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Our Veterans Deserve Better
Thursday, July 24, 2014
In the ever-continuing comedy which we call life, my older sister received a package from the veterans’ hospital in Wichita, Kan., this past week.

It included Ensure™, the protein drink which the hospital finally got around to sending after my sister expressed concerns about my father not eating several weeks earlier.

The package also included a set of scales — which weren’t needed, and a note asking my sister to weigh my father, determine how much weight he had lost recently and send them information.

When I got off the phone with her, she was considering following their instructions. It ought to be fairly simple, just set the urn on the scales get the reading, and send in the numbers.

Forget the fact that the VA hospital talked with her about my father’s death on the day of his death to verify his DNR with the ambulance staff.Forget the fact that after the cancer’s removal, my father lasted about a month and a half before being called into the presence of Christ, during which calls to the John Dole VA Hospital often didn’t get a response.

Forget the fact… no, don’t forget the fact.

I know Wichita is a long distance from Muleshoe, but the issues troubling veterans to the north could all too easily become problems in the Lone Star State, and even in Bailey County, unless the federal bureaucracy resolves the situation.

And I don’t mean just incidents such as have been uncovered in Kansas, where almost 400 veterans were reportedly placed on some type of “VA do not serve” list, or experienced some other type of benefit infringement.

Disgusting actions that are made even worse, according to the information I learned during my own trip to the hospital last week, when during one sleepless night VA benefit officials were defending the government bonuses they receive on C-SPAN in light of the current ongoing investigation.

Several years ago, an individual — a veteran himself, took a job with the VA hospital in Oklahoma City, Okla. He didn’t stay too long before switching to a position at Tinker Air Base.

To make a long story short, he was tired of being sent to deliver hospital beds to the homes of veterans who had been dead and buried weeks earlier.

He said that his request for the VA staff to verify that a veteran’s need still existed — more importantly, to prevent situations in which the family of a veteran had to explain to a delivery driver that the bed wasn’t needed because their loved one had died three weeks earlier… an event that was apparently forgotten by the government agency specifically designated to care for them, before dispatching him with the equipment, fell on uncaring ears.

Our veterans deserve better.

While I am strongly convinced that a government should be committed to keep the promises it has made to all of its citizens — without altering those original promises (Yes, this includes the US Bill of Rights) to meet the political agendas of more recent administrations, this is especially true for the veterans who have set aside portions of their personal lives for military service.

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Reading E-mail? Scam-Sniffing Skill Is Required
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Since a long time before the biblical patriarch Jacob conned his blind old father Isaac, and thus shafted his brother Esau, a nose for the tell-tale smell of a scam has been a serious asset in this fallen world.

Why should we be surprised in this e-mail and internet age that scam-sniffing skill is as essential as a computer, tablet, or smart phone?

Here, let me show you. I’m opening my in-box. Hmm.

Well, for starters, anything marked in all caps, “Urgent” or “Important,” isn’t.

Something someone sent from “Claims” asks, “Is this your money?” They already know that it is not. But they’d like to make a good bit of my money their money.

“ Dating” tells me that someone may be “really” interested in me. I could have told them that already. My wife of 39 years has long ago expressed mild but lasting interest.

One note refers to me as “Dear Sweetie.” I don’t believe I’ll answer. (See the previous paragraph.) Another sender is checking to see if I got my check for “$5,645.” Nope.

Anything from someone whose first name is “Mr” or “Mrs,” usually followed by a Middle Eastern or African-sounding name, wishing you “Good Day” in all caps, and informing you that their personal secretary has been instructed to release funds on your behalf…

Well, they do want a release of funds — from your bank account to theirs.

A number of folks seem concerned about my health. A couple of companies want to tell me about secret diets that “all my friends are talking about.”

If diets are what all my friends talked about, I’d look for less boring friends.

One company (lacking in punctuation skills) wants to send me a really comfortable knee brace. And one seems also to think I need to diet and wants to send me, uh, I hate to mention this, some kind of an “amazing bra” with incredible support.

Health-wise, I see an e-mail or two of a more legitimate nature from some of the many folks who seem sure that “wellness” is a real word somehow superior to “health.”
Full Story

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