“A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many.”
By Robert L. Rosebrock
Over the past couple years we’ve been hearing a lot about retired U.S. Army General Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and his promise to end Veteran homelessness by 2015.
While the Secretary’s plan is idealistic in proposition, it is not realistic in expectation. That’s because this is not what it seems to the majority of the people.
The VA’s unilateral mission is to spend billions-of-dollars in camouflaged welfare rent and food stamps in order to get homeless Veterans off the street and out of the public eye.
More specifically, the VA’s stratagem is to deceptively reduce the number of homeless Veterans by warehousing them in cheap ramshackle apartments located in seedy neighborhoods and managed by dubious non-profit corporations.
Bottom line, the VA’s veiled goal to end Veteran homelessness is nothing more than a government-funded welfare scam benefitting a few “non-profit” slumlords while dispossessing a multitude of war-injured and impoverished Veterans by depriving them of the quality housing and supportive care they rightly deserve and so desperately need.
Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what this is all about because it is being conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many.
Under General Eric Shinseki’s command, the VA is unquestionably conducting a racket as forthrightly described by Major General Smedley Butler more than 75 years ago.
The difference is that General Butler opposed for-profit corporate racketeering during war, while General Shinseki supports non-profit corporate racketeering after war.
The Biggest Land-Fraud Scam in American History
The Los Angeles National Veterans Home is the largest VA facility in the nation.
On March 3, 1888, Jones P. Jones and Arcadia B. de Baker agreed to bequeath 600 acres of land to the Government of the United States to be held in Trust on behalf of America’s Veterans. Two days later the Deed was ratified by all parties that was to forever establish these grounds as a safe, sacred, and sovereign sanctuary for disabled and disadvantaged Veterans.
In compliance with an 1887 Act of Congress, the Veterans’ land gift contains a restrictive covenant in the Deed that legally obligated the Federal Government “To locate, establish, construct, and permanently maintain a branch of said National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.”
This inviolable clause created a Charitable Trust that guarantees America’s Veterans shall always have a safe and quiet place to call “Home” where they can heal from their military injuries with dignity.
Today, there are 11 buildings on the grounds of the Los Angeles National Veterans Home that have been designated as “vacant” while 25,000 Veterans remain homeless.
In addition to the vacant buildings, 40 more are designated as “historic,” in spite of these antiquated, prison-like fortresses having a morbid history of sinister abuse against disabled Veterans who suffered from severe mental injuries after World War I, World War II, Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Back then, the VA’s inhumane treatment included performing lobotomies and other barbaric experiments on America’s Veterans. Today, the VA uses mood-altering drugs to experiment on our Veterans and then disposes them to fight their battles alone.
Even with billions-of-dollars at his disposal, Secretary Shinseki refuses to spend $1 toward demolishing this shameful and gruesome past and initiating the construction of new and modern housing for today and tomorrow’s disabled Veterans.
While Veteran homelessness in Los Angeles remains in a state-of-emergency crisis, the Secretary also refuses to spend $1 for temporary shelter with either tented or pre-fabricated structures.
The man who was once called “The Soldier’s General” has disdainfully refused to honor his fiduciary duty to permanently maintain these grounds as a National Home for war-injured and disfavored Veterans.
Instead, he has broken faith and lost the trust of his fellow Veterans by concealing our disabled and disadvantaged Veterans through welfare scams while exploiting desecrated and dishonored buildings as “heritage tourism” across the entire Veterans property, in consortium with National Park Services and a local homeowner group.
The General’s insensitivity toward fellow Veterans in need of housing and care while misusing their sacred property, violates every measure of military loyalty and camaraderie and makes a mockery of “Duty, Honor, Country.”
Even with the Secretary’s multi-billion dollar welfare program, the homeless Veteran problem has only gotten worse in Los Angeles and it will continue to worsen with the impact of returning Iraqi and Afghanistan Veterans who have lifelong war injuries.
Instead of investing in quality housing and supportive care for disabled and destitute Veterans, the VA has misappropriated these hallowed grounds by leasing land and buildings to private, non-profit, special-interest groups with no transparency or accountability for the money generated or spent.
A partial list of Veterans land misappropriated by the VA for non-Veteran use:
A public dog park, a public playground and recreation park, a public community park, a public golf course, a public botanical garden, a public farmer’s market, two Veteran theaters for public entertainment, an athletic field for a wealthy private school, a private soccer field for a wealthy youth soccer organization, a state-of-the-art baseball diamond for a major university, parking for a public museum and professional golf tournaments, private celebrity fundraisers and public marathons and bike racing events, etc.
The National Veterans Home is not what it seems to the majority of the people because this is no longer a sacred and sovereign sanctuary for disabled and disadvantaged Veterans.
Perversely, the VA has disinherited and exiled needy Veterans and embraced non-Veteran special-interest entities. Meanwhile, tens-of-thousands of America’s Military Veterans have been forced to live homeless and hungry in back-alley squalor.
As a result of this malevolent practice by our own government, Los Angeles has the largest homeless Veterans population in the United States.
And so it is …the biggest VA facility in American history is no longer a respectful and revered Home for disabled and homeless Veterans.
Instead, it has become a national embarrassment and the home of the biggest land-fraud scam in American history.
Only a small inside group knows what this is all about because it is being conducted for the benefit of a very few opportunists at the expense of the very many disadvantaged Veterans.
This is a racket!
The Great Public Park Scam
While our Military Forces were fighting in the midst of the Iraqi and Afghanistan Wars, the VA leased 16 acres of Veterans property to a wealthy non-profit homeowner group to build a memorial park as a place for Veterans “to heal from their war injuries.”
This is not what it seems to the majority of the people because the so-called memorial park for Veterans will really be a public park “for the enjoyment and education of the entire community.”
Moreover, the haughty group has conspired with the National Park Services to sacrilegiously exploit the VA’s archaic structures as “heritage tourism,” in spite of their gruesome, morbid and atrocious history.
This land heist comprised of a no-bid lease arrangement manipulated by the VA’s top leadership in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, with the blessings of a powerful U.S. Congressional delegation and U.S. Senators.
This unprecedented arrangement was the culmination of wheeling-and-dealing behind closed doors that egregiously compromised the integrity of the Veterans Home by giving the affluent homeowner group a billion-dollar parcel of Veterans’ land “rent-free,” while Veterans’ healthcare services are seriously underfunded and a multitude of Veterans remain homeless.
Only a small group of insiders know what this is really about as government bureaucrats and complicit politicians reward a small group of wealthy and powerful homeowners at the expense of tens of thousands of impoverished and homeless Veterans.
This is a racket!
The Great Private School Scam
Adjacent to the Veterans Home is one of the most expensive private schools in the nation that caters to the children of some of the wealthiest parents in the nation.
The VA entered into a long-term “sharing agreement” that allows the private school to build a first-class athletic field on 21 acres of Veterans property.
This is not what it seems to the majority of the people because the VA’s sharing agreement for the athletic field is off limits to Veterans while the school pays privileged rent that is far below the market-rate.
Only a few insiders know what this land deal is all about. It benefits a small elitist school at the expense of the multitude of Veterans who are disabled, disadvantaged and homeless.
This is a racket!
The Great PGA Parking Scam
For nearly two decades, the VA has accommodated a privileged parking arrangement with the non-profit Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) during their annual golf tournament held at the swanky Riviera Country Club in the posh enclave of Pacific Palisades.
The PGA’s Northern Trust Open is not what it seems to the majority of the people because the VA bureaucrats sided with the wealthy residents of Pacific Palisades who do not want tournament attendees parking any cars on their streets, so a special arrangement was made to park cars on Veterans property a couple miles away and the attendees are shuttled back-and-forth to the Country Club in large tour buses.
This is an extremely secretive manipulation of Veterans property because the VA refuses to reveal how much or how little the PGA pays for this privilege.
Only a small inside group knows what this is about because it is conducted for the benefit of a few golf enthusiasts and wealthy homeowners at the expense of the many impoverished and homeless Veterans.
This is a racket!
The Great $50 Million Solar Panel Scam
The VA recently spent more than $50 million for a massive solar panel project that encompasses more than 50 acres of Veterans property to purportedly reduce the facility’s energy bill.
This is not what it seems to the majority of the people because it will take more than 35 years for the VA to recoup the cost of this colossal environmental scam and it will not remove one homeless Veteran from the dangerous streets of Los Angeles.
Instead of the VA investing in seriously needed shelter for thousands of homeless Veterans, this solar panel scam serves more as a carport to shelter VA employee vehicles than to benefit disabled and disadvantaged Veterans.
So, why does the VA overspend $50 million for an ineffective solar panel project to shelter cars but spends $0 on constructing temporary shelter for homeless Veterans?
Only a small group of insiders know what this is all about because it benefits a few non-profit, politically-connected environmentalist groups at the expense of a multitude of dispossessed Veterans who are forced to live homeless and hungry on the dangerous back streets of Los Angeles.
This is a racket!
The Great Oil Well Scam
These sacred grounds are so divinely blessed that there’s a lucrative oil well to ensure there would be self-funding resources to maintain the upkeep of the Home if necessary.
This is not what it seems to the majority of the people because the VA has leased the oil well reserve to private oil interests with the royalties going to the Department of Interior, thereby depriving more and more impoverished Veterans of seriously needed housing.
Only a small group of insiders know what this is all about because it benefits a very few oil profiteers at the expense of the multitude of disenfranchised Veterans who remain homeless and distraught.
This is a racket!
The Growing Number of Homeless Veterans
While homeless Veterans continue to be neglected and abused by the VA, Veteran homelessness has been exploited by the VA for the benefit of others.
Nobody can provide an actual number of homeless Veterans in Los Angeles, or in fact, across the nation. They can only make “guestimates” as homeless Veterans live in back-alleys, back seats of cars, in a friend’s basement or garage, under a bridge or behind a dumpster.
How can anyone realistically find and count “homeless Veterans”?
Nonetheless, the VA notoriously uses inflated numbers of homeless Veterans when it wants federal funding to laundry welfare rent into alleged non-profit housing projects, and then the VA deflates the number when it wants to show that their welfare scam is working and the Department needs more federal funding to keep the ruse going.
In a press release letter dated March 10, 2010, Toni Reinis, the former executive director of New Directions, Inc., a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for homeless Veterans headquartered in Los Angeles, declared: “There are an estimated 20,000 homeless Veterans in Los Angeles.”
While the malfeasance, mismanagement and corruption at the nation’s largest VA continues to grow and grow, so does the homeless Veteran population in Los Angeles, even with the Secretary’s heavily-funded welfare rent and food stamp program.
On June 16, 2011, the ‘Huffington Post’ featured an article titled “Homelessness In Los Angeles Drops — But Rises 24 Percent Among Veterans.” The article confirmed the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority report that “Homelessness among veterans [in Los Angeles] has shot up 24 percent since 2009.”
The Authority also reports that the number of homeless female military veterans in Los Angeles has “gone up 51 percent over two years.”
Based on Ms. Reinis’s 20,000 homeless Veteran number, which most everyone agrees is the most realistic estimate (8,000 are considered chronically homeless), plus the 24% increase since Secretary Shinseki took over the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2009, the homeless Veteran population in Los Angeles has now ballooned to more than 25,000 under his command in spite of his trumped-up welfare program.
Why aren’t we surprised that the Secretary’s plan to end Veteran homelessness is nothing but a big hoax to spend more government money to benefit others?
More Lies About the Homeless Veteran Population
On February 1, 2012, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the results from the 2011 Point in time (PIT) count which took place on a single night last January. The report shows a 12% reduction in the number of Veterans experiencing homelessness from 76,329 in January 2010 to 67,495 in January 2011.
One random night does not a homeless Veteran survey make.
Nonetheless, the HUD report claims that “The 12 percent decline keeps the Obama Administration on track to meet the goal of ending Veterans homelessness in 2015.”
This is a fabrication of the truth in order for the Obama Administration to throw more welfare money at trying to fix a problem that cannot be fixed by just throwing more welfare money at the problem.
What this HUD report fails to mention or account for is the number of Veterans who have committed suicide, overdosed on VA drugs, been murdered, or older Veterans who have died from the ravages of living homeless for so many years.
By not acknowledging the number of homeless Veterans who have committed suicide, overdosed on VA drugs, been murdered, or died of hardship and old age, then of course it appears the homeless number is dropping.
But this is how the racket works and this is how the government hoodwinks the public into believing that giving homeless Veterans welfare rent vouchers to live in slum neighborhoods reduces the homeless problem when it is this kind of lifestyle that actually reduces the homeless number through the above related and undocumented fatalities.
This much is clear; warehousing Veterans in dilapidated apartments that are operated by disingenuous homeless welfare programs does not decrease the homeless Veteran problem. It only increases the Veteran suicide problem.
The VA needs to stop the lies, stop the racketeering, and begin to help stop the unnecessary deaths of homeless Veterans.
The Truth About Veteran Suicide
It is estimated that one out of two homeless Veterans is a Vietnam Veteran. Eventually, Iraqi and Afghanistan Veterans will heavily impact the number of homeless Veterans and we cannot allow the same neglect and abuse of Vietnam Veterans to repeat for Iraqi and Afghanistan Veterans.
Overall, Veterans commit suicide at the rate of one every 80 minutes, or more than 6,500 a year, which is 50% more than were killed in action during the eight-year Iraqi War.
Tragically, more Vietnam War Veterans have committed suicide since the war than the 58,272 who were killed during the war.
An increasingly large number of Veterans suffer from Post Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD), a psychological or neurological Military injury.
Unfortunately, the VA gives these mentally disabled Veterans welfare rent vouchers and mood-altering drugs and then sends them to some two-story dump in a grungy slum area to try and survive in a world they no longer understand.
Eventually, many of these Veterans end up seriously depressed and homeless, and more than likely, suicidal. They have been called the “walking dead” and need safe residency and personalized treatment for their military injuries.
The mental torture and anguish that Veterans suffer from bearing the burden of war is an elongated battle that most are forced to fight alone. Last year, the VA and HUD researched homeless Veterans and found that 96% do not have a family.
This is another misnomer because homeless Veterans in Los Angeles do have a Family as well as a Home, and they’re called Brothers and Sisters who served together in the United States Armed Forces and the Los Angeles National Veterans Home.
This is where they belong and this is who they need to be with.
Bring our homeless Veterans HOME!
The Great $1-Year Real Estate Scam
The foregoing notwithstanding, Donna Beiter, executive director of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, recently announced “The VA’s collaboration with New Directions Inc. (NDI) and A Community of Friends (ACOF) is hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for the Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center buildings 4 and 5, on February 3, 2012.”
What Ms. Beiter conveniently fails to mention is that the VA gave NDI and ACOF, both non-profit corporations, a 75-year lease for $1-a-year for seven acres and two medical buildings at the Sepulveda VA Hospital. Nor does she mention that the” non-profits” will receive approximately $65 million in government funding that includes the sale of private-interest tax credits to convert the two medical buildings into a luxury apartment complex.
Ms. Beiter boasts that the housing project on VA property is being built “for 147 formerly homeless veterans and disabled veterans.”
Then Ms. Beiter brazenly proclaims: “This project is in line with VA Secretary Shinseki’s goal of ending homelessness among veterans by 2015.”
Huh? The VA has arranged a 75-year housing project for formerly homeless Veterans and it’s in line with Secretary Shinseki’s goal of ending Veteran homelessness in just three years. This project does not remove one homeless Veteran from the streets of Los Angeles, so how does it help to end Veteran homelessness?
It doesn’t …. Donna Beiter knows it, and so does Secretary Shinseki … but this is how they deceive Veterans and the public.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Daily News at the so-called groundbreaking ceremony of the housing project, Ms. Beiter admitted: “This is not going to be for homeless vets right off the street.”
We applaud Ms. Beiter for finally telling the truth about this project because she confirmed what everyone has been saying for nearly a decade, and that is this is not a homeless Veteran project and it will not remove one homeless Veteran from the dangerous streets of Los Angeles.
Ms. Beiter also confirmed that this is not what it seems to the public and fellow Veterans by proclaiming: “Some of our veterans, they don’t quite understand what we’re going to do here.”
You’re right Ms. Beiter, and that’s because only a small group of insiders know what this is really all about. It will benefit only a very few at the expense of tens of thousands of disabled and homeless Veterans who seriously need housing and care at the Los Angeles National Veterans Home.
This is a racket!
Three Years vs. Seventy Five Years
The BIG question is why do these two non-profit corporations need a 75-year lease for a $1-a-year to convert two medical buildings on VA Hospital property to house formerly homeless and disabled Veterans?
Moreover, how will this help Secretary Shinseki end Veteran homelessness in three years if it’s for formerly homeless Veterans?
This is just another infamous land-fraud swindle orchestrated by the VA with non-profit corporations that deceitfully strips Veterans of their land under the ruse of helping homeless Veterans.
How is it that our Federal Government could accommodate more than $700 billion from the so-called “Troubled Asset Relief Program” to help bail out mismanaged banks, automotive and insurance companies, and the best that Secretary Shinseki can do with Veterans’ assets is to generate $0 for 30 years on a billion-dollar parcel of land for a public park and a $75 return for 75 years for a multi-million dollar parcel of VA Hospital land with two buildings to house formerly homeless Veterans?
Of course the Secretary can do better. A drunken lunatic could negotiate a better business deal but this is a real estate scam designed to benefit the privileged few at the expense of the many disadvantaged, and the less he charges rent the more the “non-profit” corporations will profit.
Once again, this is a racket!
A Racket Called by Any Other Name is Still a Racket
What we are witnessing today between the VA and these so-called non-profit corporations is very similar to the church missionaries in the 1800’s who went to Hawaii under the illusion “to do good” and ended up doing very well for themselves by taking vast amounts of land from the Native Hawaiians. That was a racket!
Accordingly, the VA secretly negotiated with two non-profit corporations to take control of a mega-million dollar property deal that will generate only $75 through the year 2087, while the two groups stand to make mega-millions every year.
This is just another of the VA’s no-bid, behind-closed-doors real estate scams perpetrated against the many homeless and impoverished for the benefit of the few who are already well off and will become even better off.
General Shinseki and his inner-circle of cohorts are spending billions-of-dollars in welfare rent vouchers to purportedly end Veterans homelessness, yet he leases seven acres and two medical buildings for $1-a-year to house 147 formerly homeless veterans while the homeless Veteran problem in Los Angeles continues to escalate.
Yes, this is exactly what it seems to be to the majority of the people – this is a racket!
No Risk, All Gain
Just because two groups operate under the shield of a non-profit corporation in collaboration with the VA doesn’t mean they aren’t profiteering from the homeless Veteran crisis.
The VA undeniably admits that this project will not take one homeless Veteran off the dangerous streets of Los Angeles … and the VA is spending mega-millions to prove it.
Moreover, the “limited liability partnership” business-type arrangement that NDI and ACOF have between them is highly questionable, as is this whole charade.
Exactly what liabilities do the NDI and ACOF partnership have now, or will they have in the future?
The non-profit duo has invested $0, pay only $1-a-year to lease seven acres and two buildings valued at tens-of-millions-of-dollars, and they will get nearly $65 million in taxpayer money to renovate the buildings. This is a non-profit corporate bailout.
Consequently, the two groups have risked absolutely nothing of their own, yet they will gain everything for their own benefit as the formerly homeless Veterans will have to pay market-rate rent to live in this housing project.
Shouldn’t we all have such a privileged arrangement? With a “non-profit” scam like this who needs to be making a profit?
This alleged “do good for the homeless” project on Veterans property is for the sole benefit of two non-profit corporations and their hand-selected tenants who are not homeless, at the expense of tens of thousands of Veterans who are homeless.
This is a racket!
A Salute to the Formerly Homeless Veterans
The VA’s incredulous $1-a-year real estate scam between NDI and ACOF is set up as a limited liability partnership, business-type arrangement because the formerly homeless Veterans will have to pay rent to live at this apartment project just like any other renter at any other apartment building, in any community anywhere else outside the Sepulveda VA Hospital.
This real estate swindle must not cast any aspersions on the 147 formerly homeless Veterans who will be living in this apartment complex on VA property.
They are definitely who they seem to be to the majority of the people … American heroes who conquered the demons from their Military injuries and addiction to drugs and alcohol.
In fact, fellow Veterans are extremely proud of their successful comeback from being addicted, destitute and homeless.
We salute them all and pray for their continued success.
They certainly deserve a fair shot at building their own lives on their own terms. Thus, they need to be integrated into society as productive citizens and not become some sort of chattel of NDI and ACOF, confined to their strict rules and regulations in a monitored building on VA property.
If they have to pay rent on the same standards as others who live in apartment buildings elsewhere, they should have the same liberties and privileges as free citizens and not be exploited by the VA, NDI and ACOF.
May God continue to bless these brave and courageous Warriors for their courage and strength to fight against some of lives toughest battles.
Rampant Corruption and Incompetence
As confirmed, disabled and disadvantaged Veterans already have a legally deeded “Home” at the Los Angeles VA.
However, the land and buildings have been misappropriated for decades. This fraudulent attempt by the VA to abrogate its fiduciary duty has falsely exiled tens of thousands of Veterans denying them of their right to quality housing and preeminent healthcare.
Nonetheless, in addition to rampant malfeasance and corruption at the largest VA in the nation, there’s also rampant incompetence at this same bloated bureaucracy.
Michelle Wildy is the “chief of community care” under Donna Beiter’s supervision. In the same Huffington Post article referred to earlier, Ms. Wildy was interviewed about the homeless Veteran problem in Los Angeles and was asked about housing Veterans at the Los Angeles VA, which is deeded exclusively for Veteran housing.
Ms. Wildy admits that she prefers an approach that uses rent vouchers (read welfare) to place veterans in “off-campus apartments” (read non-profit operated)
She goes on to say: “We don’t need to institutionalize people, because that’s what we would be doing if we put them in one place.”
Huh? Ms. Wildly claims the VA won’t house homeless Veterans at the Los Angeles Veteran Home because the VA doesn’t want to “institutionalize people” or to “put them in one place.”
Then why does the VA give away two medical buildings at the Sepulveda VA Hospital to be converted into apartment buildings for formerly homeless Veterans (147 institutionalized in one place) instead of letting them live in off-campus apartments?
It’s because this is a real estate scam – a racket — and the VA has aided and abetted in this heinous crime that deprives a vast multitude of homeless Veterans from having proper housing and care at the Los Angeles Veterans Home.
The VA’s sole duty in accordance with the Deed of 1888 is to establish, construct and permanently maintain a National Home for Disabled Veterans.
Playing by the VA’s Rules
Donna Beiter describes the housing project as having “a live-in property manager in each building and a front desk concierge 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
That’s two property managers and two concierges working 24/7 for 147 for formerly homeless Veterans. These are better accommodations than 5-star hotels offer.
The $450,000 luxury apartments are restricted to 147 graduates of NDI’s rehabilitation program while tens of thousands of disabled and disadvantaged Veterans are forced to live in back alley squalor, or in ramshackle welfare apartments.
In President Obama’s recent State of the Union Address, he admonished America that “Everybody must play by the same rules.”
Apparently this does not apply to the VA, NDI and ACOF, and that’s how rackets are run … by a different set of rules that benefit the very few at the expense of the very many.
It’s a known fact that the VA operates with two sets of rules … one to benefit those who play by their rules, and one to punish those who do not play by their rules.
The VA has no problem institutionalizing homeless Veterans in slum tenement housing by packing three and four into one room, while rewarding graduates of NDI who are not homeless with independent luxury studios with concierges.
Only Veterans who commit themselves to non-profit run rehabilitation programs — and graduate — have a chance at the luxury apartments operated by the same non-profit rehabilitation group.
Why are non-addicted homeless Veterans forced to live in slum housing?
Gregory Scott, NDI president and chief executive officer had this to say about the 75-year deal: “Because of our location on the VA campus [Sepulveda VA Hospital], veterans living in these two buildings will have easy access to the VA’s excellent medical care.”
Well, if easy access to medical care is important for formerly homeless Veterans, why isn’t it just as important for currently homeless Veterans? It is, and homeless Veterans deserve the same equal medical care as do all Veterans.
What happened to President Obama’s dictum of “Everybody must play by the same rules?”
This housing project offers absolutely nothing for the benefit of 25,000 homeless Veterans in Los Angeles. Instead, it only benefits two non-profit corporations who invest nothing in order to rent these apartments to 147 graduates of NDI to rake in huge monthly rental fees.
This is s a racket!
A Veterans Home – Not Homeless Veteran Welfare
Let’s set the record straight: There should never be a “homeless Veteran” in Los Angeles.
This was preordained on March 2, 1887, at the Forty-Ninth U.S. Congress, Members of the House of Representatives and Senate approved an Act of Congress that would establish a permanent Home for disabled and homeless Veterans.
Section 2 of the Congressional Act stipulates:
“That all honorably discharged soldiers and sailors who served in the regular and volunteer forces of the United States, and who are Disabled by disease, wounds, or otherwise, and who have no adequate means of support, and by reason of such disability are incapable of earning their living, shall be entitled to be admitted to said home for disabled volunteer soldiers.”
It’s very clear that this said “Home” is for disabled and disadvantaged and impoverished Veterans.
Of the original 600 deeded acres 124 years ago, there are an estimated 388 acres left and 25,000 homeless Veterans.
It’s axiomatic that the more land taken away from a Veterans Home the more homeless Veterans there will be.
Yet, the VA continues to misappropriate this sacred land while dispossessing disabled and disadvantaged Veterans.
The VA’s only solution to the homeless Veteran crisis is to offer welfare rent and food stamps to live in tenement housing in grungy, crime-infested areas instead of constructing new and safe residence and living quarters as mandated by the Congressional Act and Deed of 1888.
The truth is there are no homeless Veterans in Los Angeles. There are 25,000 “exiled Veterans” who have been dispossessed by our own United States Government and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
End Veteran Homelessness the Right Way
Government’s original operational plan of the National Soldiers [Veterans] Home was very specific:
“The Home is neither an hospital nor alms-house, but a home, where subsistence, quarters, clothing, religious instruction, employment when possible, and amusements are provided by the Government of the United States. The provision is not a charity, but is a reward to the brave and deserving.” (underlined for emphasis)
The Los Angeles land was a benevolent Gift with the resolute and sacred promise that guaranteed those who honorably defended our country and were disabled or homeless would always have a place to call “Home.”
This was an honorable reward for their service to our country and not a demeaning and condescending welfare handout.
This noble promise in the 1800’s eliminated any problems of Veteran homelessness and there were no homeless Veterans until modern-day times when the Veterans Home concept was abandoned by the VA.
As Veteran homelessness burgeoned to catastrophic numbers, the VA began its current welfare program of offering rent vouchers and food stamps to warehouse them out of the public eye.
General Shinseki cannot bring an end to Veteran homelessness until he ends his welfare charity program and returns to rewarding disabled and disadvantaged Veterans with a well-deserved new Veterans Home and accommodating facilities.
Bring Our Homeless Veterans HOME
Contrary to the dismissive attitude of the VA toward homeless Veterans, all disabled and impoverished Veterans need safe residency at the Los Angeles National Veterans Home and they need to be surrounded by their fellow Veterans who suffer the same types of war injuries so that together they can resolve their personal injuries in a spirit of fellowship and camaraderie.
Disabled and disadvantaged Veterans must not be dispossessed from their legally deeded Home and forced to live on welfare and food stamps in some isolated grungy apartments, far removed from the VA hospital and healthcare services.
Bring Our Homeless Veterans HOME!
This is a responsibility!
The ACLU Sues the VA
In March, 2010 the American Civil Liberties of Southern California (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against Ms. Beiter and her chief of police, Ronald Mathis, for intervening during a peaceful demonstration by elderly Veterans who were protesting the misuse of Veterans property and the maltreatment of homeless Veterans.
Defendants Beiter and Mathis were adjudicated by a federal judge for “unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination” (censorship) when they violated a Veteran’s First Amendment Constitutional Right to Free Speech. This is a federal crime!
Ms. Beiter is now a Defendant in another ACLU lawsuit filed in June, 2011, along with fellow-Defendant Secretary Shinseki, for misusing Veterans property and discriminating against disabled Veterans with severe mental disabilities.
Vietnam Veterans of America is a Plaintiff in the 113-page lawsuit.
Government bureaucrats have been spending billions of dollars frivolously and resolving nothing while giving billions of dollars of land away and steadily increasing the homeless Veteran problem.
The Los Angeles Veterans Home under Secretary Shinseki’s watch has only intensified with more land fraud, waste, malfeasance, corruption, cronyism, etc. It must end, posthaste!
The Secretary Violates His Oath of Office
In spite of Ms. Beiter being adjudicated of a federal crime for violating the Constitutional Right of a Veteran, as well as violating her own Oath of Office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, Secretary Shinseki refuses to terminate her while she becomes a major embarrassment to the United States government by insulting the honor and integrity of Veterans who have pledged their lives to defend the U.S. Constitution.
Incredulously, the retired four-star Army General supports Ms. Beiter, who is not a Veteran, and subsequently violates his own Oath of Office for defending her and not the Constitution of the United States.
The General Refuses to Work With Fellow Veterans
For more than three years, fellow Veterans have respectfully requested that Secretary Shinseki clean house and replace all the corrupt bureaucrats at the Los Angeles VA, beginning with Donna Beiter.
We have also asked that he evict all the illegal occupants of this sacred land so that Veterans can reclaim their Home and begin to peacefully heal from their war injuries.
While many homeless Veterans sleep in their cars, campers, vans, etc., it’s still dangerous to park anywhere overnight. And in most communities within Los Angeles, it is against the law to sleep in a car. Even worse, the VA will not allow Veterans to park and sleep on their own rightful property.
We have asked for the Secretary’s Department to build a “Tent City” on the Grand Lawn to provide emergency temporary shelter to get homeless Veterans off the street and into safe care.
Correspondingly, we have requested that the VA demolish the old buildings and construct a new and modern Veterans Home to provide permanent housing and care for our disabled, disadvantaged and homeless Veterans.
The plan includes a Veterans Grand College and Veterans Service Center to assist Veterans in becoming gainfully employed and productive citizens in society
Secretary Shinseki has completely ignored us while continuing to orchestrate more land fraud schemes behind-closed-door that reduces Veterans’ land and simultaneously increases the population of homeless Veterans. Then he uses trumped-up welfare programs to house them in cahoots with alleged non-profit slum lords.
Had Secretary Shinseki listened to his fellow Veterans and taken the high road to house and care for our Veterans, his promise to end the homeless Veterans problem would now be reaching a positive resolve and he would be heralded as a hero.
Instead, he listened to his incompetent and corrupt Los Angeles VA bureaucrats and the manipulative wealthy neighbors who want Veterans land for a public park and a tourist attraction.
Consequently, the once revered General is now a Co-Defendant in an embarrassing federal lawsuit for misusing Veterans property and discriminating against homeless Veterans with severe mental disabilities.
Crimes Against Humanity
Just as Donna Beiter has become a major embarrassment to the Department of Veterans Affairs because of the land fraud and corruption in Los Angeles, Secretary Shinseki has subsequently become a major embarrassment to the Obama Administration for not cleaning house at the largest VA in the nation and for perpetrating the racket of homeless Veteran programs.
Not only have the Property Rights and Civil Rights of Veterans been seriously violated, but there are grave Human Rights violations as well. These are heinous and unforgivable crimes against humanity and in the worst magnitude imaginable; perpetrated against the very men and women who have defended our own freedom, safety and Constitutional Rights.
These brave men and women not only suffer physically and psychologically from their war injuries, but have to suffer further abuse and mistreatment by our own U.S. Government.
As a civil society, Americans should be profoundly ashamed for allowing any of this to have ever happened on United States’ soil. The terrorist prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are treated far better than we treat our Veterans who defended us against these violent thugs.
This is unforgivable!
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
Not everybody involved with the VA is running a scam or racket for their own self-serving purpose.
That’s why it’s important to acknowledge all the doctors, nurses and supportive employees who take care of our Veterans at the VA hospitals. They certainly do the best they can with the limited resources they have. We applaud them and wholeheartedly thank them for their selfless service.
Unfortunately, there are the self-serving lifetime VA bureaucrats who claw and cheat their way to the top and abuse anyone and everyone for their own personal good and glory.
That is why these ingrates gravitate toward their same ilk in private life and who are in politics. These cowards unify and run roughshod over the less fortunate and downtrodden … in this case, disabled, disadvantage and homeless Veterans.
Sleazy bureaucrats and corrupt politicians think nothing of doling out billion-dollar parcels of Veteran property that will benefit their few cronies at the expense of the many disadvantaged.
They represent the worst in humanity as they treat innocent and disabled Veterans with scorn and disgust in a futile attempt to elevate their own worthless lives.
While Major Smedley Butler fought against the for-profit corporations who profiteered on the backs of our young military soldiers during World War I, we are witnessing today some of the most corrupt manipulators through alleged “non-profit” corporations who are profiteering off the backs of those who fought and are now disabled and homeless.
Clearly, some non-profit corporations are very good and solely work for the greater good of their cause. We applaud them and encourage their dedication and services.
However, some are bad, and some are really bad and very ugly. In fact, they are flat-out repulsive.
We openly applaud the good, but we shall also seek to expose and prosecute the bad and the very ugly who profiteer off the backs of disabled and homeless Veterans.
Using Welfare to Help the Wealthy
VA bureaucrats along with certain federal, state, county and city politicians, in consortium with wealthy homeowners, all have one mission and that is to deceptively use welfare rent vouchers and food stamps to warehouse Veterans in run-down tenement housing far-away from neighboring Brentwood, Westwood, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, etc., which are some of the ritziest ZIP Codes in the nation.
This devious and egregious plan is to demonstrate a continued reduction of Veteran homelessness through off-campus welfare scams so that the VA can declare there are no more homeless Veterans in Los Angeles and there’s no longer a need for a Los Angeles National Veterans Home.
This racket will cause the VA to declare this as excessive land and of no further use so the local fat-cats can take it over and convert these sacred grounds into a public amusement park, entertainment center, and tourist attraction.
It’s time for the VA to come clean and start investing these billions of welfare dollars into the construction of a new and modern Veterans Home where fellow Veterans can be unified and help each other to overcome their devastating and demoralizing war injuries.
This shameful and disgraceful racket of misusing Veterans property and abusing disabled, disadvantaged and impoverished Veterans for the benefit of the few must cease, posthaste.
Last year, the Old Veterans Guard sent a letter and Resolution to President Barack Obama and respectfully requesting that he evict all the illegal occupants at the Los Angeles Veterans Home through a Presidential Executive Order and call for the immediate funding to construct a new Veterans Home.
Both President Obama and Secretary Shinseki have continued to ignore us while continuing to throw around more welfare rent money that benefit slum lords instead of building a new Veterans Home to benefit Veterans.
This humiliating and degrading maltreatment against the men and women who have defended our nation’s freedom and safety is highly criminal and nothing short of:
Malice, Violation of Americans With Disability Act, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Human Rights Violation, Humiliating and Degrading Treatment, Callous Disregard for Human Suffering, Oppression, Creating Hazardous Conditions, Willful Neglect, Cruel and Unusual Punishment, False Imprisonment, Endangerment, Reckless Disregard, and Crimes Against Humanity.
This involves every level of politics … federal, state, county and city, along with top level VA bureaucrats and manipulative non-profit corporations who have orchestrated and conspired some of the most heinous crimes ever perpetrated against humanity on American soil, and they all need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the Law.
Without question or hesitation, there needs to be full and independent Investigations by the Department of Justice, the FBI, Congress, a Federal Grand Jury, the Office of Inspector General, etc., to ensure that swift justice will be delivered without compromise.
The Racket Stops Here!
The Veterans Home is not a political racket or a non-profit scam; it’s a Veteran promise.
Taking care of our Veterans is not a Republican or Democrat issue; it’s an American responsibility.
So, which is it going to be? More Veteran welfare programs with rent voucher “handouts” to benefit slum lords while debasing Veterans even more, or a new Veterans Home built by Veterans offering a new life for Veterans with a “hand up?”
It’s time to bring in new leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs with a new vision and attitude to serve Veterans and Veterans only.
The racket stops here!
A New Beginning
We must demand that our federal government take urgent action and build an emergency Tent City encampment for homeless Veterans on their deeded property on the 16-acre parcel where a wealthy homeowner group has a privileged arrangement to build a public park.
Equally important, we must demand that our government evict all unlawful occupants of Veterans property and demolish scores of antiquated and rat-infested buildings that are vacant and have a horrific history and begin construction of a fully modern 21st Century “Grand Veterans Home” to include new resident and dining halls, healthcare and rehabilitation facilities, administrative services, a Veterans College, Veterans Village, lush and tranquil therapy gardens, and other amenities for fellow Veterans to help each other battle their stressful, long-term war injuries.
Our federal government spent $1.3 trillion to wage two different wars that resulted in a vast multitude of Veterans with lifetime physical and mental injuries. As a result, Congress should be able to appropriate a couple billion dollars for those suffered the brutality of the battle in our behalf.
Our federal government also spent hundreds-of-billions-of-dollars bailing out mismanaged banks, insurance companies and auto manufacturers. Surely there’s a drop or two left in the ole stimulus bucket to restore and rebuild our mismanaged National Veterans Home.
Join the Veterans Revolution and stop the corruption and malfeasance of the VA and complicit politicians who have misappropriated billions of dollars of Veterans property and forced tens of thousands of Veterans to be homeless.
God Bless America and the Veterans Revolution!
After all, this would be in line with President Obama’s call to rebuild America’s infrastructure and to hire Veterans.
U.S. Army, 1965-67, Schofield Barracks, Hqs., U.S Army, Hawaii. Director, The Veterans Revolution, Captain, the Old Veterans Guard, and Director, We the Veterans.
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