10.19.2014

US Politics


In 1973, the percentage of veterans in the US House and Senate was 73.8 percent. Now, the percentage is down to just 20 percent.

The military has special needs that are different from the civilian world. We clothe them, we pay them, we give them a place to live and then we ask them to go and put their lives on the line and possibly die for us.

Care and thought have to be given before committing our military to battle, to war. Without military experience it is too easy for our senators and representatives to just vote to go to war.

Our commitment to people in the military doesn't end when they are discharged or retire. We have a moral and legal commitment to them to help them heal and to re-enter the workforce.

Unfortunately, some members of Congress have abrogated their obligations.

Senator Pat Toomey is an example of a member of Congress who has had no military experience and has voted against appropriate funding for the Veterans Administration and against bills that would have helped veterans find gainful employment.

Some of the best qualified people whom the military needs to accomplish its missions will not join the military without a guarantee of post-service care.

We need to elect senators and representatives who have had military experience to ensure we support the members of the military with adequate funding for their missions and for the after-service care they deserve and need.

US Politics
by Marc Yergin

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10.16.2014

Court of Appeals


US Court of Appeals, in Veterans for Common Sense, Veterans United for Truth, Inc., v. Eric K Shinseki, December 13, 2011, in refusing to exceed their jurisdiction, ruled,

"As much as we may wish for expeditious improvement in the way the VA handles mental health care and service-related disability compensation, we cannot exceed our jurisdiction to accomplish it,.. veterans seeking the prompt provision of the health care and benefits to which they are entitled by law, as judges we may not exceed our jurisdiction."

Texas court judges as well, are not in any legal position to exceed their jurisdiction. However, this does not stop Texas activist court judges, they have no problem when it comes to "service related disability compensation." And despite the law, it continues.

The issue is VA medical disability compensation, the property rights of the disabled veteran, in what VA medical doctors, medical professionals have determined a disabled veterans injuries should be compensated for. Now that alimony reform has surfaced in many state legislatures, it’s time that disabled veterans voices be heard in a matter that has long concerned them. State court judges continue to ignore the disabled veteran, and the law, 38 USC 5301, 10 USC 1408. "Separation of powers" doctrine is mandated to end this attempt by the state court to manipulate, overlook, and circumvent the law and their disregard of disabled veterans.

Legislative Research Comm'n v Brown, 664 SW 2d 907 (KY 1984) "…addressed the issue of separation of powers. It observed the purpose of legislative enactments is ordinarily within the constitutional purview of the executive branch of government. It also held that the review of whether regulations comport with statutory directives and legislative intent belongs to the judiciary."

Legislative Research Comm'n v. Brown,.. allowing a review , with no direction to administer or any right to legislate enactments. Review, “…whether regulations comport with statutory directives and legislative intent ...”

The Texas Supreme Court, in a habeas corpus proceeding, (615 SW 2d 192 (1981) Ex Parte Billy Bruce Burson), had recognized a Disabled veteran’s VA disability compensation is by federal law exempt. “Burson argues… Veterans Administration disability benefits because the supremacy clause of the United States Constitution preempts this area from the purview of state courts. We agree.”

Richard v Richard Court of Appeals TX 1983. In the case of Ex parte Johnson, 591 SW 2d 453, 456, “… the Texas Supreme Court held that an award of the husband's Veterans Administration disability benefits to the wife upon divorce, conflicts with the clear intent of Congress that these benefits be solely for the use of the disabled veteran.”

And as so, legislated and made part Texas law.

Sec 8.055 AMOUNT OF MAINTENANCE

For purposes of this chapter, gross income:

(1) Includes:
(E) all other income actually being received, including ...

(2) Does Not Include:
(F) Department of Veterans Affairs service-connected disability compensation;

However, the Texas legislature in 2013 amended the law.

Section 154.062(b), Family Code

(b) Resources include:
(5) all other income actually being received, including ... United States Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits ...

THE TEXAS CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE 3. LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT
Section 30. LAWS PASSED BY BILL; AMENDMENTS CHANGING PURPOSE.

“No law shall be passed, except by bill, and no bill shall be so amended in its passage through either House, as to change its original purpose.”

Neither the Supremacy clause of the United States, nor an edict handed down by the Supreme Court of Texas, or the Texas Constitution, relating to exempt status of VA disability compensation would stop the Texas legislature from altering and amending the original purpose of Sec 8.055.

Realizing laws protecting VA disability compensation as exempt, the courts, therefore are unable, in any legal standing, to secure garnishment of veteran’s disability compensation. The court not satisfied, and not wanting to violate a federal law, will expect the veteran, in a final move will now consider, an equitable calculation of veteran’s resources, to include in many cases, the only money’s available, the very same disability compensation the court recognizes and acknowledges as exempt, in determining, for purposes of establishing alimony/support.

The court then, exceeding their jurisdiction, order the use of a veteran’s disability compensation as alimony, or go to jail! As has happened. The mere mention, innuendo, or thought of VA disability compensation to satisfy indemnity obligations as a equitable consideration in any form, thought or calculation of VA disability compensation, suggests interference in matters, identified as exempt, are beyond the courts jurisdiction, under "separation of powers" doctrine. The court has the responsibility and the obligation to uphold the State Constitution’s "separation of powers" doctrine.

Forgotten are the rights of the disabled veterans. It is clear the court’s have no legal right to, exercise, determine, consider in any equitable calculation thereof, or divide federal VA disability benefits, in order to further enhance martial property. The improper, intrusive practice by state court judges in administration and governing over VA medical rehabilitative disability compensation.

The separation of powers doctrine imposes the assumption that the state court, in attacking the disabled veterans legal right to claim as exempt, his or her VA disability compensation, requires subject matter jurisdiction. The court has the sworn duty and responsibility to enforce federal law. The court’s continued attempt to override VA administered rehabilitative services, of disability compensation is not within the courts purview, legal right or jurisdiction to invade.

THE TEXAS CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE 2. THE POWERS OF GOVERNMENT
Section 1. DIVISION OF POWERS; THREE SEPARATE DEPARTMENTS; EXERCISE OF POWER PROPERLY ATTACHED TO OTHER DEPARTMENTS

“The powers of the Government of the State of Texas shall be divided into three distinct departments, each of which shall be confided to a separate body of magistracy, to wit: Those which are Legislative to one; those which are Executive to another, and those which are Judicial to another; and no person, or collection of persons, being of one of these departments, shall exercise any power properly attached to either of the others, except in the instances herein expressly permitted”

Disabled veteran’s, and the "separation of powers" doctrine, both overlooked, ignored, for years, by Texas and most state court judges, acting like doctors, holding themselves as qualified, as a provider of VA health care. How are judges allowed the non-life threatening discretion, policy making outside their jurisdiction of constitutional boundaries in re-evaluating and considering long held established VA protocols, of a disabled veteran‘s VA disability compensation for purposes other than rehabilitation and health of the veteran?

Substituting their judgment for the judgment of VA doctors and medical professionals, and violating the property rights of a disabled veteran’s earned VA disability compensation "..once they are delivered to the veteran..," the blatant disregard of the 14th Amendment, to further degrade property rights, and the best interests of the disabled veteran, runs afoul of the "separation of powers" doctrine. Injurious and, an abuse of power to allow what is happening, was this the intent of Congress?

42 US Code § 1983 - Civil Action for Deprivation of Rights

“Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or ..causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States …within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges,…secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law,.. or other proper proceeding for redress, ... ”

“It is well established that disability benefits are a protected property interest and may not be discontinued without due process of law.” See Atkins v Parker, 472 US 115, 128 (1985); Mathews v Eldridge, 424 US 319, 332 (1976)”

14th Amendment. “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, with due process of law,.. ”

By utilizing this case in future appeals, in the effect that the US Court of Appeals, on this ruling has made it quite clear that No Federal or State Agency can take away any Constitutional Rights from Disabled Veterans, no matter the cause or reason. This case has made it Status Quo ... The Dept of Veterans Affairs has No Legal Right to Deprive anyone from any Constitutional Benefits


Court of Appeals
Posted by Vets Helping Vets

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10.10.2014

VA PTSD Research


25 Years of VA PTSD Research, Education and Technology
 NCPTSD Provides Comprehensive Mental Health Care for Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (NCPTSD) celebrates its 25th anniversary.

“We are extremely proud of the Center’s work over the last 25 years,” said Interim Under Secretary for Health Dr. Carolyn Clancy.

“VA will continue to study, create awareness, educate and develop policies which better the lives of Veterans with PTSD for years to come.”

VA created the Center in 1989 to address the needs of Veterans and other trauma survivors with PTSD.

Congress called for a center of excellence that would set the agenda for research and education on PTSD without direct responsibility for patient care.

VA initially established the Center as a consortium of five divisions but now it consists of seven VA academic centers of excellence across the U.S.

“Our most important accomplishment is that we helped educate policymakers as well as the general public that PTSD was not something that happened only to Vietnam Veterans, but could happen to Veterans of other wars and to any man, woman or child faced with a catastrophic event,” said Dr. Matthew Friedman, currently the Center’s Senior Advisor and former Executive Director from 1989 through 2013.

“When we started, PTSD was a controversial diagnosis.

NCPTSD's research and educational initiatives helped establish the scientific basis for PTSD.” Major accomplishments of the Center over its 25-year history also include:
  • Applying the latest technology to disseminate information and education about PTSD. In 1995 the Center launched its website, www.ptsd.va.gov. Since then it has become the number one website on PTSD. The Center is trying to become the technological leader in PTSD online continuing education for VA clinicians and in the creation of mobile apps for Veterans with PTSD. The Center’s About Face program, www.ptsd.va.gov/apps/AboutFace, an online video gallery of Veterans talking about living with PTSD and how treatment turned their lives around, has improved access to care through Veterans encouraging fellow Veterans to get into treatment. 
  • Assessment and diagnosis. The Center developed the leading assessment measures for PTSD in VA, DoD, and organizations around the world. These measures include the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), the gold standard for assessing PTSD. They have advanced research on PTSD and the clinical care of Veterans living with PTSD by ensuring accurate diagnoses and assessment. 
  • Neurobiological research. The Center’s investigators have been at the forefront of research demonstrating alterations in structural and brain function associated with PTSD, which has significantly enhanced the science and understanding of PTSD and led to improvements in the treatment of Veterans and others with PTSD. 
  • Treatment research and training. The Center has conducted some of the leading research on the treatment of PTSD, particularly the main evidence-based psychotherapies. The Center also developed training programs that have trained thousands of VA clinicians in these psychotherapies, allowing these clinicians to provide effective evidence-based treatments to Veterans with PTSD.
  • Supporting evidence-based PTSD care. In 2008 the Center helped create the VA Mentoring Program, which encourages implementation of evidence-based treatments for PTSD within PTSD-specialized programs. In 2011, the Center helped establish the VA PTSD Consultation Program, which advises VA clinicians on PTSD. Both programs contribute significantly to better care for Veterans with PTSD. For more information on PTSD and ways to raise awareness of this mental health problem, Veterans, professionals and members of the public can visit the National Center for PTSD website, www.ptsd.va.gov . The site offers resources such as: 
  1. PTSD Coach Online and the award-winning PTSD Coach mobile app, which provide self-help symptom-management tools. The app is always with you when you need it.
  2. PTSD Continuing Education opportunities for providers, including PTSD 101 Courses, on the best practices in PTSD treatment (CEs/CMEs offered).
  3. About Face: Online videos of Veterans talking about how PTSD treatment can turn your life around.


VA PTSD Research
see VA Information on Post-traumatic Stress -
www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2619

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