends when they attend school together. And most locals never permanently relocate to the mainland.

    And we should not forget our recently retired Chief of Police, who was just about to be indicted by the Feds on Corruption Charges

    “http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/34203897/honolulu-police-chief-louis-kealoha-agrees-to-retire-over-fbi-investigation”

    Not a one of them give a damn about Veterans Rights in this state. And our “esteemed leaders” of Hawaii are already hitting the Panic Button over the Veteran Suicide rate going up. With our veterans comprising 10.7% of the state’s population – – – one would think that our elected officials would pay a bit more attention to us.

    Veterans get fair treatment with 2nd Amendment rights in this state? Not in (unfortunately) my lifetime.

    • FYI, Disgruntled Veteran:

      Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted in favor of this bill in support of Veterans and the Constitution.

      I’m not sure why you didn’t contact your CD1 Congressperson, but targeting Major Gabbard with your vitriol is disingenuous.

      • CD2,

        I will have to look up her recent vote on this issue. If I need to issue amplification and/or a formal apology, I will do it here and in public.

        As for the rest of my “Vitriol that is disingenuous” targeting Major Gabbard, facts are facts. In the Marine Corps and Navy generations in which I served, we were taught not to sugar coat things. I stand by my statement. If I need to talk to a reporter and show documentation, I can quite easily do that.

        What part specifically do you take issue with?

  3. Great Job, Ben!
    On another matter – – – Typed a really long (for me) comment to this article. Now, I see a statement saying my comment is awaiting moderation. Anybody else having difficulty posting? Did WordPress make some changes recently to their templates?

  4. Why do we have fewer rights than nonveterans?……. well thats kind of easy we would be the biggest threat to them. we are there #1 enemy in their minds because they are all a bunch of crooks. just like a crook going to rob a store he wouldn’t rob the store owner he knows has a gun. so the more guns you take from your EX workers =us VET’S the more of a threat reduction to them …….so when i am on the phone talking to friends i have known all calls are recorded for years so i mention so when you guys come after us and we are gone you will be next on the list because you are useless to them now. look at the # on the Georgia Guidestones do you think your on the list for the still living .Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature. I don’t think so …….and thats no conspiracy theory ….you want to read theory read anything to do with science they don’t like real science …..the big bang what a joke.. Darwinism another big joke i want my monkey tail back so when my hands are full i can open the door with my tail..so you say tails wern’t included but my theory suggests we did……..THEORY =BULLSHIT…..LOL

    • “The Brain: Come, Pinky, we must prepare for tomorrow night.
      Pinky: Why? What are we going to do tomorrow night.
      The Brain: Same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the WORLD!
      [the film slows down and rips apart]
      [Singers: They’re Pinky, They’re Pinky and the Brain Brain Brain Brain Brain.]”

  5. I’ve come to the conclusion that until the entire VA Agency is appointed a proper fiduciary and the most thorough audit of entire system ever performed in USA, by someone OTHER than the damn VA, will be what finally sheds light on the billion$ bleeding from tax payers to support an agency that’s essentially become a Federal Works Welfare Program (FWWP) for AFGE union thugs. Veterans are only a ways to the means test of their cookie jar.

    Great job last night, Ben. That one hour was indeed concentrated VA corruption and who knew you could concentrate poo? 🙂

  6. There’s that very old saying;

    “They can have my weapon, when they pry it from my cold dead hand!”

    Many of my friends have: “LEGALLY POSSESSED UNREGISTERED FIREARMS!”
    There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a Constitutional Rights thing! The 2nd Amendment doesn’t say anything about registering any firearm. It just says:
    Quote:
    “Right to Bear Arms 1791!”
    “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    This short, well thought out and written
    paragraph, IS what a “dictatorial government” is afraid of! There’s not one word about “sports” or “hunting” in it. It’s about holding onto something just as precious as life itself – FREEDOM! These rights, “Endowed by our Creator” are “unalienable rights!”
    Each year we see these “Rights” slowly dissipating from us by left leaning Liberals.
    This is not a “Conspiracy Theory”! It’s FACT!
    Until our “rights are restored”, as was intentioned by our Founding Fathers, this “fight for FREEDOM” will never be over!
    Did I say it plain enough?

  7. Two articles of concern;
    1)
    From; “military.com/Daily News
    dated: 21 Mar. 2017
    titled;
    “Report: Calls to Vets’ Suicide Hotline Still Sent to Backup Centers”

    via:
    “Stars and Stripes | by Nikki Wentling

    Good article. Still, some of the statements made by our elected officials, are nothing more than gobbly gook bullshit!
    ____________________

    #2.)
    From;
    “Conservative Free Press”
    titled;
    “The Dictator Who Couldn’t Do Anything!”

    by: Admin
    dated: Mar. 20, 2017

    Read this one. It’s filled with facts over what President Trump HAS done, what many believe he should do and what some are afraid of what he might do!

  8. This was published on 21 Mar. 2017 by “Fox News!” (5:04 minutes long)!
    titled:
    VA Hospital Staff Already Removed Presidential Portraits Hung on Friday #DNN”

    Great video to watch! Watch what the Congressman had to say about this crap.
    Then, leave a comment.

    • Congressman Mast was On Target. Loved how he challenged the VA. And am betting over time that he will follow up on many veterans issues . . .

  9. This article comes from; “The Post”
    titled;
    “Trump Plans to Zero Out 19 Agencies”

    dated: 21 Mar. 2017
    by: Kerry Lear: Staff Writer
    Wait till you read what these agencies receive taxpayers monies for! It should piss you off!

  10. Two simple words are what is really the matter at hand – Due Process.
    The question boils down to this singular principle upon which America was founded. I could give a shit about what memorandum of understanding was sent by Clinton to VA, or even what kind of memorable understanding good ol Bill Clinton had with Monica about where he poked his cigar.

    What the issue at hand is what kind of understanding does America expect of Due Process? In OREGON EVEN A VIOLENT dog is not put to death without Due Process in place for this complete with appeal rights.

    So the real question for America is this; Are we willing to give vets the same rights as dogs? So far, too many vets have been put to sleep without ever having biten a soul. This is done because VA skips the Due Process in place which is designed for county level officials and skip past ALL requirements otherwise in order to involve police at your home! Even the county MUST follow Due Process before they can involve the police at your house for any reason involving mental health. The tragic consequences are that police show up with hands on guns because a VA twit from two counties away doesn’t like being called a Nazi – so they have a “memorandum of understanding” that VA may skip county mental health due process and immediately send the police. In Oregon this has led to death because the poor police have NO IDEA that the VA is lying to them so they come with the bullets loaded IN THE GUN that they brought to your home contrary to county law.

    They do this because they have an “understanding” agreement. Our own local police have been sent to even the employees of VA who spoke with the press on a notorious “safety check” which is whatnthey callis bullshit thatnhas led to so many gun deaths – and then they want to take away firearms from vets when it is the VA THAT IS SENDING GUNS to their homes for “safety”?????????

    All the police know is that they will shoot to kill if they have to because nobody cares if they shoot a vet so long as VA says the vet is crazy. Now if they shoot a dog because a person two counties over called them and expressed concern that this dog that they never met or saw might bite himself or others, then the cop doing the deed would be held criminally accountable. Shoot a vet under the same circumstances and they get counselling and paid leave time.

    We either have Due Process or we have Bull Shit.

    • You raise a good point Dennis.

      Isn’t it a slap in the face to veterans to have their right to due process removed by Bill Clinton.

      Bill Clinton, who took advantage of every due process he could after getting caught boinking an intern.

      Imagine if his right to due process had been removed years before after being declared sexually incompetent after a sexual assault.

  11. Before I read your column Ben, I just watched the interview and I must say that was a very, very good interview with very serious details provided.

    Thank you for not pulling any punches.

    No matter your stance on gun rights, in my opinion the issue here is removing rights from any veteran without due process. Of we don’t stand up to this abomination, what other rights will be removed at the whim of a bureaucrat?

    It certainly was good to tie in the inability to hire an attorney for the claims process, and clearly show the rights of veterans have already been diminished or removed.

    Thanks also for calling out the “misguided generals”, although I would not have been able to keep from using much harsher language to describe those bastards.

    Now to read the column.

    A sincere thanks Ben.

  12. Before I get into the column, I forgot to mention this wouldn’t be as big of an issue if the media covered your NRA interview and this column as thoroughly as they covered the hack generals opposing this.

    If they covered the issue factually and honestly, there would be no politician opposing the law.

    To the column.

    You mention the VA declaring a veteran incompetent, but I would really like to see a description of VA policy on the process of doing this.

    I suspect it’s like everything else the VA does where they cut corners at every turn and the veteran ALWAYS comes out on the losing end.

    From all the comments from family members I have read or news articles on appointing fiduciaries, it seems there is inadequate policy or inconsistent processes used as pointed out by the GAO. In fact, the whole process seems arbitrary and capricious and dependent on whether some whale has a bad hair day.

    I’m shocked this started under Clinton, but not surprised. He too and his enabler wife were big into gun control using any means necessary. I do believe though it was seriously ramped up with Obama, and I believe the numbers showing 32000 added in just 2016 bear that out.

    You also mention Ben a point that has been gnawing at me on this. The VA will move against a veteran to take control of his VA disability payments, but they show zero concern for anything else about the veteran declared financially incompetent.

    If the VA is so concerned, you would think the VA would have other programs in place to help the veteran they declared incompetent.

    You would think….but then a sane person knows the VA history shows their sole concern on this is control of the veterans disability payment.

    Disgraceful pigs!

    I find it very telling your statistic that only 6 out of 20 or 22 veterans committing suicide are receiving VA benefits. In my opinion that is the elephant in the room that everyone ignores.

    Out of all those committing suicide NOT receiving VA benefits, it tells me the VA has seriously failed in their duty to assist. It tells me many of those veterans have likely fought the VA for years, and eventually reach the end of their rope of pain and despair and give up.

    Like that Navy vet in Durham who laid dead in his car for 5 days.

    As for the hack generals and others claiming veterans having their gun rights restored would lead to an increase in suicide, I say bullshit. I say just the opposite would occur.

    Imagine being raised to believe in this country, patriotic, serving in the military, whether in combat or not, pride in your country and your service, only to have your Constitutional rights taken away like you are some felon drug dealer.

    Compound that with the idea you no longer have control over caring for your family because some fat whale declared you incompetent in handling your finances.

    THAT, to me would suggest an increase in suicide. No hope of anything better when treated like dogshit by a country you once believed in enough to serve and defend it at risk of your life.

    You mention there is no study or evidence showing an increase on suicide with this law passing. I can’t see how any evidence would be anything other than anecdotal or someones opinion.

    Regardless, any evidence would be worthless without a more thorough look at how this declaration of incompetence is processed. The grab-ass way the VA does it now is clear that there is no consistency or formality to it.

    You then make the excellent point of their 70% error rate on claims. I wouldn’t care to see anyone’s rights restricted with even a 25% error rate.

    Which makes me wonder. People are concerned over others being wrongly convicted only to be exhonerated years later. What would they say if our judicial system had a 70% error rate?

    A 70% error rate where an individual’s rights are restricted for life?

    Unlike prisoners wrongly convicted, I don’t believe veterans can sue for damages for having their rights wrongly removed.

    A serious miscarriage of justice that has taken too long to correct.

  13. Ben, why do you call these rights (Bill of Rights) “fundamental rights” instead of their REAL name:

    Inalienable Rights.

    Since you’re a lawyer, you can explain how these rights are not granted by a government, like you state, but they are inherent rights to everyone. Cannot be “aliened” … cannot put a lien or any restriction on the inherent right. That’s the true meaning of these so-called enumerated rights.

    Yes, the courts have ruled that there are “fundamental” rights, but the enumerated rights in the Bill of Rights are inherent and are supposed to be absolute. No infringement.

    Because we’ve been taken over, as a people, our law has been perverted and this new bill, the topic of the article and interview, is about having people believe that we now need a new law to protect veterans, when we supposedly already have that law. Now we need another one? The criminals in power do not follow the law we already have.

    Why does anyone believe they will follow a new one?

    Thomas Jefferson, et al, provided an entire law system. Constitution plus common law in the states, which are complete sovereign entities. This original law system has been perverted beyond recognition. Now, the federal government, originally to have limited jurisdiction, now has taken unlimited power. To control food, water, medical, everything. Find one thing they don’t have their hands in …

    They even call plants “drugs” and then outlaw the plant. How did that happen? Who gave this federal gov absolute power? Why does everyone go along with it?

    Like here … we don’t need more laws. These law enforcers or whatever they are, they need less laws. And to follow the ones already here. If the Constitution has been overturned or overthrown, then (((they))) need to stop pretending like it matters and just be honest.

    Everyone, veteran and ex-felons and any other demon-of-the-day, has an inalienable right, as enumerated in the Bill of Rights, and declared as fundamental by the supreme court. No need for more laws. Need is to force them to follow the law, right?

    Ben says we don’t want mentally ill to have guns. Well, who says who is mentally ill? The VA? crooked crooks. The courts? crookeder crooks. Who? And, what if, there is no such thing as “mental illness” but it’s all physical with emotional expression outward? What if mental illness is a physical problem that can be fixed, but they won’t fix it (or, they deny us to fix it ourselves, such as by using cannabis)?

    I know contrary opinions or ideas are not appreciated here, but that’s how I see it, and if you want the official version/myth/lie, bill o’reilly or whoever they are can give you all of that you want.

    May all the heavens above bless you and yours (hope that’s ok to say).
    /s/ Michael Wittman, in memorium

    • I agree with your argument that there is no need for a new law.

      I also agree that there IS a need for a new law at this point given the state of bureaucracy today.

      I look on this law as a black and white clear message to those pigs that it is against the law to remove the rights of veterans without due process.

      Now if we could only convince those same politicians that due process is equally important when hiring an attorney whenever necessary.

      • Does the new law acquiesce inalienable rights, similar to how one contract can replace another?

        I appreciate the thoughts, I am just always throwing out ideas for consideration and research.

        Because of the outstanding work on many levels, by Ben Krause, host of this forum/etc., we can talk about different things, at least for now. I don’t have any answers, only questions. Some opinions. I always hope I’m wrong about my opinions, as sometimes, well, it looks bleak.

        Just for fun, there’s a great 1950s or 60s western tv show, where a con-man with a show comes to town to warn the residents that they are in trouble and a wall will save them, and he will help them get the wall. This con-man was named trump and he ran out of town at the end, sorry spoiler. But the local goodguy found him out and confronted. The title:

        WHAT!! 1950s Western Features Con Man Named Trump

        It’s on youtube.

        what the coincidence!? a man with a show, named trump, promising salvation through wall building.

        Thank you Ben for all your hard work and bringing these topics out. You’re inspiration on many levels for alot of us in the wings. Blessings Be.

        PS off topic, looks like cannabis cooked in coconut oil then applied as poultice in the cheek will cure shingles in the mouth.

  14. The truly enormous scandal awaits its scab being pulled-back to have a massive *external audit* of the entire VA Fiduciary Program with a made public list of all VA Appointed Fiduciaries and the # of Veteran’s Benefits they “maintain in trust”…why?
    I remember reading over at hadit dot com long ago that a single VA Fiduciary can have several Veteran’s benefits in their trust @ a % of their entire benefit in exchange for “managing their $” and that’s for *each* Veteran.
    What that essentially means is let’s just say a VA Appointed Fiduciary gleans 10% of each Veteran’s Compensation. To a greedy rat, and cannot imagine the VA appointing anyone but greedy rats, would think in his ratty mind: The Higher the Disability Rating a given Vet has the MORE $$$ I can make, meaning now, if I can get the VA C&P to hand-over and hen-peck -10- Veterans at 100% Disability Comp X 10 Veterans, that means that VA Appointed Fiduciary is making 100%+ tax-free on top of whatever else that VA Fiduciary does for a living…like retired generals, ring-knocker hacks, and of course upper management at the VA.
    What I am suggesting is pulling the scab back and letting daylight shine on the VA Fiduciary Program is *likely* to expose similar to what my creative mind suggested above…and much more…probably even a pay-to-play type of deal where some VA hack also gets a kick-back for each Vet with rights taken away.

    Wait For It……….

    • Good point on a fiduciary colluding with some C&P examiner or VARO rater.

      Or any other thieving rat in the VA with their rat claws out.

      • What I am interested in knowing id if such a FOIA Request were made, would the VA claim “Privacy Reasons” in not being able to provide a list of every Acting Fiduciary for Veterans and the # and names of Vets they are Appointed VA Fiduciaries for? Also, do not forget to request HOW MANY each Fiduciary manages and the Comp. % each Vet.

        I am not a gambling man but if I were, the whole lot would be on the VA claiming “Privacy Reasons” when it suits them…I think this being made entirely public will literally unleash an ugly can of worms.

      • @Nam – Durn tootin’ right the VA claims “Privacy Reasons” when it suits THEM. As for Veterans Privacy that is AHaHaHaNother matter. That they can break at will.

        Wife handed me this article this morning “http://www.staradvertiser.com/2017/03/20/hawaii-news/low-morale-plagues-staff-at-veterans-medical-offices/”

        From yesterday. Accurate portion is that Administrators create the VAST MAJORITY of problems at the Honolulu Facility. Both on VHA and VBA sides.

        Screwed up part is where David Stockwell tries to paint a rosy picture on a pile of dogshit. But what else is new?

      • If the VA were to deny such a FOIA request, it would only mean that they were indeed hiding something.
        I recall some years ago, at least within last 10 yrs., there was a scandal within the Midwest Indy VA Fiduciary Program and correct me if am errant on timeframe, but I am thinking when the Phoenix VAMC Wait List broke out in media 2014-ish or a bit before, it pretty much covered-up a bunch of other fires going on within the VA, that I never heard any resolve on that Fiduciary Scandal. Crazy elf or others here might recall…uh oh, my memory might be slipping…the VA might decide I am no longer competent… 🙂
        Meanwhile some has-been huddle of retired generals have to have an app on their phone remind them when to take their Viagra when wifey comes home. 🙂

      • Nam, I’m thinking the only way they would comply with a FOIA on the fiduciary program is if you requested the total number of vets in the program, total number of fiduciaries and total number of complaints against them. It would also be interesting to request the total money involved.

        Even then, I don’t believe they would provide that if they use the excuse that it is creating a record.

        If they did comply, they then couldn’t use the privacy excuse with just numbers.

        It might rattle their cage though just to see the FOIA.

        As for the generals, Viagra and the wifey, Petraeus would have to take 2. One for the wifey and one for the squeeze on the side.

      • 91Veteran-

        Those retired misguided generals get the very special edition military specifications rugged Viagra PEZ dispenser. Spared no expense to keep those stars pointy. 🙂

  15. Talked on the phone with ANutterVet for a few hours this morning. He is OK, but a bit under the weather health-wise (as are we all). Sends his Aloha and says his fight ain’t over yet.

    He’ll be back when it is time.

  16. Good to hear about DV. @Ben, ya done great. As you presented the bill, I find it difficult to understand why those 20 x generals would oppose it. Keep it up Ben. Most people are right on today.

  17. Had a VA appt today. Labs for no reason except that I requested a different doc. Request went in two months ago because the dr stated with loud frustration and head shaking that she didn’t have time to look at my records, listen to anything I said, and enter in the data from the nurse.
    Now that’s as close as I can get to a quote.
    This new doc immediately looked at my meds, told me I was on a narcotic (Tramodal that just got reclassified as a narcotic a few months ago) then told me she was cutting my dose and she could just stop the med but she would taper it for me….LIKE SHE’S DOING ME A FUCKING FAVOR!?!

    She didn’t look at my file, I didn’t speak yet.

    When I told her that med is the only one without negative effects, and the Only one to cut my pain in half, she said again that she could just stop it all together.
    I had her pull up my latest MRI report. As she’s reading it I’m not recognizing the wording. I finally stopped her and let her know that That was not the report that I have a copy of. That report is COMPLETELY different than the original.
    She smiled.
    …I am seriously getting fucked here.

    • Next time, although HIGHLY ILLEGAL, bring a box of jelly filled donuts and “drop” it on her desk by accident after she says she won’t give you the primo drugs. Then excuse yourself to the potty. When you return, if she follows VA tradition, the box will have been replaced by a written prescription on a secure VA prescription form (which hides the prescription from ANY scrutiny otherwise set up to limit drugs.

      Admittedly the act of bribing a VA employee with jelly filled donuts is illegal, however in looking over the medical staff photos it MUST be going on all the time…

      Hope this helps.

      • I propose we load those Oregonian Poop Canons with only the best jelly-filled donuts and at the same time right beside the “donut canon” have a fully prepared regular Poop Canon.
        Set both canons outside the VA Federal Property, right outside the gates of every VAMC and firstly turn-on the Jelly Canon to ensure each and every VA employee comes outside, ignoring patients in mid-surgery, and as soon as property is vacant of jelly-filled employees then turn-on full velocity and wrath of the Poop Canons while Veterans take possession of the VA property for a nice long stand-off.

        Conversely, we could reduce the work by 50% and just have Poop-Filled Donuts loaded in the Poop Canons–the deception would bring tears to the poop-filled VA employee’s as they realize what had transpired.

    • Get a copy of that report through MyHeathEVet or through ROI, or both. Compare it with the copy you have. If they are completely different, write a letter to the Privacy Officer asking them to investigate why, because the incorrect report is negatively affecting your treatment. Ask them to expedite it because the incorrect treatment will affect your health.

      PUT. IT. IN. WRITING.

      Hell she could have been reading somebody else’s MRI report.

      If you hear why the reports are different from the Privacy officer, then write another letter explaining how the one record is wrong, how you were treated based on the correct record, how that treatment will change, and that you want to be re-evaluated with another MRI, preferably outside the VA with a doctor you choose.

      Ignore the doctor and only address your letters to the Privacy Officer.

  18. The confusion and resulting anger over VA behavior in America is honestly the result of The Giant Deception.

    The Giant Deception is defined as “…a belief that government can make things better.”

  19. That drug keeps me from feeling: electrical fire, white hot burning cables throughout my extremities. AND cuts my breathing pain in half.
    So this Does make my life better. It also Saves the lives of many VA employees, and many shit bag civis.

  20. This is the third or fourth time my records have been changed. Veteran Advocates don’t help. Congress ignores it. Hospital Administrators defer to whatever the doc says no matter what evidence I bring to prove the doc wrong.
    Looks like people are in the VA to make Sure we suffer Long enough to kill ourselves or kill them…which would make the argument for Vets being unstable all the more powerful. Since these fucks know that we as individuals wont do anything to them without losing all of our freedoms and possibly our lives, and we can’t for whatever reason get enough of us together to crush them and their policies, they do whatever the fuck they want. Whenever they want. Believeing they are not in any danger.
    Truthfully, how many news reports covered Vets storming VA clinics or hospitals and getting what they needed for help? None. They almost always get arrested, lose their benefits, their right bare arms, and most of the time their lives. All that loss without ANY single fucking loss by the VA. NOTHING fucking changes inside their system.
    It’s like taking a hill, or a building or town and clearing it of hostiles, then leaving right away. Only to go back in a week and get fucking shot at again…stupid.

    • @LP: Their latest trick is losing your records altogether, get a complete copy asap. This holds true for the National Records Archives as well. Last time I ordered a complete set I got 7 pages, and 2 of those were explaining what the other 5 were. I called and they said that is all they have. Incompetent workers have been throwing veterans records out, taking them home and destroying them, and putting one veterans records in another veterans records file, effectively losing them. They found records from over 3000 veterans, along with their SS# in the woods behind the Archives. “http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/federal-workers-dumped-stashed-or-trashed-records-at-st-louis/article_8611ae42-359d-539d-b21c-5e864b02d672.html”

  21. *OFF TOPIC* – Just A Thought – The VA takes advantage of Veterans when they’re weak and helpless. Sound discouraging? Well you’re right, it is discouraging. The VA will promote itself as being an agency recognized [in their own eyes], as one that is proud of taking care of the Veterans of the United States. But yet, when a Veteran trusts the VA and opens up their heart by telling the VA everything, and then when its time for the VA to really help the Veteran, the VA uses the information against them.

    The VA’s motto is, “To care for him who shall have borne the battle.” But the Veterans current battle is against the VA, because the Veteran can’t depend on the VA to help them when they are in need. And, the VA will most always give a Veteran a fight when the Veteran seeks proper care, or when the current care isn’t working and needs to be changed.

    Because of this unjustified conflict by the VA, Veterans don’t trust this agency. Therefore, the Veteran sees the VA as the enemy. And, for things to change so that the VA completely stands by their motto, “To care for him who shall have borne the battle,” the VA needs to make the necessary changes to support the Veteran. This means that every Veteran is different, and that the VA should adapt to a continual influx of changes to be enabled to serve all Veterans.

    Without the VA having the ability to change, the Veteran will not be properly helped or served, and this will cause frustration on both sides. The Veteran will be the one that suffers more, due to the lack of the VA’s ability in making changes.

    Until these internal changes are made within the VA, Veterans will continually view the VA as their number one enemy that hinders them from getting proper care. And, until these internal changes are implemented and accounted for, the VA’s motto means nothing more to the Veteran than a bunch of words. Words, nothing but words. Sort of like, “Hurry up, and wait.”

    • So true, ANutterVet. Some of us have hurried up, now we have been waiting for over twenty years. How much longer? Delay, Deny, Hope the Veteran Dies. SOP for the VA.

      Good to talk with you on the phone yesterday. As you may have guessed, I’m having a bit of a hard time with things. If I sounded rude on the phone, I did not mean to. I have had less than twenty hours sleep over the last week.

      I hope you are feeling better.

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