You’re paying for $7,000 power chairs for people who don’t need them…

February 24, 2013

So I am aware of a person who claims to have gotten a free power chair through Medi-Cal (California’s version of Medicaid) and this person says the price tag (paid by us working folks via our taxes) was $7,000.

Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating the Scooter Store company for fraud, over billing and pressuring doctors by harassing phone calls to prescribe scooters and power chairs for patients who could get along without them.

The Scooter Store guarantees to qualify people for the scooters and chairs.

I think it would be pretty easy to get a handle on how much that’s costing us taxpayers:

Just multiply the number of Walmarts times, say 50 percent of their customers, times $7,000 (at least). I mean have you been to Walmart recently? It seems half the people there are zipping around on scooters or power chairs (and I am not talking on the ones the store supplies customers as a courtesy when they shop, although that too).

I would be the last person to begrudge such a device to those who truly need them. I even get concerned for myself. I have neuropathy in my feet that if it got worse I might not be able to walk — but thankfully it has not.

But I have a strong suspicion that a lot of those people just need to get up off their lazy backsides and walk.

I guess part of the fraud suspected with the Scooter Store is that some people may be getting the scooters and then selling them.

Along the same lines, airport personnel report that some people get wheelchair service to get to the front of the line and then have a miracle that lets them walk (or run) again when the plane arrives.

My mother is 102, and although she uses a walker or a wheelchair these days, she usually gets around by her own power, not motorized stuff. She even pedals around in an adult-sized  tricycle sometimes.

The older generations tend to have a little more stamina and self initiative I think.

But seriously, this scooter thing may not be the worst fraud in government spending, but it certainly is a biggie. And it is shameful to all involved in the fraud.

Joe Biden is an embarrassment with his shotgun remark…

February 23, 2013

I’ve had quite a hiatus from this blog, not by choice but because I have been so busy at my real work as a truck driver.

But to get started again I just have to remark on what an imbecile Joe Biden is and what an embarrassment it is to have Biden as Vice President of the United States.

I suppose Obama chose him because he wanted someone who did not threaten his power and someone he could always look better than.

Biden is buffoon.

His latest, at least latest that I have heard, is some ridiculous remarks about advising his wife Jill to simply fire a shotgun blast out the window or door if she suspected an intruder was present. I mean you can get the actual words via a video on the web I am sure. I just heard the sound bite on radio. I think he was trying to say that shotguns are okay and who needs a rapid fire assault rifle? The shotgun of course fires a shell that puts out a spray of metal pellets. Not always as fatal as bullets, but sometimes fatal nonetheless (that is you are more likely to end up with fatalities with bullets than shotgun shells, I think). And buckshot is not healthy.

I don’t know, maybe he was trying to appeal to or appease the right to keep and bear arms folks, the ones who put that right above all else. The ones who feel the right is so important that we cannot control weapons and that we simply have to let crazies run amok with their assault rifles and let thugs terrorize neighborhoods. He was trying to show that he had a good ol’ boy feeling and knowledge of firearms and he wanted the little lady to be prepared, but at the same time he feels there is need to curb the availability of some weapons.

The purpose of this post is not to argue the Second Amendment. I try to be generally supportive of it, even though, as I always say, I feel it is ambiguous. But the die-hards claim it is simple and straight forward. The same people, no doubt, can get literal meaning out of the Bible and see no ambiguity. But again, that is not my point here.

The point is that we have a goof ball for a vice president. And I don’t think it makes President Obama look good. I mean he chose him and Joe is only a heart beat away from being the most powerful man in the world.

Come next October I would advise youngsters not to trick or treat at the Biden household, especially if Jill is home alone, lest they be mistaken for bad guys and get a load of buckshot instead of a treat.

Honey could you get that receipt for my pistol please…

February 1, 2013

With the ongoing debate over guns I have to ask this:

How do background checks and prohibitions on various weapons protect me when the bad guys don’t follow the law?

Now I am probably the kind of person who feels more comfortable with the police carrying the guns. But the problem is that police ninety nine percent of the time do not stop crime but instead respond to it after the fact. And that is not necessarily a criticism of the police. That is just the way it is.

I do feel that a higher police presence would help. I actually don’t see anything wrong with a cop on every corner. But police should not be just in cruisers but on the pavement too, pounding a beat. This would especially be helpful in urban areas. The police should not be just responding to crimes or issuing traffic citations but also be there to assist the public in various matters (and I know they do at times. Once many decades ago I ran out of gas on the freeway and went walking many miles to a service station. When I got there I spotted a Highway Patrol car and told the officer of my plight. He gave me a ride back. When I told him I had my wife and two daughters in the car, and it was nighttime, he looked horrified and said: “you can‘t leave them out there!” What could I have done? But I was thankful for his assistance and his concern.).

But cutting public safety budgets has been all the rage in our economic environment, and over-generous and highly unrealistic public employee pension plans and early retirement have not helped the situation. But you would think that public safety would be a priority.

Back to guns. I am in general a supporter of the Second Amendment, even if I have questions as to its exact meaning, what with the confusing wordage about a well-regulated militia. But from the rash of violent gun incidents we have had recently (actually I guess they are ongoing) and the plethora of instances of out-and-out idiocy of some gun owners — accidentally shooting them off at gun shows and a guy recently shot his friend to death by firing a gun at him (he thought it had blanks?) to scare the hiccups out of him — it is apparent that there needs to be some kind of control in the interests of public safety. And what about that nutcase the other day shooting the death a school bus driver and kidnapping a little kid? And the list of violence goes on.

But the gun culture seems ingrained in our society. I was driving on Interstate 15 recently toward Las Vegas and I saw a billboard inviting people to shoot assault rifles at some tourist spot there. And here is a vignette out of the gun-toting red neck world:

I’m in this truck stop using a restroom stall (sorry for this detail but it is part of the story here). I can’t help but hear from the stall next to me noise apparently coming out of a cell phone. Yakaty yak, yak, yak came the female voice and it went on for some time and the person on the other side of the partition said nary a word for the longest time, but he finally said, “uh, huh”. Then he asked the person where she was and explained that he needed her to go into the bedroom and find a receipt on the nightstand for the “nine millimeter”.  I took that to mean something like a 9mm Glock pistol (or even a 9mm Walther, hey that’s my name, Walther that is) or something (actually I had originally planned to use this in a post on the disgusting habit of using the cell phone in the restroom that I have noticed in recent years).

While I am not so hot on the idea of every man and woman toting a gun, I have to consider that as long as the police cannot prevent armed thugs from roaming the streets and indiscriminatingly shooting at each other with innocents, including children sleeping in their beds, getting caught in the crossfire — well sometimes they actually purposely shoot into homes — then how can we prohibit citizens from protecting themselves, even if they are just as likely to get shot by their own guns?

I’m not sure there is any justification for a  citizen to have a military style assault rifle, but we are all vulnerable to those bad guys who have them and who can protect us?

It is almost a problem that defies solution in a free society.

In an effort to deflect the talk away from gun control I think the NRA has suggested the problem is a culture of violence. In that I think they may be on to something. But what to do.