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Welcome to My New Government Corruption Blog

This blog will focus mainly on the Department of Veterans Affairs and its shortcomings. Where we can, we will offer solutions to problems.

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.
I’m a ghost writer!

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

A FEW LINES FROM THE HEADLINES:

Referring back to “VCR” Syndrome among Veterans, I offer a few recent headlines from articles I receive via emails: subscribed and unsolicited. I will not beat this topic to death. I simply feel strongly it needs to be said.

It’s the video in my head!

OUR COMMENT: Didn’t the Government say this was nothing like Vietnam?

OUR COMMENT: I guess his VAMC ran out of Mental Health budget money!

OUR COMMENT: Fix who; the Feds, the policies, or the Veterans?

  • 2019-06-11 O&I Subcommittee Oversight Hearing : Examining VA’s Police Force

OUR COMMENT: VA’s Police Force – so open and transparent…

  • Homeless women veterans are afraid to be separated from their children if they seek help, advocates say

COMMENT: I guess they would be safe down at the border…right?

  • Homicide Detective Investigates Veteran Death After VA Police Altercation

OUR COMMENT: Oh, they wouldn’t! They love their Vets, too.

  • Malaria drug causes brain damage that mimics PTSD: case study

OUR COMMENT: Please do sign me up for that little pill.

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How do headlines like those above lead to:

VA STUDY FINDS 93% OF VETERANS ARE COMPLETELY SATISFIED WITH THE CARE THEY RECEIVE FROM VA

??????????????????????????????????? WTF?

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Take a look at this short vide on of testimony given before the House Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs (Mark Takano, Chairman – D., CA)

link = https://twitter.com/i/status/1149061835485777928

HEY…..VA –

MY LITTLE GIRL DOESN’T

LIKE YOU VERY MUCH!

THE ENEMY IS US!

– Pogo

The Veteran community has a number of known Institutional and Governmental enemies, and those have been well documented in constant rants and raves from a very few in the Veteran community for decades.

But, have Veterans become their own worst enemies?

It is painfully obvious, now, that the havoc and problems Veterans cause for themselves has never been a topic openly discussed by either Veterans or the public at large. Of course, the public has no reason to have a discussion about the plight of today’s Veteran; young or old. The public is of the impression that ALL Veterans are thoroughly taken care of “for life” by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Only Veterans and the Government know this couldn’t be farther from the truth. This could be one of our Nation’s best-kept secrets!

Leaving the public alone, for now, let’s focus on our Veterans and their thoughts and feelings toward the “Patient-centric”, “centers of excellence”, “life-long” care they receive from VA. There exists a phenomenon, or syndrome, in Veterans that is akin to looking at the Government who sent them off to war through rose-colored glasses. I will call this phenomenon “Veterans Cranial Resistance” (“VCR”). I have experienced fellow Veteran friends who swear that their Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare has been “first-class”, and thus qualify for a diagnosis of “VCR”.

Upon further, in depth questioning, you quickly find out that original statements of total satisfaction don’t hold water. In fact, almost all Veterans have encounter many problems, small and large, at VA medical Facilities across the Country. God forbid any Veteran should admit that he/she is not totally in control of their lives, when it comes to healthcare and benefits from VA. Unfortunately, “VCR” leads to a sense of constant denial that anything they experience at VA could possibly be deleterious to their health and welfare. They simply load that old denial tape into their brain’s “VCR” player and set it to play on an endless loop.

Many of my Veteran friends project the same initial sentiment; only to change their tune when put under a spotlight. Friends are not the only source of this issue. I run across a multitude of Veterans on Facebook, in newspaper articles, on Military oriented web sites, and on personal blogs. Most demand to be left in denial. Only a select few demonstrate the fortitude to stand up and demand what is rightfully theirs.

The comments and conversations go something like this: 

“My VA doctors found a small spot or two on my (pick an internal organ). They told me it was nothing serious and they would just ‘monitor’ the situation. I was told to come back and see them in twelve months. This went on for six years when one of the VA Radiologists took a look at my most recent scan and concluded I was in advanced Stage IV Cancer. I was sent to the Oncology Clinic, and given an appointment for three months out. I showed up at my Oncology appointment and was told that there was nothing they could do for me. I was told that I might have six to eight months to live and it was too bad they didn’t catch it earlier. But, I can’t complain now. That’s just water over the damn.”

This is classic “VCR”!

The U.S. Government spent a lot of time, effort, and money to teach us how to fight for our lives and our Country. Why do we, as proud Military Veterans, choose to conjure up selective amnesia when it comes to remembering how to fight for our rights? Other segments of our society stand up and fight for their rights, and win!

Where the Hell are my Brothers and Sisters?

{ #Veterans’ health, #Veterans’ benefits, #VA medical centers, #VA/HQ, #VCR, #Pogo }

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AND THEN THIS COMES ACROSS THE WIRE!

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Benjamin Krause, Esq. – Author, Activist, and Champion of Veterans’ Benefit issues

The head of Kansas City VA Medical Center is now accused of withholding details about the death of an elderly veteran at the hands of VA Police.

Local officials believe withholding of evidence and obfuscation is a pattern well known to the agency’s local director, Kathleen Fogarty. Once dubbed “the VA queen of cover-ups” after getting caught approving secret recording of a veteran’s family, Fogarty is no stranger to withholding information.

For some background, the problem at Kansas City VA Medical Center is all too familiar and was well addressed in a recent story by The Kansas City Star that I’m providing the cliff notes of here.

Kenneth Farhner Wrongful Death

Kenneth Farhner, a 66-year-old veteran, went to VA for hernia surgery in May 2018. The wound became infected. So, Farhner drove himself to the emergency room, but he drove the wrong way on VA property on the way to get emergency care.

VA police confronted Farhner leading to an altercation. Leaked documents published by USA TODAY showed the confrontation left the elderly veteran nearly comatose. He died two years later from a brain hemorrhage.

A couple of things jumped out at me on this issue. First, the veteran’s surgical site became infected – – possibly due to poor health care at the same VA. Second, why would a member of VA Police do anything to an elderly veteran in distress that could result in death?

RELATED: Why Are VA Police Body slamming Veterans?

Thumbing Nose At FOIA

A local paper called The Star investigated after receiving an anonymous tip about Farhner’s death. Despite filing requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act, the local VA refused to cooperate.

The Star was not alone. Members of Congress were stonewalled. And, so was Farhner’s family who has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against VA.

The agency’s behavior is typical whenever local leadership is covering up wrongdoing.

Randall Barnett, the president of Vietnam Veterans of America in Kansas City, is suspicious.

“If they weren’t at fault or didn’t feel through their investigation they were somewhat at fault, why would they cover everything up?” Barnett asked. “Or try to cover everything up?”

Cover-Up Denied

Spokesman for Kansas City VA Medical Center denies a cover-up.

“Federal law enforcement officials have already fully investigated this matter and determined that VA acted appropriately in its interaction with the veteran,” Vernon Stewart said. “VA will cooperate fully with any additional official investigations.”

Fire Alarm At Tampa VA

Fogarty used to run the James A. Haley VA Medical Center located in Tampa, Florida.

While there, she ordered her staff to place a recording device inside a fire alarm to secretly record family members of a severely ill veteran.

When investigated, her subordinates provided false statements about the nature of the secret recording including stating the family consented. Documents later uncovered by The Tampa Bay Times showed staff provided many other untruthful responses about the matter. I have a clip from a hearing addressing the recording at the bottom of this article.

Why would any party place a recording device inside a smoke detector if the recording was above board? No one does that. Just use a normal recording device.

After Tampa, Fogarty was shipped off to Phoenix VA Medical Center to deal with the falsified patient wait times problem that surfaced in 2014.

Tampa Bay Times previously reported Fogarty “cut veterans’ access to outside care to help overcome a multimillion-dollar deficit as director of the Tampa, Fla., VA, in 2011 and repeatedly denied publicly that she was doing it.”

USA TODAY previously included Fogarty in a list of agency leaders who were “transferred to new jobs despite concerns about the care provided to veterans at the facilities they were previously managing.”

VA Spokesman Calls Press Story “Irresponsible” ( a Curt “gimme a dollar” Cashhour mini-me)

Stewart, the local spokesman, denied the allegations of USA TODAY and chastised The Kansas City Star for addressing the USA TODAY list within its own reporting on the Farhner battery, saying the data was “flat-out false and repeating it to your readers would be irresponsible.”

“When Director Fogarty became director of the Tampa VA Medical Center in 2011, she inherited a nearly $48 million budget deficit,” Stewart said. “She balanced the budget by using common sense management principles such as not filling unneeded positions and eliminating unnecessary overtime and travel. Under Fogarty’s leadership, the facility expanded its services to Veterans, and the blueprint she developed for managing the resources remains in place at the VAMC today.”

However, that is not consistent with Fogarty’s statements in 2014, “Fogarty said she balanced the Tampa VA budget in three years by reducing the time veterans spent in non-VA hospitals.”

In 2011, Fogarty denied the facility was at a deficit.

So, who is the public to believe? Should we trust Stewart’s spin about his boss’s record? Or, should we trust the reporting of at least four different news organizations about Fogarty’s checked track record?

Kathleen Fogarty Biography

Here is Fogarty’s VA bio in italics:

Kathleen R. Fogarty was appointed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to serve as Director of the Kansas City VA Medical Center effective March 8, 2015. As the Director, Mrs. Fogarty oversees the delivery of health care to more than 48,000 Veterans throughout Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas and manages the daily operations of the 157 Bed Medical Center, seven (7) Community Based Outpatient Clinics, a radiation/oncology outreach clinic, and a Medical Mobile Unit. The KCVA is a principle teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Missouri-Kanas City and University of Kansas, School of Medicine. The KCVA has an operating budget of approximately $340 million dollars and more than 1600 full time employees.

Prior to this appointment, Mrs. Fogarty served as the Director of the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Florida From 2011 through 2015 and the Interim Network Director for the Southwest Health Care Network VISN 18 from November 2014 through August 2015. She served as the Interim Medical Center Director of the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center in Shreveport, LA from September 2010 through August 2011 and the VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in 2009.

Mrs. Fogarty is a Senior Executive Career Development Program Graduate, a certified Fellow of the VHA Mentor program, a member of the Senior Executive Association, the American College of Healthcare Executives, and the American Dietetic Association, and a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of Saint Mary. Among Mrs. Fogarty’s many awards and honors are; the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive, the Vice President Gore Hammer Award for Subsistence Prime Vendor Team and the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Scissor Award.

Fire Alarm Investigation

I covered the fire alarm issue back in 2013 when I first caught wind of it during a House Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing.

Congressman Jeff Miller, Majority Leader of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, pressed VA’s Scott Gould about the fire alarm recorder.

Ultimately, former Deputy Secretary Scott Gould stood by the VA’s decision. He asserted the secretive recordings were made to preserve the safety of the veteran. In response to the allegations, Gould said, “Our greatest priority is safety and security of our patients, and we secured it with that camera.”

Safety and security? Like I said before, why not put the camera out in the open if the goal was purely to ensure the safety of the veteran?

Former Chairman Jeff Miller agreed.

In response to Gould, Rep. Jeff Miller said, “Common sense would say if you’re going to put a camera up, just put a camera up where people can see it.” He continued, “For some reason, someone [in the VA] made the decision to hide the camera. It was installed without notice. It was installed without consent. What is interesting to me… is that there is a claim that consent is not required within a VA facility…”

The family tried to expressly state to VA that there was no consent given. Let’s not forget that Fogarty’s staff falsely asserted the family consented to the fire alarm recording.

Our Takeaway

What should the public think?

First:  Avoid VA Police when you’re distressed or you might get body slammed.

Second:  Always act as if someone is recording you whenever on VA property.

Third:  If you do get body slammed and die, be sure it’s recorded on your iPhone because the agency will obfuscate at every stage of the investigation.

[We The Peeps 1 suggestion: The PRESS can be your strongest ally when it comes to VA abuse.]

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HEY….VA!

MY LITTLE GIRL DOESN’T

LIKE YOU VERY MUCH!