Category Archives: Veterans Administration Scandal

Hot Air


Lots of little bits today, mainly because I’m lazy.

The Color Of Law

Today’s the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

The unanimous US Supreme Court decision was the atom bomb in the war that would eventually destroy institutionalized segregation in America.

Marshall et al

Thurgood Marshall (c.) Argued Against School Segregation

Today ought to be a national holiday.

Doctoring The Books

David Brooks spouted off on All Things Considered yesterday afternoon, the topic being that Veterans Administration hospital scandal the Republicans surely will try to make hay of this election cycle.

In case you’ve been too busy fretting over that elevator fight between Jay-Z and his sister-in-law, Solange, doctors at certain VA hospitals were revealed to have been fudging record books to cover up the fact that sick vets have been waiting weeks and even months to get medical care. Some of the vets have even died while waiting for their appointment days. It’s a lousy situ. especially for people who who’ve been shot up or mentally traumatized by our seemingly endless Iraq/Afghan wars this century.

The scandal already has cost the VA’s undersecretary for health his job. Many Republicans are calling for the head of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

It’s beyond me why docs would lie, officially, about their patients’ wait times. I suppose they’re hoping to show what good little workers they’re being. Apparently, the VA has a standard that demands vets be seen within a specified, short period of time. Unfortunately, the VA has tons more ex-soldiers coming in for help these days, thanks to the Bush wars, and not enough doctors to handle them.

The nation’s most sneered at New York Times columnist, Brooks, yesterday said he understood and sympathized with the doctors. They are under pressure to see more and more patients and still there aren’t enough hours in the day to take care of them all. So, naturally, that would cause them to lie on the record about the wait times.

To which I respond, Huh?

If that’s true, then the docs seem to be nothing more than invertebrates. If the institution isn’t constructed to service the customer, I know I’m not going to lie about it to make things look better. But, of course, that’s me. And I haven’t even taken an Hippocratic oath.


Gluten, if one pays attention to recent breathless interwebs and TV health reports, is worse than global warming, nuclear annihilation, and twerking all rolled into one.

The truth about gluten as the most deadly poison since arsenic is that less than one percent of the human population suffers from g. intolerance, which can be a very devastating disease. For some reason, though, gluten-phones are sprouting up all over the place. People are starting to self-diagnose what is called gluten sensitivity. Some 18 million people consider themselves thus afflicted.

It has replaced nut allergies as the latest bete noir for the health food crowd.

Acc’d’ng to researcher and gluten expert Jessica Biesiekierski, a gastroenterologist at Monash University who has done a specific study on self-diagnosed G. intolerants, such folk really don’t have the condition. The vast majority of them simply decided they had it, of course, or listened to some alternative health care joker tell them they had it.

The late Carl Sagan talked about the phenomenon of popular hypochondrias in his book, Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.

Life offers plenty enough maladies and ailments to vex me as I get older. I don’t need “alternative health” salesfolk to invent any new ones for me.


Speaking of peeps with overactive imaginations, conspiracy theorists have multiplied like the horniest of rabbits since the onset of the interwebs.

These fabulists may only be annoying when sitting next to you at your corner tavern or holding court nearby you at the local coffeehouse, but they carry a lot of weight in the body politic today. Witness the number of people who still believe Barack Obama forged his birth certificate.

Worse, some 49 percent of Murricans believe climatologists and other related scientists either definitely are, or may very well be, involved in a vast conspiracy to convince the rest of us that there’s such a thing as climate change.

These and many other findings about the faux-knowledge possessed by much of the population of this holy land can be found in a piece by Kurt Eichenwald in Vanity Fair online. He cites a series of polls conducted by the Public Policy Polling outfit, a well-respected political temperature-taker.

One of the Qs PPP asked respondents was whether they believed Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ. More than a quarter of your national brothers and sisters believe he may indeed be.

A Racist Mantra: I’m No Racist!

And, finally, learn all about the police chief of a town in New Hampshire who’s convinced the President of the United States is a nigger. Joan Walsh, the big boss at Salon, tells all about it.

Robert Copeland of Wolfeboro, NH, sez he’s not being a hater when he uses the N-word to describe Barack H.O. See, he has reasons for describing the Leader of the Free World in such an insulting fashion. So, stop calling him racist, wouldja?

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