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No Good Deed…

You know the rest!

With both my roommate and I having infirmities and physical limitations (along with no longer being 22!) sometimes things get procrastinated about, or just ignored.

One of those things is our back ‘yard’.

Living in a small townhouse, the yard isn’t particularly large, but my roomie, with her love for the flora, has numerous plants, both potted and in the ground, which sometimes require tending.

And between recent other adventures and doctor’s appointments, the yard has not seen proper maintenance.

And a number of ‘volunteer’ plants have been added to the mix by Mother Nature.  Like lantana, which has taken over to the extent we cannot reach the hose bib or electric box!

Now, there is a time constraint, as her first shoulder surgery is scheduled for March 21.  And I suspect nurse will be added to the title chief cook and bottle washer for me.  And, with her right arm immobilized for a minimum of six weeks, her physical abilities will be severely limited.

So, Thursday last, I carved out some time in the morning to take a stab at the yard.  Because it was necessary. (It didn’t help a number of massive fronts were coming in from California starting Friday!)

My target:

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(the white structure on the right is a non-functional Jacuzzi – now a plant stand)

I popped a significant pain pill, waited for it to kick in and headed out.  Wishing in all seriousness I had a machete ala Indiana Jones.

I had a rake, a shovel, and a weed-eater.

The plan was to work until it was done – no excuses!  Then, the pain pill wore off.  At about two hours.  When not involved in manual labor, they last four or more!

So much for THAT idea.

BUT, I cleaned up 75-80% of the yard, obtained access to the bib and the utility box (getting stabbed byagave-americana the century plant at least twice!), and trimmed back the palm tree by the back gate as to only get attacked by one palm frond, in lieu of three.

With palms like these, who needs anemones? – Thelonious Monk (from the liner notes for the Dave Brubeck ‘Take Five’ album)

More obviously needs to be done.  But that’s for another day.

And Friday and Saturday I paid for my good deed…

My arthritis kicked in big time, as did muscle pain, general tiredness and malaise.

And my doc wants me to limit use of NSAIDS, having over-used them for the past twenty years or more.

SIGH.

The Return Of BUREAUCRATIZILLA!

I’ve posted about the bane of my existence – BUREAUCRATIZILLA9 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?

WRONG.

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.

Next Tuesday!

BUREAUCRATIZILLA, MUCH?!

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

Werd Play

I like speaking and writing correctly.  Sometimes, I even succeed at so doing.  🙂

Perhaps a better title for this post would be Word Pet Peeves.

IRREGARDLESS

I loathe the use of this instead of the correct word, REGARDLESS.  Sadly, the O.E.D. (Oxford English Dictionary) has added this variant as a real word, because it is in common use.

SUPOSABLY

My guess is people were trying to pronounce SUPPOSEDLY, and stumbled.  Or mis-heard.  Then adopted it as correct.  It’s not.

PERBATIM

I used to work with an investigator.  An educated man, I can only surmise he mis-heard VERBATIM, and ran with it.

(One from my roommate)  FORTE

When one is good at something.  You may notice an accent is missing.  It is NOT FORTE’ !  And is pronounced fortAgain, something done wrong in common usage.  Look it up.  I had to.

And don’t get me started on mis-heard song lyrics!  I blame overly loud speakers, concert noise and the tinny AM radios of my youth.  Any suggestion that over indulgence in alcohol or other chemicals does not apply – to me, anyway!  😛

There have been books written about them.

Doughnuts make my brown eyes blue

There’s a bathroom on the right.

Hold me closer Tony Danza

‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy.

I’m certain you can add to the list(?)

h/t Tomi

 

Our Tax Dollars At Work, Again

(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.

 

OOPS! It’s Global Warming Back, Again!

How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data

Via Billy
 Data Science,Climate and satellites Consultant John J Bates, who blew the whistle to the Mail on Sunday The Mail on Sunday can reveal a landmark paper exaggerated global warming
 It was rushed through and timed to influence the Paris agreement on climate change
America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration broke its own rules
The report claimed the pause in global warming never existed, but it was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data
courtesy of Brock Townsend
Funny how the Left is inexorably tied to global warming climate change, regardless the evidence that continues to surface that man-made global warming was always a phony idea, designed to punish industrialization and governments, in the name of a new world order.
Could it be the Left wants to be at the helm of this new order?
Naw…

The Patriot Pin for California

from TFB (in part)

Stupid gun laws develop new solutions, and there seems to be no limits on either.

The Patriot Pin is for AR15s, and to make them compliant to new laws in some US States.

I don’t know how to define this invention if to call it stupid or clever?

I guess you do what you have to do, to adapt to new rules and legislation. Gun owners are typically about as law-abiding as a citizen can get.

From the Patriot Pin homepage:

Because some state laws require the gun be “disassembled”, before the magazine can be loaded from the top or to remove the magazine, the Patriot-Pin makes it extremely fast and easy to do that.

With your hand firmly on the pistol grip, simply extend your thumb to the end of the arm and “push” it in.

You’ll feel the arm stop at just the right spot allowing you to then open your gun so that you have access to the magazine or the magazine lock “button”.

ppin

Hundreds of hours of research and development have gone into making the Patriot-Pin, from every angle, edge, and surface and is proudly 100% made and engineered in the USA.

“One hundred hours is about 2.5 working weeks. Of course there’s no definition on how many hundreds of those that went into the R&D, but I figure that a price of 99 USD for this kind of product is expensive.

Don’t let the price scare you, some of that R&D money went into a rather cool webpage which also explains the function of the Patriot Pin way better than I can with words.

Have a look and tell us what you think in the Comments section below, I look forward to that more than ever.

Patriot Pin Homepage

Thank GOD I live in the Free State of Arizona!  Now, if I could only afford to get an AR-15!  (I used to have FOUR (well, three and a parts gun), in various configurations!)  😦

 

 

In Search Of…

Old stuff!  (NO – not the 70’s TV series!)  😛

I’ve recently been blessed with the acquisition (or re-acquisition) of two firearms, as recounted in these pages – a first-year, original old frame style Ruger Security Six, and a Sig Sauer P245.

Both long out-of production and both ‘classics’ in their own right.

And both are fine to carry and shoot just as they are, but…

Like most gun folks, I cannot leave well enough alone!

Regarding the Ruger Security Six, she has the standard stocks.  When I was previously gun poor and carried her as a loaner (thanks again Dave the genius mechanic!) she was resplendent with a pair of Herrett Shooting Star checkered stocks.  Reportedly, these cracked beyond repair and have been discarded.

And Herrett no longer makes them for the original old frame.

Does anyone know where an old set might be acquired, or failing that, a similar style manufactured by some other manufacturer?

(Being an old-school gun guy just doesn’t get any easier?)

Now to the Sig Sauer P245.  Again no longer in production.  And the long-used night sites have faded to the brightness of the spark generated by breaking a Wint-O-Green Life Saver or white Necco Wafer in a dark closet.  Fortunately, when I can afford it, replacements ARE available.  (Although she does shoot quite well without any tritium, regardless!)

The ‘problem’ here is a decent IWB concealment holster.  Just like the Ruger, as they are no longer in production, finding accountrement for her is difficult.

AND, of course, I’m left-handed!

I like the idea of something straight-drop in Kydex, but at this point anything above a Fruit-Of-The-Loom, metal clip-on chamois pouch would suffice.

Anybody?  Bueller?  Bueller?ferris-bueller

Well, What NOW?

SOME of us got what we asked for.
Some didn’t.

Originally, I was gong to post regarding the last administrations’ ‘accomplishments’ – Benghazi, Fast & Furious, Uranium to the Russians, The Iranian bribe, continuing Gitmo, continuing massive unwarranted surveillance on American citizens, Executive Orders in excess, medical insurance taxes, golf games, ongoing wars, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
Then, it occurred to me I would be going backward.
What about the future?
Will DJT lessen the intrusions, black sites, unwarranted searches, etc.
I kinda doubt it.
Will patriotism be increased? Perhaps? Prosperity? Maybe. Crony capitalism? Perhaps, or it might remain the same as under the last administration.
Will the progressives fight tooth-and nail to keep all the socialist agendas they fought for the past eight years?

Of course.
Will Gun Rights improve? Maybe.

I’m taking a wait and see attitude – applauding those things with which I agree, and condemning those I don’t.

Hopefully, there will be much more applause this term than the last two!

God Bless The United States of America!

Sometimes You Find The Ark Of The Covenant…

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  weeks  months.

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.

Sigh.

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!

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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?)

 

Radio! Radio!

I was never a big radiophile growing up.  Probably because the focus was AM radio, and I preferred classical and jazz to rock-and-roll. (My older sister worshipped Elvis, however.)

I did remember my Dad telling me about his youth, having a crystal radio with which he could listen to AM channels in the evening, especially ‘on the skip’.  He would then write the radio station and they would confirm what he heard by mailing him a QSL card!  (Much as Amateur radio operators do today).qsl
I even have a collector’s book (somewhere) of my Dad’s QSL cards, like from Pittsburgh and Chicago. (He lived in Providence, Rhode Island!)

So, in high school, instead of listening to the Monkees, the Beatles and Herman’s Hermits, I ‘borrowed’ my Dad’s AM tube radio.  I connected the foot-long antenna to my window screen, shoved a robe under the bottom of the door (to prevent radio light leakage) and listened to late-night AM radio ‘on-the-skip’, like KSL (Salt Lake City) and WFAA (Dallas)!  I remember even hearing some Chicago stations! (I was in the Phoenix area.)

This worked well for a long time – at least until an errant robe sleeve found it’s way into the hallway, and my radio privileges were taken away!  😦

I never wrote away for a QSL card, though.

Now, of course, one may turn one’s cellular telephone into a virtual AM/FM radio, with huge range.

It was a more primitive time.

As with dial telephone land lines, and pre-Internet, the youth will never understand.

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…