American Elephants


Our Former Soldiers Do Not Need to Be Told that They Are a Burden to Society by The Elephant's Child

Last year, the bureaucrats at the Veterans’ Administrations National Center for Ethics in Health Care recommended a 52-page end-of-life planning document, “Your Life, Your Choices.”  It was published  first in 1997 and later promoted as the VA’s preferred living will throughout the vast network of hospitals and nursing homes in the  Veterans Administration system.   After the Bush Administration saw just how this document was treating very complex moral and health issues, the VA suspended its use.  Unfortunately, under President Obama, the VA has now returned the booklet to use.

The author is Dr. Robert Pearlman, the chief of ethics evaluation for the center, who according to the Wall Street Journal, advocated for physician -assisted suicide before the Supreme Court in 1966 in Vacco v.Quill, and who is known for  his support of health-care rationing.

life living

(click on image to enlarge)

The booklet presents end-of-life-choices in a way that leads to predetermined conclusions.  A worksheet lists scenarios and asks readers to decide just when their own life would “not be worth living.”  One asks “Have you ever heard anyone say, “If I’m a vegetable, pull the plug?” There are also such scenarios as “I can no longer contribute to my family’s well being,” “I am a severe financial burden on my family” or my situation “causes severe emotional burden for my family.”

Is it the job of the government to steer vulnerable individuals to conclude that life is not worth living?  You don’t have to have official “Death Panels” to cut down on end-of-life medical costs.  If President Obama doesn’t understand  Americans rejection of his health care plans, he has only to look at the way his Veterans’ Administration is treating those in its care.

America owes a vast debt to her veterans.  We need to make sure that no veteran is ever treated as a burden, but only with the honor and care that is their due.



Andrew Klavan Makes a Subtle Theological Point. by The Elephant's Child
August 22, 2009, 1:32 am
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Politics, Religion | Tags: , ,

I read about President Obama’s phone call to a group of rabbis to urge them to support  his health care plan; and to send their flocks forth to urge friends, families and neighbors to support ObamaCare. And I was pondering just how to address this uncomfortable idea, when I visited Pajamas Media and found that Andrew Klavan already had dealt with the whole thing most satisfactorily.  Do read more: This is why Andrew writes vast numbers of successful novels and I just blog.



Veterans Forced to Wait for Their Checks, Bureaucrats get $24M Bonuses. by The Elephant's Child
August 22, 2009, 1:20 am
Filed under: Military, News, Politics | Tags: , , ,

It’s Friday, and time for another Washington scandal.  Severely wounded veterans have faced financial hardship waiting for their first disability payment.  Inside the Veterans Affairs Department, money has been flowing to the bureaucrats in the form of $24 million in bonuses.

In scathing reports this week, the VA’s inspector general said thousands of technology office employees at the VA received the bonuses over a two-year period, some under questionable circumstances.  It also detailed abuses ranging from nepotism to an inappropriate relationship between two VA employees.

Bonuses in amounts over $50,000;  improperly authorized college tuition payments for VA employees; $37,000 worth of travel on the government’s ticket to see a boyfriend are just some of the problems unearthed by the inspector general.

The numbers of claims the VA needs to process have increased , and the Office of  Information and Technology is tasked with improving the technological infrastructure to handle the increase.  The backlog has allowed some veterans to wait months for a disability check.

The VFW and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) the top Republican on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee are speaking out, and the proper corrective actions will no doubt take place.  If somebody is going to suffer, it should not be our wounded veterans.  They deserve the best the nation can give them.




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