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View Full Version : Righteous Smackdown by a US Congresswoman (and disabled Veteran)


Sabrina
30th June 2013, 04:13 PM
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If this has been posted before, please merge with the other thread thanks.

Some background here; Tammy Duckworth is the first double amputee to ever be elected to the US House of Representatives, and the first disabled woman. She lost her right leg near the hip and her left leg below the knee due to taking RPG fire in Iraq while flying her helicopter, and is currently in danger of losing her right arm as well because of the significant damage to it as a result of that same incident.

As to the video, I'm not certain of the background of why this guy is testifying before a congressional committee in the first place, although I believe it may have something to do with the fact that he's been using his disabled veteran status (30%) to get preferred treatment for government contracts for his company. The kicker here; he never actually served in the military. He twisted his ankle (possibly broke it; I'm not sure) while playing football in a military prep school. Apparently this now qualifies you for VA disability; playing football. :rolleyes:

People like this, the ones who game the system for their own benefit, quite literally make me sick. While I cannot begin to claim injuries on the level of Ms. Duckworth's, I am a disabled veteran. I badly misaligned about nine of my vertebrae while carrying a very heavy load during my one and only deployment in 2003 and developed degenerative disc disease as well as at least one small tear on a disc in my lower back as a result of that poor decision. I was granted 10% disability in 2006. My condition has grown steadily worse over the years since then, and I am now in the situation where I am undergoing a medical evaluation board in order to determine my fitness for duty, since like Ms. Duckworth, I have continued to serve in the military. This might increase my disability to around 20%, perhaps, but the most likely outcome is that I will be unable to continue to serve despite actually WANTING to do so, and so I will be medically retired. Twelve years of service (sixteen if you count my ROTC time, which, since I was under contract and the Army was paying me, they do), and now I'm unable to give any more. It hurts the most because I would actually deploy again if I were physically capable of meeting the standards the Army has for their deploying personnel, but I can't meet them, so I'm going to content myself with deploying as a civilian before too much longer; at least I'll be able to provide a service that way.

I sympathize with this guy if this injury truly has caused him that much pain over the years, but this, what he's doing, I find utterly reprehensible. It's because of jerks like this that so many veterans don't even bother filing claims any more; everything has to be so closely scrutinized and double-checked that they just decide it's not worth it. I truly hope that the VA yanks his disability rating entirely and forces him to pay back every penny of money he's fraudulently collected since he was awarded that claim; he deserves no less.

newyorkguy
30th June 2013, 04:28 PM
Yeah that's pretty bad.

12AX7
30th June 2013, 04:50 PM
God I love Tammy Duckworth!

BStrong
30th June 2013, 04:55 PM
I saw it on Friday at work, and my general agita went into overdrive.

I know what my Father and Uncle would have had to say to that little prick, and Duckworth did a fine day's work in putting him on the spot.

I don't wish that man any ill will at all, I just hope a truck runs over his *********** head.

jiggeryqua
30th June 2013, 05:25 PM
So, there are rules, and because she's further inside them than he is, he deserves a truck to run over his [expletive deleted] head? "I'm more disabled than you, and ok, you haven't broken the rules, but just because the law says what you did is ok, you're not as disabled as you could be, you're not a war hero, you're a cheater, for following the rules but not being a poster boy".

If he'd been more substantially disabled, unequivocally had his life destroyed, while playing football at a prep school that qualified under the rules for being military duty, would she still snipe about people she knew (or the person she is) who are more disabled? If the rules are wrong, change the rules, don't traduce the player.

fuelair
1st July 2013, 12:12 AM
Hate the game, kill the players. (first thing I thought of the first time I heard someone say "don't hate the player, hate the game")

12AX7
1st July 2013, 04:33 AM
So, there are rules, and because she's further inside them than he is, he deserves a truck to run over his [expletive deleted] head? "I'm more disabled than you, and ok, you haven't broken the rules, but just because the law says what you did is ok, you're not as disabled as you could be, you're not a war hero, you're a cheater, for following the rules but not being a poster boy".

If he'd been more substantially disabled, unequivocally had his life destroyed, while playing football at a prep school that qualified under the rules for being military duty, would she still snipe about people she knew (or the person she is) who are more disabled? If the rules are wrong, change the rules, don't traduce the player.


Twisting your ankle while playing football at a military prep school is not the same as being injured in defense of this nation.

He's gaming the system, yeah. People game the system every day, it's a fact of life. The part that probably really pissed her off (and me as well) was his description of that "injury" as kind of heroic/patriotic/combat-related incident.

Full disclosure: I'm a vet.

Sabrina
1st July 2013, 05:04 AM
So, there are rules, and because she's further inside them than he is, he deserves a truck to run over his [expletive deleted] head? "I'm more disabled than you, and ok, you haven't broken the rules, but just because the law says what you did is ok, you're not as disabled as you could be, you're not a war hero, you're a cheater, for following the rules but not being a poster boy".

If he'd been more substantially disabled, unequivocally had his life destroyed, while playing football at a prep school that qualified under the rules for being military duty, would she still snipe about people she knew (or the person she is) who are more disabled? If the rules are wrong, change the rules, don't traduce the player.

jiggeryqua, you seem to have missed the point.

This man never actually served a day on active duty. Not one. He twisted, perhaps broke, his ankle while playing football at a military prep school. I'm skeptical that this even qualifies him for VA coverage at all, but I'll freely admit I'm not certain how military prep schools fit into the overall military structure. Are they being paid for attending this school? Which school was it that he attended? West Point pays its students a small stipend for attending and the cadets there are considered to be part of the military, but do other prep schools do the same?

And then there's the misrepresentation already in evidence from the man's own letter, which Ms. Duckworth read from in the video, wherein he calls his injury "a sacrifice to service of this great nation" and says he would do it again in service of this great nation. As Ms. Duckworth said so eloquently, I am so happy that he'd be willing to play football again in prep school in service of the nation. :rolleyes:

It's fairly evident that the man is willing to misrepresent his injury in order to gain monetary advantage in his job just from that one letter she read, so what's to prevent him from also misrepresenting that injury in order to gain a monetary advantage from a struggling government program that barely has the manpower and resources to deal with the veterans who are TRULY in need of their services?

THAT is why I dislike people like this. I know of so many true veterans, people who have willingly risked their lives in defense of the USA, who have simply not bothered to file VA claims because they think there's no advantage to it, and it's largely because of people like this who think that they should take advantage of a struggling system. I am, of course, not privy to the exact wording of his claim to the VA, but the evidence suggests that he's perfectly willing to exaggerate his injury in order to gain the disability if that letter is any indication, and so I find his motives extremely suspect. If you can't see the problem with that, well then I'm sorry, but his actions are those of a man who is selfish and calculating, and shows that he does not understand in the slightest what true service really is.

JoeTheJuggler
1st July 2013, 06:18 AM
So, there are rules, and because she's further inside them than he is, he deserves a truck to run over his [expletive deleted] head? "I'm more disabled than you, and ok, you haven't broken the rules, but just because the law says what you did is ok, you're not as disabled as you could be, you're not a war hero, you're a cheater, for following the rules but not being a poster boy".

If he'd been more substantially disabled, unequivocally had his life destroyed, while playing football at a prep school that qualified under the rules for being military duty, would she still snipe about people she knew (or the person she is) who are more disabled? If the rules are wrong, change the rules, don't traduce the player.

I agree. If there's anything scandalous going on, it's that Congress (the ones who make the rules) allows this to happen.

FWIW, those who keep pointing out that the guy wasn't injured in combat seem to think that VA disability is only intended for people injured in combat.

JoeTheJuggler
1st July 2013, 06:33 AM
It's fairly evident that the man is willing to misrepresent his injury

I didn't see that evidence. If he committed fraud, then take away his benefits and penalize him for the crime of fraud. But I don't think there's any evidence at all that that happened.

The closest thing to that is that he probably cast his VA disability in a positive light in the letter to the Small Business Administration. But that happens all the time. Someone injured in a non-combat situation while deployed is considered to have been defending our country. People injured during training are also said to have been injured defending our country. (On a tangent someone injured in Iraq like Ms. Duckworth is said to have been injured while defending our country, even though Iraq wasn't a credible threat to our country.) It's a commonly used euphemism, just like referring to any combat veteran as a "hero" no matter whether they did anything heroic.



I know of so many true veterans
No true Scotsman fallacy. By the rules, he qualifies as a "veteran" for purposes of getting VA disability.

And I don't think that's at issue anyway.

Despite Rep. Duckworth's scolding, I don't think she will be introducing legislation to bar students at U.S. military academies (and academy prep schools) from qualifying for VA benefits.

JoeTheJuggler
1st July 2013, 06:42 AM
This man never actually served a day on active duty.

That's false. While someone is attending a military academy prep school, he or she is considered to be an enlistee on active duty.

Civilians accepting an appointment to attend the United States Military Academy Preparatory School will join the Army as an Invitational Reservist and be placed on active duty on the day they report to the Prep School.

http://www.usma.edu/usmaps/SitePages/FAQs.aspx

marplots
1st July 2013, 07:21 AM
(much snipped)

Some background here; Tammy Duckworth is the first double amputee to ever be elected to the US House of Representatives, and the first disabled woman. She lost her right leg near the hip and her left leg below the knee due to taking RPG fire in Iraq while flying her helicopter, and is currently in danger of losing her right arm as well because of the significant damage to it as a result of that same incident.

So at 1:20, when she describes her feet hurting, she's lying, since she doesn't have feet? Seems like an odd thing to lie about to make a point.

Cleon
1st July 2013, 07:29 AM
So at 1:20, when she describes her feet hurting, she's lying, since she doesn't have feet? Seems like an odd thing to lie about to make a point.

No, she's not lying. It's called the phantom limb (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_limb), and it's very common with amputees.

newyorkguy
1st July 2013, 08:06 AM
As a US Army veteran who served in a combat zone I too am outraged by this man's actions. How bad was his injury that, after prep school, he went on to play college football? In his application he wrote some garbage about not being able to play with his kids because of his 'service-connected injury.'

Why then did he wait twenty-eight years to file his claim?
Castillo, who applied for his disability in 2012 shortly after buying [Strong Castle -- an information technology company based in Leesburg, Va], told Duckworth he believed he deserves his VA disability.

He is using the "service-connected" disability to gain priority in bidding on government contracts.

The guy is being accused of gaming the system. The VA system is not adequately funded, especially with the surge of severely injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Part of the reason is because, just as Congresswoman Duckworth said, so many people are faking or exaggerating claims to get money.

Luckily for our country, there are still many decent and honorable people out there who do not try and take advantage of the system. Like me for instance.

I received a permanent injury while on active military duty and it was a line-of-duty injury. I was treated by Army doctors and I continue to receive occasional treatment from the VA. Technically I probably qualify for disability, but since the injury does not hinder me at all, I have never tried to claim disability. Nor will I. My sense of decency and fair play inhibit me. There are hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of veterans just like me.

Then you have people like Mr. Castillo.

JoeTheJuggler
1st July 2013, 08:35 AM
As a US Army veteran who served in a combat zone I too am outraged by this man's actions. How bad was his injury that, after prep school, he went on to play college football? In his application he wrote some garbage about not being able to play with his kids because of his 'service-connected injury.'

Why then did he wait twenty-eight years to file his claim?

And I hope Rep. Duckworth also subpoenas the person in the VA who approved Castille's application and asks why these questions weren't part of the application.

And I hope that exchange gets as much attention as the feels-good-but-accomplishes-nothing "smackdown".

Sabrina
1st July 2013, 08:55 AM
That's false. While someone is attending a military academy prep school, he or she is considered to be an enlistee on active duty.



http://www.usma.edu/usmaps/SitePages/FAQs.aspx

That's only West Point. Which one did this man attend, and do the same rules apply to that prep school as well?

You'll note, Joe, that I already conceded that persons who attend West Point are considered to be active members of the military; HOWEVER, that is only West Point. There are numerous other prep schools (Fork Union comes to mind) that may not have the same standards applied to them. To the best of my knowledge, West Point is the only military prep school where the students are considered active members of the military. Given that it's stated Mr. Castillo went on to play college football, my guess is that the prep school he attended was a high-school level school at best, and last I checked, high school students, even if they're in JROTC or similar programs, are not considered members of the active military (they're too young, for starters). I would be interested to know, however, if that assumption is correct; I've tried Google for the answer but can only find information about how West Point members are considered members of the military; nothing on any of the other numerous military prep schools out there. Perhaps my Google-fu is weak; I don't know, but I'd be very surprised to learn that any other prep school has it's members considered to be members of the active military.

Edit: Upon further Googling, I did find the Naval, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and Air Force academies as well. Those, along with West Point, are the only military academies whose members are considered to be active duty members of the military. Can anyone determine if Mr. Castillo attended any of these schools?

JoeTheJuggler
1st July 2013, 09:21 AM
That's only West Point. Which one did this man attend, and do the same rules apply to that prep school as well?


Already answered. Your claim that that's only West Point [ETA: or only West Point and the other Academies but not the prep schools] is false.

Read the FAQ bit that I quoted.

Here it is again with bolding for the words you somehow overlooked:

Civilians accepting an appointment to attend the United States Military Academy Preparatory School will join the Army as an Invitational Reservist and be placed on active duty on the day they report to the Prep School.


ETA: Edit: Upon further Googling, I did find the Naval, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and Air Force academies as well. Those, along with West Point, are the only military academies whose members are considered to be active duty members of the military. Can anyone determine if Mr. Castillo attended any of these schools?

You did further Googling but still failed to read the quote or the link I spoonfed you that answers the question wrt the exact institution that Castillo attended?

ETA: I think I see what's going on. First, you're using "West Point" to refer to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and to the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School. Fair enough. Second, you seem to doubt that this is the prep school Castillo attended, even though that's just what all the news stories I've seen specify. Third, do you suppose that while the Army prep school counts as active duty, the others do not?

newyorkguy
1st July 2013, 09:49 AM
And I hope Rep. Duckworth also subpoenas the person in the VA who approved Castille's application and asks why these questions weren't part of the application.

And I hope that exchange gets as much attention as the feels-good-but-accomplishes-nothing "smackdown".

You seem somewhat hostile to this for reasons I don't quite understand. I think to call this man a "military veteran with a service-connected disability" is a gross insult to all the uniformed members on active duty who put themselves in harm's way and many, like Ms. Duckworth, paid a huge price for it. I find it a bit disconcerting that anyone would find her outrage hard to understand.

I also find it very troubling that someone would slander her by labeling her a liar. Someone who is apparently unaware that amputees often suffer from nerve-related 'phantom pain,' and instead presumed the most logical explanation was that Rep. Duckworth is a liar.

I also find it hard to understand anyone characterizing this Congressional hearing as a pointless "feels-good-but-accomplishes-nothing smackdown."

It's anything but. Marshaling public opinion is a major element in getting changes in the political process. That's a prime reason why Congress holds these hearings. To get matters before the public in a manner that resonates and grabs the public's attention.

This thread is pretty good evidence the hearing was effective.

JoeTheJuggler
1st July 2013, 10:09 AM
You seem somewhat hostile to this for reasons I don't quite understand.

Hostile to what? I agree the guy is a sleaze, but he's not doing what Sabrina says. Sabrina claims the guy was never on active duty--not even one day.

I think to call this man a "military veteran with a service-connected disability" is a gross insult to all the uniformed members on active duty who put themselves in harm's way and many, like Ms. Duckworth, paid a huge price for it.
Why is it insulting? Is it insulting to the people who made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives that people who *only* lost a limb are making lots of political hay out of their service-related disability?

I find it a bit disconcerting that anyone would find her outrage hard to understand.
I understand it. It's more political theater. Her outrage may well be sincere, but it's still pointless, unless of course she follows up by proposing an amendment to the laws that would define attendance at military prep schools as being other than "active duty" or define injuries not sustained in the line of duty as not being service-related or whatever.

But she's not doing any such a thing, is she?

I also find it very troubling that someone would slander her by labeling her a liar. Someone who is apparently unaware that amputees often suffer from nerve-related 'phantom pain,' and instead presumed the most logical explanation was that Rep. Duckworth is a liar.
That wasn't me. But I presume that response was an attempt to point out the difference between saying something that is technically untrue while being true, or vice versa.

I also find it hard to understand anyone characterizing this Congressional hearing as a pointless "feels-good-but-accomplishes-nothing smackdown."

It's anything but. Marshaling public opinion is a major element in getting changes in the political process.
What change will be accomplished?

That's a prime reason why Congress holds these hearings. To get matters before the public in a manner that resonates and grabs the public's attention.

This thread is pretty good evidence the hearing was effective.
Effective at accomplishing what?

[ETA: I hope you're not saying that the best way to come up with new policy is by emotional response! Marshaling public opinion to support a proposal is one thing. Trying to generate outrage and the idea that something--anything--must be done is a bad way to make policy.]

Is Duckworth or anyone else even asking for support of legislation they've proposed that would solve this problem?

At the most, it's Duckworth putting her figurative toe in the water to see how things stand. At most, she'll gauge public reaction to this hearing before attempting to draft some proposed legislation.

IMO, the more important thing to do is consider what legislation would possibly solve this problem, and then ask if it's something we want. Do we want to deny active duty status to pre-cadets at military prep schools? Do we want to deny disability for injuries sustained other than in combat? Do we want to tighten up what degree of injury (or at least what medical evidence is needed) to qualify as "disabled"?

newyorkguy
1st July 2013, 10:34 AM
How does the political process work? Why do people demonstrate, why do groups bother to mobilize large groups of people to assemble in Washington? "Groups" don't write legislation. Bills aren't introduced at rallies. So why do people bother?

I'm not going to debate this point, it's a waste of time. In fact I wouldn't have bothered to respond at all except for the following comments which I find absolutely shameful:


...
...that people who *only* lost a limb are making lots of political hay out of their service-related disability?

At the most, it's Duckworth putting her figurative toe in the water to see how things stand.

Those are horribly insensitive comments to make. Some of the worst I've ever seen.

marplots
1st July 2013, 11:49 AM
No, she's not lying. It's called the phantom limb (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_limb), and it's very common with amputees.

She said, "My feet hurt too. In fact, the balls of my feet burn continuously. And I feel like there's a nail being hammered into my right heel right now."

Somehow, those feet being made of plastic and steel make for a bad comparison to a guy who twisted his ankle.

The problem here is that the system requires a doctor's input, which the guy got, and that's the extent of "proving" that needs to happen. How would I evaluate her claims of pain in her mechanical feet as "real" and the witnesses' claim as false? Unless I have the expertise to do so, it's pointless.

She's relying on a false comparison to shred this guy's position. It's very effective, but improperly based on emotions and drama. This is not how we should do lawmaking.

JoeTheJuggler
1st July 2013, 12:23 PM
How does the political process work? Why do people demonstrate, why do groups bother to mobilize large groups of people to assemble in Washington? "Groups" don't write legislation. Bills aren't introduced at rallies. So why do people bother?
I've rallied in support or opposition of specific proposals. In fact, I think it's far more effective than general, non-specific rallying. But that's not what we're talking about here, is it? I never said anything about "Groups" proposing any legislation. I asked whether Rep. Duckworth is doing that, and if so, what specifically would the legislation do?

But you said that this was effective, and I asked effective at what? What is she accomplishing?


I'm not going to debate this point, it's a waste of time.
Ah--one of those posts!




Those are horribly insensitive comments to make. Some of the worst I've ever seen.
So you said. But why?

How is some guy's gaming the system an insult to people who deserve the aid in question? Is our respect for genuine military heroes so fragile? Does it depend somehow on there not being any sleazeballs in the world?

Cleon
1st July 2013, 12:25 PM
She said, "My feet hurt too. In fact, the balls of my feet burn continuously. And I feel like there's a nail being hammered into my right heel right now."

Yes, that kind of pain is common with amputees, as described in the link I presented.


Somehow, those feet being made of plastic and steel make for a bad comparison to a guy who twisted his ankle.


Yeah, it establishes that there are real people with real injuries, real lasting pain, and then there's this Castillo putz.

marplots
1st July 2013, 01:10 PM
Yeah, it establishes that there are real people with real injuries, real lasting pain, and then there's this Castillo putz.

Phantom limb pain is not a real injury. Or, more properly, it is both as real and as false as religious ecstasy. An injury to a real foot has nerve damage, structural changes, immune factors released and a host of other measurable quantities.

To say, without cause that Castillo has none of this is to criticize a system in place which is supposed to check for real injury. Without looking it up, I believe there are multiple doctors, reviews and challenges that only then lead to a determination and that determination can itself be reviewed down the road.

If they want to change the law so that chronic pain from an ankle injury isn't covered, fine. But she's using her bully pulpit to beat on a guy who may not deserve it - impugning his character in the process. Would she accept the same kinds of criticisms? Would any of us think it apt to point out a legless man competing in the Olympics (and doing well) as a basis for saying her own lack of limbs shouldn't be a disability?

I call poor form.

newyorkguy
1st July 2013, 01:28 PM
Tammy Duckworth is a fighter for veterans' rights and someone very active in improving VA services and reforming the system.

Former Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs in the Department of Veterans Affairs

As Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Duckworth represented and advised the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on matters relating to media and public affairs. She directed departmental communications and oversaw programs relating to intergovernmental relations, homeless Veterans, consumer affairs, and the Department’s six national rehabilitative special event programs.

Duckworth served as the Director of Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs from 2006-2008. As director, she implemented many first-in-the-nation, cutting-edge programs for Veterans, especially in the areas of health care, mental health, housing and employment. She also initiated a public-private partnership program giving grants to non-profits working on Veterans disability, homelessness, long-term medical care and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

She also received the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, and the Combat Action Badge for her service in Iraq under Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush.

A Major in the Illinois Army National Guard, Duckworth served in Iraq as an Assistant Operations Officer and also flew combat missions as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot. During a mission north of Baghdad in 2004, her aircraft was ambushed and a rocket-propelled grenade struck the helicopter she was co-piloting. She continued to attempt to pilot the aircraft until passing out from blood loss. As a result of the attack, Duckworth lost both of her legs and partial use of one arm. Link (http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/author/Tammy%20Duckworth)

In looking for more information about Duckworth I discovered she seems to be widely hated by the Tea Party right. I found several sites which use degrading and insulting language to describe her. This is undoubtedly due to the fact, in addition to being an Illinois Democrat and a former member of the Obama Administration Ms. Duckworth is a woman of color.

Now I understand the depth of the vitriol I'm seeing here.

I will say this. I hope most veterans -- especially ones who suffered a serious injury -- don't see some of the posts in this thread. To read them is to ask yourself, Are these the kinds of people I was protecting? What's the point?

marplots
1st July 2013, 01:41 PM
I will say this. I hope most veterans -- especially ones who suffered a serious injury -- don't see some of the posts in this thread. To read them is to ask yourself, Are these the kinds of people I was protecting? What's the point?

The point is to protect a system where people holding disparate opinions can air those without fear of reprisal. At least that was the point when I served. Maybe it's different now.

JoeTheJuggler
1st July 2013, 01:51 PM
Yeah, it establishes that there are real people with real injuries, real lasting pain, and then there's this Castillo putz.

How is this point "established"? Will Castillo's disability benefits be terminated?

Even if this exchange were enough to "establish" this point (I guess making it clear to the public that Castillo is a sleaze), of what value is doing so? I contend that it only makes people feel good (in a self-righteous way), and will change nothing.

It's political theater in the same way the bajillion house votes to repeal the ACA are nothing but political theater.

Sabrina
1st July 2013, 01:53 PM
Already answered. Your claim that that's only West Point [ETA: or only West Point and the other Academies but not the prep schools] is false.

Read the FAQ bit that I quoted.

Here it is again with bolding for the words you somehow overlooked:




ETA:

You did further Googling but still failed to read the quote or the link I spoonfed you that answers the question wrt the exact institution that Castillo attended?

ETA: I think I see what's going on. First, you're using "West Point" to refer to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and to the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School. Fair enough. Second, you seem to doubt that this is the prep school Castillo attended, even though that's just what all the news stories I've seen specify. Third, do you suppose that while the Army prep school counts as active duty, the others do not?

*sigh*

The part you quoted, Joe, refers to THAT PARTICULAR MILITARY PREP SCHOOL, not every other military prep school that is in existence. I concede the point that this prep school does count its members as being on active duty; in fact, I did so in my earlier post. My point was related to the fact that there is no hard evidence beyond some statements in a few news articles that Mr. Castillo ever even attended THIS school.

In an article on Huffington Post, this is the description provided of his school:

Castillo cited his foot injury, suffered at a military prep school, as the basis for his IT company's application for special status as a "service-disabled veteran-owned small business."

You'll note that it does not state that he attended the United States Military Academy Preparatory School, merely that it is "a military prep school". In fact, later in the article Ms. Duckworth appears to be under the impression that it was a HIGH-SCHOOL LEVEL preparatory school:

"I'm sorry that twisting your ankle in high school has now come back to hurt you in such a painful way, if also opportune for you to gain this status for your business," she added.

If true, he cannot claim to have ever been on active duty, as high-school level military preparatory schools such as Fork Union or others do not enlist their members the way the other schools I cited in my earlier post do. Now, to be fair, there is a couple of articles I found that do state he attended the US Military Prep school for a total of nine months before moving on to college. If so, fine, he was ostensibly on active duty (not that anyone who's truly been on active duty would agree with that notion, but I digress). It doesn't make his actions any less reprehensible, and quite frankly the fact that he's riding on a technicality to get some sort of monetary gain makes it that much worse. Anyone who has truly served on active duty would never in a million years make the claim that being in prep school for nine months entitles you to much of anything. I find it interesting that he was able to make the claim to begin with, as normally after signing any sort of contract with the military (i.e. an enlistment contract, such as the one members of that school sign if they want to attend), if you leave, you have to pay them back for whatever amount of time you essentially spent the government's money, and then neither you nor the military have any further obligation to each other, which would theoretically negate his VA claim as well, to the best of my knowledge of the applicable regulations.

I for one would like to see evidence that he actually attended USMAPS aside from a few newspaper articles. Thus far I've found two that say he attended that one, and two that don't name the school but simply call it a "military prep school". That's an even split by anyone's reckoning. I find it even more interesting that you're willing to simply take the media at their word, Joe, and not question whether they bothered to actually check whether that's the military prep school he attended or not. Given that some say he did and some don't mention the school at all, I think the case could be made that perhaps he did not. However, even if he did attend USMAPS (in which case I will fully and completely withdraw my statement that he did not serve a day on "active duty" :rolleyes:), it doesn't make his actions any less reprehensible, and I for one would support Ms. Duckworth in advancing legislation that betters the process. Given that she's only been in office for approximately six months, it might be easier to give her some time to author a bill before you simply call it "dipping her figurative toe in the water" (and THAT'S not an insensitive statement about a woman with no legs, noooo... :rolleyes:)

JoeTheJuggler
1st July 2013, 01:55 PM
I will say this. I hope most veterans -- especially ones who suffered a serious injury -- don't see some of the posts in this thread. To read them is to ask yourself, Are these the kinds of people I was protecting? What's the point?

Protecting us from the likes of the Ba'ath Party in Iraq? :rolleyes:

BTW, which veterans are the ones with "serious" injuries, and who gets to decide which kinds of injuries and which kind of military service doesn't count?

Are only amputees considered to be seriously injured?

NoahFence
1st July 2013, 02:10 PM
Phantom limb pain is not a real injury. Or, more properly, it is both as real and as false as religious ecstasy. An injury to a real foot has nerve damage, structural changes, immune factors released and a host of other measurable quantities.

Uh, WHAT???

I call poor form.

As do I. Not on her though.

Just because you can't see an injury doesn't make it any less real. Perhaps tinnitus is "fake" in your book? PTSD? Concussions?

NoahFence
1st July 2013, 02:11 PM
Protecting us from the likes of the Ba'ath Party in Iraq? :rolleyes:

BTW, which veterans are the ones with "serious" injuries, and who gets to decide which kinds of injuries and which kind of military service doesn't count?

Are only amputees considered to be seriously injured?

Can't say for sure, but I can say for sure the wuss that hurt his ankle playing football isn't one of them.

newyorkguy
1st July 2013, 02:27 PM
*sigh*

<snip>
...If so, fine, he was ostensibly on active duty (not that anyone who's truly been on active duty would agree with that notion, but I digress).

<snip>



To my mind that is what this is about. The difference between being on active duty with a military unit and being on "active duty" in prep school. Anyone who claims not to see the difference is probably not reachable anyway.

I would guess the time in prep school is considered active duty primarily for people who go on to make a career in the military. In that sense it's a good deal. You can retire on a half-pension after twenty years of service. So if you can get credit for your time in a military prep school that would you allow you to retire much quicker.

I can also see where there could be some injuries sustained in a prep school environment that should be considered "service-connected." I think most people would agree, however, waiting twenty-eight years to claim a twisted ankle from prep school football in order to gain priority when bidding for government contracts is obviously gaming the system. Castillo has become the poster boy for this and I'm certain the system will be tightened to prevent future abuses as a result.

marplots
1st July 2013, 02:32 PM
Uh, WHAT???

Just because you can't see an injury doesn't make it any less real. Perhaps tinnitus is "fake" in your book? PTSD? Concussions?


Wonderful. So you'd support my phantom limb injury as the sole basis for disability? I should tell you that the limb in question which doesn't exist is an extra thumb. Although I can't actually prove I have pain in this non-existent extra thumb, I will tell you that I certainly do. So far, the only treatments that seem to help are hypnosis and viewing my regular thumb in a mirror.

I suspect homeopathic remedies might help as well, but you know, I'm suspicious that those solutions don't actually have any medications in them. However, it may be that the lack of medications is just what my non-existent thumb needs for treatment. I'll ask my psychic surgeon about it.

The Congresswoman has a visible injury. She's missing some parts. One doesn't have to invoke a psychogenic injury at all, unless stretching to make a comparison that fails. As far as pain in her missing feet goes, that's a mental injury. The guy she's talking to has a different sort, one that doesn't reside just in his brain, but also in his very real ankle (or so he claims).

Not seeing an injury doesn't make it less real. It does, however, make it much harder to demonstrate when contrasted with a visible injury. If you are looking for goldbrickers, wouldn't you think they'd hide in the first category rather than the second?

The comparison between an injury in a prosthetic foot and a real foot is just wrong.

ETA: If my phantom thumb example seems over the top, I should mention I'm also missing an appendix. That was, at one time, very real and very present. Does it sometimes pain me, even though it's not there? Depends. How much can I get in compensation?

newyorkguy
1st July 2013, 02:42 PM
The Congresswoman has a visible injury. She's missing some parts...As far as pain in her missing feet goes, that's a mental injury.
<snip>


Your complete lack of compassion is incredible. "She's missing some parts?" Seriously?

You really seem to despise this woman don't you? May I ask why?

Also, Doctor, your diagnosis seems somewhat flawed....
Arm amputees experiencing the most phantom limb pain were found to maintain stronger representation of the missing hand in the brain – to the point where it was indistinguishable from people with both hands.

The researchers hope their identification of brain responses correlated with the level of phantom pain can aid the development of treatment approaches, as well as increase understanding of how the brain reorganises and adapts to new situations. Link (http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_releases_for_journalists/130306.html)

marplots
1st July 2013, 03:03 PM
Your complete lack of compassion is incredible. "She's missing some parts?" Seriously?

Yeah, well compassion shouldn't be the basis for judgement here, should it? Or would you agree that those who support her actions are not being compassionate for the schmuck who's testifying?

Compassion is sometimes used as an excuse for poor thinking. But I'll face the music - I don't care one whit about either person's injury. They have to live with the cards they have been dealt. Am I happy I have two reasonably sound legs? Sure. But I cannot endorse bullying from someone just because they do not have them. I can't do it for Pretorious in his case and can't do it for the Congresswoman either.

In fact, I think when we treat people with kid gloves because they have missing limbs, when the basis should be what they are saying or how they are acting, we insult them. She is much more than her injuries, capable both of nobility and dishonor.

You really seem to despise this woman don't you? May I ask why?

I don't despise her at all. She made a hyperbolic argument, a false analogy, and bullied a witness. Other than that, and her bio posted in this thread, I don't know anything about her. I am neither familiar enough with her as a person to despise her, nor familiar enough to think wonderful things about her. I'd be surprised that anyone could detect her character traits based solely on public appearances - pretty much like any celebrity.

Also, Doctor, your diagnosis seems somewhat flawed....
maintain stronger representation of the missing hand in the brain – to the point where it was indistinguishable from people with both hands.
[/HILITE]
The researchers hope their identification of brain responses correlated with the level of phantom pain can aid the development of treatment approaches, as well as increase understanding of how the brain reorganises and adapts to new situations.
Link (http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_releases_for_journalists/130306.html)

I assume the highlighted part is what you think is significant. But what it is saying is exactly what I meant. We model our limbs in our brains - whether or not we still have those limbs. That is what is "indistinguishable" in the quote. What is not indistinguishable is what happens when you damage a hand that exists as opposed to damaging a hand that doesn't exist.

Are you really going to claim that phantom limb pain is other than a mental event? Is there a real, "spiritual" limb there that simply evades detection?

For a forum that rejects woo, I am surprised at how quickly it can be supported when it serves a purpose. My claim: injury to an intact limb is different than perceptions of injury from a missing limb.

That's a scientific claim. It has nothing to do with veterans, or Congresspeople, or politics. Or compassion.

NoahFence
1st July 2013, 03:24 PM
[QUOTE=marplots;9332982]Wonderful. So you'd support my phantom limb injury as the sole basis for disability?[\quote]

Why would I have to? If you've got phantom pains from a part of your body being dismembered, I'd think that initial injury would suffice as a basis for disability.

marplots
1st July 2013, 03:26 PM
Wonderful. So you'd support my phantom limb injury as the sole basis for disability?

Why would I have to? If you've got phantom pains from a part of your body being dismembered, I'd think that initial injury would suffice as a basis for disability.

Exactly.

NoahFence
1st July 2013, 03:27 PM
Or would you agree that those who support her actions are not being compassionate for the schmuck who's testifying?

Why would you show compassion for some dolt trying to rig the system? He got called out on it. Caught red-handed. Story finished.

Jim_MDP
1st July 2013, 03:28 PM
I assume the highlighted part is what you think is significant. But what it is saying is exactly what I meant. We model our limbs in our brains - whether or not we still have those limbs. That is what is "indistinguishable" in the quote. What is not indistinguishable is what happens when you damage a hand that exists as opposed to damaging a hand that doesn't exist.

Are you really going to claim that phantom limb pain is other than a mental event? Is there a real, "spiritual" limb there that simply evades detection?

For a forum that rejects woo, I am surprised at how quickly it can be supported when it serves a purpose. My claim: injury to an intact limb is different than perceptions of injury from a missing limb.

That's a scientific claim. It has nothing to do with veterans, or Congresspeople, or politics. Or compassion.

Yes it's a mental event, that's how the sensation of pain works. The brain doesn't care if a nerve is still it's original length. If you prang what's left, the brain maps it to the original spot, whether that bit of flesh still exists or not. It's not woo and it's not a brain injury. It is real pain, and it hurts like hell.

marplots
1st July 2013, 04:24 PM
Yes it's a mental event, that's how the sensation of pain works. The brain doesn't care if a nerve is still it's original length. If you prang what's left, the brain maps it to the original spot, whether that bit of flesh still exists or not. It's not woo and it's not a brain injury. It is real pain, and it hurts like hell.

Yes, it is real pain and it hurts, just like real pain. The difference, as far as I can tell, is that pain springing from an existing limb occurs outside the brain and is input that triggers the sensation of pain in the brain. Phantom limb pain doesn't need that outside input (although it may have some), the entire event can spring from the brain itself and a remembered model of the limb that is now missing.

If you are going to claim this doesn't matter, and that all mental events should have the same status, I'd ask you what we are to make of people who claim to have seen, heard or "felt" God? Aren't vision, hearing and the sense of someone being present just mental events?

None of this really matters in the context of the OP. If the Congresswoman says she has pain in her plastic foot, or in her non-existent foot as a way to browbeat a witness, it wouldn't even matter if she wasn't an amputee.

She's claiming fraud based on her own subjective experience - as useless as me claiming you shouldn't get medical care for your headaches, because I have headaches too and simply live with them.

Morrigan
1st July 2013, 09:42 PM
I should tell you that the limb in question which doesn't exist is an extra thumb. Although I can't actually prove I have pain in this non-existent extra thumb, I will tell you that I certainly do. So far, the only treatments that seem to help are hypnosis and viewing my regular thumb in a mirror.

I suspect homeopathic remedies might help as well, but you know, I'm suspicious that those solutions don't actually have any medications in them. However, it may be that the lack of medications is just what my non-existent thumb needs for treatment. I'll ask my psychic surgeon about it.

..................

I... what...


####.

rocketdodger
2nd July 2013, 07:57 AM
Yes, it is real pain and it hurts, just like real pain. The difference, as far as I can tell, is that pain springing from an existing limb occurs outside the brain and is input that triggers the sensation of pain in the brain. Phantom limb pain doesn't need that outside input (although it may have some), the entire event can spring from the brain itself and a remembered model of the limb that is now missing.

If you are going to claim this doesn't matter, and that all mental events should have the same status, I'd ask you what we are to make of people who claim to have seen, heard or "felt" God? Aren't vision, hearing and the sense of someone being present just mental events?

None of this really matters in the context of the OP. If the Congresswoman says she has pain in her plastic foot, or in her non-existent foot as a way to browbeat a witness, it wouldn't even matter if she wasn't an amputee.

She's claiming fraud based on her own subjective experience - as useless as me claiming you shouldn't get medical care for your headaches, because I have headaches too and simply live with them.

Dude, I'm not sure what your ulterior motives are, but your arguments are so far off base in this thread it is absurd.

Phantom Limbs are an accepted scientific and medical condition. The wikipedia page states that 60-80% of all amputees report it. Are your arguments so arrogant that they presume to discount such overwhelming objective evidence? Or are you disputing the accuracy of those percentages? I just don't get it.

rocketdodger
2nd July 2013, 08:03 AM
IMO, the more important thing to do is consider what legislation would possibly solve this problem, and then ask if it's something we want. Do we want to deny active duty status to pre-cadets at military prep schools? Do we want to deny disability for injuries sustained other than in combat? Do we want to tighten up what degree of injury (or at least what medical evidence is needed) to qualify as "disabled"?

Why isn't a public shaming a good step in the first place?

If, as you contend, what this guy is doing isn't bad, then there is no shame in it. If that is the case, then public opinion would sway against Duckworth.

If, on the other hand, he deserves all the shame she tried to put on him, then justice is at least partially served. He can try to explain to his kids, once they learn about this and cease to respect him as a human being, that he did it just to help put them through college. Maybe they will understand. Maybe not. That's a gamble he should be willing to take.

This guy obviously knows he did wrong anyway, since he tried to avoid answering her question by feigning a lack of understanding like a fool. I'm not sure why you are so opposed to Duckworth's actions. Do you have something against her?

marplots
2nd July 2013, 08:30 AM
Dude, I'm not sure what your ulterior motives are, but your arguments are so far off base in this thread it is absurd.

I'm sorry if have been unclear, I'll try to do better.

Phantom Limbs are an accepted scientific and medical condition. The wikipedia page states that 60-80% of all amputees report it. Are your arguments so arrogant that they presume to discount such overwhelming objective evidence? Or are you disputing the accuracy of those percentages? I just don't get it.

I am not arguing that phantom pain doesn't exist. I agree that it does. Let us put this to bed.

What I find disingenuous about the Congresswoman's statement is that she is comparing her phantom limb pain (although she doesn't say it like that, she says "my feet hurt"), to the witness's claim of pain in his foot. She mentions it only to discount his claim, when both claims are actually subjective. I can no more evaluate the pain she perceives than I can his. And what's worse is that her phantom limb pain is less measurable as a physical event than his damaged foot/ankle would be.

That's as concise as I can make it, I hope that clarifies my stance. As to ulterior motive, I react negatively to authority wielded in so callous a manner and without a logical basis (or at least without supporting the case). I also perceive a willingness to set aside this criticism in service of the justice some think results - a kind of "calling out" and "naming and shaming." The ends do not justify the means.

I should probably mention that the technique of bullying witnesses is common in these types of hearings and only remarkable in this one because it pits one "untouchable" subclass, the honored, disabled veteran, calling out another who claims status in that class.

BenBurch
2nd July 2013, 08:30 AM
MY Congresswoman. And I couldn't be prouder of her nor happier that I donated many times to her campaigns.

sarge
2nd July 2013, 08:44 AM
Okay, I watched the video. The guy is a sleazeball. So is the Hon. Ms Duckworth.

There is only one USMA Prep School, and if the sleazeball received a compensable rating from the VA for a service-conected disability while attending a prep school, then he attended either the USMA prep school or one of the other services prep schools. The VA would not have granted a service connected disability for an injury sustained at one of the several dozen private military prep schools scattered around the country. So, there is no doubt at all that this sleazeball was actually in service when he was injured.

The VA has determined that his inlury was service connected (a reasonable determination for an injury that occured while on duty) and that it is compensable. Sleazeball is doing nothing wrong by accepting relief in exactly the manner it was intended to be provided.

Sleazeball is a sleezeball for leveraging that disability rating into preferential treatment as a contractor - and even then, he is simply playing the game by the rules.

Ms Duckworth is a sleezeball for the way she used the venue. She was a bully, and she played on sympathies. Asshat, that is what she was in that video. She's in a position to engineer change in the horribly expensive, grossly inflated, and terribly inefficient way that the VA manages compensation claims. I'd ask her to stop grandstanding and get the VA to process claims faster1, eliminate the payments for conditions that are neither service connected nor debilitating, and to imporve the horrible state of VA medical care.

And for the record, I'm a disabled combat vteran, and I don't think that sleezeballs claims have any impact on me at all - or at least, not to any greater extent than any other taxpayer.





1 I have a claim with the VA to update my three children's status. College aged children are "worth" more, about 5 times as much as children under age 18. My claim has been being processed since each of my 3 children started college. The oldest graduated in May AFTER 6 YEARS. The middle graduated in May after 4 years. The youngest finished his freshman year in May. Not only has the VA failed to process this very minor action, they are unable to tell me when they expect to get around to it. After my most recent inquiry, they actualy mailed me a letter to tell me that their goal is to complete these kind of administrative adjustments in fewer than 180 days, that they are a experiencing a backlog, and that they have no idea how long it will take to complete my action. The back pay (the entitlement starts when I make the claim) is at about $18K.

KoihimeNakamura
2nd July 2013, 09:41 AM
Considering that there IS a DoD program currently underway to revamp the process, that seems a little off base.

newyorkguy
2nd July 2013, 09:42 AM
Okay, I watched the video. The guy is a sleazeball. So is the Hon. Ms Duckworth.

....


And for the record, I'm a disabled combat vteran, and I don't think that sleezeballs claims have any impact on me at all - or at least, not to any greater extent than any other taxpayer.





...Not only has the VA failed to process this very minor action, they are unable to tell me when they expect to get around to it.

You don't get it. As Rep. Duckworth explains to Castillo at the hearing it's claims like his that are clogging up the system. Soaking up funds that are desperately needed for severely injured veterans and other legitimate claims by career military people. Like you..

She was a bully? Is she not entitled -- after the wounds she suffered, after dedicating a big part of her life to serving veterans -- is she not entitled to be outraged? She's sitting there as a double-amputee and she's not entitled to be emotional? That she's not entitled to that?

What bothers me most about some of the hostile messages I've seen here is, the way some of you seem to grant Castillio equal status with Duckworth. That there's no quantifiable difference between the two.

I can understand someone saying she was too strident or discourteous. I don't agree with it but I can see the logic in it.

But to call her a sleazeball? Someone who lost two legs on a combat mission? Who's been active in serving veterans ever since? Who's possibly facing the loss of her right arm? Who's in constant pain?

For anyone to label her a sleazeball -- especially someone who is military -- is IMO absolutely shameful.

You think she was too rough on poor Mr. Castillo. Seriously, Sarge?

You're apparently a lot more sensitive than the NCOs I remember. God bless you, sir.

:confused:

marplots
2nd July 2013, 10:01 AM
This wasn't addressed to me, but there's a very good point to be made, so I wanted to respond.

(some snipped)

She was a bully? Is she not entitled -- after the wounds she suffered, after dedicating a big part of her life to serving veterans -- is she not entitled to be outraged? She's sitting there as a double-amputee and she's not entitled to be emotional? That she's not entitled to that?

The emotion is understandable. What bothers me is that I have this idea of legislators being professionals who can dispassionately weigh the issues and use logic, science, and other tools to craft good law. I admit to being an idealist here, but one can hope.

I cannot simultaneously respect Ms. Duckworth for her education, military service and service in the government (I looked it up, she has an excellent track record) and still believe she's emotionally fragile. Was the outrage feigned to make a point? I can't know that. Perhaps the notion of people leveraging loopholes to take advantage of the system has been simmering in her for a long time and only now emerged fully fledged.

It's hard to believe, as the former director of the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs and service in the US Department of Veteran Affairs that incidents such as this are new to her. She's also seen the sharp side of combat and come back from devastating injuries - surely a very strong and capable individual. Maybe her emotions got the better of her, but if they did, that doesn't come off as complimentary either.

So I'm left either with a spontaneous outburst or feigned outrage and stagecraft. Since she was able to bring up particulars of this man's case, I assume preparation, making the latter more likely. But in either case, it's still poor form. Forgivable, certainly, but not her finest hour.

Again, I'll mention it's a tried and true technique, engage emotion and deliver outrage to move an agenda item forward. We see it all the time in legislative debates and hearings. One can only hope that behind the curtain, when legislation is actually being crafted, this is set aside in the service of making sensible law.

rocketdodger
2nd July 2013, 11:10 AM
What I find disingenuous about the Congresswoman's statement is that she is comparing her phantom limb pain (although she doesn't say it like that, she says "my feet hurt"), to the witness's claim of pain in his foot. She mentions it only to discount his claim, when both claims are actually subjective. I can no more evaluate the pain she perceives than I can his. And what's worse is that her phantom limb pain is less measurable as a physical event than his damaged foot/ankle would be.

That's as concise as I can make it, I hope that clarifies my stance. As to ulterior motive, I react negatively to authority wielded in so callous a manner and without a logical basis (or at least without supporting the case). I also perceive a willingness to set aside this criticism in service of the justice some think results - a kind of "calling out" and "naming and shaming." The ends do not justify the means.

I should probably mention that the technique of bullying witnesses is common in these types of hearings and only remarkable in this one because it pits one "untouchable" subclass, the honored, disabled veteran, calling out another who claims status in that class.

But you are evaluating this situation as if you are a robot that has no experience with, nor knowledge of, the human condition. You certainly aren't such a robot. So that is why I'm confused regarding your position.

You seem to think we ( or at least, lawmakers ) *should* be such robots. I disagree. I think we need lawmakers who are as emotional and indeed as human as we are.

To the extent that we have horrible lawmakers it is actually because, I would argue, they seem to have less access to the reality of the human condition than the rest of us.

rocketdodger
2nd July 2013, 11:11 AM
Again, I'll mention it's a tried and true technique, engage emotion and deliver outrage to move an agenda item forward. We see it all the time in legislative debates and hearings. One can only hope that behind the curtain, when legislation is actually being crafted, this is set aside in the service of making sensible law.

Except this is outrage that almost everyone agrees with.

Why are you discounting that?

sarge
2nd July 2013, 12:25 PM
Considering that there IS a DoD program currently underway to revamp the process, that seems a little off base.

There is no effort by DoD to clean up the VA claims system, for the same reason that there is no effort by the Department of Health and Human Services to clean up late departures by commercial airlines.


There is significant pressure on the VA from Congress to clean up their backlog. So far, it hasn't resulted in much relief.

sarge
2nd July 2013, 12:43 PM
You don't get it.

I do, actually. perfectly.

As Rep. Duckworth explains to Castillo at the hearing it's claims like his that are clogging up the system. Soaking up funds that are desperately needed for severely injured veterans and other legitimate claims by career military people. Like you..

Castillo's claim for VA compensation is perfectly legitimate. he was injured in the line of duty - in exactly the same fashion as someone that is injured carrying a too-heavy rucksack during a conditioning roadmarch. His injury was investigated, found to be real, found to be service-connected, and found to be qualifying for compensation.

His claim did not cause a backlog in the VAs claims resolution system any more than anyone else's did.

His claim for preferential treatment when competing for DoD contracts is a seperate matter, and has no bearing on his VA disability claim.

She was a bully? Is she not entitled -- after the wounds she suffered, after dedicating a big part of her life to serving veterans -- is she not entitled to be outraged? She's sitting there as a double-amputee and she's not entitled to be emotional? That she's not entitled to that?

Are you arguing that a disability entitles one to publically castigate someone else that is also disabled, albeit demonstrably less so?

No, her wounds do not entitle her to be a bully.

What bothers me most about some of the hostile messages I've seen here is, the way some of you seem to grant Castillio equal status with Duckworth. That there's no quantifiable difference between the two.

I do not grant Castillo equal status with Duckworth. there was nothing in my post that should have led you to that conclusion. Her douchery is entirely different from his douchery.

I can understand someone saying she was too strident or discourteous. I don't agree with it but I can see the logic in it.

tow-may-tow, tow-mah-tow

But to call her a sleazeball? Someone who lost two legs on a combat mission? Who's been active in serving veterans ever since? Who's possibly facing the loss of her right arm? Who's in constant pain?

What, exactly, does one have to do with the other? Really, do you believe the disabled to be incapable of being sleazeballs?

For anyone to label her a sleazeball -- especially someone who is military -- is IMO absolutely shameful.

Strange.

She (because of her status as a Soldier with a disability) is perfectly entitled to publically castigate a Soldier with a lesser disability - but I (a Soldier with a greater disability than Castillo but lesser than Duckworth) can't publically castigate her for her reprehensible behavior.

You think she was too rough on poor Mr. Castillo. Seriously, Sarge?

You think italics makes poor logic better?

Castillo was injured in the performance of duty, the VA validated his injury and awarded him compensation for it. She was injured in the performance of duty, the VA validated her injury and awarded her compensation for it. those are the facts, and I see nothing in those facts that gives her standing to treat Castillo the way she did.

Screw her - she's a douche that engaged in a bit of public grandstanding at the expense of a citizen. If you want to hear me proclaim her greatness for having served and being wounded, start a thread on that topic. I'll be right there, thanking her for both her service and her sacrifice.

For her actions described in the OP, she gets my contempt. I have no trouble keeping the two seperate.

You're apparently a lot more sensitive than the NCOs I remember. God bless you, sir.

:confused:

I'm sensitive, but our Hero Duckworth was actually moved to outrage at the notion of a veteran getting compensated for a relatively minor injury?

Silly Green Monkey
2nd July 2013, 01:20 PM
Even a break would be completely healed up in a year. Unless of course his injury wasn't treated, but why would anyone think the military wouldn't treat an injured soldier?

sarge
2nd July 2013, 02:19 PM
Even a break would be completely healed up in a year. Unless of course his injury wasn't treated, but why would anyone think the military wouldn't treat an injured soldier?

Lots of injuries go untreated. Most often it's because the inured did not present for treatment. Sometimes, that's because even a perception of malingering is frowned upon in some segments of the military. I was a Paratrooper and an Infantryman. We had an expectation that one would not shirk difficult duty by going on sick call for minor ailments. What qualified as minor varied widely. I witnessed dozens of instances of Soldiers with shin splints continuing to run, march, and jump.

Separate issue: the VA regularly awards lifetime compensation for conditions that seem not to be even mildly debilitating.

marplots
2nd July 2013, 02:43 PM
Lots of injuries go untreated. Most often it's because the inured did not present for treatment. Sometimes, that's because even a perception of malingering is frowned upon in some segments of the military. I was a Paratrooper and an Infantryman. We had an expectation that one would not shirk difficult duty by going on sick call for minor ailments. What qualified as minor varied widely. I witnessed dozens of instances of Soldiers with shin splints continuing to run, march, and jump.

I was in the medical corps and can second this. My wake-up call came when an infantryman, who's feet I was examining, proudly told me he'd lost parts of his toes from frostbite because he "sucked it up." This was in a peacetime army. I shudder to think how much stronger the urge to be heroic is in wartime.

Our beef, from a pragmatic point of view, was that taking care of yourself meant taking care of an essential bit of military equipment. But it was always a challenge - getting them to drink enough water on hot days, mandating breaks, and enforcing the perfectly reasonable restrictions on how long to wear MOPP gear or whether ear plugs were necessary or merely inconvenient.

newyorkguy
2nd July 2013, 03:08 PM
<snip>

Castillo's claim for VA compensation is perfectly legitimate. he was injured in the line of duty - in exactly the same fashion as someone that is injured carrying a too-heavy rucksack during a conditioning roadmarch. His injury was investigated, found to be real, found to be service-connected, and found to be qualifying for compensation.

His injury is not the same as a soldier on a road march. He was playing football at school. He wasn't a soldier. He was barely a cadet.



His claim for preferential treatment when competing for DoD contracts is a seperate matter, and has no bearing on his VA disability claim.

I told you, you don't know what this is about. He waited twenty-eight years to file his claim. He filed it after he bought a business in connection with getting priority while bidding on contracts. His proof was a letter from his doctor.

newyorkguy
2nd July 2013, 03:14 PM
Lots of injuries go untreated. Most often it's because the inured did not present for treatment.
...


It didn't go untreated when it happened or there would've been no record of it happening. Ergo no disability.

marplots
2nd July 2013, 03:21 PM
I told you, you don't know what this is about. He waited twenty-eight years to file his claim. He filed it after he bought a business in connection with getting priority while bidding on contracts. His proof was a letter from his doctor.

Fair enough. So he saved taxpayers 28 years of payments. Good on him.

I've got a minor, documented injury/disability (don't know the technical classification) from military service. Never filed a claim. Don't expect to. And it's from 29 years ago. I'm not starting a business or bidding on government work, but if it would give me a competitive edge to make a claim, I'd at least consider doing so.

Has anyone brought up the idea that giving these credits to otherwise healthy individuals to bid on contracts might not be a good idea in the first place? What is it that I'm fixing by giving preferential treatment to a vet?

I remember getting extra points on my test for a post office job because I had military service. Didn't make much sense, but I took them. Most of the people I worked with there were vets with a fair number of disabled people (vets and non). I took the points because they offered them in a competitive environment. If they hadn't offered them, I wouldn't have cared much. There was nothing about being prior military that made me a better postal worker and I don't see how being a vet would make someone a better businessman either.

We need to rethink these "gifts."

sarge
2nd July 2013, 06:29 PM
His injury is not the same as a soldier on a road march. He was playing football at school. He wasn't a soldier. He was barely a cadet.[/quality]

You don't know what you are talking about. He was a Soldier, period. It isn't a matter of opinion to be debated. It is a matter of fact.




[Quote]I told you, you don't know what this is about. He waited twenty-eight years to file his claim. He filed it after he bought a business in connection with getting priority while bidding on contracts. His proof was a letter from his doctor.

When he filed is irrelevant to the validity of his claim. When he filed may be relevant to the motive for his claim, or it may not.

A significant contributor to the current backlog of VA claims is that many Vietnam era Vets waited until the decision to make a presumptive service connection for all cancer claims for agent orange exposure.

You have decided to be outraged and are now building a case to support your outrage. Stop.

sarge
2nd July 2013, 06:34 PM
It didn't go untreated when it happened or there would've been no record of it happening. Ergo no disability.

Read more carefully. In your haste to refute, you failed to follow two different discussions. I pointed out that many Soldiers choose not to seek medical care for a variety of reasons. I made no argument that this Soldier failed to seek care for his service connected injury.

However, you are incorrect in your assertion that had he not sought care at the time of the injury there could have been no successful claim for compensation. There I arguably could - it happens every single day. Not having documented a condition at the time it occurred only makes it more difficult to establish a service connection, it does not make it impossible.

newyorkguy
2nd July 2013, 08:10 PM
Read more carefully. In your haste to refute, you failed to follow two different discussions. I pointed out that many Soldiers choose not to seek medical care for a variety of reasons. I made no argument that this Soldier failed to seek care for his service connected injury.

However, you are incorrect in your assertion that had he not sought care at the time of the injury there could have been no successful claim for compensation. There I arguably could - it happens every single day. Not having documented a condition at the time it occurred only makes it more difficult to establish a service connection, it does not make it impossible.

This soldier? I wasn't talking about a soldier. I was talking about a teenaged prep school cadet. I want to be clear about that. A teenaged prep school cadet who twisted his ankle playing football at prep school. Before he left the military academy and went on to a civilian college (and played quarterback on the varsity team) and then went on to whatever civilian occupation he's been doing for the past three decades.

Career military is different. You're entitled to treatment. Non-career personnel are not entitled. For free care, much less disability, it has to be service-connected. And the claimant has to prove that.

Once you've been discharged you try and file for a service connected condition with the VA you have to prove it happened in the service. Without some kind of record or documentation that the injury happened when and where you say it did, I don't know how you'd prove it.

When I first filed with the VA the hospital at Ft. Sill OK couldn't find my medical records and I was ruled ineligible. When they found my records I got approved. This is from a VA page on eligibility:

You must submit all relevant evidence in your possession and/or provide information sufficient to enable VA to obtain all relevant evidence not in your possession. This includes the following as part of your application:

....
Service Treatment Records if they are in your possession
Medical evidence (doctor & hospital reports) Link (http://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/evidence.asp?expandable=0&subexpandable=1)

You seriously think you can go into a VA facility and tell them twenty-eight years ago you twisted your ankle playing prep school football. That there's no record of it happening but that's only because you didn't bother to have it treated at the time. And they're going tell you, "That's not a problem, come right on in!" That may be the way you think it works but it's not reality.

They call him Uncle Sugar, not Uncle Sap.

sarge
3rd July 2013, 04:40 AM
This soldier? I wasn't talking about a soldier. I was talking about a teenaged prep school cadet. I want to be clear about that. A teenaged prep school cadet who twisted his ankle playing football at prep school. Before he left the military academy and went on to a civilian college (and played quarterback on the varsity team) and then went on to whatever civilian occupation he's been doing for the past three decades.

Wait. Are you saying that this guy has not already received a rating from the VA? If so, I have erred in assuming that he had already been awarded a 10% rating. If, however, my assumption was correct and he's already received a rating from the VA, then you are completely mistaken. If I assumed incorrectly, you may still take every word Ive written about the VA and its practices as gospel. And Duckworth was still being an ass.

edited to add: I went back and tried to watch the video. It has been pulled. I did notice in the OP that Sabrina says that Castillo has a 30% rating from the VA. If that is accurate, then everything that follows this edit stands.Let's try a list. Assuming he has already received a rating, here are the facts:

1. For purposes of determining eligibility for veterans benefits, this guy was a Soldier, period. It isn't a matter of opinion - it is a matter of fact. That you (or I, or anyone else) values the service of a Soldier in the Prep School less than the service of a Soldier in a deployable unit is irrelevent.

2. The Soldier was injured while on duty. It isn't a matter of opnion, it is a matter of fact, as determined by the VA.

3. The Soldier's injury was service connected. It isn't a matter of opinion, it is a matter of fact, as determined by the VA.

4. The Soldier's injury qualifies as a compensable condition. It isn't a matter of opinion, it is a matter of fact, as determined by the VA.

Career military is different. You're entitled to treatment. Non-career personnel are not entitled. For free care, much less disability, it has to be service-connected. And the claimant has to prove that.

No.
Career military are not entitled to free health care for life after discharge.

Disabled veterans with a service connection determination are also not entitled to free health care for life.

Either your memory is faulty, you never actually understood the military health care committment in the first place, or your period of service ended several decades ago and things have changed significantly since your discharge.

Once you've been discharged you try and file for a service connected condition with the VA you have to prove it happened in the service.

Well.......you could do that. It'd be exceedingly stupid, but people do stupid stuff all the time. It is more productive to simply arrange your VA physical while still on active duty. That way, any condition that appears during your VA physical but wasn't present at your entrance physical is automatically deemed to have occured during service. Then, it becomes much easier to establish a service connection, especially for the conditions that have a presumptive service connection.

Without some kind of record or documentation that the injury happened when and where you say it did, I don't know how you'd prove it.

That you don't know how is irrelevent. The VA actually designed a system to allow vets to establish a service connection even though their medical records are lost or incomplete.

When I first filed with the VA the hospital at Ft. Sill OK couldn't find my medical records and I was ruled ineligible. When they found my records I got approved.

It may have appeared that way to you, but that isn't what happened.

This is from a VA page on eligibility:

Link (http://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/evidence.asp?expandable=0&subexpandable=1)

Thanks, but I don't need it. When I have questions about VA entitlements, I walk the 52 steps from my office to my counterparts office in the VA's Fort Bragg center.



You seriously think you can go into a VA facility and tell them twenty-eight years ago you twisted your ankle playing prep school football. That there's no record of it happening but that's only because you didn't bother to have it treated at the time. And they're going tell you, "That's not a problem, come right on in!" That may be the way you think it works but it's not reality.

They call him Uncle Sugar, not Uncle Sap

Again, if I incorrectly assumed that the guy already had a rating from the VA, then I erred.

But, yes, it is entirely possible to go to the VA and make a claim for a condition that you failed to get treated while still on active duty and successfully recieve a rating. it happens every day, literally.

So, if you are experienceing significant angst over this case, direct you ire to the VA and its system. The Soldier in this story can not be fairly castigated for having followed the rules exactly as they are written and exactly as the VA intends.



walked down the hall, checked my answers with the Fort Bragg VA Branch Manager, snapped these photos, walked back to my office. The final picture contains a copy of today's Army Times.

NoahFence
3rd July 2013, 06:33 AM
This wasn't addressed to me, but there's a very good point to be made, so I wanted to respond.



The emotion is understandable. What bothers me is that I have this idea of legislators being professionals who can dispassionately weigh the issues and use logic, science, and other tools to craft good law. I admit to being an idealist here, but one can hope.

I cannot simultaneously respect Ms. Duckworth for her education, military service and service in the government (I looked it up, she has an excellent track record) and still believe she's emotionally fragile. Was the outrage feigned to make a point? I can't know that. Perhaps the notion of people leveraging loopholes to take advantage of the system has been simmering in her for a long time and only now emerged fully fledged.

It's hard to believe, as the former director of the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs and service in the US Department of Veteran Affairs that incidents such as this are new to her. She's also seen the sharp side of combat and come back from devastating injuries - surely a very strong and capable individual. Maybe her emotions got the better of her, but if they did, that doesn't come off as complimentary either.

So I'm left either with a spontaneous outburst or feigned outrage and stagecraft. Since she was able to bring up particulars of this man's case, I assume preparation, making the latter more likely. But in either case, it's still poor form. Forgivable, certainly, but not her finest hour.

Again, I'll mention it's a tried and true technique, engage emotion and deliver outrage to move an agenda item forward. We see it all the time in legislative debates and hearings. One can only hope that behind the curtain, when legislation is actually being crafted, this is set aside in the service of making sensible law.


FYI...
Vulcans aren't actually real.

NoahFence
3rd July 2013, 06:37 AM
Castillo's claim for VA compensation is perfectly legitimate. he was injured in the line of duty - in exactly the same fashion as someone that is injured carrying a too-heavy rucksack during a conditioning roadmarch. His injury was investigated, found to be real, found to be service-connected, and found to be qualifying for compensation.

Forgive me if I missed something in the story, but wasn't he injured as a result of playing football for a prep school?

sarge
3rd July 2013, 06:57 AM
Forgive me if I missed something in the story, but wasn't he injured as a result of playing football for a prep school?

If my understanding of the story is accurate (and the story itelf is accurate), then yes.

As is so often the case, things aren't actually so simple:

This Prep School isn't a prep school as most people understand it. This Prep School is an official part of the US Military Academy (West Point). Those attending this prep school are in the Army - they are Soldiers.

Any Soldier, anywhere, that is injured while on duty is eligible for compensation from the VA, and the VA (not the DoD) determines whether or not the injury is service connected and compensable. If the VA makes the determination that an injury is service connected, then the injury is service connected (absent fraud, of course).

A significant majority of VA compensation claims are paid for injuries that were not incured during combat. Indeed, quite a large number are incured during physical training - morning PT, conditioning marches, teaching hand-to-hand combat to ex-pat Iraqis in Hungary before the current Iraq war started (one of mine, obviously).

So, stripped of the emotional component, this discussion boils down to the answers to these questions:

1. Was this guy a Service Member when he incured his injury?
A: He absolutely was (according to my understanding of the story).

2. Was the injury service connected?
A: Absolutely. Being injured while participating in an Army sanctioned (possibly required) event while on duty is clearly qualifying.

3. Has the VA accredited the Service Members status, injury, and service connection for the injury?
A: Absolutely they have - there is no other possible answer if he is actually rated at 30%.

4. Did the VA determine that the Service member's injury is compensable?
A: Absolutely. It is possible to have a service connected injury/condition that isn't compensable. These conditions are rated at 0%. By way of example, I have 2 of these. As this Soldier is rated at 30%, he has some combination of either 4x10% compensable injuries (don't ask why it takes 4 10s to get to 30%) or 1x20% and 1x10%.

5. By following the exact same rules as every ther veteran, does this Soldier warrant being treated like crap in public and on TV by a congresscritter?
A: It's for an individual to decide. I've decided that the Hon Duckworth was grandstanding, and that the Soldier did not merit the treatment he received at the hands of a servant of the people. I've long since decided that it isn't my job to second guess the VA. So long as a Vet is honest during the application process, I don't begrudge them their benefits. I do believe the VA is about as broken as an agency can be, but I don't blame the Vets themselves for that.

NoahFence
3rd July 2013, 07:02 AM
So he's gaming the system.

Why would anybody be outraged at that?? :rolleyes:

HE WAS PLAYING FOOTBALL

12AX7
3rd July 2013, 07:07 AM
Like I said, I think the part that got to her (and others) is Castillo's comments (http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/06/27/tammy-duckworth-rips-irs-contractor-for-seeking-disabled-status/) like:

“crosses that I bear in my service to our great country. And I would do it again to protect this great country.”

This is pure BS.

This guy used his legitimate "injury" he recieved on legitimate "active duty" to game the system.

According to a House oversight report, Castillo filed a disability claim with the Veterans Affairs department just before starting his company, citing the “significant” pain in his foot. He began to receive monthly checks. Within six months of founding his company in early 2012, Castillo started receiving up to $500 million worth in contracts. Committee investigators started to question the IRS contracts specifically set aside for the company and found that Castillo’s disability service rating of 30% enabled him to register his company to become eligible for preferential treatment in bidding competitions.

NoahFence
3rd July 2013, 07:11 AM
“crosses that I bear in my service to our great country. And I would do it again to protect this great country.”

...and we shouldn't get emotional.

right.

This turd is the very reason the term scumbag was invented in the first place.

sarge
3rd July 2013, 07:15 AM
So he's gaming the system.

Why would anybody be outraged at that?? :rolleyes:

HE WAS PLAYING FOOTBALL

Nice bolding.

He was injured in the performance of duty, period. He filed a legitimate claim, period. He "gamed" the system that affords veterans with a disability an advantage when competing for government contracts. he did not game the VAs disability system.

If you have a problem with the fact that a Soldier injured in the performance of duty is able to make a claim, take it up with the VA.

NoahFence
3rd July 2013, 07:21 AM
If you have a problem with the fact that a Soldier injured in the performance of duty is able to make a claim, take it up with the VA.

No, my problem lies with the laughable notion that playing football in a prep school(!?!) is considered by seemingly intelligent people to be "in the performance of duty".

pgwenthold
3rd July 2013, 07:24 AM
Playing high schoil football was on duty? Part of his service to the country?

The idea makes a mockery of the concepts of duty or service.

Sabrina
3rd July 2013, 07:34 AM
Sarge, I have not seen any proof that the prep school he attended was actually USMAPS; Ms. Duckworth, for instance, is under the impression that it was a high school level prep school, such as Fork Union for example, that he injured himself at. As I said to Joe in an earlier post, if someone can provide some hard evidence beyond a couple of newspaper articles that Mr. Castillo DID actually attend USMAPS (there are a lot of other "prep" schools besides that one, you know, and not all of them are considered "active duty" schools), I'll reluctantly withdraw my objection to his disability rating (although I consider it to be highly likely that he exaggerated the level of his injury to get a better rating, given his demonstrated propensity to game the system for monetary advantage in relation to his company). But thus far, aside from a few news articles, I cannot find any actual hard evidence (such as a member list, or transcript, or anything on official letterhead from the school itself) that he actually attended USMAPS. And there are an equal number of news articles that don't mention the particular school at all, merely referring to it as "a military prep school". That's why I for one would want to see proof of his attendance at USMAPS (seems to me it would be simple enough to find a copy of his transcript online or some similar piece of evidence, but my Google-fu is either weak or non-existent, because I can't find it) before withdrawing my objection to his rating. And even if he has attended USMAPS, I still think the guy's a scumbag for using it to gain preferential treatment in regards to the contracts his company is granted.

newyorkguy
3rd July 2013, 07:36 AM
It's fairly simple.

Braulio Castillo broke his foot in a prep school injury nearly three decades ago at the U.S. Military Preparatory School, which he attended for nine months before playing football in college. He owns a technology business certified as a service-disabled, veteran-owned company eligible for government set aside contracts. Link (http://blogs.militarytimes.com/outside-the-wire/2013/06/26/shame-on-you-disabled-vet-duckworth-grills-irs-contractor/)

He broke his foot so obviously he would've been treated. That would be the documentation he needed to prove the injury happened while he was at the USMA.

They found that just before opening Strong Castle, Castillo filed for a "disability rating" with the Veterans Administration, citing a "foot injury he suffered in 1984" -- 27 years ago -- while playing sports at a military prep school.

He never bothered to claim disability for the injury until 2011. It has been alleged that was because he had no disability. After buying the technology company years later he saw a way to get priority on bidding for government contracts. By claiming disabled veteran's preference due to his old ankle injury. All he had to do was find a doctor that would be willing to certify that he, Castillo, continued to suffer greatly from the injury. It happens.

Republican Darrell Issa, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, which investigated Castillo's rapid rise...."Understand -- never served a day on active duty, went to a school at taxpayers' expense and had a minor injury that didn't keep him from going on to play college ball," Issa said. Link (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57591030/probe-irs-contractor-won-up-to-$500-million-in-questionable-bids/)

What Duckworth -- and many other people -- found a little tough to take was Castillo claiming these were
"crosses that I bear due to my service to our great country and I would do it again to protect this great country.”

That's a bit too much. Coupled with the fact investigators found evidence of fraud in the way Castillo operated his business, in his billing practices, he was IMO very properly castigated by Duckworth and other members of her committee.

bonzombiekitty
3rd July 2013, 07:54 AM
He was injured in the performance of duty, period. He filed a legitimate claim, period. He "gamed" the system that affords veterans with a disability an advantage when competing for government contracts. he did not game the VAs disability system.


Depends on your definition of "game". He may have been awarded by disability by the VA and followed the letter of the regulations. By that definition he did not game the system.

However, many feel hurting your ankle while playing football in prep school and still being able to play football in college (if that is what he his actually getting the disability for), doesn't apply to the spirit of the law. By that definition, he gamed the system. I mean really..... disability for a sprained ankle?

newyorkguy
3rd July 2013, 08:08 AM
What bothered me and still bothers me, was someone who identifies himself as being retired career military, calling Rep. Tammy Duckworth a sleazebag.

She doesn't deserve that. For what this woman has gone through she deserves respect. So she got a little worked up at the hearing, so what?

This is a public forum. The whole world can see what is written here.

Sarge won't understand this, but by calling her names, by dragging the discussion down to that level, he brings shame on all members of the military past and present.

That a retired NCO would attack this woman -- a fellow comrade in arms -- in that fashion is deplorable. I served in a combat helicopter unit, an assault helicopter unit. I knew people who were severely injured like Duckworth was. I think what she has accomplished is incredible. She's living breathing testimony to the fact that, no matter how badly you are injured, you can still have a meaningful life. I gladly defend her integrity.

BenBurch
3rd July 2013, 08:29 AM
Sorry, I can only walk in constant pain because of a horrific car wreck in 1984, and sometimes I need to use a cane or a crutch and I absolutely would never even consider that this is a disability sufficient to use to get a government contract over some other person with a better bid.

12AX7
3rd July 2013, 08:33 AM
What bothered me and still bothers me, was someone who identifies himself as being retired career military, calling Rep. Tammy Duckworth a sleazebag.

She doesn't deserve that. For what this woman has gone through she deserves respect. So she got a little worked up at the hearing, so what?

This is a public forum. The whole world can see what is written here.

Sarge won't understand this, but by calling her names, by dragging the discussion down to that level, he brings shame on all members of the military past and present.

That a retired NCO would attack this woman -- a fellow comrade in arms -- in that fashion is deplorable. I served in a combat helicopter unit, an assault helicopter unit. I knew people who were severely injured like Duckworth was. I think what she has accomplished is incredible. She's living breathing testimony to the fact that, no matter how badly you are injured, you can still have a meaningful life. I gladly defend her integrity.


This. ^^^^

sarge
3rd July 2013, 10:09 AM
Sarge, I have not seen any proof that the prep school he attended was actually USMAPS; Ms. Duckworth, for instance, is under the impression that it was a high school level prep school, such as Fork Union for example, that he injured himself at. As I said to Joe in an earlier post, if someone can provide some hard evidence beyond a couple of newspaper articles that Mr. Castillo DID actually attend USMAPS (there are a lot of other "prep" schools besides that one, you know, and not all of them are considered "active duty" schools), I'll reluctantly withdraw my objection to his disability rating (although I consider it to be highly likely that he exaggerated the level of his injury to get a better rating, given his demonstrated propensity to game the system for monetary advantage in relation to his company). But thus far, aside from a few news articles, I cannot find any actual hard evidence (such as a member list, or transcript, or anything on official letterhead from the school itself) that he actually attended USMAPS. And there are an equal number of news articles that don't mention the particular school at all, merely referring to it as "a military prep school". That's why I for one would want to see proof of his attendance at USMAPS (seems to me it would be simple enough to find a copy of his transcript online or some similar piece of evidence, but my Google-fu is either weak or non-existent, because I can't find it) before withdrawing my objection to his rating. And even if he has attended USMAPS, I still think the guy's a scumbag for using it to gain preferential treatment in regards to the contracts his company is granted.

I have all theproof I need to convince me that Castillo was a Soldier while attending the USMA Prep School. I have it from an active duty MI Captain (maybe a Major by now?).

In your initial post, you said that Castillo has a 30% rating from the VA. That is absolute, indisputable proof that he was in service at the time of the injury he was awarded a compensable rating for. There is no other possibility, period.

As there is only one prep school that confers that status on a cadet candidate (USMA Prep School), it is crystal clear that his injury occured while he was at the USMA Prep School (or one of the other service academies official prep schools). None of theother several dozen "prep" schools spread acrooss the country count. Had he been injured at one of these, hewould have no claim and the VA would not grant him a disability rating.

I don't know any other way of saying it......if you were correct when you said that he has a 30% disability rating from the Va, then it is an absolute that he served and that his injury was service connected.

{Civilians accepting an appointment to the USMA Prep School will join the Army as an Invitational Reservist and will be placed on active duty on the day they report to the prep school.


Now, if you take issue with the fact that Castillo was only motivated to persue his disability claim after learning that it will make him more competative for contracts, Im with you. As I said in my original post on this subject, he is also a scumbag (IMHO).

sarge
3rd July 2013, 10:12 AM
Playing high schoil football was on duty? Part of his service to the country?

The idea makes a mockery of the concepts of duty or service.

Okay, where's that "sigh" emoticon?

It has been demonstrated half a dozen times that he was not in HS and he was on active duty and that his injuries occured in the line of duty. Except for fraud, there is no other possibility - yet you and several others, keep pretending this is not true.

sarge
3rd July 2013, 10:25 AM
What bothered me and still bothers me, was someone who identifies himself as being retired career military, calling Rep. Tammy Duckworth a sleazebag.

I called Duckworth a sleezeball for her conduct as a congressperson. I invited you to start a thread to discuss her actions as a Soldier, and offered that I'd jump right in there and praise her service and her sacrifice.

Is it your contention that a person who once served honorably can never subsequently be criticized for reprehensible behavior? I disagree.

She doesn't deserve that. For what this woman has gone through she deserves respect. So she got a little worked up at the hearing, so what?

She deserves respect for her service and derision for the way she treated a fellow disabled veteran.

This is a public forum. The whole world can see what is written here.

Sarge won't understand this, but by calling her names, by dragging the discussion down to that level, he brings shame on all members of the military past and present.

Moronic irony - my favorite kind.

You believe that I have caused shame to all Soldiers, past and present, for publically castigating a disabled veteran, while you are extolling the virtues of someone that did exactly the same thing to a much wider audience.

That a retired NCO would attack this woman -- a fellow comrade in arms -- in that fashion is deplorable. I served in a combat helicopter unit, an assault helicopter unit. I knew people who were severely injured like Duckworth was. I think what she has accomplished is incredible. She's living breathing testimony to the fact that, no matter how badly you are injured, you can still have a meaningful life. I gladly defend her integrity.

Your opinion is crap, and your posts are hypocritical. This passage is full of emotional claptrap as well.

You applaud her for denigrating a veteran that has less severe injuries than she does, and whose service was less strenuous. If I were to apply the same standard, I would be perfectly justified in denigrating virtually every veteran in the same fashion. I am a combat veteran of every conflict since Grenada, a former Infantryman, Ranger, and Paratrooper. I am 60% disabled (ooh - twice as much as Castillo). instead, Ill stick to my method - honor all who served equally. You and Duckworth, carry on.

newyorkguy
3rd July 2013, 10:27 AM
Playing high schoil football was on duty? Part of his service to the country?

The idea makes a mockery of the concepts of duty or service.

I called Duckworth a sleezeball for her conduct as a congressperson. I invited you to start a thread to discuss her actions as a Soldier, and offered that I'd jump right in there and praise her service and her sacrifice.

Is it your contention that a person who once served honorably can never subsequently be criticized for reprehensible behavior? I disagree.



She deserves respect for her service and derision for the way she treated a fellow disabled veteran.



Moronic irony - my favorite kind.

You believe that I have caused shame to all Soldiers, past and present, for publically castigating a disabled veteran, while you are extolling the virtues of someone that did exactly the same thing to a much wider audience.



Your opinion is crap, and your posts are hypocritical. This passage is full of emotional claptrap as well.

You applaud her for denigrating a veteran that has less severe injuries than she does, and whose service was less strenuous. If I were to apply the same standard, I would be perfectly justified in denigrating virtually every veteran in the same fashion. I am a combat veteran of every conflict since Grenada, a former Infantryman, Ranger, and Paratrooper. I am 60% disabled (ooh - twice as much as Castillo). instead, Ill stick to my method - honor all who served equally. You and Duckworth, carry on.

Sarge I'm not going to reply in kind. In fact I'm not going to reply period.

Think what you want. You're certainly entitled.

NoahFence
3rd July 2013, 10:28 AM
Okay, where's that "sigh" emoticon?

It has been demonstrated half a dozen times that he was not in HS and he was on active duty and that his injuries occured in the line of duty. Except for fraud, there is no other possibility - yet you and several others, keep pretending this is not true.

In the line of duty. Uh huh.

Un friggin believable that anybody would refer to playing football with his buddies as "in the line of duty".

NoahFence
3rd July 2013, 10:30 AM
Is it your contention that a person who once served honorably can never subsequently be criticized for reprehensible behavior? I disagree.

We need an icon of a mirror for this.

NoahFence
3rd July 2013, 11:03 AM
Say Sarge, just so we're clear about this guy, are you under the impression that he should be buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery, next to REAL heroes, even though he never saw active duty?

pgwenthold
3rd July 2013, 11:35 AM
Okay, where's that "sigh" emoticon?

It has been demonstrated half a dozen times that he was not in HS and he was on active duty and that his injuries occured in the line of duty. Except for fraud, there is no other possibility - yet you and several others, keep pretending this is not true.

It wasn't a football injury?

JoeTheJuggler
3rd July 2013, 12:56 PM
I agree with Sarge.

The fact that Duckworth had a valorous and admirable service record doesn't mean she can do no wrong as a Representative.

JoeTheJuggler
3rd July 2013, 01:02 PM
Sarge, I have not seen any proof that the prep school he attended was actually USMAPS; Ms. Duckworth, for instance, is under the impression that it was a high school level prep school, such as Fork Union for example, that he injured himself at.

"Prep school (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University-preparatory_school)" means "high school level" (a.k.a. "secondary level" or "secondary school" or "college prep"). All the news articles I've seen on this specify that he attended the United States Military Academy Preparatory School.

And if it were some prep school other than one of the academy prep schools, he would not have been granted VA disability. Or is that the scenario you think happened? He never even attended a military academy prep school and yet somehow managed to get VA disability?

[ETA: FWIW, I attended a "prep school"--part of the formal title of the Catholic high school I went to. Any sports injuries I sustained there would have no chance at all of qualifying me for any VA benefits.]

What makes you think that could have happened? And if it did, shouldn't Duckworth's ire be directed at whoever approved something that would be contrary to the law?

So, assuming that what Castillo did was legal (and it was), who gets to say which service "counts" as service and which doesn't? And which injuries "count" and which don't?

I'm certain there are plenty of wounded vets who don't like the idea of exploiting that record to make a career in politics. Would they be less justified in publicly scolding Duckworth?

JoeTheJuggler
3rd July 2013, 01:07 PM
Sarge I'm not going to reply in kind. In fact I'm not going to reply period.


Another one of those posts!

JoeTheJuggler
3rd July 2013, 01:11 PM
Say Sarge, just so we're clear about this guy, are you under the impression that he should be buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery, next to REAL heroes, even though he never saw active duty?

Again, by law, the day he reported to the USMA Preparatory School, he was on active duty.

So your question is a loaded question in that it requires assuming something that is false in order to answer.

Having said that, I don't know whether or not active duty at the USMA Prep School entitles you to burial at Arlington. But that's not the topic here, is it?

But I do know that determination isn't based on who is or is not a "REAL hero". Plenty of people who served and are buried in Arlington did nothing heroic. That's simply not a pre-requisite.

NoahFence
3rd July 2013, 01:27 PM
Who gives a crap about the law? We're not talking legal or illegal. We're talking right or wrong here.

Playing prep school football is NOT A :rule10: SERVICE RELATED INJURY.

Period. It is nothing short of insulting to the brave men and women who got real injuries suffered during actual duty. That this scumbag uses a loophole to get government funds nearly 30 years after the fact is insulting. People who support this piece of trash are insulting.

Period.

Having said that, I don't know whether or not active duty at the USMA Prep School entitles you to burial at Arlington. But that's not the topic here, is it?

Extending the support that this guy is getting, burial at ANC seems to be just fine in some circles, even though he never, you know, fought.

newyorkguy
3rd July 2013, 01:52 PM
I called Duckworth a sleezeball for her conduct as a congressperson. I invited you to start a thread to discuss her actions as a Soldier, and offered that I'd jump right in there and praise her service and her sacrifice.

Is it your contention that a person who once served honorably can never subsequently be criticized for reprehensible behavior? I disagree.



...

Moronic irony - my favorite kind.

...

Your opinion is crap, and your posts are hypocritical.
...

Sarge I'm not going to reply in kind. In fact I'm not going to reply period.

Think what you want. You're certainly entitled.

Another one of those posts!

Once again Joe you seem to be juggling the facts for your own entertainment.

I'm going to say this once.

First of all you need to stop harassing me. There has been a long series of discussions in this thread. I posted many detailed opinions. There was some bad information being posted. I mentioned my own experiences as a veteran and quoted the Veterans Administration and provided links to rebut some of it. I don't deserve to be called out.

Second, not all posts are worthy of even being discussed much less responded to. It's a judgement call. Sometimes when someone responds to me by using insulting language, yes, I will let them know -I have seen it and I'm not going to respond. Other times I have done that when someone seems to be just posting circular arguments. I let them know, yeah I see it and I don't care to respond.

I don't want to violate the bickering rule so I'm going to stop here. There's a lot more I could say.

sarge
3rd July 2013, 02:10 PM
Who gives a crap about the law? We're not talking legal or illegal. We're talking right or wrong here.

Playing prep school football is NOT A :rule10: SERVICE RELATED INJURY.

Period. It is nothing short of insulting to the brave men and women who got real injuries suffered during actual duty. That this scumbag uses a loophole to get government funds nearly 30 years after the fact is insulting. People who support this piece of trash are insulting.

Period.



Extending the support that this guy is getting, burial at ANC seems to be just fine in some circles, even though he never, you know, fought.

Again, your angst is misdirected. This man served and his injury was incurred in the line of duty. It is not debatable.

And there are hundreds of interees in Arlington that never fought.

sarge
3rd July 2013, 02:16 PM
Once again Joe you seem to be juggling the facts for your own entertainment.

I'm going to say this once.

First of all you need to stop harassing me. There has been a long series of discussions in this thread. I posted many detailed opinions. There was some bad information being posted. I mentioned my own experiences as a veteran and quoted the Veterans Administration and provided links to rebut some of it. I don't deserve to be called out.

Second, not all posts are worthy of even being discussed much less responded to. It's a judgement call. Sometimes when someone responds to me by using insulting language, yes, I will let them know -I have seen it and I'm not going to respond. Other times I have done that when someone seems to be just posting circular arguments. I let them know, yeah I see it and I don't care to respond.

I don't want to violate the bickering rule so I'm going to stop here. There's a lot more I could say.

Your posts were factually inaccurate. When you were made aware of this, you scrambled to support your outrage. You have yet to acknowledge your errors, and you were incredibly rude in your characterization of my posts. I don't care- your opinion on this subject is too ill informed for me to take seriously. I do find the whining annoying.

NoahFence
3rd July 2013, 02:17 PM
Again, your angst is misdirected. This man served and his injury was incurred in the line of duty. It is not debatable.

And there are hundreds of interees in Arlington that never fought.

This man did not serve. He played football. I don't give a crap what idiotic distinction you're making.

HE DID NOT SERVE.

sarge
3rd July 2013, 02:20 PM
We need an icon of a mirror for this.

That makes no sense. I've never opined that being a vet insulates one from criticism. Honestly, do you really have a position that you can articulate, or do intend to post in a disagreeable fashion merely for the sake of an argument?

newyorkguy
3rd July 2013, 02:24 PM
...
It is nothing short of insulting to the brave men and women who got real injuries suffered during actual duty. That this scumbag uses a loophole to get government funds nearly 30 years after the fact is insulting. People who support this piece of trash are insulting.



I agree. I feel I'm a reasonable person.

I have said that I understand the reason for considering a prep school cadetship to be active duty. I understand if the cadet gets hurt playing a school-sanctioned sport he's entitled to treatment. And if he suffers a permanent injury he is entitled to compensation.

But praising this man as a soldier who served his country and was injured in the defense of his country. That he's an equal to a helicopter pilot who lost both legs after taking enemy fire in Iraq. That they were both exactly the same -just two soldiers serving their country.

Come on, who's kidding who. You know what we used to call that when I wore the OD green? Busting chops.

Everyone sees the huge difference here. Even the people who pretend not to see it, I'm sure.

This thread needs to be put to bed.

BenBurch
3rd July 2013, 02:33 PM
Bloody ridiculous thing to claim as a disability. Whether he technically can get away with it or not, he has gone through 30 years with it and doesn't look held back at all.

marplots
3rd July 2013, 03:00 PM
This man did not serve. He played football. I don't give a crap what idiotic distinction you're making.

HE DID NOT SERVE.

Are you invoking some war movie fantasy here? From the first minute you take the oath, you are covered by all the same rules and benefits as anyone else. The vast majority of service men and women do nothing other than support other service-members and never shoot a gun in anger.

No one who attends USMAPS is not a soldier first, even if they are only a reservist.
From their website: http://www.usma.edu/usmaps/SitePages/FAQs.aspx
The Preparatory School is open to (18 yrs. old) enlisted Soldiers currently serving in the Regular Army, Army Reserves and Army National Guard. A limited number of civilian high school graduates are authorized by the Department of the Army, and selected by West Point, to enlist in the Army Reserves, specifically for the purpose of attending USMAPS. It is important to know that all candidates must apply to West Point to be considered for USMAPS and that candidates may not apply directly to the Prep School.

So what's your beef? That the guy didn't kill for God and Country? Should we use the same standard for reservists generally? What about a cushy job at the Pentagon? Should the guy who holds the umbrella for the President get health benefits if he twists his ankle while walking up the White House steps?

"Sorry sucker. You don't fit my image of an American fighting man. Tough beans."

The guy didn't just show up and play football one day. Football is part of scene because it's a preparatory school. He took the same oath to serve and defend this nation that everyone who enlists does.

Remember, "Those who stand and wait also serve."

NoahFence
3rd July 2013, 03:15 PM
He took the same oath to serve and defend this nation that everyone who enlists does.

Yea, he took the oath alright. But he never actually followed through.

Well, at least not until it suited him financially. Now he's got that cross to bear.
He's a scumbag that Duckworth was well within her rights to verbally undress. He should be ashamed of himself.

NoahFence
3rd July 2013, 03:17 PM
That makes no sense. I've never opined that being a vet insulates one from criticism. Honestly, do you really have a position that you can articulate, or do intend to post in a disagreeable fashion merely for the sake of an argument?

You HAVE to have a personal stake in this. It's the only way you defending this scumbag while at the same time calling Duckworth a sleazebag makes any sense.

BStrong
3rd July 2013, 03:26 PM
That's false. While someone is attending a military academy prep school, he or she is considered to be an enlistee on active duty.



http://www.usma.edu/usmaps/SitePages/FAQs.aspx

Not if the individual in question is younger than 17.

And as a vet that spends a bunch of time with guys in the same boat at Swords to Plowshares, I stand by my earlier post.

newyorkguy
3rd July 2013, 03:29 PM
Are you invoking some war movie fantasy here? From the first minute you take the oath, you are covered by all the same rules and benefits as anyone else.
<snip>


I get the part where it counts towards their service time and their pension rights (I suppose) and they're covered for injuries, death etc. Only it's not really the same is it?

I can think of so many differences. First, he's not being paid. Does a cadet get the GI life insurance policy? Does he have rank? Is he subject to the UCMJ? Is he assigned to a specialty (Infantry, Artillery, Aviation, Engineering). Is he committed to serve for a specific period of time.

Is an inductee who hasn't even gotten to his basic training unit a soldier? Even when you're in basic training. (That's what Sergeant First Class Leland Baines -- one of the finest men I've ever known -- used to tell us. "You ain't no damn soldier. Not yet. You just a damn trainee!")

I'd like to see something official about this. That a prep school attendee is considered a full-fledged member of the Armed Forces. It's a technical thing, I can see that part.

sarge
3rd July 2013, 03:40 PM
You HAVE to have a personal stake in this. It's the only way you defending this scumbag while at the same time calling Duckworth a sleazebag makes any sense.

Or, I'm applying a logical and consistent standard after actually learning the facts before reaching a conclusion. But whatever, you keep reaching a conclusion and then inventing an argument to support it.

Duckworth the honorable vet deserves whatever respect an individual accords other honorable vets. Duck worth the representative acted the scumbag on this occasion.

NoahFence
3rd July 2013, 03:52 PM
Or, I'm applying a logical and consistent standard after actually learning the facts before reaching a conclusion.

The facts I'm aware of are this:

-- He was in a prep school of some type.
-- He was injured playing football
-- He followed up his time at the prep school by going to college, bypassing active duty. (OK, bypassing rational definition of active duty)
-- 30 some years later he claims disability
-- This claim leads to preferred status when getting a government contract.

Which of the above is in dispute?


But whatever, you keep reaching a conclusion and then inventing an argument to support it.


My conclusion is the same as Duckworths. Legal? Probably. Ethical? Moral? Right? No freaking way.

Duckworth the honorable vet deserves whatever respect an individual accords other honorable vets. Duck worth the representative acted the scumbag on this occasion.

Duckworth the representative acted as outraged as her constituents probably are. Seems she hit the nail on the head. If she were my representative, I'd have penned a note celebrating her for this by now. She's probably received them.

newyorkguy
3rd July 2013, 04:28 PM
Apparently they do receive a salary. The cadets are required to join the Army Reserves.

Civilians accepting an appointment to attend the United States Military Academy Preparatory School will join the Army as an Invitational Reservist and be placed on active duty on the day they report to the Prep School....The government will pay for room, board, medical and dental expenses. Candidates are paid monthly.

However Rep. Duckworth was apparently acting in the highest traditions of the service when she badgered poor Mr. Castillio.

Conduct is based upon the precept that a Cadet Candidate does not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do.

One thing I wonder about...

The USMAPS is to prepare cadets to go to West Point.
Cadet Candidates are expected to devote all their efforts toward achievement of their goal: admission to the United States Military Academy.

Castillo did not achieve his goal. He went to a civilian college. Wonder what happened?
Link (http://www.usma.edu/usmaps/sitepages/FAQs.aspx#_Toc4)

marplots
3rd July 2013, 04:31 PM
I get the part where it counts towards their service time and their pension rights (I suppose) and they're covered for injuries, death etc. Only it's not really the same is it?

I can think of so many differences. First, he's not being paid. Does a cadet get the GI life insurance policy? Does he have rank? Is he subject to the UCMJ? Is he assigned to a specialty (Infantry, Artillery, Aviation, Engineering). Is he committed to serve for a specific period of time.

Is an inductee who hasn't even gotten to his basic training unit a soldier? Even when you're in basic training. (That's what Sergeant First Class Leland Baines -- one of the finest men I've ever known -- used to tell us. "You ain't no damn soldier. Not yet. You just a damn trainee!")

I'd like to see something official about this. That a prep school attendee is considered a full-fledged member of the Armed Forces. It's a technical thing, I can see that part.

It is a special category. I spent a year at West Point. I had the insurance (life and health) and was paid a base rate (I think E-3, but I don't remember). There were the usual uniform allowances, but no per diem.

The deal for us was we could resign after a year without any further military committment. After a year, you had to serve out four years as a enlisted person. Since I left after a year, I was home free. I didn't get hurt, so I don't know how that works. My bet is that if you blew your leg off or something as a cadet, you'd get the same benefits as anyone in the military. Just a guess though.

Later on, when I reenlisted, the time there was counted, but not for much. I think it's treated like ROTC, but again, I don't remember exactly. I did get enough credit for the year that I started out as a PFC, but I still had to go through basic training (cake walk after West Point).

So, yeah, USMAPS is a special category. But there are plenty of those. For example, say you were working for the military developing some super-secret weapon. They could classify you as temporary active reserve to give you benefits but keep you out of the "real" military. The benefits aren't all one way either. I was under UCMJ for example. And they certainly aren't shy about restricting your freedoms - something that might be a bit harder to do if you were just a civilian.

newyorkguy
3rd July 2013, 04:36 PM
More on Braulio Castillo.

A Virginia IT company inappropriately secured $500 million worth of IRS contracts based on false statements and ties to an agency official, according to a congressional staff report released on Tuesday.....“The IRS – where Strong Castle received well over 99 percent of its 2012 revenues – employs Castillo’s long-time friend, Greg Roseman, who oversaw each and every contract awarded to Strong Castle by the IRS in 2012,” the report’s authors wrote. Link (http://rt.com/usa/irs-contractor-bids-castillo-279/)

When brought before the committee Roseman, who has since been removed from his position pending an IG investigation that could result in his dismissal or even the filing of criminal charges by the IRS, refused to answer questions claiming his Fifth Amendment rights.

I guess we're lucky we don't have more people who "protect their country" the way Braulio Castillo does.

newyorkguy
3rd July 2013, 04:46 PM
Another impropriety Braulio Castillo is accused of-

He originally rented an office in the Chinatown area of Washington and thus was able to secure a Historically Underutilized Business Zone certification, a provision aimed at ensuring government contracts were fairly distributed.

That first came under suspicion as a fraudulent practice when investigators visited the Chinatown office and never found anyone working there. The designation -- which also gives a bidder a priority -- was officially taken away after Castillo was found to be
hiring full-time students at Catholic University and renting an office in the Gallery Place section of Washington. Castillo and his wife, meanwhile, worked in Virginia. Link (http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/307661-report-friendship-may-have-greased-wheels-for-irs-contracts)

sarge
3rd July 2013, 04:47 PM
Apparently they do receive a salary. The cadets are required to join the Army Reserves.



However Rep. Duckworth was apparently acting in the highest traditions of the service when she badgered poor Mr. Castillio.



One thing I wonder about...

The USMAPS is to prepare cadets to go to West Point.


Castillo did not achieve his goal. He went to a civilian college. Wonder what happened?
Link (http://www.usma.edu/usmaps/sitepages/FAQs.aspx#_Toc4)[/U]

Good for you.....you demonstrated conclusively that Castillo was inarguably in the Army when he was injured.

Duckworth was acting the douche when she badgered Castillo, as there is nothing to indicate that Castillos service was less than honorable. After all, consistency demands that you castigate her for speaking ill of a brother in arms.

NoahFence
3rd July 2013, 04:54 PM
[/U]

Good for you.....you demonstrated conclusively that Castillo was inarguably in the Army when he was injured.

Duckworth was acting the douche when she badgered Castillo, as there is nothing to indicate that Castillos service was less than honorable. After all, consistency demands that you castigate her for speaking ill of a brother in arms.

Too funny.

Are you him? It would explain a great deal.

newyorkguy
3rd July 2013, 04:56 PM
...
After all, consistency demands that you castigate her for speaking ill of a brother in arms.

You're cheapening that by referring to a teenage boy who served a year in a military prep school as a brother in arms. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't believe he carried a weapon, did he?

(Actually I said "comrade in arms." Is that what this is about? Is this a gender thing with him?) :confused:

Castigate? Did you miss this?
Candidate does not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do.

Gee the Army sure has changed since I was in. We used to get read out by NCOs and officers all the time. And thought nothing of it.

sarge
4th July 2013, 12:24 PM
You're cheapening that by referring to a teenage boy who served a year in a military prep school as a brother in arms. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't believe he carried a weapon, did he?

(Actually I said "comrade in arms." Is that what this is about? Is this a gender thing with him?) :confused:

Castigate? Did you miss this?


Gee the Army sure has changed since I was in. We used to get read out by NCOs and officers all the time. And thought nothing of it.

Tell you what, for just one post, I'll apply your standard:

As Infantry is clearly the pinnacle of Armyness, all who claim to have served and are not former Infantrymen are liars, cheats,, and frauds. If such scumbags claim some compensation for injuries incurred during their clearly inferior service, they must be exposed publicly and called to task for it. Further, they should forfeit all pay they ever received, with interest, as they clearly did not earn it.

As you seem comfortable in appointing yourself arbiter of what service counts and what doesn't, and as my service is superior to yours in every way, I deem your service to not count. There, you've been NewYorkGuy'd.

Shalamar
4th July 2013, 12:37 PM
Things I have learned:

You can stub your toe in a military prep school, doing something utterly unrelated to the military. You can then never report the injury (Walk it off 'soldier'!), continue in your life, and perhaps even do strenuous activity using your toe for a few years as you pass on to something unrelated to the military. Then, 20 years later, you can have a business, get a doctor to claim 'chronic pain', get injured vet status, and be on par be better than someone who served in a battle zone and lost limbs so you can game the system.

You can stand proud of the injury you sustained protecting your country (Stubbing that toe as you walk down a hallway, kicking a stool) becoming utterly above reproach.

BStrong
4th July 2013, 12:46 PM
Tell you what, for just one post, I'll apply your standard:

As Infantry is clearly the pinnacle of Armyness, all who claim to have served and are not former Infantrymen are liars, cheats,, and frauds. If such scumbags claim some compensation for injuries incurred during their clearly inferior service, they must be exposed publicly and called to task for it. Further, they should forfeit all pay they ever received, with interest, as they clearly did not earn it.

As you seem comfortable in appointing yourself arbiter of what service counts and what doesn't, and as my service is superior to yours in every way, I deem your service to not count. There, you've been NewYorkGuy'd.

No, The Airborne Infantry is the pinnacle.

Better state that or they'll pull your jump status.

sarge
4th July 2013, 12:48 PM
Things I have learned:

You can stub your toe in a military prep school, doing something utterly unrelated to the military. You can then never report the injury (Walk it off 'soldier'!), continue in your life, and perhaps even do strenuous activity using your toe for a few years as you pass on to something unrelated to the military. Then, 20 years later, you can have a business, get a doctor to claim 'chronic pain', get injured vet status, and be on par be better than someone who served in a battle zone and lost limbs so you can game the system.

You can stand proud of the injury you sustained protecting your country (Stubbing that toe as you walk down a hallway, kicking a stool) becoming utterly above reproach.

Things I've learned:

If you affect a proper amount of outrage, you can feel justified in lying through your teeth in an effort to justify your outrage.

JoeTheJuggler
4th July 2013, 01:49 PM
Things I have learned:

You can stub your toe in a military prep school, doing something utterly unrelated to the military. You can then never report the injury (Walk it off 'soldier'!), continue in your life, and perhaps even do strenuous activity using your toe for a few years as you pass on to something unrelated to the military. Then, 20 years later, you can have a business, get a doctor to claim 'chronic pain', get injured vet status, and be on par be better than someone who served in a battle zone and lost limbs so you can game the system.

You can stand proud of the injury you sustained protecting your country (Stubbing that toe as you walk down a hallway, kicking a stool) becoming utterly above reproach.

But again, is Duckworth proposing any legislation that would make this not possible?

(FWIW, I don't think anyone here is claiming that Castillo is somehow "better than" Duckworth.)

Or isn't the "smackdown" just a feel-good thing that might give her some small political boost?

JoeTheJuggler
4th July 2013, 01:53 PM
You're cheapening that by referring to a teenage boy who served a year in a military prep school as a brother in arms.

Actually that's not anything any of us are doing. I've already shown that by law the day a person enters the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School, he is considered to be on active duty.

You seem to be saying that only some active duty should count as active duty. Fair enough. But Duckworth isn't proposing any such a change, is she?

NoahFence
4th July 2013, 03:39 PM
How about enacting a statute of limitations on claiming disability? Say, fewer than 28 YEARS?

sarge
4th July 2013, 03:43 PM
No, The Airborne Infantry is the pinnacle.

Better state that or they'll pull your jump status.

They can have it. I never enjoyed jumping in the first place, and frankly, I met better pure Infantrymen in both Alaska and Berlin.

sarge
4th July 2013, 03:48 PM
How about enacting a statute of limitations on claiming disability? Say, fewer than 28 YEARS?

Good idea. Then all the aging Vietnam Vets that are largely to blame for the current 500,000 case, 18 month backlog can die off and free up VA resources to work on more recent vets.

Or, we could give the VA the resources they need to assess all the outstanding claims, regardless of how long a vets condition has existed. Knee jerk, emotional reactions are appropriate for spectator sports. For real life, not so much.

NoahFence
4th July 2013, 03:52 PM
And disability claims are good for people who deserve it. Teenagers getting hurt playing games, not so much.


I can't believe anyone supports him. Makes me sad to know such scum is revered in some circles.

rwguinn
4th July 2013, 03:53 PM
Again, your angst is misdirected. This man served and his injury was incurred in the line of duty. It is not debatable.

And there are hundreds of interees in Arlington that never fought.
And as far as anyone has mentioned, that Prep school was the last and only active duty hew served.

sarge
4th July 2013, 04:11 PM
And as far as anyone has mentioned, that Prep school was the last and only active duty hew served.

So?

There is no extra special disability credit for time served. Time spent in uniform is completely unimportant for purposes of determining eligibility for a disability rating. It makes zero difference that he only spent one year on active duty.

An exception comes to mind. A person that retires from the military actually gets less for a 30% disability rating than someone with one day active service and a 30% disability rating.

sarge
4th July 2013, 04:17 PM
And disability claims are good for people who deserve it. Teenagers getting hurt playing games, not so much.

Which part bothers you most, that his service is "less" than someone else's, or that he was younger at the time of his service? I'm curious, because while my service is superior to both Duckworths and Castillos according to your standards, I was 17 when I enlisted, 17 when I became an infantryman, 17 when I graduated airborne school, 18 when I became an NCO, and 19 when I became a sergeant. Do I lose cool points for that?


I can't believe anyone supports him. Makes me sad to know such scum is revered in some circles.

Makes me sad that adults are unable to distinguish between "revere's" and "refuses to treat like crap for following the rules exactly as they are written and intended to be observed".

Shalamar
4th July 2013, 04:20 PM
And disability claims are good for people who deserve it. Teenagers getting hurt playing games, not so much.


I can't believe anyone supports him. Makes me sad to know such scum is revered in some circles.

I'm surprised as well. And a little shocked at the hate being directed towards Duckworth. It would seem that this stinks of fraud. As a teenager, he played football at a military prep school, and either sprained, or broke his ankle (I'm not sure). Did he report this? Did he receive treatment while at the academy?

Then, he goes to College, and continues to play football and sports... This does not sound like chronic or recurring pain. It only seemed to crop up again when he needed an edge in business. It is odd that his injury would only become an issue some 30 years later.

I do understand some illnesses can crop up after a rather extended period of time. I can see how a broken foot can lead to pain later in life if it didn't heal correctly. I also understand that in the past the VA may have dragged it's feet on illnesses appearing up much later after the cause. Does the VA blindly accept any injury or claim no matter how log later it happened?

Despite the reverence for Castillo, and the hatred for Duckworth, I will have to side with the idea getting mildly injured playing football 'in defense of this great nation', hardly seems worthy of VA benefits. Especially 30 years after the fat when he suddenly needs it.

But hey, I'm not American. It just seems like a waste of time and money. And if anyone has a right to complain, and blast someone for potential fraud and gaming the system, it would be Congresswoman Duckworth.

NoahFence
4th July 2013, 04:23 PM
Which part bothers you most, that his service is "less" than someone else's, or that he was younger at the time of his service? I'm curious, because while my service is superior to both Duckworths and Castillos according to your standards, I was 17 when I enlisted, 17 when I became an infantryman, 17 when I graduated airborne school, 18 when I became an NCO, and 19 when I became a sergeant. Do I lose cool points for that?



Makes me sad that adults are unable to distinguish between "revere's" and "refuses to treat like crap for following the rules exactly as they are written and intended to be observed".

The part that bothers me is that his 'service' is non-existant, and that legitimate claims are being backlogged due to it. And that he's so smug.

'my cross to bear'

You have no trouble with him saying that?

Says all I need to know. About him and his supporters.

sarge
4th July 2013, 04:37 PM
The part that bothers me is that his 'service' is non-existant, and that legitimate claims are being backlogged due to it. And that he's so smug.

'my cross to bear'

You have no trouble with him saying that?

Says all I need to know. About him and his supporters.

Except of course your claim that his service is non-existent is an intentional falsehood. It has been conclusively demonstrated that he was an active duty Soldier at the time of his injury.

I'd invite you to read my very first sentence in this thread. You've worked yourself into an angst-fest. You've been shown by preponderance of evidence that your initial impression was mistaken. Rather than reevaluate yor initial impression, you've spent pages making the same factual errors repeatedly. Why?

NoahFence
4th July 2013, 04:50 PM
Whatever you say kiddo.

NoahFence
4th July 2013, 04:57 PM
In a legal, to the letter sense, if what he did can be called 'service', that's insulting.

sarge
4th July 2013, 05:47 PM
In a legal, to the letter sense, if what he did can be called 'service', that's insulting.

To whom? I served for more than a quarter century. I am a disabled veteran of Grenada, Panama, GW1, Astan, Kurdish relief, Macedonia, Kosovo, GW2' and a handful of peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations. I was an Infantryman, and a Paratrooper. I'm not offended in the least by the characterization of his time in uniform as "service". What are your credentials to be insulted? Fewer than 1% of Americans spend time in uniform. That places Castillo ahead of 99% of the population if there is to be some measure of respect for having served. Personally, I don't put any more stock in someone having been in the military than I do in someone paying taxes, serving on a jury, being a teacher, etc. there are many, many ways to be a valuable citizen.

sarge
4th July 2013, 05:48 PM
Whatever you say kiddo.

Cute. You profess to hold veterans in hih regard, yet you feel comfortable being snarky when one disagrees with you. Must be strange, being so obviously hypocritical. The cognitive dissonance must be excruciating.

BStrong
4th July 2013, 05:51 PM
They can have it. I never enjoyed jumping in the first place, and frankly, I met better pure Infantrymen in both Alaska and Berlin.

Heresy!

sarge
4th July 2013, 06:03 PM
Heresy!

I know. Fortunately, no one in the 82nd can read, and even if they could, we use screen names. They'd never be able to figure out that I am the most recent former Garrison XO and the current Chief of Housing Services for Planet Bragg. If they did, I might lose my lifetime membership in the All American Chapter.

BStrong
4th July 2013, 07:08 PM
I know. Fortunately, no one in the 82nd can read, and even if they could, we use screen names. They'd never be able to figure out that I am the most recent former Garrison XO and the current Chief of Housing Services for Planet Bragg. If they did, I might lose my lifetime membership in the All American Chapter.

I'm tellin' Dad!

Listen, you're there now and I'm not, but I remember some very smart cats that I served with.

NoahFence
4th July 2013, 07:09 PM
Cute. You profess to hold veterans in hih regard, yet you feel comfortable being snarky when one disagrees with you. Must be strange, being so obviously hypocritical. The cognitive dissonance must be excruciating.

Not all, obviously. Just the idiots.

newyorkguy
4th July 2013, 07:43 PM
Having done some looking into the matter, there are four kinds of Congressional hearings. The one Rep. Duckworth is involved in is an oversight hearing. Duckworth is a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The hearing in which Duckworth questioned Braulio Castillo is actually concerned with IRS reform. Although this is the investigative phase of the hearing, legislation is certain to come from it.

Does everybody understand this? It's not about the VA. It's about the IRS.

Braulio Castillio and his associate, an IRS official named Greg Roseman (who was also called before the Oversight Committee), may eventually face criminal fraud charges from information developed in the hearings. I posted details of this last night.

Castillo is under suspicion of committing fraud to win contracts. The government has a lot of circumstantial evidence suggesting he committed fraud but Castillo and his IRS cohort Greg Roseman were careful to keep everything under wraps. One of the most damning pieces of evidence is Roseman (who awarded the contracts), repeatedly congratulating Castillio in texts and emails before the bidding had even begun.

How did Roseman explain that? He didn't. He took the Fifth Amendment.

Because of the manner in which Castillo got a VA disability rating, twenty-eight years after the incident and at the same time he was applying for IRS contracts, committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., allowed Oversight Committee member Rep. Tammy Duckworth D-Ill., a disabled combat veteran and former VA official, to question Castillo as to the manner in which he obtained a disability rating from the VA.

Partly the hearing is political theater. I don't see anything wrong with that. That's supposed to be the way the founders set it up. It's been going on for over 200 years. It's a way for Congress to demonstrate wrong doing in dramatic fashion. The object is not just to get the public's attention but to garner their support. This has been going on for decades. The McCarthy hearings in the 1950s, the Valachi hearings in the 1960s, the Watergate hearings in the 1970s, the Iran-Contra hearings in the 1980s, they were all televised live. Dramatic hearings go all the way back to the Credit Mobilier and Teapot Dome hearings. People still refer to them today.

Having rewatched the video of Duckworth questioning Braulio Castillo, I don't see where she did anything wrong. She was brusque, she cut him off a couple times, she questioned the validity of his claim. She expressed contempt for some of the claims he made in his letters to the VA. Castillo is in trouble, he's on the hot seat, Castillo knows it, he took it very meekly. If all he gets out of this is a bawling out by Tammy Duckworth he's a lucky man.

Tammy Duckworth acted outraged. Why wouldn't she be? Is she being accused of faking it? Someone who lost both her legs on a combat mission, having worked in the VA system, confronting someone she believes is scamming that system? When she says she's outraged it is certainly believable to me and it seems entirely appropriate.

The only objection I have had is, I don't expect everyone to agree, I just wish -- based on what this woman has suffered and what she sacrificed for her country -- the people who do disagree with her would at least respect who she is and refrain from using crude and degrading language directed towards her.

sarge
4th July 2013, 08:02 PM
I'm tellin' Dad!

Listen, you're there now and I'm not, but I remember some very smart cats that I served with.

There still are, by and large. I was engaged in normal inter-service ribbing.

My Army home is the 325 AIR. It was my first real unit, and it was my last. Before I left the Division the first time, I was a typical paratrooper.......worth five legs on a bad day.

On subsequent tours with non-airborne units, I learned that excellence can be found anywhere. I also learned that airborne insertion is a costly way to seize terrain, and likely to never be decisive in the grand scheme of things. Paratroopers are expensive to make, expensive to equip, expensive to deliver in any large number, and show up relatively lightly armed and ill equipped for a fight lasting longer than several days. Recognizing that they are also astoundingly dedicated makes me proud to have been one for almost a dozen years, but I am exceedingly happy that none of my trips down range were accomplished under a canopy.

sarge
4th July 2013, 08:05 PM
Not all, obviously. Just the idiots.

Again with the ad hom silliness. Having demonstrated time after time that you are either unwilling or unable to admit your factual errors and that you are perfectly willing to post obvious falsehoods, why do you believe I would care about your opinion of me?

newyorkguy
4th July 2013, 08:14 PM
There still are, by and large. I was engaged in normal inter-service ribbing.

My Army home is the 325 AIR. It was my first real unit, and it was my last. Before I left the Division the first time, I was a typical paratrooper.......worth five legs on a bad day.

On subsequent tours with non-airborne units, I learned that excellence can be found anywhere. I also learned that airborne insertion is a costly way to seize terrain, and likely to never be decisive in the grand scheme of things. Paratroopers are expensive to make, expensive to equip, expensive to deliver in any large number, and show up relatively lightly armed and ill equipped for a fight lasting longer than several days. Recognizing that they are also astoundingly dedicated makes me proud to have been one for almost a dozen years, but I am exceedingly happy that none of my trips down range were accomplished under a canopy.

Sarge if you want to tell us all about your fascinating career, that's really fine. How about starting a thread for it?
;)

sarge
4th July 2013, 08:18 PM
Sarge if you want to tell us all about your fascinating career, that's really fine. How about starting a thread for it?
;)

Or you could continue your normal practice of just not reading the posts you are building an argument against.

It was thread drift, certainly. It was also in direct response to another poster. It also wasn't really about me, but I wouldn't expect someone that never "really" served to understand.

newyorkguy
4th July 2013, 08:32 PM
Or you could continue your normal practice of just not reading the posts you are building an argument against.

It was thread drift, certainly. It was also in direct response to another poster. It also wasn't really about me, but I wouldn't expect someone that never "really" served to understand.

If you're talking about playing football at a prep school, no I sure didn't.

marplots
4th July 2013, 08:41 PM
If you're talking about playing football at a prep school, no I sure didn't.

No one just plays football. For example, they all start with four weeks of basic training: (http://www.usma.edu/usmaps/SitePages/Battalion%20Tactical.aspx)
The Battalion Tactical Department (BTD) oversees the military training of the cadet candidates while they are at USMAPS.
The BTD begins training on the very first day the cadet candidates arrive with a four-week candidate orientation called Cadet Candidate Basic Training. During this period of time, cadet candidates learn basic military skills such as drill and ceremonies, military courtesies (i.e. saluting), recognizing ranks, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, etc.

The playing football bit is a mischaracterization indicative of a shallow argument.

newyorkguy
4th July 2013, 08:47 PM
No one just plays football.

The playing football bit is a mischaracterization indicative of a shallow argument.

It wasn't a response to the issue at hand, instead I was responding in what I thought was a fairly gracious manner to what I'm quite sure was intended to be a personal insult.

If you really want to discuss this issue how about discussing this-
Having done some looking into the matter, there are four kinds of Congressional hearings. The one Rep. Duckworth is involved in is an oversight hearing. Duckworth is a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The hearing in which Duckworth questioned Braulio Castillo is actually concerned with IRS reform. Although this is the investigative phase of the hearing, legislation is certain to come from it.

Does everybody understand this? It's not about the VA. It's about the IRS.

Braulio Castillio and his associate, an IRS official named Greg Roseman (who was also called before the Oversight Committee), may eventually face criminal fraud charges from information developed in the hearings. I posted details of this last night.

Castillo is under suspicion of committing fraud to win contracts. The government has a lot of circumstantial evidence suggesting he committed fraud but Castillo and his IRS cohort Greg Roseman were careful to keep everything under wraps. One of the most damning pieces of evidence is Roseman (who awarded the contracts), repeatedly congratulating Castillio in texts and emails before the bidding had even begun.

How did Roseman explain that? He didn't. He took the Fifth Amendment.

Because of the manner in which Castillo got a VA disability rating, twenty-eight years after the incident and at the same time he was applying for IRS contracts, committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., allowed Oversight Committee member Rep. Tammy Duckworth D-Ill., a disabled combat veteran and former VA official, to question Castillo as to the manner in which he obtained a disability rating from the VA.

Partly the hearing is political theater. I don't see anything wrong with that. That's supposed to be the way the founders set it up. It's been going on for over 200 years. It's a way for Congress to demonstrate wrong doing in dramatic fashion. The object is not just to get the public's attention but to garner their support. This has been going on for decades. The McCarthy hearings in the 1950s, the Valachi hearings in the 1960s, the Watergate hearings in the 1970s, the Iran-Contra hearings in the 1980s, they were all televised live. Dramatic hearings go all the way back to the Credit Mobilier and Teapot Dome hearings. People still refer to them today.

Having rewatched the video of Duckworth questioning Braulio Castillo, I don't see where she did anything wrong. She was brusque, she cut him off a couple times, she questioned the validity of his claim. She expressed contempt for some of the claims he made in his letters to the VA. Castillo is in trouble, he's on the hot seat, Castillo knows it, he took it very meekly. If all he gets out of this is a bawling out by Tammy Duckworth he's a lucky man.

Tammy Duckworth acted outraged. Why wouldn't she be? Is she being accused of faking it? Someone who lost both her legs on a combat mission, having worked in the VA system, confronting someone she believes is scamming that system? When she says she's outraged it is certainly believable to me and it seems entirely appropriate.

The only objection I have had is, I don't expect everyone to agree, I just wish -- based on what this woman has suffered and what she sacrificed for her country -- the people who do disagree with her would at least respect who she is and refrain from using crude and degrading language directed towards her.

marplots
5th July 2013, 12:33 AM
It wasn't a response to the issue at hand, instead I was responding in what I thought was a fairly gracious manner to what I'm quite sure was intended to be a personal insult.

If you really want to discuss this issue how about discussing this-

That was a very good post with excellent points.

I've run out of steam after airing my opinion several times. I think it really does come down to whether or not what she did feeds into a kind of "justice unleashed" narrative or more of a "bullying to make political hay" formulation.

The facts of the matter won't really change that, it's an emotional response to the video. When distortions are brought out to bolster one side or the other, we ought to fix them, but again, haven't we all already decided what we saw?

NoahFence
5th July 2013, 06:24 AM
Castillo is under suspicion of committing fraud to win contracts.

but..but..but...

he was injured in the line of duty! it's his cross to bear!
OH THE HORROR!

NoahFence
5th July 2013, 06:29 AM
Again with the ad hom silliness. Having demonstrated time after time that you are either unwilling or unable to admit your factual errors and that you are perfectly willing to post obvious falsehoods, why do you believe I would care about your opinion of me?

Anyone who supports this Castillo guy while chastising an actual hero (Duckworth) would obviously not care what anybody things of him or her. I'm well aware of that.

You go by the letter, I go by the spirit. That's where we differ.

I have a heart.

JoeTheJuggler
5th July 2013, 05:08 PM
Anyone who supports this Castillo guy while chastising an actual hero (Duckworth) would obviously not care what anybody things of him or her. I'm well aware of that.

Criticizing Duckworth for a pointless smackdown isn't the same as supporting Castillo.

And again, does the fact that Duckworth was a hero mean she can do no wrong as a legislator?

JoeTheJuggler
5th July 2013, 05:15 PM
Partly the hearing is political theater. I don't see anything wrong with that. That's supposed to be the way the founders set it up. It's been going on for over 200 years. It's a way for Congress to demonstrate wrong doing in dramatic fashion. The object is not just to get the public's attention but to garner their support.

Support for what? Are they proposing a change in the rules? Are they merely trying to get Castillo prosecuted (something not the role of the Legislative Branch) under current rules?

This has been going on for decades. The McCarthy hearings in the 1950s, the Valachi hearings in the 1960s, the Watergate hearings in the 1970s, the Iran-Contra hearings in the 1980s, they were all televised live. Dramatic hearings go all the way back to the Credit Mobilier and Teapot Dome hearings.

Do you think these various Congressional hearings you mention were all equally valid? There were people who denounced the HUAC even as they were going on.

Are Duckworth and Issa going after some kind of government scandal?

newyorkguy
5th July 2013, 09:36 PM
Criticizing Duckworth for a pointless smackdown isn't the same as supporting Castillo.



A number people here have stated the objections were more with the way she was criticized, the name calling and the foot and leg puns (and someone praising that). It seemed to cross the line between fair criticism and hate. Braulio Castillo is being investigated for a number of questionable practices, his VA disability is only one of them. As I stated last night, if all he receives from this is a public dressing down from Rep. Duckworth he will be very lucky.

I'm sorry but I have to add I can't believe you missed all that.

Support for what? Are they proposing a change in the rules? Are they merely trying to get Castillo prosecuted (something not the role of the Legislative Branch) under current rules?
The hearing before the Oversight Committee is an investigative hearing. I'm sure they'll be reports issued, they'll be findings, and undoubtedly recommendations on changing the laws and regulations. I would expect legislation will almost certainly arise from these hearings. It's a whole series of IRS hearings, Castillo-Roseman is I think a relatively minor part of this.

I don't think the Oversight Committee is trying to get Castillo and Roseman prosecuted. Both are already the subject of an investigation by the IRS' Inspector General and quite possibly the FBI. I gave details of this in earlier posts.

Do you think these various Congressional hearings you mention were all equally valid? There were people who denounced the HUAC even as they were going on.
...

I was thinking of this earlier. You're referring to the McCarthy Hearings, I believe? In an odd way the hearings backfired on Senator Joseph McCarthy. He wound up convincing the American public he was more of a menace to our freedoms than the American Communist Party he was attacking.

Eta - For my own sake I want to tell you I hesitated to answer your questions -- they seemed to be addressed to me -- because all of the questions you raise have been discussed at length. At the risk of sounding rude, I suspect that you're not really looking for information. I suspect you're laying some kind of a trap. I hope you're not doing that. Just say what you think and let's have an open, honest discussion.

3point14
6th July 2013, 10:21 AM
Bobbins. Please delete.

sarge
6th July 2013, 12:54 PM
Anyone who supports this Castillo guy while chastising an actual hero (Duckworth) would obviously not care what anybody things of him or her. I'm well aware of that.

You go by the letter, I go by the spirit. That's where we differ.

I have a heart.

Duckworth the hero deserves a measure of gratitude in equal measure that you would accord any other person that made the same sacrifices under the same circumstances. The notion that a war hero can do no,subsequent wrong is patently silly. Again, by your logic, anyone castigating me is a douche, because of my service and sacrifices.

I go by the evidence and the facts, you decide to be offended and the invent falsehoods to support your offense. That is the difference between us.

I have a brain.

Morrigan
6th July 2013, 02:35 PM
She should be kicking herself over this.
Dude, cut it out, it was only mildly (and inappropriately) funny the first time, after that it's just being a dick for its own sake.

Things I have learned:

You can stub your toe in a military prep school, doing something utterly unrelated to the military. You can then never report the injury (Walk it off 'soldier'!), continue in your life, and perhaps even do strenuous activity using your toe for a few years as you pass on to something unrelated to the military. Then, 20 years later, you can have a business, get a doctor to claim 'chronic pain', get injured vet status, and be on par be better than someone who served in a battle zone and lost limbs so you can game the system.

You can stand proud of the injury you sustained protecting your country (Stubbing that toe as you walk down a hallway, kicking a stool) becoming utterly above reproach.

Not only that, but you now also learned that this kind of behaviour is totally fine and defensible too. Amazing.

sarge
6th July 2013, 04:52 PM
Dude, cut it out, it was only mildly (and inappropriately) funny the first time, after that it's just being a dick for its own sake.



Not only that, but you now also learned that this kind of behaviour is totally fine and defensible too. Amazing.

No. The kind of gross distortions he engaged in is not fine, nor is it defensible. Being so blatantly dishonest seldom is.

newyorkguy
6th July 2013, 05:33 PM
The notion that a war hero can do no,subsequent wrong is patently silly.
...


Has anyone said that? Rep. Duckworth can do no wrong?

I don't see where she did anything so bad. She was brusque and sarcastic. I think when you're accused of repeatedly defrauding the US Government and you're brought before Congress you're pretty much going to be read out by somebody.

Can you tell me what it was she said that you find so objectionable? Here's a link to the transcript: Link (http://www.shakesville.com/2013/06/rep-tammy-duckworth-boom.html)

Please note nowhere in her remarks does Duckworth say a prep school cadet is not on active duty, they are not considered military or they are ineligible for VA coverage if they're injured.

...lawmakers from both parties wondered aloud how" an injury resulting from a broken foot Castillo sustained at the US Military Preparatory School nearly three decades ago, which he attended for nine months before playing football in college "could result in Castillo's company getting special set-aside contract status from the government," based on his technology business having been certified as a service-disabled, veteran-owned company, "at a time when so many injured veterans are looking for work.

They're not disputing Castillo's eligibility. They're disputing the legitimacy of his claim.

You know what I'm saying? See the difference?

The question isn't his eligibility to make the claim, the question is, was the claim legitimate. Given the evidence that Braulio Castillo has committed fraud throughout the bidding process, I have very strong doubts as to whether his claim was legitimate. I don't believe it. Like Duckworth (and some of the others) I believe he cooked it up as a way to get priority in the bidding process for IRS contracts.

Foolmewunz
8th July 2013, 09:23 PM
How do I nominate a series of posts as a single submission?

Not because I recognize the Duckworth acted like an ass in this instance, but because your puns were sarcastic, caustic, inappropriate, and clever. In other words, perfectly funny.

You nest the quotes and hit the nominate button. Or you can nominate them one at a time in rapid succession so everyone can see them in their entire brilliance. Meh? I'll settle for repeating your admiration herewith.

Have you lost any limbs in combat, Sarge? Just curious what makes you the expert in the limited field of (ha ha ha, ho ho ho) amputee humor. Whoa! That one-armed guy wasn't funny at all... Give Him the Hook? Ha ha ha!


According to NewYorkGuy, Benedict Arnold was above reproach, and should have remained the hero after his treason that he was before his treason.

Strawman. Stick with critiques of humor and calling combat vets sleazebags.

Good idea. Then all the aging Vietnam Vets that are largely to blame for the current 500,000 case, 18 month backlog can die off and free up VA resources to work on more recent vets.

Strawman? Or just willfully ignoring that statute of limitations generally refers to when the first suit/claim/charge is brought. Are you saying those 500,000 cases are GIs who've never brought suit before. I find that highly unlikely.


Or, we could give the VA the resources they need to assess all the outstanding claims, regardless of how long a vets condition has existed. Knee jerk, emotional reactions are appropriate for spectator sports. For real life, not so much.

Sez the person who's been in this thread since post one knee-jerking with the best of them. Your faux moral outrage that Duckworth was rude to a (Gasp!) veteran who, by golly, served his country for a couple of weeks in a prep school is the stuff of politics. Wanna bet you'd have reacted differently if John McCain made those accusations?


Which part bothers you most, that his service is "less" than someone else's, or that he was younger at the time of his service? I'm curious, because while my service is superior to both Duckworths and Castillos according to your standards, I was 17 when I enlisted, 17 when I became an infantryman, 17 when I graduated airborne school, 18 when I became an NCO, and 19 when I became a sergeant. Do I lose cool points for that?
No, you lose cool points for being not cool. The Fonz could've taught you that.


Makes me sad that adults are unable to distinguish between "revere's" and "refuses to treat like crap for following the rules exactly as they are written and intended to be observed".

Wanna re-visit the actual case and tell us how he's "following the rules exactly as they are written". I looked into federal contracts at one time and don't recall the part where it says you are entitled to an inside partner within the agency you are dealing with or that it's appropriate to set up a phantom office in a minority neighborhood so that you can use yet another ruse to get to the front of the line and get preferrential treatment.

You seem to be ignoring the posts laying out the actual case against him that is unfolding, which is beginning to like like blatant fraud. Think maybe a panel member in the hearings might have known that this stuff was coming up, and was perhaps tipping her hand in the early hearings?

Oh, but she shouldn't have been rude to him, sniff, he was an injured vet. (Spoken over backup of the King Family doing When Born By The Red White and Blue)


Cute. You profess to hold veterans in hih regard, yet you feel comfortable being snarky when one disagrees with you. Must be strange, being so obviously hypocritical. The cognitive dissonance must be excruciating.

To take your tactic, he's not disrespecting your veteranhood. He's disrespecting your posts and your defense of the indefensible. Your service to your country is a wonderful thing and far be it from any of us to criticize that. But your posts in this thread are, by your standards, fair game.

sarge
9th July 2013, 04:54 AM
You nest the quotes and hit the nominate button. Or you can nominate them one at a time in rapid succession so everyone can see them in their entire brilliance. Meh? I'll settle for repeating your admiration herewith.

Have you lost any limbs in combat, Sarge? Just curious what makes you the expert in the limited field of (ha ha ha, ho ho ho) amputee humor. Whoa! That one-armed guy wasn't funny at all... Give Him the Hook? Ha ha ha!

Ohh. You are ofended by offensive jokes.

I can maintain two converstaions simultainiously. If you can't, don't try.



Strawman. Stick with critiques of humor and calling combat vets sleazebags.

Nonsense. Read the whole thread, and if you still don't understand why it isn't a strawman, I'll explain it to you - but only if you demonstrate that you are making the effort.



Strawman? Or just willfully ignoring that statute of limitations generally refers to when the first suit/claim/charge is brought. Are you saying those 500,000 cases are GIs who've never brought suit before. I find that highly unlikely.

That you use contract terms and refer to "bringing suit" when refering to VA claims shows conclusively that you don't have a clue what you are talking about - and that being the case, why should I care about your doubts?

I'm taking off my "treat snark with snark" hat for a moment. If you can't be bothered to do some basic research, why should I care that you doubt what I know to be absolutely factual - that Vietnam Vets with presumptive claims for effects of defoliation work that have never been submitted before are clogging the VA system?



Sez the person who's been in this thread since post one knee-jerking with the best of them. Your faux moral outrage that Duckworth was rude to a (Gasp!) veteran who, by golly, served his country for a couple of weeks in a prep school is the stuff of politics. Wanna bet you'd have reacted differently if John McCain made those accusations?

John McCain? Really?

My very first post (you claim to have read it), my very first sentence, declared Castillo a sleezeball.

My point all alnog has been that Duckworth was a sleezeball for her actions on that committee, that her service no more insulates her from criticism than it does any other vet, that Castillo suffered an injury while in the performance of duty.



Wanna re-visit the actual case and tell us how he's "following the rules exactly as they are written". I looked into federal contracts at one time and don't recall the part where it says you are entitled to an inside partner within the agency you are dealing with or that it's appropriate to set up a phantom office in a minority neighborhood so that you can use yet another ruse to get to the front of the line and get preferrential treatment.

Jezzus! Really? You were motivated enough to respond, but not motivated enough to read? That is most frustrating. here's how it actually went, in bullet form so that those too busy to read before getting their panties in a bunch can catch up:

1. Duckworth praised for denigrating the service of a fellow vet.
2. I pointed out that Duckworth acted an ass to a fellow vet and citizen.
3. I'm castigated for criticizing a veteran. Apparently, the crime is even worse because my service was superior to hers (although my sacrifice clearly was not) - that is the most deliciously ironic part of this whole thread.
4. Introduce claims that he never served, one claim rediculously calling the USMA Prep School "High School".
5. I demonstrate comculsively that he did serve. Several pages of attempts to refute the perfectly irrefutable follow.
6. Claim morphs to "his service doesn't meet my standard of real service, even if it meets the VAs standard". Because his service doesn't measure up to her service, she gets a pass for acting the ass.

18. Wash, Rinse, Reapeat. Thanks for your contribution to the cycle.

You seem to be ignoring the posts laying out the actual case against him that is unfolding, which is beginning to like like blatant fraud. Think maybe a panel member in the hearings might have known that this stuff was coming up, and was perhaps tipping her hand in the early hearings?

You seem to be ignoring my very first post on the subject. Do me a favor - read.

Oh, but she shouldn't have been rude to him, sniff, he was an injured vet. (Spoken over backup of the King Family doing When Born By The Red White and Blue)

Again, your sole panty-bunching point has been that I shouldn't be rude to a vet (Duckhead).




To take your tactic, he's not disrespecting your veteranhood. He's disrespecting your posts and your defense of the indefensible. Your service to your country is a wonderful thing and far be it from any of us to criticize that. But your posts in this thread are, by your standards, fair game.

Oh my freaking FSM.

newyorkguy
9th July 2013, 07:43 AM
<snip>

My point all alnog has been that Duckworth was a sleezeball for her actions on that committee, that her service no more insulates her from criticism than it does any other vet, that Castillo suffered an injury while in the performance of duty.

<snip>

4. Introduce claims that he never served, one claim rediculously calling the USMA Prep School "High School".

I am reposting a link to the transcript of the testimony. I don't see that Rep. Duckworth claimed that Castillo didn't serve in a military prep school. She merely called it a high school. Here's the exchange:

Rep. Duckworth: Can you tell me if you hurt your left foot again during your football career, subsequently to twisting it in high school?

MR. CASTILLO: Ma'am, I don't understand the high school comment.

REP. DARRELL ISSA: The young lady—prep school—post high school.

MR. CASTILLO: I apologize—I'm not—

REP. DUCKWORTH: Post high school, okay post high school, prep school, before college, prep school. Did you injure your left foot again after prep school? Link (http://www.shakesville.com/2013/06/rep-tammy-duckworth-boom.html)



<snip>
6. Claim morphs to "his service doesn't meet my standard of real service, even if it meets the VAs standard". Because his service doesn't measure up to her service, she gets a pass for acting the ass.
...


Nowhere in the transcript does she say that. The allegation is that there is no chronic foot injury.


REP. DUCKWORTH: Did you hurt, did you injure that same foot again subsequently in the years since you twisted it in prep school?

MR. CASTILLO: Not to my recollection, ma'am.
REP. DUCKWORTH: Not to your recollection, okay. Why didn't you, Mr. Castillo, tell the VA that your doctor's note to them was inaccurate when you knew that it was?

Foolmewunz
9th July 2013, 08:27 AM
Ohh. You are ofended by offensive jokes.

Objection, your honor. Assumes facts not offered into evidence. I'm "ofended" by unfunny sophomoric humor and posters who "attaboy" and high five the posters of same.



I can maintain two converstaions simultainiously. If you can't, don't try.

Picked that up in Basic, didja? Well, I can pat my head and rub my tummy AND spell both conversations and simultaneously correctly,... at the same time. Beat that!





Nonsense. Read the whole thread, and if you still don't understand why it isn't a strawman, I'll explain it to you - but only if you demonstrate that you are making the effort.

TrueThat? That You? I thought you were suspended.

I read the whole thread. It does not improve with second reading nor with your spin doctoring. A strawman is a strawman. You're attributing an argument to someone who hasn't made it in order to tear the argument down and win imaginary debate points.

Oh, and take your faux condescension, fold it eight ways, and put it where the sun don't shine, m'kay?






That you use contract terms and refer to "bringing suit" when refering to VA claims shows conclusively that you don't have a clue what you are talking about - and that being the case, why should I care about your doubts?
Cherry picking. That's not the only term I used, is it?

I gave three actions that are readily understood as being effected by statute of limitations or "time bar", which is actually what the original post referred to.


I'm taking off my "treat snark with snark" hat for a moment. If you can't be bothered to do some basic research, why should I care that you doubt what I know to be absolutely factual - that Vietnam Vets with presumptive claims for effects of defoliation work that have never been submitted before are clogging the VA system?

Aw, that's so nice of you.

But ya know what, since you're being all fair and non-snarky, I'll concede that there are probably a whole **** load of such cases out there. But I doubt that the first Agent Orange claims were made 28 years after they were known to be a possible basis for a claim. Wasn't the whole thing about AO that the government (through the VA) refused to acknowledge that there were any such problems at all?

But... okay, it wasn't a strawman. Valid argument.



John McCain? Really?

No, I meant to type Lex Luthor. Yes, of course... "really".


My very first post (you claim to have read it), my very first sentence, declared Castillo a sleezeball.
And you should've quit while you were ahead. It's when you put Duckworth in the same category that you erred.


My point all alnog has been that Duckworth was a sleezeball for her actions on that committee, that her service no more insulates her from criticism than it does any other vet, that Castillo suffered an injury while in the performance of duty.
Ya know what... it could've been Tom Hayden up there for all I care. Maybe you want your congress critters to be automotons. I like mine with a little moral indignation from time to time. Doesn't matter if she's a vet or a draft-dodging commie-symp pinko. He's a sleezeball. But she's a sleezeball for identifying him as a sleezeball? How does that work? Especially in view of the evidence it turns out they were looking into.




Jezzus! Really? You were motivated enough to respond, but not motivated enough to read?
I read the *********** thread! Don't make me stop this car or there will be no ice cream!

That is most frustrating. here's how it actually went, in bullet form so that those too busy to read before getting their panties in a bunch can catch up:

1. Duckworth praised for denigrating the service of a fellow vet.
2. I pointed out that Duckworth acted an ass to a fellow vet and citizen.
3. I'm castigated for criticizing a veteran. Apparently, the crime is even worse because my service was superior to hers (although my sacrifice clearly was not) - that is the most deliciously ironic part of this whole thread.
4. Introduce claims that he never served, one claim rediculously calling the USMA Prep School "High School".
5. I demonstrate comculsively that he did serve. Several pages of attempts to refute the perfectly irrefutable follow.
6. Claim morphs to "his service doesn't meet my standard of real service, even if it meets the VAs standard". Because his service doesn't measure up to her service, she gets a pass for acting the ass.

18. Wash, Rinse, Reapeat. Thanks for your contribution to the cycle.


We diverge at point two. Get it? That's what everyone has been telling you. You think it was... what... unrefined? Undignified? Conduct unbecoming a Congress Critter. Many of us do not! I'm not saying that I speak for everyone, but I've told you my view. I absolutely WANT congress people to show some sort of moral indignation when faced with slimebuckets who are gaming the system and jobbing the government and taxpayers.

And as to point three, I can't speak for others, but I'm not castigating you for criticizing a veteran, nor do I give a rat's p'toot as to whether your service was "superior" to hers, whatever self-serving nonsense that's all about. I'm castigating you for claiming that she was over the top and uncivil and then calling her a sleezebucket in the same breath and comparing her to this lowlife.




You seem to be ignoring my very first post on the subject. Do me a favor - read.

Okay! That's it. No ice cream for anyone. You were warned!



Again, your sole panty-bunching point has been that I shouldn't be rude to a vet (Duckhead).
No, feel free to be rude to a vet. See my comment above, though and don't strain credulity by being rude to a vet by criticizing her for being rude to a vet. But well noted that as others have surmised, you just have it in for Duckworth. I don't suppose it has anything to do with her politics, does it, Surge (see how clever that is, changing a person's name to make a har-de-har-har funny)?






Oh my freaking FSM.

The FSM can't help you. I pray to Kahminono, the goddess of hoisting posters on their own petard. She won that round, but thanks for playing.

sarge
9th July 2013, 08:56 AM
Objection, your honor. Assumes facts not offered into evidence. I'm "ofended" by unfunny sophomoric humor and posters who "attaboy" and high five the posters of same.



Picked that up in Basic, didja? Well, I can pat my head and rub my tummy AND spell both conversations and simultaneously correctly,... at the same time. Beat that!






TrueThat? That You? I thought you were suspended.

I read the whole thread. It does not improve with second reading nor with your spin doctoring. A strawman is a strawman. You're attributing an argument to someone who hasn't made it in order to tear the argument down and win imaginary debate points.

Oh, and take your faux condescension, fold it eight ways, and put it where the sun don't shine, m'kay?






Cherry picking. That's not the only term I used, is it?

I gave three actions that are readily understood as being effected by statute of limitations or "time bar", which is actually what the original post referred to.



Aw, that's so nice of you.

But ya know what, since you're being all fair and non-snarky, I'll concede that there are probably a whole **** load of such cases out there. But I doubt that the first Agent Orange claims were made 28 years after they were known to be a possible basis for a claim. Wasn't the whole thing about AO that the government (through the VA) refused to acknowledge that there were any such problems at all?

But... okay, it wasn't a strawman. Valid argument.



No, I meant to type Lex Luthor. Yes, of course... "really".


And you should've quit while you were ahead. It's when you put Duckworth in the same category that you erred.


Ya know what... it could've been Tom Hayden up there for all I care. Maybe you want your congress critters to be automotons. I like mine with a little moral indignation from time to time. Doesn't matter if she's a vet or a draft-dodging commie-symp pinko. He's a sleezeball. But she's a sleezeball for identifying him as a sleezeball? How does that work? Especially in view of the evidence it turns out they were looking into.




I read the *********** thread! Don't make me stop this car or there will be no ice cream!



We diverge at point two. Get it? That's what everyone has been telling you. You think it was... what... unrefined? Undignified? Conduct unbecoming a Congress Critter. Many of us do not! I'm not saying that I speak for everyone, but I've told you my view. I absolutely WANT congress people to show some sort of moral indignation when faced with slimebuckets who are gaming the system and jobbing the government and taxpayers.

And as to point three, I can't speak for others, but I'm not castigating you for criticizing a veteran, nor do I give a rat's p'toot as to whether your service was "superior" to hers, whatever self-serving nonsense that's all about. I'm castigating you for claiming that she was over the top and uncivil and then calling her a sleezebucket in the same breath and comparing her to this lowlife.





Okay! That's it. No ice cream for anyone. You were warned!



No, feel free to be rude to a vet. See my comment above, though and don't strain credulity by being rude to a vet by criticizing her for being rude to a vet. But well noted that as others have surmised, you just have it in for Duckworth. I don't suppose it has anything to do with her politics, does it, Surge (see how clever that is, changing a person's name to make a har-de-har-har funny)?







The FSM can't help you. I pray to Kahminono, the goddess of hoisting posters on their own petard. She won that round, but thanks for playing.

Again with the fabrications. You have completely and intentionally mischaracterized my participation in this thread. Cool.

JoeTheJuggler
9th July 2013, 08:57 AM
Because his service doesn't measure up to her service<snip>


Nowhere in the transcript does she say that. The allegation is that there is no chronic foot injury.

Fair enough*, but the allegation that Castillo never saw active duty was in fact made several times by people posting here in the forum. The notion that Duckworth's service record is somehow relevant (as a contrast to Castillo's) has also been made.

And in connections with those allegations, flat out false statements have been made here. (That Castillo was never on active duty; that only "REAL heroes" are entitled to VA benefits; etc.)


*So back to my repeated question about what Duckworth's self-righteous smackdown accomplishes, is the answer that it's all about members of the House questioning the medical validity of Castillo's disability claim? While that may or may not be a valid use of their time and resources, I'm questioning specifically the "righteous smackdown". What does *that* in particular accomplish? If there is a criminal case against Castillo, they should make it. Trying to prejudice public sentiment against him would only weaken such a case in the long run.

sarge
9th July 2013, 09:01 AM
......
Nowhere in the transcript does she say that. The allegation is that there is no chronic foot injury.

Just how specific must I be?

It should have been abundently clear that I was referencing posters making the claim that her service somehow trumps his service.

newyorkguy
9th July 2013, 09:32 AM
Fair enough*, but the allegation that Castillo never saw active duty was in fact made several times by people posting here in the forum. The notion that Duckworth's service record is somehow relevant (as a contrast to Castillo's) has also been made.
Her service versus Castillo's service is not relevant?

And in connections with those allegations, flat out false statements have been made here. (That Castillo was never on active duty; that only "REAL heroes" are entitled to VA benefits; etc.)
I don't recall anyone saying only real heroes are entitled to VA benefits. It was not understood at first that cadets attending a military prep school were considered to be on active duty. In fact it has never been explained -- other than me quoting the regulation -- that upon enrollment a non-military cadet is automatically enrolled in the Army Reserve.

I suspect if you asked most members of the military past or present if military prep school cadets are considered to be on active duty many of the members -- like me -- would answer no they are not. I have learned that it is considered active duty. I'm suggesting it's not widely known. You should expect people are not going to know it.


*So back to my repeated question about what Duckworth's self-righteous smackdown accomplishes, is the answer that it's all about members of the House questioning the medical validity of Castillo's disability claim? While that may or may not be a valid use of their time and resources, I'm questioning specifically the "righteous smackdown". What does *that* in particular accomplish? If there is a criminal case against Castillo, they should make it. Trying to prejudice public sentiment against him would only weaken such a case in the long run.

I've already answered this so many times I refuse to rehash it. Except to say, I think you misunderstand the process. Who should make the criminal case? The members of the Oversight Committee? They're not prosecutors. They're legislators who are in the fact finding phase of their investigation.

Just how specific must I be?

It should have been abundently clear that I was referencing posters making the claim that her service somehow trumps his service.

For anyone to suggest Duckworth's service in a war zone, flying combat missions, being shot down, losing two legs and possibly her right arm, is essentially no different than a teenaged boy attending a US military academy for nine months...

Very few people will agree with that. And there we are, we're not going to get past that. Most people will never agree that their service is in any way comparable. I can't believe most military people would agree. I suspect many combat veterans would get angry at that comparison.

sarge
9th July 2013, 09:42 AM
Her service versus Castillo's service is not relevant?

Not at all.




For anyone to suggest Duckworth's service in a war zone, flying combat missions, being shot down, losing two legs and possibly her right arm, is essentially no different than a teenaged boy attending a US military academy for nine months...

It isn't a matter of opinion. It is simple fact. Service is service, as far as the VA is concerned. Either the service qualifies for consideration or it doesn't, period. That you don't value hsi service and you do value hers is simply not relevent. It could not possibly be less important to the question of whether or not he merits compensation for his service-connected injuries.

Very few people will agree with that. And they we are, we're not going to get past that. Most people will never agree that their service is in any way comparable. I can't believe most military people would agree. I suspect many combat veterans would get angry at that comparison.

I don't care, really.

the question remains:

Was Duckweed justified in castigating this veteran for properly and legally making a claim for his service connected disability.

You have been maddeningly inconsistent throughtout this thread. On the one hand, you claim (yes, you did) that Duckheads service is somehow relevent to the respect she merits as a congresscritter, while also claiming that Castillos service does not equally get him some kind of consideration. You have repeatedly lambasted me for calling her out (for no other reason than that she is a veteran), while praising her for doing exactly the same thing to Castillo. It is as I said early on. You decided to be offended, and darnit no pesky facts were going to sway you from it.

Frankly, I am left to wonder why I should consider the sensibilites of someone so willing to engage in such illogical behavior.

newyorkguy
9th July 2013, 10:01 AM
...

<snip>

Was Duckweed justified in castigating this veteran for properly and legally making a claim for his service connected disability.

It's not the claim itself that's in question, it is the legality of the claim that is being questioned.

...On the one hand, you claim (yes, you did) that Duckheads service is somehow relevent to the respect she merits as a congresscritter, while also claiming that Castillos service does not equally get him some kind of consideration.
<snip>
.

Yes I think Rep. Duckworth's sacrifice entitles her to much respect and gives her a moral ground that is miles above what Braulio Castillo can claim. Now conversely, I'm not saying that someone who served by attending a military prep academy is not worthy of any respect. I'm not saying that at all. I'm agreeing with Rep. Duckworth (and others) that if that person than tries to use that time in a fraudulent manner to collect benefits he is not entitled to, yes they should be castigated, they should be ashamed and they should be prosecuted if enough evidence can be gathered to substantiate that the claim was fraudulent.

NoahFence
9th July 2013, 10:46 AM
Criticizing Duckworth for a pointless smackdown isn't the same as supporting Castillo.

And again, does the fact that Duckworth was a hero mean she can do no wrong as a legislator?

Of course she can do wrong.

In this case, she did not.

12AX7
9th July 2013, 10:54 AM
Just how specific must I be?

It should have been abundently clear that I was referencing posters making the claim that her service somehow trumps his service.


Her service does trump his.


According to the rules and regulations of the VA they are the same, but in any other sense, they are not. Not even close.

NoahFence
9th July 2013, 11:01 AM
Her service does trump his.


According to the rules and regulations of the VA they are the same, but in any other sense, they are not. Not even close.

..and that's all I'm saying.

To somehow use a teenage football injury get ahead in the game is wrong.

Maybe if he wasn't so smug with his "It's my cross to bear and I'd do it again" declaration I'd give him a bit of leeway. But he's the one saying what happened to him is on par with what happened to her and others in her boat.

Its insulting.

thaiboxerken
9th July 2013, 02:33 PM
The guy in this case is inspiring a thought, I had a migraine when I was in the Navy. I should apply for VA benefits.

applecorped
9th July 2013, 04:18 PM
Her service does trump his.




So, someone who lost both arms, both legs, their sight and hearing, trumps her service? Where do you draw this imaginary line of trumping?

thaiboxerken
9th July 2013, 04:20 PM
So, someone who lost both arms, both legs, their sight and hearing, trumps her service? Where do you draw this imaginary line of trumping?

He said her service, not her injuries.

thaiboxerken
9th July 2013, 05:22 PM
Nope. My service trumps yours, rendering me immune to criticism. And she's still an ass.

Besides, you were in the Navy. Veteran status is reserved for for former members of an armed service.

The Navy is armed, for sure. But if you think catching bullets is the only qualifier to be considered a vet, then that's your bag.

12AX7
9th July 2013, 05:29 PM
And because I am a vet, you are forbidden from criticizing me.
[/thread]

I am a vet.

applecorped
9th July 2013, 05:41 PM
I am a vet.

Dogs and Cats, or all animals?

marplots
9th July 2013, 06:00 PM
I'm a vet, but nearly everyone's service trumps mine. And although I would like to lord it over others on the forum, I'm happy being whole, healthy and unsung.

Some of us didn't rise to hero class. We mostly showed up and bitched a lot about having to be there. The critical skill, in a peacetime army, was avoiding any extra duties, PT, guard duty, and anything that might involve sweating.

12AX7
9th July 2013, 06:04 PM
I've been thinking. I think this guy Castillo is a hero.

The year was 1969, and Cadet Castillo found himself in the enemy end zone as the team quarterback for 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion of the 14th Infantry Cadet Training Corps.

On the 9th of February, Castillo's team was moving to formation af a 'Hail Mary' play/attack against fellow Cadet Recruits from Delta Company, which had run into an ambush by the other team and was under intense pressure from every play known to man. On arriving at the first yard line, the three point-men in Bennett's offensive formation fell wounded from opposing linemen. Immediately springing into action, Castillo ran through a barrage of incoming players, ball clutched firmly to bosom, to assist his brothers in arms, giving them life-saving morale as the enemy did all they could to take him out with a sack tackle.

Throughout the rest of the game, into the night, Castillo moved all over the battlefield, from one yard line to the next to the next, evading the enemy and providing comfort in the form of much needed touchdowns. He even dragged the bodies of the tackled Cadets to safety, adhering to the military vow, "Never Leave a Fallen Comrade."

It was on the last play of the last quarter when the snap went wrong and Castillo fell to the ground in agonizing pain; a sprained ankle had fallen this great man. Immediately, five members of the offensive line team fell, and Castillo crawled to their aid, disregarding the heavy fire of men falling all around him, to prevent the turnover. Even in traumatic pain, he then became aware of another far more seriously wounded man with a brused elbow and attended to his aid, his position on the battlefield far forward of friendly forces on the 50 yard line.

His fellow players then stopped Castillo and told him it was suicide, that he couldn't go any further and that the play was over. Castillo was hearing none of this and leapt forward, with complete disregard for his own safety, to advance the ball one yard, saving the down before the whistle.

For these incredible, selfless acts of heroism and for saving the egos of a dozen men, Cadet Castillo has beared a terrible cross of agonizing, lifetime pain.



Oh the sacrifices these heroes make in the line of duty, in service to this country. I salute you, Sir, and Godspeed!

newyorkguy
9th July 2013, 06:49 PM
....to point out that she is, as a congressperson, an ass.
...

I just keep wondering what specifically you're referring to. I've linked a transcript of her eight-minute questioning of Braulio Castillo and I'll link (http://www.shakesville.com/2013/06/rep-tammy-duckworth-boom.html) it again. If you could highlight or copy-and-paste the part you're talking about it would be enlightening.

Some of the criticism seems to be directed at comments Rep. Duckworth never made.

sarge
9th July 2013, 06:50 PM
I just keep wondering what specifically you're referring to. I've linked a transcript of her eight-minute questioning of Braulio Castillo and I'll link (http://www.shakesville.com/2013/06/rep-tammy-duckworth-boom.html) it again. If you could highlight or copy-and-paste the part you're talking about it would be enlightening.

Some of the criticism seems to be directed at comments Rep. Duckworth never made.

Complete crap.

sarge
9th July 2013, 06:52 PM
I'm a vet, but nearly everyone's service trumps mine. And although I would like to lord it over others on the forum, I'm happy being whole, healthy and unsung.

Some of us didn't rise to hero class. We mostly showed up and bitched a lot about having to be there. The critical skill, in a peacetime army, was avoiding any extra duties, PT, guard duty, and anything that might involve sweating.

Well then, according to the rules espoused in this thread, in comparison to you I am infallible and can publically denigrate both your service and your honor, and anyone that describes my actions as asinine is an unpatriotic sleezeball. Me and Duckweed.

marplots
9th July 2013, 07:17 PM
Well then, according to the rules espoused in this thread, in comparison to you I am infallible and can publically denigrate both your service and your honor, and anyone that describes my actions as asinine is an unpatriotic sleezeball. Me and Duckweed.

Hang on. Do you get to do it even though I'm not getting any benefits? I was hoping that would keep me from testifying in a Congressional hearing.

I might get an upgrade in status. Turns out that if you spent time in Korea, you qualify for VFW, since technically that war never ended. That puts me in the same boat as Sluggo in the hearing. If I join the VFW, but wasn't "really" fighting in a foreign land, I'd be just as much a poser as he was made out to be.

I'll have to think it over (and see how much pitchers of beer cost at the VFW).

newyorkguy
9th July 2013, 07:20 PM
I just keep wondering what specifically you're referring to. I've linked a transcript of her eight-minute questioning of Braulio Castillo and I'll link (http://www.shakesville.com/2013/06/rep-tammy-duckworth-boom.html) it again. If you could highlight or copy-and-paste the part you're talking about it would be enlightening.

Some of the criticism seems to be directed at comments Rep. Duckworth never made.

Complete crap.

Not much of an argument. If you feel so strongly that Duckworth behaved so badly why not quote the relevant parts? Without the specific comments it's hard to know what you're talking about.

Diogenes
9th July 2013, 07:29 PM
The Navy is armed, for sure. But if you think catching bullets is the only qualifier to be considered a vet, then that's your bag.

I'm happy to let them have that, too. All those hours at the EPCP at power and RPCP when shutdown was at least air-conditioned.

Twisted ankle for 30% though? Hell, I only got 0% for kidney stones...and was standing SRO when that first one hit.

sarge
9th July 2013, 07:46 PM
Hang on. Do you get to do it even though I'm not getting any benefits? I was hoping that would keep me from testifying in a Congressional hearing.

Sorry, I'll have to get a ruling from the participants that have been appointed the arbiters of what service ranks where. It isn't my game, I'm just trying to play on a level field.

I might get an upgrade in status. Turns out that if you spent time in Korea, you qualify for VFW, since technically that war never ended. That puts me in the same boat as Sluggo in the hearing. If I join the VFW, but wasn't "really" fighting in a foreign land, I'd be just as much a poser as he was made out to be.

I'll have to think it over (and see how much pitchers of beer cost at the VFW).

Wait. I was in Berlin before the wall came down, and we got the Army of Occupation Medal. C.early, I'm also a WWIi vet. Frankly, according to this thread, I can citizen anyone about anything with impunity.

thaiboxerken
9th July 2013, 08:46 PM
I'm happy to let them have that, too. All those hours at the EPCP at power and RPCP when shutdown was at least air-conditioned.

Twisted ankle for 30% though? Hell, I only got 0% for kidney stones...and was standing SRO when that first one hit.

30% and he continued to play ball for years after, right? Some people game the system well, I've known of a few while I was in. Suddenly, I am suffering from PTSD from too many hours of solid plant watch. (The one where you just look at the needle, while standing, and can't leave.)

marplots
10th July 2013, 12:59 AM
30% and he continued to play ball for years after, right? Some people game the system well, I've known of a few while I was in. Suddenly, I am suffering from PTSD from too many hours of solid plant watch. (The one where you just look at the needle, while standing, and can't leave.)

If what someone is able to do post-injury mattered all that much, we'd have to take back some benefits from Duckworth - I saw her walking around!

If there's a beef here, it's with the doctor that signed the form. That's the only expert opinion that really counts. If the doctor believes the guy has an injury, in spite of his subsequent football playing, then we take it (absent other evidence) as a valid medical judgement.

This thread is full of armchair quarterbacking.

Foolmewunz
10th July 2013, 01:46 AM
If what someone is able to do post-injury mattered all that much, we'd have to take back some benefits from Duckworth - I saw her walking around!

If there's a beef here, it's with the doctor that signed the form. That's the only expert opinion that really counts. If the doctor believes the guy has an injury, in spite of his subsequent football playing, then we take it (absent other evidence) as a valid medical judgement.

This thread is full of armchair quarterbacking.

So, if you go to your doctor this week and tell him/her that you'd like to get off work for a week because of your old sprained ankle injury and the doctor gives you a form for your boss saying that you need a week of rest, it's only (ONLY??!!) the doctor's fault? You have nothing to do with it? Having thought up the scheme and knowing that there are doctors willing to believe anything and sign anything as long as you pay the co-pay?

I don't disagree that the doctor is at fault - to the extent of his part in the scam. But I also think that the person at the VA (or the system at the VA) that pencil-whips such a claim through is at fault for their part in it*, and the actual perpetrator is far more at fault, as the obvious intent to defraud was his.

*If there's any such requirement at the VA. All that may have been required was that he get a diagnosis and submit the papers and if he's not asking for treatment from the VA, it may just be sitting there in his file, thus qualifying him for head-of-the-queue status for government bids.

marplots
10th July 2013, 02:41 AM
So, if you go to your doctor this week and tell him/her that you'd like to get off work for a week because of your old sprained ankle injury and the doctor gives you a form for your boss saying that you need a week of rest, it's only (ONLY??!!) the doctor's fault? You have nothing to do with it? Having thought up the scheme and knowing that there are doctors willing to believe anything and sign anything as long as you pay the co-pay?

I don't disagree that the doctor is at fault - to the extent of his part in the scam. But I also think that the person at the VA (or the system at the VA) that pencil-whips such a claim through is at fault for their part in it*, and the actual perpetrator is far more at fault, as the obvious intent to defraud was his.

*If there's any such requirement at the VA. All that may have been required was that he get a diagnosis and submit the papers and if he's not asking for treatment from the VA, it may just be sitting there in his file, thus qualifying him for head-of-the-queue status for government bids.

The problem with your analysis is that you assume the doctor is wrong. I'm saying that none of us here have evidence to do that.

As long as I admit that it's possible for an old injury to reemerge, I have to admit (barring evidence to the contrary) that in this case, that very well may have happened. To assume the guy committed fraud belies a bias driven by the emotional impact of the Congresswoman's story and criticisms.

How else should we proceed, other than hearing a claim (my old injury hurts/disables me) and allowing an expert to evaluate the facts? I can't claim better standing than a healthcare professional familiar with the facts.

If I have mischaracterized the situation, and no medical input is involved, then my objection fails. But one cannot simply claim that all doctors are crooks to make a counter-objection. Doing so throws out everyone's claim, including that of the Congresswoman herself (her claim about phantom pain).

The proper question for Duckworthy would be, "What medical school did you graduate from?"

Foolmewunz
10th July 2013, 03:11 AM
The problem with your analysis is that you assume the doctor is wrong. I'm saying that none of us here have evidence to do that.

Now where'd I get that idea. Oh, right. It was in your post. I was just working from the hypothetical where you said that if someone had done something wrong, it was the doctor.


As long as I admit that it's possible for an old injury to reemerge, I have to admit (barring evidence to the contrary) that in this case, that very well may have happened. To assume the guy committed fraud belies a bias driven by the emotional impact of the Congresswoman's story and criticisms.

Goes to pattern, your honor (as they say in the lawyer shows). The guy has a phantom office in a minority district so that he can get other advantages in bidding and evidently has an implant in the SS Admin, who's been suspended pending investigation. 1 + 1 + 1 might equal two in some obscure math, but I get 3.
And as to the Congresswoman's emotional "outburst", as I mentioned before, this is the SS oversight committee, isn't it? Would you think it possible that she already had those accusations before her and was, as I also said, "tipping their hand"?


How else should we proceed, other than hearing a claim (my old injury hurts/disables me) and allowing an expert to evaluate the facts? I can't claim better standing than a healthcare professional familiar with the facts.

Did you read Duckworth's full comments or listen to them. She had an arm blown off and re-attached. That's rated a 20% disability by the VA. This guy got someone to "code" his football injury at 30%.


If I have mischaracterized the situation, and no medical input is involved, then my objection fails. But one cannot simply claim that all doctors are crooks to make a counter-objection. Doing so throws out everyone's claim, including that of the Congresswoman herself (her claim about phantom pain).

Again, I didn't claim all doctors were crooks. It was your hypothetical. I put a degree of blame on the doctor, but much more on the VA and still more on Castillo.


The proper question for Duckworthy would be, "What medical school did you graduate from?"

Again, check out her statements. She's comparing a subject she knows rather well - her own disabilities and her own (probably extensive) dealings with the VA. I don't see where that requires qualification as a doctor any more than I think that anyone's status (in this thread or in the hearings) as a veteran makes them above reproach or an expert on anything other than subjects they, themselves, are experts in.

marplots
10th July 2013, 04:08 AM
Maybe there should be an innocent until proven guilty clause in play.

I hope he sues her for slander.

NoahFence
10th July 2013, 04:14 AM
The Navy is armed, for sure. But if you think catching bullets is the only qualifier to be considered a vet, then that's your bag.

Nah, he thinks high school football players should be considered vets.

Foolmewunz
10th July 2013, 04:15 AM
Maybe there should be an innocent until proven guilty clause in play.

There is. He's not in jail yet, is he?

I hope he sues her for slander.

I think his lawyers may have other things to worry about right now. And which statement would you characterize as slander? Please quote the statement.

Diogenes
10th July 2013, 04:26 AM
...Suddenly, I am suffering from PTSD from too many hours of solid plant watch. (The one where you just look at the needle, while standing, and can't leave.)

You had to mention the Heise gauge...now I have PTSD, too, from recovered memories of that watch. I hope you're pleased with yourself.

newyorkguy
10th July 2013, 06:55 AM
Maybe there should be an innocent until proven guilty clause in play.

I hope he sues her for slander.

First, the session on the Youtube video is the investigative phase of the hearing. How else would she -- or any of them -- get the information they want unless they ask leading questions and make accusations? It's the same as a police detective rejecting someone's protestations of innocence and saying to them, "You're lying about that, right?"

I would also ask you the same thing I asked the OP. Where in the eight minute session do you think Duckworth slanders Castillo? If you could point specifically to something it would be helpful in understanding your argument. Link (http://www.shakesville.com/2013/06/rep-tammy-duckworth-boom.html)

marplots
10th July 2013, 08:17 AM
First, the session on the Youtube video is the investigative phase of the hearing. How else would she -- or any of them -- get the information they want unless they ask leading questions and make accusations? It's the same as a police detective rejecting someone's protestations of innocence and saying to them, "You're lying about that, right?"

I would also ask you the same thing I asked the OP. Where in the eight minute session do you think Duckworth slanders Castillo? If you could point specifically to something it would be helpful in understanding your argument. Link (http://www.shakesville.com/2013/06/rep-tammy-duckworth-boom.html)

The police do it in private. She did it in public. But maybe there's immunity anyhow.

Here are some tidbits that might be slanderous:
"Why didn't you, Mr. Castillo, tell the VA that your doctor's note to them was inaccurate when you knew that it was?"

"Mr. Castillo. Shame on you. You may not have broken any laws. We're not sure yet; you did misrepresent to the SBA, but you certainly broke the trust of this great nation. You broke the trust of veterans."

"He put a tourniquet on himself and crawled forward. He is who played through the pain, Mr. Castillo. You did not. You took advantage of the system."

But isn't it plain, based on the posts in this thread, that many people get the impression from her speech that Castillo is a liar, a jerk, or worse? Surely that would count as slanderous?

NoahFence
10th July 2013, 08:28 AM
But isn't it plain, based on the posts in this thread, that many people get the impression from her speech that Castillo is a liar, a jerk, or worse? Surely that would count as slanderous?

Not slander if it's true.

Diogenes
10th July 2013, 08:36 AM
....
But isn't it plain, based on the posts in this thread, that many people get the impression from her speech that Castillo is a liar, a jerk, or worse? Surely that would count as slanderous?

Not from her speech but from the apparent facts, in my case. He used a technicality to gain a preferred status. She even states that she's not sure if he's done anything illegal rather than "maliciously" creating a falsehood in order to harm him...since it was televised we're talking libel, though, right?

He was able to participate in competitive sports long after his "service-connected injury". That seems that his "injury" wasn't debilitating in any way, shape or form and appears obvious to the most casual observer. I'm sure there will be an investigation of that.

newyorkguy
10th July 2013, 09:37 AM
The police do it in private. She did it in public. But maybe there's immunity anyhow.

Here are some tidbits that might be slanderous:
"Why didn't you, Mr. Castillo, tell the VA that your doctor's note to them was inaccurate when you knew that it was?"

"Mr. Castillo. Shame on you. You may not have broken any laws. We're not sure yet; you did misrepresent to the SBA, but you certainly broke the trust of this great nation. You broke the trust of veterans."

"He put a tourniquet on himself and crawled forward. He is who played through the pain, Mr. Castillo. You did not. You took advantage of the system."

But isn't it plain, based on the posts in this thread, that many people get the impression from her speech that Castillo is a liar, a jerk, or worse? Surely that would count as slanderous?

I appreciate your taking the time to list the parts you find objectionable. For me, given the existing accusations and circumstances surrounding Castillo's case, they seem pretty mild.

marplots
10th July 2013, 12:09 PM
Not from her speech but from the apparent facts, in my case. He used a technicality to gain a preferred status. She even states that she's not sure if he's done anything illegal rather than "maliciously" creating a falsehood in order to harm him...since it was televised we're talking libel, though, right?

Don't know, I thought print was libel. But in any case, her point about "not knowing" makes it stronger for his claim (should he bring one).

I agree with the OP - this was a smackdown. That too, at least in a public venue, should be the basis for a suit. But, without looking it up, my instinct tells me that Congresspeople are probably immune. After all, they write the laws on this stuff.

What would be really cool is if Castillo got immunity to testify so that he gets to keep his claim in place and she gets to make the point she wants. Call me a cynic, but I always suspect stagecraft.

Diogenes
10th July 2013, 12:20 PM
Don't know, I thought print was libel. But in any case, her point about "not knowing" makes it stronger for his claim (should he bring one).

I agree with the OP - this was a smackdown. That too, at least in a public venue, should be the basis for a suit. But, without looking it up, my instinct tells me that Congresspeople are probably immune. After all, they write the laws on this stuff.

What would be really cool is if Castillo got immunity to testify so that he gets to keep his claim in place and she gets to make the point she wants. Call me a cynic, but I always suspect stagecraft.

Since TV can reach as large if not a larger audience than print and is a "permanent record" it would be libel.

His claim is BS. If an investigation can prove that he knew it was BS then he should be prosecuted...otherwise his claim could just be dropped. (Common sense perspective, if there's credible evidence for some bizarre latent injury that failed to surface for nearly 3 decades of normal living which included strenuous activity then I guess that can be considered legitimate...a twisted ankle is hardly Agent Orange exposure or the like, though...or even occupational exposure to ionizing radiation.)

JoeTheJuggler
10th July 2013, 12:39 PM
Her service versus Castillo's service is not relevant?

To the question of whether or not Castillo defrauded the VA? No. Duckworth's service record is completely irrelevant.

Her phantom foot pain is also irrelevant to whether or not Castillo's pain constitutes a legitimate disability.


I don't recall anyone saying only real heroes are entitled to VA benefits.

I do. And the REAL was in all caps.

I suspect if you asked most members of the military past or present if military prep school cadets are considered to be on active duty many of the members -- like me -- would answer no they are not. I have learned that it is considered active duty. I'm suggesting it's not widely known. You should expect people are not going to know it.
OK, but before they post that they know for sure it doesn't count as active duty, they could spend like 30 seconds googling it to check.

Again, the position Sabrina was asserting is a preposterous one: that Castillo got VA benefits even though he never served even one day of active duty.


Who should make the criminal case? The members of the Oversight Committee? They're not prosecutors. They're legislators who are in the fact finding phase of their investigation.
The law is enforced by the executive branch. The proper role of legislative investigations is to learn about an issue in order to write legislation.

But I guarantee you, no one is going to propose legislation that will deny VA benefits to those who attend the U.S. Military Academy Prep School.

An exception to this division of authority are the cases when there is an investigation into government activity (usually, in fact, these are investigations into Executive Branch scandals--such as Iran-Contra, Watergate, and so on.


For anyone to suggest Duckworth's service in a war zone, flying combat missions, being shot down, losing two legs and possibly her right arm, is essentially no different than a teenaged boy attending a US military academy for nine months...
No different in terms of whether or not they both qualify for VA benefits? I'm not sure what you're asserting here. Are you proposing that we enact legislation that denies VA benefits to those whose active duty consists of attending the USMA Prep School?

Surely you're not suggesting that any disability that doesn't rise to whatever standard Duckworth's achieved be denied?

How exactly is Duckworth's service record and disability relevant to the question of whether or not Castillo deserves VA disability?


Most people will never agree that their service is in any way comparable. I can't believe most military people would agree. I suspect many combat veterans would get angry at that comparison.
But comparable in what way? Are you saying most people think that attendance at the USMA Prep School should not be considered active duty? And do you think based on this guesswork of public opinion Duckworth or Issa should (or will) introduce legislation to make that so?

Will that legislation say that if anyone whose service record isn't "comparable" to Duckworth's cannot receive VA benefits?

Again, how is Duckworth's record or disability relevant? Should we deny Duckworth's benefits if we can find someone with an even better or more heroic service record? How exactly does this argument for the relevance of Duckworth's record work?

JoeTheJuggler
10th July 2013, 12:48 PM
Don't know, I thought print was libel. But in any case, her point about "not knowing" makes it stronger for his claim (should he bring one).

I agree with the OP - this was a smackdown. That too, at least in a public venue, should be the basis for a suit.

I disagree. To win a slander suit, you have to prove that the statements of fact were false and that they did damage. (And also that the person making the false statements failed to do reasonable research to verify the false statements of fact.)

I don't think Castillo could come close to doing that. Most of the "smackdown" can easily be framed as statements of opinion and not fact.

I'm a big believer in First Amendment free speech rights. I think it ought be very difficult to make a case for libel or slander (and it is). Think of the alternative! The threat of libel and slander suits would have a chilling effect on speech--especially on voicing opinions.

NoahFence
10th July 2013, 12:48 PM
Will that legislation say that if anyone whose service record isn't "comparable" to Duckworth's cannot receive VA benefits?

Have the suits figure out the language. But it should come down to this:

If you attend the prep school and hurt your ankle playing football, and then blow off any semblance of a Military career while playing football at another college, only to magically have the disability return 28 years later when it suits you in order to get a ton of money from the government, you are not able to claim disability.

Sound good?

JoeTheJuggler
10th July 2013, 12:52 PM
But isn't it plain, based on the posts in this thread, that many people get the impression from her speech that Castillo is a liar, a jerk, or worse? Surely that would count as slanderous?

Those all sound like personal opinions to me. The First Amendment protects our right to express such opinions.

JoeTheJuggler
10th July 2013, 12:58 PM
Have the suits figure out the language. But it should come down to this:

If you attend the prep school and hurt your ankle playing football, and then blow off any semblance of a Military career while playing football at another college, only to magically have the disability return 28 years later when it suits you in order to get a ton of money from the government, you are not able to claim disability.

Sound good?

I promise you, it won't happen--even without the excessive arm-waving terminology and loaded words.

Political opponents can easily spin that legislation as not supporting the military.

For example, no bill that would deny VA benefits to anyone who is not career military will ever become law. That's absurd.

(FWIW, Duckworth was anticipating a post-military career in politics even before she was deployed to Iraq, so this absurd standard would actually deny even her VA benefits.)

If what they're talking about it specific tightening of requirements for medical evidence of disability, I'd have to see the actual specifics.

JoeTheJuggler
10th July 2013, 01:02 PM
Have the suits figure out the language.

Saying you've got a proposal except for the language is hard to distinguish from not having a proposal.

NoahFence
10th July 2013, 01:10 PM
For example, no bill that would deny VA benefits to anyone who is not career military will ever become law. That's absurd.

Absolutely agree.

Castillo wasn't career military.

NoahFence
10th July 2013, 01:11 PM
Saying you've got a proposal except for the language is hard to distinguish from not having a proposal.

okee doke.

:confused:

I'm not making the proposal.

marplots
10th July 2013, 04:24 PM
Those all sound like personal opinions to me. The First Amendment protects our right to express such opinions.

I think the nuance is whether you express them in public and whether the person you are calling out is a private person (as opposed to a celebrity). But, if you agree that such a thing as slander is possible, surely there must be some way around the first amendment? Otherwise, there would never be any slander/libel suits.

Stuff I still don't know:
1) Do Congresspeople have immunity (I think they probably do)?
2) Did she actually say false things about him?
3) Would he even bother pursuing the matter?

JoeTheJuggler
10th July 2013, 04:51 PM
I think the nuance is whether you express them in public and whether the person you are calling out is a private person (as opposed to a celebrity).

You've got case law to back that up? (Celebrities have won slander cases.)

I think the issue here is whether a plaintiff could ever prove these statements to be false. Whether a person is a "jerk" is simply an opinion--and therefore not something that can be said to be true or false.


But, if you agree that such a thing as slander is possible, surely there must be some way around the first amendment? Otherwise, there would never be any slander/libel suits.

Yes, it's possible, but it requires proving the very burdensome elements I stated above. (Statements must be false; plaintiff has to prove damages; the person making a harmful false statement has to have failed to do reasonable research into the truth of the statement.) And I don't think Castillo has even a remote chance of doing that.

I haven't seen any news stories on it, but is Castillo even saying he means to file such a suit?

Foolmewunz
10th July 2013, 04:56 PM
You've got case law to back that up? (Celebrities have won slander cases.)

I think the issue here is whether a plaintiff could ever prove these statements to be false. Whether a person is a "jerk" is simply an opinion--and therefore not something that can be said to be true or false.




Yes, it's possible, but it requires proving the very burdensome elements I stated above. (Statements must be false; plaintiff has to prove damages; the person making a harmful false statement has to have failed to do reasonable research into the truth of the statement.) And I don't think Castillo has even a remote chance of doing that.

I haven't seen any news stories on it, but is Castillo even saying he means to file such a suit?

Arrrrgggghhh!

I shouldn't have responded to that first mention in Marplot's post. Congress persons cannot be sued for slander.

JoeTheJuggler
10th July 2013, 04:57 PM
I'm not making the proposal.

That's pretty much my point: neither you nor anyone else is making any such legislative proposal.

So again, what is the point of Duckworth's smackdown?

There's just some self-righteous venting going on without any possible solution to any perceived problem being suggested. And part of the reason I'm asking about the point of the smackdown is that I think people who are outraged at Castillo and applauding Duckworth are ignorant of some key facts and/or haven't thought things through enough to consider what they're indignant about in real terms.

And yes, I include you, NoahFence, in that group since you were one of those who presumed that Castillo had never been on active duty. (Your post about "REAL heroes" and burial at Arlington.)

marplots
10th July 2013, 05:45 PM
I haven't seen any news stories on it, but is Castillo even saying he means to file such a suit?

Not that I know of. I mentioned it only to support the idea that she bullied him.


And, I think this makes it all moot:
Arrrrgggghhh!

I shouldn't have responded to that first mention in Marplot's post. Congress persons cannot be sued for slander.


Thanks.

NoahFence
11th July 2013, 05:49 AM
And yes, I include you, NoahFence, in that group since you were one of those who presumed that Castillo had never been on active duty. (Your post about "REAL heroes" and burial at Arlington.)

Hang on...

Are you implying that this guy IS a real hero?

Diogenes
11th July 2013, 07:10 AM
...
I lose what, exactly...

credibility as rational, I guess.

kmortis
11th July 2013, 07:45 AM
Keep it civil, keep it on topic; the topic is not the other posters.

newyorkguy
11th July 2013, 04:46 PM
I have a theory, an opinion, in that I wonder if part of the negative reaction to Rep. Tammy Duckworth is that maybe she's a bit unsettling to some people? This legless Amerasian woman who complains she may yet lose her right arm. People aren't ready for that.

Maybe we're used to veterans who, having lost a leg or both legs, are humble, low-key, thankful that they have regained an everyday life. And they don't like to talk about it. They know it makes other people feel awkward, uneasy. They're sensitive to our feelings.

Duckworth is more in-your-face about her injuries. Like she's saying, "Yeah I lost my legs. Deal with it, I've had to." When she grouses about the missing limb pain she suffers it brings you into her world. Maybe you don't want to be there.

I'm not attacking anyone here. I'm just wondering if maybe she triggers some deep-seated unease in people. I have to admit, after watching the tape, besides everything else, she makes me feel a little vulnerable. She makes me realize how fragile we all are.

When I listen to her she seems so ordinary that I have to think, probably once upon a time she probably believed nothing too horrendous could or would happen to her. We all think that, don't we? She makes me realize, bad things can happen. Nobody's immune. It happened to her, it could happen to anyone.

Is that why people hate her? :(

marplots
11th July 2013, 04:52 PM
Since I've been criticizing the incident, I should make it plain I don't hate her. I don't like her either. "Duckworth" is just a label on a face.

The important thing is what she said and why she said it. Nothing to do with her status as a veteran, her disability or anything else. Congressman X berates Citizen Y - that's enough. All the emotional baggage doesn't add anything.

NoahFence
11th July 2013, 04:54 PM
I don't think people by and large hate her. I would hope that the vast majority of people, especially military people, applaud her.

There are always people on the fringe. There were people supporting Dzokar Tsarnev at the court in Boston yesterday. Their reasons for supporting a known terrorist may be personal, and inside. They have their reasons. Who knows or cares what they are.

NoahFence
11th July 2013, 04:55 PM
Since I've been criticizing the incident, I should make it plain I don't hate her. I don't like her either. "Duckworth" is just a label on a face.

The important thing is what she said and why she said it. Nothing to do with her status as a veteran, her disability or anything else. Congressman X berates Citizen Y - that's enough. All the emotional baggage doesn't add anything.

But if all he gets is a public berating - I mean, isn't that pretty cool if you're him?

sarge
11th July 2013, 05:10 PM
Since I've been criticizing the incident, I should make it plain I don't hate her. I don't like her either. "Duckworth" is just a label on a face.

The important thing is what she said and why she said it. Nothing to do with her status as a veteran, her disability or anything else. Congressman X berates Citizen Y - that's enough. All the emotional baggage doesn't add anything.

Hate her? How does someone make such a silly assumption? Certainly it isn't supported by the actual words of any of her rightful detractors to this thread.

She was an opportunistic ass with cameras on. Before that, she performed about as well as a million or so other people in Iraq and Afghanistan. While performing adequately as a Soldier, she suffered horrendous injuries. She seems quite willing to use these injuries to her advantage in her current career....much like Castillo.

See, the emotional baggage serves a purpose. It distracts from the truth about Duckworth. And Castillo.

NoahFence
11th July 2013, 05:19 PM
Hate her? How does someone make such a silly assumption? Certainly it isn't supported by the actual words of any of her rightful detractors to this thread.

She was an opportunistic ass with cameras on. Before that, she performed about as well as a million or so other people in Iraq and Afghanistan. While performing adequately as a Soldier, she suffered horrendous injuries. She seems quite willing to use these injuries to her advantage in her current career....much like Castillo.

See, the emotional baggage serves a purpose. It distracts from the truth about Duckworth. And Castillo.


LOL!!!

Yea, just like him.

newyorkguy
11th July 2013, 06:54 PM
Members of Congress have a long history of putting witnesses on the hot seat. The practice didn't start with Tammy Duckworth and it won't end with her.

I recently read about a Congressman from the Midwest whose constituents were angry because the Burlington Northern Railroad had cancelled their local passenger train. This was back around 1970. The congressman wrote that by coincidence several BN officials were scheduled to appear at a hearing the Congressman was holding. He said he used the occasion to "beat them up" on behalf of his constituents.

Below is a link to a news article where counsel for a construction union complains that congressional committees should not be allowed to continue their "public badgering of witnesses."

The article is from November 1961. ;)

Link (http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=2xgzAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vTIHAAAAIBAJ&pg=6358%2C2516028)

Darth Rotor
11th July 2013, 07:54 PM
I can't comment on this issue ... I am very biased for Tammy Duckworth. Why? She's my kinda people ...
Military Helicopter Pilot
Vet





Aaaah, screw it ...

Go get him, Tammy, and put a flight boot up his butt as far as you can! :cool:

thaiboxerken
11th July 2013, 10:29 PM
Nah, he thinks high school football players should be considered vets.

That makes me wonder how he'd feel if the guy didn't play football but claimed disability for a sprained ankle he recovered from while marching in the band.

thaiboxerken
11th July 2013, 10:32 PM
You had to mention the Heise gauge...now I have PTSD, too, from recovered memories of that watch. I hope you're pleased with yourself.

We can go make our claims together!

On my ship, one guy walked off that watch when his relief was 20 minutes late.
That guy was discharged extremely quick. I was SRO at the time and it was unreal to me to see the Heise guage watch walk past the control room waving goodbye. The officer was an ensign and he was very freaked out. Maybe I should get him to apply for VA benefits too.

thaiboxerken
11th July 2013, 10:37 PM
I can't comment on this issue ... I am very biased for Tammy Duckworth. Why? She's my kinda people ...
Military Helicopter Pilot
Vet





Aaaah, screw it ...

Go get him, Tammy, and put a flight boot up his butt as far as you can! :cool:

Maybe I'm suffering from confirmation bias, but you seem to be the only conservative on Tammy's side.

I have to wonder if the other conservatives would feel different if Tammy was a Republican.

marplots
11th July 2013, 10:54 PM
I have to wonder if the other conservatives would feel different if Tammy was a Republican.

You mean she's not a republican? That changes everything!

sarge
12th July 2013, 05:01 AM
Maybe I'm suffering from confirmation bias, but you seem to be the only conservative on Tammy's side.

I have to wonder if the other conservatives would feel different if Tammy was a Republican.

You are suffering from a misperception.

I am neither a social conservative nor a Republican. I oppose Duckworth the Representative because she acted the ass. I was not aware of her party affiliation - it did not occur to me that anyone would be quite that partisan - until your post made it clear some would.

Diogenes
12th July 2013, 05:54 AM
...I was not aware of her party affiliation - it did not occur to me that anyone would be quite that partisan - until your post made it clear some would.

You've not been following NC politics?

NoahFence
12th July 2013, 05:57 AM
You are suffering from a misperception.

I am neither a social conservative nor a Republican. I oppose Duckworth the Representative because she acted the ass. I was not aware of her party affiliation - it did not occur to me that anyone would be quite that partisan - until your post made it clear some would.

Is that vitriol doled out to any other congressmen/women who take others to task in the chamber?

sarge
12th July 2013, 07:10 AM
Is that vitriol doled out to any other congressmen/women who take others to task in the chamber?

No. It is doled to all other Congresspersons that grandstand in such a way as this one did, however. I'd react to any Representative that attempted to unfairly embarrass a citizen in such a manner. She bullied a citizen and she did it in a sf serving manner. And she's of my party.

sarge
12th July 2013, 07:13 AM
You've not been following NC politics?

I have, and I am aware that representatives like Duckworth routinely act in such a manner. I was not aware, before Ken pointed it out, that there might be a partisan component to the irrational defense of Duckworth.

newyorkguy
12th July 2013, 07:39 AM
What I don't understand is the contention that Duckworth was only trying to score political points in her questioning of Castillo. She's a career politician so she certainly is going to do what she has to do to advance her career. If that seemed the only reason she acted outraged, yes I would agree it was callous. I just don't see how that fits the actual facts of Tammy Duckworth.

Before running for office Duckworth served as Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs from 2006 to 2009. By all accounts she worked very hard to improve services for veterans while reducing costs. She worked to create a tax credit for employers who hired Veterans, established a first-in-the-nation 24/7 crisis hotline for Veterans, and developed innovative programs to improve Veterans’ access to housing and health care. Link (http://duckworth.house.gov/about/full-biography)

In 2009 President Barack Obama appointed Duckworth Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs. At the VA, "Duckworth led an initiative to end homelessness among Veterans. She created the Office of Online Communications to improve the VA’s accessibility, especially among young Veterans, and also worked to address the unique challenges that Native American and female Veterans face."

I don't understand why anyone would consider it out of the question that she was genuinely angry with Braulio Castillo.

The other thing I don't get is-

On the one hand someone labels Castillo a "sleazeball," but then complains that he wasn't treated courteously. :confused:

Diogenes
12th July 2013, 08:47 AM
...I was not aware, before Ken pointed it out, that there might be a partisan component to the irrational defense of Duckworth.

Ah, you're more optimistic that I am or I'm more jaded than you with the high degree of partisanship that infects politics from the national to the local level that seems to have had increased over the past several years.

marplots
12th July 2013, 09:48 AM
Is that vitriol doled out to any other congressmen/women who take others to task in the chamber?

Let me see the video so I can decide. I seem to remember Enron execs getting a grilling...

The thread started with a video and the comments (at least mine) sprang largely from just that video. In fact, I quoted from it in my first post in this thread. It's not so easy to make it a general rule, since not all vitriol comes off the same way. Some are better at it than others.

newyorkguy
12th July 2013, 12:21 PM
The specter of a member of Congress or a Senator disparaging and practicing verbal judo on a witness is a time-honored tradition and has been for probably 200 years. Because some people seem to be unaware that this goes on does not change reality. And it's a partisan tactic.

To:
Sen. John McCain

February 2, 2013

What utter, shameful crap, John.

Rather than ask Chuck Hegel questions that are actually relevant to the job of Secretary of Defense, you spent the time badgering him while strutting your ideology.

To think there was a time when I genuinely admired you.

Either you are incompetent or you just wanted to use the session before cameras to make noise about past policies you didn't like.

Grow up--or stop spending my tax money.

Rochester , NY Link (https://ssl.congress.org/congressorg/bio/userletter/?id=192&letter_id=9216889261)

Apple's CEO, CFO and legal counsel were impaneled by Congress on Tuesday and forced to answer questions, under oath, about the tax benefits and loopholes their company used to avoid a higher tax liability in 2011.

Sen. Rand Paul came to Apple's defense...[and said] he was "offended at the tone and tenor" of the hearing and then stated, "I am offended by a $4 trillion government bullying, berating and badgering one of America's greatest success stories." Link (http://www.thereporter.com/opinion/ci_23305561/jeriann-eakin-attacking-apple-not-among-congresss-best)

I could post an endless series of these stories.

marplots
12th July 2013, 03:32 PM
The specter of a member of Congress or a Senator disparaging and practicing verbal judo on a witness is a time-honored tradition and has been for probably 200 years. Because some people seem to be unaware that this goes on does not change reality. And it's a partisan tactic.

Link (https://ssl.congress.org/congressorg/bio/userletter/?id=192&letter_id=9216889261)

Link (http://www.thereporter.com/opinion/ci_23305561/jeriann-eakin-attacking-apple-not-among-congresss-best)

I could post an endless series of these stories.

Does this mean you now agree that Duckworth's actions were inappropriate, since they are of the same type as your examples?

sarge
12th July 2013, 03:37 PM
Does this mean you now agree that Duckworth's actions were inappropriate, since they are of the same type as your examples?

I think his point was the opposite.....that if more people are douches, it is okay to be a douche.

newyorkguy
12th July 2013, 03:46 PM
Does this mean you now agree that Duckworth's actions were inappropriate, since they are of the same type as your examples?

No it doesn't mean I think Rep. Duckworth's actions were in anyway inappropriate. I specifically gave my opinion on that.

The specter of a member of Congress or a Senator disparaging and practicing verbal judo on a witness is a time-honored tradition and has been for probably 200 years.
...


I've previously given the reasons usually cited as to why they do it. It dramatizes an issue in a way that will catch the public's attention and, hopefully, garner their support.

You didn't know people called before Congress are put on the hot seat? You think Duckworth dreamed up this tactic? Okay. You're learned something!

marplots
12th July 2013, 04:59 PM
No it doesn't mean I think Rep. Duckworth's actions were in anyway inappropriate. I specifically gave my opinion on that.



I've previously given the reasons usually cited as to why they do it. It dramatizes an issue in a way that will catch the public's attention and, hopefully, garner their support.

You didn't know people called before Congress are put on the hot seat? You think Duckworth dreamed up this tactic? Okay. You're learned something!

So, in your opinion, it was stagecraft and she was feigning outrage to illustrate a point? That was something I suspected might be going on too.

NoahFence
12th July 2013, 05:28 PM
So, in your opinion, it was stagecraft and she was feigning outrage to illustrate a point? That was something I suspected might be going on too.

No, I believe that her outrage was both personal due to her intimate connection with actual disabled vets, and I believe that it was entirely appropriate. She was speaking rather eloquently for those who didn't have that same forum to do so.

I get the sense that if this was in a bar, or a park, there'd be no irrational hatred spewed in her direction.

Is that accurate?

leftysergeant
12th July 2013, 05:32 PM
I have a VA-rated disability and a retirement card for a bicycle accident in which I messed up my shoulder. My personal fitness program went horribly wrong while I was on active duty.

Castillo was able to play foorball again. Even healthy young high school aged guys are running on borrowed time if they paly football. A friend of mine got all the football players from one school to come down and sign up. One out of ten made it because they had blown out their knees.

I call shenanigans.

Sick 'em, Tammy.

newyorkguy
12th July 2013, 06:46 PM
So, in your opinion, it was stagecraft and she was feigning outrage to illustrate a point? That was something I suspected might be going on too.

I don't hold that opinion and that wasn't what I meant.

As I posted earlier today:
What I don't understand is the contention that Duckworth was only trying to score political points in her questioning of Castillo.
<snip>
Before running for office Duckworth served as Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs from 2006 to 2009.
<snip>
I don't understand why anyone would consider it out of the question that she was genuinely angry with Braulio Castillo.

...

The message after that was concerned with the reasons usually cited as to why members of Congress and Senators -- not especially talking about Duckworth as you misconstrued -- oftentimes put witnesses on the hot seat.

The Congressman or Senator can be genuinely angry or not so genuinely angry. Even if they are genuinely angry most of them have enough self-discipline that they're not going to badger a witness unless it serves some purpose. The purpose normally is, to dramatize an issue in a way that will catch the public's attention and, hopefully, garner their support.

The theory seems to be advanced here that there was something unusual about what Tammy Duckworth did. Only there's not. I was observing that people are basing this argument largely on the fact they don't seem very familiar with how Congress works.

marplots
12th July 2013, 07:24 PM
No, I believe that her outrage was both personal due to her intimate connection with actual disabled vets, and I believe that it was entirely appropriate. She was speaking rather eloquently for those who didn't have that same forum to do so.

I get the sense that if this was in a bar, or a park, there'd be no irrational hatred spewed in her direction.

Is that accurate?

I think it is. I've read worse on this forum. It seemed like bullying to me, and I don't see how the observation that "other Congresspeople do the same" makes it less foul. If others are doing it, they shouldn't.

I am more prone to forgive them when they go after each other, but a citizen without recourse to respond or put their case to the media? Too much. Too much like an abuse of power. I get the feeling in here about the ends justifying the means, but I still think it's wrong.

She even outed a private medical matter in service of her point, as well as, I assume, the anonymity we should expect when applying for veteran's benefits. She basically called the guy a fraud and then cut him off when he tried to explain. Even if he's guilty, it's still inappropriate.

newyorkguy
12th July 2013, 08:24 PM
It's amazing how people can see the same event and have totally different reactions.

Here are some tidbits that might be slanderous:
"Why didn't you, Mr. Castillo, tell the VA that your doctor's note to them was inaccurate when you knew that it was?"

Slanderous? Why didn't he tell the VA his doctor's note was inaccurate?

"Mr. Castillo. Shame on you. You may not have broken any laws. We're not sure yet; you did misrepresent to the SBA, but you certainly broke the trust of this great nation. You broke the trust of veterans."
Shame on you. You broke the trust of veterans. That's over the top criticism?

"He put a tourniquet on himself and crawled forward. He is who played through the pain, Mr. Castillo. You did not. You took advantage of the system."
She accuses him of taking advantage of the system. That's pretty much why Castillo was called to the hearing, wasn't it? Slander or stating the obvious?...
She basically called the guy a fraud and then cut him off when he tried to explain. Even if he's guilty, it's still inappropriate.

Cut him off when he tried to explain
MR. CASTILLO: Yes, ma'am, so, one of my doctors that submitted letters so, as part of the injury you have to establish that it's chronic and reoccurring [sic], so when I returned home to San Diego, my doctor from San Diego had also returned—had said that he had treated me for the foot injury that I suffered on active duty. When I moved to Las Vegas, a couple years later, that doctor submitted that he continued to treat me for a left broken foot injury. Finally, when I moved to Virginia, I went to a doctor and that it continued to hurt, and he established that—so Dr. Sam Wilson, who ironically was also stationed at Monmouth—

REP. DUCKWORTH: I have to cut you off, because I'm running out of time. I'm sorry.

MR. CASTILLO: So, I just want to—just, so, let me finish—so, in talking to Dr. Wilson who himself is a disabled veteran, and very familiar with Fort Monmouth in that his son had went there as well and played football, he actually was the one that talked to me about, "Hey this may be something that is connected." And I believe I told him that I was first—[crosstalk]