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This tag is associated with 42 posts

Bureaucratizilla and Insurance

Go together like a horse and carriage…

Once upon a time, I owned a home.

Nice corner lot.

In a sketchy neighborhood – it was all I could afford.

After a car ran into the house (driven by a drunk driver), a subsequent burglary (renovation workers?), and a plumbing failure with mold threatening, the insurance company cancelled my insurance.

Not surprising.

A subsequent water damage problem came concurrent with the onset of my cancer, and loss of the house and insurance, home and medical.

Yeah, I know.  Just lucky, I guess.  :-)

I did land ‘on my feet’, thanks to a good friend who allowed me to move in with her, and being awarded medical disability.  Fortunately, not only do I get SSDI, but I had the foresight to obtain additional private carrier disability insurance when I was employed.  Together, they make just enough for me to survive.

Barely.  Sometimes.

But the private insurer likes to give me hoops to jump through – like me sending them medical and financial records – lest I appear to be actually working and getting ‘extra’ unauthorized funds from them monthly!

The joys of bureaucracy.

Now, my former employer, TMCCC*, has contacted me suggesting I take retirement!  I just turned 62.  And as I haven’t accessed their human resources website in many years, I had to jump through even more hoops.

All to advise them I’ve no plans to retire until 2017 – when I turn 65.

At least I’m not a close friend who gleefully signed up for Obamacare!  When it came time to renew their government-mandated medical insurance, they were told they could keep it.  For an additional $300 a month!

Unable to afford it, they opted for AHCCCS – Arizona’s Medicaid option.

And trying to advise the federal government they were discontinuing one insurance, and starting another was (in a word) difficult.  Apparently, one calls in and leaves a message, so ‘they’ can call you back.  ‘They’ do so (days later), and then threaten you with prosecution for not having insurance – even though you explained to them you were simply changing to another carrier!

(I should have included this in my previous posts regarding customer service, I know!)

I know all of us must deal with some variety of bureaucracy and it’s web of crap, but, with this modern age of computers, the Internet and menu prompts, you’d think it would be easier?

Especially on the older with infirmities.

NOPE.

*TMCCC – That Major Credit Card Company, where I was employed 22 years.

Animals And Their Rights

Kent (of Kent’s Hooligan Libertarian Blog) recently mused regarding the subject of animals, their ‘rights’, and his wearing of buckskin and eating animal flesh.  And the spurious arguments of radical vegetarians.    The money quote, to wit:

“I know how many vertebrates died for me to make my jacket. Three deer, a pig (for the brains I used to tan the hides), and an elk, which is where the sinew used to sew the jacket came from. (Various numbers of yellow jackets were also crushed when I rung out the wet hides during tanning.)

“How many animals died due to the farming or manufacture, and transportation, of your cotton, nylon, or hemp clothing? Habitat loss, agricultural chemicals, the trucks and factories and fuel all took a toll on animals. Both of us wear clothes that resulted in death. At least I own it.” (end)

Now, I’ve no argument with the rank-and-file vegan or fruititarian with regard to their lifestyle choice.  Some varieties might be healthier than my choices.  But, some seem bent on making me change my lifestyle choices, because they see theirs as the true way.  Much like a religious zealot.  Or a global cooling, global warming, climate change, climate disruption (or whatever they are calling it this week) zealot.

As with any other good for you philosophy –  when tied to a political agenda, it loses it’s purity.

Because it’s for the children.  Or Mother Earth.  Or Gaia.  Or whatever they are calling it this week.

MY (libertarian-philosophical) choice is generally to leave others alone.  I try to pass this knowledge onto to others who are receptive to it.  If they are not, that’s their business.

Learning to leave others alone to their business is freeing.  And less stressful.

It’s for the children, ya know!

(I’m gonna go have a bacon cheeseburger now!  With onion straws, cheddar, barbeque sauce and mustard.  And crisp French fries. Your choices may vary.  And that’s okay.)

bacon cheeseburger

Dentophobia

(I don’t know if that’s the correct term, but, it seems to apply.)

When I was in early elementary school, I had a great dentist.  No pain, trinkets afterward.  When I was in the Second Grade, I got a skull ring with ruby eyes for myself, and a heart ring for Susan Johnson, my girlfriend.

Then my Dad married my stepmother that Summer, and we moved.  And I never saw her again.  Nor the cool dentist. :-(

My adult teeth came in, and in junior high came time for me to revisit a dentist.  My stepmother took me to hers, who had apprenticed under Dr. Mengele!

Not enough anesthetic, no sympathy, my own unfamiliarity with adult teeth.  It was like that movie that set dentistry back 150 years…

And, my stepmother being embarrassed by my ‘carrying-on’ just never took me back.  EVER.

And my teeth, which are very soft (I’m told because I was born premature) just rotted on the vine.  My Dad’s example didn’t help, either.  He had full upper false teeth by the time he was twenty-one!

So, much of my adult life has been avoiding dentists and dentistry, or having no insurance, or funds, and dealing with the wreckage of my past.

My current situation is a lower molar, filling compromised, tooth self-destructing.  Fortunately, tooth pain has been intermittent and dealt with with topical aids.  But recently part of the tooth broke, and the side is chronically abrading the side of my tongue when I speak.

And I like talking.  OW!

I was able to blunt the edge enough to make things more comfortable – but I know a dentist visit is in my future.

And I keep repeating in my head, “Is it SAFE?”

More Disturbing News

via Irish

Meanwhile in The Peoples Democratik Republik of Vermont?

This is an email I got from one of my blog friends, has anyone in Vermont seen this
as far as driver’s license renewal?It has been recently been related to me the new regulations concerning driver’s license renewal in VT. There is a list of afflictions, diseases, disorders, etc.. that are automatic disqualifies. I wasn’t privy too the renewal form, or the complete list, but having DIABETES is on the list. The person that told me about this had to take a day off from work to have forms filled out by his physician, then he had to deliver them to the official state physician, then a non-medical tribunal (death panel?) will adjudicate whether he is deserving to clog up the People roads. After doing some digging on the ‘Net, he found that non-disclosure of a physical condition would be hazardous to your freedom – the state already knows what you have. They are in hopes you purger yourself, especially since the IRS is in charge of health care now. Fines, jail time, and suspension of driving privileges await you if you don’t believe the Feds should be involved in EVERY aspect of your life. So much for HIPPA laws, HUH?
Another thing I was made aware of a while back. Doctor’s offices in VT have you fill out a form during a visit. On it,  are questions asking if you own guns, how many, what types, etc…. The questions are not optional, and you can not leave them blank. At the bottom of the form, you are informed that it is a FEDERAL document, and that any false statements are a FEDERAL crime. I imagine “None of your Fuckin’ business” would garner you a visit from your friendly local SWAT team at 2am.

I’m tellin’ you dude, the amount of crap is getting harder and harder to take. Something is going to break in this country, and it isn’t going to be pleasant when it does.
Whatever happened to the libertarian movement to move to a generally friendly State, to fill it with libertarians and make it a Mecca for freedom-loving people everywhere?  I seem to remember Vermont was on the short list as a possible choice.
Obviously, this hasn’t happened.
I do remember being concerned when I was diagnosed  with Type II Diabetes, just because I knew of folks who had difficulty maintaining consciousness during the day with this disease.  I’ve been fortunate that for me, this hasn’t been the case.  Of course, I am on various meds, and with my beater car don’t drive much or far!
And then there’s the whole HIPAA medical privacy thing?
Is this yet another gateway to backdooring medical records to make certain persons prohibited possessors?
Or is it just generic control, again…

Government Competence

and other oxymorons, like military intelligence and jumbo shrimp.

(From The Silicon Graybeard, in part…)

Is it just me, or is it really the case that there are no adults left in charge in the country?  These guys are worse than the faculty lounge crowd, they’re more like the student council!  There are so many examples, I don’t know where to start, but WTF happened to the secret service?  Didn’t they used to be competent?   We have agents being sent home for being drunk from the Netherlands, from Miami  and there was that rather big incident with the Colombian hooker.  We have the president in close proximity with a guy with convictions for assault and battery, who was carrying an illegal firearm. And, of course, we have this story, which is sucking up most of the air.  (Holbert at Townhall.com)

The NIH is finding cultures of deadly diseases lying around in old boxes, and the CDC exposed employees to anthrax, so no worry about them letting ebola into the country.

No, no, no.  Everything is fine.  They’re smarter and better than us.  We just don’t understand how lucky we are to have them.

For those who continually fall back on government as the savior they sometimes aren’t, that last part is sarcasm.

Ms. Clinton likes proclaim she was a Goldwater Republican in college – then she grew up.  I think those who clamor for government handouts when they are perfectly capable of working themselves are the true children.  And, like children, they worship their parents who can do no wrong in their eyes.

“… government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem.”  –  Ronald Reagan

 

“What To Do…What To Do…?

My friend Borepatch recently brought up a primary technique in self-defense.

That of avoidance.

I remember being a callow youth, and one of my friends suggested (on multiple occasions) we visit a bar in a ‘bad part of town’ to start fights!  To show how tough we were.

Now, my disability aside, when I was in my 20’s, I was thinner, faster, more imbued with testosterone, perhaps – but I wasn’t stupid.

And, I wasn’t tough.  So I demurred.

Now, of course, life’s lessons have made me much slower, in more chronic pain, and less hormonal.  I AM tougher, though.  And maybe a little smarter.

Which brings me to my point.

I used to go ANYWHERE in The Valley.  At any time.  I was the real Travis Bickle.  I don’t know if it was a death wish or stupidity, or simply ignorance.

NOW, I think “would I really want to be THERE, at that time, alone (or unarmed)?”

But these flash mobs and knockout squads aren’t just appearing in ‘the bad parts of town’.  They are becoming ubiquitous.  And, being disabled, I cannot just cross the street – quickly.

This is one reason I carry almost everywhere – and Condition Yellow is my code.

I can take care of myself, given the chance.  I just hope I can see the opposition coming.

Suicide Is Painless

Some of you may recognize the post title as the theme song to the film and TV show M.A.S.H.  It’s ironic.

It’s obvious from the outpouring of emotion that the recent suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams touched many people.  And caused THEM pain.

As a libertarian, I believe I’ve the right to do with my own body as I wish.  You do, too.  As long as it doesn’t affect other people negatively.

And there’s the rub.

I can eat more than is healthy, eat the ‘wrong’ foods, smoke or drink if I wish, watch ‘questionable’ videos, read unsavory material, and most of this doesn’t directly affect my family, friends, or former coworkers.

But, what if I choose to do something permanent…?

Why is it it appears the more artistic of us are the most tortured?  Or is that a misconception based on the fact famous people get the media attention?

When I heard about Robin Williams, my first thought was he has children.  And based on that fact alone, he should not have taken this path.

And then I thought of Ernest Hemingway, another artistic person with issues who ended his own life.  And Vincent Van Gogh.  And so many others.

If you have such issues, please get help!  Know that there are people out there who care.  And that the World would be lacking without you.

h/t The Actor’s Studio

“Fat Man’s Letter”

 

arrested_redditI see permutations of the above on the streets more and more.  Our tax dollars being used to support out-of-shape police personnel who’s ACLU lawsuits have made such a thing possible.

Yes, I understand many officers spend most of their shifts at a desk, or behind the wheel, and it’s more difficult to keep in shape when constantly seated.  And of course, the whole police-doughnut meme.

But, there was a time when keeping in condition was part of the job.

Back-in-the-day, there was a time when a patrolman’s sergeant would send out a fat man’s letter to the officer, advising him that he had X number of days to lose weight or be put on desk duty.  Or worse.

Now, with police unions, their right to be fat like the rest of us seems to be engraved in stone.  Or cellulite.

I remember when I worked for John’s Uniforms back in the 80’s.  At that time, there was no Internet, and very few independent uniform and equipment stores.  As a result, we sold mail order all over the country.  And our business was booming.

We filled many special orders for equipment not available through regular retail channels.  I specifically remember an order for a black, basket-weave Sam Browne duty belt (from a department in Georgia I believe).  THE WAIST MEASUREMENT NINETY-FOUR INCHES!! (94″)  It took a whole steer hide to get one in one piece.

Seriously, how does such an officer pursue a suspect on foot?  Or get into a squad car?  Or even a restroom stall?

I understand the military (with the exception of The Marines and Spec-Ops guys) have a similar problem.  Our tax dollars at work…

daily-morning-awesomeness-204At least he’s using a bicycle.  How he caught him I’ll never know!

Now, I’m overweight and disabled.  But I’m not tasked with public safety, either.

Six Months Old!

Time for spaying.  :-(

Poor Baby! – but our vet advises us her chances of contracting canine breast cancer are decreased by a huge percentage, IF the spay is done prior to her first heat.

Yesterday, we dropped her off @ 0800 – picked her up @ 1300.  “Fixed’, as the expression goes.  Plus the removal of some extraneous baby teeth, along with a couple of crowding adult ones.  Especially common in chee-hooa-hooa dogs.

AND, she’s been micro-chipped (for her safety).

Rather than the cone-of-shame, we chose a life-preserver-style apparatus.  It would have been hysterical had it said S.S. Minnow, but, at least it’s pink.

As is her cage, to keep her from running willy-nilly against vet’s orders.  For most of the next 7 to 10 days.

Poor Lola!

20140709_160216The good news is her prognosis is excellent!  :-)

Voluntarism, Understanding & Acceptance

My good friend Crystal is participating in a public art tribute to those (like herself) who suffer from chronic health conditions, and those who are survivors of conditions such as cancer (like Guffaw).

Being a big believer in voluntarism, I support her in her efforts to get the message across that folks who suffer are not victims, but are simply trying to be understood and accepted.

She is 49% funded in her efforts, and supporters get original goodies when they contribute!  She has 10 more days left in this effort.

(at the link below – I HAD it embedded, then it went away!  DRAT!)

http://rkthb.co/42899

50% of Americans have a chronic illness that they don’t talk about. As a society, we’re uncomfortable with less-than-perfect health. When you fund this public art installation, you acknowledge the elephant in the room and celebrate the resilient people who surround you and their caretakers, mentors and sponsors. – Crystal Daigle

(I get nothing from her, save her friendship.  I much prefer this approach on a more personal level than large bureaucracies or government funding.  Please view her message even if you cannot participate.  Thank you.- Guffaw)

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

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It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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I'm currently on disability, unable to work, and receive marginal benefits. I've been advised by SSDI I may receive some additional income. Based on their statements, I'm adding a bleg to this blog. Effective 03/06/2012. Thank you for your kindness.

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