Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday Sniffle: Playing Taps

Related: Salute to Veterans

Sorry, but I'don't like a parade and I'm not interested in war stories coming from a lying, agenda-pushing, Jewish War Pre$$.

"Many veterans found to hide injuries in civilian jobs" by Jeff Green Bloomberg News  November 12, 2015

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Almost one-third of US veterans in civilian jobs hide their war injuries from employers and many downplay their military service to get along with co-workers, according to a new study by the Center for Talent Innovation.

Why would they have to do that?  It flies in the face of all the pro-military garbage we are propagandized with on a daily basis. 

Is the American public antiwar, despite all we have been told by the war-promoting, agenda-pushing jew$media?

Minority veterans are more uneasy at work than whites, the survey said. More than 40 percent of Hispanic veterans said they try to mask their experience as soldiers to avoid being judged as gun-loving or aggressive. About 57 percent of working veterans don’t aspire to move up in their jobs; 39 percent of those who do feel stalled.

US companies from Capital One Financial Corp. to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have hired millions of men and women returning from wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan in the last decade, prodded by Obama administration tax incentives of up to $9,600 per person. The veteran unemployment rate — at 3.9 percent in October — is at the lowest since 2008 and well below the national average of 5 percent.


Oh, how things have changed

Then why are homeless vets on the increase?

‘‘It’s quite a culture shock to move from the military to the civilian world,’’ said Linda Huber, chief financial officer of Moody’s Corp., who rose to captain while in the Army from 1980 to 1984. ‘‘Veterans can be very careful about saying too much about their status.’’

Thirty percent of recruiting budgets at US companies now fund programs to bring in veterans, according to CTI, a New York nonprofit that advises companies on diversity.

They like the tax break.

About 21 million veterans work in the United States, including 6.5 million from the first and second Gulf Wars and 9.2 million who served in Vietnam, Korea, and World War II, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Veterans often don’t stay with their first employer, according to a 2014 survey by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families and VetAdvisor. About 28 percent said they lasted six months or less in their first job and another 16.3 percent remained only seven to 12 months. CTI did its study in June and July of this year among 1,022 US military veterans who are now working in full-time salaried positions.

Some companies are focused on keeping the workers they train. Prudential Financial Inc., the second-largest US life insurer, offers internships for enlisted military personnel to work toward an entry-level full-time job at the company. Retention has been about 75 percent, with 88 interns hired and another 50 in the pipeline, the company said.

‘‘There are a raft of stigmas and stereotypes that go along with being a veteran, some not positive, so people are reticent,” said Charles Sevola, Prudential’s vice president of veterans initiatives, who left the military in 1990 after serving as an Army communications officer. Prudential’s program includes mentoring and other veteran-specific resources.

I know the care is lacking and the military is cutting loose anyone who costs them; however, doesn't the society and ma$$ media already cater to them enough? 

Try being antiwar and see what stigmas and stereotypes the lying, insulting , war-promoting media apply to you.

Moody’s Huber said veterans are starting to benefit from a broader push for workplace diversity and may become more visible.

‘‘We had a women’s network, a multicultural network, and an LGBT network before we had a veteran’s network,’’ said Huber, who provided executive sponsorship to create that group in 2013.

‘‘I’ve often said I’m a little more in the closet about being a veteran,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s pretty obvious that I’m female.’’ Huber was with the Seventh Infantry Division and had special training to jump out of planes.



Speaking of closets, should have kept this there:

"Obama calls for hiring of those who have served" Associated Press  November 12, 2015

WASHINGTON — President Obama urged the public on Wednesday to keep veterans in their thoughts long after the annual holiday honoring them.

As he gets ready to commit more of them to expanded wars.

At an observance at Arlington National Cemetery, Obama said the Department of Veterans Affairs is getting a bigger budget and making progress on entrenched problems such as veteran homelessness and a backlog of disability claims.

‘‘Still the unacceptable problems that we’ve seen, like long wait times and some veterans not getting the timely care that they need, is a challenge for all of us if we are to match our words with deeds,’’ Obama said. He said his message to every veteran is ‘‘that I am still not satisfied.’’

He says this after 7 years when his time is almost up. This guy is a such sickening scum.

Obama said the country is in the midst of a new wave of veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. He asked communities and businesses to consider hiring veterans and said some 200,000 veterans are returning to civilian life every year.

‘‘If you want to get the job done, hire a vet,’’ Obama said. ‘‘They’re ready to serve and they’ll make you proud.’’

As opposed to the rest of us civilian slobs.



Undoing the damage of mass incarceration

Early release saves money and redeems lives

Of course, it is quite a different reaction regarding the long forgotten state drug lab scandal.

Time for $ome treatment:

"Insurers tackling opioid crisis with support for addicts" by Priyanka Dayal McCluskey Globe Staff  November 11, 2015

The company, CeltiCare Health Plan, is one of many insurers taking new and unusual steps to combat the state’s growing opioid crisis, an epidemic that has claimed nearly 700 lives in Massachusetts in the first six months of the year, wreaked havoc on thousands of others, and pushed up health care costs.

The growing costs — in the billions of dollars nationally — have spurred insurers to tackle the opioid problem through a variety of new measures, including imposing restrictions on prescriptions for painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin.

CeltiCare, a small Waltham insurer owned by Centene Corp., a for-profit health care company based in St. Louis, has gone beyond what most other insurance companies are doing, developing one of the most comprehensive plans in the state for preventing and treating addiction.

The insurer, which predominantly manages care for low-income people on Medicaid — some of them homeless, and many dealing with chronic diseases — has acted out of necessity. Its costs related to addiction are significant; nearly a quarter of all hospital admissions the insurer covers are related to substance abuse.

CeltiCare, with about 50,000 members, is on track to spend more than 10 percent of its $24 million prescription drug budget this year on suboxone, a drug used to fight addiction. That’s more than it will spend on any other drug.

This month, CeltiCare began limiting prescriptions of opioid painkillers to 15 days at a time. Doctors who want to prescribe more than a two weeks’ supply must fill out extra paperwork.

For those fighting addiction, the insurer has lifted prior-authorization requirements for all treatments, from detox to outpatient care to medication, meaning that patients don’t need the insurer’s approval before accessing services.

This fall, CeltiCare took the unusual step of offering training to its members who take opioids — legally and illegally — and their families to use the drug naloxone, known by the brand name Narcan, which can revive people on the brink of death from a heroin overdose.

Not all the changes are welcome, but Jay Gonzalez, the chief executive of CeltiCare and formerly budget chief under Deval Patrick when he was governor, said insurers must try new strategies to address the epidemic. “We and the rest of the health care community have an obligation to do what we can to bend the cost curve on it,” he said.

Btw, the mushrooming of the opioid epidemic began under the negligent watch of Deval Patrick, a complete failure as governor with too many scandals and agency failures to mention here.

So CeltiCare and other insurers, especially those who manage care for people on Medicaid, employ health care workers who reach out to members living with addiction and offer services that may help.

Michael “Seme” Semertgakis found his way to a therapist and got access to Vivitrol, a drug injected monthly to fight addiction. Last week, Seme got his second shot.

So what pharmaceutical makes that?!

Seme, who lives in Everett, has an addiction story that is both unique and sadly familiar. 

I don't want to hear it, I really don't.

He spent much of the past 18 years in the grip of heroin addiction, coming close to death more than once. But he just completed two months of sobriety, with the help of family, friends, health care workers, recovery support groups, and new medication.

He said he first tried heroin while traveling with his rock band, and it quickly became a habit. He used it to numb the pain of a broken marriage and the punishing symptoms of his bipolar disorder. For nearly two decades, it consumed him. He lost his work as a carpenter, he said, and the job after that.

He was in and out of detox and psychiatric hospitals, he said. He got clean, sometimes for months at a time, then fell into heroin use again. Two months ago, friends, including a Revere police officer, Mark DeSimone, confronted him and helped Seme get off drugs again.

Related: Policing is Social Work 

It must have been all the kicked-in doors and dead bodies that fooled me.

Every day since has been a struggle. But this time, Seme said, he wants to stay sober.

“I’m grateful and blessed that I’m still here,” he said. “It’s me doing the work, but without asking for that help that I’m getting from CeltiCare and my therapist and my support network, I wouldn’t be able to do this on my own.” 

I find it to be a curse that I am still here doing this.


All you need is “a recovery coach.” 

Speaking of sports, more front-page fare (the lead story this time, and you will $oon $ee why):

"FanDuel vows to fight N.Y. cease-and-desist" by Dan Adams, Curt Woodward and Deirdre Fernandes Globe Correspondent and Globe Staff  November 11, 2015

The country’s two largest daily fantasy sports operators, DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc., are barreling toward a showdown with New York’s top law enforcement official, refusing for now his order that their contests be closed to state residents because he says the games amount to illegal gambling.

FanDuel chief executive Nigel Eccles said Wednesday his company will continue to accept entries — and money — from New York residents for this weekend’s contests while it explores legal options to prevent Attorney General Eric Schneiderman from restricting those customers.

“New Yorkers can certainly play on FanDuel,” Eccles said. “We’re going to use every avenue we can to stay open. We’re going to engage with the AG’s office, we’re going to look at other legal routes that we may want to take.”

Boston-based DraftKings said in a statement that it was also exploring legal avenues to continue accepting players from New York. The company and FanDuel insist they do not engage in illegal gambling, even as their operations are under scrutiny by officials in many other states.

“Under applicable law, the attorney general cannot and should not shut down daily fantasy sports through fiat and heavy-handed threats, without first seeking a court order,” DraftKings said.

Both companies cited a provision in New York law they said gives them five days to comply or respond to Schneiderman’s edict. FanDuel said it will attempt to meet with the attorney general. Neither company said definitively that it would take Schneiderman to court.

Schneiderman’s finding Tuesday that DraftKings and FanDuel were running illegal gambling operations reverberated widely through the daily sports fantasy industry and beyond. Several of the smaller fantasy companies quickly closed off their games to New York players, even though they were not ordered to do so by Schneiderman.

Some financial institutions that move money between players and the companies are reviewing their relationships with DraftKings and FanDuel and assessing their legal liability if Schneiderman steps up his enforcement. A crucial vendor that processes players’ funds for the companies even briefly demanded they immediately cut off entries from New York.

The trade publication Legal Sports Report said Wednesday that the vendor, Vantiv LLC, sent the request to several fantasy sports companies that read, in part: “We must require you to immediately stop accepting players from New York. Please acknowledge the receipt of this notice and confirm you are updating all location controls to block players from this jurisdiction.”

People with knowledge of the Vantiv letter told the Globe that both DraftKings and FanDuel received the request, but said the vendor later relented and agreed to continue processing payments after talks with the companies. These people requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the companies’ business relations.

Vantiv did not return requests for comment.

The stakes are potentially very high for financial institutions, which can be prosecuted under federal law for facilitating betting transactions that violate state gambling laws, according to legal specialists in the field.

The tone Wednesday among financial companies was of uncertainty.

Jason Oxman, the chief executive officer of the Electronic Transactions Association, whose members include PayPal, Bank of America Corp., and Vantiv, said his group fielded numerous questions from its companies about Schneiderman’s order.


Once again, it is BANKS AT BOTTOM! 

So what will happen is government will regulate for their cut and the games will continue.  

“We are working quickly to understand the different state rulings and the applicability of federal law as well,” Oxman said. “It’s a complicated jurisdictional analysis.”

For now, several of the banks and payment processors contacted by the Globe seemed to be taking a wait-and-see approach.

Bank of America and American Express said they are continuing to allow customers to use their debit or credit cards to play fantasy sports while the companies monitor the situation. An American Express spokesman added the company relied on merchants to follow applicable laws, a sentiment echoed by Mastercard. PayPal and Visa each said it would work with merchants and other financial institutions to ensure they complied with the law.

Yeah, the fees are paid by credit card, and no way banks want to give up all those fees!!!

Sarah Jane Hughes, a professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law who specializes in banking and payment systems, suggested that financial companies are preparing to restrict accounts from New York if DraftKings and FanDuel lose their fight with Schneiderman.

“Any financial institution that’s handling significant traffic for these sites in New York is probably madly trying to readjust their” systems that identify where customers are located, Hughes said, “and reevaluating whether to do business with them as commercial customers at all.”

In fantasy sports, competitors assemble virtual teams from professional rosters and score points based on the individual performances of the players on game day. Cash prizes for some contests can reach $1 million, and the industry is projected to collect nearly $4 billion in revenues this year.

The companies maintain their games don’t amount to illegal online gambling because of an exemption for fantasy sports in a 2006 federal law. But state laws on the matter vary, and regulators across the country are taking a fresh look at whether the industry should be more tightly regulated.

The companies’ legal troubles stem from an incident in October, when a DraftKings employee mistakenly posted critical player information online and then won $350,000 playing on FanDuel later that week. Both companies said the worker, Ethan Haskell, couldn’t have altered his winning entry after accessing the information. But the incident prompted Schneiderman as well as US attorneys in Manhattan and Boston to investigate. The federal prosecutor in Tampa has reportedly convened a grand jury to review the legality of the games.

Then on Tuesday, Schneiderman issued a cease-and-desist order to DraftKings and FanDuel “from illegally accepting wagers in New York.” His office said the companies may avoid being sued if they closed off entries to New York residents and respond within five days. But a spokesman stressed the cease-and-desist order is effectively immediately.

While many fantasy sports players think Schneiderman will lose in court, at least one in New York said he was closing down his accounts and advising his friends to do the same.

“Better to take my money out and see what happens than get caught with my pants down,” Paul Rodriguez, a longtime fantasy sports player from Long Island, said in an interview.


RelatedMarijuana legalization backers say they have 100,000 signatures

You don't want to do that, I don't care what the football player says.