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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 28, 2014 / 1 Menachem-Av, 5774

The latest rot revealed at today's VA

By Jack Kelly




JewishWorldReview.com | CNN's Drew Griffin, whose reporting on secret waiting lists at the medical center in Phoenix led to the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, said a short time later that dysfunction and corruption are so widespread and deeply ingrained in the VA that just making a change at the top won't change much.

"I don't know how you fix this other than I would throw out every senior manager in the VA," Mr. Griffin told CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin June 23.

When he made that remark, the Office of Special Counsel, an independent agency set up to protect whistleblowers, was investigating 10 cases where VA employees said they were punished after reporting abuses to management. OSC now is investigating 67 charges of retaliation at 45 VA facilities in 28 states, its chief told the House Veterans Affairs Committee July 12.

Manipulation of data and retaliation against employees who report it appears to be as widespread in the Veterans Benefits Administration, which adjudicates disability claims, as in the Veterans Health Administration. The VA's inspector general is looking into claims of data manipulation at VBA offices in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Houston, Los Angeles and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Kristen Ruell, a quality review specialist in Philadelphia, told the House Veterans Affairs Committee July 14 that, after she told Congress data was being falsified to hide long delays and errors in processing veterans' claims, she was retaliated against.

"The VA's problems are the result of morally bankrupt managers that through time and grade have moved up into powerful positions where they have the power to, and continue to, ruin people's lives," Ms. Ruell said.

Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the committee chairman, sent two investigators to Philadelphia. One, Lauren Rogan, found in the ladies room a notebook left there by Lucy Filipov, acting regional director, containing instructions — apparently given to Ms. Filipov by Diana Rubens, deputy undersecretary for benefits — to ignore the investigators.

"Circled at the top of the page were the names of Ms. Ruell and another whistleblower," reported Mark Flatten of the Washington Examiner.

The VA apparently tried to bug the office in which the congressional investigators were working.



More than 500 vets died or were gravely injured last year as a result of improper care, according to data obtained by the Washington Free Beacon under the Freedom of Information Act.

Val Riviello, a nurse at the medical center in Albany, told the OSC she was demoted after she reported stolen drugs and mistreatment of patients to superiors. Other nurses want to come forward, she said, but saw what happened to her and are afraid.

Dr. Christian Head testified that, after he'd reported time card fraud in the Greater Los Angeles health care system, his boss called him a "rat" in front of hundreds of employees. "Retaliation culture is a cancer to the VA," he said.

Scott Davis, a program specialist in the Atlanta VBA center, sent White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors a note about wasteful spending and record purging. Shortly after, he was placed on involuntary leave.

Workers were shifted from processing veterans' disability claims to work on Obamacare-related applications, Mr. Davis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"We do not work for veterans," he said. "Our customer is the VA central office, the White House and Congress."

Mostly, VA bureaucrats serve themselves. The VA systematically overpays administrators and support staff, in apparent violation of Civil Service rules, reported David Wood in the Huffington Post.

Overpayments from last September through May drained "tens of millions of dollars that could be used instead to ease the VA's acute shortage of doctors and nurses," he said.

Though the VA has known about the misclassifications for years, it still advertises jobs at improperly high salaries.

To obtain bonuses to which they were not entitled, managers at VA facilities altered records to conceal neglect that often has had fatal consequences. They've lied to Congress, stonewalled journalists, punished subordinates who've reported abuse of patients, theft of drugs, misappropriation of funds.

"It's remarkable how often people inside this bloated government use the language and habits of organized crime," wrote John Hayward in Human Events.

That's why Drew Griffin's proposed solution for the VA's dysfunction may be too modest. Many senior managers should go to jail, not just to the unemployment office.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

© 2014, Jack Kelly

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