Failure of the primary mission at the VA – vets died while VA bureaucrats obsessed over green energy installation

VA-Phoenix solar panels

VA office – Phoenix loaded up with solar panels, but can’t keep a schedule to fulfill their primary mission. Photo: Lafferty Solar.

Green energy gets the green light while people that served our country with honor have to wait in line, dying while waiting.

For example, does anyone other than Eco-zealots give a flying f about having solar car ports at the VA?

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at its Phoenix Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, plans to install a 3.003-megawatt (MW) DC solar electric system. This project will expand a 630-kW carport system currently under construction by SunWize Systems at the site.

It seems to me that the VA has failed their primary mission, and in a spectacularly bad way. Nobody other than eco-zealots gives a rats-ass if your office is sustainable – but they DO want you to adhere to your primary mission take care of veterans.  The word “shameful” doesn’t begin to describe the FUBAR at the VA. – Anthony

From the Washington Times Opinion Section: 

The administrators at the Veterans Administration have apparently been busy while old soldiers waited to see a doctor, after all. Serving those who served is not necessarily a priority, but saving the planet is Job 1. Solar panels and windmills can be more important than the touch of a healing hand.

The department early on set up an Office of Green Management Programs designed to “help VA facilities nationwide recognize opportunities to green VA, and to reward innovative ‘green’ practices and efforts by individual facilities and staff within the VA.” This sometimes means paying more attention to greening the department and saving the polar ice caps than to health care.

In the department’s words, it adopted a far more important mission to “become more energy efficient and sustainable, focusing primarily on renewable energy, energy and water efficiency, [carbon-dioxide] emissions reduction, and sustainable buildings.”

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68 thoughts on “Failure of the primary mission at the VA – vets died while VA bureaucrats obsessed over green energy installation

  1. Heads should roll, and the jury is still out on whether that is literal or figurative.

  2. This is what happens when we let the lunatics take over the asylum. It’s rampant now pretty much everywhere in the Western World. How did this happen?

  3. This seems to be the game plan in the medical field all over. Nice buildings with amenities out the wazoo and crappy care. The VA has had a pretty good record of care, up until the last fiasco.

  4. “The Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires all federal agencies to be getting 7.5 percent of their electrical energy from renewable sources by the year 2013, and every year thereafter.”- Russ Goering, Energy Engineer for the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center
    ——
    The OKC VA solar installation cost $4.6 million and saves $110,000 per year, giving a 41+ year payback, at current electricity prices. The solar installation has a life expectancy of 20 years.

    http://city-sentinel.com/2012/11/va-funds-solar-energy-project-in-oklahoma-city/

    The good doctors and care givers at the VA hospital in OKC saved my life and I have nothing but praise and gratitude for their efforts. The VA system has the potential to be a model of treatment, but suffers from the same political incompetence from above, as all the rest of the US bureaucracy.

  5. Keep in mind people the VA is a 100% government run health care system just in case anyone was fantasizing about a single payer health care utopia. If this is how they treat vets how do you think they are going to treat the rest of us?

  6. Alan Robertson, they were putting those panels up when I was last at the VA in Little Rock. My brother was the sick veteran. He spent 11 days in ICU. That ICU staff was a crack unit, many of the nurses were veterans. They knew what to do and how to do it. They saved my brother’s life. Period. Unfortunately, outside that unit, things could get dicey. Once my brother got a room upstairs, the service degraded immediately. The nurses either didn’t care or weren’t trained or simply had no business being a nurse anywhere, let along the VA. So, yeah, there are some highly skilled, highly reputable staff in The Veterans Affairs. But it’s just like today’s modern science. A bunch of rotten apples are spoiling the whole batch.

  7. In BC schools there is so much emphasis on green “sustanability” they forget to teach the kids!

  8. No different in the UK.

    The NHS contributes only 3% of UK carbon output, which itself represents only 1.5% of world output. Yet it is obsessed with reduing it’s ‘carbon footprint’ with layers of specialists and jobsworths driving it from one end, and the Goverment financially penalising Health Trusts at the other end for not doing more. Meanwhile, the poor bloody medical staff are trying to improve health care in the middle of this ludicrous waste of monetary and human resource

  9. Latitude says:
    June 20, 2014 at 9:12 am
    anyone else have the feeling our government has grow too big…..

    By a factor of 10

  10. I should add that the situation in the UK National Health Service dscribed above applies to all government funded institutions. Our political leaders should be locked up and the key thrown into the great Trenberth heat sink.

  11. …plans to install a 3.003-megawatt (MW) DC solar electric system.

    Don’t they realize that 0.003 MW will be aged out between placing the first panel to eventual final completion, if they could ever see it all while taking normal electrical losses into consideration?

    Are these the same type bureaucrats who will praise saving 3/10 of a cent per hour per patient by switching to verifying patients are receiving the right medication in the right doses for only 37% of time, as that’s the breakpoint where patient care is only marginally affected according to the $138,500 study they commissioned?

  12. …and did any of the VA administration fail to get their bonuses while many an ailing, deserving vet got the short end of the stick or worse?

    Absolutely disgraceful.

  13. An Office of GREED Management Programs , designed to reward cronies and neglect Vets .
    FUBAR is an accurate description .

  14. If you take the complaints/concerns about the VA then change the letters VA for NHS you will find that the same complaints/concerns are made. The problems are there because they are both bureaucratically run health systems. Bureaucracies run for the benefit of the bureaucracy not for the people that have the misfortune to use them.

    The NHS in the early days was staffed by people with the ideals of the organization in mind rather than bureaucrats. The same almost certainly pertained for the VA. That sense of personal duty has now greatly reduced and the organizations are run by people who want to grow and protect the bureaucracy.

    Do web searches for:
    Waiting times NHS
    malnutrition dehydration NHS

  15. My wife is a disabled vet who requires regular treatment for her condition. We recently moved, which means she has to wait months to see a primary care physician. Then she has to get a referral to the Pain Clinic and wait months for that. Then she has to get evaluated, tested and put on the treatment schedule. The best estimates are this will take a year. There’s a waiting list for every step.

    We can’t get a direct referral from the Pain Clinic at the old treatment center to the Pain Clinic at the local hospital. The process essentially starts over. The only thing missing is the initial wait to file a claim. If we tell the old center we’re relocating, her treatment goes into limbo for months.

  16. Maybe the administrators at the VA should themselves be ‘vetted’. My favoured procedure is the use of two house-bricks. It doesn’t hurt, unless you catch your thumbs! (Brit joke).

  17. We need a special prosecutor instead of Holder for the VA scandal and lost emails at IRS.

  18. Umm, now hold on a minute, here… Didn’t the Algore win the peace prize because his effort to bring the catastrophe that is global warming to forefront of our collective consciousness prevented certain global suffering and war?? We all know that’s true. Therefore, those solar car charging stations probably saved the lives thousands of future soldiers. My God! Those soldiers haven’t even been born yet, and you deniers want them to die? They’re just children! Shame on you! It’s only $20 million. So what if we have to sacrifice a few old soldiers whose usefulness to the state is withering. I mean, we’re saving children from the horrors of 0.4 degrees, and the violent post-apocalyptic world that will result. The collective… er, I mean, the children of the future need us! Praise Mother Gaia! Excelsior!

  19. It is not even eco-friendly.

    Imagine how many tress could have been planted in the space those solar panels occupy. And the output does not reach a MWatt.

  20. I cannot criticize the government’s efforts over the past 2 decades to upgrade VA facilities. It was sorely needed. I worked in an old facility before it was torn down and replaced. The old facility was horrible. Just horrible. But the greening crap is another story will not pay dividends in the long haul as these systems will need replacement sooner than a good electrical panel and wiring feeding off of standard sourced electricity will. Any boost they get off their electricity bill from solar or wind is short term only.

    As for the medical care, I’ve been up close and personal with it, even providing some of it. The doctors and nurses are among the best with few exceptions. And some of their research has been sea-changing in terms of medical care in general. In addition, and even more importantly, when a veteran receives good service, he/she becomes a life-long grateful champion of VA care. Why would anyone screw with that?

    The only times I felt that the doctors and nurses were part of the problem was when they stepped outside what they were good at and did, for example, research, or visa versa, or rose to administration. Of the many that were good at all these things or some combination of them, a few were not good and should have stuck to just the one they were good at.

    It is the bureaucracy and the politicians on guard duty that let this happen that need a complete overhaul.

  21. become more energy efficient and sustainable,
    VA Managers, by taking focus away from your primary mission, you have endangered your own sustainability. Whether the VA itself sustains beyond this crisis, you the managers should be terminated forthwith.

    I’m not even going to ask “How much money did you save by your increased energy efficiency.” Spend a dollar to save a penny…. all in a government’s day’s work.

  22. This seems to be the game plan in the medical field all over. Nice buildings with amenities out the wazoo and crappy care. The VA has had a pretty good record of care, up until the last fiasco.

    It still does. The problem isn’t with the quality of care, it is with the difficulty of access. People wait months to get in to see somebody. The people they see are often top shelf and committed, but — there are a LOT of veterans, and it has been hard for them to keep up with the demand.

    rgb

  23. @Resourceguy at 11:50 am
    We need a special prosecutor instead of Holder for the VA scandal and lost emails at IRS.

    Name one Special Prosecutor that was worth the time, other than Archibald Cox?

    What we really need are Constitutional Amendments that
    1. make the Attorney General serve at the pleasure of Congress, not the President.
    2. make the holders of all Executive Offices subject to confirmation by the Senate subject to yearly renewal of appointments.

    Perhaps we need more than one Department of Justice. Who watches the Watchers? This would in fact serve the purpose of Special Prosecutor, but one permanently established that would have a quicker rise time with members already cleared for security. Think of it as a “Delta Force” compared to the DOJ’s Army.

  24. mpainter says:
    June 20, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Any veteran can tell you: the VA hospital care is the shame of this country.

    As a veteran I can say that your statement is absolutely false. Until recently VA healthcare has been the best available. Unfortunately bureaucracy has taken it’s toll. Below is from Business Week 2006
    =================================

    According to a Rand Corp. study, the VA system provides two-thirds of the care recommended by such standards bodies as the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality. Far from perfect, granted — but the nation’s private-sector hospitals provide only 50%. And while studies show that 3% to 8% of the nation’s prescriptions are filled erroneously, the VA’s prescription accuracy rate is greater than 99.997%, a level most hospitals only dream about. That’s largely because the VA has by far the most advanced computerized medical-records system in the U.S. And for the past six years the VA has outranked private-sector hospitals on patient satisfaction in an annual consumer survey conducted by the National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan. This keeps happening despite the fact that the VA spends an average of $5,000 per patient, vs. the national average of $6,300….

    Instead, the VA was reinvented in every way possible. In the mid-1990s, Dr. Kenneth W. Kizer, then the VA’s Health Under Secretary, installed the most extensive electronic medical-records system in the U.S. Kizer also decentralized decision-making, closed underused hospitals, reallocated resources, and most critically, instituted a culture of accountability and quality measurements. “Our whole motivation was to make the system work for the patient,” says Kizer, now director of the National Quality Forum, a nonprofit dedicated to improving health care. “We did a top-to-bottom makeover with that goal always in mind.” ….

    Not having to rely on piecemeal insurance payments means the VA can finance large-scale improvements such as the electronic medical-records system, up and running in all of its facilities since 2000. In contrast, only some 20% of civilian hospitals have computerized their patient records. Because the VA is a nationwide health-care system, its electronic network is national, which means all of its facilities can share data. When hospitals were evacuated from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, the VA’s patients were the only ones whose medical records could be accessed immediately anywhere in the country.

  25. I use the VA system and have had excellent care so far except for wait times. I understand that there are many many patients and too few medical personnel. If I need non emergency treatment and can afford it, I use local private physicians. One reason is that the VA hospital in my region is 75 miles north, and my assigned VA primary clinic is 52 miles south. Most of the staff I run into are veterans or family members of veterans and have that sense of family. It is amazing that the many of the staff who are neither just don’t seem to care as much. Surely the political appointments of administrators fall into the latter category and are one of the main causes of these problems.

  26. rgbatduke says:

    “The people they see are often top shelf and committed, but — there are a LOT of veterans, and it has been hard for them to keep up with the demand.”

    The VA budget has increased faster than the increase in veterans, so I’m not sure why they couldn’t keep up if they wanted to. One clue comes from a VA doctor who became a whistleblower. He said he tried to treat veterans who were in immediate need of surgery, but he could not schedule an operating room past 2:30 PM. And sometimes, when he had a room scheduled in the afternoon, they would closed down early. He would have to send his patient back after having them prepped and ready to go. Others have testified that doctors at some VA facilities refused to take more than 2 or 3 patients in the afternoon so they could leave early. (Apparently, Obama isn’t the only one who likes to golf.)

    When you can’t fire people for not doing their job, no amount of money will solve the problem. Hiring more healthcare workers will just allow them to knock off work even earlier in the day or not show up at all if the union can protect them and no one can be fired. There has to be accountability at the VA or the problems will only get worse.

  27. I smell a spin. I’ve heard this 7.6 million lbs blah blah blah quote before. Who figures the reduction in emissions? Is there one company that is providing these statistics? Do they have a list of things you can do to reduce your emission by 7.6 million lbs?

    Here is the reduction statement from the VA article:

    “The completed installation is expected to generate over 5.7 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually. This reduction in energy demand from the electric grid is equivalent to the reduction of more than 7.6 million pounds of CO2 emissions annually.”

    http://www.environmentalleader.com/2010/10/14/phoenix-va-med-center-plans-largest-solar-carport-installation/

    Here is one from an e-commuter article:

    C. Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Reduced The average roundtrip commute in the Twin Cities is 30 miles1. Based on data collected by eWorkPlace, people who telecommute reduce their total daily VMT by 47% versus non-teleworkers. Thus, on average, eWorkPlace partici- pants save a total of 163,500 vehicle miles of travel per week, equaling a savings of 7.8 million vehicle miles per year3.
    D. Emissions Reduced Based on fewer trips and the reduction in VMT, eWorkPlace participants save a total of 7.6 million pounds of CO2 annually2, which is equivalent to plant- ing 1,280 acres of forest3 and a value of emissions savings of approximately $129,4004.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=9&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CGsQFjAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.citizing.org%2Fdata%2Fprojects%2Fminnesotago%2FTeleworkInAction.pdf&ei=-Y6kU_TPENamyATPy4JQ&usg=AFQjCNG74T6iDhzDnGfPwyVU-hgykMg3Ow&sig2=lsS_VvxPyAiNySEltPAgLQ&bvm=bv.69411363,d.aWw

  28. Sandi says:
    June 20, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    mpainter says:
    June 20, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Any veteran can tell you: the VA hospital care is the shame of this country.

    As a veteran I can say that your statement is absolutely false. Until recently VA healthcare has been the best available. Unfortunately bureaucracy has taken it’s toll. Below is from Business Week 2006
    _____________________
    Sandi, I agree with you. A lot of veterans have lived a lot longer than we otherwise would have, thanks to the great care from the VA.

  29. The Portland Oregon VA killed my brother!
    My brother spent 5 years trying to convince the VA that something was wrong only to be told you are OK and you are as health as a horse.
    He went to a private Doctor looking for answers; In just one visit to that private Doctor found out that he had six months and he had terminal cancer.
    The VA spending 100e6’s on ‘GREEN’ crap and yet they can’t call-up medical tests for diagnosing cancer over a 5 years period. What’s wrong with this picture.
    Typical Government operation the cure worked but the patient died.

    Our servicemen and women deserve the best that can be offer for the service they rendered in times of conflict and peace .
    It is a national disgrace and criminal placing solar endeavors and bonuses over care giving to our veterans.

    To the veterans who read this blog: Thank you very much for your time and talent, service to the community and country.
    To the VA: May you get the service that you served to our veterans a slow agonizing sickness with countless numbers of misdiagnosis.
    To my brother: I miss you.

  30. mpainter says:
    June 20, 2014 at 9:36 am
    Any veteran can tell you: the VA hospital care is the shame of this country.

    The actual medical care my wife received in Kansas City was very good. Many of the doctors also worked at a major university research hospital nearby. Never any complaints about anybody actually providing care — the nurses,the assistants and technicians were all good.

    However, if you include the bureaucratic hassles, the scheduling, the wait times, the inability to get anyone on the phone, the physical plant, the condition of the buildings and the understaffing part of the hospital care, yes, then overall it is/was deplorable.

    If veterans had a choice between a civilian hospital and a VA facility, how many would choose the VA? You simply wouldn’t put up with it if you had a choice.

  31. Sandi, I was in on some of the pilot programs being examined to improve patient outcome in the VA system. It was called “Team Training In Geriatrics”, or something to that affect. I was a student scholar trainee in the pilot program. Our design was focused on reducing vet length of stay and relapse rates and also to promote stable and even improved health after the patient was discharged.

    Instead of individual disconnected serial treatment, go to this doctor then got to the next doctor and so on, geriatric vets were served by a team approach that included community based service providers as well as hospital services. The team, composed of every discipline available from hearing to podiatry, considered and planned hospital stay treatment while also working with community service providers who, being in on the issues that brought the vet to the hospital in the first place, would be more able to continue care after discharge. The metric of success was measured by length of stay and relapse rate.

    I didn’t stay long enough to find out what the results of the multi-site, multi-year study were. Anecdotally I witnessed several patients who improved more under study conditions than was the case prior to the onset of the study. These patients, often previously discharged with the all too familiar phrase “failure to thrive” or FTT, lost that discharge diagnosis for a lesser issue upon discharge. While I was on the team, I didn’t see very many relapsed vets, though to be sure there were some.

  32. Dear Michael,

    I’m so sorry about your brother. He deserved better. He had a right to rely on the U.S. Government to care for him, thus, he died in the line of duty.

    “All gave some, {your brother} gave all.”

    This is for you, in honor of your brother and all of the fine men and women who have served or who are serving in the U. S. Armed forces, defending the liberty guaranteed by the Constitution of the Unites States of America.

    “I Love This Land” by The Clark Family

    (posted on youtube by Grace Peeler)

    SUPPORT OUR TROOPS*
    *
    *
    *
    SUPPORT OUR TROOPS
    *
    *
    *
    SUPPORT — OUR — TROOPS!

    Stop the blood sacrifices of the Cult of Environmentalism — NOW.
    It doesn’t matter that such practices are a “sincerely held religious belief:”
    homicide violates a Higher Law.

    With deep sympathy and gratitude for your brother’s service,

    Janice

  33. @Michael I am truly sorry for your loss of a brother. That is shameful indeed. VA care isn’t the same everywhere.
    more soylent green! says:
    June 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    If veterans had a choice between a civilian hospital and a VA facility, how many would choose the VA? You simply wouldn’t put up with it if you had a choice.

    As I stated to Michael, VA care varies state to state. Fortunately for me in Wisconsin it is very good, and I would indeed choose the VA over civilian care any day. They are presently treating me for cancer, and the treatments seem to have been successful. Time will tell.

  34. Recycling secret waiting lists, hard drives, and backup tapes before investigators can get their grubby hands on them is being green baby! What could possibly be more important than being green? /sarc

  35. Dear United States,
    You are fortunate to have a VA. Here in the UK our warriors have nothing like that at all.
    We have a frightenly large proportion of our Veterans who become alcoholics, drug addicts and/or homeless people.
    Our so-called government provides no post bellum support whatsoever, hence the rise of charities like Help For Heroes.

  36. Janice,
    Thank you kindly.

    Sandi,
    Thank you and I agree that different VA centers / Hospitals different states have wide gray zones of quality. I have worked with vets that go to the VA in Palo Alto. The majority say that they have never had a problem or the service that they received was top notch once they get through the front door. When they get through the front door is a different issue. I have also worked with vets who are homeless and have mental issues (St Mary Center in Oakland). These with mental issues seem to be less attended to then those with physical aliments or disabilities.

    My beef is with the Portland facility what they did was wrong. Empathetic or apathetic, Portland appears to be very apathetic… ‘Excuse me you mistaken me for someone who gives a damn.’

    Our priorities are totally back ass words: political environmental policies or people? I pick people over political environmental policies.

    -Michael

  37. Going Green is going to hurt and skeptics have known that for a long time. Warmists have denied it for even longer.

  38. Pamela Gray says:
    June 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    I smell a spin. I’ve heard this 7.6 million lbs blah blah blah quote before. Who figures the reduction in emissions?

    It’s abbreviated WAG. :-)

  39. This makes me soooooo very angry……

    If it bothers you, please, please contact both your US Senator and Representatives and tell them in blunt terms just how angry this stupidity makes you and your expectations for their direct involvement for bringing this stupidity to an end.

    First, compose a blunt email with the key points you wish to make and send it to their office email addresses. Then call their office phone number and ask if you can speak directly to your Senator or Representative. Use your email as a guide to personally inform them of your disgust with this stupidity and your expectation that they will be directly involved in putting an end to it and getting the VA refocused on serving our warriors healthcare needs.

    If you need to locate the contact information for your US Senator and Representatives , use the following two links to do so.

    http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

    http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

    Do it today.

    Then check their schedules and see if they have any ‘townhall’ meetings scheduled in your area. If so, attend and give them the full measure of your disgust and anger.

    If they have a local office in your area, go there and blast them again.

    They won’t act unless we all blister them into action….

  40. ““shameful” doesn’t begin to describe the FUBAR at the VA. – Anthony”
    Criminal is the first that comes to my mind. At some point you really wonder “is this by design?”. I mean can you really screw things up this bad REPEATEDLY by accident, incompetence, etc?

  41. Alan Robertson says:
    June 20, 2014 at 9:05 am

    “The Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires all federal agencies to be getting 7.5 percent of their electrical energy from renewable sources by the year 2013, and every year thereafter.”- Russ Goering, Energy Engineer for the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center

    With the IRS getting rid of all its hard drives, they should save quite a bit of energy.

  42. MarkW says: June 20, 2014 at 10:08 am
    Latitude says:
    June 20, 2014 at 9:12 am
    anyone else have the feeling our government has grow too big…..

    By a factor of 10
    ***************
    There are so very few in Congress who will stand up and say “NO”! Ted Cruz is the most obvious, although there are more lower profile ones. Don’t like Ted? You have been watching way too much ABC/NBC/MSNBC/CNN. The same ones who told you to vote for The Messiah (Barbara Walter’s words). Also they tell you to believe in CAGW. So……..Why would you believe them about Ted or anything else for that matter??

    Regards,
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin.)

  43. All,
    Off track but still has to do with the politics that will be required to straighten out the VA. Also, the failure of the MSM.

    The Long Suffering Mrs. Jewett and I went to the Texas Republican Party convention. There were some 10,000 in attendance.

    Thought you might be interested in a “man bites dog” story. You might have missed it in the so called “main stream media”. It is so contrary to the conventional wisdom that it should have been the lead story.

    They had a Presidential straw poll with the first place won by a Hispanic and the second won by a Black. Together, they won 55.6%. Hmmmmmm……wonder why you didn’t know that! Except maybe some Texans out there.

    Regards

  44. After years working for the Government funded Australian Medicare system, I am sad that people do not understand the purpose of these government health care systems. They serve one purpose, to allow pork barreling to enable local representatives to be re-elected. Health Care is a fiscal drag on the economy, so cutting health budgets is a priority, to allow funds to be shifted to other pork-barrel projects. In addition, Medical Professionals (doctors and Nurses) need to be cut from the system, and beds closed, to fund the ever growing needs of the bloated bureaucracy required to oversea the reduction in services. Any health professional advocating new services that may benefit patients, save lives, will eventually be sacked. Where do you think the money from this Greening project came from? It came from cuts to services. Sorry for the USA, your new Obamacare copies some of the worse aspects of the Australian Health Care system.

  45. I’ve noted over the years that government indifference to their vets is widespread across the world. Once their ‘cannon fodder’ days are over they are surplus to requirements. Hundreds of billions for wars and yet no spare change to save lives once home.

  46. No different to the UK. The defence budget is being cut but money is being spent on wind turbines, and other green measures

  47. Vets Died – Obama Lied
    True for the VA scandal. True for the Benghazi scandal.
    Plaster It Every Where.

  48. Steamboat Jack says:
    June 20, 2014 at 8:21 pm
    They had a Presidential straw poll with the first place won by a Hispanic and the second won by a Black. Together, they won 55.6%. Hmmmmmm……wonder why you didn’t know that! Except maybe some Texans out there.

    Steamboat Jack,
    We judge these men based on the content of their character and not the color or their skin.
    Are these people conservatives or liberals? Do they support fiscal discipline or greater government expenditures and indebtedness? Do they support capitalism or socialism? Do they support the Constitution Of The United States ….. or not?

    Tell me about their convictions, philosophies, personal beliefs, and moral standards. I don’t give a shit what their ethnic background is…..
    Mac

  49. An obsession with irrelevant trivia is one of the characteristic features of a failing organisation. It is both cause and symptom. When the leaders of an organisation forget what it is actually for, they start to waste money on things that are unimportant or even counter-productive. This plants the seeds of future failures. But if the leaders are confronted with existing problems that they don’t know how to address they may take refuge in displacement activity. Instead of doing the hard but important stuff they focus on small things that are easier to control, even if they are a complete waste of time. It becomes a feedback loop in which more and more resources are diverted away from the organisation’s core activities as the failures keep getting worse.

  50. We may disagree with people, but they have a right to think whatever thoughts they want. Even people who disagree on many things can come together and agree that some common services are required in a civil society. We pay for those with taxes. When taxes morph into a confiscation of assets, expended to serve narrow purposes by a self-referential elite, civil society collapses. You can count the ‘reforms’ that have been effective on one hand, and have fingers left over. The old institutions need to be terminated, and new solutions implemented. Birthing will be difficult, and the new institutions will probably fail over time as well as the entropy of bureaucracy tends toward functionless stasis on primary tasks.
    Sometimes, however, there is no point to civility. My father was damaged in military service. The military never acknowledged responsibility, nor provided treatment. We did get a $245 death benefit.
    We need to “PATCO” the unions at VA, and prosecute and incarcerate those who have misbehaved to the full extant of the law; then cashier the rest and give vets a Health insurance voucher to get care as needed anywhere. Consolidating the good folks into specialty centers to create military specific cases is fine, if you can find them. I’m fine with a dose of reality for the ***** at IRS as well. Two weeks pay and welcome to real life.
    Please support Wounded Warriors. They fill in a lot of the gaps.

  51. Resourceguy says:
    June 20, 2014 at 11:50 am

    “We need a special prosecutor instead of Holder for the VA scandal and lost emails at IRS.”

    Lost E-Mails. That is so pathetic that is it hilarious. 9/15/2010, the IRS acquired the services of Sonasoft’s Email archival/backup system to the tune of $13,983. You can find them listed in their valued customers listing…. for now.

    http://www.sonasoft.com/company/customers/

  52. To all of those who praise VA health care: You have not heard from those that I have: ordinary veterans who relate their experiences with the system. However, I am glad to hear that not all have had a bad experience at the VA.

  53. Spending on the VA health system increased under the current administration, so that’s not the problem. The war in Afghanistan is winding down (and Iraq is over, at least for now) and we’re not seeing an increase in wounded vets coming into the system from the military so that’s not the problem. We had a former Army general running the VA, so the problem isn’t having somebody at the top without appreciation for military service.

    We do have a problem with a lousy economy, more people seeking disability instead of employment, a worse civilian health care system and a culture of indifference. Bureaucracy is the same everywhere and dedicated people at the bottom can’t overcome the indifference and incompetence at the top.

    Do away with a segregated health care system for veterans is the best solution.

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