Blue Water Veterans Stalled? VA Vehemently Opposes New Legislation
Paul Lawrence, Undersecretary for VA Benefits, recently unleashed a blistering attack against the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act (HR 229), which would extend disability benefits to at least 70,000 Vietnam vets suffering from dioxin-related ailments.
Agent Orange, commonly used as a defoliant in the thick jungles of Vietnam, causes these ailments, and there is clear and convincing scientific evidence that these 70,000 veterans were also exposed to this chemical.
These soldiers were shipboard personnel who generally patrolled about 12 miles off the coastline, but precedent does suggest that this distance does not preclude Agent Orange exposure. Also, Congress does not differentiate between levels of exposure among land-based Vietnam vets, only whether they were exposed or not.
VA is raring to go, citing “lack of sufficient scientific evidence” to grant these benefits, urging Senators to worry about “uncontrolled demands” for future VA benefits.
He specifically urged the Senate because this bill has already passed the House. UNANIMOUSLY. How rare must it be, in this age of polarized parties, that the House passes a bill unanimously?
As the former, doomed VA Secretary David Shulkin said of this legislation, “these veterans have waited too long and this is a responsibility that this country has.”
Now, after blasting the bill, Blue Water veterans may end up with nothing as the bill is stalled in the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.
As it turns out, it is possible to be a discerning and conservative political official who is concerned about fiscal responsibility… and advocates for this legislation, given the evidence at hand. Shulkin was. At the very least, he refused to oppose Blue Water outright.
The House and Senate VA Committees have worked on this bill in close coordination and even started to figure out how to pay for it. That not only shows the extent of their commitment to Blue Water but their relative certainty that it eventually WILL be funded.
All $7 billion of it.
A massive 2011 study conducted by the Australian government shows ample evidence that shipboard personnel were, in fact, exposed to Agent Orange and similar dioxins, entitling them to disability benefits under that government.
Lawrence dismissed the impact of that study entirely.
RELATED: DOD Blows Off Burn Pit Hearing
He also stated that VA home loans, the aspect of VA’s budget that would be cut most to pay for this initiative, are too important to raise even minimally, evoking predatory lenders as the only possible alternative for veterans who would otherwise pay a VA home loan normally.
In other words, “We will claim scientific uncertainty, as long as it helps us. You have evidence, but we have decided that it does not count for enough. We will prioritize deterring hypothetical predatory lenders over helping the real injured veterans.”
RELATED: Tone Deaf DAV Gives Tom Murphy Award
Regardless of party lines, this sort of conduct is not reasonable. It is not governed by facts or logic. It is tribalism, and it is money. Our guy said to oppose this, so we will. It would be expensive, so we automatically do not want it. We will say anything we believe will make us look good, and nothing else.
This is what post-truth, “alternative facts” government really looks like.
A majority of Senators continue to support this legislation, so the immediate impact of this testimony is unclear. That said, it would be wise to expect months of further turmoil in the Senate about this.
What is your take on the agency’s flip on the Blue Water issue?
Could this blue water issue, somehow create a legal precedence, regarding other similar ways, in which veterans are being or have been exposed, to these and or other hazardous chemicals, say, at every military base where these chemicals were or still are being used?
The 7 Billion is not correct, the COB id saying 1.1 Billion.
Thank Ben for keeping us aware of these shenanigans!
The salem VA hospital’s operating rooms are running at about 50%. It was a planned expansion project but it went south and my engineer friend said his fellow engineer who was over the project botched it from the get go. Now the incompetent engineer is the chief and the project is at a standstill because the project completion cost will go over $10M which requires congressional approval.
Sounds like a small scale Colorado VA fiasco In salem. Wonder many operations will be delayed? The engineer will probably get promoted again before the news or congress gets wind of it.
“Former CAVHCS neurologist claims firing for refusal to manipulate patient records”
By Rosanna Smith, WFSA Channel 12 News
“MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – A former Central Alabama Veteran Health Care System neurologist is speaking out after he says he was fired for refusing orders to manipulate veteran patient records.
This comes weeks after National Public Radio published an article making claims the Veterans Affairs is entrenched with a management culture using fear and intimidation to prevent potential whistleblowers from talking.
Dr. William Lievens first experienced working with the VA in Miami and in Birmingham while going to medical school and completing his residency fellowship training.
“If you have never served your country then you need to have some part of your life spent serving those who have,” said Dr. Lievens.
The 37-year-old physician has always taken providing patient care to veterans seriously.
“It is a real privilege and honor to be able to help treat these people that really deserve more than many,” he said.
In 2016, after being in private practice for several of years, he accepted a position as a Neurologist with the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System.
“I took it very excitedly and very happily,” Lievens said.
According to Lievens, he was seeing patients who had not been seen by a VA neurologist for as long as four years. He says the reason for this was it had been 4 years since CAVHCS had employed a staff neurologist prior to his employment.
“I would roughly see about 50 to 65 patients a week,” he said. “Almost all my time was set to the clinic. I had one-half day a week for administrative time.”
In addition to being a staff neurologist, he also served as the only sleep medicine physician on staff. Lievens did not mind the large workload, because he was doing what he loved.
“For me, the number concern was always patient care,” said Lievens.
Lievens says it only took a few months before he was met with resistance for what he calls complete and detailed treatment for complex neurological diseases.
“It was an effort being told to make visits shorter, make notes shorter. Eventually, to the point I was being told to a degree almost to have omission, out of the record, kind of the full breadth and scope of what was going on to just be very narrow in what I was doing. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really work with what these veterans have and a lot of conditions I treat,” said Lievens.
Refusing to manipulate veterans patient records, Lievans says he was stripped of his remote access, taken off duty for eight months, suspended with pay, and ordered to show up only to sit in isolation.
“March through June basically, I would have to come to work, sit in the corner by myself, and sit there,” said Lievens.
In June he received a letter of termination. He is now challenging the legitimacy and legality of the decision.
“Because I didn’t succumb to the easy route, ultimately suffering the consequences for that,” said Lievens.
After reading an NPR article which uncovered widespread retaliation against VA whistleblowers in Montgomery and Tuskegee, he realized he was not alone.
“It is nice to know I am not alone and it validates me for what I feel has been happening to me,” said Lievens.
While his professional reputation is now in jeopardy, he still is focused on one thing.
“The bottom line is the people that really ultimately get affected by this are the veterans,” said Lievens.”
Full Article At: “https://www.wsfa.com/story/38605982/former-cavhcs-neurologist-claims-firing-for-refusal-to-manipulate-patient-records”
“Former VA pathologist denies being impaired on duty”
By Hannah Grabenstein / Associated Press
“LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A former pathologist denied he was impaired on duty amid an Arkansas Veterans Affairs hospital’s investigation into more than 30,000 of his cases dating back to 2005.
Dr. Robert Morris Levy of Fayetteville told the Associated Press that the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks fired him as Chief of Pathology because of a DUI which was ultimately dismissed.
Levy said he was arrested during work hours on March 1 for driving under the influence. According to a police report, Levy failed a field sobriety test. But Jacob DeYoung, a deputy city prosecutor for Fayetteville, said the case was dismissed after Levy’s blood sample was clean.
The hospital has said Levy was twice found to be impaired on duty and consequently terminated him in April.
In March 2016, an employee reported Levy for being impaired, which Levy contends was the only time he showed up drunk to work. He was immediately removed from clinical care and, in July 2016, Levy entered an in-patient treatment facility.
He was cleared to work following treatment and was monitored by the Mississippi Physician Health Program in conjunction with the Arkansas Medical Foundation. Levy was not registered in Arkansas, but VA physicians do not need to be licensed in the state of the hospital, said hospital spokesperson Wanda Shull.
In October 2017, Levy was again determined to be impaired on duty and was removed from clinical care while the hospital investigated. Levy attributed this to a complex migraine, which he said limited his ability to find words and hear properly.
Still, Levy continued to work as the hospital investigated. He said he saw a neurologist, who cleared him. Records also show Levy later visited a neuropsychologist who found “no major concerns.”
Levy’s DUI arrest occurred on March 1. The arresting officer noted Levy’s “speech was very slurred and his balance was swayed.” The Fayetteville District Court said the case was dismissed on March 30 after blood samples were negative. Levy was ultimately fired April 13.
He said he doesn’t know what hospital investigations occurred between March 1 and April 13.
Kelvin Parks, the interim medical center director for the hospital, wrote to the Mississippi board on June 7 that Levy “significantly failed to meet generally-accepted standards of clinical practice that constituted an imminent threat to patient welfare.” Two days later, the Arkansas physician program revoked its advocacy of Levy due to “non-compliance with daily check-in requirements and failure to return phone calls to the AMF.”
The Mississippi program notified the license board on June 20 that it too would cease advocacy for Levy, and Mississippi revoked his license the following day. Levy’s licenses in California and Florida are still active.
At a town hall Monday morning, Parks told a crowd of veterans that 3,000 cases have now been reviewed, but did not provide an update on the number of missed diagnoses. The hospital previously said that out of 911 cases, they had found 7 missed diagnoses and one possible death.
Veterans and their family members asked questions about their personal health concerns after receiving a letter that they were one of about 19,800 veterans whose cases were now being reviewed.
Parks said the hospital intends to have the review completed within six months, “barring no unforeseen circumstances.” The review is being conducted by a combination of VA and private doctors. The VA Office of Inspector General is also conducting an investigation to determine whether the hospital acted properly throughout the case.”
Full Article At: “https://www.kasu.org/post/former-va-pathologist-denies-being-impaired-duty”
*** The VA is the Deadliest Health Care System in America. ***
“Lafayette County women charged in World War II veteran’s 2017 death”
by WREG News Channel 3
“JACKSON, Miss. — Two former employees of a Mississippi veterans home have been charged with manslaughter in the 2017 death of a 93-year-old World War II veteran.
Police charged 25-year-old Jeanee Dunn of Oxford and 41-year-old Bridget Austin of Abbeville with manslaughter by culpable negligence, more than a year after Durley Bratton died in April 2017.
Oxford Police Chief Joey East told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday that investigators long suspected Dunn and Austin had dropped Bratton and then put him back in bed without telling anyone, leaving him to die of his injuries. The investigation began after officials at a Memphis, Tennessee, hospital where Bratton was taken contacted police, days before he died.
However, East said investigators felt they didn’t have enough evidence to charge anyone until autopsy results were returned on July 2, concluding Bratton died of blunt-force trauma.
“We had interviewed the ladies involved and our investigation was pending a lot on the autopsy and medical examiner’s information,” East said”
Full Article At: “https://wreg.com/2018/07/11/lafayette-county-women-charged-in-world-war-ii-veterans-2017-death/”
Old Style Loan Sharking at the VA Nursing Home.
“Luzerne County man, 82, sets fire to neighbor’s window over $21 debt, police say”
by Keith Schweigert, Fox 43
“LUZERNE COUNTY — Angered during a dispute over $21, an 82-year-old Luzerne County man set fire to a neighbor’s apartment window and used his cane to knock over a flower pot and a television on her property, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs police force.
Vincent D’Allessandro, of Plains, is charged with arson, burglary, terroristic threats and criminal mischief in the incident, which occurred Saturday night at a transitional veteran housing unit at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
According to the criminal complaint affidavit, D’Allessandro believed his neighbor owed him $21, and spent hours on Saturday pounding and kicking her door demanding repayment. He allegedly slid a note under the victim’s door that read, “Slip what you owe me under my door or (my) next visit will not be so friendly,” the criminal complaint says.
D’Allessandro then used his cane to poke through a screen in the victim’s window, knocking over a flower pot and damaging her flat-screen television, according to the criminal complaint.”
Full Article At: “https://fox43.com/2018/07/17/luzerne-county-man-82-sets-fire-to-neighbors-window-over-21-debt-police-say/”
“Homeless, quadriplegic veteran living outside VA hospital struggles to get health care”
Mike Mikesell is 49 years old. He’s an honorably discharged Navy veteran, according to a document from the Department of Veterans Affairs office. He and people trying to help him say the VA hospital in Seattle continues to reject him for care.(KIRO7.com)
He needs medical service so often he’s living in a tent just feet from the VA Puget Sound Health Care System. Mikesell said he had a good-paying job, but then he got very sick and became homeless.”
Full Article At: “https://www.whio.com/news/national/homeless-quadriplegic-veteran-living-outside-hospital-struggles-get-health-care/JQDT4F442Y6Wic5XF4pqON/”
“Police: Jonesborough woman threatens men with butcher knife, hidden sword”
Johnson City Press • Updated Aug 9, 2018 at 6:12 PM
“Johnson City police arrested a Jonesborough woman who they say threatened two men with a butcher knife and a hidden sword.
On Wednesday, police responded to reports of a bloody woman walking around the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Mountain Home campus to find Kathy Whitson, 53, 903 Depot St., sitting on the sidewalk in front of 23 Veterans Way with a small cut on her hand, a press release said.
Officers learned that Whitson had assaulted two men inside the residence, according to the release.
The press release said Whitson grabbed one of the men from behind and took a wooden cane, which contained a hidden sword inside, from him. Whitson pulled the sword and pointed it at the man. The second man managed to get the sword away from Whitson, police said, before she chased him with a butcher knife into a bedroom. She stabbed at the bedroom door with the knife, then stabbed a bar table, where her hand slipped and she cut it, police said.
Whitson was treated for her injury at Franklin Woods Community Hospital before she was jailed at the Washington County Detention Center on two counts of aggravated assault. She was being held on $20,000 bond and was arraigned Thursday afternoon.”
Full Article At: “https://www.johnsoncitypress.com/law-enforcement/2018/08/09/Police-Jonesborough-woman-threatens-men-with-sword-butcher-knife”
Police arrest local man for carrying canned beverages, razor
BY ALLISON WRABEL Aug 11, 2018
“Local firearms and veterans affairs advocate John Miska is arrested by police on the Downtown Mall after purchasing canned beverages, a razor and other banned items from a mall pharmacy story.”
Full Article At: “https://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/veterans-advocate-miska-arrested-after-cvs-purchase/article_7b75d2ae-9d6f-11e8-8108-131894ffdf26.html”
“Local veteran John Miska, who last August tried to take down the tarp over the city’s statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, was arrested Saturday after he successfully made it through the security checkpoint.
His arrest came after he pushed his walker to the CVS Pharmacy and purchased two cases of canned Arizona Iced Tea, a razor blade and other items.
City emergency restrictions banned metal beverage containers, razors and other sharp objects and required that those items purchased from stores on the mall be left in bags.
Miska, an Albemarle County resident, said he was downtown because he “won’t let bullies dictate to me what I can and cannot do in a free society.”
“Here it is, they attack my First, my Second and my Fourth Amendment rights because of no credible threat,” he said of the downtown restrictions. “Were there any permits issued down here for anyone to demonstrate? Do we have anybody organized to demonstrate in our city today? No. So here we have the populous being cowed under virtual martial law, and I refuse to be intimidated.”
He said he normally goes downtown on Saturdays to shop and get a sandwich at Timberlakes, but he was planning to go to CVS to pick up cases of the iced tea, which were on sale and that the store was holding for him.
“I just picked up a car that has decals on the back window that I need to take off, so I need to find some razor blades, some single-edged razor blades, for a scraper,” Miska said, once in the store. “You know, they’re banned, too, aren’t they?”
He said he was buying the items to show “the hypocrisy of just banning stuff.” He also purchased bug spray in an aerosol can.
“I have purchased these legally purchased items in the banned area, and now, before I wheel back to my car, I want to wheel someplace to sit down with my purchases and have lunch,” Miska said.
When he exited the store, a state trooper approached him to talk to him about his going into CVS to buy a razor blade.
“If you want to place me under arrest because I possess these items, take me,” Miska said.
“Well, I don’t think we’re at that point just yet,” the trooper replied. “I hope we don’t get to that point.”
“I’m here going about my lawful occasions and I refuse to be bullied nor have my rights severed because of an illegitimate, illegal edict put forth by the city of Charlottesville,” Miska said. “If you want to enforce that edict upon me at this time, take me to jail.”
Miska said he intended to go to lunch and then take his purchases to his car, and the officer offered to escort him to his car before he went to lunch. Miska declined because of his walking disability.
Miska, who had the cases of tea on his walker and the other items in a shopping bag on the handle of his walker, said he objected to any searches and seizures of his property.”
“Miami-Dade man accused of stealing nearly $100K from VA arrested at MIA”
by Brian Entin, News 7 WSVN
“MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) – U.S. Marshals at the Miami International Airport arrested a South Florida man accused of conspiring with his brother to steal thousands of dollars from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Daniel Barros was taken into custody when his flight from Madrid landed at MIA, Sunday afternoon.
Barros and his brother, former VA Police Officer Adolfo Barros, are accused of stealing almost $100,000 from the Veterans Affairs Caregiver Support Program.
Investigators said Adolfo Barros signed his brother up to be his paid caregiver, and for two years they collected a monthly check.
The brothers now face up to 20 years in prison.”
Full Article At: “https://wsvn.com/news/local/miami-dade-man-accused-of-stealing-nearly-100k-from-va-arrested-at-mia/”
“Federal special agent accused of conspiring with brother to steal $100,000 from VA”
Brian Entin | Daniel Cohen, News 7 WSVN
“(WSVN) – A federal agent is accused of stealing money from the department where he used to work, and investigators say that money was supposed to be helping injured veterans. 7’s Brian Entin investigates.
Brian Entin: “Mr. Barros, is there anything you want to say to the veterans who say they needed that money?”
Adolfo Barros: “No, I don’t. Talk to my attorney.”
Adolfo Barros didn’t say much as he walked out of court. He’s accused of stealing nearly $100,000 from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Brian Entin: “The Feds say that you claimed you were injured, but that you weren’t, and that you scammed the system.”
Adolfo Barros: “No comment.”
Barros was in the Marines and is a former VA police officer … until two weeks ago, when U.S. Marshals arrested him, he was a Health and Human Services special agent.
His job was investigating fraud, but prosecutors say he was the one stealing.
According to Barros’ indictment, he submitted “false and fraudulent documents to the VA,” claiming he had “a serious injury in the line of duty.”
Barros signed his brother Daniel up to be his paid caregiver. For two years, they collected a monthly check through the VA’s Caregiver Support Program.”
Full Article At: “https://wsvn.com/news/investigations/federal-special-agent-accused-of-conspiring-with-brother-to-steal-100000-from-va/”
What scum fuck humans. Hanging or firing squad is too good for them.
I vote for public square crucifixion. All veterans will be accommodated and provided with rocks to throw.
If your injuries prevent throwing you will be provided with a free wrist rocket slingshot or a burly aid to throw them on your behalf.
Feed them to the fuckin lions on public access tv. Free high def streaming for vet households.
“DVD vendor accused of pill sale outside VA hospital in North Little Rock”
By Clara Turnage, The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Posted: August 16, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.
“A Little Rock man was caught selling hydrocodone pills outside a Veterans Affairs hospital, according to a police report.
Officers from the Fort Roots VA medical campus arrested Galvin Charles Dennis, 63, on Tuesday on accusations that he was caught selling opiates outside the medical facility, the report said.
A patient at the hospital reported seeing Dennis sell a man a DVD for $6, police said. The man then reportedly took the DVD, pulled a white pill from its sleeve and returned the case to Dennis.
When they arrested Dennis, officers said they found 16 hydrocodone pills in a clear bag. They also reportedly seized the DVD case.
Dennis was charged with possession of a Schedule III drug with intent to sell and was booked into the Pulaski County jail, but it was unclear if he was still in custody Wednesday evening.”
Full Article At: “https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2018/aug/16/dvd-vendor-accused-of-pill-sale-at-clin/”
“Former VA employee in Arkansas arrested in April rape, abduction”
by Clara Turnage, The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, July 19, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.
“A former Veterans Affairs employee was arrested Tuesday and charged with raping a woman in April, according to court records.
North Little Rock police officers were dispatched April 20 to West 18th Street, where they encountered a woman who told them she had been raped.
The woman said she met a man who asked for her phone number and asked her to come out to eat with him, court documents say. Instead, the man reportedly took her to his residence in Little Rock, where they had consensual sex before he told her he wanted to have anal sex.
The woman told him no, that she did not want to do that, but, according to an affidavit, he grabbed a handgun and told her he would kill her if she refused. The woman told officers that she struck the man with a shoe, hit him and pushed him away, but that he told her “it was turning him on because she was fighting,” the report said.
The woman told officers the man overpowered and raped her then took her to Taco Bell, where he bought her food before leaving her on the side of the road. The woman immediately called police.
Evidence from a rape kit and samples taken from the food and drink containers left with the woman had some verifiable DNA that the state Crime Laboratory said belonged to Jocoby Lamar Carter, 30.
While officers were still investigating the crime, the woman said the man began texting her, asking when he could see her again and how much it would cost, according to the affidavit. The woman replied, confronting the man about the rape, but he told her she was “texting the wrong person,” according to reports.
On May 10, the woman called police and told them the man was driving by her residence “smiling” and “blowing her kisses.”
In her original testimony, the woman told officers the man had been wearing white scrubs when she met him.
Detectives submitted the case to the prosecutor’s office on April 25 for review. The arrest was approved on July 2 and officers obtained a warrant for Carter’s arrest on July 11.
Officers arrested Carter Tuesday on charges of rape and kidnapping. He was in the Pulaski County jail in lieu of $50,000 bond as of Wednesday evening.
Full Article At: “https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2018/jul/19/va-employee-arrested-in-april-rape-abdu/”
Just another pain in the ass VA employee. Pun intended!
Have you ever wondered who owns some of the crack houses and tweaker parlors?
“Three arrested in Hermiston drug bust”
Two small children taken into protective custody at the scene
By Jayati Ramakrishnan, East Oregonian, Published on August 15, 2018 8:40PM
“Capt. Scott Clark said in the release that he had attended the last of many eviction hearings for the occupants of the property, and the property is now owned by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston explained in an email to the East Oregonian why the house was owned by the VA. He said on March 17, 2016, a woman was stabbed in the neck at that house, and police arrested Richard David Taylor, who was incarcerated at Two Rivers Correctional Institution. Edmiston said Taylor was a veteran, and the house was financed through the VA.
“Our problem has been trying to get someone to claim ownership so we can get people out of the house that have been squatting for the last 1.5 years,” he wrote. “We sent detectives to Two Rivers and Mr. Taylor advised he had no interest in the house since he was incarcerated.””
Full Article At: “https://www.eastoregonian.com/eo/local-news/20180815/three-arrested-in-hermiston-drug-bust”
I drove a truck from 91 to 2004 and use to drive by that area on my way to make a delivery in Pasco. I allways wondered what was in those bunkers. Kinda bothered me.
The VA has a first-world budget which they use to provide veterans less than third-world medical care and benefits. It is about FIFTEEN YEARS PAST TIME TO FIX THE DAMN BROKEN VA:
1. IMMEDIATELY recognize 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.
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.
1973 – 1976 USMC
1978 – 1993 USN
This is still by far the best comment and plan on here bar none.
GOOD ONE! OUCH!
Just curious, are you referring to me?
I love being a firebrand. I’ve already had the VA cops called on me twice with insufficient evidence.
They will never stop the truth no matter how many of us they murder.
Yeah James, gotta watch out for those blue falcon’s.
They’re everywhere crowing it up. Must be a secret breeding program.
Used to take them out to the woodline for a counseling statement but now they are given the whole cookie jar for being rat fucks.
The devil loves blue falcons. I heard there is a special sex dungeon in the fiery deep just for buddy fuckers.
This is truly depressing news – Lawrence probably doesn’t want to assume oversight of the extra work that comes with recognizing these deserving vets. It makes me sick to my stomach that someone like Lawrence can take such a position, all from the comfortable position he occupied in his ivory tower. He should walk a day in these vets’ shoes, or visit and talk with them and their families, or have to decide between paying a medical bill or putting food on the table.
Do you have any suggestions for the names of senators we should write or email to urge their support for these vets? Do you have an email for Lawrence?
Thanks for always keeping us in the loop on important issues like these.
Your elected officials don’t give a fuck.
Wake up lady.
What ever you guy’s and hall’s say about the VA. Never say anything like I, we, should blow up the VA.
The VA is using this language to call the cop’s on veteran’s. A veteran became mad after he traveled to his appointment, Just to be told it was cancelled.
He was angry and another veteran per the VA said he hear that veteran talk about blowing up the VA and he was arrested.
This the same argument the VA used in the agent orange/diabetes argument. It’s not their place to VOTE On the law,its to abide by it. If they canceled some assisant to the assistant VA positions they could have plenty pf money to pay for this and other claims.
Where the fuck is potus?
Organize and burn it to the ground or lay down and take it.
Fuck you VA. We’ll be seeing you in hell and we will be the pit bosses.
Satan recognizes talent and you have none you communist scum sucking anal dwelling shit goblins.
August 16, 2018 at 1:59 pm
“Where the fuck is potus?”
As far as I can tell, the POTUS is dreaming of a 21-gun salute, cannons, tanks and plethora of Active Duty and Veteran’s to walk in “His parade”., That “He” the POTUS DEMANDED.
Ugh, what an egotistical putz.
* Trump’s big military parade will reportedly cost $80 million more than expected
President Trump’s long-desired military parade is now expected to cost $80 million more than expected, CNBC reported Thursday.
Congress has already authorized the parade, which is slated to take place on November 10 in Washington.
In May, when Republicans were getting ready to include funding for the parade in their annual defense bill, a Republican aide clarified that any equipment used would be at the discretion of Defense Secretary James Mattis.
“Of course you’re gonna see a 21-gun salute, you’re gonna see firing of cannons, and things like that — that’s OK — that’s traditional ceremonial function,” the aide said. “What we don’t wanna see are tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue.”
But the CNBC report noted that the parade is currently expected to include “approximately eight tanks, as well as other armored vehicles, including Bradleys, Strykers and M113s.”
Trump demanded that the administration begin exploring a large parade for himself after attending the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Trump’s parade, which will run down Pennsylvania Ave, is slated for November 10.
✓✓ Now, for My Personal Rantings on Trumped up, insecure and egotistical whiplash “FORCED” Military parade Nov 10th…
States, in part;
“Of course you’re gonna see a 21-gun salute,…”
^ Why the fuck does Trump’s deserve 21-gun salute?
Especially when our fallen “brothers and sisters in arms’ Military/Veteran members are no longer authorized the benefits of “21-gun salute” during memorial/burial honor’s, due to budget cuts.
It’s a sad day…. Ugh.
Be VERY careful there Zackirk. I can see you have not read your enlistment contract as if you did you would have found that they can recall you to active duty up till the age of 70 for NCO’s and 72 for officers, just like they did to the retired Col that they recalled at age 68 and sent him to the middle east to work in a hospital for 4 years until they had to let him retire again for good this time. And if they do recall you, you can be charged with disrespecting a superior officer and court martialed under the UCMJ. And if that happens then you lose ALL your VA benefits.
So say what you want but keep it respectful to superiors as with all the stink that Ben has stirred up over the years, you know damn well that the people in DC watch this thread and threads like it just looking for people who make statement slike you to make an example out of.
August 16, 2018 at 8:08 pm
Be VERY careful there Zackirk.
My grandfather was recalled a few times after his 32-year USN enlisted-to-officer shipboard career.
Anything could happen, right?
Due to my 20-yr retirement with added bonus of 100% (SC) Disability, I’m slightly damaged and won’t be attending this untimely parade.
Hell, I can barely make it to SEATTLE VA’s POLY TRAUMA Appt.
Been struggling for over 2-years to schedule appt for part 2of2 of Brain imagining for multiple TBI’s damage.
Transportation is problematic on “Wednesdays” when Poly Trauma Staff are currently operating out of SEA REG VA. Ugh.
Additional BARRIERS, to my personal overall health & daily quality of life challenges, include,
as per VA OIG’s May2018 investigation into “ongoing lack of mental health care…” At the Mount Vernon VA CBOC, part under the Seattle VA.
Long story short, the (mental health) staff are overwhelmingly withholding necessary daily medications from Veteran’s, whom show positive for cannabis, but otherwise show NO Abuse for prescribed medications.
I’m basically deteriorating, overall health wise, from years of abusive games played by unqualified VA Mental Health Prescribers.
Local VA CBOC, at one time, was staffed with such a wonderful group of caring individual’s. Until they were slowly beaten until they gave up & moved on. Can’t blame them. Now we’re (CBOC) left with less than adequate care from VA’s even greater inadequate replacements.
Apologies for ranting, I just go wherever my damaged brain takes me, roll with it? Lol.
I will be careful, thanks.
p.s. Ironically, my phone started flashing & freaking out after I posted that comment….. haha.
Trump’s military parade planned for November postponed: Pentagon
AOL.COM 3 hrs ago
WASHINGTON, Aug 16 (Reuters) – A military parade requested by U.S. President Donald Trump that had been planned for November in Washington has been postponed until at least next year, the Defense Department said on Thursday.
“We originally targeted November 10, 2018 for this event but have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019,” Defense Department Spokesman Colonel Rob Manning said in a statement.
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was unclear exactly what caused the postponement but the increased cost of the event had caused concern and could be one reason.
The parade to honor U.S. military veterans and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One could cost more than $90 million, the U.S. official said, citing provisional planning figures that were nearly three times an earlier White House estimate.
The official said the cost estimate of about $92 million had not yet been approved by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and could still be changed and more options could be included.
In February, Trump asked the Pentagon to explore a parade in celebration of American troops, after the Republican president marveled at the Bastille Day military parade he attended in Paris last year.
Earlier this year, the White House budget chief said the parade would cost U.S. taxpayers between $10 million and $30 million.
It was not immediately clear why the recent cost estimate was so much higher than the earlier one, and what exactly it included.
A Pentagon memo from March said the Washington parade route would have a “heavy air component at the end of the parade.”
“Include wheeled vehicles only, no tanks – consideration must be given to minimize damage to local infrastructure,” the memo said.
Critics say the government should not spend money on a costly display of troops and weapons when the Pentagon is struggling to cover the expenses of training, support and personnel.
The District of Columbia Council had ridiculed the idea of a parade on Pennsylvania Avenue, the 1.2-mile (1.9-km) stretch between the Capitol and the White House that is also the site of the Trump International Hotel.
Military parades in the United States are generally rare. Such parades in other countries are usually staged to celebrate victories in battle or showcase military might.
In 1991, tanks and thousands of troops paraded through Washington to celebrate the ousting of President Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces from Kuwait in the Gulf War.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali Editing by Alistair Bell and Sandra Maler)
Is this the same 70,000 (OTH/PTSD) veterans who are represented by the five Vietnam veterans, who filed the initial FOIA lawsuit in May 2015? Misappropriation or diversion of veteran benefits for personal gain, does not negate the fact that the benefits are owed. If money is mismanaged for veterans, over 40 years, it will be a costly fix. Life would be so much easier, if the government would hold themselves accountable. Covering up mistakes of the past will always haunt your future. It’s time to move on.
Delay, Deny, Hope we die…but one thing they don’t consider is that we all die…
Face it, the gov doesn’t give a sh!t about active duty or veterans. They’re just interested in how much $ they can skim and put in their pockets!
Of COURSE the VA wants to save money by denying what is owed to these Vets. Anyone remember that the money they saved was used for bonuses and trips and parties and prizes charges that were proved? They have to pay this money out, there goes their VA paid trips to Cancun and the Bahamas.
Even my cat this morning decided to spell this out in his litter box, brown form-factor, in response to the VA’s blatant ignorance of science in order to deny and hope we all die sooner than later: “FUCK OFF, VA!!”
I just received this.
“Report: Oatmeal, breakfast foods contain potentially unsafe amounts of weed killer
“The Environmental Working Group has reported that a number of popular breakfast foods contain dangerous amounts of cancer-linked glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. (Josh Edelson / AFP/Getty Images)
By: “Marc Daalder”
From: “Detroit Free Press”
“A number of popular breakfast foods, including cereals, granola bars and instant oats, were tested and found to contain potentially dangerous amounts of cancer-linked glyphosate, the main ingredient in weed killer.”
“The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an environmental advocacy organization that conducted the study, said Wednesday that glyphosate was found in all but five of 29 oat-based foods that were tested.”
“Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, the most heavily used pesticide in the United States. Every year, according to the EWG, more than 250 million pounds of glyphosate is sprayed on American crops.”
“The World Health Organization has determined that glyphosate is “probably carcnogenic to humans” and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a safety level for the potentially dangerous chemical. Just last week, Monsanto was ordered by a court to pay nearly $300 million to a man who claims his terminal cancer was caused by exposure to Roundup. Hundreds of other cases are working their way through the courts.”
“Monsanto strongly disputes the finding that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen and notes that over four decades, the EPA has consistently supported the safe and effective use of glyphosate.”
“The company notes on its website that on Dec. 18, the EPA stated the following: “The draft human health risk assessment concludes that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. The agency’s assessment found no other meaningful risks to human health when the product is used according to the pesticide label. The agency’s scientific findings are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by a number of other countries as well as the 2017 National Institute of Health Agricultural Health Survey.”
“Why Americans are eating less cold cereal for breakfast”
“The products tested by the EWG showed levels dramatically lower than current EPA standard for glyphosate.”
“For example, the amount allowed in grains is 30 parts per million. Most of the products tested by the EWA showed glyphosate levels that measured in parts per billion.”
That’s not the only “carcinogen” found in “Round-Up”!
Another one is the one in Agent Orange – trychlorotholene (sic)! Look it up, please…..
Here’s the main chemicals in Agent Orange – along with the “unwanted bi-product”!
“The two active ingredients in the Agent Orange herbicide combination were equal amounts of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), which contained traces of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). The dioxin TCDD was an unwanted byproduct of herbicide production.Jun 3, 2015”
SCREWED AGAIN, seems like the VA will get to put it off and screw deserving Veterans of their entitled benefits, the Senate should know better and best come through for these Veterans
How to forgive? I’m no expert on the subject to be sure. All I can say is that, for me, only when I truly realize how much I need forgiveness, am I willing , or only then do I become willing to forgive others that have harmed me, and that willingness, is the key that opens the door to a new beginning and a better way. Forgiveness not to be confused with weakness.
It is ok to forgive someone who harmed you. Unfortunately what the VA is doing to other veteran’s is deadly.
Sometimes people that harm other’s, do not deserve forgiveness. They deserve to be placed under the jail.
300 thousand veteran’s have died waiting for treatment that never came.
I not anyone else, should forgive them for letting them dye. Remember each veteran who has died is not just a veteran, they are a father, mother of someone who will have to live with out them.
I still do not know why people use fake name’s when they post on any site.
Are they afraid of retaliation or hiding who they really are.
I think i understand what your saying James, maybe, but forgive and punishment are too different things. Do I want the fuckin VA rat bastards punished for what they did ,yes, do i want the chemical company’s punished for what they did, yes. Do i want the leaders and their cohorts punished for covering this atrocity up, yes. They destroyed one of the finest forces ever assembled, do i want them punished yes absolutely. To forgive is to get rid of the anger and resentment toward the offense, because it will eat away at you and chew and gnaw until you finally destroy yourself and then they win again. It’s like a double whammy. The infliction of punishment is the penalty for the offense, and in my opinion they should be hung, or in front of a firing squad, in other words they should be executed for a capital offense, after a trial of course.
Why do people use fake names? Maybe because someone out there, James, may not understand what’s being communicated, and turn hostile and do or say something that they may regret. But i want you to know that i’am frustrated and and angry too about this situation the same as you are.
This out today from: *”military.com”*
If y’all are interested, google it and read what VA is not doing for veterans!
“VA Accused of Failing to Pay Bills for Health Care Company”
From; “The Associated Press”
Dated: 16 Aug 2018
By “Michael Casey”
CONCORD, N.H. — Months of unpaid invoices to the Department of Veterans Affairs has prompted a health care provider in New Hampshire to stop servicing more than a dozen veterans in New Hampshire.
OK, it comes down to $7 billion dollars for the “blue water vets”! Which, if passed through the Senate, will (allegedly) go to these vets!
Hmmmmmm, sounds to me like the VA doesn’t want to make things right. Because, that’s less money in VA’s management’s pockets!
First and foremost, the VA does not have the authority to cut another program to pay for this or any other benefit. Every. single. time Congress enacts a law to grant (rightfully earned) benefits to veterans; the VA stomps its feet and threatens to hold its breath unless they get their way (deny the benefits). The VA has used the “not enough conclusive evidence” argument for so long; it is truly like the Boy Who Cried Wolf. The VA no longer has credibility in research. They refuse to ever accept any research that doesn’t support their lopsided, archaic and tyrannical belief that veterans don’t deserve benefits. Everyone needs to be reminded that the VA’s sole purpose is to provide benefits and care for those who have suffered due to their service. The VA sees themselves as an “insurer” – STILL consisting using “Loss Assessments” and outdated fiduciary beliefs to keep veterans from receiving the benefits they’ve earned. This latest temper tantrum of the VA’s should be a stark wake-up call for Congress and the American taxpayers. It is time that we #OverhaulTheVA.
Amen!!!!! Perfectly said.
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