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FAQ

What kind of help can you find at a county or state Veterans Service office?
Assistance with filing the followingVA 526-EZ -claimVA 21–22 - power of attorney, this allows a VSO to represent you. This is free of charge.VA 21–0958 - notice of disagreementVA Form 9 - AppealThe office should also be able to give you the information to file (if applicable) for property tax exemptions, in-state tuition waivers, and other state benefits.Most state/county Veteran Service Officers are trained by American Legion.In my experience they are really good at basic claims. For more complicated claims, Nexus determinations, etc, DAV, and Military Order of the Purple Heart are best. For anything spinal, Paralyzed Veterans of America is the best resource.
What do the Walloons think about Bart De Wever?
The opinion of Wallons about Bart de Wever is very much influenced by French-speaking media. The problem is that French-speaking media, with hardly any exception, have not really been objective over more than a decade and have consistently depicted Bart de Wever as a right-extremist.I realised that when about a decade ago, French-speaking media were continuously reporting extreme statements by Bart de Weber on various subjects: Belgium, French-speaking Belgians, economy, migration, etc. At first, I was quite shocked. After a while I started to wonder whether this could ever correspond to the reality.After having studied and worked in Flanders and with Flemish people for a few years, I could not believe that any right-extremist could ever win substantial votes across Flanders. So I decided to start listening to Flemish media and particularly to Bart de Wever to better understand his political views.It was a revelation. At numerous occasions, I was listening to interviews of Bart de Wever or to political debates to which he was taking part, and thought that his opinion made a lot of sense. In short, his aspiration is to follow the social market economy example of Germany. Then, the next day, I regularly saw in French-speaking media some sentences by Bart de Wever taken out of their context to suggest something completely different.One example: I remember an interview many years ago during which Bart de Wever elaborated on his views about French-speaking populations living in Flanders and claiming a right to speak French when dealing with the local public administration, etc. Bart de Wever referred to language laws voted back in 1962 by both French-speaking and Flemish politicians delimiting a language border in Belgium. Based on that, both regions (Wallonia and Flanders) are unilingual. Only Brussels is bilingual.Consequently, if Flemish people move over to Wallonia, they cannot claim the right to speak Flemish with the local administration and would simply have to adapt to local linguistic laws. French-speaking should do the same in Flanders. He then took the example of Europe. If Flemish move over to a village in France and start representing the majority of the village population, would that give them the right to claim that Flemish would then become an official language in France? Obviously not. He went further to suggest that if French-speaking are serious about their claim that populations should have the right to speak their language whenever they move over, at least they should be consistent, and grant the right - for instance - to local Turkish minorities to speak Turkish in Brussels.The next day, French-speaking newspapers published articles with provocative titles suggesting that Bart de Wever would have claimed that soon Turkish will be one of the official languages in Brussels. First, it is not what he had said or even slightly suggested. Second, it basically insinuated that de Wever would have -again - expressed extremist views.Since then, I decided to refrain from watching any political debate or read articles about politics in French-speaking media because of their very bad quality journalism.Regarding the reasons explaining this, I hesitate between the opinion of Bart de Wever, who has stated many times that French-speaking media are politicised (which is to some extent true) and the commercial explanation that some media simply like this kind of sensationalism that help them improve their ratings.
What is the most awesome palindrome?
No one can beat Weird Al Yankovic at this game. Here are the lyrics to his parody of an old Bob Dylan music video. Weird Al's version is called "Bob"I, man, am regal - a German am INever odd or evenIf I had a hi-fiMadam, I'm AdamToo hot to hootNo lemons, no melonToo bad I hid a bootLisa Bonet ate no basilWarsaw was rawWas it a car or a cat I saw?Rise to vote, sirDo geese see god?"Do nine men interpret?" "Nine men," I nodRats live on no evil starWon't lovers revolt now?Race fast, safe carPa's a sapMa is as selfless as I amMay a moody baby doom a yam?Ah, Satan sees NatashaNo devil lived onLonely TylenolNot a banana batonNo "x" in "Nixon"O, stone, be not soO Geronimo, no minor ego"Naomi," I moan"A Toyota's a Toyota"A dog, a panic in a pagodaOh no! Don Ho!Nurse, I spy gypsies - run!Senile felinesNow I see bees I wonUFO tofuWe panic in a pewOozy rat in a sanitary zooGod! A red nugget! A fat egg under a dog!Go hang a salami, I'm a lasagna hog
How long does an appeal to the VA take?
It depends on many, many, factors. I wish I could give a straight answer, but perhaps I can give some insight into how the VA appeals process works.Here's the thing, once your claim is filed and denied and you decide to appeal it there are many stages that it must go through until finalization.First, you must decide if you would like a traditional review or Decision Review Officer (DRO) review. A traditional review is selected by default if you don't elect anything. A traditional review means that all evidence previously provided will be reviewed for errors, however, A previous decision can not be reversed merely by a review of evidence on record if there was no error in the original ruling. A DRO review will allow for new evidence to be submitted by the claimant in order to provide a new decision. I tell you this because it takes a lot of time. It can take days and days for just one record to be reviewed completely and accurately. It's a process that cannot be rushed. Now, imagine that each office has thousands of appeals pending at any given time. It is difficult for us to open just one appeal and decide how long it will take, now we're talking about estimating how long it will take given the thousands of appeals pending (can you see how it is difficult to estimate how long it will take?). Typically this process takes 1-2 years, however. If your appeal is not granted at this stage, then you'll have to file a form 9 to continue your appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) in Washington, DC. This is when the process becomes really time consuming. The appeal may either be denied or approved by BVA or sent back to the regional office for additional development of evidence. There's no way to tell how long this process will take, but it's typically 3-5 years based on current backlog. If your appeal is denied by BVA, it can again be appealed to the Court of Veterans Appeals (COVA). This is typically the last station for your appeal. Your appeal may either be granted, denied, or sent back to the regional office for further development for evidence. I've seen this process take 5-7 years and up to 20 years.
What are the different avatars of the goddess Parvati?
In Devi Bagwata Purana, Parvati is the lineal progenitor of all other goddesses. She is worshiped as one with many forms and names. Her form or incarnation depends on her mood. For example:Durga is a demon-fighting form of Parvati, and some texts suggest Parvati took the form of Durga to kill the demon Durgamasur.Kali is another ferocious form of Parvati, as goddess of time and change, with mythological origins in the deity Nirriti.Chandi is the epithet of Durga, considered to be the power of Parvati; she is black in color and rides on a lion, slayer of the demon Mahishasura.Ten Mahavidyas are the ten aspects of Shakti. In tantra, all have importance and all are different aspects of Parvati.52 Shakti Peethas suggests all goddesses are expansions of the goddess Parvati.Navadurga nine forms of the goddess ParvatiMeenakshi, goddess with eyes shaped like a fish.Kamakshi, goddess of love and devotion.Lalita, the playful Goddess of the Universe, she is a form of the Devi Parvati.Akhilandeshwari, found in coastal regions of India, is the goddess associated with water.Annapurna is the representation of all that is complete and of food.(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pa...)
Why do the words like “muvattu, nalvattu, etc.” in Kannada, contain the letter 'VA' unlike 'PA/BA' present in “ippattu, embattu, etc.”? The word for ten is hattu/pattu in Kannada.
When numbers are involved in Kannada, Dvigu samaasa gets applied. And that rule shall be applied here as well, although not as accurately as it gets applied on Sanskrit words. Pada vichcheda for this samaasa on Kannada words is not easy unless you know the component words already.Relating same words from it's sibling language Tamizh, the similarities is hard to explain unlike many other words.Use of pa or va as samaasa kootaakshara is exactly opposite in Tamizh.Hattu - pattuIppattu × irvattuMoovattu × muppattuNalvattu × NaapattuAivattu × Aimb(p)attuArvattu - ArvattuEppattu × EzhvattuEmbattu - Enbattu (ignore the anunasika)Thombattu × ThonnooruNooru - Nooru…remaining all numbers have same constructs but with pronunciation differences.By this, I can only say it's just the choices nothing much substantial, we chose some from one dialect and some others from another dialect. In our languages there is no hard rule followed like Sanskrit for compound words. People just started compounding and using it however easy or beautiful they deemed it to be.Having said that, there is definitely loss / lack of Kannada’s indigenous grammar felt here.Even before the compounding of the digits 1 till 9 with ‘hattu’/’pattu’ - ten. We still do not have substantial explanation to why? prathama vibhakti joining with root letters of one - nine, yielded the number names in current form.i,e,O(n/r?) + u(prathama vibhakti) = ondu (where did ‘da’ come from? and why only ‘da’? why not onu/onnu)i(r?) + u = iraDu (where did ‘Da’ come from? and why only ‘Da’?, why not iru?)moo + u = mooru (why not moovu?, like usual aagama sandhi rule)naal + u = naalku (why ‘ka’?)Ai + u = Aidu (why ‘da’? again - what is the commonality between Ai & On)aa(r?) + u = aaruE(L?)+ u = ELu (why ‘La’?)en + u = enTu ( why ‘Ta’?)there are so many such unanswered questions, aren’t there?Superb question Goutham R, excellent food for thoughts.
Should the VA be merged into the Department of Defense to provide military members with recruitment-to-grave continuity of service?
That’s how it used to be done, and there was very good reason why the functions are now distinct and separate. I can’t think of a single efficiency that would be gained by going backwards.This isn’t me being a precious VA employee who wants to protect my old stomping grounds. This is me being a bureaucrat who’s seen the innards of the two largest bureaucracies in government - VA and DoD - and is telling you, in as direct a way as possible, why you do not want to combine those sausages.Let’s start from the beginning. Like, the beginning-beginning.Veterans’ compensation in the United States literally goes back to the Pilgrims. The Plymouth Colony determined in 1636 that those who were disabled in their fight with the Pequot Indians should receive regular compensation for their service.Flash forward 150 years, and Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays, angry that he was still owed compensation for his service (as were basically all veterans), took up arms against the Massachusetts government in a rebellion that literally shaped the nation as we know it today[1].The first Congress under the Constitution established a pension for veterans as one of its first acts, and so began the bureaucratic nightmare.The pension program (and its growth with various amendments) was run by the War Department until 1849, when it grew too large and was moved into the newly formed Department of the Interior.Any health care for veterans, meanwhile, remained principally a state responsibility until the end of the Civil War, when the influx of disabled veterans was too great for the patchwork of Soldiers’ Homes (some of which were Federal) to manage. In 1865, as the Civil War was coming to a close, the government formally established a network of facilities to provide long-term care for severely disabled veterans.Over time, Congress expanded the eligibility criteria for admission into these homes; and in so doing, they gradually transformed to being able to provide hospital level care.America’s entry into WWI had, perhaps, the longest repercussions for veterans’ care and benefits.The number of disabled veterans overwhelmed both military hospitals (where many were undergoing long-term recovery) and the Soldiers’ Homes network. In 1919, broad responsibility for veterans’ health care spun off to the Public Health Service and contracted private hospitals; and in 1921, Congress authorized the construction of hospitals specifically for veterans’ care.Also in 1921, Congress attempted to consolidate the various veterans’ programs under a single umbrella (the Veterans’ Bureau), but their efforts were incomplete. While the Veterans’ Bureau took on responsibility for insurance, outpatient care, and education benefits, the Bureau of Pensions (Department of Interior) still had responsibility for, um, pensions, and the National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers remained a separate entity.In 1930, Congress tried again, and so created the Veterans’ Administration to consolidate the Veterans’ Bureau, the Bureau of Pensions, and the National Homes.For the first time, the Federal government assumed, under a single organization, total health and compensation responsibility for veterans and their dependents.Between the influx of WWI veterans and the retirement of Spanish-American War veterans, spending on veterans’ services shot up through the 1920s. Moreover, Congress continued to expand eligibility requirements and levels of compensation. This led to a fateful decision in 1924 to authorize bonus payments to WWI veterans, payable beginning in 1944.When the Great Depression hit, many veterans found themselves out of work with the rest of the population. In the spirit of Daniel Shays almost 150 years before - but much, much less violently - veterans marched on Washington to demand that their compensation be cashed out so that they could support their families.Congress said, “No,” and the Hoover Administration responded by sending in the military to disperse the encamped veterans and their families at bayonet point[2].So that was a great episode in American history (and in 1936, Congress relented and authorized early payment).But the trauma of the Bonus Army and the general experience of WWI veterans during the Great Depression spurred Congress to make significant reforms to veterans’ compensation and care leading up to and during WWII. This included wide expansion of education benefits, home loan assistance, and unemployment compensation.However, as with WWI, the rapid demobilization at the end of WWII caught VA under-prepared. By the end of 1947, it had doubled its staff to operate 126 hospitals and 721 offices to manage care and process claims. The Korean War further expanded VA’s operational capacity.To get ahead of the problems encountered with rapid demobilization of forces abroad (and, if you’re wondering, I’m now starting to get to the crux of the question), VA in 1967 sent field officers to Vietnam to educate soon-to-separate servicemembers on their entitlements as veterans. This was the forerunner what’s now codified as the Transition Assistance Program (TAP).What was then a loose affiliation between the Department of Defense and Veterans’ Administration is now a statutory, funded program that includes DoD, VA, the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security, and the Small Business Administration. Attending the program - which not only covers veterans’ benefits but includes financial literacy and general career advice - is mandatory for separating servicemembers.The VA’s on-the-ground assistance to returning Vietnam veterans made it clear that many of them would need long-term assistance readjusting to civilian life. This spawned the establishment of the Readjustment Counseling Service (ie, the Vet Center program) to provide ongoing services to combat veterans who may be having difficulty making the transition back to civilian life - and, uniquely, the services are run by counselors who themselves are combat veterans.But the influx of veterans from Vietnam put strains on a system that hadn’t seen significant investment in physical infrastructure since the end of WWII. VA’s medical budget tripled between 1967 and 1977, and its rehabilitation and education spending increased ten-fold.In 1977, the Veterans’ Administration commissioned the creation of an electronic health record that could be used across its hospitals, as veterans’ paper-based records were too prone to being lost or inadvertently destroyed[3][4]. This was America’s first electronic health record, and for a long time the only one of its scale anywhere in the world. It was designed to have a core architecture that could be modded by individual hospitals to meet their own needs.It was so successful - and free to the public, having been created by the US government - that in 1988 the Department of Defense awarded a $1 billion contract (~$2.1 billion today) to copy the system for its own purposes, and make that copy totally proprietary.…Yes, you are reading that correctly. DoD paid $1 billion to take a perfectly functioning, free electronic health records system that was already US government property to make a private copy.Oh, and they managed to make it worse in the process[5].That created a decades long tech schism that defied both Congress and successive Presidents to resolve. It’s even spawned its own, little bridge bureaucracy[6].So now, with DoD and VA having failed to get along (and even failing to make use of the Bridge Bureaucracy[7]), both Departments’ records systems are being put in the hands of a single, private provider[8] (and lots of other happy tech vendors[9]).Because in no way, shape, or form will entrusting the private sector to reform the largest electronic health records systems, arguably, in the world lead to any kind of cost overruns[10] or become an attractive target for ne’er-do-wells[11].Nope.Anyway, how does all this support my position that merging DoD and VA is a bad idea to ensure continuity of care?A major takeaway from the experience of Vietnam veterans’ return to the US is, to be quite blunt, that the military gives very few shits about its people once they’re no longer connected to military operations.The Department of Defense and the services have one overarching goal: combat readiness - to train and support war fighters. Once they’re no longer in or supporting combat operations, then as far as Defense is concerned, you’re no longer their issue[12] .Going back to TAP, the law requires that DoD ensure that all servicemembers complete the course more than 90 days before they separate. This is because servicemembers often complained that, frequently, they weren’t made to take TAP courses until their very last two days in the service - the two days that their minds were very much elsewhere.However, despite both the legal requirement and the length of time afforded to separating servicemembers to complete the training, more than half of servicemembers don’t complete the training until their last 90 days, with DoD doing the baremost to monitor compliance[13] .And going back to the (ongoing) debacle of VA-DoD records inter-operability, a major issue was that VA didn’t have the political clout to go toe-to-toe with DoD on the issue.The Veterans Administration did not become the Cabinet-level, Department of Veterans’ Affairs until 1989[14] [15]. And while the previous Administrator position still required Senate confirmation, it didn’t share anywhere near the prestige (which, in Washington, equals power) as a Secretary appointment.If you were to fold the Department of Veterans’ Affairs into the Department of Defense, well, you can’t have co-Secretaries; and given that DoD has higher precedence than VA, VA would be bumped down the chain. You would be organizationally sending the message that veterans are less important than the active Armed Forces.And if there were ever a conflict between the Secretary of Defense and the now-Under Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs, the Under Secretary would basically be stuffed. They wouldn’t have direct access to the President or Congress to get their point of view across without being seen as undermining their boss.VA and DoD don’t need to be under the same umbrella to provide lifetime continuity of care. They just need to be on the same page when it comes to collecting and sharing data on servicemembers’ health history (which they mostly are[16]), at which point the VA can take over and focus on long-term care while DoD concerns itself with readiness.And if the assumption is that having everyone in the same organization will break down silos and improve the flow of data, well, that’s not grounded in the reality of the inner workings of America’s largest bureaucracies[17] [18].Of all the possible ways I could think to reform VA and DoD to improve information sharing and continuity of services, merging the two Departments would be an act of desperation at the bottom of the list.Footnotes[1] Carter Moore's answer to What was Shays' Rebellion?[2] Carter Moore's answer to How disastrous to the US would it be if all war veterans benefits got slashed to zero?[3] The 1973 Fire, National Personnel Records Center[4] A 40-year 'conspiracy' at the VA[5] AHLTA users sound off about military EHR system[6] VA Information Technology[7] EHR interoperability for VA and DoD, who’s responsible? Lawmakers, officials can't agree[8] VA picks Cerner to replace VistA; Trump says EHR will fix agency's data sharing 'once and for all'[9] Cerner reveals long list of VA EHR modernization partners[10] DoD raises budget on Leidos contract for Cerner EHR project by $1.2 billion[11] U.S. data breaches and exposed records 2018 | Statistic[12] 126,000 service members in crosshairs for separation as DoD’s ‘deploy or get out’ policy takes effect[13] Transitioning Veterans: DOD Needs to Improve Performance Reporting and Monitoring for the Transition Assistance Program[14] Reagan Would Elevate V.A. to Cabinet Level[15] Reagan signs bill creating veterans department[16] https://www.health.mil/Military-...[17] https://www.realcleardefense.com...[18] After A Year Of Turmoil, New VA Secretary Says 'Waters Are Calmer'
If I closed my bank account to open up another one, where do my Veteran benefits go until my new account is set up?
Your Veteran benefits will still go to the prior account unless you made a change of direct deposit with the VA. The bank will often hold direct deposits for a period of 30 days, rather than reject them, on a newly closed account.If you opened the new account with the same bank, they would have a cross-reference to move those funds to your new account. If the new account is with a different bank, you can instruct the prior bank to route those funds to your new account. They may or may not do that, as the direct deposit is directed to a specific account by the VA and they may not be authorized to re-direct the payment.If the funds are not claimed during the hold period, they will be rejected and returned to the VA. Once you change the direct deposit with the VA, those returned funds will be re-sent to the new account.It’s never a good idea to close a bank account that has ANY direct deposit until you establish a new account first, then change the direct deposit information for the source of your funds.
Why are written and spoken French so different?
This story might be worth a popcorn bowl.French was a spoken language first. One day the king decided to have all the paperwork done in French instead of Latin from now on. He asked the bureaucrats of the time to come up with a script for French first and then translate all the official things.The bureaucrats, who were the clergy, who were the only ones fluent in Latin, weren't too thrilled about their position of power being yanked from under their collective ass by allowing everyone in the country to read the laws. But they weren't going to disobey a king's order. So they did produce a script for French, but they heavily latinized it. Like, added silent letters that made it look like latin, so that it would be easier to read for latin speakers.The word "cors" for "Body" was standardised as "corps" because in latin, it's "corpus". The word "pois" for "weight" was latinized at "poids" to look like its latin grandfather "pondus".It should have had the consequence of giving French words their "history". Something the French purist are absolutely in love with. But in many cases, the bureaucrats guessed the origin wrong and the spelling of a word points a conflicting way. See, French descends from Vulgar Latin, which the bureaucrats didn't speak. They knew only Classic. Like for "poids" which doesn't come from Classic Latin "pondus" at all, it turns out,  but from Vulgar Latin "pesu", which suddenly makes the verb "to weight"  ("peser") make a lot more sense.1000 years later, the billions of victims of the evil latinist bureaucrats have wasted millenia of unnecessary man-braintime trying to master the unmasterable art of writing French. The natives usually die way before they can write a paragraph without mistake. It's all a fucking tragedy. If I had a machine gun with time traveling bullets, I know exactly who would be starring down its barrel.Source (in French): Rectifications orthographiques du français — Wikipédia