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Member since: Sat Mar 29, 2008, 10:11 PM
Number of posts: 38,304

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Massive Welfare Fraud Exposed


Remember the Obamaphone program that gives undeserving poors the luxury of having their own prepaid cell phone so they can talk to each other while they drive to the store in their welfare Cadillacs to buy t-bones and flat screen TVs? Well, you won’t be surprised to learn that it’s full of cheaters:

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday accused five wireless service providers of obtaining duplicate payments from a federal fund for low-income consumers. The FCC wants the companies to repay the extra money and, in addition, to pay $14.4 million in fines.

The wireless providers allegedly violated rules of the Lifeline program, which has helped people afford basic telephone service since 1985. It was expanded to cover pre-paid cell phone service in 2005 under former President George W. Bush.

This wasn’t chump change, either: over three years, the FCC thinks it can reduce overcharging by $2 billion once the 1.1 million duplicates are removed from the program.

"It's easier to make it inside than outside"

I helped keep a man from going back to prison today and that's his comment that made the most impression on me.

I'm kind of buddies with the manager of one of our local thrift stores, I help him with his fairly frequent computer problems at the store and sometimes he cuts me a bit of a deal or holds stuff for me that he thinks I might be interested in. So I was working on his computer today when I got in a conversation with a guy that was looking over my shoulder and made some fairly intelligent remarks about what I was doing and mentioned that he was looking for that sort of work himself.

One thing led to another and pretty soon it became clear Chris was really in dire straits financially and had no one at all to help him. He had been living with a elderly friend who had passed away and now he's in a fleabag motel room right next to the thrift store @$150/week. His most pressing problem was he had a court mandated counseling session twenty five miles away this afternoon that if he missed it they already told him his probation was going to be revoked and it was back to prison. Chris is a little man, 135 lbs or so, short and slight, early forties but looks fiftysomething, well spoken and obviously intelligent but also fairly obviously with some sort of head problem it's beyond my pay grade to diagnose.

For my computer work my manager buddy gave me a old donated desktop he had in the store and I told my new acquaintance that if he fixed it up for me I would take him to his counseling session and also give him an old bicycle I have laying around so he could at least ride that instead of walking everywhere. I could have done the computer work myself but I sort of liked Chris and wanted to help him without it feeling like a complete handout, he's more knowledgeable than I am about certain aspects of computers so it wasn't entirely silly me letting him work on my latest acquisition. I actually ended up giving him the bicycle plus a large aluminum framed hiking backpack I had picked up at a yard sale somewhere so he could go shopping on the bike.

There are so many people out there in really horrible situations, Chris told me he was right on the verge of calling his probation officer and just telling them to come get him, it's actually easier to survive in prison than it is out on the streets for more people than most of us would credit. I'm not sure what that says about our society but I don't think it's anything good.

Pohl's Law might as well be DU's law

Fred Pohl's passing got me to thinking about him and while it's not as familiar as Murphy's law or Newton's laws, Fred does have a law named after him because he dreamed it up, or realized it however you want to think of it.

Pohl's Law is either "No one is ever ready for anything" or "Nothing is so good that somebody, somewhere will not hate it".

Greewald trolled the US government and they bit.. Hard

They aren't going to find anything in all that electronics confiscated from Glenn's partner, the trip and announcements and so forth was strictly a move to trigger exactly what happened.

Greenwald was a good move or two ahead of the spooks, the actual data is on a micro SD card or three headed to Germany by DHL or FedEx or even the Post Office as anonymously as Greenwald and the Guardian can arrange.

You know if we've got to have spooks can't they at least be smart ones? This is twice now in only a few weeks that the spooks have been punked big time.

Coincidence or Irony?

Or maybe both?

Do you blame people who have fallen for insidious and incessant lying propaganda?

Trying to make sense of what's going on in the world through the squealing of the Bubbleheaded Bleachblondes in the M$M is a preposterously difficult chore, even if you can ignore the distractions the sheer volume of noise almost overwhelms the tiny signal of halfway accurate information. That's even assuming you are not overwhelmed by trying to make your way in this increasingly dystopic society we seem to be boiling down to the lowest common global denominator.

We talk here a lot about people who vote against their own best interests, I think in a lot of cases these are people who have naively fallen for propaganda that never stops, comes from all directions and is carefully tweaked to play on their fears and their prejudices.

Honestly I often feel more sorry for them than anything else, almost like those poor deluded people at Jonestown or Heaven's Gate. My attitude has changed completely from six years ago, then I was angry at them but now I walk away gently shaking my head after talking to them.

It's not like I have a lot of wealthy connections, everyone I know is struggling to get by but I can depend on running into someone who's about two paychecks from utter disaster but will nonetheless regurgitate 1% talking points straight from the M$M with almost no prompting on my part.

Melanin deficit disorder doesn't make you actively stupid most of the time but it sure is a juicy target for cunning propagandists.

SNAP recipients doubled in 254 counties from 2007 to 2011, Romney won in 213 of them


As the U.S. economy recovers from the worst recession since the Great Depression, the explosive growth of food stamps remains a lingering legacy. And now the program comes with an irony, as the Republicans seeking to cut it also represent vast numbers of recipients.

Among the 254 counties where food stamp recipients doubled between 2007 and 2011, Republican Mitt Romney won 213 of them in last year’s presidential election, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by Bloomberg. Kentucky’s Owsley County, which backed Romney with 81 percent of its vote, has the largest proportion of food stamp recipients among those that he carried.

. . .

More than half of the Owsley County’s population -- 52 percent -- received food stamps in 2011, the most recent yearly number available. The county, which in 2012 was 97.6 percent non-Hispanic white and had 4,722 residents, had a median household income of $19,344, well below the Kentucky median of $42,248 and the $52,762 figure nationally, U.S. census data shows. Roughly four in 10 residents live below the poverty line.

So I taught my neighbor what "Open the pod bay doors Hal" means..

It came up a while back during a BS session that he had no idea what the line meant and had never seen 2001. So I showed the scene on Youtube and gave him a bit of the setup, mad computer won't let guy without helmet back in the ship, now he's seeing that line everywhere (on the economics blogs of all places) and comes and cackles to me about it.

He didn't know about the Ripley Maneuver either so we discussed that too.

I love educating the public about SF.

Today in Security State Stupidity: The Undercover Cop Who Tweets About Being a Cop


My friend Mike Elk has a story so head-spinning and pathetic that it must be enjoyed in one long read. D.C. labor activists suspected that plainclothes cops were infiltrating protests. Jeffrey Light and Sean Canavan, lawyers with United Students Against Sweatshops, wondered about the identity of a woman who kept showing up at protests but no other organizing meetings. They eventually figured out that the woman was a cop, Nicole Rizzi.

They figured this out because she wrote about her work, online.

A post on Rizzi’s since-deleted Tumblr account seemed to indicate that Rizzi worked undercover. In response to a post from a reader asking her how flexible her dress code was as a police officer, Rizzi said she wore “ordinary clothes,” but made a distinction between her position and that of a “plainclothes” patrol cop: “In the position I’m in, it’s beneficial to wear ordinary clothes. Plainclothes assignments too, you wear what would blend in." ... Light and Canavan dug up evidence that Rizzi was a police officer, including a photograph posted on yfrog of Rizzi pointing out a typo on a piece of mail addressed to the "DC Metropolation Police Department." Rizzi's finger partially covers up the address line, but it appears to read "Director, Intelligence Branch."

In another era, I'm sure Elk et al would have been dogged enough to dig this out. In the age of social media, Rizzi left not just bread crumbs but warm, freshly baked baguettes. It's another example of something that makes the usual snooping work of government tougher and tougher: The Internet is here, and it can make you look ridiculous.



The practice of sifting through the comments of blogs, email threads, discussion groups and other user generated content in an attempt find choice quotes proving that the advocates for or against a particular political opinion are unreasonable, uninformed extremists.
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