Veterans

The Feds Have Failed Veterans, but the Private Sector Is Picking Up the Slack

Survey results and death penalty statistics reveal a shocking truth about veterans' mistreatment, but there's hope beyond Uncle Sam.

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The federal government's ability to care for returning veterans and set them up for success in civilian life has proved woefully inadequate for decades. The notorious failures and backlogs of the VA have received renewed attention on the presidential campaign trail, but the problems go much deeper than issues with basic medical care.

A recent survey from Disabled American Veterans indicates that less than half of veterans believe they have received the support they were promised upon returning from service, with only 1 in 5 saying the federal government treats them well or that they have gotten the benefits due to them. Moreover, fully two-thirds of respondents say they are unprepared for or stigmatized in the civilian job market. 

More sinister evidence of a lack of concern or understanding for veterans' issues has also just been released by the Death Penalty Information Center, which reports that while only 0.04% 0.4% of the general population have served currently serve in active duty, at least 10% of current death row inmates are veterans, and many others have already been executed. While the exact prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder and other service-related disabilities among these vets is difficult to determine, many are known to have PTSD, some having been granted 100% disability as a result.

The Obama administration has paid repeated lip service to cleaning up the VA and otherwise keeping promises to vets. Among other programs, the White House created Joining Forces, an effort to reduce homelessness and increase opportunities for former military members. A recently announced partnership with Uber and Lyft claims it will give free rides to veterans for job interviews.

The feds' efforts have not delivered much in the way of tangible benefits for veterans, however, as indicated by the D.A.V. survey results. But there have been significant recorded gains in private sector employment and non-profit support for veterans over the past few years. While it's impossible to know how much of a nudge the White House's new focus on public-private partnerships may have given to such efforts, the innovation around veterans' issues is now squarely in the domain of the private sector.

Predictably, a flourishing of creative approaches has resulted. For example, this past week, 5 of the world's top gamers gathered to play the highly anticipated game Call of Duty: Black Ops III, in a livestreamed fundraising event that netted 6 figures for non-profits supported by the Call of Duty Endowment. Microsoft and other tech giants are running programs designed to capitalize on vets' leadership and other skills while transitioning them to a job. These and other efforts have resulted in the unemployment rate for veterans dipping below that for other people.

In September, Reason TV spoke with veteran Army Rangers Matthew Griffin and Donald Lee, founders of Combat Flip Flops, about their efforts to convert military to commercial infrastructure. Their experiences as commandos in the Special Operations Force, conducting raids in remote Afghan villages and calling in airstrikes, led them to believe that the only sustainable path to peace is through economic opportunity.

Watch the video above to find out how their company manages to employ both U.S. veterans and locals in conflict zones, while giving 10-20% of profits to help veterans' aid organizations, educate Afghan girls (they've provided over 50 years of school just this year), and de-mine areas of Laos. 

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  1. General Patton knew how to handle the PTSD bullshit.

    1. PTSD bullshit? Do elaborate

    2. Hopefully you’re not serious.

      1. I am. Curious about Patton, and what he did.

          1. A true “stand up and cheer” in the theater moment.

      2. Jesus fucking stab me in the goddamn head with a motherfucking Mary nipple. Apatheist, stop that…

    3. Patton had a point. Hear me out. The Army in WW2 treated ‘combat fatigue’ cases by removing them from their units and placing them either in a hospital setting or mental hospital. In both cases, they were removed from their peer group—the only people who cared about them in theater—and placed in an environment surrounded by sick people. By contrast, the German Army withdrew PTSD cases from the front lines, if possible, but kept them near/with their unit. They remained under military discipline, were given light duty, and reminded that their peers were still on the front line and needed them to return as soon as possible.

      By slapping the soldiers, and letting them know their conduct was unacceptable, Patton was trying to get them more afraid of him or rekindling their sense of guilt, so that they would want to return to their units. Crude as hell, probably ineffective, and it damned near got Patton fired, but not solely the actions of a raving psychotic. FWIW, Patton was probably suffering from it himself, at least during the first slapping incident.

      Ironically, Patton’s grandson is working (maybe it’s finished?) on a film highlighting modern attempts to address PTSD.

      1. “FWIW, Patton was probably suffering from it himself, at least during the first slapping incident.”

        Pretty sure it was Ridgway when he was sent to Korea to save Mac’s ass who commented that non-coms can have morale problems, officers can’t afford to.
        Patton was an aggressive commander, but should have had a better staff to keep him away from those sorts of circumstances.

      2. One also needs to put it in context, for which some of Szasz’ recollections would be useful. The medicalisation of what is essentially a moral problem only aggravates things and quite easily send somebody like General Patton round the flipping bend. Sure some understanding of the underlying neuropsychiatric mechanics is helpful, but understanding how the mind gets itself tied in knots doesn’t transform the basic problem from one of a corruption of beliefs into a medical disease. And all the neuropsychiatric hooha would be a lot better applied to fiddling with how the military arranges certain things with a mind to reducing the facility wherewith soldiers might slide into shock than it can ever be applied to something like ‘treatment’ after the fact.

        1. Now suppose the PTSD came from child abuse as most of it does. Moral problem? Morale problem?

  2. “Their experiences led them to believe that the only sustainable path to peace is through economic opportunity.” Better

  3. The Feds have failed citizens in general. Period.

    http://www.CompletePrivacy.tk

    1. I agree with the bot.

    2. Skynet will arrive any minute now.

      Also, I agree.

  4. .04% of 300 million is 120,000 – that is obviously an effect of innumeracy. .

  5. The only sustainable path to peace is a change in human nature. Good luck with that.

  6. Veterans with PTSD are on death row?

    W.T.F?

    You know. I’m starting to get the sneaking suspicion we’re pretty barbaric when it comes to treatment of soldiers in North America. We pump our fists ‘fuck yeah’, wear poppies and demand they fight our wars but when they need us most and where it counts most we look the other way. It’s uncivil what we have done and quite frankly can’t understand it. The least we can do is give them the medical and psychological help they ask for in a TIMELY manner.

    1. And end to cannabis prohibition would be a good start.

      When I got back from ‘Nam vets were a large part of the cannabis consuming community.

      1. No kidding. Don’t blame them.

        Lifting the prohibition would many people at large.

      2. Not just cannabis.

        My wife’s uncle came back hooked on opium, and would disappear for months at a time. The problem persists to this day.

    2. Unfortunately, when you say “we” should do something, it’s taken to mean the government should do it as our agent. Which generally precludes giving them quality medical and psychological help in a timely manner.

      1. Which is why I avoid the VA and other government “care” as best I can and use my own resources to take care of myself. I can do so, as I have them – those that cannot… this sucks ass, hard.

  7. Related:
    http://www.dailybreeze.com/vet…..rested-him

    The VA Police officer (Yes! There is such a thing) said to a veteran that he was arresting:
    “You’re one of those Vietnam baby killers”

    Classy, especially for a VA employee.

  8. Actually, surveys of actual VA patients find that they are overall quite satisfied with the care they get there. See for instance here: http://www.military.com/daily-…..cores.html

    Right-wingers have taken a relatively small problem–three or four hundred thousand veterans waiting too long for their appointments, in a system which handles MORE THAN NINETY MILLION doctors’ appointments in a single year for more than six million individual patients–and made a disproportionate noise about it. Sure, it’s a problem and I’m not saying it’s not a problem, but it’s hardly a reason to condemn the entire VA system.

    1. The right-wingers who write for Huffpo?

      “VA Mental Health Care Delays, Staff Shortages, Plague Veterans”
      […]
      ” The problems veterans experience getting Veterans Affairs medical care also exist with VA mental health care, where veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and even those at high risk of suicide face long waits, according to VA staffers and internal investigations.”
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..80739.html

      I seem to recall you and the not so intelligent toad..

      1. Apparently, a large swath readers of military.com didn’t get the notice about how satisfied they and their fellow vets are with the VA. At least, that’s what they’re saying in the comments on toad’s link.

        1. Didn’t try the link, just thought I’d check his claim about ‘right-wingers’ since the handle rings a pretty strong alarm bell. The first page of the Bing search show ‘right-wingers’ including Huffpo, CBS, CNN, ABC, USAToday, and finally, yep, WSJ.
          There’s a certain tulpa-ish fragrance associated with that name; can’t quite place it.

        2. Of course the comments express discontent. No one bothers to leave a comment if they’re happy; they just get on with life.

          1. This means you get to ignore the data which don’t support your narrative?

            1. Comments on a blog are not “data”.

              1. Keep waving those arms!

              2. How are they not data?

                1. They are not part of any survey or experiment. And, they are a self-selecting group of discontents. People tend to leave comments on an article like that when they are angry about something, not when they are happy.

                  1. You don’t know what data are. OK then.

                    1. Oh, the dance gets better! See below…

                    2. No, YOU don’t know what data are. I have an advanced degree in chemistry and worked as a medical scientist for most of my professional life and I have processed more data than you will ever see. I have been legally responsible for data.

                    3. Intelligent Mr Toad|11.11.15 @ 11:48PM|#
                      “No, YOU don’t know what data are. I have an advanced degree in chemistry and worked as a medical scientist for most of my professional life and I have processed more data than you will ever see. I have been legally responsible for data.”

                      Oh, goody! A DEGREED ignoramus. Fuck off.

                    4. Degreed, and professionally experienced. And an expert, not an ignoramus. Unlike you (apparently), I have actually handled, measured, processed, published, and been responsible for, professional data. I am being generous by talking to you, and you should be more respectful of your superiors.

                    5. Intelligent Mr Toad|11.12.15 @ 12:03AM|#
                      “Degreed, and professionally experienced.”
                      And dishonest.

                      “And an expert, not an ignoramus.”
                      And exopert ignoramus

                      “Unlike you (apparently), I have actually handled, measured, processed, published, and been responsible for, professional data. I am being generous by talking to you, and you should be more respectful of your superiors.”
                      You’re a fucking ignoramus and should be honored that I’m willing to insult such a miserable excuse for humanity.
                      Fuck off.

                    6. Yet you used the wrong denominator while trying to make a claim about percentages.

                      which means you’re either dumb enough to have mixed up “patients” with “visits”, or that you’re dishonest. Or both.

                      All of those things are sad.

                    7. No, YOU are using the wrong denominator. When discussing the number of delayed APPOINTMENTS, the appropriate denominator is the number of total APPOINTMENTS. Appointments, not patients, is the appropriate metric here, because by counting appointments you distinguish between a patient who has twenty on-time experiences and one delayed one, and a patient who suffers twenty delayed appointments. Those are very different cases and should be counted differently. The more delayed appointments a patient suffers, the bigger his complaint is, so it is appointments, not patients, which ought to be counted in determining the size of the problem.

                    8. toad, I think your point is that comments are not a ‘statistically significant sample’ in a properly designed study. Nevertheless, they are data – anything can be considered data.

          2. Well, there is some praise in those comments. It’s just that there were a lot of unhappy campers, too.

            Funny you’d dismiss it out-of-hand so quickly when there were commentators on that site who were towing your line…

            1. Get it right, you can ‘toe the line’ or ‘tow the lion’, but you can’t mix them.

              It’s like crossing the streams.

              1. I suppose you could toe the lion, if you’re into that sort of thing.

        3. The tendency is to leave a comment if you are angry about something and not if you are happy. Especially about health: people with poor health love to complain about their care. Even so, some of the comments are positive:

          “I was always very well treated at the VA Long Beach California. I felt people actually cared. ”

          “The VA also saved me twice.”

          ” The doctors and medical staff, and other staff are great and outstanding with the care and personal customer service …. ”

          “I Have been using the VA Hospital in Long Beach California now for 5 years and I have had great care.”

          “I’m a Vietnam and Persian Gulf War vet with 27 years of service–the VA saved my life and made it worth living again.”

          1. So now you agree it’s data? OK. A rough count and it looks like at least 10:1 negative to me.

            1. Comments on a blog are not a scientific sample. And they tend to self-select for commenters with an axe to grind.

              1. Intelligent Mr Toad|11.11.15 @ 11:09PM|#
                “Comments on a blog are not a scientific sample. And they tend to self-select for commenters with an axe to grind.”

                Sorta like you? All bullshit and no info?
                There’s a difference; apparently 9 out of ten ‘have an axe to grind’, like getting rotten service.
                Still waiting (now well over an hour) for the cite on “ONE PERCENT!!!”. Do you have the cite, or do we presume you’re totally full of shit?

                1. You seem to think I am your servant from whom you can demand prompt service. You are wrong. I can wait as long as I like. But I have already given you references in another comment on this thread. Go find them! Or, just go to the Wikipedia article on “VA Scandal” and follow the links.

                  RE: “apparently 9 out of ten ‘have an axe to grind'” You do not seem to understand what a SELF-SELECTING SAMPLE is, and why data taken from same are invalid. I’m not gonna explain it to you, because your tone is disrespectful. Go look it up yourself, or go back to school and take an intro statistics/probability/epidemiology course.

                  1. Intelligent Mr Toad|11.11.15 @ 11:52PM|#
                    “You seem to think I am your servant from whom you can demand prompt service”

                    No, I’m now assured you’re a lying piece of shit with an agenda.

                  2. Oops!
                    “because your tone is disrespectful.”
                    Fuck off.

              2. So according to you Mr. Choad. Online ratings sites like Yelp are not an effective means of judging a companies service.

                1. You are correct. Online ratings sites like Yelp are not scientific surveys and do not claim to be. No one would cite them in any scholarly or peer-reviewed article.

                  1. Intelligent Mr Toad|11.11.15 @ 11:54PM|#
                    “You are correct. Online ratings sites like Yelp are not scientific surveys and do not claim to be”

                    And, given your advanced degrees, I’m sure you thought you were ‘clever’ enough to slide that misdirection through without anyone noticing, right?
                    How many ‘scientific’ studies did you corrupt with your dishonesty?

                    1. Zero. I was pretty conscientious.

                    2. Intelligent Mr Toad|11.12.15 @ 12:08AM|#
                      “Zero. I was pretty conscientious.”
                      Hard to believe.

                    3. OK, Sevo, your turn. Have you ever measured, processed, or been responsible for any professional data? Published in peer-reviewed academic or scientific journals? Do you have an advanced degree in any scientific field? Do you have any qualifications whatsoever for a conversation about any medical problem?

                    4. lol, you r retard, please continue, funny shit here !

                    5. Intelligent Mr Toad|11.12.15 @ 12:29AM|#
                      “OK, Sevo, your turn. Have you ever measured, processed, or been responsible for any professional data?”

                      None of your business, but yes.
                      Your problem seems to be a not-unknown issue of confusing the paper someone gave you with a modicum of intelligence.
                      We live on a reputational economy here, so your paper is NWS, As is your rep, by now.
                      I repeat, fuck off, and I’ll now add, asshole.

                  2. “scientific surveys”

                    A survey is not scientific. By definition. Surveys are, at best, approximations of aggregates.

                    Anyone who calls a survey scientific is just slapping an adjective they don’t understand onto a concept they don’t understand in order to lend the latter more credence with people who similarly don’t understand what’s being talked about.

          2. I known a lot of veterans that had “dealings” with the VA for medical treatment. Seems sort of random. Either they come back saying how it was all so excellent and grand and saved their lives and what not or else they end up being run through some nightmare horror scene. Offhand, I can’t recall anybody with a middle-of-the-road experience. Seems like when it goes bad, it goes to hell. And from those anecdotes related to me, it seems like a bad experience is somewhat more common than a good one. I should point out that this situation isn’t really that much different from what happens with folks who seek medical treatment from other sources, especially where an entrenched establishment blocks any new clinics which might upset the monopoly from opening up (which is true to some extent almost everywhere I been).

            1. Speaking of bad XPs, I knew a guy with a post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis who tried to call somebody with the VA about anxiety getting worser. The response was less than helpful and in fact almost as frustrating and insulting as it could be if it were so by design. He got fed up, said, “I may as well just kill myself!” and hung up. A couple hours later, the police broke his door down and dragged him out into the snow in his bathrobe and slippers, handcuffed him, and took him to the local medical clinic. He was detained there till they got some veterans’ psychotherapist to come in and talk to him. This guy told him he had a choice–he could either get therapy onced a week or else they’d take him off the veterans’ hospital and imprison him the psychiatric ward. He had to sign a statement promising to get therapy onced a week without fail. He did so, and he was released. He was making his way on foot through the snow the couple miles it was to his house, in his robe and slippers, when I happened to see him and gave him a ride. The ensuing therapy sessions were insane; it seemed like the therapist was doing his best to try to drive the guy through the roof.

            2. And my grandfather, a world war II bombardier, had a severe asthma attack and had to be hospitalised, after which the VA forced him into a nursing home temporarily, where he was housed for a time in a room with a dead guy, and had the nurses forcing him to take the wrong medication (because it was tagged for someone else with a similar, though different, Norwegian name). When he got out, they said if he had another hospitalisation they’d imprison him there permanently. He said it wasn’t worth it, so next time he couldn’t breathe, he just let it go and died. I guess he took the coward’s way out.

              Fifteen years later, my father was treated for terminal colon cancer by the same VA hospital and he got better treatment than most folks I know who seek cancer treatment privately.

              1. You are correct. I’m in the military and my wife used to work for the VA and I was privileged to see the inner workings of the monstrosity. There are quality teams in certain spots, at certain hospitals where quite frankly a group of competent people have been able to keep out the real shitbag employees and hold the bureaucracy at bay. Sadly, the veteran employees tend to be the worst and get a preference a big one at the VA.

                When I get out, I will not use the VA, it is a mess.

      2. That Huffington post article describes individual cases, but no NUMBERS. Numbers are everything. Being hit by a falling air-conditioner is very bad, but it doesn’t happen very often, so it doesn’t matter much.

        1. Does cherry-picking pay a ‘living wage’ in your locale?

          1. You are the ones who are cherry-picking. You take a problem which affects LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of doctors’ appointments at VA and pretend it is typical. That’s the DEFINITION of “cherry-picking”.

            1. “You take a problem which affects LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of doctors’ appointments at VA and pretend it is typical. That’s the DEFINITION of “cherry-picking”.”

              No, selecting data to support a lie is ‘cherry-picking’; you lie about “1%” and select data in the hopes of supporting that.
              G is kind enough to presume you’re an ignoramus. I don’t; I presume you’re a slimy lefty with an agenda, just stupid enough to hope we, here, would believe your bullshit.

        2. Here, arm-wave this one away:

          “Pattern of problems with Veterans Affairs healthcare system”
          […]
          “As accusations of mismanagement, falsified records and preventable patient deaths rock the Veterans Affairs healthcare system, some who are familiar with the VA say the failures are consistent with a pattern of well-documented problems.
          […]
          Under a 1996 law, disabled veterans needing care must be seen by a provider within 30 days. But five years after the law passed, the GAO found that two-thirds of the specialty-care clinics they examined had wait times longer than 30 days.”
          http://www.modernhealthcare.co…../305079939

          C’mon, tulpa, we know you can do it!

          1. Not every retard is Tulpa, fwiw

            he doesn’t seem to re-use old handles either

            1. True, but the sophistry has that fragrance.

          2. 1. Sensationalistic headlines which make a big noise over a small problem (a problem affecting LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of doctors’ appointments at VA) do not prove anything.

            2. Who or what is “tulpa”?

            1. “1. Sensationalistic headlines which make a big noise over a small problem (a problem affecting LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of doctors’ appointments at VA) do not prove anything.”

              Cite missing after repeated claims.

              1. “Healthcare workload on VA increased substantially from 2007 to 2013. VA experienced an increase of 46% in outpatient visits from 63 million in 2007 to 92 million in 2013. Also, inpatients treated increased 11% from over 811,000 to nearly 902,000.[28][29]” Wikipedia, “VA scandal”. The reference given is Medical Programs and Information Technology Programs, Congressional Submission: FY 2015 Funding and FY 2016 Advance Appropriations” (PDF). Vol. II. Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs. March 6, 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2014.

                Also, ” VA reported to Congress that over 300,000 veterans nationwide were either forced onto waiting lists or forced to wait over six months for a medical appointment.[24][25]” Ref is United States House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform ?Minority Staff Special Investigations Division. “Waiting Times for Veterans Health Care in Georgia” (PDF). oversight-archive.waxman.house.gov. Retrieved October 26, 2014.

                1. You seem to be trying to dilute the “Percentage of patients who suffered problems” …

                  ….by pretending its a percentage of “Visits” instead of “total patients”

                  Surely you’re not that stupid.

                2. Intelligent Mr Toad|11.11.15 @ 11:07PM|#
                  “Healthcare workload on VA increased substantially from 2007 to 2013. [ misdirection, goal post moves, excuses, other bullshit]”

                  So you admit you can’t even support the un-examined “1%!!!!” claim?
                  Maybe you’re not that stupid per G. Maybe you’re that ‘clever’ and hope *we’re* that stupid.
                  SURPRISE! You lose.

                  1. What are you talking about? The point in the sentence I quoted is not the fact that the workload changed over time, but the NUMBERS in it.

                    You are clearly to stupid to be worth talking to. Take a statistics course and get back to me when you have passed it successfully.

            2. “Who or what is “tulpa”?”

              Its a shorthand term for “Retarded Troll”

              Trying to pretend that the VA has a “small problem” just shows you don’t understand numbers (or are dishonest)

              The total population VA serves is over 5m; but those that are either severely disabled, or requiring terminal care, is comparatively smaller (~2m or so). Hundreds of thousands being denied prompt care is not a “minor” problem. The fact that the VA bureaucracy tried to cover-up and hide their incompetence is an even worse problem

              There are tons of reports with varying degrees of ‘blame laying’ out there. Most are cited here. if you wanted to quote them you would. But you don’t because doing so means people could show you how you were cherry picking.

              You don’t marshal any particular data to your claim at all. There are tons of reports ranging from FB

              1. Sorry, that bottom line was just leftover scrap

            3. And
              “1. Sensationalistic headlines which make a big noise over a small problem (a problem affecting LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of doctors’ appointments at VA) do not prove anything.”
              You should read what’s in the link, for example:
              “In 2007, an audit by the department’s inspector general revealed that Veterans Health Administration facilities did not always adhere to the organization’s scheduling policies and procedures. Unexplained differences between the desired dates shown in the scheduling software and the desired dates shown in the related medical records also caused the inspector general to conclude that the VHA’s reported waiting times were unreliable.

              2. Who or what is “tulpa”?
              Someone who posts here using the same sort of sophistry as you do.

            4. Still waiting (40 minutes) for the “ONE PERCENT!!!” cite

              1. See above. Three or four hundred thousand out of MORETHAN NINETY MILLION doctors’ appointments. GO to the Wikipedia article on “VA Scandal” and follow the links (unless you are too computer-illiterate or too lazy to do so).

                1. “”Three or four hundred thousand out of MORETHAN NINETY MILLION doctors’ appointments. “”

                  No.

                  400,000 patients out of a “few million patients” served annually

                  You’re trying to divide the “number of patients who had problems” by “number of visits” instead of as a percentage of the total patients served annually.

                  And you do it that way because its a big number… either because you’re dumb, or because you’re dishonest, or both.

                  1. No, I’m talking about the number of delayed appointments, not the total number of patients. When you are talking about delayed APPOINTMENTS, it is appropriate to count total APPOINTMENTS.

                    1. Intelligent Mr Toad|11.12.15 @ 12:00AM|#
                      “No, I’m talking about the number of delayed appointments, not the total number of patients. When you are talking about delayed APPOINTMENTS, it is appropriate to count total APPOINTMENTS.”

                      Yes, and we wish you would cite real data about that, rather than suggest we derive those numbers from a wiki cite.
                      A search under ‘VA appointments delayed’ popped up this instantly:
                      “VA Appointment Delays Keep Getting Worse”
                      […]
                      “An internal investigation released Monday into the secret waiting lists and other chicanery that kept veterans from receiving timely care is like a Chinese firecracker that keeps exploding with every turn of its 54 pages:
                      ? More than 100,000 vets have experienced waits longer than 90 days for medical care. That includes 57,000 who are waiting 90 days or more for their initial appointment, and 64,000 who requested appointments over the past decade and never got them.”

                      Yeah, that’s ‘only’ 100,000 and ‘only’ 64,000; who cares about numbers that small, right? But I notice you have, at best a wiki cite for your claim. And you claim some degree of education; strange.

                    2. This is what you quoted =

                      “”VA reported to Congress that over 300,000 veterans nationwide were either forced onto waiting lists””

                      That’s not “appointments”, is it? that’s people.

                      That’s also not the only measure of the # of people who suffered significant problems with VA service. No matter who’s counting, its in the hundreds of thousands annually.

                      But you would divide that # by the annual patient population, not “visits”, to get any measure of the % of negatively-affected

                      Watching you repeat the same thing over and over is sort of embarrassing.

                    3. You are right about the words of the wiki article, but it really amounts to the same thing, because a veteran who suffers an unacceptable delay in one appointment is unlikely to try to schedule another one or to succeed in doing so if he does try. So a “veteran [who is forced onto a] waiting list is virtually the same as a delayed appointment.

                    4. ” it really amounts to the same thing,”

                      No it doesn’t. And if you had any real point, you’d try digging deeper rather than create a fake “1%” claim by comparing apples and oranges.

                      You’re a professional data-monkey, right? (lol) why wouldn’t you go here to find your apropos comparables?

                      http://www.va.gov/vetdata/utilization.asp

                      You’d actually be able to get relevant info on the annual patient access by type, etc. and compare those few-million per year to the few-hundred-thousand that were put in Limbo.

                      None of which again would say anything about the more-relevant point that the VA regularly lied about its fuckups, and is being investigated by the FBI for criminal wrongdoing related to those deceptions

                    5. Yes, it does amount to nearly the same number. You are right that the CONCEPT is different, but the number is most likely nearly the same, because a veteran whose first appointment is delayed will not get a second appointment while he is waiting for his first appointment.

                    6. No, its not even remotely close. Its also why you can’t find a single report citing “1 percent” the way you describe.

                      The most common way they’ve measured their inability to deal with demand has been to measure “average wait times” by different priority groups. Since news media first started reporting on the VA-coverup scandal… those wait-time data have gotten worse.

                      Per the VA Backlog Working Group

                      “…about 188,000 claims ? roughly 40 percent of all ongoing claims ? have been pending more than 125 days. As the VA has reduced their claims backlog, the backlog of appeals has grown, leading critics to claim the VA is simply denying more claims so they can be marked as resolved and dealing with them on appeal instead.”

                      As has been repeatedly pointed out – completely aside from the problem of their chronic mismanagement, is their criminal attempts to cover up the problems.

                      Pretending there’s “1%” that’s a problem, and somehow 99% is functioning A-OK, is beyond ignorant. Waving around 2 unrelated headline-numbers just makes you look more of an idiot.

                2. Intelligent Mr Toad|11.11.15 @ 11:11PM|#
                  “See above. Three or four hundred thousand out of MORETHAN NINETY MILLION doctors’ appointments. GO to the Wikipedia article on “VA Scandal” and follow the links (unless you are too computer-illiterate or too lazy to do so).”

                  I did ‘see above’, and noted your evasions, misdirections, innuendos, goal-post moves and lies.
                  Fuck off.

    2. The problem with those surveys is that they don’t survey the people who gave up waiting for an appointment. Also, the VA is full of shit:

      Yet whistleblowers on the ground at some VA facilities tell CNN the average wait times publicly reported by the VA do not reflect the experiences of veterans.

      For example, at the Los Angeles VA medical center — the largest in the nation — public data released by the VA states the average wait time was less than four days for completed mental health appointments in August.

      An internal document obtained by CNN says the average wait time for new patients seeking mental health care at the LA VA was 43 days in August, however.

      “They’ve started to measure the numbers differently more than they have actually improved the patients actual wait time in many cases,” said a source in Los Angeles.

      The VA has publicly confirmed a change in wait-time calculations.

        1. Right.
          He died while he was waiting, but the VA ‘calculated’ he didn’t wait long.

    3. Nice try Hoppy.

      We don’t want single payer, so…NO.

    4. “Obama has spent most of his career as politician describing himself as an advocate for veterans….

      …when Obama took office in 2009, the number of veterans who were waiting more than a year for their benefits stood at 11,000. By December 2012, that number had ballooned to 245,000.””

      yes, this is clearly a right-wing invented problem

      1. …his career as politician describing himself as an advocate…

        Well THAT part of the statement is true

      2. 2.45 hundred thousand delayed appointments out of MORE THAN NINETY MILLION doctors’ appointments PER YEAR at VA. Sure, that’s a big problem! /sarc

        Look up “perspective”.

        1. You keep trying to divide “patients” by “visits”.

          You really are this stupid aren’t you? wow.

          1. See, even tulpa isn’t that dumb.

          2. No, I am trying to divide VISITS by visits.

            1. “”VA reported to Congress that over 300,000 veterans nationwide were either forced onto waiting lists””

              That’s not “visits”. Which has been pointed out 3 times.

              All of which is besides the point. You’re just fixating on trying to create a small number Ex Nihilo to try and dishonestly claim that means there’s “no problem”

              By any measure there is/was an enormous problem, particularly with how they’ve tried covering up/hiding their own failures.

              You don’t seem the slightest bit interested in it so much as trying to dishonestly downplay it by pretending to divide apples with oranges. Which is pathetic.

              1. A veteran who is already on a waiting list cannot schedule another appointment, and is unlikely to try. So 300,000 veterans is pretty much equivalent to 300,000 delayed appointments. Doioioioioi!

                1. You’re a real scientist.

                  1. I WAS a real scientist. Now retired. Invented a new drug and named it after an opera character.

                    1. Its sad to see dementia setting in.

                    2. “A veteran who is already on a waiting list cannot schedule another appointment, and is unlikely to try. So 300,000 veterans is pretty much equivalent to 300,000 delayed appointments. ”

                      Toad, Your assumption is that each vet missed one appt. Bbut most vets end up having multiple appts, so the 300,000 should be multiplied by the avg number of appts a vet has in a year to arrive at the number of appts ‘missed.’ I have no idea how many that would be.

                    3. Intelligent Mr Toad|11.12.15 @ 1:14AM|#

                      I WAS a real scientist. Now retired. Invented a new drug and named it after an opera character.

                      Are we sure this isn’t Dunphy? Or maybe Dunphy’s even more retarded cousin?

        2. Intelligent Mr Toad|11.11.15 @ 11:13PM|#
          “Look up “perspective”.”

          Look up “statistics”; Stalin had your number.

    5. I sense a great disturbance in the derp…

  9. This to me is something Rand should be focusing on. We need to be taking better care of these guys. They also should have had proper body armor and Humvee armor when they were deployed something that did not happen. That’s were are military budget should be going, not for toys that the Generals don’t even want. Increase spending as needed to protect and honor the troops, cut the bulk of the spending for the quagmires that put them in harms way to begin with.

    1. He should have just pointed out that Rubio was thinking like a Congressman. Congress thinks about problems in terms “how much or little money do I throw at it”, because the power of the purse is about the only power they retain. The executive branch has to actually figure out what to do with that money to achieve national objectives (and theoretically doesn’t decide how much money there is anyway).

      Also, the more money you pile on to score political points, the more your military administration becomes dominated by people who think about how to spend money, and less by people who think about how to win wars.

      1. I like that, because it not only kills the stupid within the Republican party but should be equally lethal against the Democrats — “You don’t know how to actually fix anything, but you know how to throw money at it.”

  10. How about stop engaging in these stupid wars masked in the “defending freedom and liberty” bullshit. These interventions haven’t done shit but result in the severe degradation of liberty, and the enrichment of defense contractors, at the expense of those with balls enough to fight for what many of them think is freedom. Many after the initial patriotism wears off, are disgusted at what their gov’t has done, and know it wasn’t in the name of liberty.

    Only the private production of defense can respect liberty. Unlike standing navies, private ships can go out and engage in commerce when not fighting as in the case of the privateers, and folks can go back to work in the case of militias.

    War is expensive, especially when there is consumers / investors that can remove their funding instead of printing presses, and extortion of the citizens is at the disposal of politicians. That is why folks don’t try to conquer their neighbors and force them to sign over their properties, or lobster fisherman respect the others traps. If they continually warred, they’d run out of resources, while others kept hauling lobsters to their customers who abandoned their former violent warring suppliers.

  11. Gov’ts are violent. You can see it with the arm of the state (police) which protects the wants and interests of the state, and will take the liberty and property away from anyone that opposes and doesn’t obey it. Whether it be wishing to no longer be extorted and seek to reward good economic actors instead of rewarding them for continual failure, or doing something that doesn’t harm anyone that the state doesn’t like.

    1. yes, but does it come with a Yellow Ribbon?

      1. They don’t make them small enough for you. They’d probably have to tie it to your finger.

        :0P

        1. IT WAS FOR MY TREE

          and on that note…. watch this…. and wait for the end for the Yellow Ribbon perspective

          1. Or the middle.

      2. “Who doesn’t want to wear the ribbon!?”

  12. Fucking can’t find shit on this thing of trillion shrillies interwebs crap and fuck all. Sony music can suck my goddamn fat delicious salami for ruining 8 years of my goddamn playlists. Fucking Russian army butthole spears in the ears.

    1. Your poetry is the best thing a vet can get. I’m glad it’s here we met.

      You are never a losing bet. When your down or someone’s bothering you, never forget, we’ll kick some ass and I’ll bite them while they’re trapped in a big net.

      1. the single Reason vampire with a capital V means Reason has capital V vampire and this thing is built to last on the vapors pouring from the brains of this thing and i think the robots, spacecraft, men, and 3.5 women hanging in this space swamp are also likely less jittery since capital V king vampire bitch is on patrol. Vial o blood i drained off my wrist for thee love.. i still canNOT FUCKING FIND MY FUCKING SONG< VAMP!!!

        Fuck earth and its ways. praise the lord for Vampire. s.? I mean is this fucking Dracula among my fucking cock juice and brain stems? IS VAMPIRE the living fucking dude of blood and shit. I love him or her but I need to behave and not let my fingers cum all over my little lighted letters.

  13. If spotify could stop being an std that would be awesome for music lovers.

  14. Failed wars print broken humans.
    Families have to drag these printed war material off the plate.
    Dogs and cats and little kids are happy to see these war prints.

    Big mouths and military mother and fathers want to make more prints.

    Agile Cyborg thinks if you want to print broken humans the war should equal a win.

    Because broken humans aren’t funny and they aren’t ethical.

    1. Unless the broken print can look up on a trophy.

  15. Side note =

    People (journalists) seem to often attribute the VA’s ‘under-resourcing’ to returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan…

    …and, while no doubt this is true, specifically for hard-to-identify and treat issues like TBIs, or mental health care, for which demand always outstrips supply…

    …i believe (from my limited research) that the real bulk of the problem re: their funding and the “wait times” and problems delivering sufficient care which have resulted in 1,000+ wrongful death claims since 9/11…

    …is actually just the same problem being faced by the *rest* of the wider health-care world = OLD PEOPLE.

    Its actually the Vets in their 70s-90s who rely disproportionately on VA care; and who all began to go on a dying-spree at the same time that the War on Terror was getting underway.

    And there’s just no easy ‘solution’ for end-of-life care, which has gotten exponentially more expensive as it has gotten more *effective*

    Its the very paradox of ‘end of life’ treatments. All they do is HELP you get older, and as you get older, anything ‘medical’ becomes life-threatening, and enormously expensive.

    Which is why Obama actually knew this was *going to be a problem* in 2007, and was talking about it. It was something everyone knew about.

    Which just magnifies why Government is the worst possible person to put in charge of problems that the market should be solving.

    1. I couldn’t finish reading that because you formatted it like Dunphy.

      1. Shorter =

        VA’s problem is a combination of “hard to treat” stuff like TBIs & PTSD…..and Demographic stuff, like Old People.

        They have a lot of both categories. Most in the “middle” are pushed off onto regular healthcare systems. They get stuck with a lot of the perpetual-crisis shit.

        They knew this would be an issue a decade ago and did nothing about it until it became a huge problem.

  16. ISIS goat-fucker takes a mortar to the head while giving an interview. Holy shit, it is an amazing thing to see! Happy Veterans’ Day!

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/11…..him-video/

    1. Please say he was saying “…and God strike me down if I’m lying”.

      1. Or ‘Allah akbar!’; either will do…

  17. I fucking hate the ntire goddamn motherfucking planet I live on when I canNOT fucking find a goddamn song lost in the multidecade shuffle of human goings about and crap, man. All those FUCKING millions of records and I can’t FUCKING find my song.

    Fuck earth.

    But Reason kings and queens and scribes roll like dandy winklers.
    I just can’t fucking find my goddamn song… so I have to cope and shit move on… Shit is always hard to find when it is from 1940.

  18. Sometimes I wish a space alien rocket shit would crash right the fuck into the front of my head and blow my brains everywhere and when it did my fat erect cock would cum 7 feet of cum right into the mouth of an egyptian mummy.

    nice way to die.

  19. OT:
    It’s touching how some parents think the gov’t schools are designed to help them and their kids rather than the bureaucrats and the various unions:

    “S.F. parents urge programs for gifted, high-achieving students”
    […]
    “In addition, the district had suspended the process used to identify students for the Gifted and Talented Education Program, or GATE, because the criteria relied on state standardized tests, which were put on hold for two years while schools switched to the new Common Core curriculum.
    The angry parents accused the district of dumbing down instruction and ignoring or holding back smart students to focus on the needs of those at the bottom end of the achievement gap.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/educatio…..623819.php

    1. Lowest common denominator.

  20. If time can be ripped then space can be traveled so fucking more efficient. Just fucking rip a hole in the net of time and you will be able to drop your shit in that hole. you won’t be able to get your shit back but at least if that fucking bean filled with sexy humans or monkeys fell down into that hole could land on a gigantic fucking hamster in a parallel fucking net time space jump. Hamsters are nicer than mars. You could haul all that crap back up through that hole somehow with trillions of dollars which would make those space hamsters scientists the most expensive humans in space. I still canNOT FUCKING find.my.song.

  21. Men and women that go to don outfits and
    play soldiers on the clay of america in those places
    and somehow do tons of pushups and crap
    the band smashes out crap
    and the bases under the moon have dark shadows against the sky
    made up from oaks, pines, and palms
    the lovers wear camo and dream of their babies while they sneak
    fucks next to the tank and jet.

    my powerful brother was tossed for an agile reason. lsd stamp.
    but…killing is delicious hallucination fired by thousands… may as
    well don the Amurican field tromps realizing the path before us
    will transcend the vices of pilgrims and we will look down on
    old grey fields and pulverize 40 limbs and sing so fucking sweet song

  22. Dust under the angry boots
    and the Cairo sun fights the layers of suns
    vast broken voices call
    and stone walls
    fall
    when dust buries them
    and
    soldiers crawl and die and cry
    and broken twines and moons and scripts
    confuse and break the heart and minds and still
    the human will
    fights the
    falling cities in the deserts.

    1. Omar Khayyam I am.

      1. Able was I ere I saw Elba

  23. the armies of gods pretend they live
    for eternity and their dreams are built on the violence
    of the shifting angered domes of sands and
    they dream under the trumpets of the texts
    and the lost valleys of their angry prophet and
    seek the blood of energy of their collective
    stone path cut through hundreds of years that
    have since gone – left them alone and seeking empowerment
    and so goddamn fucking wrong.

  24. smothered strings and symbols
    break under your texts while the sand hurts
    and angers the philosophy of peace
    your ghosts demand of you, ISIL

    1. The flower that has once blown forever dies.

      -Not me

      1. straffin run is the river of bleeding breathes and the million lungs cut from the old earth underneath lost time.

        Straff is the old run underneath the beats of ghosts rising up and straffin Rum my brother beat back the massive waves of time bashing in on his household on that island with tons of trees with massive roots and when Straffinrum did this thing all the shark stuck their dicks from the waters of the seas and cum upon his house and no shark ever in the history of Straffisrum ever bit him or his femily… not even until now or beyound now, bros.

        I love you Streff.

  25. the boys ply the dark roads under wide spaces scared
    and their wheels crunch under the sands of angry Americans
    and the moon juts out and the trees boothole the cries of
    demons dancing beyond the mists

    and the boys of ISIL can be broken not by rockets but by religion…
    but…

    can American military dissect ISIL and dismantle its predatory purge through religious dismantling? rather than through limb breaking rockets?

    nah…working with terrorists of the most advanced form is a FUCKING PC smooth business… right, OBAMA?

    You can take out ISIL with secular humanism but you FUCKING won’t…

    Send in the rockets- not pragmatic destruction of their fucking connection to a god that doesn’t exist, right?

  26. the boys ply the dark roads under wide spaces scared
    and their wheels crunch under the sands of angry Americans
    and the moon juts out and the trees boothole the cries of
    demons dancing beyond the mists

    and the boys of ISIL can be broken not by rockets but by religion…
    but…

    can American military dissect ISIL and dismantle its predatory purge through religious dismantling? rather than through limb breaking rockets?

    nah…working with terrorists of the most advanced form is a FUCKING PC smooth business… right, OBAMA?

    You can take out ISIL with secular humanism but you FUCKING won’t…

    Send in the rockets- not pragmatic destruction of their fucking connection to a god that doesn’t exist, right?

    1. goddam duplicates

  27. all this cultural shit bashing my head in. I just fucking am so goddamn dribble drabble.

  28. Why is our American go great? Besides all the old school bullshit shoved up our asses
    and grandpa’s shit shoved down our baby throats…

    WHY THE FUCK are we great for all the last 30 years of shit we do on the planet?

    We made the world better? really? We dropped some crap from that actor in the 80’s. And that fucking hillbilly college girl fucker did what? Put tons of Americans in prison?

    Yea, definitely vote for his wife, that NASTY weird grandma.

    America is in a very FUCKING strange odd garden, bro.

  29. American life is on the verge of ending in a way no establishment republican dick dripping precum can ever imagine and I’d like to punch that odd fuck right in the eye so hard he cried tears that I would bag and sell on Amazon.

    American life is on the verge of ending because the political structure of America is now being handed over to reflections of energies Americans are unaware of. America is on the verge of being a place you do not want to create children in. America is on the verge of no longer being a republic. America is on the verge of no longer being America.

    Imagine a world without America. You can’t. None of us have that ability. I am penning this while my entire being is inverted and my chemicals are screaming at me and like I am writing against the walls of the gods.

  30. freedom is the only sun on any planet.
    she spreads her wings and in spite of tanks and angry brow.
    and world wars and melted trees.
    freedom is the only sun.
    citizens in the alleys of dark broken buildings
    collect freedom tokens like comas.
    and old suns.
    and tired angles, bro.
    fucking tired angels.
    freedom is the knife slit stabbed in the heart of the sun, love,

  31. all these shiny bottles
    reflect auglaize river and the old house
    the boys come by and place a sign
    because i killed a house with my wet
    the cars can’t rave on my river
    because I killed a house
    on auglaize river
    fucking shiny bottles all
    headed to cincy

  32. ran over and smashed a squirrel
    today.
    and his brains spilled everywhere
    but I veered into the old orange mountain. I aimed to not kill the fuck.
    FUcking stop eating buckeyes on the road, fucking rodents.

  33. PTSD is learned behavior.

    1. The capital man is thread lord cape.

  34. my fucking alleys cut like diamonds
    and i want to eat this whit e space like fucking pussy
    agile cyborg uncoils his dimensions of parallel planets
    and bleeds penis bullets into the white space of this thread geography and
    earth space tunnels connect between the old space and the new space
    and before the big bang was the space picnic of space babes and
    sage agile was there eating out the pussy of pre-humankind and pre-bigbang pussy was
    awesome and lovely and I wanted to crawl into the lovely majestic pussy of pre-space earth crap shit
    whatever this pace is – pussy…

    I think I did crawl into pre-galactic pussy and it was moist and i had a million dicks all over my body and they
    were all cumming constantly and
    the vagina of pre=galactic pussy was lined with 3d parallel universes and I saw humans no longer needing internet
    they no longer need tv they also did not die they collapsed but fell into a wrap and families lived and government changed because prison died. the future does not require prisons or laws.man. politicians will be gone… the future is esoteric complicated but mountainous and humans on the alleys will eventually break the backs of ALL political and religious movements to where rivers line with boats floating with spacecraft breaking every principle of scientific hell.

  35. a thread under SIV is a broken cap into a million years of future. Never FUCKING do heroine and break open SIV… You will trip into parallels so long gone that loop back before and beyond that even Jesus will smack the fucking back of your head when you flash by and shit. You will wake up in your fucking goddamn NYC bed or fucking South Carolina foam mattress or fucking Socal vegetation bed crap and have Jesus blood spread all over you body and crap because fucking travelling through time does this shit, bto.

  36. I am falling ever deeper and I offer my cape to my brothers and 3.2 sisters and the fucking caped scribes of this place and all so forgive me but I have a very deep hole I plan on diving into and I won’t return for hours and if i stay here I will posit crap that is essential grunge on the lovely vine and cloud root of this most spectacular place. so fucking peace out dracula beams and boozy shade dwarves with cute nipple titties, agile is about to dive into the basement of his mind. luvs

    1. Belated Peace Out, brother. I hope the trip was weird and wonderful.

  37. Illegal immigrant robots takin’ our jerbs! http://www.gizmag.com/tally-ro…..ore/40334/

  38. Tulpa is at it again.

    Oh yeah, public school had today off.

  39. Its a volunteer position with a highly detailed, contractual set of benefits.

    There remains only one thing to ask.

    Is guaranteed health or income for life a written benefit?

  40. Re: PTSD is learned behavior.

    Please explain how it has a genetic component? Some of the genes involved have been identified.

    If you have the genetics and sufficient trauma you get PTSD.

    Most of the PTSD in America is due to child abuse.

    Cannabis is indicated for the milder cases and opiates for those more severely affected.

    LSD therapy is also helpful. LSD is not legal.

    1. I should add that we don’t have a drug problem in America. We have a PTSD problem. Framed that way the Drug War would be over in weeks. The current framing is that we have an “addiction” problem. However. “addiction” is just a description of behavior. It does nothing to tell you about causes. I can help.

      People in chronic pain chronically take pain relievers.

  41. You might want to check that 0.04% number. Currently, about 0.5% of the U.S. population is serving on active duty. Perhaps, you meant 4%.

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