The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label VA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label VA. Show all posts

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Know That Charlottesville Is A Connection Hitler's Germany 1929

This July 8, 2017 photo shows members of the KKK escorted by police past a large group of protesters during a KKK rally in Charlottesville, Va.
Image result for confederate flag

I didn't write this, but please feel free to copy and share.

As many news outlets aren't carrying this.

Photos from the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, last night.The rally will continue, through Saturday. This is what happens when you are comfortable enough with your new president, and the climate he created, that you no longer have to hide your hatred for people who are Black, Jewish, LGBT, Muslim....

You'd almost think it was a scene from a movie.

People who told me, in November, that things like this wouldn't happen, aren't aware of the history that predates us, and how easy for fanaticism, superstition, myth, fear, blame, ignorance,and xenophobia to take over and become the milieu of a country mired in apathy, laziness -governed in incompetency. I hope displays like this are rare and aren't becoming the norm, however after November, I am and will remain highly skeptical.

Someone posted that 'good people' wouldn't let this happen, and while I know there are a lot of 'good people' out there, I question their strength, and resiliency in a climate like this to step forward and say NO, 'we' are better than this.

I have never lived in fear like this, and perhaps I need to find strength in people elsewhere in the world, who live through revolution, conflict, strife, famine, and uncertainty on a daily basis and channel their strength and fortitude to see this through, I'll try.

There is something wrong when a chronological, not mental adult leads a country and allows crap like this to happen without speaking out against it. Yes, we are free to assemble, protest, etc..

However, this is wrong.

Please, share these photos on your timelines. Spread them on twitter, Reddit, Instagram, and anywhere else you can. If these bigots wanted privacy they should have worn their white hoods.

-Audrey Regan
Image may contain: 1 person, fire

Lest we remind you......

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.
Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. 
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist. 
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew. 
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Republicans Deny Unemployment Compensation To Unemployed Veterans.

It is absolutely insane we have a political party with congressional representatives who deny veterans unemployment compensation. If you did not know returning veterans receive unemployment benefits consider yourself informed. A fact, I personally find reprehensible and unacceptable as the very politicians who deprive the unemployed also tend to be averse to other expenditures related to our discharged troops. I will briefly use the current VA medical services facilities as 'point' for my posit. 

As we experience the aftermath of two wars with subsequent veteran benefits and health related expenses, we are also seeing horrific examples of an agency unnecessarily overburdened. An agency over burdened with people working in a flawed system to do what is right. And yes, some are doing what they feel they need to do to maintain job and maximum pay (bonuses). in the case of the VA, both dynamics lead to hiding information, misinformation and outright lies from the bottom-up. 

Brilliant behavioral psychologists and industry consultants have postulated similarly.
Dr. W. Edward Deming.....

W. Edwards Deming, Out of the Crisis, page 121
The supposition is prevalent the world over that there would be no problems in production or service if only our production workers would do their jobs in the way that they we taught. Pleasant dreams. The workers are handicapped by the system, and the system belongs to the management.
Out of the Crisis, page 175
The aim of leadership should be to improve the performance of man and machine, to improve quality, to increase output, and simultaneously to bring pride of workmanship to people. Put in a negative way, the aim of leadership is not merely to find and record failures of men, but to remove the causes of failure: to help people to do a better job with less effort.
If you think I am off-base, contact former General Shinseki and ask him if he now thinks he was given the full scope of problems within the medical services division in the Veterans Administration.

As the Veterans Administration sizzles with revelations of horrific treatment of former service members, three Republican Senators voted against providing additional funding for the VA. Sen Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. voted against a bill that would allow veterans to seek medical care from private physicians. A VA service option that would allow immediate assistance to a problem that should have been dealt with as Bush/Cheney chased a fake "WMD Dragon" in Iraq. A service options commensurate with potential need and should have been anticipated in light of US wars, Baby boomer Viet Nam Era Vets, and increased cost or providing medical services.  GOP leadership?

Three GOP Senators voting against a bill that actually passed the Senate vote, pales as we consider GOP callousness in denying unemployment compensation to unemployed Americans; 300,000 are veterans.

Let's take a look at the reality facing the nation with consideration of Bush's Wars.
Journalists Resources reports veteran healthcare related data that should serve as a major eye opener for Americans who appreciate.   
..........the number of service members killed in action is central to any such analysis. A February 2013 Congressional Research Service report, “U.S. Military Casualty Statistics: Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom” (PDF), updates data relating to the post 9/11 conflicts, including the numbers of wounded. (Operation Enduring Freedom refers to the Afghanistan conflict; Operation New Dawn refers to the Iraq War during the final transition phase, which ended in December 2011.)

The report notes the following:
During the Iraq War, 4,475 U.S. service members were killed and 32,220 were wounded; in Afghanistan, 2,165 have been killed and 18,230 wounded through Feb. 5, 2013.
Among service members deployed in these conflicts, 103,792 were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) over the period 2002 to December 2012. Over that same period, 253,330 service members were diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) of some kind.
As a result of battle injuries in the Iraq War, 991 service members received wounds that required amputations; 797 lost major limbs, such as a leg. In Afghanistan, 724 have had to undergo amputations, with 696 losing a major limb.- See more 

US service men and women serve as a human foundation for the greatest and strongest military across the globe. They serve on a voluntary basis and there is no shortage of young people who seek to join the US military and they are guided and led by the best of the best. Of course, with some exception, but even the most heinous of the lot still serve and lead effectively enough to accomplish any mission.

While the vast majority of military or defense spending goes to purchase and maintenance of hardware, maintenance of facilities in 153 countries and significant logistics, our nation's troops account for significant defense spending. Spending on US veterans is equally stratospheric.
If the US Congress can find the graphic palatable without corollary consideration for our returning vets, as a nation "we have a problem."

Veterans benefits span disability benefits through education assistance. After serving the nation and walking away discharged with honor (honorable discharge or medical discharge under honorable conditions) veteran benefits should stand as untouchable and welcome expenditures for US politicians.

Now, imagine the veteran who receives her/his discharge and goes about seeking employment in our tight jobs market. Most do not simply walk into jobs. Fortunately, unemployed veterans are eligible for unemployment compensation. Ah, "America the Beautiful," A safety net for those who sacrifice well beyond the majority of Americans. 

Veteran Unemployment Compensation
If you are a service member separating from active duty you may qualify for unemployment compensation if you are unable to find a new job. The Unemployment Compensation for Ex-service members (UCX)program provides benefits for eligible ex-military personnel. The program is administered by the States as agents of the Federal government. You are eligible if:
  • You were on active duty with a branch of the U.S. military, you may be entitled to benefits based on that service. 
  • You must have been separated under honorable conditions. 
  • There is no payroll deduction from your wages for unemployment insurance protection. Benefits are paid for by the various branches of the military.
Receiving separation pay may also influence your receipt of unemployment compensation. (Retirees will almost certainly receive a lesser amount [or no amount] since the weekly amount of retirement pay is usually "offset" against the amount of unemployment compensation.)  
Your state employment office handles unemployment compensation. Benefits vary from state to state

Chad Stone writing for the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities summed up nonpayment of unemployment compensation in the context of our Vets as follows:

Emergency Jobless Benefits Cut-Off Has Hit Nearly 300,000 Veterans

June 24, 2014 at 12:16 pm
How is it even remotely possible noted GOP members of the US Senate can twist their brains think in terms of "we cannot afford it" regarding Veteran care and unemployment compensation? 

The US Congress cut funding for the VA in the recent past. Are conservatives across the nation willing to continue to follow their elected officials through consistent legislative indifference and callousness towards Americans who need assistance? Why do Republicans so often effectively moat and shield for wealthy Americans while "showing the hand" of indifference to the less economically secure? 

David Packman recently posted a YouTube segment that delineates thew issue the most basic manner.

OK, a rundown. The GOP members of congress have......
  • Cut Food aid to the needy
  • Refuses to provide unemployment benefits 
  • Seems to have issues with American women
  • Unabashedly works to suppress minority votes
  • Voted against aid to students while providing savings to the wealthy
  • Refuses to consider gun purchase background checks
  • Spent $84 million on frivolous ACA repeal votes
You are thinking the VA bill passed the Senate, what is the problem? The problem is the extent to which some on the Right clearly legislate with a mind towards high-level (donor) constituents instead of compassionate consideration for those who served the nation and who served with valor and gallantry.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Connect The Dots USA: Combating Misinformation and "Not Knowing"

Re-post from Connect The Dots USA

Connect The Dots USA
The ACA was designed to cover roughly 16 million of the uninsured with the expansion of Medicaid by increasing the eligibility income to 138% of federal poverty level (FPL). That includes individuals with incomes currently up to about $15,800 and families of four with incomes up to about $32,500. 

To avoid placing undue burden on struggling states, the expanded portion of Medicaid will be 100% financed by the federal government for the first three years (2014 to 2016), phasing down to 90% by 2020. So the more Scrooge-like your state was in regards to Medicaid eligibility when the ACA passed in March 2010, the more money your state stands to get from the federal government to insure all the new eligibles under the Medicaid expansion. In other words, under this deal, the meanest states reap the most rewards.

Low and middle-income folks with incomes higher than 138% of FPL — for example individuals with incomes up to about $46,000 and families of of four up to about $94,200 — who cannot get qualified insurance through their employer or who are not eligible for a government program like Medicare, VA or Tricare, will have access to a sliding scale of tax subsidies to help purchase private policies on the new health insurance exchanges.

We’ll take a closer look at those tax credits in a post coming up shortly.

Mark your calendars: Open enrollment starts Oct 1st, 2013 (that’s in about 1 week!), with coverage starting as soon as Jan 1st, 2014 if you get enrolled and make your first payment by Dec. 15th, 2013.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Connect-The-Dots-USA: Health Insurance Exchanges

Re-Blog from Connect The Dots USA

But the best parts of Obamacare come January 1st, 2014. Each state is required to set up a web-based health insurance exchange where companies compete for your business and provide easy-to-read, standardized comparison shopping. It’s like Travelocity for health insurance. The 27 states that failed to set up their own exchange are, ironically, getting the federal format. 

If you cannot get qualified insurance through your employer or through an existing government program like Medicare, Medicaid, VA or Tricare, the exchange (aka the Health Insurance Marketplace) is a new opportunity for you to shop for health insurance and probably get some help buying it. Open enrollment starts Oct 1st, 2013 (that’s less than 2 weeks away!) with coverage starting as early as Jan 1st, 2014 if you get enrolled and make your first payment by Dec 15th.
Find your exchange here:

All policies sold must meet minimum standards and cover a comprehensive set of 10 essential health benefit categories including doctor visits, preventive care, hospitalization (such as surgery), prescriptions, mental health, rehabilitation, laboratory services and emergency care... You know, all the things a reasonable consumer would assume would be covered in a health insurance policy but which unfortunately are not covered in many policies sold today. 

With the Marketplace, you can be confident you’re not getting a crappy, swiss-cheese policy full of holes. The exchanges are designed to give individuals, families and small businesses the transparency and group buying leverage they currently lack.

And best of all, there will no longer be any discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, gender or occupation. Good-bye to 20-page underwriting applications. Rates can vary only by geography, age (but no more than 3:1 from the oldest to the youngest) and tobacco use (maximum of 50% more). For that alone, I say, “Hooray for ACA!”