Posts Tagged ‘War’

Note From Lars: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Friday, January 16th, 2009

We put in a call to Lars Harfagre, Warrior Emeritus, to see if he had any thoughts for us and we now bring you the most recent “Note From Lars”.

Hello Friends, Lars Here:

Don’t like that Dr. Phil.  Going back to when he was on the Opry show.  Opry Winfrey’s show.  He comes across as a bloviating blowhard.  To be fair, though, he does have some commendable moments.  One of those came on this past December 19th.  In that show, titled “Beyond The Front Lines”, Dr. Phil and his guests pore over some of the catastrophic failures of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

I was clued in to the show by reading a December 31st article in The Washington Times by Dr. Robert Van Boven, director of a VA Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) program in Texas, titled “Dealing with PTSD, VA failures exposed in living color”.  In that article Van Boven succinctly illustrates how the VA operates with this example: “…at Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, suppression and inaction to disclosures of fraud, waste, plagiarism, and cronyism fell upon deaf ears to protect the inner circle of involved management and shortchange victims of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Consequently, attempts to bring to light misdoings by management at the only dedicated TBI brain imaging and treatment research program in Texas resulted not in remedies, but reprisals and covert plans for considering closure of the program without explanation.”

Couple of things that the VA won’t tell you that shed light on the situation:

1.  Only the Department of the Army has a higher percentage of employees quit each year.

2.  According to the VA’s own research “Veterans  with alternative insurance coverage were less likely to use VA and tended to use VA for special care such as pharmacy… Having a regular VA physician had a significantly
negative effect on the ratio of pharmacy to total cost and on the likelihood of staying in VA hospitals for mental health/substance abuse treatment, implying that VA enrollees’ with regular non-VA physicians tend to use VA mainly for special care such as pharmacy or mental health/substance abuse treatment.”

I have had the bad fortune to require massive amounts of health care in both VA and civilian hospitals and clinics.  There is a huge difference between the quality of care.  Civilian hospitals beat VA every time.  And there is a large group of people advocating using the VA as a national model for Government Health Care.  That should be very troubling to the average citizen.

The proof is in the pudding, and the VA is making runny pudding.

Veterans should be given (Like in Australia) cards to access the health care of their choice and shut the VA down entirely.

Godspeed friends, and may the wind be always at your back.

Lars

P.S.

If you read this and think that your tax dollars could be better spent by someone other than the VA, please contact your elected representatives and thell them about it.

Rules Of Engagement (ROEs)

Saturday, October 11th, 2008


You have probably heard The McCain talk about one of his very first votes in congress.  He voted against President Reagan over US Marines in Beirut. The vote failed 270-161 and The McCain, unfortunately, was proven right.

Not many people are aware of what was going on in Beirut in that time period.  I am aware.  I was there.

From August to December 1982 I was part of a US Navy task force that patrolled the coast off Beirut.  Day after day, week after week we watched the beautiful city of Beirut become decimated by war.

Just like the Marines that were stationed at the Beirut airport, we were operating in a War Zone with peace time Rules Of Engagement. Marines were not allowed to have magazines in their weapons and we were not allowed to point our gun at Syrian aircraft that were constantly threatening us.

As a direct result of those severely restrictive ROEs, a terrorist truck bomber was able to drive his bomb laden truck right into the barracks that the Marines were staying in. 241 Marines were killed in that attack. Think of the recent attack on the Marriott hotel in Islamabad only if the truck had managed to get into the lobby.

Had one of those Syrian aircraft fired a missile at us we would have taken massive casualties. We did not have the advanced anti-missile systems that are in place today. It would have been worse than the USS Stark (FFG 31) attack.

To be fair, I think there is legitimate debate about ROEs that are too loose. I keep in mind during that debate Leon Klinghoffer, Robert Dean Stethem, and 9-11-01 among other factors. We cannot stoop to the level of brutality of our enemies. If we do, we lose. We have to be able to keep claim of the moral high-ground.

Now. Here’s the thing. If Obama is elected president he becomes, by Constitutional default, the Commander-In-Chief of the US Armed Forces. We do not have the leisure to elect an Economy President and a War President. I am here to tell you, unequivocally, that if Barack Hussein Obama is the CinC he will tighten ROEs to the point that we will not be able to respond to attack until after we are dead. Our enemies will be buoyed by these tightened ROEs.

And if I am proven wrong I will eat my hat.

 

 

Another Bit Of Truth Makes It Out

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Anyone who has extensive experience with the VA mental health system knows that PTSD is a four letter word.  VA mental health practitioners will go to extreme lengths to not diagnose and not treat PTSD.

The reason for this is driven by economics.

As evidenced in the most recent VA employee email  controversy.

In the email a VA employee states the “actual” policy of the VA instead of the “published” policy. Anyone who has been victimized by the VA system will tell you that the VA will go to extraordinary lengths to deny Veterans the benefits that the law allows. Giving an incorrect diagnosis is just one example. How about conducting C&P exams for the same issue over-and-over until the desired result is achieved. That result being one doctor who will state that they don’t believe the issue is service-connected and the Veteran is just “compensation seeking”. And it’s not just PTSD, but PTSD is the hot potato that the VA doesn’t want to acknowledge.

I’ll be the first to tell you that there are a whole bunch of leeches that lied and cheated their way into getting VA benefits.  They should be prosecuted for fraud just like anyone else; However, that should not be an excuse for the VA to paint all Veterans as “compensation seekers”.

 

Peake To World: “Erroneous”

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Despite the unassailable smoking gun evidence of the  emails, Peake stated:

“The notion we’re not trying to get the truth out there is erroneous”

 

Fascinating. Peake also thought that the complaints he was getting about Walter Reed were “erroneous” when he was the Army Surgeon General. The hypermyopia of Peake, Kussman, Katz, and others is doing nothing to stop the Veterans suicide epidemic. The May 6th hearing is listed as “The Truth about Veterans Suicides”. It seems that if Congress wanted to get at the truth, the last person on Earth to testify at that hearing would be Peake. Congress could hold hearings every day, all day, and have an inexhaustible supply of witnesses in the group of War Veterans that have attempted suicide and the parents of War Veterans who succeeded. When will we say “enough”? When 220 War Veterans a week are committing suicide? 440? 880? When? Until Peake and his ilk are held accountable there will be no progress, it will only get worse.

 

 


Will You Believe Me Now?

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

You may have heard about the lawsuit.  Evidence presented includes emails from Ira Katz.  He is the main mental health bureaucrat at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

In this email Katz tells Everett (Call me Ev) Chasen to keep quiet about internal numbers on Veterans suicides.

In this email Katz acknowledges what is being widely reported that there are 120 Veterans per week committing suicide.  In that same email, the Under Secretary for Health at the VA, Michael Kussman, states that 120 Veterans per week committing suicide “Sounds awful but if one is considering 24 million veterans.”

So the Under Secretary for Health at the VA, who is an Army Veteran, believes that 120 Veterans committing suicide per week is OK because there are “24 million”.

Since these emails became public, politicians were quick to jump on the bandwagon and feign righteous indignation.

Message to politicians:  Too Little, Too Late.

These same politicians who are now feigning righteous indignation are the same politicians who have heaped praise on these VA bureaucrats for “Doing the right thing for Veterans”.

We have been telling these politicians for a long time that their praise is misguided.  we have been telling them that there is a culture in the VA bureaucracy of Obfuscate, Deny, Manipulate, Lie, Spin, and apply the full weight of the VA propaganda machine to make sure that the VA “message” is one that disparages critics and buries bad press.

These emails are the absolute best evidence to completely obliterate the rosy facade the VA propaganda machine has built to mislead the public.

Our heartfelt thanks go to CBS News, Armen Keteyian, Pia Malbran, and the rest of the crew that worked so hard on the exhaustive investigation into the epidemic of Veterans suicides.

Our heartfelt thanks also go to all of the good people involved in the lawsuit.  Godspeed.

Please join us in telling Congress that we expect that these VA bureaucrats who have lied to Congress, under oath, will be prosecuted for that felony.

Maybe if one or two dozen of the most heinous of these people are given a perp walk, the rest of the VA bureaucrats will take notice and straighten up their act.

 

 

 

 

More Blame The Veteran Shenanigans At The VA

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

“Dallas VA closes psychiatric wing after 4th patient kills himself.”

Said Dr. Orsak. “No one was ignoring this, and everyone was working hard on the fixes. And then you have a tragedy and you realize there’s more you can do, and some patients have such a will to end their lives, it’s hard to protect them.”

 The Orsak quote is in this article.

She is just another VA employee who would rather blame Veterans for the chronic and massive failures of the VA than take responsibility for those failures.

When will the VA do what they said they would do, and what the law tells them they must do, to end the epidemic of suicides among Veterans?

 

O. I forgot. There is no suicide epidemic among Veterans.

We wonder how Catherine Orsak can look at herself in a mirror after disparaging Veterans so heinously.  

 

Veterans Charity Fires Commander

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

From ABC NEWS

Veterans Charity Fires Commander Who Blew Whistle on Wasteful Spending

“They were incensed that I would tell the world how their donated money was being wasted,” said Henry Cook, national commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH).

This kind of fraud is not exclusive to this charity. There is massive waste, fraud, and abuse going on at several organizations. Most notably the organizations that have a Congressional Charter.

It seems that they somehow think that because they have a Congressional Charter they are above reproach. Because they think they are above reproach, corruption has metastasized through the “leadership” of the worst offenders.

More details can be found here





Simple. Elegant. Truth.

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

 “Any nation willing to ask its men and women to risk their lives serving overseas must also be willing to take care of them when they come home. Veterans deserve dignified care, and we can’t provide that with a VA that is run like the Postal Service or the IRS.”

— Dr. Ron Paul

Them & US

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

How many politicians and bureaucrats have you heard say that we treat our Veterans better than any other country in the world?

When they say that, they might not have all of the facts.

Example:  The UK pays an GBP equivalent average of $30,000.00 per year.

The USofA pays an average of $ 8,575.oo per year.

Just the facts.