Monthly Archives: July 2012

SSI and the mentally unbalanced people who run it

There is nothing more addictive than spending other people’s money.  And nothing makes us feel more grand than distributing other people’s money to other “other people” whom we think could use it.

Social Security used to be a basic pension.  Pay in for the rest of your working life, and we’ll take care of you after you can no longer work.  That paying in created a large pile of cash at the Treasury, which is rather like supplying a kindergarten classroom with buckets of brightly colored paint and removing all adult supervision. The results are easily predictable.

So your representatives started fingering the Social Security loot like Scrooge McDuck and one of the brilliant ideas they came up with was adding no more payers, but more payees– this time, it was people under retirement age who were unable to work through no fault of their own.  Roy fell through a scaffold at work, broke his back and will never walk again.  Social Security is gonna help Roy by replacing some of that income he can no longer earn.  Well, there can’t be that many Roy’s out there, and it’s a good cause, and there is just SO MUCH MONEY here, that we should do it. So, we did, and it did make a certain sense.

Fast forward to 2012, when the fastest growing segment of SSI recipients are children who never earned a dime in their lives, but who are diagnosed with a disorder like depression or ADHD or ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) or Conduct Disorder or SYGACF (“Something You Get A Check For”).  The bar is incredibly low.  Momma takes you to a special doctor recommended by a nice lawyer, and she tells you, “Just act crazy and we’ll get money and then we’ll get you those new Transformers!”  This is not an exaggeration, as a Child Protective Services worker, I have heard this from the children’s mouths.

My biggest problem is not the fraud, although it is galling. It is the gross stupidity that preceded the decision to take money intended to replace missing income for folks who need it and to give to kids who never earned any and don’t need it.

That’s the addictive power of OPM; it makes you lose your mind.  Other People’s Money is the crack cocaine of Congress.  Never do you hear a crackhead step back from the pipe and say, “Well, no more for me, thanks.  That should be enough for anyone!”  And never do you hear a congressman say that, either.

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Bigot’s Rights

Melvin Bedford Blunt is a bigot. He hates just about everybody who differs from him in any significant way. And it’s high time he got some respect.

I want to thank the politically-correct editorial writers of America for giving me the courage to speak out and demand that Americans everywhere respect Melvin’s bigotry. After all, at least ten percent of Americans are bigots. (We know this to be a fact because it has been repeated innumerable times in print.) Many of these bigots never come out of the closet, fearing public ridicule. Some closet bigots even maintain relationships with people of different religions and ethnicities, hoping to mask their true orientation. But bigotry is a lifestyle as old as mankind, and those of us who value diversity are obligated to stand up for the bigot community and insist that they be accepted in the American mainstream just as they are.

Melvin Blunt never asked to be a bigot. He just is one. As far back as his childhood, he remembers not liking black people, brown people, blond people, Bolivians and Baptists. As he moved through adolescence, some adult bigots helped him get in touch with his true identity by taking him to Klan rallies and marches (otherwise known as “Bigot Pride Parades”). His horizons expanded as his latent bigot consciousness grew to include a distaste for Lithuanians, Libertarians, and lovers of Louis Lamour.

Melvin’s personal orientation has always elicited scorn and rejection from his community. Preachers rail at bigots from their pulpits, self-righteously judging their lifestyle choice. The whole bigot community is shunned by civic groups and discriminated against in the workplace.  Hispanic employers don’t want to hire Melvin just because he calls them “burrito benders” in the privacy of his own bedroom. What about Melvin’s constitutional right to privacy? What happens in an American’s own chat room between consenting adults is nobody else’s business. You cannot punish a man just because he rails against Republicans, Romanians, rent collectors and the Rotary Club. Where are you, ACLU?

Even when Melvin served his country with valor in the Fort Dix motor pool, he was subjected to the humiliating “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule. He longed to stand proud before his fellow soldiers and explain why America was all about protecting his right to hate anybody he chose. But that door was slammed in his face. No, Melvin didn’t want to recruit new bigots. He just wanted the Army to respect his desire to dislike doctors, Democrats, doormen, and Dodge dealers. But Melvin’s commanding officer told him point-blank that the Army would not tolerate intolerance, and that the only way Melvin could keep his stripes was to keep his bigot lifestyle a secret.

Over the years, various people have suggested that Melvin could stop being a bigot, if only he wanted to. Self-proclaimed “former bigots” offer counseling to “help” people like Melvin. Such arrogance! Why can’t they just accept him for who he is? By discriminating against Melvin, such people are just exposing their own hidden bigoted urges, no matter how much they deny it. Every diversity proponent doesn’t like somebody. The popularity of David Duke, Louis Farrakhan, and White Men Can’t Jump speaks for itself. I say it’s high time to expose the hypocrisy.

America needs to stop the hate and antagonism of bigoted people as part of the mainstream of public discourse. It would help if we retired the term “bigot” altogether, in favor of a more culturally-sensitive designation: Selective-American. But our government is the key. Americans should expect, no, demand that the next administration appoint at least one Selective-American to a cabinet post. We could get Selective-Americans to lecture in our elementary schools during Cultural Diversity Week. Let our children decide for themselves whether the Selective lifestyle is for them, free from the parochial pressures of parental prejudice. It’s time, America, to strike a blow for legally-mandated tolerance of intolerance. Intolerance of intolerance must no longer be tolerated in our bright and shiny land of the free.

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On the decline of Christianity

Jay Guin, in his blog, One in Jesus, opened the topic of the observed decline of Christian observance. My take on this:

I agree that the answer is in the church… it’s just not in the churches. I cannot say I see any solution which lets organizations which are less than the church continue to claim to be what they are not and continue to try to carve out a larger segment of the religion market, all with divine unction. It is not the church which is in decline, my friends, it is “Christianity”, the hydra-headed religion we have built with a variety of admixtures of the ethics of Jesus and approaches to scripture.

Our challenge is neither to save this passing form, nor to tear it down because of its fatal flaws. Our challenge is, for lack of a more elegant term, to shed our skin. We are called to be disciples of Jesus, the younger siblings of the King of Glory, the sons of God. We have become something far less, the faithful keepers of shrines– historical, cultural, theological, doctrinal shrines. We have attached ourselves to buildings and bibles and beliefs, to symbols rather than substance, to places and purposes rather than to a Person, to that which is revealed more than to the One Who Reveals. For about 600 years, God has continued to bless this form, knowing, as we have not known, that it is just that– a form.

But the limitations of that form become more and more apparent, all the more for the desperate attempts by its current custodians to caulk all the cracks, to alternately armor it and remodel it in an effort to save it. While we have been absorbed with perceived threats which are actually just intramural squabbles among the shrines, the sons of God have been quietly leaving those shrines. Some, certainly, in selfish seeking, but more because what has been advertised on the label has not been that which we have found in the box. “Sir, we would see Jesus,” will not forever be answered with, “Come and sit here under my feet. Pay for our shrine and we will let you serve her.”

My brothers, the new theses of Christ’s disciples will not be nailed to the Wittenburg door, but will spread both behind and far beyond such doors. This is both incredibly encouraging and troubling. Undoubtedly, wolves will come in among the turmoil. These seeking saints have courage, but this does not make them invulnerable. So much the more need for true shepherds of the Great Shepherd, not just managers of a local sheepfold. So much more the need for mature believers whose faith transcends doctrine and tradition; so much greater the call for grown-up believers who will cease gathering into their own barns and who can see the Kingdom of God as reality.

Categories: Faith. And church. | Leave a comment

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