AFGE Union, the largest union of VA employees, proudly announced legislation to repeal the VA Accountability and Whistleblowers Act of 2017 citing the agency’s “nefarious use” of the law intended to remove bad managers and supervisors.

In FY 2017, the agency boasted removal of 3,065 employees of the agency, up 400 from the previous year. Meanwhile, only 14 supervisors faced removal. The largest group facing the brunt of the Accountability Act are housekeeping aides, nursing assistants, and food service workers.

“President Trump and his allies in Congress told the American people he was going to fix the VA by removing bad actors. But all they’ve done is make it easier for managers to cover-up their malfeasance and fire workers they don’t like,” said Cox. Adding, “Taking away due process rights from workers at the VA – one-third of whom are veterans themselves – creates a hostile workplace where VA employees lack a fair chance to challenge unwarranted proposed removal.”

RELATED: VA Employees Indicted For Bribery

To fix the issue, AFGE teamed up with Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and co-sponsors Rep. Anthony Brown of Maryland and Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey to pen H.R. 6101 – The VA Personnel Equity Act of 2018.

While VA seems to be focusing on removing low-level employees as the fix needed to reboot VA, AFGE argues the agency’s failure to appropriately staff 49,000 vacancies as the root cause of inefficiencies and other maladies impeding on providing services and benefits to veterans.

“With vacancies at the VA trending upward in recent years, we should be finding new ways to attract workers who can care for the men and women who have served our country,” said Cox, who served as a registered nurse at the VA for more than 20 years. “While we were working to fully-staff and fund the country’s largest and best health care system, President Trump and his allies were celebrating their newfound ability to fire veterans and cripple the only health care system tailored to their needs.”

RELATED: AFGE Protests Staff Shortages

“But now, thanks to Representatives Fitzpatrick, Brown, and Smith, the men and women who have dedicated their lives to caring for veterans can once again receive the due process rights they deserve and have a fair opportunity to protect their jobs and advocate for patients in the face of arbitrary management actions and whistleblower retaliation,” said Cox.

There is no question the failure to appropriately staff any organization or company would result in massive shortfalls in services. ANYWHERE.

I still believe VA should be preserved. I also believe VA leadership are sandbagging low-level employees by placing the blame for poor performance on their shoulders rather than firing corrupt leaders.

Why is anyone in Congress not holding VA’s feet to the fire for failing to address high-level agency corruption?

Regardless, corrupt agency leadership and corrupt low-level employees should be fired more swiftly, and there is no question the Accountability Act disparately impacts low-level employees while still protecting the high-level criminals inside the agency earning six figures.

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/va-union-hails-introduction-of-va-personnel-equity-act-of-2018-300666809.html

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52 COMMENTS

  1. Of course, when you pump rat poison into the corridors of the V.A. Titanic’s Poop Decks, the rats will cry before laying down to die.

    With that said, I propose the “Veteran’s Pied Piper Act” (VPPA). Accountability will be coaxed by the rats at the VA by that unmistakable whistling sound of a dropped tactical nuke falling above each VAMC and that also unmistakable flash of light that ensures AFGE rat remediation has taken place.

    Special instructions for AFGE President David “little” Cox: Shove a tqactical nuke up that fat fuck’s ass. Set and forget…

  2. I asked a question some weeks ago to get a clearer understanding about the unions. I have a basic idea, being rust-belt born and from union working parents, but like many readers, there are points I’d like to be better educated about.

    Quite a while back someone here posted a link that listed the multitudes of smaller unions that fall under AFL-CIO. If I’m understanding correctly, AFL-CIO is at the top of the pyramid of which AFGE is a part. I had asked if a person has two jobs that could be/are union covered, would that person be held to one, either, or both unions? I know that VHA has personnel that must be allowed to change out all burned out light bulbs in the facility, and that person is likely an AFGE member. If that person is rightfully an electrical engineer with employment that qualifies membership in an elecrical union as well, could that person be represented by more than one union at the same time?

    I would also like a clearer education about which professional staff must be AFGE and which are independant of that union’s affiliation. I would assume that there are some doctors, and various providers that are independant contractors and therefore outside of any union dealings. If the top management is represented by AFGE when things are screwed up on their watch, it begs a question of whether union dues are tiered according to salary or, are they uniform accross the board? Of course, it is much easier to replace lower ranking staff.

    My father gave me the gift of the joy in expanding my knowledge. Priceless!

    • Good questions Rosie, must be some sort of seniority. I’m thinking you can be a member of another union while working for the VA, but why pay dues twice, when only one union has a signed agreement with VA.

    • @ROSIE
      While I can’t speak for all AFGE members, as a solitary AFGE member I can answer some of your questions. Keep in mind that my knowledge is obtained by and filtered through a lens of subjectivity. I offer anecdotal answers at best. Also, I represent myself and I’m unable to speak on behalf of the entire AFGE organization.

      With that understood, I’ll try to answer what questions I can. As a basic member (non-managerial, non-bargaining) of the AFGE, there was never specific mention of the Union’s affiliation with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) when I was employed by the VA. My introduction into the AFGE came with a brief by AFGE members during new employee orientation, an agreement to pay monthly dues ($40, per my local chapter’s rate—though members who earned less paid only $20/month), membership that allowed me access to the AFGE Intranet at work, and provision of a 2011 copy of the Master Agreement between the VA and AFGE (relevant for the time I was employed, though subsequently altered after my termination)—the latter of which displayed “AFGE NVAC [National VA Council]/AFL-CIO” affiliation on its cover. There was verbiage within the Master Agreement pertaining to the AFL-CIO, as well. I would post a link to a website (“AFGE/AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council”), though last time I tried to post a link in this forum the board wouldn’t allow my post for some odd reason.

      Concerning your dual role question, I’m uncertain. When I was employed by the VA, as was the case when I was formerly employed by another cabinet-level agency, I was informed that my primary responsibility was to the employer I signed a contract with. I could have a secondary form of employment, yet the primary job trumped the other. This means that when I was employed by the VA as a social worker my loyalty, duty, responsibility (whatever one chooses to call it) was to the VA. I could hold a secondary job by conducting private or group counseling during non-VA hours; however, I couldn’t allow a conflict of interest to occur by which the secondary job interfered with my primary job. This ventures into the realm of ethics and legality, and can be quite tedious to write about in the current forum.

      Simply put, since I signed job acceptance documentation with the VA and I wasn’t in a managerial (non-bargaining) position, I could choose to affiliate myself with the AFGE. If I also worked in private practice and was a member of a separate union (or something similar like the National Association of Social Workers [NASW]), the primary employer was where my obligations were to align. I could essentially maintain membership with the AFGE and NASW simultaneously, yet my loyalty (for lack of a better term) was to the VA—not the AFGE or NASW—as the VA compensated me for my time under a contract to work. I know this matter can become confusing rather quickly, so I will leave it at that and hope you are able to make sense of my response.

      Relating to a separate matter you addressed (“I would also like a clearer education about which professional staff must be AFGE and which are independant [sic] of that union’s affiliation”), to my knowledge no member employed by an entity is forced to join a union. Such occurrences may happen, and if they do I’m unaware. Therefore, no one “must” become an AFGE member. If one chooses to align with the AFGE, however, the only requirement I am aware of is that the person not retain managerial status. Even those non-bargaining employees who do not pay dues can be covered by AFGE representation. If a person is a director, supervisor, manager, etc., I believe the individual cannot be represented by union membership. My copy of the Master Agreement states, “As the sole and exclusive representative, the Union is entitled to act for and to negotiate agreements covering all employees in the bargaining unit. The Union is responsible for representing the interests of all employees in the bargaining unit.”

      Regarding a separate assertion (“I would assume that there are some doctors, and various providers that are independent [sic] contractors and therefore outside of any union dealings”), you are correct. There are a number of VA-specific and non-VA physicians whose secondary employment is with the VA that are or aren’t AFGE members. Again, the choice to join the Union is up to the individual, unless that person is a physician in a non-bargaining position (e.g., Medical Director). This segues into a separate question (“If the top management is represented by AFGE when things are screwed up on their watch, it begs a question of whether union dues are tiered according to salary or, are they uniform accross [sic] the board?”), which I hope I’ve clearly identified already. “Top management” officials aren’t—to my knowledge—allowed to join the AFGE, because they are non-bargaining employees. I could be wrong, though I believe this to be true.

      Finally, and in agreement with your parting assessment (“Of course, it is much easier to replace lower ranking staff”), this is unfortunately the manner by which the VA currently operates, and part of the issue pertaining to my Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case. Misuse of the VA Accountability Act and subsequent VA and current administration action has assured that the AFGE’s ability to properly and adequately represent union members is severely limited (e.g., I had to sign an agreement upon employment forbidding me from the ability to strike—the main element by which unions retain some form of authority and power).

      As a matter of propriety, the current post addresses the legal remedy seeking to resolve this matter. As a matter or adequacy, this is the ongoing goal of each union I’ve been a member of (the AFGE isn’t my first-ever affiliation). There are plenty of people who detest unions and call for member’s collective heads on a platter. It seems to me, however, that you understand the usefulness of such entities. Thank you for asking thought-provoking questions rather than espousing ridiculous drivel. I hope I’ve answered your questions in a somewhat clear and helpful manner.

      • @Just Passing Through
        Thank you for your detailed, concise, and enlightening response.
        In part, the spark for my questions (I’m working off of memory here, so bear with me!) are related to the two women that had high paying positions, and then their moving costs scandal that went to trial; it was last year I think. I was trying to piece together how AFGE representation would be involved. If memory serves, they were reassigned to non-managerial positions; therefore, according to what I now understand, AFGE could indeed deal on their behalf. Mighty cushy, eh?!

      • Well done, JPT. Another reason why someone with multiple credentials and experience should be encouraged on this site.

      • @ROSIE
        You’re welcome. I’m glad to be of some help. As for the case you reference, I’m unfamiliar with it. If the details you provided are accurate, it sounds as though they made out quite well.

  3. cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

    “While we were working to fully-staff and fund the country’s largest and best health care system”

    ╔══╗─╔═════╦══╗
    ║──║─║──║──║──║
    ║──║─║──║──║──║
    ║──╚═╣──║──║──╚═╗
    ║────║─────║────║
    ╚════╩═════╩════╝

    Toooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Funny AAAAhhhhhaaaaahhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, best health care system. LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

    Wholly makeral Ben, you trying to cause an aneurysm, stop with the funny section so early in the morning.

    AS for the VA?
    Shut it down. and send the AFGE, and David “lil” Cox, packing, 86 all their asses, but first let them stand trial for the murder of Veterans.

  4. Believe it or not; the morbidity reports tell the tale. And ask about VA terminal care to anyone who has observed it. My Marine Veteran brother-in-law had far better care from the VA than my non veteran sister in private care.

    Yes the VA can’t cure everything, and yes there are a lot of assholes getting in the way of doing better, but the contract medicine isn’t better.

    • cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

      Lem, I am glad he got better care, unfortunately, take Marion IL, VA, I will bet anything, the families of those Veterans, who were murdered by those providing, the countries best health care, would disagree. As do I!

  5. I recall the alarming outcry of law enforcement officer (LEO) alleged misconduct between 2013 and 2016. People on social media were employing the use of divisive commentary, misrepresenting factual data, projecting misplaced rage, and attributing to LEOs cataclysmic accusations that were largely unverifiable and damning in nature. I watched patiently and with eyes capable of critical analysis as some of these individuals actually rallied together in protest while nonsensical and contentious statements such as, “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon,” and, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” were shouted.

    It wasn’t uncommon for people not to like LEOs. Most everyone I know has had some negative interaction with police at some point in their lives. Traffic tickets, driving under the influence charges, simple assault apprehensions, and other such infractions were quite common during my service in the Marine Corps. I rarely met a Jarhead who wasn’t assigned to a military police unit that actually valued the existence of LEOs. Still, at no time during my service had I ever heard the level of vitriol directed at cops like I’d hear from 2013-2016.

    On social media I observed some people decrying all police by stating things such as, “If all police aren’t bad, how come the ‘good’ ones don’t stand up and do what’s right?” and, “NO ‘good’ police officers would allow these tragedies to happen.” These were seemingly reasonable statements from one who maintains an unreasonable perspective. You see, there wasn’t a single shred of evidence in existence that maintained that ALL police were corrupt, were out shooting unarmed civilians, or conducting themselves in discordance with the law. It simply wasn’t true that there were NO good LEOs. SOME bad cops, sure. NO good cops? This was a matter to be challenged.

    There were two logical fallacies being exercised by the anti-LEO group. First, their general argument served as a red herring. This is a relevance fallacy by which a seemingly plausible thought actually serves as a distortion from the objective truth. Absolutist language functions in this manner. It surely couldn’t be verifiably accurate that ALL members of law enforcement were corrupt and therefore worthy of contemptuous accusations.

    Second, the argument functioned under the informal fallacy of No true Scotsman, or appeal to purity. This particular principle posits a universal generalization from counterexamples by altering the defining standard to exclude the counterexample. Example: A counter-protester could state, “Not ALL police officers are bad or out here shooting innocent people.” The protester would then state, “NO ‘good’ police officers would allow these tragedies to happen,” indicating that if good LEOs existed no unarmed civilians would be harmed. Ergo, since SOME cops shot unarmed civilians—and NO good police officers would allow this to happen—ALL police officers were therefore considered bad.

    What does any of this have to do with the current post? Well, a lot if you read the comment section in this forum when the AFGE is often spoken of. Similar logical fallacies are often purported. ALL members of the AFGE are regarded as corrupt. There are NO good AFGE members, because no good union member would allow corruption to exist. I see these irrational arguments stated over and over again, often with an echo chamber of digital applause in the form of congratulatory back-patting, unchallenged cognitive bias in the form of anecdotal affirmations, and open chastisement of anyone who dares to utter one word in support of a VA employee. I’ve witnessed less clowning at circuses visited in childhood. (Honestly, I’ve observed more mature behavior from children—the target demographic for circuses.) Nonetheless, it would seem as though Ben agrees with my stance, per his post (“I still believe VA should be preserved. I also believe VA leadership are sandbagging low-level employees by placing the blame for poor performance on their shoulders rather than firing corrupt leaders”).

    These things I assert with full awareness of how my statement may be perceived. My folks used to say if you threw a rock into a crowd the dog you hit would holler. Those guilty of the familiar and irrational anti-AFGE tropes on this forum usually bark the loudest when I claim that not ALL members of the Union are corrupt, not ALL employees of the VA are out to harm veterans, or not ALL those affiliated with the VA are guilty of wrongdoing. In actuality I highly suspect my logical assertion will be heavily chastised, if historical behavior regarding a select number of frequent commenters is any indication of how future responses will play out.

    To this, I evoke the Eminem 8 Mile strategy with which some of you may not retain familiarity. In the 2002 movie, rapper Eminem annihilates his opponent in verbal competition by stating factual data, declaring that his opponent will probably try to defame him, and finishes by challenging, “Here, tell these people something they don’t know about me.” Let’s set the record straight here.

    I’m a former VA employee and a current AFGE member. I no longer work with the VA. I’m currently involved in an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case AGAINST the VA. I’m a disabled veteran like many of you. I’m not shilling for the AFGE. I’m not a provocateur. I’m not a VA sleeper agent. I don’t comment in these threads with some nefarious and ulterior motive. I don’t believe ALL employees of the VA are virtuous. I do believe it’s absurd to denounce ALL members of the AFGE by asserting NO good AFGE member would allow corruption to exist. I’m not an extremist. I don’t believe ALL services rendered to veterans (i.e., VBA, VHA, etc.) are inherently malevolent.

    I know without a shadow of a doubt that there are SOME good VA employees, as I worked with a number of them. I do believe the VA is the most corrupt of the cabinet-level agencies, that change is necessary, and that the bureaucratic structure of the VA hinders progress towards much needed alteration of the VA. I do believe an immeasurable number of veterans have been harmed by the VA. I know for a fact that SOME employees I worked with in civil service performed an ice-skating-uphill routine by showing up to work every day and making changes where they could in service to veterans and caregivers, yet whom were faced with daunting challenges to their efforts. I don’t value hyperbolic, irrational, projected, unverifiable, damning, immoderate, absolutist, delusional, misdirected, or warrantless perspectives, however.

    Now, let the barking begin.

    • Who gives a shit about what you ‘value’ while you continue on with your VA styled, arrogant, condescending remarks and attitude. You are a flip-flopping two faced individual. Thank God I don’t waste much time scanning your usual repertoire of bull shit. It’s obvious what you are and about thine own agendas. No need to reply, you disgust me, and insult anyone that has dealt with your likes many times over the years. While many guppies fall for this VA, AFGE activist shit when so many are suffering, abused, killed and dying. Now carry on with your usual, and lame, slick Willie styled BS. You can’t fool all the people all the time. But a sucker, hopeful vet, or new victim is born every minute huh.

      • Oops! I fed a freaking AFGE antagonist, mental masturbating troll. I repent. Sacks n’ Ashes, sacks n ashes.

      • You fed a narcissist too. Watch out for these type of animals. They try to feed off of common folk who have the sense to recognize a self absorbed jackoff that gets his goodies by trying to make people look less intelligent than he is. It probably takes him a whole day just to write one sentance to insult someone. Damn. Did I say intelligent? Sorry.

      • Don’t take T’s and others comments too seriously, JPT. There are many of us out here who rarely post and who understand the nuances of logical fallacies and the bankruptcy of ideas of those who rant idiocies after well written and thoughtful posts. It’s a shame they can’t keep their inarticulate vitriol to themselves and instead contribute to what could be a productive and informative blog full of useful information for vets.

      • @T
        I’ve already demolished your disorderly, loosely-defined, self-aggrandizing drivel on other posts with you quietly walking away in defeat or simply hurling ad hominem attacks at me from afar and to other commenters, perhaps in hopes someone will notice and comfort you. You remind me of Garland Greene’s character in Con Air, as he described Billy Bedlam by stating, “He’s a font of misplaced rage. Name your cliché; mother held him too much or not enough, last picked at kickball, late night sneaky uncle, whatever. Now he’s so angry moments of levity actually cause him pain; gives him headaches. Happiness, for that gentleman, hurts.” Your method of expressing frustration with my responses is so obvious it’s laughable. You’re used to being the one who responds in lengthy paragraphs and now that a new person has come through and taken whatever attention you thought you were entitled to, it irks you. I’m amused, really. You’ve nothing meaningful to add to the discussion and I’ve nothing kind to say. Alas, we’re at an impasse.

      • @Nexdeceptus
        I’m guessing you and @T have mutually benefited from the textual blathering that is a self-satisfying circle jerk of pseudo-support in the form of ad hominem attacks. Why else criticize my writing, if not for the character attack you’ve so proudly displayed here? Reading your unoriginal rambling would have at least been worth the effort had you used your own concepts rather than copying my themes (Me: “Now, let the barking begin,” you: “Watch out for these type of animals,” me: “My folks used to say […],” you: “They try to feed off of common folk”). Well at least you took time to shame a disabled veteran (“It probably takes him a whole day just to write one sentance [sic] to insult someone”), I’ll grant you that. Also, bravo on trying to guess my gender (e.g., “him”) when you’ve nothing to base your position on. Now what if I were to stoop to the same level of self-defecation in a public forum and behave as shi_y as you by nitpicking your spelling (e.g., “sentance”)? Would that make my argument any stronger? No. Away with you.

      • @D
        Again, thank you for the support. What @T and @Nexdeceptus fail to realize is that I was several moves ahead of them. These two, along with two others who frequently call me out when I respond to posts about the AFGE, are so predictable that it’s easy to have guessed their next moves. This is why I evoked the Eminem 8 Mile strategy, calling out what might be said about me, and declaring, “Here, tell these people something they don’t know about me.” I already stated what they would accuse me of, and now I reap the benefit of laughter from my side of the screen. This is akin to when arguing with a sibling and the sibling has nothing meaningful to say, the child simply starts repeating whatever was last uttered. I stole their thunder and they know it. It’s quite amusing. They were the dogs who were hit with the stone I tossed, and it was all by design. At any rate, I’m grateful for your encouraging words. I assure you that I won’t let loudly barking pooches scare me from contributing.

      • JPT not even going to read your BS. You and your buds are out here to ruin or take-over a good board plain and simple. Plus your attack and condescending BS. So obvious a blind mind can see it. You and your ilk sound the same, write the same, use the same verbiage, tactics, relentless, unapologetic god-like super inflated egos thinking all should bow. While continuing on with your board busting agendas that I have seen, endured, witnessed countless times before. Same shit censoring others on news comments or somewhere too or just allowing the lefties, unions. etc., take total control or until something just shuts down. Same thing happened at the Military dot Com chat site. Great site until the VA and cheerleader crews took over moderation when others died off and other chased out.

        I also notice you don’t impose your vast knowledge to help those posting who are in some VA wanting information… just crickets from your ilk. Big time story teller there bud, or bug. Grand-stand all you want but I’ll stay down here pissing on your leg, K?

      • @T
        The hallmark of a healthy discussion, meaningful dialogue, or robust debate is rarely—if ever—punctuated by one party’s refusal to partake in communication (i.e., “JPT not even going to read your BS”). It remains exceedingly evident to me that you aren’t interested in engagement of discussion so that you can better understand the views of others who may disagree with you. You aren’t active on this “good board” in support of dialogue that fosters critical thinking and consideration of multiple perspectives. As well, you truly aren’t present in order to debate, as evidenced by your inability to counteract any of my claims and employment of ad hominem attacks.

        No, you’re obviously here to castigate others who you disagree with. I’ve observed you attempting to intimidate others by leaving snide remarks concerning their contributions to the discussion. You’re also here to make verbose statements that have little-to-nothing to do with presented topics. Ben could address the issue of inadequate parking at VHA facilities nationwide (by the way, Ben, I believe that would make for an interesting discussion) and you’d diverge from the topic by spewing your hatred for the VA and addressing some article you found from a biased source concerning the current political climate in Korea. It’s nonsensical.

        You’re so full of bitterness that you didn’t even take note of my original statement by which I preemptively shut down your entire argument (“Nonetheless, it would seem as though Ben agrees with my stance, per his post [‘I still believe VA should be preserved. I also believe VA leadership are sandbagging low-level employees by placing the blame for poor performance on their shoulders rather than firing corrupt leaders]).” You aren’t here in support of anyone other than yourself. You draft seemingly incoherent diatribes and expect others to pat you on the back, as you’ve certainly found other individuals who will gladly fellate you in the comment section. Not me, not I.

        Your ad hominem attacks are beginning to bore me. You sound like a parrot. In a previous post (VA-Style Union-Busting Executive Orders To Erode Federal Union Power) you stated, “Using the same tactics. Especially bad when the phony divide between towns, cities, Chambers of Commerce and other ilk come together to support the happy happy unions to keep control over the works and employment or just WHO can get local employment”). In a separate post (AFGE Union Sues President Trump Over Executive Orders) you asserted of me, “Don’t agree with it then we are the ‘provocateurs,’ wanting ‘chaos,’ or wrong in some way of playing victim. Same attitudes, same type of writing, accusations, etc.,” and, “JPT and other attack dogs or brain dead think the rest of us out here have zero street wisdom, no company or union activist experiences.” Now you’re stating, “You and your ilk sound the same, write the same, use the same verbiage, tactics, relentless, unapologetic god-like super inflated egos thinking all should bow.” Sound familiar? Polly want a cracker, Polly want a cracker.

        You use the same tropes, perhaps hoping no one will notice your inadequacy. I notice. I see it for what it is. In the latter-referenced post you stated something quite revealing about yourself. “Locally I’d be banned and censored, JPT and some others would be made heroes with full protections by the media, elected, the unions, and lefties here. Just fact. Come on the screen out here and don’t know shit about some of us or any of us. Or care what the terrorist VA and others have put us through.” At present you’re stating, “While continuing on with your board busting agendas that I have seen, endured, witnessed countless times before. Same shit censoring others on news comments or somewhere too or just allowing the lefties, unions. etc., take total control or until something just shuts down. Same thing happened at the Military dot Com chat site. Great site until the VA and cheerleader crews took over moderation when others died off and other chased out.” See the reoccurring theme yet? Polly want a cracker, Polly want a cracker!!

        You’re playing the role of professional victim. No one has had it as bad as you. No one can ever do right by you. You’ve been damaged beyond repair and the sole source of your woes lies with the VA. Yeah, that’s it. It’s the VA that has caused you all the suffering an individual could ever endure. It’s the VA and Just Passing Through (JPT), in fact. Yeah! JPT, who visits this board and contributes by proposing objectively-verifiable claims, is the source of your pain, too. After all, you’re a victim. You’ll play that victim card as long as you can and with as much vigor as possible, hoping someone, somewhere, will hear your cries. Well, that’s precisely what others hear—you crying.

        I needn’t highlight the points of my original post that you potentially disagree with. Hitchen’s Razor posits it is you who is required to address matters with which you take issue. As well, the responsibility of dismantling my argument would then fall upon you, and would require evidence submitted by you to challenge me effectively. You have none, which is why you use ad hominem attacks. Ahh, you’ve covered your bases on this one already. When you previously attacked my character rather than my argument (VA-Style Union-Busting Executive Orders To Erode Federal Union Power) and I called you out on it you dismissively stated, “So pardon me but I’ve earned the right to use ‘ad hominems.’ You want to bash about how I write or throw in at the times I can sit and try to do so… then have fun. Feed that ego and fallacy finder. Evil is freaking evil and wrong is wrong. I am no MugWump and my ass is not sitting on the fence, my sides have been chosen and battles picked out for me. I personally know who does the attacking, who my real enemies are and why. I am also not hiding behind some handle out here and have gone totally public with issues and why.”

        The hilarity of it all is almost too much to endure. You had no valid critique of my stance; therefore, you simply defended your ad hominem response. Not only that, you agreed that I was able to accurately highlight which fallacy you employed. You carried about your usual, tired routine of self-victimization and in true form consistent with your usual antics you began to veer off topic. “Evil” was brought into the equation. Somehow, some way, there was a malevolent force in operation. This level of self-expressed paranoia is highly suggestive of your mental and emotional capacity, which is an avenue I’ll kindly not venture down. Then, as though your statement wasn’t preposterous enough (and this is where your hypocrisy began to show without the shadow of a doubt), you stated, “I am also not hiding behind some handle,” despite the fact that you go by “T” on this board, as though to criticize me for using the pseudonym JPT. Your ignorance astounds me.

        Judging from your interactions with others on this post, it remains clear to me that the meaning you derive from life, if not pleasure, stems from interacting with others—no matter how unhealthy your communication is. I’ve observed others tearing you a new one, yet you can’t see past your own nose to recognize when you’ve been defeated. It’s all very funny and sad at the same time, like a tragicomedy. Far be it for me to steal your sunshine thought. Your day-to-day life is likely so lonely, so unfulfilled, so wretched that your only form of gratification stems from trolling, arguing, and complaining. How desperately sorrowful. Polly, I do hope you get your cracker eventually.

        At any rate, I’ve said just about everything I have to say to you. Of course, I imagine you have it in you to continue arguing about how victimized you believe you are, how the VA and I have allegedly harmed you, and how entitled you are, as our common trait of hypergraphia isn’t without noting. No doubt. Still, I choose rather to not waste my time on you any further. In the words of Jay-Z from his song Takeover, “A wise man told me don’t argue with fools, ‘cause people from a distance can’t tell who is who.” You may continue responding. Realize, however, that I’m done toying with you. You bore me. Begone, Polly.

  6. The upper management usual punishment when caught doing anything (insert any illegal activity), transferred to another VAMC, or the worst punishment? Resign with full benefits if they get a whiff of themselves possibly being fired.

  7. Gaslighting: a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the targets beliefs.

    • Excellent reminder march hare. Commonly used in about every aspect of life today especially by the VA, medical systems, unions, corporate fascist, the whole damn sheebang seemingly… and obviously. That and the ol’ bait and switch are daily standards for them all to use. Fight it all then comes the union styled, Antifa, or MoveOn styled thuggery.

      • Thanks T, i noticed it being used too, especially at the VA. Gaslighting is such a low tactic, but that’s the VA, stooping to new lows daily.

  8. VA is not the only Federal Agency that need to be cleaned up. Next you should start at Pennsylvania Avenue. They are employees as well. Let the cleaning begin.

  9. Ok what some are forgetting is that when you hire in at the VA your allegiance is NOT with any Union or with the VA, your allegiance is with the VETERANS first and foremost. Meaning their care is your first priority. If you cant or wont agree to that then find your ass another line of work as you dont belong here. The reason for you being employed with the VA is because of these Veterans and without them you would not have the job to start with.

    End of story. This should be on EVERY dam VA application out there and the first time you violate it is the last time you violate it and the union be damned.

  10. Anyone interested look up your state’s “right to work” laws or see how many “closed union shops” there are around and why the VA told us to vote Demoncrat for better care. While supporting those unions and keeping jobs God only knows what any of them support behind the scenes… like open borders to fighting anything to do with right to work legislation that would give people a choice NOT to join unions to be able to work. Say, like in towns that are ruled by Dems and totally bowing to unions and filled with corrupt unions… but pays well and has plenty of power top to bottom.

    National Right to Work Foundation
    “$32 million seized by union bosses in illegal forced dues.

    $32,000,000 stripped from the pockets of over 80,000 home care providers in Illinois and stuffed into the coffers of SEIU union bosses to advance their radical political agenda.

    That’s why your National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is asking the Supreme Court to take up a class-action lawsuit to reclaim forced dues seized from the 80,000 home care providers.

    Every. Last. Dollar.

    Of course, Big Labor will fight like a cornered animal to protect its forced-dues treasury used to elect their political allies.

    Union bosses know being forced to return $32 million of forced-union dues could damage their hopes of packing Congress with more union-labeled politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

    And if SEIU bosses are forced to cough up $32 million just from Illinois, you and I will have the precedent to restore perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars, or MORE, in illegal forced dues! ”
    Unquote. Can’t “handshake” with any links.

    Here you go to work in a closed union shop, a AFGE shop, you will join the union or not be employed, period. Same goes for any ‘union shop’ or closed shop.’ Let no-one bull shit over this. Kiss the union’s ass and support their own agendas… or not be employed, black-balled, or easy canned by employers, un-supported by that union protectionism. There may be some links out there from years back when some unions separated themselves from the mighty corrupt communist styled AFL/CIO (wants to unionize the world from their base and every worker out there. Their claims and speech, not mine or some delusion). Which many LEOs, Fire, city/county unions also hold the AFL/CIO umbrella over their self-serving heads while ruining local politics or making corruption well defined and deep.

    “https://federalnewsradio.com/unions/2018/06/hud-tells-union-to-vacate-federal-office-space-citing-executive-orders/”

    It’s worse than reported. Oh but they refuse to report on the whys, how many vets are doing, or the increases due to loss of medical care. loss of pain meds, forced SSRI use even knowing the severe side effects, etc. Bet the vet death count isn’t a mere 20 or claimed 22 per day now. But then again we can’t believe anything from the social elite, lying media or gubbermints.

    Supposed to be a teen/young adult epidemic but…. crickets today.
    “https://www.ibj.com/blogs/17-the-dose/post/69273-suicide-rate-soaring-in-indiana?utm_source=ibj-health-care-reform&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=2018-06-18”

    More BS.
    “https://www.legion.org/legislative/242238/legion-testifies-legislation-addressing-va-staffing-shortages”

    Yep, male, white male hatred is growing and intense. Boy do I know that well. Been dealing with that for years. Cultural Marxism, the left, commies, NWO, communitarians, scum, Marx-Fems, are getting their agendas met. Unions too. Many know, many just don’t care… gotta eat and make the trophy wife happy. Others in need or want to work can go die. Gotta love Hoosier global villages. lol Many sick reports from college campuses and those include med school kiddies.
    “https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=11027&utm_campaign=CampusWire&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=63834504&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9_Od8-eRtb5cAETdKEDbOSIlKAxtGxQ43PIE_BM8iKG-21ibe_Jn0WT02czeCk9QDZ1MeBo9UKkFZsMLdwQWfAIe7u0g&_hsmi=63834506”

      • Ahhh yes it does. Especially when his comrades and VA cheerleaders, like you, probably the same person, the activist come out to play too. Sounds exactly like my home town and the usual playbook of circus maximus. Where is your most worthy comments and all knowing at? This it? No rebuttals just attack and more BS, protecting a team mate or union behind buddy? Come in new then pretend to have all the answers while more serious post and questions go without such knowledge as you and JPT spews out. Oh, and thought it was ‘just passing through.’ Bait and switch, great example.

        Simple, don’t read my “bile.” You communist and fascist just hate anyone disagreeing with you or any kind of BS. I can think of people you sound just like, word for word, play by play. Send in another one from the VA or Demoncrats… coach. I can’t help it I smell your kind thousands of miles away and quite recognizable. See a pile of shit coming around wearing shoes… antagonizing, disrupting, playing keyboard Kommandos …. its the far lefties and VA/AFGE/AFL-CIO/others in action. You can add the neocons and others to the list also. There is no having discussions with your kind, no compromise, no use being kind or courteous either.

      • Poor T. Ever since the rainbow flag incident he’s just been a triggered little cunt that just can’t seem to stop inviting abuse. T you remind me of Frank from MASH. A whiny little minge of a cunt that folds like a wet noodle the minute he’s confronted. That’s what I’mma call you from now on Frank. Must suck being so much of an asshole that nobody wants anything to do with your healthcare.

        It’s the far righties and VA/AFGE/AFL-CIO/others in action. You can add the conservatives and the Tea Party and Freedom Caucus. Fixed that for ya 😉
        There is no having discussions with your kind, no compromise, no use being kind or courteous either. Glad we see eye to eye. No excuses when your dick gets knocked in the dirt. Right Frank?

      • Been waiting on ya WC, I even rattled my zipper. Thanks for your opinion like it matters. Ben’s board is great at showing examples, the great divides, attitudes, activist tactics, exposing some things/people, etc. Great huh? You scum don’t bother me a bit. So stick with your tard Hollyweird movies for some reality okay? Sticks and stones ya know? Poor sand box or college time bullies haven’t grown up yet?

        I invite nothing. Unlike you pussies and key board kommandos I don’t hide and can prove everything I put out. It’s kinda like lying with dogs you get fleas (AFGE, SEIU most the on Dem side hanging on every word Pelosi or Hillary spews, etc). Guilt by associations. VA staff… “vote Democrat for better care?” ROTFLMAO Examples. So far you and others are showing your own self-serving, lying, phony, two-faced ways and agendas. How you come together easily, like the VA or the corrupt, in malicious ways to attack those who disagree with your fascist PC BS and demands for total thought control of others. Saul Alinsky, Debbs, or Bill Ayers groupies. Can’t defend yourselves with facts or reality…. bark bark bark bark…. eat VA/union crap, sling poo. Oops nothing sticks. OMG it even uses emogies!!! Thanks for the midnight chuckle, the examples of lefty concerns, VA/typical Dem like attitudes/treatment… from the peanut gallery. Keep exposing yourselves and what we have to deal with in some places and at the VA, their retaliation tactics too.

      • Hey Frank,

        Funny I rattled my zipper as well and your lip fell out of it.

        Glad to know I have a fan. Unless you’ve been waiting for me in a creepy stalker kind of way then that’s just gross…

        Yes Ben’s blog does expose the great divide. It’s a rather large crevasse I’d love to fill it to the brim with haters and bigots. Care to be the first one in? Lol “you scum” am I officially part of the persecution complex? And, if not, can I be? Just remember “THE DEMS ARE COMING!!!! THE DEMS ARE COMING!!!!”

        I find it comical that bigots are the first to hate and then when taking incoming fire are the first to whine about being shit all over. I hate to tell you bub but last time I checked your fairy tale sky-daddy hates hypocrites.

        So let me get this straight now I’m an evil thought controlling monster because I happen to think that the LGBT community are people too? That’s a bit of a stretch even for a nazi brown shirt like you. I don’t think your tinfoil hat is thick enough why don’t you go ahead and wind a few more sheets around your head for good measure.

        Nah this has nothing to do with the VA brah remember? It’s all about you and your special little hate filled world view.

      • Oh and I should not fail to add: What I have gone through dealing with VA and civilian health care due to *politics, unions, retaliation for various reasons/special interest groups, and ass covering, plus the attitudes online, attacks n such. Seen others go through or giving on over, or choosing death. No help for any from the right or left paradigm phony politics. It’s no stretch of the imagination to know why so many vets are abused, mistreated in many ways, allowed to rot and die, files lost, all the gaming and waiting leading to so many suicides. Why there is little transparency, hard core censoring going on, media silent or refusal to report maliciousness from those involved to protect their own. Regardless of what some others ‘claim’ or some good they might do is unseen while playing in the dens of VA care and those who don’t want to be offended or exposed in any manner.

        Easy to see it’s politicking/control/power plays/any agenda over quality care, over compassion, over ethics, over individuals rights and liberties, thoughts, beliefs, whatever. Dems being the worse and seem to fill every major union out there.

        No WC no use responding to your BS. You’ve shown your true colors and what a punk ass coward movie-time crap for real life comparisons. You’d be one of the first ones I gather to enjoy torturing vets in the VA for the pure enjoyment of it, not agreeing with your ilk, while obviously not caring about other human beings at all unless they are just like you and your comrades. Your posts like you are shit. Good night VA antagonist troll. You need more training on your emotional side of things and using a better facade like your comrades are using. Have fun! Again, you don’t bother me at all. Waste your time. You sick jokers seem to love trying to create chaos while claiming victim status. LOL

      • Hey Frank

        Good news!!! I was just reading online about how they have a solution to your problem it’s kind of like off label pills that work for conditions other than the one intended. This particular pill is good at taking down deer and comes in a 12 ounce variety!!! Why don’t you go get a box and start chewing.

        My colors are red white and blue. The difference between you and I is the simple fact that I realize those colors cover every American citizen whether I agree with them or not.

        You love to throw around how I love to cause chaos yet have nothing to say about the state of our country under a republican government which right now is literally the definition of chaos. This leads me to believe that you have trouble seeing anything past the end of your own nose.

        You are a hater, I cannot express the level of irony to watch you use words like compassion and ethics. You simply have no idea of the concepts those words encompass.

        As for agreeing with my “ilk” as you so delicately put it. I’m glad you don’t agree with me. It means I’m not a bigot. Just out of curiosity, how many fags have you beat up? I mean after all isn’t that a right-winger initiation ritual or something? Do you guys scream YOLO when you commit gang assault? Or are you too busy pissing your pants from all the excitement, I mean, afterall, gotta teach those queers their proper place cuz Gawd and Murica right?

        It’s funny because here you are calling out my compassion again because I’m bagging my fill on a hater. Here’s a pro tip for you McShitsky: Start treating other people like fucking human beings and maybe just MAYBE somebody might start treating you like one. Not me, of course, in my mind the only good hater is a dead hater.

  11. It’ll be a sad day in hell before I feel any sympathy for any AFGE person. AFGE workers don’t answer their damn telephones at the VA. Screw em to hell with their damn union!

  12. Rosie,
    You have to put links in ” ” for them to post. There is an automatic withhold of any post that contains a post not in “***”

  13. Sad: I think it’s much less than that count.
    “https://www.drudge.com/news/222376/only-25-percent-americans-can-identify”

  14. It is way past time for some real leadership at the VA. Leadership that speaks truth publicly about how bad things have really gotten. Leadership that develops solutions to take better care of ALL our nations warriors.

    Leadership that recognizes that when they are doing a good job – – – it will be veterans singing their praises, rather than the VA needing a PR Agency to put out “Fluff Pieces” to mislead America and her citizens about what a stellar job they are doing.

    They are not. In fact, they are doing a very piss-poor job.

    The VA has a first-world budget which they use to provide veterans less than third-world medical care and benefits. Current VA leadership has their Brain Housing Group the size of mice and their Heart no bigger. It is about FIFTEEN YEARS PAST TIME TO FIX THE DAMN BROKEN VA:

    1. IMMEDIATELY recognize the problems inherent in the VA are SYSTEM-WIDE, not just limited to a few locations.

    2. Fire all the Lazy No Good Workers. Fire EVERY single AFGE/SES Employee.

    3. Sell off all the VA facilities. Alternatively, they may be converted into military barracks-style housing for homeless veterans. These will be run with military-style rules to promote good order and discipline.

    4. Issue all veterans a card that allows them to choose their own doctors within their community that they can TRUST.

    5. The United States Government will PAY those doctors promptly (Within 45 days) for the care they provide veterans.

    6. ELIMINATE the “Federal Protection” Umbrella for incompetent QUACKS that the VA sends to other states to practice other than their own. Going to practice in XX state? You need to be LICENSED in XX state.

    7. Any claim a veteran submits to the VBA that requires more than 90 days to adjudicate, is automatically found to be in favor of the veteran. Should a veteran file a false claim to scam the system, the VA will have to prove in civil court that the claim was falsely submitted. For filing a false claim, the veteran will be subject to ALL of the following:

    (A). The claim shall be denied. If the veteran has received any form of benefits because of the false claim they will be required to fully repay the benefits at cost.
    (B). The veteran will be banned from all VA facilities for the remainder of their life.
    (C). The veteran will lose any benefits they originally have or had, and will not be allowed to file for further benefits.

    8. All veterans will be allowed to seek/retain the services of a Veterans Rights Attorney from their first initial contact with the VA. This will help to protect the legal rights of veterans against corrupt and incompetent VA employees.

    9. No AFGE, nor any other Labor Union business will be allowed to take place in any Federal Workplace. Conducting Union Business during working hours will be STRICTLY PROHIBITED and will be STRICTLY ENFORCED. Should any government employee be found violating this provision, it will result in IMMEDIATE LIFETIME DISMISSAL FROM ANY/ALL STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTAL EMPLOYMENT.

    10. Attorneys for appeal will be retained at the former employee’s PERSONAL expense. U. S. Taxpayer’s will not be subject to payment of legal bills for incompetent or dishonest personnel with regards to Governmental Employment.

    You have my contact information Mr. President. Call me anytime. I have a lot of ideas to help this nation improve the services provided to my fellow veterans. The ones that were promised but have yet to be delivered upon. Veterans have been waiting for over fifty years for the fulfillment of those promises. I will not hesitate to speak up at all.

    For my fellow veterans who have been ill-served by this DERAILED CLUSTERFUCK of an AWFUL TRAIN WRECK CALLED THE VA over the years:

    Our battles overseas were far less stressful than our war here at home. Never Cruel or Cowardly. Never Give Up. Never Give In. We are on the Righteous path.

    POTUS Reagan broke up PATCO in the ’80’s. Time for POTUS Trump to break up the AFGE. The vast majority of our current Congress Critters do NOT have Veterans Interests at heart. Perhaps their replacements will. VOTE OUT all these WORTHLESS BASTARDS.

    Give their replacement’s one term to take care of Veterans who put aside their own personal lives to answer this nation’s call when she needed them. Many of those Veterans suffer the remainder of their lives for doing what most of their countrymen had not the courage to do.

    If they cannot MUSTER THE STONES to do it properly – – – vote their worthless asses out as well. Party should NOT MATTER. What SHOULD MATTER is their VOTING RECORDS ON VETERANS ISSUES.

    Rhetoric is cheap. Congressional Voting Records on veterans issues speak louder than words.

    NO Combat Veteran should be surprised when the next McVeigh, Congressional Baseball Team, or Las Vegas Sniper Incident occurs. Bound to happen. Just a matter of time . . .

    We have now reached the next accelerative phase of our country falling apart. Country before Party. Principles before Personalities. Always.

    Want to REALLY fix the VA? The next SecVA needs to be a former Enlisted Man brought in from the general veteran population with a few serious axes to grind against the VA and the AFGE, with zero previous governmental civilian service. Apparently, Former Flag Officers and SES appointed Civilians can’t cut the mustard . . .

    Maybe a SINCERELY MOTIVATED Gunnery Sergeant or Chief Petty Officer CAN.

    Disgruntled Veteran
    1973 – 1976 USMC
    1978 – 1993 USN
    Wounded Warrior
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    • cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

      Well said Dave, short, to the point, and accurate.

  15. @Just Passing Through
    Re: your LEO post above.
    You’ve made an observation and posited your points of view. Nothing wrong in that.

    Where I find an issue to take up with you, is in your closing… “Now, let the barking begin.”. By itself it is harmless in that it is inviting others to express their own opinions about your statements.

    Where I do find an issue pertains to the bait and trap element of “Now, let the barking begin.”, where you took it upon yourself to “dispense” an uninvited “clinical” assessment of another poster’s freewill expressions of his world as he lives in it, and what he has shared with us about the oservations made on his journey.

    You posted that you have been a VHA employed social worker. Fine. Some of us have interacted with you, and even shown appreciation for some of the posts you have contributed. That does not however, mean it is okay to “analyze” another poster based solely on what one chooses to express in a public forum.

    Maybe I should run this through grammarly before hitting send, then I could have perfect prose, also.

    • @ROSIE
      Thank you for your response.

      To address your issue with my having stated, “Now, let the barking begin,” allow me to provide a little context—information those the comment was aimed at know all too well. Before I do that, let me first take care of some housekeeping matters. First, I had to Google Grammarly, because I had no idea what it was. Thank you for the reference. I may need to use it one day, myself. Second, I’m no longer a VA social worker. I’ve stated this fact a number of times in other posts and I don’t expect you to know this already since we haven’t addressed one another prior to the current post. Lastly, in no way, shape, form, or fashion did I violate the ethical standards of my profession by attempting to clinically assess anyone in this forum. It wouldn’t even be possible to do perform an accurate and diagnostically-sound assessment in this fashion anyway, nor would I want to do so if I could.

      Now that that’s out of the way, allow me to expound upon the barking comment. I’m fairly new to this blog. I first discovered it when searching the Internet for veteran-centric topics from an activist perspective. Ben not only seemed to know what he was talking about, he had emic understanding about issues faced by those within the Warrior Culture. A disabled veteran like me who obtained higher education degrees as I had, I was pleased to read Ben’s perspective through use of his particular style of commentary. In fact, I was so impressed that I sent him an email requesting representation for my Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) case regarding the VA, to which he declined. The latter element is another topic for another day. The point here is that I found this forum and enjoyed the content.

      Before submitting any responses to the material I initially read, I quietly observed the comment section. There’s a lot to be learned about a forum’s operation by paying close attention to commenter engagement. There was a mix of characters who responded, of which there were regulars, and the typical anti-VA, anti-government, and anti-whatever-cause-du-jour was openly expressed. When I did eventually decide to respond I was cautious of revealing my affiliation with the VA, even though I was pursuing legal action against the Agency through the EEOC and that could have been viewed favorably by disgruntled individuals, because I suspected some members of the forum may misdirect their anger towards the VA at me. Still, it seemed as though relevant information regarding the VA and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) could prove useful concerning a number of topics.

      A supporter of First Amendment rights, I realized that the freedom of speech doesn’t guarantee the right not to be offended, the privilege not to have one’s ideas challenged, or liberty from emotive response activation. I ultimately made the conscious decision to identify myself as a disabled veteran who sought employment with the VA as a means to serve veterans and caregivers, stated that I maintained AFGE membership, and asserted that I was privy to topics of corruption from the perspective of a whistleblower (though I couldn’t divulge specific details of my EEOC case, because it’s still in the process of legal consideration). I used a pseudonym, just like many others, to protect my identity to whatever degree possible.

      Some individuals were accepting of my presence in the forum and they seemed to appreciate my input. In fact, a couple people actually urged me to stick around and continue responding, because my handle (Just Passing Through) was interpreted as though my activity was predetermined to be temporary. Then, there were four individuals (who needn’t be named, though I’ll call them the Four Horsemen) that repeatedly criticized me whenever I posted. Did you read that carefully? They criticized me, not my statements. Using your same standard of chastisement concerning my behavior (“That does not however, mean it is okay to ‘analyze’ another poster based solely on what one chooses to express in a public forum”), their actions were unacceptable.

      It didn’t matter if I agreed with Ben’s expressed position in a post; I would get lambasted with nonfactual accusations. Almost anything I’d say was cause for condemnation from the Four Horsemen. I’d say that I believed not ALL members of the AFGE were corrupt. I looked, and there before me was a white horse! I’d say that SOME members of the VA I personally served with expressed sympathy for, empathy with, and commitment to veterans. Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. I’d reassure those who challenged me that I was in no way affiliated with the VA anymore and that I was simply trying to offer an insider’s perspective. I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Other board members would come to my aid, despite the fact that I never asked anyone to, and even with their support I made sure not to overplay my hand. I looked, and there before me was a pale horse!

      There is no appeasing the Four Horsemen. Generally, it isn’t my contribution that is attacked, it’s my existence. I’m called a number of explicatives, a provocateur, a troll, and other things unworthy of mentioning. When I identify these elements for what they are—usually logical fallacies—I receive diatribes of unrelated tales concerning subjective accounts, thinly-veiled references to ideological and perpetual victimhood, and irrational castigation which is often expressed in a group-style bullying technique. If I don’t sit around and bash the VA, in other words, I become the target of VA bashing.

      You know precisely what I’m talking about from personal experience. Recently you posted a thought-provoking response regarding 50 chefs, representative of unfilled positions within the VA. What, pray tell, was the response you received? Were you criticized on the merits of your words, or was an ad hominem fallacy utilized against you? You responded, “I completely forgot your need to engage in a fruitless sparring contest over what you have perceiced [sic] a person has stated in any reply to whatever you have posted on Ben’s blog. I have no desire to further your aggravation [sic]” so it’s safe to presume that you know exactly what I’m speaking of regarding the Four Horsemen. You were targeted just as I have continually been.

      Now you appear on the current post and criticize me, despite the fact that you’ve reacted in much the same manner as I have, though concerning a person who is not one of the Four Horsemen I reference. To you I say, “You’ve made an observation and posited your points of view. Nothing wrong in that.” I also add there’s a special on humble pie being served somewhere near you right now. Yet, I digress. I originally posted on the current topic and stated, “Now, let the barking begin,” because past behavior consistently serves as a fair indicator of future behavior. I anticipated a great earthquake, the sun to be turned black like sackcloth, the moon to turn blood red, the stars to fall to earth, the heavens to recede like a scroll, and every mountain and island to be removed from its place when comparing law enforcement bashing to AFGE bashing.

      You see, I’m playing chess, not checkers. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to accept it. You don’t even have to read or comment on it. If you post content that no reasonable or prudent person would possibly take issue with and you’re called out on the assumed notion that you aren’t a veteran or on something as simplistic as your gender, you may choose to continue playing checkers and allow others to trample over you. I, however, will not be bullied by the dog and pony show…er…those whose barking is louder than their collective bite, or who sit upon steeds while opting to conquest by ravaging this board, creating conflict rather than maintaining peace, depriving others of intellectual nourishment by spewing character attacks in place of logical retorts, and seeking complete annihilation as they project their unsolicited opinions upon others while seeking to destroy rather than build.

      In closing, it was acceptable for you to dismiss a commenter by stating, “Peace out, Brother,” yet when I say something as clever as, “Now, let the barking begin,” you “find an issue.” I’ll tell you what, ROSIE, your opinions are duly noted. Will I turn the chess board over and concede defeat, allowing the Four Horsemen to prevail as you white knight on their behalf? You have a better chance of winning Powerball, and according to The National Weather Service the odds of being struck by lightning in one year are 1 in 700,000, which is far more probable than winning the Powerball jackpot. Peace out, ROSIE.

    • @Just Passing Through
      I have no problem with a healthy debate of the issues. My second point regarding your barking comment was my perception of it being a bait and trap element, and you admit that was the intent behind it, as well as the intent behind the entire LEO post. By drawing out any one or all of your “Four Horsemen”, to make statements so that you could lambaste them for commenting, and then chime that you are “x” number of moves ahead in your game, be it chess, Stratego, or fill-in-the-blank, it is in my opinion, nothing more than a proper game of dirty pool!

      If you’ll recall, the words “dispense”, “clinical”, and “analyze”, were all in quotes to imply a sense of those terms. I guess you assumed I was making a personal attack on you and/or your professionalism, which could not be further from my intent. I never took courses in psycology and the like, so from purely my lay person point of view, I still stand by my post in its entirety and without apology.

      I’m not even going to explain the back and forth I had with another poster the other day; if you want to reread those posts, I’m sure you’ll find the error.

      • @ROSIE
        I admitted the intent behind the barking comment was a “bait and trap” element, though I never conceded the point that the purpose of the entire LEO post was a setup. Presuming the intent of the post truly wasn’t clear; allow me to summarize my point more concisely. I compared LEO to the Union. People who declare “all” cops as being corrupt is similar to those who state that “all” VA employees are crooked. Such a hyperbolic, absolutist, irrational perspective is dismissive of those law enforcers or AFGE members who actually perform their jobs in a professional, appropriate, proper, and ethical manner. One needn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. That, you see, is not a “bait and trap.”

        Regarding your opinion concerning “dirty pool,” you’ve stated your position and I’ve already replied, “your opinions are duly noted.” I find it somewhat hypocritical that you’re accepting of your own chastisement of other commenters while at the same time you rebuke my actions that are similar in nature. As well, I made no secret of what I was doing regarding the LEO post and the Four Horsemen, because I openly stated, “I evoke the Eminem 8 Mile strategy,” and explained what that meant. I stayed several moves ahead of those who I suspected would criticize me (not my argument) for posting the LEO response. Lo and behold, wouldn’t you know a couple horsemen came out and responded. It isn’t “dirty pool” if I call my shots and actually make them. “Eight ball, corner pocket,” is proper etiquette, and indeed one rule of playing Eight-ball—since we’re discussing games (“chess, Stratego, or fill-in-the-blank”).

        Concerning your use of particular terms (“dispense,” “clinical,” and, “analyze”), I addressed the matter as a means to clear up any misunderstanding. I do not interact with this forum from the perspective of a social worker, therapist, mental health professional, etc. It is proper conduct to address such matters if an individual accuses someone from my profession of potential ethical violations, of which you essentially did even if you were unaware. I think it’s reasonably acceptable that you aren’t offering an apology. Likewise, I never stated you owed me one. I can at this point assert that I like cheese—pretty much all types of cheese I’ve ever had. What’s this have to do with the topic at hand? Absolutely nothing. What’s an apology have to do with this conversation? Absolutely nothing.

        In closing, you don’t have to explain the back-and-forth exchange from the other day. I not only read it, I cited content from it as a means of proving a point. My point was upheld. It seems to be reasonable for you to challenge those who seek nothing more than to denounce you on the basis of ideological differences, using ad hominem attacks (i.e., veteran status and gender), though you complain about my behavior when doing the same. It isn’t entirely clear to me how your actions are excusable and mine aren’t. Equally, it matters not. I believe I already dismissed your critique, and the conversation as a whole, in the same manner you remarked to another commenter (“Peace out”). We’ve honestly nothing further to discuss.

    • And “Whoop! There it is!”
      It’s another binary coded dossier replete with verbose idiocratic delusions.
      Enjoy the deafening sound of pinkie finger-tip clapping!
      “We’ve honestly nothing further to discuss.” Finally! Something in this string we can agree on!

  16. cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

    Just Passing Through, I know you were not addressing me, and you know I think you have a lot of good things to say, I have to say this, you will get more to read your post if you can shorten it, a lot. And I am not trying to bash you or anything else.

    For me personally, due to the nature of my injuries, I have a tendency to forget what I read in the beginning, by the time I get to the end. Anyway, hey, it’s your comment you post it however you wish.

    • @ cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿
      I absolutely, positively was not identifying you as one of the Four. Regarding your advice, as I stated to one of the Horsemen above, I experience hypergraphia. Basically, I write…a lot. I’m not concerned with others reading my content. For those that do, cool. For those that don’t, cool. As well, I have both psychological and neurological conditions that also impact my ability to process information. Believe me, I get it. Thanks for the feedback.

      • cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

        Just Passing Through, that’s cool, do what you do. I will try to keep up.

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