Archive for December, 2007

Parallel Universe (The Only Explanation)

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

 I’m living in a parallel universe.  That is the only logical explanation.  It has to be.  Because if I were living in the same universe that the VA was living in I might actually believe something they say and not have the ability to prove them wrong.  Today’s example:    A VA “News” release  that claims “The computerized personal health record for veterans created by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) — My HealtheVet — has been named a national finalist in the “Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards” given by a national accreditation organization.”  And “Peake noted the number of registrants for My HealtheVet, which  offers veterans their own private medical records and data, has topped 500,000.” 

I happened to be using MyHealtheVet at the time I found this press release.  The reason I was doing other things while trying to refill prescriptions is because the site is so slow.  You push a button and wait.  Push another button and wait.  Push another button and wait.  Push the final button and wait, wait, wait, don’t navigate away from this page, wait, you better hope the connection doesn’t time out, wait, and then “There was a problem with your submission please try again”.

The VA has been heavily pimping this thing for years and less than ten percent of VA patients have registered to use it.  The VA has also spent massive amounts of money on it and it is nowhere near where they claim it is. 

When I first started using it in June of 04, the “Coming Soon” section promised access to our VA Electronic Medical Records.  We still can’t access our medical records 3 1/2 years later. Despite the VA claiming that “My HealtheVet offers veterans their own private medical records and data.” Simply. Not. True. “Go and tell that long-tongue liar that God’s gonna cut you down.”

One of the most exciting features in the current “Coming Soon” is: “Check-In; this allows an MHV user to virtually check into a clinical visit upon arrival to the facility.”

So, instead of walking up to the window and telling the clerk that you’re here for your appointment, you will now be able to search for a computer you can use to log in, and then navigate through the haze to find the button to push for “Check In”.  The current recommendation is to arrive thirty minutes prior to your appointment time.  With the new cyber check-in feature you will only need to arrive two hours before your appointment.

There is no better way on Earth that your tax dollars could be spent more wisely.

Today when I first logged on, this showed up:

VA Certificate Failure

If I was an 94 year old Veteran who didn’t know stuff about site certificates, what would I do here, you know?

Then while waiting for the prescription refills to process a survey thingy popped up, so I did it.  One of the questions was: 

Are You Registered

What do you mean “Are you a registered user on the MyHealthEVet website.”  I’m logged into the site working on this survey.  Could I be logged in and not be a registered user?  I thought you had to register to log in.  If I screw up the username or password it won’t let me in.  It tells me to register.  So I assume you have to be registered to log in, and therefore, unless I’m living in a parallel universe, I am, in fact a registered user.

Senator Alexander informed me that the VA had limited resources. If they have limited resources, why are they wasting money on stupid shit like this?

Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

One of the first “News” Releases in the Peake Dynasty of the VA has this in it: “…ensure America’s veterans receive world-class health care,” said Dr. James B. Peake, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. “America’s veterans deserve the best this country has to offer, and VA is achieving that high standard.”

Matter of semantics? When the VA uses the term “World-Class Health Care”, we think they mean that is compared to health care that’s provided in parts of the world by “alternative” providers. One example: I spent a year in the Philippines. My friend Jack was married to a Pilipina. She was having some kind of female specific problems. They called in the Doctor. The Doctor slit a chicken’s throat and splashed blood all around the room and began dancing and chanting. The problems persisted. They took her to Olongapo General Hospital. They determined that she had an ectopic pregnancy. They were able to save her life.

So when the VA claims to be providing “World-Class Health Care”, they are comparing themselves with practitioners that use chicken’s blood, dance, and chants to heal the sick.

We have absolutely no explanation for how they can claim to be providing Veterans “the best this country has to offer”. Unless their talking about Edy’s Grand Ice Cream, but we’ve never seen that served by the VA. The VA serves those little styrofoam cups that has like two bites in it. Like the kids in kindergarten get.

Believe me when I tell you that no one is more disappointed by us being right about Peake then we are.

According to VA’s own research, Veterans who are eligible for both Medicare Providers and VA Providers will choose Medicare-only 36% of the time and VA-only 18% of the time. Source: (PMID: 17304078 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]).

Doesn’t it then logically follow that if the VA were providing Veterans “the best this country has to offer” that those results would be different?  When I had both Medicare and VA I used Medicare 90% and VA 10%.  Since I can no longer afford Medicare, I’m all VA nowadays; However, I’m confident that the VA will kill me before long so I won’t have to suffer through their BULLSHIT too long.  Hei Peake, call me.  Let’s do lunch.

To Be Fair

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

We’re pretty snarky when it comes to woefully inadequate and bloated bureaucracies like the VA and IRS; However, there are some really extraordinary people that work at the VA. My current Primary Care Clinic (Dane and Jackie) are the best ever. The Mountain Home Social Work Service and Pulmonary Lab both have truly great people working in them that obviously work there because they care about Veterans.

Regrettably, the Career Bureaucrats will eventually beat these good people down and they will quit under the strain.

The OPM Report RECRUITMENT, RELOCATION, AND RETENTION INCENTIVES CALENDAR YEAR 2006 indicates that the Department of Veterans Affairs paid 6,393 incentives totaling $27,201,870 to attract and retain employees. The only Government agency that spent more is Defense.

The VA is number 2 in the “quits” department too. And again, Defense is numero uno. That means that despite spending $27,201,870 to retain employees, the VA still had the second highest number of employees quit.

VA Denies Lax Supervision at Haley

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

On December 21st, 2007, we shared with our good readers this:

“US Representative Ginny Brown-Waite (I wonder if she’s related to John Charles Waite) has announced that she will undertake a fact-finding mission at the VA hospital on December 28th. That’s an oxymoron. You don’t go to a VA hospital to get facts about the VA hospital. To get facts about a VA hospital you hold private meetings with people who know the facts about the hospital and are outside the influence of the VA propaganda machine.

So, right now, what’s going on at the Tampa VA hospital is a Congressional Visit Fire Drill. Employees are putting together lists of Veterans they believe will only say good things about the facility. The Propaganda machine has already prepared several press releases that will make note of how wonderful the Congressional Visit was and what praise Representative Brown-Waite had for their extraordinary facility and singing the praises of all the hard-working VA employees who only want to serve Veterans.

Check back with me on the 29th and tell me if I’m wrong.”

Today is the 29th and we invite you to peruse the article from the St. Petersburg Times titled: VA Denies Lax Supervision at Haley

It is no coincidence that the word “DENIES”is in the article title. What we saw from the overpaid, under qualified, and generally worthless VA bureaucrats was the same shit on a different day. According to these morally and ethically bankrupt bureaucrats the VA is still the greatest thing in all of the known and unknown universes.

From the article: “Brown-Waite said the VA needs to better define what supervision is. But other than that, she has no immediate plans to take the issue further.”

And another politician will let the VA off the hook. It’s beyond my ability to comprehend how the exact same thing can happen all over the country time-after-time.

Representative Brown-Waite is the ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on “Oversight and Investigations”. Wouldn’t it be swell if congress actually did “Oversight and Investigations”?

Maybe the 111th Congress will actually do something besides add to the Global Warming crisis with their blow-hard hot hyperbole air.

I’m not too optimistic though.

Call Your Senator (But Not Today Though)

Friday, December 28th, 2007

We received a form letter yesterday (December 27th) from Senator Alexander’s Washington office that is dated December 12th.  We heard that the incoming mail was delayed due to screening for anthrax.  We didn’t realize the outgoing mail was delayed for any reason.  We’ve received several of those form letters and began wondering how much it costs to send them.

We tried to call Senator Alexander’s Washington, D.C. office and were notified by a mechanical voice that the office was closed from December 22nd through January 2nd.  We got the same response from his Tri-Cities office.

We don’t think that if your tax payer paid salary exceeds 40, 50, 60, or 100 k per year that you should get an 11 day paid holiday vacation.

The Sky Is Falling!

Friday, December 28th, 2007

For some reason, unclear to us, there is a massive movement in Washington D. C. to stop spending so much on “Entitlement Programs”.  The champions of this cause will tell you, time-after-time-after-time-after-time, that we spend almost 3 trillion dollars on these programs.  What they never tell you is how much revenue these programs generate.  Because we like facts, instead of hyperbole, we offer you, our dear readers, this:

 Entitlement Programs Revenue and Expenses

Please forgive us for dumping that on you.  What we think that it means is that the actual expenditures for the “Entitlement Programs” that came from unrelated revenue is actually 162.8 billion dollars.

If a dollar bill is .0043 inches thick, that means that 162.8 x .0043 = Well.  It’s a lot.  Anyway, despite 162.8 billion being a lot, it’s not nearly as much as 3 trillion.  You know?

Another Moderate Done Gone

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Benazir Bhutto   

Why VA Doesn’t Want To Reduce Number Of Veterans Suicides

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

The Department of Veterans Affairs could easily and inexpensively eliminate the epidemic of Veterans suicides by taking some simple steps. That won’t happen until Congress quits allowing the VA to operate on the theory that it is much less expensive to bury a dead Veteran than it is to take care of a living Veteran. Tell Congress to fix it.

read more | digg story

Merry Christmas? Maybe Not.

Monday, December 24th, 2007

The VA staunchly maintains that there is no suicide epidemic among Veterans. They claim that the numbers that CBS News reported are not reflective of the actual numbers.

For the sake of this argument let’s assume the VA is right. Let’s say that the reported 120 Veterans suicides per week is exaggerated.

Let’s further assume that the actual number of Veterans suicides is only 60 per week. Half of what was reported.

Now, let’s say that we believe the VA when they say that they have the most greatest, biggest, most venerated, fail proof, most respected suicide prevention program in the
known Universe.

Now to the questions: If the assumptions above are true, then why is the entire home page of the VA website largely covered with pictures and stories about the new VA Secretary, James Peake?


Wouldn’t it make sense that if the VA did, in fact, have such a great suicide prevention program, and that it is widely believed that the suicide rate increases during the “Holiday Season”. Wouldn’t it make sense that the VA website, where many people go to try and find helpful resources for themselves or a Veteran family member in crisis.

Wouldn’t it then make sense that instead of trying to find the link to suicide prevention buried in a list between “Job Opportunities at VA” and “ Summary of Benefits for Veterans and Dependents”.

Wouldn’t it then make sense that the homepage of the Government agency charged with preventing suicides among Veterans, the agency that has several Federal laws that mandate more aggressive suicide prevention among Veterans. Wouldn’t it then make sense that the home page of that agency have a very prominent, easy to identify, and easy to access “banner” that leads to suicide prevention information?

Let’s Do a Compare and Contrast:

If you do a Google search for “veterans suicide”, which is probably a very likely search phrase someone in crisis trying to find help, or a concerned person trying to find help for their Veteran, would use, this is what you would get These Results.

However, if you do a Google search for just suicide you get These Results.

OK. More questions:

The VA spends millions of dollars each year on their Public Affairs Propaganda Machine. Why is it they won’t spend a few bucks to get Google AdWords, and other similar advertising programs that cause the issue to be prominently featured in web searches? Like the well managed private suicide prevention providers do.

Why don’t some of those Veterans Charities that claim to care so deeply about Veterans Issues spend some of the exorbitant amounts of money they spend on fundraising, conventions, executive salaries, executive travel, gourmet meals, and political lobbying on buying some advertising targeted at spreading information about the epidemic of Veterans Suicides?

O, we forgot. There is no suicide epidemic among Veterans.

What Part of DONT TREAD ON ME do you not understand?
–The Reverend Larry D Fagre, Founder

AKUS & SHH111

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

We suspect that you have heard of Alison Krauss. Between her and Union Station and her more than 800,000 collaborations, she has won 9,472,484 awards. Including enough Grammy Awards to require a 1,200 square foot trophy case to hold them all. She has two Grammy nominations for this year, but she will probably win thirty or forty, even in categories she isn’t nominated in.

But, you might not be familiar with Sierra Hull. We share with Sierra a great admiration for Alison Krauss. Sierra is now part of Sierra Hull and Highway 111. Here is Sierra on stage with AKUS doing “Cluck Old Hen”.

Is This Legal?

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

Is it legal for a political appointee to campaign for his boss? The Talking Points Memo pondered upon the same question on December 7th 07, involving New Mexico Governor Richardson using state employees to campaign for him. Vetsburg news release follows:

Vetsburg News Release

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Rev Larry D Fagre info@vetsburg.org

12/23/2007

 

New Mexico Veterans Affairs Secretary Campaigns For Richardson

 

JOHNSON CITY– In this Official Campaign YouTube Video , which is also displayed prominently on the home page of the Richardson campaign website, John Garcia purports to speak for every Veteran in the country when he states: “On behalf of the Veterans of my state and the Veterans of this country, we need to elect somebody that understands the needs of Veterans and families. So please, with that, help me welcome a great Governor of the state of New Mexico, and a gentleman who will be President of this country, Mr. Bill Richardson.”

Richardson then goes on to sing the praises of the VA while simultaneously stating that the VA isn’t equipped to handle the needs of the 60,000 that he claims. Imagine then why it is that the VA constantly claims to be ready to handle the needs of all returning OIF/OEF Veterans.

Every time I hear a politician, or anyone else who has no real knowledge about the topic, say that the VA is (good, great, wonderful, caring, efficient, effective, or any other positive adjective) I cringe. It is very unfortunate that the Governor has advisors who are feeding him bad information that he repeats as fact.

One example, in this video, is that he states that there are 60,000 people coming back from this war that will need care. That number is about three years old. Today, the number of people coming back from this war that will need treatment, many for 50+ years, is well over one hundred thousand.

The VA has consistently and unwaveringly taken a head in sand + vitriolic denial approach to the problem which means that way too many of my brave Brothers and Sisters will not get the help they so desperately need and we will see the War Veterans suicide rate climb above the 120 a week number that we are currently experiencing. But, that’s good for the Government, because it is a lot less expensive to bury a Hero than it is to take care of one.

There is a very easy tell that can quickly determine whether someone who claims to be a Veterans Advocate is, in fact, an advocate or another talking head. Check to see if they prominently display pictures of themselves with high ranking government bureaucrats and politicians, or if they have prominently displayed pictures of them doing something that actually helps Veterans. Something like visiting the tent of a Homeless Veteran living under a bridge.

In this official website of the state of New Mexico, there is an extraordinary amount of information and news releases about the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs, NASDVA, which Garcia is the President of. There are also many of those pictures of Garcia hobnobbing with the goober smoochers including former VA Secretary Nicholson.

Vetsburg would love to have the money that it cost the taxpayers to provide an all expense paid vacation to Washington to a bunch of bureaucrats. Which, according to the NASDVA Form 990 (you might have to register with GuideStar.org to get the file) is about 50,000 dollars. We could build permanent, as in the kind of permanent that means a long time, housing for five homeless War Veterans with that money.

The 990 also states that Garcia spends 16 hours a week in his role as President. Who is paying for that time, and do the people paying for it, know that they are paying for it? That sounds rhetorical, it probably is. We think we know the answer.

 

DTOMB&W

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senator Bob Dole’s Letter…

Friday, December 21st, 2007

Senator Bob Dole’s Letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform:

Dear Chairman Waxman,


Thank  you for holding hearings considering  Veterans’ charities.  The  timing is excellent since  some of the groups  unfairly and perhaps  unlawfully  raise a great deal of money during the holiday  season. We cannot do enough for America’s deserving Veterans, and while many of the groups do a good job, a great many are parasites who take  the money and keep all or most of it. I cannot  imagine  anyone, or any group, stooping  so low  to enrich  themselves by exploiting  Veterans’ misery. The committee  hearing will serve many useful purposes  by exposing  the down  right fraud used by some and the good other groups
do. The winner will be deserving Veterans and their families.


BOB DOLE

I’ve always liked Senator Dole. It seems to me that he is one of very few politicians that actually conducted his business with integrity, instead of constantly pandering for votes.

His letter is in regards to the  hearing to Assess Veterans’ Charities.

 

A New Addition To My Heroes List

Friday, December 21st, 2007

Fate was good to me early this AM. As I watched the video of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing to Assess Veterans’ Charities.

Something prompted me to do an internet search for something, and I came across this:

“VA health care

By Robert Goldberg

December 19, 2007


Less than a year ago, Paul Krugman wrote a column in the New York Times that held up the Department of Veterans Affairs health system as a model for single-payer health care. His main point was that far from caring about profits, the VA was a better system because it cared only about patients, the veterans of America:

“The key to the VA’s success is its long-term relationship with its clients: veterans, once in the VA system, normally stay in it for life. This means that the VA can…make much better use of information technology than other health care providers…which reduces both costs and medical errors. The long-term relationship…also lets the VA save money by investing heavily in preventive medicine, an area in which the private sector – which makes money
by treating the sick, not by keeping people healthy – has shown little interest. The result is a system that achieves higher customer satisfaction than the private sector, higher quality of care by a number of measures and lower mortality rates – at much lower cost per patient.”

Let’s ignore the fact that Mr. Krugman is both wrong about the lower mortality rates and fudges 10-year-old data to make his case. Ideologues that want to use the VA as example of what socialized medicine can deliver should judge the VA in terms of what the system was created for in the first place: caring for wounded warriors returning from the battlefield.

Mr. Krugman would have plenty of more recent evidence for doing so. Here’s Donna Shalala, co-chairman of the federal task force reviewing care for Iraq vets who suffer from brain injuries, amputations and post traumatic stress disorder: “Without designated care coordinators to plan the best treatment path for new patients, an untold number ended up lost.”

In addition, injured combatants must go through two antiquated disability assessments (one by the military and one by the VA) to determine what treatment options are available. This means that many are forced to jump through bureaucratic hoops that might not even get them to the right place, Miss Shalala said. “For veterans’ families to give up everything just to coordinate this care themselves is fundamentally unfair,” she said. “The process is too old-fashioned. It has nothing to do with modern medicine, and
we ought to be embarrassed.”

Mr. Krugman should ask Sarah Wade about the long-term relationship the VA provides returning vets. According to USA Today, Mrs. Wade, who lives in Chapel Hill, N.C., with her husband, said their problems with the VA started after Ted Wade left the VA center in Richmond, which offers specialized care for severe and multiple injuries. She has been acting as her husband’s case manager since the VA manager didn’t know enough about his injuries.

“One of the things with the VA is that they can always tell you what they can’t do, but they can never tell you what they can do,” she said, citing the time his private rehabilitation benefits ran out. “When his contract was up, they (VA) tried to put him in an adult day care program and transfer his medical care back in-house. They had no one who has the expertise to treat him there, otherwise he wouldn’t have been sent to this doctor in the first place.”

Mr. Krugman’s response will likely be to blame President Bush for not spending more. That won’t wash. Spending on the VA has doubled under the Bush administration. And spending more, as the United Kingdom and Canada health systems have shown, doesn’t reduce waiting or ensure that doctors can actually practice effective medicine instead of guideline-driven drivel like limiting therapy for combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to three months.

Vets should have a choice about where to get the care the VA has denied them by indifference, by delay and by delivery of one-size-fits-all medicine. Medicaid already has a successful program called Cash and Counseling where families and individuals with disabilities are given the option to manage a flexible budget and decide for themselves what mix of goods and services will best meet their personal care needs. Veterans and their families deserve no less.

Pundits like Mr. Krugman are holding the veterans hostage to a failed vision of single-payer health care because they believe the VA is politically unassailable. Similarly, supporters of a massive expansion of State Children’s Health Insurance Program counted on using kids as a human shield to advance their cause. But Mr. Bush vetoed SCHIP to stop the spread of government-run healthcare. Now he and others should take on the VA monopoly. Instead of promoting its expansion, he should give vets the same freedom and
dignity they were fighting for in Iraq.

Robert Goldberg is vice president of the Center for Medicine in the Public
Interest.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest
211 East 43rd Street
New York, NY 10017
(646) 414-0006″

Now. I am not gay, and I have never been gay. But I feel a little man love toward Mr. Goldberg. Not many people are willing to tell the truth about VA healthcare.

Mr. Goldberg’s analysis is so right on that it boggles my mind how people like Krugman, Phillip Longman, Lou Dobbs, Brian Williams, Barack Obama, Daniel Akaka, Patty Murray, and a bunch of others can rant and rave about how good and unique the VA is.

I have extensive experience with VA and civilian healthcare. There is really no comparison. The VA achieves these wonderful results on patient surveys because VA employees are destroying the surveys that are negative.

Whenever all of the blow-hard politicians respond to the latest publicized failure of the VA system and pledge to “tour” affected facility, the VA propaganda machine goes into high gear. The administration at the affected facility are told to shut up and let the PR people handle it.

Then the PR people do their magic and ensure that only Veterans who have glowing reports about the facility will be available for questions. This is going on right this minute at the VA hospital in Tampa Bay. On December 10th, we here at Fruity Tangentialness told you about the VA Psychologist who filed a complaint with the Florida Board of Psychology. His complaint was regarding unlicensed residents that were practicing, notice the word “practicing”, on VA patients without any type of required supervision.

US Representative Ginny Brown-Waite (I wonder if she’s related to John Charles Waite) has announced that she will undertake a fact-finding mission at the VA hospital on December 28th. That’s an oxymoron. You don’t go to a VA hospital to get facts about the VA hospital. To get facts about a VA hospital you hold private meetings with people who know the facts about the hospital and are outside the influence of the VA propaganda machine.

So, right now, what’s going on at the Tampa VA hospital is a Congressional Visit Fire Drill. Employees are putting together lists of Veterans they believe will only say good things about the facility. The Propaganda machine has already prepared several press releases that will make note of how wonderful the Congressional Visit was and what praise Representative Brown-Waite had for their extraordinary facility and singing the praises of all the hard-working VA employees who only want to serve Veterans.

Check back with me on the 29th and tell me if I’m wrong.

A Man and His Sawzall

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Some truths are Universal. One of those Universal truths is that a Man needs tools. To illustrate that point, it is my pleasure to introduce you to:

“38-year-old Frederick Dominguez, a Los Angeles native who hadn’t been in the snow since he was 12. ”

A Man and His Sawzall

Frederick and his three kids went looking for a Christmas tree and wound up stranded for three nights in heavy snow and below freezing temperatures. Mr. Dominguez used his reciprocating saw to cut branches and formed the word “HELP” in the snow with those tree branches and then huddled in a culvert with his kids and waited.

“You go into survival mode,” Dominguez said. “Any parent would do that.”

They were rescued Wednesday when a California Highway Patrol helicopter pilot saw the tree branch “HELP” wanted sign.

The picture above shows Mr. Dominguez exiting the CHP helicopter with his sawzall.

That sawzall should be hammered onto a plaque and hung on the wall. Forever reminding all who see it that men know what they are doing. Sometimes.

I am convinced that Red Green is very proud of Mr. Dominguez, and will invite him to join the Possum Lodge. I would.

Canadian Bacon

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5jTOHYsHyVFZ7KjhSTmtxfLM4ESDQ

I was about to write something snarky about Ray Lewis missing most of the rest of the game, in the Ravens loss to a school of fish, because of “a” dislocated left finger.

Until I read that article from The Canadian Press, which explained that it was “the” left finger that was dislocated.

I didn’t know that Ray only had one finger on his left hand.  My bad.  I’ll refrain from the snarky analysis that I was going to proffer.

Maybe it’s time for another go at annexing those poor people up there.

Care For Some Tea?

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

“On December 13, 1952, the Constitution and the Declaration were placed in helium-filled cases, enclosed in wooden crates, laid on mattresses in an armored Marine Corps personnel carrier, and escorted by ceremonial troops, two tanks, and four servicemen carrying submachine guns down Pennsylvania and Constitution avenues to the National Archives. Two days later, President Harry Truman declared at a formal ceremony in the Archives Exhibition Hall.

“We are engaged here today in a symbolic act. We are enshrining these documents for future ages. This magnificent hall has been constructed to exhibit them, and the vault beneath, that we have built to protect them, is as safe from destruction as anything that the wit of modern man can devise. All this is an honorable effort, based upon reverence for the great past, and our generation can take just pride in it.””

Between 1787 and 1952 the Constitution was revered. Even in 1987 when I was the Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Federal Executive Board, Constitution Bicentennial Committee, we treated it with a Great Respect and worked hard to ensure that we would celebrate it in a suitable fashion.

Tea Party 07 Graph

If you’re an idiot like me, you were absolutely fascinated by the Dr Paul campaign live donation clock. Image how many people stayed up late to start donating at midnight to the “Tea Party 07” project. Not tea party like tea and crumpets, but TEA PARTY like let’s have a tax protest. A peaceful little gathering of a few hundred thousand people who wanted to throw tea in the harbor. Fascinating.

Since starting to observe politics in the early 80’s, I have never seen anything like this. It gives me hope that we will actually be able to have a President that has the same reverence for the Constitution that I do.

General Peake Senate Confirmation

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

Vetsburg News Release

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

Rev Larry D Fagre

info@vetsburg.org

12/15/2007

 

Senate Votes Unanimously to Confirm Peake as VA Secretary

JOHNSON CITY– The Senate voted unanimously yesterday to confirm the nomination of James Peake as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Peake may be best known for being the senior military officer in charge of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Like General Kiley, General Peake didn’t do barracks inspections either. The unanimous Senate vote came less than twenty-four hours after the Senate Veterans Affairs committee voted unanimously to send the nomination to the senate floor. We were told by a committee staffer on December 12th that no vote had been scheduled and we would have at least a forty-eight hour notice of the pending committee vote. 

Senator Akaka, Chairman of the committee was not aware of this as he scheduled the committee vote “expeditiously”. Within two hours of our conversation with the staffer, Akaka announced that the committee would vote on the nomination the following morning immediately following the first roll-call vote. By scheduling the vote “expeditiously” Akaka was able to avoid the masses of Veterans Advocates that would have shown up to protest the nomination. And further, by rushing the nomination to the floor of the Senate, it prevented those Veterans Advocates from undertaking a last minute push to cause the nomination to be blocked. 

Not only was there calls for the nomination to be blocked because of Peake’s failed leadership on the Walter Reed scandal, there was a great deal of concern expressed over his most recent employment as the second in charge of QTC Management, a company that describes itself as “The largest private provider of government- outsourced occupational health, and injury and disability examination services in the nation.” The company is headed by Anthony Principi who was the first Secretary of Veterans Affairs in the George W. Bush administration. In addition to Peake’s employment with QTC, he was also employed as Executive Vice President and COO of Project Hope, where he had a salary of over $250,000 dollars a year.

With his Army retirement of over $100,000 dollars a year, his retirement benefits from QTC and Project Hope, and his salary of $186,000 as VA Secretary, General Peake will become a very, very wealthy man on the tax payers dime. It makes us wonder why the approval rating of Congress is so low. Perhaps if they gave everyone the same great deal they gave General Peake, they could move up to over 15% approval. We expressed all of our concerns to both Senator Alexander and Senator Corker; however, they chose to participate in the, perhaps unprecedented, multi-millionaire making action of their colleagues. With the Peake confirmation, and the VA’s unwavering position that they are the most comprehensive suicide prevention agency in the nation, it has been a bad week for Veterans.

“Message From Ron”

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

Can You Smell What the Dr Is Cooking?

December 15, 2007
What an amazing mission you and I are on. What great ideas we uphold — the legacy of the most important thinkers of liberty in our country’s history, and the most important doers of liberty in America. At the top of that list are the donors and volunteers of this campaign.

I could spend all my time thanking personally you and everyone who has done so much for our country’s future, and not scratch the surface of what justice demands. But I want you to know how much I owe you, and everyone dedicated to the real America. You and I know our real country — the America of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, of economic, civil, and personal liberty, of strong families and communities, of great businesses and professions, of strong peace and low taxes and sound money-all of which are under assault by the politicians who occupy our nation’s capital.

With your help — and I can’t do anything without your help https://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate/ — I want to change all that. Together, we can restore our constitutional republic, and oust the mountebanks who violate the ideals of the Founders with income taxes, Federal Reserve inflation, deficit spending, preemptive wars, torture, secret prisons, and abolition of habeas corpus.

How thrilling too are all the great Independent efforts in this cause, involving so many tens of thousands of patriots. Of course, since they are Independent, the election laws to do not allow me to coordinate with them in any way. But I will mention that this Sunday, I am really going to enjoy my tea at a party!

We are making real progress. And goodness knows we need to. Help https://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate/ me keep our revolution going and growing. For freedom, peace, and prosperity, for the real America, all our
generosity and hard work are justified.

Sincerely,

Ron

House Veterans Affairs Hearing

Friday, December 14th, 2007

Update:  13 December 2007As a result of that CBS story down there, the House Veterans Affairs committee held a hearing yesterday.  The title of the hearing was:

Stopping Suicides: Mental Health Challenges Within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

One of the witnesses at the hearing was Ira Katz.  He is the VA’s senior bureaucrat in charge of suicide prevention.  Among the other lies that he told the hearing was that “We have a major suicide prevention program, the most comprehensive in the nation.” Isn’t it illegal to lie to Congress?  Do you think that he will be prosecuted for lying to Congress?  I talked to a staffer at the committee this morning.  I didn’t get the sense that Katz should be consulting with Scooter.  Shame that.

Other witnesses at the hearing included Kim and Mike Bowman.  Their testimony elicited a standing ovation.  Ira Katz didn’t get a standing ovation.  I had the pleasure of getting to know Admiral Douglas Katz when he was the CO of the Battleship New Jersey.  He used to end messages with the acronym “WETSU”.  I strongly believe that Katz is the only thing these two people have in common.

Here is the link to the 1:36 story CBS did in the Evening News.

http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=3613100n&channel=/sections/eveningnews/videoplayer3420.shtml

Don’t Tase Me Bro!

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

UCLA has developed a new Electroshock Weapon (Taser©) Use Policy. Although the tax paying public has yet to be given a copy of the policy it is rumored that Mostafa Tabatabainejad was asked to be the Editor.

We here at Fruity Tangentialness caught a glimpse of the cover of the document and our Graphic Artist was able to produce this rendition:

DTMB

When we are able to obtain a copy of the document we will immediately make it available to our good readers.