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    Mr Atkinson, please don't make an ass out of you and me making an assumption like that. I got hurt in may of 1999. Was forced back to work needing neck surgery and still having a torn rotator cuff. I worked until April of 2000. I finally retired August of 2000. I was on workers compensation for almost a year. Have you ever been on it, I can assure you I was taken care of on by any stretch of the imagination. I had to wrk with my loan officers and make arrangements to make smaller payments so I wouldn't lose everything I had. In August of 2000, I went on my Public Employee Retirement System pension. This pension costs the Tax payer NOTHING! It is paid for by the employees. If they are disabled and cannot return to work, they draw a pension that is paid for off the interest of the deductions the employees pay each paycheck. So in that regard, I was still not on the welfare rolls.

    I applied for my Social Security in April of 2000 since I was instructed to do so by my attorney. I was still trying my best to go back to work. I finally recieved my disabilty money in in Dec of 2001. I went a long time making very little money supporting myself on my own income and paying my bills sir. Yes, I draw a pension and I am proud to say I earned it. I was a fire fighter for 13 1/2 years and got hurt do my job saving the lives and property of an apartment building. My pension costs you absolutely nothing. If you think I don't deserve to recieve my social security disability and want me to give that up, I would gladly do so if you give up yours when you draw it and the rest of the folks give up theirs and I am refunded all the money I paid into the system. I still haven't drawn all of it out yet so I would still recieve a check back on that money.

    There is a difference between welfare and drawing a social security check. One is given because you won't work, and the other is given because you cannot work after wroking and paying into a system for many years. I would gladly go back to work and am trying as we speak. I would be more than happy to get off the social security and when and if I can, I certainly will. It was set up as a catch net and that is what it does.

    Welfare on the other hand is set up as an appeasement to folks who have their hand out saying give me something for nothing because I am lazy. Did you catch that, LAZY! If you went to school, you got enough training to work a job of some sorts. If you didn't learn anything while you were there, that is your own fault. If you cannot find a job, you aren't looking very hard. I had never been without a job since I was 16 for more than a few weeks at a time until I got hurt. Sure there were times when I had to work a job I hated and couldn't stand doing it, but I still went to work and earned my money. Anyone can do it including the millions of folks on Welfare.

  • #2
    Sorry that you were hurt... Firefighters & police officers risk their lives daily to protect us. We often take it for granted that these men & women do a tough job, at a not-so-good rate of pay.
    I am glad that the disability pay is there for people like you that are unable to work...Any of us can become disabled at any time, due to accident, illness, etc... That is the way the system was set up to work. Sadly, many able-bodied people abuse it, casting suspicion on anyone using it.
    I hope you can get better, so you can return to work...

    I have mentioned to quite a few people an idea. Why not bring back a program like the WPA, to train the displaced Gulf Coast refugees... They could learn trades, clean up & rebuild the damaged areas, & have skills to use, so they can improve their future... Most people I have mentioned this to have reacted with horror, stating that it would be degrading & demeaning to ask any of them to work... I guess I am just out of touch with reality...


    • #3
      No you are right on the money. Let's not forget that if you want to work, there are jobs out there for you. Other wise, why would there be so many Mexicans coming across the border to work here. I hate to here about those that are in the differnt places that took them in say they are having bad experiences with the folks, but I guess it isn't too much of a surprise.

      The thing about the WPA was that folks wanted to work to feed their families. Most of the folks experiencing the storm's aftermath just plain want something for nothing. I know it's not true about all of them and i never said it was, but I would say it is true for most.


      • #4
        Sadly, cntryboy1289, I was injured in the service of my country on the 18th October 1949. Probably, this to you was almost Roman Times.
        It is important to think that I was lucky just to be injured. One in three of my generation died in battle. This was the price which was paid by all the allied airmen and women. Death isn't exclusive to the English! Almost every serviceman is injured. I am a member of the Royal British Legion and the Royal Air Force Association as well as my still beloved RAF 31 Squadron Association. I got more from them than just injuries, believe me.

        I do apologise for winding you up- with injuries which are still recent.Maybe mine have been rolled into the ever increasing heap which old age brings. I didn't invent old age- but I am having to live through it.
        If informing you or reminding you is wrong, then it is without the scope of this forum or me to help.

        It is important, however, to remind you that my injuries never made a pension. We had, and I would remind you, a duty to pay for all the goods and services to America.
        There was bugger all left for us- and it is my turn to be bitter. My little ginger headed engine fitter got the full swipe from one of those Spifires with the double powered engine. It took fifty years to get the lad- a pitiful pension from a grateful government. Johnnie used to mend my old ropey engine, fasten me in and managed to unfasten me- for the same number of times.
        I was just a boy in the back seat- but I never forgot that I still was in one piece at the end. Incidentally, I got him that pension! There are only four of us left.

        Perhaps, cntryboy1289, there is a message somewhere for you.

        For my part, I wish you well.



        • #5
          Apples and oranges are different but similar. I am sorry for the suffering you must have and still endure. I am sorry your govt didn't offer you a pension. I might ask you sir if you live in Canada or Great Britain? I draw a pension set up by folks who work for the state that knew social security would never be enough to live off of. Each individual pays in a certain amount of their own pay each check and it goes into a superfund which is managed quite well by our financial people. So much so that we own parts of several of the largest shopping malls as well as several other businesses and it is invested wisely in bonds, mutual funds, and several other stocks. It doesn't cost the state or federal govt a dime. In fact they both make very pretty dime off the taxes it generates and each man and woman has to pay taxes on top of it as well. I have had to pay the federal govt taxes for the last five years each year. The state govt tries each year to get part of our money to help support itself, but so far we have been very fortunate that they haven't been able to get enough votes to do that or we would lose that money for sure. This is quite simply a plan by the employees that had enough forethougt to develop their own retirement system. Please don't be mad at us for thinking well ahead knowing that all of us would need the money one day. I just happened to benefit much earlier than I palnned too.

          You see sir, without knowing me, you made a assumption that I was being taken care of by the govt. Yes, I draw SS, it works out to be almost what I earned working just one of the 3 jobs I used to work for a 2 week period. I used to be a Fireman, I did HVAC work, and I worked my own welding business as well. I used to work 15-16 hour work days most days of the week. I worked hard and was happy to be working. I did all this to support my family because like I posted in the other posts, it was up to me to take care of myself and my family. While I was working, I saved every dime I could knowing from my parents and the schooling I received that you don't depend on the govt to support yourself no matter what happens. I am still supported by the money I made all those years of working and saving.

          With all that said, I am sorry if that offends you. I am sorry your generation had to fight in WWII, but I am very grateful to you and all the many others who did. My generation has dealt with Desert Storm 1&2, and no, I didn't join the military, I became a fire fighter instead. Each man must do his part somehow, yours was the military, mine was public service.

          For you to say I am a blow hard and what I say doesn't hold water when I say something about a situation that you evidently have no idea of what you are talking about, is a little funny to me. If this is true, why were you even commenting about it to begin with. I know a lot of folks like to talk bad about our situation, but unless you have experienced it for yourself and actually seen what we are talking about, you really have no idea what the truth really is. I have dealt with these folks that we have been discussing a good bit of my life. I have rolled up to a fire at a public housing project and the truck was shot at becasue I left the red lights on and disturbed them. So no sir, it doesn't surprise me when the news channel reports that there were shots fired at the helicopters trying to rescue and aid the people left behind by their own choice, and yes, I say again for you to understand, their own choice.

          It has finally come out that the Mayor and governor were to blame for it taking so long for the rescue operation to begin. They both knew for more than a year that the city would have around 300,000 folks left behind if a storm hit because they would not leave. They were to use all of those buses that were left to flood and no one was made to get on them because they chose not to. The president told the governor to get those folks out 2 days before the storm hit and she and the mayor did nothing except pick up a several thousand and move them into the Super Dome and the convention center without enough food and water to make it. The State homeland security folks wouldn't let the Red Cross in for several days because they were worried about their safety due to the folks running around looting and shooting and raping folks. The Times Picayune, the NO newspaper had reported several times that if a storm hit, the folks left behind would do so at their own risk because they knew the situation would unfold the way it happened. They reported several times so anyone that lived in that city knew ahead of time what would happen. There was no excuse to stay behind in that aftermath since you were suppose to be gone. If you were infirmed and couldn't move quickly enough, I say it was your right to move before the storm hit.

          So now as what is being reported comes to reality, what I have been saying is exactly true. I don't know about your govt, but mine is set up to where if their is a disaster; eg a flood or storm or whatever, you are on your own until help arrives. The city is usually first in. The nat'l guard will be sent in next. The state will kick up the money and then Fema will assist with money, low interst loans, to rebuild if you have no insurance. BTW, if you have insurance, Fema usually doesn't give you a dime. My parents house flooded twice while I was a kid. No one ever came by to help us and we received nothing in the way of assistance. I have had trees fall on my house during storms. I lost a boat and half my shop to them as well. It was one of the worse wind storms in over 100 years, straightline winds of over 120mph. Wiped out more than half the homes in my neighborhood and around 1/2 the businesses in my hometown. I received a grand total of nada, zip, zero, nothing from anyone. No one even bothered stopping by and asking if I needed assistance except my insurance man. Hell, it was me and my meighbors that cleared the streets of trees and limbs for 3 days before the city trucks could even get down our road to look at the damage or offer any help. There wasn't the least little bit of looting or shooting or raping that went on in our town which is around 70% black now a days. So you see sir, I know a heck of a lot when it comes to disasters and how things work and how folks react when there is a crisis. I have been one of the folks out in it rescuing folks as well and can tell you that a lot of what you saw on TV was made out to be worse than what it really was and a lot of it wasn't even told.

          I am sorry if me drawing a check for being disabled bothers you. If I didn't draw the check, I would manage somehow and I would gladly give it up if the folks on welfare went back to work since that would lower taxes and costs for everything down to where one could afford things. Our country is set up so if it happens and you paid money into the system, you are able to draw on that money. It is in no way like being on welfare which to stay on all you have to be is lazy and not want to work.

          If you live in Canada or Great Britain, I ask you this question, do you not receive socialized medicine? That in itself is about the same as being on welfare is it not?

          [This message has been edited by cntryboy1289 (edited 09-07-2005).]

          [This message has been edited by cntryboy1289 (edited 09-07-2005).]

          [This message has been edited by cntryboy1289 (edited 09-07-2005).]


          • #6
            Hi fella!

            I'm a Brit- born and bred in a place called Newcastle upon Tyne. Where they make Newcastle Brown Ale- and now little else!
            David likes drinking it- can't figure why.

            I really can't keep up with all the information in your reply. My little brain ain't what it used to be. So forgive me- it happens.

            I think that it is important to think of what the future holds for you. Jokingly, I refered to all the bits that fell off me from 1949 onwards. They really do- or we give some of them to feed the hospital cat.
            To answer a serious question, medication is free for the ancient- and those who are needy. Ironically, I suffer from headaches, dizzy attacks, arthritis, cataracts and prostate. So they have removed all my medication. I'm saving them a fortune!!!

            Having been blown up- and deaf( and daft), I lost my hearing aids in a massive car smash. It will be almost 4 years before the Government will replace them. So, it is pardon-Eh?

            I have to say that I am very lucky in having a great wife, son , daughter and now a little grandson.
            It is important, I think to mention that I have no financial worries. No thanks to the State- but I have already said that.
            I had to retire at the age of 55 after a long illness- so it is 20 years since I had a paycheck. There is a certain time when one has to make a decision. Mine was to say "Sod the lot" and get on with what was remaining of life.

            Perhaps, the ability to tell me -and the rest of the World, what you think is a start to making a new world for you and your family. Put this note in your diary- when the **** hits the fan- and it will, remember old Norman did it.

            Good Night and may your God be with you.



            • #7
              I applaud you Norman. Let me make it clear to you that you are one of my heroes. I don't wish to be one of yours in any way.

              I do wish that your country took a little better care of you. Mine does a little bit better than yours, but that shouldn't bother you as much as it seems to since you could have moved here and enjoyed the benefits of being American and working and paying into a system that gave back a little bit. Like I said, it is just a very little bit. I had to do exactly what you did. No one buys me the medicine I need to live, I have to do that myself.

              I think you and I are a lot alike. We both perforemed our duty and were injured while doing it. My state govt doesn't give me a dime. The federal govt pays me a stypen based on what I paid into the system. My pension plan is just a lot better than what most have available to them at their job. That should be applauded and not bad mouthed just because you come from a different age or land. I'll close now and say good night to you good sir. I really do have the upmost appreciation for you and your fellow service men and appologize for the fact that you weren't taken care of better. We offer the men of our military a pension if they serve 20 years. We also have the VA which helps with the medical needs of the men and women that served our country. I guess maybe there is something good to say about the United States afterall even though most of you guys around here don't think so.


              • #8
                Notwithstanding my comments- I'm a wicked old fart- I have praise for those who work either for free or beyond the normal call of duty. Every country has them. They come out of hiding now and again- and I have every reason to acknowledge their contribution.

                You have my E-Mail address. Why not drop me a note- and say Hi?


                • #9

                  Well I'm just a young fart I guess at the age of 35 but I did learn a lot from my father and grandfather. Grandfather was injured as part of a mortor battalion fighting the Germans in WWII, he was also raised during the depression and learned a lot about saving money since his deadbeat dad returned to Europe leaving my greatgrandmother to fend for herself and two kids. Grandfather became the "man of the house" at a young age and left school in the 9th grade to work to help his mother and sister, he's told me stories of crawiling through the dump to find things like lightbulbs which he would wiggle until the filment touched again so his mother could use the one light in their house (the kitchen). His first job at this young age was to polish brass at major downtown building, later he went on to become and elevator man. Despite all that he gave my grandmother exactly 300 silver dollars in case of emergency before going of to war. They still have those very same dollars stored in the very same box they hid them in. They raised 4 boys and a mentally challenged daughter who still lives with them even though they are now 90 and 85 years of age. Growing up my grandfather talk each of his boys two very important lessons, how to make a living and how to save part of it for a rainy day. My father was the oldest, he paid for his own braces with a paper route as well as little trinkets he made on old tools he bought himself, he still has the Rockwell lathe he bought at the age of 11. Upon returning from the war my grandfather was lucky enough to get his old job back but he soon became known as "Mr. Fixit" and began to do side jobs repairing things for others, he eventually moved to the department stoe warehouse where he assembled bikes until his retirement. On their recent wedding annivesary he confided that over the years he'd stashed nearly a half million into various accounts, the bulk of which he got from fixing things. I really don't know if he ever drew a military pension but I do know that many of his medical expensies these days are paid by the VA (veteran's administration) Back to my father, he paid his way through both bachelors and masters degrees in enginneering and went on to work for NASA. Dad once told me that he never made the money he might have in the private sector but that the pension, health benefits and job security where the best he could find. Dad took early retirement at age 60 to finally chase those better dollars and finally retired last year, he and mom both drive European luxury cars that dad insisted on buying used and when my mother's MS atarted to become such that the would need a new home with wheelchair facilities dad dug down into that all important savings, afterall this was a rainy day. The home they are building sits in a beautiful development ovelooking a ravene with huge windows in the even that my mother becomes bedridden, at least she'll have a nice view to read by. Every door is 36" and there is a provison for an elevator if needed.

                  By now your asking "so what's your point" Let me briefly tell you the story of my last year and a half, two Januaries ago my wife lost her job, she blamed migraines or other made up illnesses for all of her absences, I found out later she has Borderline Personality Disorder and will require physiatric attention for the rest of her life. The doctors won't diagnose her as disabled because they feel even a small job will help her return to a more normal life. Hear I was, a daughter to feed and take care of and a wife that also needed my care. At one point the stress got so bad for me I returned to a bad old habit from my youth and wound up needing a bit of help myself. Through all of this the bills got paid because I'd planned ahead, I've pulled some money from various accounts I had it stashed in, even envelops stashed for a really bad day and so far I'm makining it. Not only that but I still constribute the max to my 401K as well as one other retirement investment. I bought a CNC mill and started to make trinkets like dad used to, the extra $3-400 a month really helps right now and I fix computers on the side for money as well. The point to all of this is that people don't plan to fail, they fail to plan and i don't believe their is a one of us on this board who isn't a planner of some sort or another so STOP WITH THE ARGUEMENT GUYS, I LIKE YA BOTH!

                  I live in the midwest on a hill, we have a generator for summer storm power outages, a fireplace and wood in case of a gasline break, a stack of canned goods in the fruit cellar, bottled water as well as purification filters, heck even this computer, a radio and small TV are on a battery backup. No offense to those in NO but they live in a coastal village that's below sea level! Sure I feel for them and I'll even send what little I can afford to send to help but for chrissakes people at least keep some supplies and a canoe lashed down tightly somewhere, otherwise you're being about as smart as a guy with a pregnant wife who doens't know the fastest route to the hospital.

                  /RANT OFF

                  P.S. I apologize in advance for offending anyone, I've had a bad day and I couldn't sleep.

                  -Christian D. Sokolowski


                  • #10
                    Christian- many thanks for your most interesting contribution. I am sure that many of the readers will find the potted history invaluable in their own lives- now and in the future.

                    I shouldn't worry too much about Jeff and I.
                    We both have much in common and will take our minor differences to firing E-Mails at each other. Sadly, the major difference is
                    the disparity of ages. There is nothing which can be done in that respect- boo- hiss!

                    I am sure that Jeff would agree- you would?



                    • #11
                      We are on the same page guys, my feelings are secure. I think we both are cut from the same cloth and have the same values. Yes, I benefit from having worked where there was a pension plan and I thank my lucky stars I did because there is no way I could support myself on what the Social Security check is each month. It never was meant to be someones sole support and there are millions of Americans that completely depend on it each month, luckily, I am not one of them.

                      rsr911, I will pray for you and your wife. There is hope at the end of the storm for you. When I first got hurt, I was only 34 years old, yes I am a good bit younger than Mr. Norman. I had to deal with very deep depression based on the fact here I was only 34, had been working 3 jobs, and now I couldn't get out and work and do what I used to be able to do. Believe me guys, it weighs heavy on a man to not be able to work like he used to be able to do and to be in pain on a regualr basis. Medicine helped a little, but time and the fact I got to where I could piddle around the house again helped me more than anything.

                      If the doctors feel your wife can find a job of some sort, ask them to provide you with the names of employers who would be willing to hire her. It might change their opinion and help give you some relief. I know times are hard for you, but with a little help from God, maybe things will begin looking up for you soon.


                      • #12

                        Thanks, Jeff. 10 out of 10 for your reply.
                        There is little that I would add- except to endorse every word.

                        Looking back on these dreadful events of the past few days, I hope that some good is going to come out.

                        We are seeing it here. Time for you all to rebuild not only the houses and infrastructure wrecked in the Hurricane but in the hearts and minds of those who were and are involved.

                        You know there is a question since Cain and Able- Am I my brother's keeper?

                        It is reassuring that some think that they are.



                        • #13
                          Oh boy, that is a can of worms for sure. All I can say is that I donated money and my wife sent a truck load of clothes down to help the folks down on our coast of Mississippi. The wonderful folks from New Orleans that have been relocated will most likely stay relocated and become citizens of the cities where they were evacuated to. Not all mind you, but the ones that were bussed out most likely will stay out.

                          One thing for sure is that without having experienced living around some of the folks that showed their rearends during the disaster, it is very near impossible to fully understand why some folks have a hard time feeling sorry for a lot of them. Don't get me wrong here, I am not fussing, just pointing out that there are some folks that live in our cities that offer no reason for their fellow man to offer them a helping hand. I would think that would be universal, but it may not be that way where you live. I won't go any further with that and just let it be.

                          Any man with half a heart would feel dispair and sorrow for the folks that live down south and have to deal with what they are dealing with. I think New Orleans got most of the tv coverage so they are what most folks think of when they talk about the aftermath. However, other parts of Louisiana and Mississippi was hit much harder by the storm and are worse off than the city of NO. The city of NO will survive this and be rebuilt and it won't take near as long to do so as it will take to rebuild the cities completely wiped out by the storm. There are parts of the Mississippi coast and inward up into the state that have less than a 1/3 of the houses left standing and probably even fewer that are livable. They just don't seem to be of much interest to the tv crews.

                          Take care Mr. Norman, wish you and yours the best.

                          [This message has been edited by cntryboy1289 (edited 09-08-2005).]


                          • #14
                            Thanks for understanding my coments and story guys. I am grateful for many of the lessons life has taught me and I will be just fine. There is an old saying, "I used to complain I had no shoes, then I met the man with no feet" In other words even though I may be having a bit of a personal struggle at home I am grateful enough to realize that their are many, many unfortunate people out their. I discussed the trouble down south at work today and got a collection going, clothes and money. We are going to investigate which is the best charity to send it to. We all agreed to send what we could afford and I'm happy for that. I'll be kind enough to butt out of your conversation now.

                            -Christian D. Sokolowski


                            • #15
                              you were in the RAF and fought in the second Great War. Talking with a chap last week who was in the aircrew of a lanc that dropped the last bombs on Germany. Thereafter they were carting Allied POW back to Blimey in the lancs.
                              another friend was a fitter at the end of that war and served on.
                              I was a soldier.
                              Keep fighting,