I’ve posted about the bane of my existence – BUREAUCRATIZILLA – 9 times previously! And, they’ve not picked up the hint!
Not coincidentally, in today’s quote:
“Millions are fascinated by the plan to transform the whole world into a bureau, to make everybody a bureaucrat, and to wipe out any private initiative. The paradise of the future is visualized as an all-embracing bureaucratic apparatus. . . . Streams of blood have been shed for the realization of this ideal.” – Ludwig von Mises
(Please, let me preface this to state my roommate and I are barely scraping by. Me on my disability benefits, her on survivor’s benefits. She can work some, when her infirmities allow. NO, this is NOT a bleg! – Guffaw)
Last week, my roommate received a letter regarding her Survivor’s Benefits from The Social Security Administration. In short, because she reached a certain age, and changed her supplemental insurance, they decided to deduct previously gov’t paid insurance premiums for two months (essentially cutting her modest benefit in HALF!) then begin repaying her the Survivor’s Benefit (at a lower rate!) the third month. She only began receiving her Survivor’s Benefit last year, and could have been receiving it for the previous three years, but did not know it was available.
And this, just when she has been working less due to illness (she is a contract employee), and is preparing to have surgery next month!
It couldn’t have come at a worse time…
BUT, there was a mention on the Social Security letter of an appeal process. As NO ONE was reachable by phone without an extension(!), we had to go into the Social Security satellite office, take a number, and wait about 20 minutes to get the required appeal form. (After disarming, of course!)
Easy peasy, right?
The surprisingly helpful Social Security employee reviewed the letter, and advised us that the appeal needed to be made with the Arizona Department of Economic Security, not Social Security!! It was Medicare who became aware of the insurance change, and notified AZDES, who contacted Social Security to send the letter(?!)
He provided us with the number to call. And as it was late Friday afternoon, the call would have to be the NEXT BUSINESS DAY. AFTER PRESIDENT’S DAY.
People ask me why I distrust government. The above is a prime example. First, they provide you with a benefit. Then, after you become accustomed to it, they screw with it, and take part of it away.
“The government strong enough to give you what you want is strong enough to take it all away.” – Barry Goldwater
(from Judicial Watch)
JW Files Suit For ‘Refugee Travel Loans’ Information
Tightening our immigration and refugee programs is a matter of national security (despite what some out-of-control judges may think), and it is also a matter of cost.
In this regard, we have filed a lawsuit against the State Department for records on the number of “Refugee Travel Loans” issued by State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration to the United Nation’s International Organization for Migration from 2010 to the present.
We are also seeking the number of loans defaulted upon and the amount of money written off on each defaulted loan. We filed the suit on January 24, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:17-cv-00157)).
Judicial Watch filed the suit after the State Department failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on February 5, 2016, seeking the following:
- All records reflecting the number of Refugee Travel Loans furnished by the State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) per year; the number of travel loans that are defaulted upon per year; and the amount of money written off per defaulted loan.
The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration provides funding for aid and relief work abroad and the bureau’s admissions office handles settling refugees in the United States. According to the agency’s website, it spent nearly $545 million “to provide new beginnings to the world’s most vulnerable refugees” in 2016 and more than $2.8 billion to “humanitarian assistance overseas.” It provided $103 million directly to the UN’s International Organization for Migration.
The International Organization for Migration, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, has an annual budget of $1.4 billion and (as of 2014) a staff of 9,000 throughout the world. According to the International Organization for Migration website, the organization provides interest-free loans “furnished by the Department of State” to “all refugees arriving in the United States:”
All refugees arriving in the United States are offered interest-free travel loans by IOM. Refugees who accept these travel loans are required to sign a promissory note prior to departure, committing themselves to repayment of the debt within 46 months after arrival in the United States.
IOM arranges for refugee travel using funds furnished by the Department of State, and is mandated to subsequently effect collections on behalf of the Department of State. Repayments made by refugees toward their loans are returned to the Department of State for use by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) to defray the cost of future refugee travel.
In July 2016, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution making the International Organization for Migration part of the UN.
Even The Washington Post reported that the nine resettlement agencies contracted by the State Department to help resettle refugees in the U.S. actually make more than $5 million a year in commissions on refugee debt collection.
The State Department has stonewalled our request for refugee loan information and associated taxpayer losses for a year – an unlawful delay that screams “cover up.” This is an opportunity for the Trump State Department to come clean and clean up this refugee welfare program.
And there’s a lot more for the Trump administration to clean up when it comes to “refugee loans.” In June 2016, Judicial Watch reported:
The U.S. government gives refugees on public assistance special “loans” of up to $15,000 to start a business but fails to keep track of defaults that could translate into huge losses for American taxpayers, records obtained by Judicial Watch reveal. The cash is distributed through a program called Microenterprise Development run by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement.
HHS is not the only government agency doling out huge sums of cash for this cause, though its focus on refugees appears to be unique. Others, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Labor (DOL) also dedicate hundreds of millions of dollars to various microenterprise causes. For instance, in one recent year alone USAID spent $223 million on microenterprise development activities, according to figures released by the agency. The USDA also allocates large sums to provide loans and grants to microenterprise development through a special “Rural Microloan Revolving Fund” and the DOL regularly pours lots of money into various microenterprise projects that are promoted as workforce investments in areas with high rates of poverty.
So the debate about refugees is more than about keeping dangerous refugees out, but there is also the matter of asking just how much it costs to make politicians to feel good about themselves by using our tax dollars to provide special assistance to these foreign nationals.
I have no problem with legitimate, vetted refugees or immigrants following protocols for legal residency and eventually even citizenship. I used to know a guy who, with his family, escaped Saddam Hussein and Chemical Ali’s tyranny, to arrive here, become a citizen, and open a liquor store. He practically hugged every customer who walked in!
And I remember wondering where Lee Harvey Oswald got the ‘Traveler’s Aid'(CIA) funds of $200, after renouncing his U.S. citizenship and living in the Soviet Union. And was allowed to return back to the United States after purportedly giving away military secrets to the Russians. With nary a hitch.
Much has changed since the 1960’s.
And not for the better.
I recently had one of my semi-annual doctor visits. Believe me, not my favorite thing to do. 😆
Last time, six months ago, my weight was up to 233 (from 225 the previous time) and (being diabetic) they ALWAYS check my A1c (a measure of how well my organs function). It was 6.2, also elevated from the previous reading.
I was not amused. My doc wasn’t all that concerned, though.
But, I took it to heart.
My current weight is 215! I cannot remember the last time I was 215. I have been 350.
And my A1c was 4.3! Which is miraculous. They stop charting me as diabetic @4.7!
Just got the other lab numbers – liver, blood, etc. Even my Ldl (bad cholesterol) was good!
Now comes the tough part. Maintaining or improving…
I don’t get out much. Between my physical limitations (being disabled and in chronic pain, low income, crummy car) and my mental ones (I’m just not that interested in so doing), I’m lucky to get to the credit onion, grocery store, a cheap restaurant and perhaps the library each week.
This is one reason my Internet access and computer are so important to me! My ‘window on the World’, as it were!
I’m essentially the ubiquitous pajama boy, except much older, more educated, and living in a rented room upstairs instead of a stereotypical basement.
And I’m less liberal.
In one of my travels, I met a nice couple. A psychologist and her office manager husband (not that that’s of any importance to this post). Marlo and Jon are both pre-eminent in their field.
And Marlo comes from a long family history of motorcycle riders.
In 2008, she was in an accident which changed her life. And almost ended it. A car turned in front of her. (Can you see why she got my attention?)
While hospitalized and in rehab, she wrote a blog, which she later coalesced into a very personal book regarding her Chautauqua from a person with addictions to one in recovery. Her story included the courage, loyalty and love of her partner and husband Jon – whom I have personally nick-named St. Jon after reading her book.
Anyone who has had love, loss, ‘challenges’, courage and been fortunate enough to have others to help with those challenges should read this story! Be forewarned – it is not always light reading.
But, there IS most definitely a positive message!
UP FROM THE PAVEMENT: Triumph over Grief and Trauma through Medicine, Miracles, Love, Laughter, and Faith Paperback
See all formats and editions
(FTC – I get nothing from Amazon I don’t pay for. Only friendship from Dr. Archer. Leave me alone.)
Sometimes, you are digging in the wrong place!
It was FIFTY YEARS AGO (1967!) that my interest
obsessive-compulsion in the Assassination of John F. Kennedy began. That, coupled with my family history in police work lead me to security and investigation work, an associates degree in Police Science, and my private investigation business. Followed by a career as a credit card fraud investigator.
But I always came back to the JFK thing. As a ‘hobby’.
It began when I was in high school, newly disabled, complete with a pair of crutches and my right leg in a steel brace. For a year. I’d read the condensed ‘report’ in the high school library, and soon walked the two miles to the university library.
And I found the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission exhibits and testimony. And proceeded to read them all.
See, not compulsive at all!
Years passed. Books and films critical of the Warren Report came out, And I devoured them – to the best of my ability. And kept notes.
But, there was one problem. I had no copies of the 26 volumes in my home. I couldn’t afford them, and my parents would not spring for them. (I think they were $185 at the time).
This meant many a trek to the university library, and having to deal with my regular high school work, my family, friends and life. What a P.I.T.A. ! 🙂
Time passed. I still occasionally dabbled in the JFK stuff, when my marriage, fatherhood, auto accident, etc. didn’t get in the way. I DID recognize I could be obsessive about it and would voluntarily pull back when I felt it suck me in for more than a few days
But, I never had my own 26 volumes. And the price went up when they went out-of-print. Even with the advent of the Internet, it just seemed they weren’t available.
I recently had a birthday. Good friend Biff, lauded often in these pages, and I met for coffee, and he gave me a birthday present!
Apparently, I was digging in the wrong place on the Internet! Now I can return to my obsession in peace! With my forty or fifty Warren Commission critic’s books, the few by apologist’s, the Internet, my notes, and MY 26 volumes!
(Maybe life would have been simpler had I eaten the bad date?)
Regular readers know I love movies and TV. What you may not know is, I rarely go ‘out’ to the movies.
Part of the reason is the technological shift in how we can view movies. I get them directly on my satellite dish, or through services like NETFLIX™. I even own a ‘few’ on DVD! (I know – OLD technology!) 😛
There are more than enough from which to choose.
And there’s this (from FB, in part – not me!):
Went to the H****** Metrocenter 12 …at the 01:30pm “Jupiter Ascending”…Me and 2 others of my party had to walk out!!!
Some trashy family with 3-4 kids sat right next to us and talked and talked ..and talked…and also they let their kid run up and down in front of us!
Then to top if off….the father had the nerve to pick up one of our parties drinks and hand it to his kid to drink out of ….then said sorry and handed it back “AFTER” his kid (& himself took turns slurping it down!).
I had to had have a friend get a manager…2 (Two) times….then finally got our money back and walked out!!
BAD!!!! I wont be back to the H****** Metrocenter 12…sad missed a film that I had been wanting to see for weeks!
Metrocenter used to be a family-friendly huge, upscale mall, wherein many weekends were spent window and actual shopping. With my then wife and young daughter. Now, with most of the brick-and-mortar department stores closed, it’s become a hang out for misguided yutes.
I remember even in pre-VHS days, attending a different theater and encountering rude people. As the film began, three yutes (misguided teens) began talking loudly to each other and the screen. Against my better judgment, I approached them and strongly suggested I paid good money to hear the movie, and not to hear them sh*** and j***. (Using a 40’s vernacular with which I’m certain they lacked familiarity).
They quieted down, and I spent most of the movie checking my six for some variety of retaliation. Thankfully, none came.
While I sometimes miss the big screens and speakers (remember CINERAMA™ and Dolby™?), it is nice knowing I can pause the film for bathroom and/or beverage, and even watch in my skivvies.
I’ve an addictive personality. I come by this honestly, as both my parents were also afflicted. It killed them both.
Before you get all worried, I’m not addicted to tobacco, as my Mother was. My Father liked his cigars and his alcohol.
And his excess food.
The S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) – too many refined carbs, too much protein, too much white sugar.
I, too, like food. Sometimes to excess. Including sugar.
And, I’ve been diabetic since 2002.
The Good Rev. Paul posted recently regarding Krispy Kreme Donuts. Now, I
like LOVES me a good doughnut! The problem is unlike normal folks, stopping at one, for me, can be difficult. And here in college/commuter town USA, we are surrounded by doughnut shops! The ubiquitous Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme, and many local emporia.
SO…I must make the choice. And sometimes I partake.
Fortunately, it’s not too often, and not a dozen-at-a-time.
I’m reminded of a cartoon, long ago in Playboy. (Buck Brown? Gahan Wilson? Which I was unable to locate it on the ‘Net)
An older couple in their rocking chairs, on their front porch. Both are quite obese. And they are chowing-down. Between them is a large bucket of fried chicken. Just visible, to the side of the house, is a square, striped building(!?)
And one says to the other, “Sometimes, I wish they hadn’t moved in next door…”
Today, give me strength.
Thankfully, the nearest are at least a mile away, and I’ve no funds. And, it’s ‘cold’ out (40° – sorry, Rev. Paul!)
(Courtesy of Kevin Baker)
Via Instapundit today:
It’s important to understand why liberals are so angry and so scared. They are angry because they believe they have a moral right to command us, apparently bestowed by Gaia or #Science or having gone to Yale, and we are irredeemably deplorable for not submitting to their benevolent dictatorship.
They are scared because they fear we will wage the same kind of campaign of petty (and not so petty) oppression, intimidation, and bullying that they intended to wage upon us.
(* As far as I know, the exquisitely accurate expression “Ctrl-Left” was coined by Jonathan Sullivan.)
Mr. President-Elect – Let’s NOT play their game and show them your side can be gracious and benevolent winners. Perhaps, they will learn something?
(from Peter – in full, because it’s too important)
Courtesy of a link at Borepatch’s place, we learn that Belgium is now euthanizing – i.e. judicially murdering – the mentally ill and incompetent. The Washington Post reports:
Once prohibited — indeed, unthinkable — the euthanasia of people with mental illnesses or cognitive disorders, including dementia, is now a common occurrence in Belgium and the Netherlands.
This profoundly troubling fact of modern European life is confirmed by the latest biennial report from Belgium’s Federal Commission on the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia, presented to Parliament on Oct. 7.
Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 for patients suffering “unbearably” from any “untreatable” medical condition, terminal or non-terminal, including psychiatric ones.
. . .
In December, 65 Belgian mental-health professionals, ethicists and physicians published a call to ban euthanasia of the mentally ill.
Seemingly stung by these criticisms, the commission spends two of its report’s pages defending the system, explaining that all is well and that no one is being euthanized except in strict accordance with the law.
. . .
Of course, this ignores the essential objection, which is that, by definition, the mentally ill may be less capable of forming a “true will,” or, at least, that their intentions are intrinsically more difficult for a doctor — or anyone — to establish with the necessary certainty upon which to base a life-or-death decision.
. . .
Euthanasia of people with autism, depression, schizophrenia and dementia in the Low Countries represents a global moral crisis for psychiatry, and all of medicine, that can no longer be ignored.
There’s more at the link. As Borepatch points out, there are also reports that organs are being harvested from the bodies of euthanized patients. This makes it increasingly likely, in a world without meaningful morals or ethics, that someone might be nominated for involuntary euthanasia purely on the grounds of how many others can benefit from his or her organs.
I have no hesitation in calling this absolutely Satanic in its evil. Those who, by definition, have diminished rational capacity cannot give fully informed consent to such a procedure. It’s as plain as the nose on your face that someone is encouraging them, persuading them to make that decision . . . perhaps even making it for them. After all, it’s convenient for the health care system to be relieved of the burden of caring for the mentally incapacitated. If they’re euthanized, the costs and facilities that would otherwise be devoted to their care can be used instead for someone more ‘deserving’ – or not used at all, thereby saving money for the state. How utilitarian can you get?
We’re seeing the beginnings of the same thing in this country, too. Just last month, a woman in California reported that her medical insurance had refused to pay for expensive chemotherapy to treat her cancer . . . but it was quite prepared to pay for euthanasia, if she selected that option! That’s not the first time this has happened. The first case of which I’m aware was in Oregon in 2008. Think about what those insurers are saying to their policy-holders, in so many words. “You’re not worth this much of our money, but you’re worth that much . . . if you let us kill you.” Charming, isn’t it?
This was predicted back in the 1960’s by Pope Paul VI in his controversial encyclical letter Humanae Vitae. The full text is available online, but in brief:
Pope Paul [warned] that … the desire for unlimited dominion over one’s own body extends beyond contraception. The production of “test-tube babies” is another indication of the refusal to accept the body’s limitations; so too are euthanasia and the use of organs transplanted from those who are “nearly” dead. We seek to adjust the body to our desires and timetables, rather than adjusting ourselves to its needs.
Many disagree with the teaching of Pope Paul VI, and the Catholic Church, about artificial contraception: but I think there’s little doubt that this was a prescient warning. We’re seeing it in operation in the euthanasia policies of the Low Countries. Nature is no longer allowed to take its course; it’s ‘helped along’, willy-nilly.
Think about this from your own perspective as you grow older. I’m very familiar with this, after years as a pastor, so I can put myself into the shoes of a patient fairly easily. You begin to lose your ability to concentrate . . . you can’t remember things that happened fairly recently . . . you may not recognize people you’ve known for years.
One day, a doctor you hardly know starts talking to you about ‘medical options’ and ‘procedures’ and your ‘right’ to be free from pain, fear and worry, and he pressures you to sign ‘just a simple form’ for ‘further treatment’. One month later, he sticks a needle in your arm, and you ‘fade to black’.
Your organs are harvested for distribution to others (at a fat profit to the hospital, but none to your estate), and your relatives divide your money and possessions between them. Most of them probably won’t bother to come to your funeral. They’ll be too busy fighting over the spoils.
Welcome to our brave new world.
(Originally, I was going to say The National Enquirer, but that periodical appears to have achieved more gravitas of late than The New York Times and Time magazine, combined!) 🙂
Let’s see. In the past week…
- Hillary WILL DEFINITELY be indicted
- Hillary WILL DEFINITELY NOT be indicted
- Global Warming is real (as determined by bribed/blackmailed scientists)
- Oklahoma Fracking is causing the increased earthquake activity there (as determined by the same ‘team’ of scientists)
- Assange states Wikileaks will release astounding information damning to Hillary in the next couple of days. – from Saturday last (We’re still waiting, Julian!)
- GMO foods are killing us.
- Vaccinating is bad
- Vaccinating is good.
- More BEE species are facing extinction (due to Monsanto pesticide and GMO development)
- Big corporations (like Monsanto) are bad. Just because they are big, and make money.
- Hillary will win (because the fix is in, ballot box stuffing, voter fraud, Soros, Illuminati, etc.)
- Hillary will win (based on some Quija board predictions in the past – see Groundhog Day)
- Trump will win (see above Hillary win stuff for reasons)
One thing I have noticed. Many of the same scientists are aligned with the same forces who believe in global warming, are anti-GMO and ANTI-vaxxer types, and have the ‘humans are bad for the Earth’ (and obtaining oil is bad, and think we need a global government to solve everything) way of thinking.
IF YOU HAVE NOT VOTED, PLEASE DO SO. IF NOT, YOU WILL HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN.
Thank GOD today is Election Day, and it will all be over soon!
One way or another…
God save The United States of America, from herself!