Saturday, September 8, 2007

Somehow, I don't think my boss would go for it.

So say you are the head of a government agency. And not an insignificant joke of an agency like the EPA under the Bush administration either, but a real agency with an important job. Like say, the agency that is responsible for delivering benefits to our veterans. What would you say is more important than your job? Your spouse? Your children? A sick friend?

Well, if you are Daniel Cooper, undersecretary for benefits at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the man resposible for ensuring our veterans are taken care of for the service they have provided the United States, the answer is simple. Bible study.

Yep. Bible study. Since Mr. Cooper took over at the Veterans Benefits Administration, the waiting list on benefits has increased from 325,000 in 2002 to a modest 600,000 today. The average veteran faces a 6 month wait for an answer to his (or her) application for benefits, and if denied, an appeal process that can last up to 3 years. And if you're one of the unlucky 52,000 Iraq/Afghanistan vets diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by the Veterans Administrations, you have a less than 50% chance of being approved for disability compensation.

So what does dear Mr. Cooper have to say as those who risked their lives for our country wait endlessly for the benefits they deserve? Well, about the backlog of cases, nothing that I could find. But when it comes to bible study, he gives us this gem:
"it's not really about carving out time, it really is a matter of saying what is important. And since that's more important than doing the job -- the job's going to be there, whether I'm there or not."

Yes Mr. Cooper. The job will be there whether you are or not. And here's hoping it's the latter very soon.

Priorities are Important@Pharyngula
More on the Christian Embassy in the US military.
WWJD..with a cruise missile@Pharyngula

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