Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas day antics by family member jeopardizes status of veteran at Vets home.

OK By now everyone knows of the happenings at the home, on Christmas Day, at lunch time.

A family member of one of the veterans did not like the homes policy of requiring ID and a proper colored stripe on that ID for a member veteran to be able to eat in the main Dining hall, due to medical concerns for the member Veterans.

Apparently this Family member went off the deep end, and acted in a very immature way by throwing a fit where he used very foul language in front of other members families and children.

Several Families complained to the administration.

Now this individuals actions have had repercussions on HIS family member that is a veteran living at the home. Apparently the administration has put the Veteran on notice, that if such an incident happens again, the veteran will be discharged. The Veteran has no where else to go.  He is in effect, being punished with Guilt by association. And that just isn't right.

And that is the sad part, because the Veteran told his family member to forget it, but the family member went and threw a fit anyways.

Now the Veteran has been put on final notice. And the Family member whose name is not mentioned here, has alienated several friends over this issue, because the friends are standing with the Vets Home on this issue, and not with the Family member who is clearly in the wrong.

We do not even know if the family member knows that a simple phone call was made, and that it was the results of that phone call, that ultimately allowed the veteran member to have a meal in the main dining hall.


The Home has a right to restrict where veterans have their meals, due to special dietary needs. And they have the right to require veterans to prove their status before eating in the main dining hall where no special preparations are made.

And Veterans should have the right not to be put on notice for actions beyond their control by a family member.  In this case, perhaps the family member should be banned from the property. 

Either way the Administration of the home has a duty to protect the veterans in its charge, and this includes possible food problems. That is why the colored strip on the ID Card, and the ID Card Check person, who sits at the head of the chow line, policies were implemented. To protect veterans.

And no one, Adult, child, or veteran should have to stand and watch a grown adult throw a childish  fit because they disagree with the Homes policy. If that is how they feel, they should remove their veteran, or take the issue up with the board of managers, not that they have a clue of whats going on at the home, but they are part of the administration.



 


On Jun15th, 2014 this article was asked to be pulled by one of the members.
On June 16th, 2014 one of the former members family members asked me to repost it.

It is my decision, therefore to repost it. For additional reasons not stated here.





Thursday, December 26, 2013

Main Dining hall Policy at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans - ID cards are for Safety.

The intention of this Blog is in telling the outside what is going on at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Although many articles reflect negativity, this one doesn't. In all fairness, this needs to be reported as well. An incident happened at the Home on Christmas and I think it needs to be brought to the attention of our many readers. Before I get into the details, let me update you on what the policy is. 

All the veterans have an ID. On that ID, is a colored stripe. If you have a green stripe, that means you can eat in the Dining Hall and are able to enjoy all the food that is served down there. If you are a diabetic, you might have another colored stripe meaning that your food has to be specially prepared because of your health issues. A veteran with cardiac issues will have another colored stripe meaning that they are also on a special diet. Those veterans that are on a special diet, with a colored stripe other than green, enjoy their meals in the small dining area on their floor. There have been swallowing studies done on many of the veterans to determine if they can drink liquids or if thickening agents need to be added to it to stop the veteran from choking. The Home takes this very serious and they are commendable in their efforts.








Outside the Dining Hall, there are people in place to verify that those who eat in the Dining Hall are allowed to. The Administration is using veterans as "checkers" and these veterans are compensated in a small way for doing this job. In my opinion, an excellent policy.

Apparently, there was an issue regarding a veteran who wanted to eat in the Dining Hall with their family member. Unfortunately, the veteran had lost their identification which would have had a green stripe on it. This green stripe means that the veteran is on a general diet and can eat whatever he chooses. Member Wayne Brooks was on duty as the checker at this time and he denied the veteran access to the dining hall. WAYNE DID HIS JOB!

Unfortunately, the family member created quite a scene when they were denied access to the Dining Hall. Security had to be called as well. How unfortunate that family members of other veterans eating in the Dining Hall had to witness this foolishness. It was totally unnecessary and the family member was wrong in causing such a ruckus. This family member was not aware that a phone call was made to the head nurse on the veteran's floor and she granted approval for this veteran to eat in the dining hall as the veteran was on a general diet. I have it on authority that the family member feels that they won the battle when in reality, they lost the battle and made a fool out of themselves and brought negative attention to the veteran.

The stripe on the veterans ID card is for their safety. It is not in any way a violation of their rights. As a resident of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, the staff at the home has the legal obligation to protect their residents. This color stripe is one way they can do this. It has been said that this coding is another way the residents are treated like inmates. I am told this is also the way patients in a mental institution get their meals. It is not up to family members of a resident to go against medical instructions for a resident at the Home. If family members choose to overturn a rule that has been set up for a resident by the medical staff, then perhaps they should be taking care of the veteran at their home. This applies in particular to the family member previously mentioned.

Now. With any policy, there can be problems. I am told that there are only three checkers that are compensated for taking the time to insure that all veterans are kept safe. Unfortunately, there is only one who is showing consistency. For Wayne Brooks, his determination in supporting this policy is commendable and I want to take this opportunity to tell Wayne, "Job well done." For those who can't seem to follow the rules, perhaps they need to be replaced by a veteran who can. I am sure that the Administration will put in place, veterans who can adhere to the policy set forth by them to protect every veteran at the Home.


Update: I'm getting a lot of flack for this posting. I remind the readers, this blog is about the TRUTH of what is happening at the Michigan Veterans Home in Grand Rapids Michigan.   The author(s) of this blog stand for the truth, they will stand with the veterans and  they will stand with the Administration when IT is correct. And in this case, The Administration was CORRECT.  Therefore the Authors stand with the Staff of the home on this issue.




Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas Veterans and staff at the Grand Rapids Home(?) For Veterans!

I could slap myself for this.. Just realized I hadn't published it yet.. Thought I did yesterday..
Its been sitting here for a week, waiting to be published.

But better late than never!


Just wanted to wish all my fellow veterans at the Michigan Veterans home(?) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a Merry Christmas..


Also extending Happy Holidays to staff members, one and all including but not limited to:


Sara Dunne, - Top Administrator
Gary Davis - Social Services Director
Earnest Meyers - Chairman, Board of managers.
Tiffany Carr - Activities director, and spokes person for the home
James Dunn, Chief of Staff, Michigan Veterans Affairs.

Happy Holidays and drive safely, Bring 'em back alive, as AAA would say.

Without you guys, we wouldn't have anything to write about!  


Dining Hall woes at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. - article Pulled by request.

This article has been removed due to personal request.


What a CON job Ed, sheesh, have you no morals?

Mlive dot com has an article about a group of people who came to the veterans home and gave gifts today..

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/12/military_wishes_2013_see_how_w.html

Ed Maciejewski, a resident, supposedly asked for a lap top. I about died laughing when I read the following:
" Ed also asked for a computer to pursue a career in information technology. He served as a mechanic in the Gulf War, but said computers have always been his calling.
"Getting back into the IT field has proven to be difficult, but I'm going to keep trying," he said.
Ed was also surprised by having his request met.
"It means a lot, especially because you sometimes think you've been forgotten when you're in a place like this," he said. "It definitely makes you appreciate things a bit more, especially during the holidays."


OMG Ed.. 

 This shows Ed in his scooter..













This is The way his scooter looks.. like a homeless person's bag cart..

The funny thing is, ED can walk. He walks from the dorm unit, to the Member partking area, to use his moms car, (that he uses quite regularly).

It blows my mind to see it reported that ed wants to go into IT.

Information Technology.








"Computers are his calling", BWAHHHAHAH.. 
I call that BULL SH*T!

Why? Because when computers and the internet were available to the Dorm unit members (in 2010, 2011, 2012 and part of 2013), Ed rarely used the computers located at various locations on Rankin 2 and 3.

Remember Greg M.? The guy who got kicked out of the home and now cannot even set foot on the property? He is a computer expert, and twice offered basic computer classes. Ed never showed up to any of them. Greg also repaired several members computers while he was there.

Greg even taught Activities Director for Dom unit, Dianna Knoll, how to use MS word templates to make resumes. Yet Ed never asked him for any help or any information.  Why?

So a guy who had access to resources to help him learn about IT, never took advantage of them. Yet now he uses it as a claim to get a laptop..  Shame on you Ed.. What a con job..

And Bravo to the volunteers who raised the money to get you that laptop. Their heart was in the right place, so I give them credit where its due.. But knowing you and how you treat your fellow veterans, man, I gotta say where are your morals? 

 Want to prove me wrong? We will see if you bother asking Greg for help, when he returns to the home next year after his court hearing.  I know he will help you, if you ask. But I am betting you won't bother.

And yes I can publish your name and pic's. They are public information posted on Mlive.
So you can stop your whining now.

-Joe.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Scarry Sherry, here's your 15 minutes of fame!

Laughing my A$$ off on this one guys and gals.  This one is right out of the tabloids at checkout counter.

I just got off the phone with the wife of a veteran at the home who before this, has never called me. She gave me a very interesting report.  And its about Sherry, the staff member who is in charge of wheel chairs and Power Chairs.

Heck, for all I know I have her name spelled wrong and her title wrong as well, but I think those who know the home, know who I am about to talk about.

Sherry is the disabled lady that has her own power chair, and is seen daily scooting thru the halls of the home, usually with a wheel chair or another power chair or another veteran in a power chair or scooter, in tow.  This is the gal with a straight forward attitude and a no nonsense approach to her job, and she does it quite well. And that is why the guys call her scary sherry. She doesn't give them any slack. They either do it correctly or they don't qualify for a power scooter or chair.


Rumor has it she will be retiring at the end of this year. The home won't be the same..Sherry is one of those people who give the home its GOOD character. And although I had limited contact with her, I for one will miss seeing her zipping thru the halls.   That is why I am a bit confused with the report I just got.

So, this wife of this veteran calls me for the first time and asks flat out if I am the one who does the blog. Well of course its me.. who else would it be?  Anyone with half a brain who knows me, knows I do this.

So she tells me this: Recently at a department head meeting, Sherry speaks up about this blog, and some how as made a determination, that since the blog started about the time Richard Ware came to the home, it must be his wife, Cheryel that is doing the blog.. HAHA, Now, how Sherry came to that conclusion, I have no idea. In fact, I have no idea if she even came to that conclusion and this report is totally bogus (false).  But I find it hilarious that this is being reported to me. 

And the Final Jeopardy answer is: Cheryel Ware. The winning question is: Who is NOT running the GRH4V blog?

The fact is Cheryel has contributed a few items. So have several other people.  And its strange that not one staff member has contributed a thing to this blog. Yet the door remains open, despite the other rumor going around that the home's administration is trying to find a legal way to hold the author(s) of this blog, accountable for slander.  It's not going to happen due to the information on the front page.  It's called FREEDOM OF SPEECH.. and the door was left open for any corrections.. and the silence from the home, means everything posted here is probably correct.  Our bases are covered.



Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Wish list

Angry's wish: For the veterans to finally get their smoking room exemption.

Joe's wish: For the duck pond to be dredged, the bridge rebuilt and the fishing doc to be rebuilt and expanded for the fishing derby's held for the veterans.

Greg Mac's wish: To be able to come to visit friends and participate in Guitars for Veterans without threat of arrest for trespassing.

Bill G.'s wish: For the board of managers to remove their heads from their tails and see what is really going on at the home.

Fred L.'s wish: For the kitchen to start making some real food for the guys.

Cheryl W.'s wish: (unknown).

Kevin W.'s wish: For the state congress to finally investigate the home, and come and talk to the vets without staff being present, so that the guys can feel safe talking to them.

Steve T.'s Wish: For the veterans to finally get their independent ombudsman, one that does not sit on the board of managers.




More wishes will be posted as we become aware of them.
Updated 23 Dec 8:30pm

Thursday, December 12, 2013

How to file a complaint about Veterans Administration healthcare.

Instructions

  1. Write a Complaint

    • Write a complaint. Include your name, address and telephone number. If you are filing on behalf of a veteran, widow, widower or dependent, include your personal information as well and how you are related to the complainant.
    • Clearly describe the complaint. Include as many details as possible, including how access to services or benefits was denied and information about who was involved, such as the location of the hospital, the VA organization responsible or any other standard that was not met.
    • Provide a description that lays out the severity of the complainant's disability or need for benefits and the review of the case.
    • Send your written complaint against the Department of Veterans Affairs to Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20420.

    Patient Health Care Dispute

    • Go to a Patient Advocate at your local VA health care facility.
    • Describe the quality of care that you received and discuss any special needs or problems that you have.
    • Request a review of your case and follow up with the medical center staff for resolution to your claim regarding care received through the VA.
    • Contact the Board of Veteran's Appeals if you are dissatisfied with the assistance provided by the medical center.
    • Write a letter with your personal contact information and explain the provider's decision to not provide a specific route of care or treatment. Send the letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Board of Veterans Appeals, 810 West Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20420.

    Call the VAOIG Hotline

    • Call the Department of Veterans Affairs OIG Hotline at 1-800-488-8233 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The hotline accepts calls to discuss employee misconduct, patient abuse, safety violations, theft from VA beneficiaries, misuse of government property, false claims, problems with VA programs or operations and gross waste of funds.
    • Supply information on which VA facility was involved, the identity of the wrongdoer, what policy was violated, the effect of the wrongdoing, the date of the events, the identity of those who witnessed the event, copies of relevant documents and whether anyone has reviewed the allegation.
    • Provide an address and telephone number of the complainant unless you wish to remain anonymous.




Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Round of Winter related Deaths for veterans at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans?

In 2010, a large number of veterans died due to pneumonia and other weather related deaths. However the Veterans home marked it up as death by smoking.  Nice spin, but still not the truth.

The fact is the home was never given a smoking exemption, as promised by politicians for the veterans who lived at the home.  This forced the veterans out side. And despite there being a "designated smoking tent" put up, there was NO heat in it, because the powers that be dragged their feet, and the heaters sat on a doc for 2 months before being installed by the people who donated them. And then, the gas was not turned on until summer..

See related story here 56 Veterans Die without heat in smoking area.    

Now once again, the veterans are facing having to go out in the cold. Not because there is no heat in the smoking tent.. but because the doors that give access to it, are locked at 10 pm.

This is the smoking tent, located on the east side of the pavilion on Kozy Corners. The set of double doors leading into Kozy Corners are locked for the winter, and the 2nd set of doors that give access to the hall way, are locked at 10pm, and reopened at 6am according to what the veterans are telling me.

Now to get this into perspective, look at the map of the home.



It is being reported that at night, the guys have to go out the main Entrance, move down about 300 feet down a snow covered slippery sidewalk, and into a building with no heat, but does protect them from the wind. Oh, John told me they have a small electric heater out there, but it doesn't come close to warming the place.

Then, when the veteran is ready, he has to go back to the main entrance and push a buzzer to get someone to let him in. 

This is INSANE. These guys should never have to go outside in this frigged weather.

This is going to lead to another round of weather related deaths that the home will spin off as smoking related, instead of the real reason: Exposure.



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Major Blunder by Vets Home Staff Doctor, Causes Grief for Family members at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

We are getting reports of a Major mistake being made by State Appointed Guardian has directly caused a lot of pain and grief on a veteran and his family members by deciding that he was about to die.

Reports are that this veteran went to a  care conference on Monday Dec 2,2013 and was asked about what he wanted to do for end of life decisions.  Apparently Mrs Cynthia Thornbury, who only holds a 2 year sociology degree, made a decision that the veterans MS was in final stages and that he should make plans for the end of this life.

Just one problem. MS has no stages. You do not die from MS.

The family was extremely distraught over this news, and only the next day after consulting with trained medical professionals did they hear the truth - that the veteran is NOT any where near death.

The wife of this veteran reports that his doctor told her that what the guardian did, was cause more damage to the veteran in 45 minutes, than a years worth of medical issues. And to be on the safe side, he has decided to start from scratch with the veteran, having him re-evaluated as if he had never been evaluated at all.

Mrs. Thornbury has no medical training. She should loose her license over this issue, for the pain and suffering she has caused this veteran and his family.

Dec 7, 2013 UPDATE: We received INCORRECT information.  Cynthia Thornbury did NOT repeat, NOT make this decision. IT was discovered that it was Doctor BATES, one of the veterans home's doctors that made the decision that the veteran was in final stages of MS.  

More as it becomes available.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Grand Rapids Veterans Home: The Home is Euthanizing My Husband, Helping Richard Ware.


To all who care about Veterans
At 2:00 this afternoon, Richard and I attended his care conference. This is done quarterly for all residents of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. On my way to the Home, I spoke on the phone with my husband and I asked him if he was ready for it. He told me he was scared as he didn't know what his guardian, Cynthia Thornbury, was going to do to him next. I don't know what kind of fortitude my husband has but every day, he lives in fear of reprisal and further deterioration of his self esteem and spirit by either this woman or the Home.

Ms. Thornbury hit a new low today as she was joined by other members of the care conference brigade. They had questions for my husband. Basically, they wanted to know what steps my husband wanted to take to prolong his existence. Do they insert an airway, a feeding tube? Do they do CPR? Do they call an ambulance? What were his wishes? They even asked if he would consent to having Hospice involved.

Neither one of us were prepared for these insane questions and Richard didn't have a clue on how to answer them. I know when I have to make those decisions, they will be made with my family around me. That wasn't the case today. They wanted an answer that minute.

Now, I need you to understand something here. In my husband's opinion, as well as mine, HE ISN'T DYING! At least, God willing, not any time soon. Nobody has said anything to him about this. Cynthia went on to inform my husband and I that he is in the final stage of the MS. WHAT STAGE? MS isn't like cancer where it has stages. It isn't that way at all. Cynthia has her BA is Sociology. She is NOT a doctor. There wasn't a doctor at the meeting. There were 3 nurses, one social worker and one nutritionist in attendance along with my husband and myself.

I was very impressed with the nutritionist. Richard has dropped down to 135 pounds. He is extremely thin and emaciated. She is going to start a special plan with Richard where he will be eating every two hours. I know this is going to help him a great deal. When I had him home for Thanksgiving, he ate two huge ham sandwiches two hours before eating a large plate filled with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and whatever else he wanted. He topped that off with a very large piece of homemade pumpkin pie and Cool Whip. The man can eat.

On Thanksgiving, our youngest son went to pick up his dad to bring him home for the day. Michael signed him out which is something I usually do when I go and get him. There is always a small envelope filled with his medication for the day that comes with him. That wasn't the case last Thursday. Richard informed me that he wasn't given his meds that morning either. You won't believe their justification for this. Cynthia looked towards the nurse who had all the records and she reported that Richard hadn't asked for them. Cynthia scolded Richard for not being medically responsible. Why would Richard willingly ask for drugs that turn him into a zombie? He is forced to take behavior modification meds. that turn him into a walking rock. These drugs have a drastic impact on him and his ability to be a man, not to mention being human.

Shortly after I left Richard to head home, a man from Hospice came to talk to him. They just chatted about nothing for a short time. It was more like a get acquainted time. This man is suppose to return on Friday. Richard wants nothing to do with him and has asked me how to handle this. I gave him a few suggestions and I hope he does none of them. In reality, we have time to figure this out as a family.

Bottom line is this. Dr. Bruce Vermeer, a well known doctor in the Grand Rapids area wrote a letter a few years ago stating that Richard would thrive and do best in a structured health care facility. Well. he isn't thriving and according to his guardian, he is on death's door. In the past 3 years, Richard has had pneumonia and has been hospitalized 9 times. Definitely, NOT THRIVING. He recently got out of the hospital for a bad intestinal infection. That comes from poor nutrition and germs. Again, NOT THRIVING. What am I getting to is this; THE HOME IS KILLING MY HUSBAND.. How can I stop this?

 If you can help, please contact me at CWare9155@aol.com.

THIS is what they do to kill off veterans at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Both of us have posted about Richard Ware, a Navy veteran who is incarcerated against his will at the Michigan Veterans home in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Over the years I have heard many things about this mans battle. Some of which are:

Now I just got word that Richard has been labeled by the home as a veteran who is about to die.
At a care conference today, his social worker who demanded the state appoint a guardian over him, didn't even attend his conference.

The conference was about his last days, and how he wanted the home to treat him. 

Richard went to the home due to drinking problems. The social worker demanded he be given a guardian, and Michigan family court Judge David Murkowski  ignored Richards wife's power of attorney, and stripped her of that power without a hearing of any kind.

State guardian Cynthia Thornbury was then appointed guardian. During the next few years, Thornbury and Murkowski, have destroyed this man.

Thornbury sold Richards car. The proceeds are not accounted for.
Thornbury then spent thousands of dollars of Richards money to pay for an attorney for a divorce that Richard did not want. In the end, he did not get the divorce.

Thornbury let Richards ID be stolen twice since she became his guardian. ONE such case was tracked back to the head of Safety at the home, Gerald Thomas who reportedly bought a cell phone using Richards social security number. 

Thornbury refused to allow Richard Wife to have contact with him for over a year and got a court order to back her up. Thornbury destroyed Richards family.

During an attempt to regain control over her husbands future, Mrs. Ware was arrested and put in jail by Judge Murkowski, and her lawyer fined for doing his job and now refuses to talk to Mrs. Ware. Mrs.Ware was given a no contact order and due to the order, Richard was not allowed to go to his Son's Graduation from Bible College because his wife was there.  Mrs. Ware was kept away from her husband for over a year.

Richard Ware originally went to the home due to alcohol addiction problems. He stopped drinking, then his MS kicked in. The guardian refused to let him leave the home. This angered Richard, and they started drugging him with drugs that only a qualified  psychiatrist  should be overseeing. But the veterans home has been in violation of Federal laws for nearly 5 years by not having proper psychiatric staff on campus and available. 

Due to the over drugging, Richard could not perform his physical therapy needed for his legs. The stress put on his body, by the long term exposure to unnecessary drugs and stress from the home not cooperating with Richard has lead him to this point where he is considered to be at deaths door by the home.  He has withered away, from 200 lbs down to 135. They will blame his smoking for his death, not the neglect and abuse of the powerful drugs they forced him to take against his will.

If this man dies within the next 60 days, I sincerly hope Mrs. Ware can find a lawyer that is hungry enough to go after Michigan Judge Murkowski, Guardian Thornbury, and social worker Karen Fugi,
and put them all in jail for violating this mans rights. 

Some kind of intervention must be done to save this man's life.  Please help if you can.

Update: Thornbury Screws up BIG TIME!  Life of Veteran is NOT in danger. Seems Thornbury made the decision to tell him he was about to die, but he is not dying. More on this later.





Sunday, December 1, 2013

Nasty rumor of private meeting of family members, not open to the public.

I just got a very very disturbing phone call, and the subject of the discussion is now being investigated.

A friend of mine of who thought I knew his dad was at the home, told me that his step mom was talking to him today about his dad. And that his mom mentioned that she was invited to a special private meeting, where they were told that a small handful of trouble makers were upsetting the balance of nature at the home. That they were responsible for the change in the care givers. And that family members were advised to ignore them.

Now a number of questions come to mind.

1. When did this meeting happen, and who held it?
2. Why was this meeting PRIVATE if it concerned the home?
3. Who at the home, hosted the meeting?
4. Who are the "small hand full of trouble makers" the home referred to?

It is fact that the privatization of the care givers has been an ongoing battle to save the state money while maintaining high standards of care giving. And the fact is you get what you pay for. And since they are paying less, they get less; it really isn't surprising that people are complaining.

Second, the Union is still in this fight.

The group who reports things about the home here and on Facebook, (yes we have a face book page now)  could be seen as the group..

Just hard to say who they mean.. but the most troubling part of this is the idea that the home held a secret meeting, open only to a select few members of families with veterans at the home.

We are going to look into this, and update you as soon as we can.

In the mean time, look for us on Facebook under Grand Rapids Home For Veterans Blog #2.
Our Facebook page





Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Day at The Veterans home, Just Another Illusion.


 Public Beware: Veterans were abused on Thanksgiving Day.
  All those who were there saw an illusion. Read on to know what really was happening.
 

Guest Editorial.
By W.A.B.
Thanksgiving Day at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans
It was a beautiful snowy morning at the Home.  Veterans were up, dressed and for the most part, alert.  Volunteers from as far away as Texas were there to make sure the Veterans joined others across the country in celebration of a holiday designed to give thanks for all the blessings they had received.  What was visible to many were veterans that were happy and treated well.  For the casual observer, the Home and its Staff got an A+.
It is a scene like this which makes me wonder what all the complaining is about.  There is a large coalition of people out there who are investigating the abuse and neglect the veterans are receiving.  So many reports have crossed my desk about unnecessary drugging and neglect, not to mention abuse.  Cases in which veterans are forced to lie in their own excrement for hours on end.  I have reports that indicate that our veterans are being drugged to the point of zombie like behavior.  I'm not naive or stupid.  What was going on?  I asked questions of veterans and their family members.
Well, I guess I wasn't surprised.  It was a Holiday and the home put on a costume of fake behavior.  On this day, November 28, 2013, veterans who were suppose to be given behavior modification medication, were not given it.  On this day, veterans were up, and by all standards, happy.  WHY?  It seems that the Home decided that with all the family members and volunteers, as well as outside service agencies present in the home, it would be best to put their off the wall behavior on hold, for JUST THE DAY. 
One veteran, R. W. went home to be with his family for the day.  He didn't receive his meds that morning.  He wasn't given any meds for the day either.  NONE.  Now, this man requires more than just his behavior modification meds but the Home opted to send nothing home with the veteran.  Fortunately, this is one veteran who doesn't suffer from diabetes or heart related illness.  No meds for these diseases could have been fatal.  I followed up with this veteran the day after and I was told that when he got back to the home Thursday evening, he was given his meds and suddenly became very cold to the point of shivering.  He was given one extra blanket but that didn't help him much.  He couldn't get warm and he was forced to go to sleep shivering with cold.  On Friday morning, this veteran went down to have a cigarette.  Health care workers tracked him down to inform him that he needed to return to the floor for his "drugs" and that failure to do would result in the loss of his electric cart.  When he asked why he wasn't given these drugs on Thursday morning, he was told it was because of it being a holiday.  Doesn't that speak volumes.
Another veteran, J.S.  His son was able to spend some good quality time with him on Thanksgiving.  His father, a man who is so drugged and can't get out of bed, was up and talking.  I was told he even had a sense of humor and was making jokes.  This is a man who usually lays in bed and tells his son that he can't get up because they have him so drugged that all he can do is sleep.  Well, it being Thanksgiving Day, he can be somewhat normal and happy.  Right??
Another veteran who is scared to death of retaliation from the Home requires a great deal of help for everyday functions.  I have seen other veterans helping him as well as many different volunteers.  It can't be substantiated but he has indicated that the care givers are not so willing to help him when he needs it.  I guess I am not surprised by this either.
I have had the opportunity to read several minutes from the past Board of Managers meetings.  In there, I see that there was a visit by members of our state's legislature.  Apparently, they were given a tour and they saw nothing wrong, no abuse or neglect.  Did they take the time to talk with any veterans?  Did they ask to talk?  Did they see the Courtyard where veterans who are "naughty" are forced to be?  Was the tour so rigid that they were only shown the classic model veterans who had no choice but to be happy at the Home?  What would happen if these same members came, unannounced, and randomly talked with different veterans?  I know I could direct them to many, MANY, who are unhappy, victims of forced drugging, neglect and abuse.  If you are reading this and want to know the names, I would be happy to give them to you.  All you have to do is ask for them.  Of course, Sara Dunne isn't going to allow you to talk with these veterans.  You might have to do it without her blessings or permission.  That would take courage.  Who out there has it?
Thanksgiving Day at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans was a joke.  It was a farce.  Just another smokescreen like the care giver situation.  For most of one day, the Veterans were able to be human again.  I am sure the same will happen on Christmas.  Oh happy happy joy joy.

On a note of sadness, Rodney from Rankin 1 unit, passed away on Thanksgiving Day.  He is at peace and flying his jet over the streets of gold in heaven.  Rest in peace Rodney.  My sympathies to your family, your loved ones and to all the veterans at the home who loved, admired and respected you.
End

Ed note: Apparently all the phony niceness was an illusion and propaganda, a tool the administration uses to get everybody to believe that all is well at the home.
 
Good points in this posting. And we appreciate getting these extra posts from folks outside the home, who want to voice their opinions here. Now if only we could get some of the staff to respond. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Only 25 percent of Dorm Unit vets say they would recomend the home to another veteran.

From the June 27th, 2013 Michigan Veterans Home Board of Managers meeting Minutes:

"Dom Satisfaction Survey - Gary Davis, social Services Director gave an oral report on the 2013 Domiciliary Care satisfaction survey.  Of the 62 members in DOM only eighteen (18 ) (29.0%)  returned the survey.

"This survey attempted to get a snapshot of the satisfaction level by members of their general experiences while being a resident of the home. From these surveys the majority of the responses indicated that members were " very or somewhat" satisfied.

"There were fifteen (15) (24%) that indicated that they would recommend the home to others, while only 2 members wrote they would not. Board thanked Mr Davis for his hard work to solicit the comments of the members."


Ok.. lets look at this closer.
18 out of 62 even took time to fill out the survey. That is only 1 in 3 people.
15 out of the 18 who did, said they would recommend the home.
2 out of the 18 said they would not.
1 out of the 18 apparently did not answer the question.


And 62 did not answer ANY question.  Should their silence be default or be counted as "not satisfied", and "not recommended"?


And how does the home or the board, consider this to be proof of "satisfied" care?

I remind the readers of the posts on this blog about DOM members and the member counsel.

Closing down the dorm unit?

This post tells of why the veterans in DOM stopped going to member counsel meetings, and is a good indication why they did not fill out the survey.



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chairman Meyers' Ego, and the denial of due (fair) process of a veterans appeal.


Let the evidence speak for itself.

FACTS:
October 2010, Veteran takes up residency at Veterans home, is given Handbook dated 2010.

July 2011, Veteran undergoes life saving heart surgery at Federal VA hospital in Ann Arbor, Mi.

Sept 2012, new hand books available, but not issued to veterans. Veteran did not obtain one of these books.

Sept 25 thru October 4th 2012, Veteran panics during a situation that should never have gone past a mere hearing,  and gets into trouble for the first time in his 2 years at the home. Discipline hearing is needed. 

This is a MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE. 

October 5th, Administration decides to discharge veteran based on NEW handbook information, which veteran does not have, nor was issued.

October 2012, Veteran is discharged from the home for first offense, exactly 2 years to the date he came to veterans home, without a disciplinary hearing or any kind of a hearing, just a notification.

November 2012, Veteran appears before the Board of mangers with  help of attorney, for appeal of discharge. Board requests Veteran get help for his stress and depression, and to reapply for appeal after he has obtained proof that he has complied with the request from the Board of Managers.

June 6th 2013, Veteran files for 2nd appeal, having completed the requirement of the board of managers. Veteran Hands Sara Dunne (administrator of veterans home) his 2nd appeal while she is standing outside her office door at about 10.15 in the morning.

June 2012,  27th,  Veteran is not informed to appear before the board for this month. This will be updated as soon as we get a copy of that months board meeting minutes.


No board meeting for July 2013.

During the last week of July 2013, and the first 3 weeks of August 2013, veteran visits friends at the home. Many staff members talked to him including prominent staff members. None inform him to leave, nor that he is not supposed to be on the property.

July 27th, Veteran attends Carnival as guest of resident veteran and his wife. He is told by Gary Davis (social services) that Sara Dunne (top administrator) has claimed he is not to be on property. Veteran is unaware of that, and tells Davis he will leave if asked to go. Davis does not ask.

Aug 2013, Board of mangers at OTHER veteran home location in Upper Michigan, acknowledges that Veteran has completed their requirement, however veteran is not asked to appear at this meeting and Veterans case is tabled.

August 25 2013, Veteran is given letter from board of managers, sent to wrong address, informing him to stay off property until he appears before the board. Veteran stops visiting the home. 

September 2013, Veteran after applying a 2nd time for 2nd appeal, appears before the board of managers, and  2 well known volunteers testify in support of veteran. Ernest Meyers chairman of the board, goes on a 5 min rant about the veteran going on the property of the home. Board does NOT address the fact that veteran has already met their previous requirement!

Instead they concentrate on the fact that he was going on the property for 3 weeks out of a year, with key staff personnel knowing he was there, who never asked him to leave. And he offered proof he was NOT a threat to any one to support his appeal, and with 2 well known volunteers to offer their own testimony in support of his returning.  Board tabled the 2nd appeal for October.

Veteran requested special authority to go to a non profit group meeting. Veteran is Denied, and told he would be invited to go to October meeting, and that he was again to stay off property until he appeared. Veteran agreed and has since then, remained to this day, off the property.

September board of Managers Minutes shows Veteran attended meeting and that his appeal was tabled, but does NOT mention the 2 volunteers who testified on behalf of the veteran.

Seems a lot of information is missing from the meeting minutes.


October 2013, Veteran received letter threatening him with arrest for trespass, if he set foot on veterans home property.  Veteran was NOT instructed to appear at the October meeting of the board of managers, as he was told he would be by Ernie Meyers who told him he would be.

Chairman told this to the veteran, in front of Gary Davis, the veterans home head of social services.
The letter also told the Veteran to take his appeal to Michigan Appeals court.

October 2013 agenda sheet for Board of Managers show Veterans appeal as old business. Yet Veteran was never informed to appear before the board for this meeting.

October 2013 Board of Managers meeting minutes show that the veterans appeal was refused, and that he was notified to stay off the property. They don't even have his name spelled properly!


What the board minutes does not say is that this  veteran was not invited to appear before the board as promised by Meyers.  And most important, it does NOT show the fact that Ernest Meyers directed him to take his appeal to the Courts (which the letter the veteran was sent, says to do.) 

It appears that the Veterans appeal was refused because he went on the property after taking the advice of a lawyer, while he was unsure if he could go on the property or not.   He visited friends who were still at the home and at least 5 key staff members saw him and talked with him while he was there. Veteran thought that this action would give more proof to the board that he was not a threat to anyone and the board should grant his appeal.

The only ones that seem to have had a problem with the veteran visiting his friends, are Sara Dunne, and/or Ernie Meyers and neither have stated why!

Veteran appeal is being refused over a 3 week period where this Honorably discharged veteran, who has been a Citizen of Michigan since his birth, went on State owned property; not because of a question of his behavior, which is the reason he got discharged from the home after his first incident in 2 years.. The issue of his behavior was never addressed.

The resulting actions of the chairman of the board of managers,  has caused the veteran to experience great distress and emotional turmoil over the boards actions.


The evidence is clear. The Board chairman and his board of managers never intended on giving this guy a fair hearing, and their continual denial is due to the Chairman's ego, not about the facts of the case.

This is not about one man. It is about how the board of managers does business and how it affects ALL veterans. This is about the fact the home has NO MENTAL health care available for ANY of the people living there.

What is really sad is the fact that the board of managers can't even get the spelling of the veteran correct in their records.  Like I've said in this blog.. they should all hang their heads in shame when they are in public.

This veteran had nearly 2 years of good behavior at the home and one incident where he panicked got out of hand. The administration ignored the advice of its own staff member, Gerald Thomas, Head of security and safety.

This Veteran just wants to go visit friends and participate in Guitars for Veterans, and help out his fellow vets, if he can. But he cannot because of an ego problem with the Board of Managers Chairman. He has been left no choice but to take his case to the courts and there show the courts that the chairman is acting a fool.

Chairman Meyers has left him no choice, although he would rather not have to go to court, that is exactly what must be done unless the board acts other wise.

Veteran has told us that he is preparing his case for court and will seek damages if possible, and a criminal indictment of Ernest Meyers for willfully violating his rights to a fair hearing.











Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, Board of managers Meeting Minutes lacking information.

Wow. Talk about a snow job. Good work Meyers.  Really good. So much is lacking from the minutes of the Michigan Veterans Homes, Board of managers meetings that a whole book could be written about what is missing.

  • The minuets did not indicate if the Representatives that visited the home were told to leave, like Winnie Brinks was. 
  • The VA team wouldn't find any problems, as they were not looking for anything.  Not surprising they found nothing.
  • I see Jim Dunn is still in denial, but that will be address another day. That moron couldn't find his back side if his hands were tied behind him.  Unsubstantiated allegations. yeah, we have so much evidence you can't even see it because your eyes are wide shut!  
  • What about the SUBSTANTIATED allegations? What has been done about them?
  • Ahha!  You got Greg's last name spelled wrong. For crying out loud, can't you people do anything right? If you are going to slander and destroy a man, deny him a fair hearing, you could at least spell his name properly.
  • And I notice your minutes do not show that you lied to Greg M., Chairman Meyers. It doesn't mention anything about the 2 volunteers who testified on his behalf, nor the fact that he has been off property since Meyers and He agreed on the day of the September meeting.  Nor anything like that. Nor that he met the boards requirements for his appeal.. yet still you deny him.
  • What do board members need with I-pads? Most can't operate a microwave oven, let alone something that complicated..  That's what they think of the veterans!
I am amazed at how much is lacking from the minutes. Then again, the whole group of you is so out of touch as to whats happening with the veterans, this should not be surprising.


Down load the October Minutes here October Minutes in PDF format


Friday, November 22, 2013

Veterans told state services improving. ?!

http://www.lenconnect.com/article/20131122/NEWS/131129754/-1/sports   

Clips from the article below


  • By David Frownfelder
    Daily Telegram Staff Writer

    Posted Nov. 22, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

    ADRIAN
    A group of Lenawee County veterans were given an update Wednesday on services available through state and federal agencies.
    The information was dispensed in a forum Wednesday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Annis-Fint Post 1584 in Adrian and hosted by state Rep. Nancy Jenkins, R-Clayton. Accompanying her were Jason Allen, senior policy advisor for the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, and Jerry Cool from the United Veterans Council of Lenawee County.
    Those attending were told veterans in Michigan have not always received the help and services they need, but the situation is improving. Jenkins said Michigan is at the bottom of the list for getting help to veterans, ranking last among all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Allen said his agency is working to change that.
     Another issue discussed dealt with treating veterans who need the care in a group home setting. Currently, Michigan has only two homes for veterans, the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette. Allen said the system is based on the model developed after World War I and is out of date.
    “We have to build additional homes to help the veterans coming back,” he said. “We have a much different type of veteran coming back. We are seeing a lot of closed-head injuries and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) cases. We plan to build two or three more veterans homes.”
     Cool, who is also on the board of managers for veterans homes, said the Veterans Administration said Michigan should have 1,300 beds for veterans. However, only 450 beds are in Grand Rapids and 184 at Marquette.


     END clips

    Ed note: Those are clips from the article.. Click on the link to go there and read the whole thing.

    If they build more homes, I hope they are not ran as badly as the one in Grand Rapids, as that place is like a prison for the veterans who live there.


Did Failure of State to make exemption, make things worse at Veterans home?

In 1978 the state of Michigan began passing anti smoking laws, which today forbid smoking in public places.

Exemptions were noted in the law. In 2009, at the Michigan Veterans home in Grand Rapids, the veterans who were in residents had smoking rooms on each unit where a veteran could go and enjoy a smoke.

In 2010, those rooms were closed, forcing the veterans to go out side. An exemption was applied for, but then Canadian born Governor Jennifer Granholm refused to sign the exemption bill.

Veterans were forced to go outside to a designated area, that was without heat and in 2010, 66 veterans died of pneumonia related illnesses, but whose deaths were recorded as caused by smoking or other things.

Before this, veterans usually stated on their units. With the new ban in place, many veterans had to travel to the new designated area, and spent much time away from their units. Many were slow movers, and when the staff told them they had to be back by a specific time for what ever reasons, most veterans ignored the instructions claiming they were interfering with their right to live as they saw fit.

Having to go and find veterans made it more difficult for staff and care givers to do their jobs.  It takes longer to find the veterans, and longer to do their daily care.  Part of the result of this is the home is now in lock down mode after 8pm. Doors leading to the outside are locked, and the veterans heated smoking area is off limits after 8pm. If  a veteran wants a smoke, he has to go out the front entrance, where there is no heat, and ring a buzzer to be let in. If no one comes, it is possible he will be outside for an extended period of time. THIS IS NOT GOOD.

Also, uncooperative veterans are seen as needing behavioral modifying medications and this is when the staff started drugging the veterans. This led to over medicating the veterans resulting in a number of premature deaths of a significant number of veterans.

Some of the drugs are the kind that require a trained professional to oversee their use, yet the home has remained without such professional for over 5 years while they continue to use the medications on the veterans, with our without the veterans consent. This is the reason some family members are claiming the veterans are being abused with over medications.

This winter, the smoking tent-area is now shut down at 8pm, the double sliding doors by cozy corners, locked at 10pm. Once again, if the Guys want a smoke after 10, they will be forced to go OUTSIDE IN THE COLD, with NO HEAT, to have their smoke. 

This is what this administration is forcing upon those men who put their lives on the line.


If the Veterans had been granted the smoking exemption for THEIR HOME, none of this may not have happened.



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Michigan Republicans make it harder to hold the State Government accountable to Citizens.

From the desk of Michigan 76th district Representative Winnie Brinks: 


Michigan Court of Claims. 

In case you blinked, legislation that would make it harder for citizens to hold their government accountable was pushed through the legislative process last week. The majority party in the House and Senate banded together to pass SB 652, which restructures the Court of Claims by transferring it from the 30th Circuit Court to the Court of Appeals.
During the debate, House Democrats outlined the substantial flaws and constitutional concerns with the bill. For these reasons, we offered up a total of 13 amendments to enact provisions that would create a more balanced judicial system in light of SB 652’s proposed changes. Unfortunately, all of the amendments were voted down.
The bill was rushed through in less than two weeks with only a few hours of testimony. The change of jurisdiction will end up costing Ingham County more than $500,000, which was not addressed in the bill. In the end, even though the editorial boards of many major Michigan newspapers expressed deep concern and caution, the governor still signed the bill. In his accompanying message, he acknowledged that there would need to be a trailer bill to fix the various legislative issues.

End.

Ed Note: FYI, Winnie Brinks is the Michigan Representative whose district includes the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Over Drugging of Veterans MUST END at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Guest Editorial, by Out for Answers


On August 26, 2013, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Director Jeff Barnes announced that the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans has earned full certification from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) for meeting VA standards of care for state veterans’ homes. The VA was able to grant full certification to the Home after the MVAA finalized its contract with an outside agency to provide comprehensive on-site mental health services at the Home.

Sara Dunne went so far as to say that this outside agency would be a great addition to the team and will enhance our ability to provide high-quality care to our residents.  She also stated that the GRHV can IMMEDIATELY begin offering comprehensive on-site mental health services to our residents, bringing us into full compliance with VA standards of care.

This provisional certification by the USDVA was contingent on the Home securing needed psychiatric care for its residents.  The Director of the Battle Creek VA Medical Center, Dr. Mary Beth Skupien, called this a major accomplishment to be able to provide psychiatric services so expeditiously.  Dr. Skupien indicated that this was just another example where all parties involved are focused on providing the highest quality services needed to our nation’s heroes.

All of the above is fine and dandy, BUT, where is the psychiatrist?  He isn't on board at the Home.  The veterans there are still being forced to take drugs to modify their behavior.  Many of the veterans are unable to coherently put two words together.  Some are too tired to get out of bed.  All that I have talked with that are drugged say to me, "Can you please get me the hell out of here?"  Many with tears in their eyes.  If the veterans weren't mentally ill before being drugged, they are becoming that way now.  Is this the achieved goal?

What does this lead us to believe?  In my opinion, it is simple.  Over drug the patients means less work for the care givers.  Over drug the patients means that they can forever, keep them there too.  Families will eventually get exhausted in dealing with somebody who has turned into a zombie.  Little children won't want to go and see grandpa because grandpa doesn't make any sense.  I have heard one child say that grandpa talks funny.  Isn't it amazing what these drugs are doing to our precious veterans.

The home likes to give mental competency tests to the veterans.  How many of the veterans can pass these tests when they are drugged to the extent that they are?  When they fail these tests, they are then made wards of the court and are given court appointed guardians and conservators.  WOW!  What a great way to steal not only their dignity, but every penny they own too.

By the looks of it, the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans along with the Michigan Department of Veterans Affairs has many people fooled.  They have the United States Department of Veterans Affairs believing that all is well.  Even the Director of the Battle Creek VA Medical Center is fooled.  I'm not fooled.  The Veterans aren't fooled either.  They are dying inside every time they are unable to adequately voice their opinion and concerns.  When a veteran begs of you, with tears in their eyes, to help and you can't, a part of you dies too.  Now that you know about it, is a part of you dying too?

Will this horror story ever end?  This over drugging needs to stop.  NOW

END.

Ed note: Got this one today from a first time contact. It is as they sent it, minus their real names. They chose the pen name, and I chose the headline.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dear Liberal…Here’s Why I’m So Hostile

by Jeremy N. Choate

Here’s my vent…
Lately, I must admit that my hostility towards your political ilk has ramped up, pretty dramatically.  No, it’s not because we, at this point in my life, have a half-black president in the White House, and I’m some closet racist who is becoming increasingly frustrated at the prospects of the White Man’s power slipping through my fingers.  I know that you’ve accused our side of such nonsense, and the thought keeps you warm at night, but I can assure you that it is a comfortable fiction of which you should probably divest yourself.
Now before I waste too much of your time, let’s establish who I’m talking to.  If you believe that we live in an evil, imperialist nation from its founding, and you believe that it should be “fundamentally transformed”, lend me your ears.  If you believe that the free market is the source of the vast majority of society’s ills and wish to have more government intervention into it, I’m talking to you.  If you believe that health care is a basic human right and that government should provide it to everyone, you’re the guy I’m screaming at.  If you think minorities cannot possibly survive in this inherently racist country without handouts and government mandated diversity quotas, you’re my guy.  If you believe that rich people are that way because they’ve exploited their workers and acquired wealth on the backs of the poor, keep reading.  Pretty much, if you trust government more than your fellow American, this post is for you.
First of all, let me say that we probably agree on more things than you think.  Even between Tea Party Patriots and Occupy Wall-Streeters, I’ve observed a common hatred of the insidious alliance between big business and big government.  As Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) so correctly noted, government should never be in the business of picking winners and losers in corporate America, and no person, organization, union, or corporation should have their own key to the back door of our government.
Second, contrary to popular belief, conservatives really are concerned with the plight of the poor in this nation.  You accuse us of being uncompassionate, hateful, racist, and greedy, but studies have shown that when it comes to charitable giving, conservatives are at least (if not more, depending on the study you read) as generous as liberals in caring for the poor.  The difference between us is not in our attitude towards the problem — it’s our attitude towards the solution.  We believe that the government does practically nothing well (since without competition or a profit motive there is no incentive to do well) and has made the plight of the poor far worse than it would have ever been had government never gotten involved.  For a stark example of this, look no farther than the condition of the black family in America since the “War on Poverty” began.  You believe that more government is the answer, and that if we only throw more money at the problem, the problem will go away.  We believe, as Reagan so aptly stated,
Government is not the solution to our problems;  government is the problem.
Third, as people who might actually have to avail ourselves of a doctor’s services at some point in our lives, we are just as concerned with the condition of America’s healthcare system as you are.  While we believe that America has the world’s most capable physicians, has the world’s most innovative pharmaceutical industry, and is on the cutting edge of medical technology, we also understand that the delivery system is far from perfect.  However, unlike you, we see a grave danger in turning the administration of that delivery system over to the same entity that is responsible for giving us the United States Postal Service.  There are private sector solutions that should certainly be explored before we kill the system, altogether, by giving it to the government to run.
Now that we’ve touched on a couple of points of common ground, allow me to explain my aggressiveness towards your efforts to implement your progressive agenda.  First, let’s talk about the word “progressive”, since you now seem to prefer that word to “liberal”.  In order to label something as progressive or regressive, one must have some idea as to what constitutes progress.  What is the ideal towards which you are striving?  An idea is considered progressive if it moves us closer to the ideal and regressive if it moves us further away.  So, what is your ideal society?
Though I can’t begin to discern the thoughts of every liberal who may read this, nor can I assume that every liberal has the same notion of an ideal society, in my arguments with liberals over the years, I couldn’t help but notice the influence that FDR’s Second Bill of Rights has had in shaping the beliefs of the modern liberal with regards to domestic policy.  The rights that FDR cited are:
  • The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
  • The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
  • The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
  • The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
  • The right of every family to a decent home;
  • The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
  • The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
  • The right to a good education.
At this point, you’re probably screaming, “Right on!!”, and who can blame you?  What sane person in the world doesn’t want everyone to be gainfully employed, adequately fed, smartly clothed, appropriately sheltered, and properly educated?  These are the goals of every moral society on the planet, however we cannot ignore the fundamental question of, “At what cost?”
I’m not sure whether FDR was a shallow thinker or simply a shrewd, Machiavellian politician, but the fact that he framed each of these ideals as a human right should be troubling to every freedom-loving person in America.  After all, what does it mean for something to be a human right?  Doesn’t it mean that it’s something to which you are entitled simply by virtue of your being human?  Let’s think about some of the basic rights that the real Bill of Rights delineates: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to petition the government, freedom to bear arms, freedom from illegal search and seizure, etc.
If you’re moderately intelligent and intellectually honest, you’ll quickly see what separates the rights laid out in the real Bill of Rights from those laid out in FDR’s misguided list — none of the rights listed above require the time, treasure, or talents of another human being.  Your right to speak requires nothing from anyone else.  Your right to practice your religion requires nothing from any of your fellow citizens.  Your right to bear arms means that you are allowed to possess weapons to defend yourself and your family, but it makes no demand that a weapon be provided to you by anyone.  A true human right is one that you possess, even if you’re the only person on the entire planet — and it is unconditional.
FDR’s list is no “Bill of Rights”.  It’s a list of demands.  If I have a right to a job, doesn’t that mean that one must be provided to me?  If I have a right to adequate food, clothing, and recreation, doesn’t that mean that I am entitled to those things, and someone should provide them to me?  If I have an inherent right to a decent home, once again, doesn’t that mean it should be provided to me, regardless of my ability to afford one or build one for myself?
You might protest that FDR only meant that we have the right to pursue those things, but that’s not what he said, and why would he?  If we live in a free society, our right to pursue those things is self-evident, is it not?  Besides, if he only believed in our right to pursue those things, he would not have felt the need to implement the New Deal.
You may be getting anxious, now, wondering what FDR’s Second Bill of Rights has to do with my antipathy towards your political philosophy.  It’s quite simple — your political beliefs are a threat to liberty — not just for me, but for my three boys and their children as well.  I care much less about the America that I’m living in at this very moment than I do about the one that I’m leaving Nathaniel, Charlie, and Jackson.
How does your political bent threaten my and my sons personal liberty, you ask?  In your irrational attempt to classify things such as clothing, shelter, health care, employment, and income as basic human rights, you are placing a demand upon my time, my treasure, and my talents.  If you believe that you have a right to health care, and you are successful in persuading enough shallow thinkers to think as you do, then it will place a demand upon me to provide it to you.  If you believe that you have a right to a job, and more than half of America agrees with you, as a business owner, I am obligated to provide one to you, even if it means making my business less profitable.
The fact is, you can rail against my conservatism all you wish.  You can make fun of my Tea Party gatherings, and you can ridicule patriots in tri-corner hats until you wet yourself from mirth, but one thing is for certain: my political philosophy will NEVER be a threat to your freedom.  If you feel a burning responsibility to the poor, conservatism will never prevent you from working 80 hours per week and donating all of your income to charity.  If you feel a strong sense of pity for a family who cannot afford health insurance, my political philosophy will never prevent you from purchasing health insurance for this family or raising money to do so, if you cannot afford it, personally.  If you are moved with compassion for a family who is homeless, a conservative will never use the police power of government to prevent you from taking that family in to your own home or mobilizing your community to build one for them.
However, you cannot say the same for liberalism.  If I choose not to give to the poor for whatever reason, you won’t simply try to persuade me on the merits of the idea — you will seek to use the government as an instrument of plunder to force me to give to the poor.  If we are walking down the street together and we spot a homeless person, using this logic, you would not simply be content with giving him $20 from your own pocket — you would hold a gun to my head and force me to give him $20, as well.
Everything that modern liberalism accomplishes is accomplished at the barrel of a government rifle.  You do not trust in the generosity of the American people to provide, through private charity, things such as clothing, food, shelter, and health care, so you empower the government to take from them and spend the money on wasteful, inefficient, and inadequate government entitlement programs.  You do not trust in the personal responsibility of the average American to wield firearms in defense of themselves and their families, so you seek to empower the government to criminalize the use and possession of firearms by private citizens.  Everytime you empower the government, you lose more of your personal liberty — it’s an axiomatic truth.
What angers me the most about you is the eagerness with which you allow the incremental enslavement to occur.  You are the cliched and proverbial frog in the pot who has actually convinced himself that he’s discovered a big, silver jacuzzi.  Somehow, you’re naive enough to believe that one more degree of heat won’t really matter that much.
I have the utmost respect for a slave who is continuously seeking a path to freedom.  What I cannot stomach is a free man who is continuous seeking a path to servitude by willingly trading his freedom for the false sense of security that government will provide.
I am reminded of Samuel Adams’ impassioned speech where he stated:
“If ye love wealth (or security) better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!”
Servitude can exist in a free society, but freedom cannot exist in a slave nation.  In a free country, you have the liberty to join with others of your political ilk and realize whatever collectivist ideals you can dream up.  You can start your own little commune where the sign at the front gate says, “From each according to his ability; to each according to his need”, and everyone can work for the mutual benefit of everyone else.  In my society, you have the freedom to do that.
In your society, I don’t have the same freedom.  If your collectivism offends me, I am not free to start my own free society within its borders.  In order for collectivism to work, everyone must be on board, even those who oppose it — why do you think there was a Berlin Wall?
In conclusion, just know that the harder you push to enact your agenda, the more hostile I will become — the harder I will fight you.  It’s nothing personal, necessarily.  If you want to become a slave to an all-powerful central government, be my guest.  But if you are planning to take me and my family down with you, as we say down here in the South, I will stomp a mud-hole in your chest and walk it dry.

Bring it.
 8 July 2012  

Ed Note: We agree 110 percent.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans sends another one to the streets to Die instead of helping him.

member X at the veterans home sends us this information:


Herman J, was discharged this last Tuesday for good. Word is, last Friday, they offered to send him to Battle Creek to deal with his "issues", to which, he declined. They then offered to give him a spot in the Courtyard and try and help him with his issues there. Again, to no avail, he declined their offer of help yet AGAIN. SO, after refusing the only 2 options of help they could provide, they had no choice but to discharge him. They even gave him until this Tuesday to pack his belongings, and arrange a place to go. When, on Tuesday, they went to discharge him, he refused to leave, and it took Security and a No Trespass Order to get him to leave the property. So ends the story of "Stinky" But... This time, they did do their job and offered him 2 separate choices to help him mentally with his "issues" and HE chose to deny that assistance and leave.




Ed note:
 
No, they did not do their job. The home should have given this guy some Psychiatrist help, and he got NONE.  Yet this same hospital is issuing Dangerous, and controlled Physiatric drugs to many veterans at the home. All without proper supervision from a licensed trained professional.

Sorry X.. but Hermon here is another example of a FAILED MICHIGAN Veterans Administration that doesn't give a rats ass about any of the veterans at the home. He was a hoarder, and did not change his clothing, nor did he take showers. That is a good sign of mental illness, and the home did NOTHING for him.

And Ernie and his board of Miss-managers don't even have a clue as to whats going on.

They kicked this guy out right after the first pre-winter storm hit the area..  May the administration rot in hell for what they are doing. Too many have died on the street after being discharged from the home when the home would not give them the help they needed.


UPDATE: This emailed to me, posting as is..

I just read the article about Herman. I am shocked.  I am also worried.  Here we have a man who is clearly mentally ill.  I have heard a little about him over the past several years and I don't understand why his choices were ignored by the staff at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Three years ago, the Home got the Kent County Court involved and assigned my husband a guardian.  It is clear to me now that this was done because my husband has money behind his name.  The home got a doctor to state that he needed a "structured" facility and that living at home with his family wasn't what was best for him.  A judge gave my husband the label of "legally incapacitated".  Now, he has a guardian from hell who takes part in abusing and neglecting my husband.

I could go on and on about this but this isn't what this comment is about.  This is about a mentally ill man who was forced to the curb by security at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.  Apparently, the reason why was because he didn't comply with the Home's wishes.  Where is Herman tonight?  Is he warm?  Has he ate?  Is he surrounded by people who have his best interest at heart?  OR  Is he walking the streets of Grand Rapids cold and hungry.  It is clear that nobody at the Home cares but you know what?  I care and it is my prayer that God is with Herman tonight.

Herman wasn't capable of making good choices.  Why wasn't he given a guardian or is the guardianship program only for those who have money for the guardians to take and spend as they choose?  Herman needs to be found and clearly, he needs help.  Who out there can help this poor veteran?

END

Update:
Member x comments:
I may be wrong. MY understanding, was that the Homes offers of Battle Creek and The Courtyard were to afford him the mental health needs that he requires. Again, I may be wrong. That was just MY take on Grand Rapids Home for Veterans sends another one to the streets to Die instead of helping him.  

END

Ed reply: If the home wanted to offer him mental health help, why couldn't they have done that while he was on Dom Unit in Rankin 2? Why would he have to go to court yard for that?  I can see them offering him to go to BC for a while, but not the Court Yard.  If that is the choice, I can see why he forced them to kick him out; because they really did not offer him ANY choice.

And one more thing. Due to the fact that he was DISCHARGED against his will, does that mean he too, like so many others, cannot return and visit friends? Is he barred for life from coming on the property? will he be arrested if he goes on property to visit friends during regular visiting hours?

That is another way the veteran home dishonors those they are supposed to be helping.

THIS IS A MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE, and the home refuses to help veterans with them.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Guest Editorial

Found this in our comments box. The author asked us to post it.


ONE READER'S EDITORIAL




I have given a great deal of thought to all that is going on at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and have come up with some interesting conclusions.  These are my opinions and when I have shared them with others, they say it makes a lot of sense.  I would be curious what the reader thinks of my opinions.

Sara Dunne.  A member of Jim Dunne's staff informed me several months ago that the qualifications for the job "Administrator" was recently altered and amended.  By doing this, it gave Sara the qualifications to be Administrator.  A member of our State Legislature informed several people that over 80 people had applied for this position.  All of them were more qualified than Sara.  So why hire Sara.  My theory, my opinion, is that they were looking for a "patsy".  The powers to be wanted somebody running the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans to be weak, uneducated and naive.  They didn't want anybody in that position that could upset the apple cart.  They wanted somebody that would follow orders with no question.  They did not want an intelligent person.  They didn't want somebody that was motivated.  They didn't want somebody who was a veteran and would know what a veteran needed.  They wanted somebody who would look good in a short skirt, be able to stroke the arms and shoulders of the veterans, and be somewhat pleasing to the eye.  They got Sara.  I have a question for Sara.  Think carefully on this.  Who will be the first one under the wheels of the bus when things go wrong and start falling apart?  Be assured Madam Administrator.  It will not be anybody from Lansing or who sits on the Board of Managers.  It will be you.

As much as we all hate to have this realization, the veterans at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans are being abused and neglected.  They are being robbed of their dignity and pride at all costs.  There is no dollar sign in front of compassion and respect.  These are things that come free and our veterans should receive that.  Unfortunately, they don't.  News reporters and television stations can't report on this.  I don't get it.  Why not?  Why can't the lack of over all general well being of the veterans be taken seriously?  I am so sick of reading and hearing about privatization being the problem.  Wake up out there!  The home lost some good union care givers too.  The group from J2S isn't perfect either.  This will be a battle for years to come with no easy resolution.  Bottom line is this.  You abuse and neglect a veteran.  You treat him wrong.  YOU ARE FIRED.  Does it matter if you are union or J2S?

I have heard from many people that Sara was instructed to block all press people from the veterans.  I say instructed as I am taking the approach that Sara would need to be given an umbrella when going out in the rain as she doesn't appear to know on her own when she needs one.  Why would Sara be afraid to allow the veterans to talk to the press?  Might it be that a veteran would tell the truth about the poor care they are receiving?  Why would she or the fools in Lansing not want the truth to come out?  They all say that the veterans are receiving excellent care.  I have to wonder.  Who has the most to hide ... Sara or Lansing?

I have been involved in lengthy conversations with many people about the administration at the home.  At one time, I thought Sara had to be the first to go.  I don't anymore.  She is just an easy pawn in the whole scheme.  She doesn't know it yet and I hope she reads this and starts to think.  Earlier this year, I am told she had an interview with a reporter from a local television station here in Grand Rapids.  At that time, Sara told the reporter that she wasn't aware of any problems.  That she needed substantiation in black and white.  Proof.  How many veterans have died this year Sara?  How many veterans have been hospitalized for one thing or another?  How many veterans are needlessly drugged so your staff of privatized health care workers don't have to earn their pay?  How many of your registered nurses threaten the veterans on a daily basis?  The list is endless but apparently nobody wants to look at the proof.  Sara, I assume you are smart enough to read.  The proof is right in front of you.  Allow people to talk with the veterans and let the truth come out.  Find a backbone Sara, do your job, and defend the veterans as they have so valiantly fought to defend you.






Monday, November 11, 2013

Grand Rapids Prison, er Home for Veterans; Shuts down yet another activity for veterans

Kozy Corners, aka the LOUNGE, the Canteen, where Resident veterans, and their guests come to sit in a nice big room with tables, couches, a pool table, Juke box, Full kitchen for making things, and Coffee and snacks which are donated.

Kozy corners, that little place made for veterans to have a place to go to in winter time when they cannot get out side. And now the Veterans Home administration has taken away this too, from the veterans. They are slowly completing their transformation from a Home for Veterans, to a PRISON for veterans.


Kozy Corners is staffed by VOLUNTEERS, and all coffee, snacks and other items that a resident can get, are all DONATED items.

Yet for some asinine reason unfathomably by this author, the administration of the Grand Rapids Prison for Veterans, er.. my mistake, the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, has decided there is not enough "evening traffic" to justify keeping the place staffed with VOLUNTEERS, after 6pm.

Volunteers who donate their time, and who donate supplies, can no longer do so after the set time.
Now this is kinda stupid actually. As we approach winter, more and more people will be heading down there for Warm Coffee, or Hot Chocolate..

The Winter smoking tent is just outside Kozy Corners, and in the winter time guys come in and get coffee all night long.. But wait, they now lock the automatic doors after 9pm or so, so that they guys can't go out to have a smoke in the middle of the night.

The fact is there is no reason to shut down the volunteers who sit in Kozy until its official closing time of 9pm



OOPS, maybe we need to start over, Grand Rapids Home for Veterans wastes 1 Million

It was supposed to be a combination Renovation of the front entrance, and putting in a new awning that would protect the veterans from the elements as they were loaded on to buses, when they took field trips, or had to take an ambulance or transport ride to and from doctors appointments, and things of that nature.

But the awning turned out to be a joke. Now it is comming to our attention that the front door system is also another waste of money.

The old system consisted of one door, about 50 inches wide, so that a person in a power chair could easily navagate the door system. And those in wheel chairs, could also get thru without having to rack their knuckles on the door jams as they went thru the door.

Both sets of doors, (old and new) were and are automatic doors. But the new set is hardly wider than a standard wheelchair.

 The new doors have 2 doors, one for coming in, one for going out. But they are NARROW. Apparently someone forgot that big guys, in big wheel chairs need more than 36 inches to get thru a door system safely.

Already veterans are complaining about scraping their hands in the door system.



Just another example of the waste of money, due to poor management, and poor planning. They are going to have to rip out this "new construction" and put in a newer, bigger, wider door system.