Monday, May 26, 2014

You're all invited to my donkey barbecue

Now for that "donkey barbecue" I promised, better known as an ass chewing:  

We can sure "talk the talk", be we apparently aren't worth a damn at "walking the walk".  

Any time someone pulls out an American flag, we all applaud and whoop and holler and shoot off fireworks.  Many of us will see a service man or woman in uniform, or a veteran wearing a hat so proclaiming, and walk over and shake their hand and thank them for their service.  That's all well and good, BUT....

....When our veterans come home with wounds that previous generations of warriors would have died from on the battlefield, we just shuffle them off to a VA hospital and pat ourselves on the back for "taking such good care of our heroes".  

*pass the potato salad, please*

Fact is, our VA system sucks!  My wife is one of those currently being jerked around by the VA.  (Did you know the VA hospital computers don't talk to the VA HQ computers?)  Let me say right up front that they have some very caring people, and they have at times done wonderful things for her.  But the system as a whole is broken.

I get so sick and tired of hearing those Tea Party types say they are going to cut taxes.  They're like a broken record.  That's much too simplistic.  (Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, considering the simple minds that think up such one-liners.)  IMO, we're not overtaxed....our tax money is just squandered on the wrong things.

Why can't the VA system get their act together?  Is the system too complex?  Then simplify it.  Is it under-funded?  Then take those billions of $$$ of subsidies doled out to immensely profitable private companies and redirect that to the VA.  

Is it under-staffed?  Then transfer 10,000 of those otherwise questionably productive gubment bureaucrats elsewhere and train them to clear up all that backlog of red tape that is preventing our hurting veterans from getting the care WE PROMISED THEM.  (Then work to abolish the machine what makes the red tape.)

I'm thinking the tail is wagging the dog.  Our government bureaucracy is so bloated and entrenched that department secretaries aren't leaders at all, but just caretakers.  They seem to get settled into their Secretary of ____ job and then just oversee what has been going on there for decades.  What's wrong with COMPLETELY reorganizing how things are done, one section, one department at a time?

Take VA Secretary Eric Shenseki for example:  A retired 4-star General, an honorable man, no doubt.  He's been in his job since 2009, yet the VA seems to be as dysfunctional today as it ever has been.  Perhaps more so, even.  WTH?  What's he been doing the past 5 years?? 

Re-assign some, retire some, fire some, throw out the old rules and write all-new ones if necessary....JUST GET THE JOB DONE!

If Alan Mulally could move from Boeing to become Ford CEO....dead man walking, going down for the third time, dysfunctional, executive backstabbing Ford....and slap it around and reorganize it top to bottom and turn it around, why can't someone do something similar at the VA?   

"But that's the way we've always done it" is the problem.  Whenever a bureaucrat utters that they should be shown the door, pronto.

Come on people!  Fire off an email.  Demand our "leaders" lead.  And if they won't, then kick them to the curb and get new ones who will.  Our hurting veterans deserve better.

Rant over.



  1. I agree with you that our veterans deserve better. This shouldn't be a political football because both parties have failed to take tare of our vets. Let's get the job done.

  2. It is not a political issue, it is a bureaucracy issue. A private industry will adjust, correct and change or it will go out of business. Government bureaucracies without the threat of fund reduction or competition will fight to maintain the status quo. There is job protection and position protection from the top on down. Perhaps the treatment and benefits these veterans demand and deserve can be thrown into the private sector with private hospitals competing for what must be profitable treatment if subsidized by government funds. Maybe some combination of VA hospitals and private facilities subsidized. Just a thought, something must change.

  3. And every politician that wants to get us (U.S.) involved in every conflict on the globe needs to shut the hell up and consider the costs first. Just sayin...

  4. Golly Dude, thar must be an electrical short in your soapbox today and that contractor did not install a GFI to save your butt.

    Enjoyed the rant. My neighbor who, works for the VA as a Nurse and would agree with you.

    1. Yeah, I get wound up now and then. Feels good though. :)

  5. Maybe John McCain should volunteer to take over the VA and give up all his Senate perks. After all he's a veteran and a war hero. (This comment was completely tongue in cheek!)

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  7. "...that's the way we've always done it..." are some of the most dangerous words around.