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  1. #1
    Rambunctiously Pugnacious JayHawk's Avatar
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    Failing Our Veterans

    I have been on record here extolling the efforts of Secretary Shinseki who has very publicly vowed to reform the VA and has started providing accurate actual numbers and status reports to the public. Last night Jon Stewart railed on him.

    Gen Shinseki took over after Obama came into Office so he has had the same five years to reform. While everyone else is shrinking the VA budget just for tackling the claims process grew by 40 billion or million... I forget which... point is it grew.

    They use a different health care tracking system than the DoD so the two systems do not talk.... I know shocking isnt it? Government programmatic rice bowls preventing a smooth working relationship... gee go figure.

    I am actually rather disturbed by the numbers Stewart put out...

    Revealing that the number of veterans waiting over a year for benefits has grown a mind-blowing 2000% during Obama's tenure, Stewart pulled no punches: "That is fucking criminal."
    So sure it was 2000% and I understand there is a delay but what he fails to mention is that when Obama took office he expanded the definition for TBI and PTSD so that ALL affected were offered care. If your goal post are changed it is a bit difficult to say it simply exploded by 2000% as if there were not other cause than incompetence.

    Still beyond all that... and while Stewart is a comedian. His hard hitting piece will cause others to look. Republicans to find blood to sling on Obama and Democrats to find cause to rally for a change to the system. The good thing is they are looking. SO ridiculous items like incompatible health management systems are fixed.

    I am very jaded so I assume some poster will jump in to say of the wounded vets needing care "they volunteered so fuck them and their wounds" ...... (I believe that because it has been written in CE&P before) .. People are certainly entitled to their vile thoughts but so am I. To that sentiment, should anyone hold it, let me throw in a preemptive FUCK YOU.

    Is the cost too much? Should there be a limit? Some politicians during these fiscal times have offered up the VA as a way to save money... cut healthcare to be exact. Person for person it is the most expensive healthcare in the world. However, I also doubt you will find a singular group of people in the world in need of so much care. Whether that be mental health or learning to walk. We as a country ask or allowed them to do these things. So is the cost too much? Or should no cost be spared?

    You can find the video clips here?

    http://www.businessinsider.com/jon-s...arch-27-2013-3
    Last edited by JayHawk; March 28th, 2013 at 05:03 PM.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


  2. #2
    Rambunctiously Pugnacious JayHawk's Avatar
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    Re: Failing Our Veterans

    Just listened to my own link again and they increased the budget by 40%...

    I also failed to mention his critique of the analogy of why the two systems are broken... it is at the end of the skit... very sharp.

    I hope it results in action....
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


  3. #3

    Re: Failing Our Veterans

    Is true we now have an all volunteer military and there are still lots of WW II, Korea and Vietnam vets ,both volunteers and draftee's. All put their life and limbs on the line when the politicians decide its needed. No other groups life is so dependent on politicians. If you want to see the need for yourself , just go sit in the lobby of a VA hospital/clinic and watch the vets coming in for care. It is heart breaking.

    I hope all of the vets get the care they need and deserve.

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    Rambunctiously Pugnacious JayHawk's Avatar
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    Re: Failing Our Veterans

    Agreed Kevin. Since you bring up previous wars, it is also worth noting President Obama changed the definition of who qualifies for Agent Orange disability treatment so as to service those we neglected as a country. that neglect should never happen again. However, that also swells the ranks of those processing a claim.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


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    JUB Addict maxpowr9's Avatar
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    Re: Failing Our Veterans

    ^ I don't mean this in a negative light but someone watched The Daily Show last night!

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    Rambunctiously Pugnacious JayHawk's Avatar
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    Re: Failing Our Veterans

    I did ..life is too busy to stay connected to this never changing din of shit we call politics... so i catch the Daily show at night and maybe Maddows intro... during the day I might catch Rush so I can know what the other side is going to whine about and exactly what tact they will take.... other than that I am focusing on work, gym, puppies, getting a business off the ground and school
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


  7. #7
    PerScientiam AdJustitiam bankside's Avatar
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    Re: Failing Our Veterans

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    I am very jaded so I assume some poster will jump in to say of the wounded vets needing care "they volunteered so fuck them and their wounds" ...... (I believe that because it has been written in CE&P before) .. People are certainly entitled to their vile thoughts but so am I. To that sentiment, should anyone hold it, let me throw in a preemptive FUCK YOU.

    Is the cost too much? Should there be a limit? Some politicians during these fiscal times have offered up the VA as a way to save money... cut healthcare to be exact. Person for person it is the most expensive healthcare in the world. However, I also doubt you will find a singular group of people in the world in need of so much care. Whether that be mental health or learning to walk. We as a country ask or allowed them to do these things. So is the cost too much? Or should no cost be spared?
    It's not just one country that asks soldiers to do these things; decent countries are allied to make the world a better place. All of these countries have volunteer armed forces. Citizens need to realise that when someone steps forward to defend the country, he's volunteering to deal with the danger facing his fellow citizens, not gambling with his life to win or lose when the dice land on the table.

    Once someone volunteers for that, faces the danger, and goes home, he's made all the sacrifices he knew he could face. It's not right for the rest of us to expect him to keep on sacrificing because we think it is convenient to pay lower taxes. Not every scar can be taken away, and some are lucky to have just scars. But soldiers should receive whatever medical care is necessary to let them return to independent civilian life. When their service is over, they're entitled to that.

    Do you question what we ask soldiers to do though? War is a dangerous job, but do we sometimes make it stupidly more dangerous than it needs to be? I'm not convinced we have smart military strategies, and sometimes I do not think our military commands have the proper regard for the value of a soldier's life.
    Last edited by bankside; March 28th, 2013 at 09:34 PM.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Rambunctiously Pugnacious JayHawk's Avatar
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    Re: Failing Our Veterans

    I do question it. Ardently. I can tell you that I state most of my positions here but some I keep under my hat. I am under a legal obligation in many ways. Equally I am legally bound to oppose actions I find contrary to our constitution. On that account i would have been routed if I had discovered Abu Graib (as a well known failure). I could not observe that shit and simply go along with it.

    Yet I think we make ignorant choices. Consider the last ten years. After the Army was not used for a few decades they were called to duty. We found out rather rapidly that they were not equipped for war. Whether or not there are IEDs explosions exist in war. So WHY would we have a majority fleet of unarmored HumVees? Why would we not posses enough personnel armor. It makes no sense.

    I know I speak from the bias of being a navy guy, but we have our equipment up and running and we have deployed every year since we became a blue water navy. We often have inadequate support systems like training IT, HR, and housing. Whereas the army has fantastical support systems and under real stress found out they had inadequate business end supplies.

    Those strategic mistakes are what are most egregious and cause the most harm. Yet our politicians are so inept and petty they focus upon short term mud slinging rather than long term solutions. AT the outset of the war the left simply used the Army's long term failures to blame Bush. Where as many of the failures occurred during the long span of Democratic leadership.

    SO the long and short is that I hold them all accountable.
    Last edited by JayHawk; March 28th, 2013 at 09:51 PM.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


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    JUB Addict maxpowr9's Avatar
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    Re: Failing Our Veterans

    Despite all the saber-rattling that the chickenhawks love to do, they have no regard or affection to our men and women in uniform.

    I remember I had a GOP coworker [he's pretty right-wing] tell me that Conservatives are against abortion so those unwanted children can grow up and die in battle.

    I honestly couldn't tell if that was a joke or not with the way he said it. I am not easily moved but I was stone-cold at that statement and never spoke to him again.

  10. #10
    Rambunctiously Pugnacious JayHawk's Avatar
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    Re: Failing Our Veterans

    Max I am fairly certain both sides attract massively insane tin foil hatters.... unfortunately for the republican party many of those tin foilers have microphones in their face.

    Even more unfortunate for America weird ideologies and conspiracies prevent effective governance and strategic thinking.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


  11. #11
    JubberClubber White Eagle's Avatar
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    Re: Failing Our Veterans

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    Agreed Kevin. Since you bring up previous wars, it is also worth noting President Obama changed the definition of who qualifies for Agent Orange disability treatment so as to service those we neglected as a country. that neglect should never happen again. However, that also swells the ranks of those processing a claim.
    When I went to VetFriends.com to find my best friend while in the Navy, I found a link to explanations of Agent Orange diseases. I found I had one blood disease that was treated by the VA in Houston in 76. It was supposed to be incurable, but I think it's gone.
    People will say the Navy gets less diseases from war because most don't go to the area. The AO I got from someone who was there. Also, there is the disease caused by asbestos. Mesothe,something. Asbestos was used throughout ships as insulation for electrical wires and probably more than that. My bunk on the St Paul was at the top with my head 6 or 8 inches from these wires. I learned real fast to not get out of bed fast as there was a steel beam right over my bunk. My bunk on the destroyer was the same. We always had to scrape and paint the whole ship, at times.
    I'm glad you said Obama got the AO defined. I have an appt 4/12 I think I'll ask about some tests.
    Thank you for all of this!
    I agree with you that something HAS to be done about this. Cut foreign payoffs to pay for the Vets. I've noticed my pharmacy has changed. I ordered one pill from them in Jan, I got it yesterday.
    Last edited by White Eagle; March 29th, 2013 at 05:33 AM.
    BEWARE! Harassing the Indian may result in sudden and severe hair loss.

  12. #12
    Rambunctiously Pugnacious JayHawk's Avatar
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    Re: Failing Our Veterans

    Yes there are a shit ton of diseases from just being aboard ships. Consider this, when we started floating nuclear powered ships we included shielding because it was well known that radioactive materials caused eventual death. The USSR at the time, to keep up, did not use shielding for the first couple of generations of platforms because it was cheaper. O_O There submarining was a death sentence. SO then people wonder how they could leave the Jursk at the bottom of the sea refusing help until they were dead ... just to cover the secret of what they were doing at the time.

    Do you get your meds via E-scripts? I have noticed long wait times for very common items. So if it is a small amount I simply go to the local pharmacy. I may change that course after I get out and there is a co-pay. I have a ton of breathing issues. Most of them related to smoke from fires. Some from my ignorant habit of smoking and some from exposure to odd allergens. A weird thing that happened though is the development of the allergies. It happens to other adults that do not go to sea so I don't equate causation but I wonder if my absence from any sort of allergen for so long then going to extremely high allergen areas caused my already compromised system to develop the allergies. It is an unknown...

    WE you make me think of another important point. There are about 177,000 retired service members who are being affected by being dropped from the medical program of their choice. Essentially, after you retire you can chose different levels of service based on what other insurance you possess. Now however the decision is being made by proximity to VA facilities. So those 177,000 did all they were supposed to do, met the requirements at the time and are now being pushed from a higher tier plan to a lower tier with high co-pays. What is criminal about it is that these folks acted on the deal they were given at the time. So many different paths you can take in life. But after you have lived for a few decades in one place and found your retirement area, it is hard to move closer to medical care. I think they could find a way to make long term savings in future plans without affecting these veterans. It is a broken promise that worries me as well.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


  13. #13
    JubberClubber White Eagle's Avatar
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    Re: Failing Our Veterans

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    Yes there are a shit ton of diseases from just being aboard ships. Consider this, when we started floating nuclear powered ships we included shielding because it was well known that radioactive materials caused eventual death. The USSR at the time, to keep up, did not use shielding for the first couple of generations of platforms because it was cheaper. O_O There submarining was a death sentence. SO then people wonder how they could leave the Jursk at the bottom of the sea refusing help until they were dead ... just to cover the secret of what they were doing at the time.

    Do you get your meds via E-scripts? I have noticed long wait times for very common items. So if it is a small amount I simply go to the local pharmacy. I may change that course after I get out and there is a co-pay. I have a ton of breathing issues. Most of them related to smoke from fires. Some from my ignorant habit of smoking and some from exposure to odd allergens. A weird thing that happened though is the development of the allergies. It happens to other adults that do not go to sea so I don't equate causation but I wonder if my absence from any sort of allergen for so long then going to extremely high allergen areas caused my already compromised system to develop the allergies. It is an unknown...

    WE you make me think of another important point. There are about 177,000 retired service members who are being affected by being dropped from the medical program of their choice. Essentially, after you retire you can chose different levels of service based on what other insurance you possess. Now however the decision is being made by proximity to VA facilities. So those 177,000 did all they were supposed to do, met the requirements at the time and are now being pushed from a higher tier plan to a lower tier with high co-pays. What is criminal about it is that these folks acted on the deal they were given at the time. So many different paths you can take in life. But after you have lived for a few decades in one place and found your retirement area, it is hard to move closer to medical care. I think they could find a way to make long term savings in future plans without affecting these veterans. It is a broken promise that worries me as well.
    Well, I don't know what E-scripts is, so I guess I don't have it. If you mean ordering on line, then I do. Which reminds me. We have been told that when you get your meds order them again that day, then the refill will be mailed in a good time. I gotta reorder the one I got yesterday.
    When I began eligible for Medicaid and medicare I had them copy my cards, but since I'm a Vietnam Vet they don't use them. We have special congressional rules because when we came back from Nam we were not welcomed nor was there anything done to help us, until they got Congress to get off of their ass. This is what is happening with brothers and sisters coming back from Iraq, Afghanistan, you name the war and the Vets are not being helped. Again this is why something needs to be done.
    Hell, cut the Pentagon's funds for equipment that the military don't want. That would pay for help. Hell, again, McCain voted against a Vet bill that was being put thru Congress when he ran for Pres.
    BEWARE! Harassing the Indian may result in sudden and severe hair loss.

  14. #14
    Rambunctiously Pugnacious JayHawk's Avatar
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    Re: Failing Our Veterans

    The problem WE is not funding. Not to my eye. They increased the VA budget by 40% and the sequester is furloughing federal workers across the spectrum of government BUT the VA is not affected in anyway.

    No the problem is incompetence. I am one who will leap to blaming the guy in charge as first to fall when something fails. But if you look at what Scr'y Shinseki is doing and the standards he has set then it is entirely impossible for me to believe he is integral in the failure. I think the majority of our current issues come not from lack of funds or from lack of desire but through structural inequities that legally prevent correction. The two health care systems do not talk BUT contractual obligations are probably the biggest obstruction to either adapting the two programs or simply scrapping one. Equally when two departments have to collude on producing a result it usually will not happen without direction from above both of them. So the President and the congress making it a legal requirement. A good example is how disparate the intelligence and response mechanisms were prior to 911 and legally they removed those barriers by creating Homeland Security.

    SO I understand it is broken and broken badly. SO those who can make the changes necessary must become involved. it appears to me Obama has ordered the vets cared for, the services have set that as primary mission requirements and structured themselves to meet the needs, albeit in rice bowls. So congress needs to give legal direction to make it happen. To the congresses credit, all parties involved kept the VA out of the budget cut cross hairs and increased the budget flowing to the VA. Now they simply need to mandate specific operating requirements or guidelines.

    I know Secr'y Shinseki and the VA have the capability because they have massively improved GI Bill payouts.

    In a recent press release, the VA discussed the progress of its automated processing system that ensures quick and accurate payments for Post-9/11 benefits. The system, called the Long Term Solution (LTS), helped the VA to an impressive 46 percent of fully automated incoming documents during the month of February.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/business/prweb...#ixzz2Oy1Bitr4
    GI Bill was the test program if you will. they wanted to work the bugs out for e-processing.

    So now it simply needs to be done for medical claims. In that way they can change the amount of claims outstanding and move from 97% paper to at least 50% electronic. It cannot go completely electronic because that would exclude certain vets. WE you are adept but many senior vets are not willing to learn to use the internet effectively.

    Anyways I am rambling. All I know is those folks on the hill need to be watched like hawks or they will try to get away with murder. Literally.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


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