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December 7th

This is a scan of a page of my most recent copy of the American Legion magazine, which I get for free because I am a veteran who is a member of the American Legion.  I’m posting it as part of my annual tribute to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7th, 1941, which prompted the United States to enter into WW2.

Dealing with the Veteran’s Administration again . . .

I am currently trying, once again, to deal with the Veteran’s Administration (VA), to get my left femur replaced.  At this point in time, I have been trying for 38 years to get this problem fixed.

In all of that time, the standard response of the VA has been “the problem is not yet severe enough for us to justify the expense or risk of performing the procedure.”  What that means is, because the procedure would probably need to be repeated in 20 years, they are unwilling to do the corrective surgery before I am old enough to only qualify for it one time.

So, because I became disabled so young (aged 18), I have spent 38 years waiting for the chance to resume anything even remotely resembling a normal life – even though it would only require ONE surgery to deliver that option to me.

My new primary care doctor, at the VA Health clinic in Joplin, was willing to order a new MRI to evaluate the situation, and that has been scheduled for later this month.  However, based on the report of the preliminary X-rays before the MRI, I am not expecting them to agree to the procedure at this time.

IMHO, this is a completely upside down evaluation.  The VA is looking at how many times the procedure may need to be done throughout my lifetime – and what I am concerned about is my quality of life for however long I have left.  The last 38 years have been what should have been some of the most productive years of my life – and of them I’ve spent 28 years doing minimum wage labor, and the last 10 years I’ve been unemployable.  All of this despite the undeniable fact that nobody knows for sure when I will die – whether by an accident, illness, or natural causes.  Let’s not forget, it all started with a bone tumor, and that caused a permanent impairment to my immune system.

If the VA tells me later this month that they are still not willing to replace my femur, my wife is considering adding me to her medical insurance, just to attempt to get the surgery done.  I think that is still a long shot, but we’ll look at it.  If it isn’t viable, I’m considering whether it is time to consider a new body.  Continuing the downward spiral is certainly not going to be viable for very long, and since I do believe in a form of reincarnation, it is worth thinking about.

Exposed a lie . . .

Yesterday was a very long, but ultimately worthwhile, day for us.  It was my first visit to the new VA Health clinic in Joplin.

Of course, being a new facility, it looked nice.  In fact, it’s so new that the installed TV’s weren’t hooked up to any programming, yet.  LOL! To me, that was actually a good thing – we didn’t have to sit through hours of TV commercials while waiting for my appointments.

Anyway, the new care team I’m working with is AMAZING!  Every member of the team is either a veteran, or directly connected to a veteran.  They all expressed that they want to treat every veteran the way they’d want their family to be treated.

A direct result of that was exposing a lie told by my previous care doctor.  The previous one had told me, many times, that the Imitrex he was giving me was the ONLY prescription for Imitrex he could write.  10mg tablets, 9 tablets per 90 days, no automatic refills.  Yesterday’s visit with the new doc was RUSHED – his nurse said the doc usually wants to spend 2-3 hours working with a new patient on the first visit (I got 15 minutes because of a scheduling glitch) – yet he heard my complaint about the Imitrex and had no qualms about writing a new prescription for Imitrex at 50mg, 18 tablets per MONTH, with auto refill.

I think, in the long term, this is going to be a better experience, with another positive change scheduled to happen in June.  That change will come from Congress, so we’ll see how it works.

Saturday Posts . . .

IF YOU DO NOT READ ANY THING ELSE BE SURE TO TAKE THE TIME TO READ THIS:

WANT A FREE HOUSE?

I was in my neighborhood restaurant this morning and was seated behind a group of jubilant individuals celebrating the coming implementation of the health care bill. I could not finish my breakfast. This is what ensued: They were a diverse group of several races and both sexes. I heard a young man exclaim, “Isn’t Obama like Jesus Christ? I mean, after all, he is healing the sick.”

A young woman enthusiastically proclaimed, “Yeah, and he does it for free. I cannot believe anyone would think that a free market wouldn’t work for health care.”

Another said, “The stupid Republicans want us all to starve to death so they can inherit all of the power. Obama should be made a Saint for what he did for those of us less fortunate.”

At this, I had more than enough. I arose from my seat, mustering all the restraint I could find, and approached their table. “Please excuse me; may I impose upon you for one moment?”

They smiled and welcomed me to the conversation. I stood at the end of their table, smiled as best I could and began an experiment.

“I would like to give one of you my house. It will cost you no money and I will pay all of the expenses and taxes for as long as you live there. Anyone interested?”

They looked at each other in astonishment. “Why would you do something like that?” asked a young man, “There isn’t anything for free in this world.” They began to laugh at me, as they did not realize this man had just made my point.

“I am serious, I will give you my house for free, no money whatsoever. Anyone interested?”

In unison, a resounding “Yeah” fills the room.

“Since there are too many of you, I will have to make a choice as to who receives this money-free bargain.”

I noticed an elderly couple was paying attention to the spectacle unfolding before their eyes, the old man shaking his head in apparent disgust.

“I tell you what; I will give it to the one of you most willing to obey my rules.”

Again, they looked at one another, an expression of bewilderment on their faces.

The perky young woman asked, “What are the rules?”

I smiled and said, “I don’t know. I have not yet defined them. However, it is a free home that I offer you.”

They giggled amongst themselves, the youngest of which said, “What an old coot. He must be crazy to give away his home. Go take your meds, old man.”

I smiled and leaned into the table a bit further. “I am serious, this is a legitimate offer.”

They gaped at me for a moment.

“I’ll take it you old fool. Where are the keys?” boasted the youngest among them.

“Then I presume you accept ALL of my terms then?” I asked.

The elderly couple seemed amused and entertained as they watched from the privacy of their table. “Oh yeah! Where do I sign up?”

I took a napkin and wrote, “I give this man my home, without the burden of financial obligation, so long as he accepts and abides by the terms that I shall set forth upon consummation of this
transaction.”

I signed it and handed it to the young man who eagerly scratched out his signature.

“Where are the keys to my new house?” he asked in a mocking tone of voice.

All eyes were upon us as I stepped back from the table, pulling the keys from pocket and dangling them before the excited new homeowner.

“Now that we have entered into this binding contract, witnessed by all of your friends, I have decided upon the conditions you are obligated to adhere to from this point forward. You may only live in the house for one hour a day. You will not use anything inside of the home. You will obey me without question or resistance. I expect complete loyalty and admiration for this gift I bestow upon you. You will accept my commands and wishes with enthusiasm, no matter the nature. Your morals
and principles shall be as mine. You will vote as I do, think as I do and do it with blind faith. These are my terms. Here are your keys.” I reached the keys forward and the young man looked at me dumbfounded.

“Are you out of your mind? Who would ever agree to those ridiculous terms?” the young man appeared irritated.

“You did when you signed this contract before reading it, understanding it and with the full knowledge that I would provide my conditions only after you committed to the agreement.”

The elderly man chuckled as his wife tried to restrain him. I was looking at a now silenced and bewildered group of people.

“You can shove that stupid deal up your a** old man. I want no part of it!” exclaimed the now infuriated young man.

‘You have committed to the contract, as witnessed by all of your friends. You cannot get out of the deal unless I agree to it. I do not intend to let you free now that I have you ensnared. I am the power
you agreed to. I am the one you blindly and without thought chose to enslave yourself to. In short, I am your Master.”

At this, the table of celebrating individuals became a unified group against the unfairness of the deal.

After a few moments of unrepeatable comments and slurs, I revealed my true intent.

“What I did to you is what this administration and congress did to you with the health care legislation. I easily suckered you in and then revealed the real cost of the bargain. Your folly was in the belief that you can have something you did not earn, and for that which you did not earn, you willingly allowed someone else to think for you. Your failure to research, study and inform yourself permitted reason to escape you. You have entered into a trap from which you cannot flee. Your only chance of freedom is if your new Master gives it to you. A freedom that is given can also be taken away. Therefore, it is not freedom at all.”

With that, I tore up the napkin and placed it before the astonished young man. “This is the nature of your new health care legislation.”

I turned away to leave these few in thought and contemplation — and was surprised by applause.

The elderly gentleman, who was clearly entertained, shook my hand enthusiastically and said, “Thank you, Sir. These kids don’t understand Liberty .”

He refused to allow me to pay my bill as he said, “You earned this one. It is an honor to pick up the tab.”

I shook his hand in thanks, leaving the restaurant somewhat humbled and sensing a glimmer of hope for my beloved country.

1. Remember… Four boxes keep us free: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.

2. THIS SHOULD GO AROUND THE UNITED STATES SO PEOPLE CAN SEE JUST WHAT IS GOING ON. MAYBE EVEN THE POLITICALLY BLIND ONES WILL LEARN SOMETHING FROM IT.

“ANY MAN WHO THINKS HE CAN BE HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS BY LETTING THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT TAKE CARE OF HIM; BETTER TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE AMERICAN INDIAN.” HENRY FORD  (or perhaps the US Military Veteran)

Thinking about “the wall”

Nancy Pelosi is playing a dangerous game.  Let’s look at the facts.

When Donald Trump was still a candidate for the US Presidency, one of his cornerstone promises was to “build the wall.”  He was running against Hillary Clinton, who’s popularity among Democrats was so high it was almost sacrosanct.  Even Bernie Sanders couldn’t beat her.  But she lost the general election to Donald Trump.  Those facts are not disputed.

But, now, Nancy Pelosi had decided to make the obstruction of “the wall” a pillar of her service as the reinstated Speaker of the House of Representatives.  She needs to realize that she runs the risk of so strongly galvanizing Trump’s support base that she will guarantee his re-election in 2020.  I don’t say this to attempt to change her mind (because I harbor no delusions that my word has so much weight) but because I want to be fully understood when I say the following.

While I believe that Pelosi is delusional in thinking that blocking the wall will help the Democratic Party, I do not believe that she is wrong about why she is blocking it.  Building the wall will not do anything to prevent illegal immigration.

Why do I say that?  It is VERY simple.  Even if the wall is built, it will do nothing about any of the reasons WHY people choose to illegally enter the United States.

There are 3 main reasons why someone would illegally enter the US. In no specific order, they enter the US for jobs, citizenship, or entitlements.

As it stands now, an immigrant who illegally enters the US for a job can make a better living working the same job as a US citizen, while taking only half the wages the citizen needs to earn.  An illegal immigrant pays no taxes, gets free health care, and (as I have witnessed myself) they will often live with 3-5 families in one home, while avoiding getting a driver’s license, car insurance, or other things US Citizens need to survive.  That does NOT stop them from driving cars on our streets, or using our health care system – they just don’t pay for any of it.  We pick up the difference by paying more for our insurance, licenses, and basic needs.

Citizenship – another reason that someone would illegally enter the US is if a woman is pregnant and wants her child to be a US citizen.  The whole world knows that the US is one of the few remaining sovereign nations that grants unrestricted Birthright Citizenship.  While it was once fairly common among developed nations, it is now seen as anachronistic, a throwback to a time that is no longer relevant.  Most G-8 countries do not use this system anymore.  The US does, which is why more people than ever are turning to the US, looking to fulfill their dreams for their children’s future successes.  There is only one way to do anything about this – end the practice.  We only need a minor change to make a major difference.  Just require that all future Birthright Citizens have at least one parent who is already a US Citizen, and this will no longer be a draw for illegal immigration.

Entitlements – free welfare, medical care, and even government subsidized smart phones go a long way to encourage people to believe that they can live a better life in the US than they could in their own home country.  As the law is currently written, no hospital can legally refuse to treat any patient purely on the grounds that they can’t afford to pay for emergency care. Plus, any married man working an “under the table” job, which is illegal,  has a wife who qualifies to apply for welfare benefits on the grounds that her family has no income.  The welfare agencies are not only not required to verify citizenship status, they are actively PREVENTED from doing so by Federal mandates.  Once again, the fix for this is simple.  Start requiring ALL welfare agencies to verify LEGAL US residency, every 6 months, and this will no longer support those who are here only to take advantage of our generosity and altruism.

Best of all – those are all changes that cost almost nothing.  We don’t need a $50 Billion dollar wall to stop illegal immigration.  We just need to end the reasons why citizens of other countries would want to enter our country illegally.  Leave the current LEGAL entry system alone – people who are willing to follow our rules to legally enter the US should always be welcome.

And, let’s not forget, Donald Trump is a businessman.  He’s intimately familiar with “the Art Of the Deal” – he even had a book written in his name on that very subject.  So, if Pelosi were to go back to the negotiation table with Donald, and offer full support for ALL 3 of these suggestions, we might see an immediate end to the debate about the wall AND our illegal immigration problem.