BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin's presence in the lower 48 means the Arctic ice cap can finally return.

calendar   Wednesday - April 25, 2007

The Case Of The Hateful Ham Sandwich

SOMEBODY ALERT THE MILITARY! We have sixth graders offending Muslims with ham sandwiches. The little freak actually placed a ham sandwich on a table at lunch time where Muslim kids from Somalia were sitting. Arrest that little criminal! How dare he offend Muslims? Have him arrested now or better yet shoot him on sight. We will not tolerate this kind of insensitivity toward our Muslim overlords. Praise Allah!

No, I’m not kidding. This really happened ....

(There is an excellent editorial on this matter by Sher Zieve at Family Security Matters)

Police Investigate Possible Hate Crime At Lewiston School
LEWISTON, MAINE (WCHS-TV) - 4/19/2007 1:51:22 PM

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Lewiston police are investigating as a possible hate crime an incident in which a ham steak was placed in a bag where a group of Somali students were sitting. Such an incident would be offensive to Somalis, who are Muslims and consider pork unclean.

A Lewiston Middle School student was suspended after the incident, which happened April 11th. Superintendent Leon Levesque says the incident’s being treated seriously and police are investigating.

The incident recalled one last summer in which a man rolled a pig’s head into a mosque in Lewiston, which has a large Somali population. The courts later ordered the man to stay away from the mosque.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 04/25/2007 at 04:34 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeRoPMASocial-Security •  
Comments (9) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Saturday - May 20, 2006

Senate Insanity

I am not pleased with the US Senate, especially the Democrats and Liberals who seek to encourage illegal immigrants to come here by allowing them to buy into the retirement system while they break the freaking law. Illegal immigrants are a drain on the system anyway, getting free medical care and educational benefits.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why we should allow them to profit from their criminal activity by helping them to retire later on money illegally earned. The usual suspects are to blame for this farce ... Senators Leahy and Stabenow - two Liberals who don’t give a damn what law-abiding citizens want as long as they can pander to illegals who can be encouraged to vote for them. It’s time to flush the Senate. Send out for the Tidy Bowl man ... !

Illegals granted Social Security
May 19, 2006

The Senate voted yesterday to allow illegal aliens to collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal employment—even if the job was obtained through forged or stolen documents. “There was a felony they were committing, and now they can’t be prosecuted. That sounds like amnesty to me,” said Sen. John Ensign, the Nevada Republican who offered the amendment yesterday to strip out those provisions of the immigration reform bill. “It just boggles the mind how people could be against this amendment.”

The Ensign amendment was defeated on a 50-49 vote. “We all know that millions of undocumented immigrants pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for years and sometimes decades while they work to contribute to our economy,” said Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican. “The Ensign amendment would undermine the work of these people by preventing lawfully present immigrant workers from claiming Social Security benefits that they earned before they were authorized to work in our community,” he said. “If this amendment were enacted, the nest egg that these immigrants have worked hard for would be taken from them and their families.”

Mr. Ensign was among 44 Republicans and five Democrats who voted to block such payouts. “It makes no sense to reward millions of illegal immigrants for criminal behavior while our Social Security system is already in crisis,” said Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican. “Why in the world would we endorse this criminal activity with federal benefits? The Senate missed a big opportunity to improve this bill, and I doubt American seniors will be pleased with the result.”

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, said it would be unfair to deny illegals the benefits. “We should not steal their funds or empty their Social Security accounts,” he said. “That is not fair. It does not reward their hard work or their financial contributions. It violates the trust that underlies the Social Security Trust Fund.”

Within hours, the vote had become an issue in this fall’s elections, raised by a Republican challenger to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Michigan Democrat. “Instead of protecting the retirement security of Americans who are earning an honest living and abiding by the laws of our country, Debbie Stabenow sided with people who are here illegally and abuse our Social Security system,” Oakland County, Mich., Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a press release. “Allowing illegal immigrants to use their illegal work history as credit towards receiving Social Security benefits shows that Debbie Stabenow has forgotten who she is supposed to be working for in the U.S. Senate.”


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 05/20/2006 at 03:12 PM   
Filed Under: • Illegal-Aliens and ImmigrationSocial-Security •  
Comments (4) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Saturday - March 04, 2006

A Monty Python Moment

In today’s “Life Imitates Monty Python” moment we get to use the classic line “I’M NOT DEAD YET!”. Let’s just hope the Social Security goobers don’t decide to whack him over the head with a mallet and dump him in a wheelbarrow with all the other corpses. Bring out yer dead .... !

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Ohio Man to Social Security: I’m Not Dead
March 4, 2006, 7:33 AM EST

CLEVELAND (AP)

Eighty-one-year-old Myron Manders wants the Social Security Administration to know that he still is alive. The problem is, it doesn’t seem to be listening. Last November, Manders was preparing to leave a hospital where he was treated for pneumonia when a social worker said his insurance company would not pay the bill because it believed Manders died on Sept. 1.

William Jarrett, a Social Security spokesman in Cleveland, said Friday the mistake was due to an erroneous document. He could not disclose the error’s source. “It was a mistake on our part and we are apologetic,” he said. Manders’ wife, Eunice, remembered that she first reacted to the news of her husband’s alleged demise with anger.

“I never laughed about it,” Myron Manders said. Jarrett said Eunice Manders has been paid a survivor’s benefit, which he said is now considered an overpayment she will be responsible for paying back, although she will have a right to appeal. Manders, who describes himself as an almost-retired architect, sought to clear up the problem by showing up at a Social Security office. The in-person appearance did not help.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, recognizing that Manders served in the Army during World War II, notified Eunice that she is a beneficiary on his Veterans Affairs life insurance policy and that Social Security had notified the VA of Myron’s death.

The latest correspondence from Social Security came Monday addressed to Eunice, advising she is entitled to monthly widow’s benefits. Myron Manders would not say exactly what was going through his mind. “Curse words,” he hinted.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 03/04/2006 at 09:23 PM   
Filed Under: • Odd-StrangeSocial-Security •  
Comments (15) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Thursday - March 02, 2006

Mooooo

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John Trever—The Albuquerque Journal


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 03/02/2006 at 02:56 PM   
Filed Under: • HumorSocial-Security •  
Comments (4) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Monday - December 12, 2005

Elderly Entrepreneurs

Any way you look at it, this is a sad statement on our society. I sometimes wonder how I will survive ten or twenty years from now when I am retired and I have substantial social security benefits coming thanks to high salaries in recent decades, a substantial 401k savings built up and a few mutual fund investments to rely on. All that and I still worry.

These people in Appalachia are drawing the bare minimum social security benefits and if it hadn’t been for recent efforts by the Bush administration and Republicans they wouldn’t have the benefit of any kind of medicine program. Most of them are illiterate and have no knowledge of programs sponsored by Lilly, Pfizer and other drug companies. They’re getting by the best way they know how. Imprison them? Hell no! Imprison the asshats who dreamed up this whole social security lottery program that has left so many elderly people with nothing to look forward to ....

Seniors Charged With Selling Prescriptions
December 12, 2005, 1:54 PM EST
PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (AP)

Dottie Neeley, 87, was fingerprinted, photographed and thrown in jail, imprisoned as much by the tubing from her oxygen tank as by the concrete and steel around her. The woman—who spent two days in jail after her arrest last December—is among a growing number of Kentucky senior citizens charged in a crackdown on a crime authorities say is rampant in Appalachia: Elderly people are reselling their painkillers and other medications to addicts.

“When a person is on Social Security, drawing $500 a month, and they can sell their pain pills for $10 apiece, they’ll take half of them for themselves and sell the other half to pay their electric bills or buy groceries,” Floyd County jailer Roger Webb said. Since April 2004, Operation UNITE, a Kentucky anti-drug task force created largely in response to rampant abuse of the powerful and sometimes lethal painkiller OxyContin, has charged more than 40 people 60 or older with selling primarily prescription drugs in the mountains.

“It used to be a rare occasion to have an elderly inmate,” Webb said. “Five years ago it was a rarity.” Local jails are having to bear the increased cost of caring for old and often sickly inmates. “You’ve got to give them more attention,” Webb said. “It’s putting a strain on my deputies. We’re understaffed anyway. You’ve got to get them doctors, and meet their medical needs.”

Researchers suspect the problem is not limited to Appalachia. Elderly people “may be looking for a way to bring in a little extra money,” said Erin Artigiani, deputy director of the University of Maryland Center for Substance Abuse Research. “We haven’t heard a lot about senior citizens being a source of those drugs. We know college students do this. It’s not much a stretch to think that seniors could do it, too.”

Dr. Anita Cornett, a physician in Hyden, said one of her patients, a reformed drug addict, told her that he bought all his drugs not from a known dealer, but from elderly people.

- More on this story here ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/12/2005 at 07:55 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeSocial-Security •  
Comments (4) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Thursday - June 23, 2005

House Coughs Up Social Security Plan

Congress yesterday finally came up with a plan to fix Social Security but President Bush may not like it. In fact, in my opinion, there’s not a whole about it to like at all but at least the CongressCritters are finally getting off their collective buttocks and trying to come up with something, albeit something that sucks as badly as this proposal ....

After watching the Social Security debate from the sidelines, House Republican leaders yesterday embraced a new approach to Social Security restructuring that would add individual investment accounts to the program, but on a much smaller scale than the Bush administration favors.

The new accounts would be financed by the Social Security surplus—the amount of payroll tax revenue not needed to pay current benefits. That money is now used to fund other government activities and is expected to run out after 2016 as the baby-boom generation retires.

By contrast, President Bush’s proposed accounts would divert payroll taxes used to fund existing Social Security benefits, which would force the government to borrow to prevent cuts in retirees’ monthly checks. Once fully phased in, the Bush plan would allow workers to sock away $3,600 a year in today’s dollars. Even in its peak year, the new plan could limit average account contributions to as little as $588.

Still, Republicans hope the new proposal will shift the debate away from future benefit cuts, as Bush envisions, to ending what they call the “raid” on the current Social Security surplus. But the plan, unlike Bush’s, would do nothing to remedy the New Deal-era program’s long-term fiscal problems.

An aide to House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) called the bill “a great start,” and House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) called it “an excellent first step.” Aides said leadership will gauge reaction over the July 4 break.

You know the drill. Go read the full text of the article and decide for yourself. Bear in mind that if you think it sucks you need to start sending e-mails and letters to your CongressCritter ASAP. They’re watching and listening (for a change).


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 06/23/2005 at 01:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Friday - June 17, 2005

Back To The Future

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R.J. Matson, NY, The New York Observer and Roll Call


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 06/17/2005 at 11:49 AM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Friday - June 10, 2005

Headline Of The Day

This is good news for our friends up in Canuckistan ....

Canadian Court Chips Away at National Health Care
By CLIFFORD KRAUSS
Published: June 9, 2005

TORONTO, June 9 - The Canadian Supreme Court struck down a Quebec law banning private medical insurance today, dealing an acute blow to the publicly financed national health care system.

The court stopped short of striking down the constitutionality of the country’s vaunted nationwide coverage, but legal experts said the ruling would open the door to a wave of lawsuits challenging the health care system in other provinces.

The system, providing Canadians with free doctor’s services that are paid for by taxes, has generally been supported by the public, and is broadly identified with the Canadian national character.

But in recent years, patients have been forced to wait longer for diagnostic tests and elective surgery, while the wealthy and well connected either seek care in the United States or use influence to jump ahead on waiting lists.

The court ruled that the waiting lists had become so long that they violated patients’ “liberty, safety and security” under the Quebec charter, which covers about one-quarter of Canada’s population.

“The evidence in this case shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread and that in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care,” the Supreme Court ruled. “In sum, the prohibition on obtaining private health insurance is not constitutional where the public system fails to deliver reasonable services.”

The case was brought to the Supreme Court by a Montreal family doctor, Jacques Chaoulli, who argued his own case through the courts, and by a chemical salesman, George Zeliotis, who was forced to wait a year for a hip replacement while being prohibited from paying privately for surgery.




Posted by Z Woof   United States  on 06/10/2005 at 09:27 AM   
Filed Under: • InternationalSocial-Security •  
Comments (7) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Thursday - June 02, 2005

Social Security Reform, Part XXIV

President Bush’s health care agenda is introduced in the House and Senate.  Individuals would be able to deduct the cost of HSA insurance.  Senator John Kerry (D-MA) fought this because Group Employee Health Insurance would lose market share to individual insurance companies.  Another part of this legislation would give a refundable tax credit to small employers, under 100 employees, for employer deposits in employees’ HSAs.  But the employee must be on a Group Employee HSA Plan.  So this is discrimination against employees who have individual HSA insurance.  President Bush never demanded that clause.

But most importantly this legislation has a refundable tax credit for the poor to purchase HSA insurance.  Here the dynamics go crazy.  Large Group Health insurance companies know that employees are not going to pay $400 a month to add their families onto their employer’s plan if they can get HSA insurance for practically free from the government.  So young healthy people leave the Employee Plan and old sick people remain.  Employee Group Health Insurance plans would be in more trouble.  Like President Bush said, “Own your home, own your health insurance and own a piece of your retirement.”

On May 9, Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Representatives Sam Johnson (R-TX), Eric Cantor (R-VA), Paul Ryan (R-WI), and J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) introduced bills S. 978 and H.R. 1872, the Healthcare Tax Relief for the Uninsured Act of 2005, to enact into law key elements of President George W. Bush’s health care agenda.

According to a summary on Ryan’s Web site, the bills would implement three new programs to make insurance more affordable:

Premium deductibility
. An individual who purchases a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) combined with a health savings account (HSA) and does not receive health insurance through an employer or government program would be allowed to deduct from his or her taxable income the amount of the premium.

Small business tax credit. Small businesses of up to 100 employees would receive a refundable tax credit for contributions they make to their employees’ health savings accounts (up to $200 for a contribution into an individual HSA or $500 for a family HSA). In order to be eligible for the credit, the employer must offer a group high-deductible health plan.

Low-income tax credit for the purchase of health insurance. In order to help low-income people get coverage, the legislation provides a subsidy of up to 90 percent of the cost of their health insurance premiums--up to $1,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a family plan. The credit would be refundable, advanceable, and assignable, meaning the money could go directly to the insurer chosen by the low-income insured.

For more information ...

The Senate version of the Healthcare Tax Relief for the Uninsured Act of 2005 is available online at:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:S.978:.

To download the House version, go to:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d109:13:./temp/~bdG2oC::.




Posted by Z Woof   United States  on 06/02/2005 at 02:31 PM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (8) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Monday - May 23, 2005

The Social Security Problem For Dummies

See the little picture below. It looks like one of your favorite video game characters, doesn’t it? Well, it is. This is Pac-Man, who flits around your video screen chewing up dots and running away from ghosts.

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Imagine for a minute that Pac-Man actually represents the amount government spends on non-discretionary spending (items like social security, medicaid, medicare). This spending takes up 65% of the entire federal budget, kinda like Pac-Man’s ugly little head - see how his round little head is almost a full circle except for his chomping little mouth? That head without the mouth represents 65% of a circle. That is money that has to be spent every year on the sick and elderly.

Also, Imagine the two little dots that Pac-Man is about to gobble up represent spending on (1) military, national defense, and national security and (2) social programs like welfare, housing, highways, the environment and education. Pac-Man is about to chomp down on them both because he has been eating too many power pills in recent years and has grown bigger and bigger and bigger while the little dots have had to grow smaller and smaller and smaller. Pac-Man is getting bigger because health care costs are going up and up and more and more people will be getting old and retiring soon.

Now, we have two options: (1) we can throw more yellow stuff (money) on this video game to make the little dots bigger but Pac-Man will still keep growing or (2) we can figure out a way to get Pac-Man under control by moving some of his hunger over to Ms Pac-Man, also known as Ms. PSA (Personal Savings Accounts).

Oh, and the ghosts ....? Well, they’re Republicans and Democrats in Congress scampering all over the screen, blindly trying to find Pac-Man and bumping into each other in a bizaare chase reminiscent of the Keystone Cops. The ghosts never seem to catch Pac-Man, do they?

Maybe you better help the ghosts a little. Got your joystick handy? If so, you better ram it up your Congress Critter’s “you-know-what” real soon or else ....

This public service message has been brought to you by the BMEWS Atari Division. Have a nice day!


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 05/23/2005 at 02:42 PM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (8) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Friday - May 20, 2005

Social Security: Pay As You Go?

Social Security Reform has had thousands of articles in the Nation’s press in the last couple of days, 99.9% of them against President Bush’s Personal Savings Accounts or PSAs.  Dr John Goodman is a Presidential advisor and his thoughts go unreported.  The media, they don’t report and you decide.  BMEWS guest member Tubino suggests that the media is conservative but I suggest here is the only place he can find a pro PSA opinion.

“The underlying problem in the United States and throughout the developed world is reliance on pay-as-you-go finance,” Goodman told the committee. “Every dollar that is collected in payroll taxes is spent. It is spent the very day, the very hour, the very minute it is received. No money is being stashed away in bank vaults. No investments are being made in real assets.”

Goodman noted that in a pay-as-you go system what matters most is cash flow, and that cash flow for elderly entitlements is already a problem, with Social Security and Medicare currently needing a general revenue subsidy of $45 billion to fund benefits.

Goodman further explained that the best alternative to a pay- as-you-go system is a funded system, where worker contributions are saved and invested in personal accounts. “Instead of depending on future generations of taxpayers to pay ever- escalating tax rates, in a funded system each generation pays its own way.”




Posted by Z Woof   United States  on 05/20/2005 at 04:58 PM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Wednesday - May 18, 2005

Crossroads

Where are the conservatives in D.C., I ask you?  John B. Roberts served in the Reagan Whitehouse and he is saying we are headed for a socialist state.  American corporations shedding their future contract liabilities for, union employees’ retirement benefits, onto the backs’ of American tax payers is one of the biggest scam of all time.  Not only do tax payers have to pay for the Federal Government’s unfunded liabilities in Social Security and Medicare, but also union employees’ pensions so they can retire at 58 years of age and play golf in Sarasota, it’s pathetic.  Make sure you read the last 4 paragraphs of what John has to say.

The Skipper should promise us all pensions and retirement health care benefits and then transfer that future liability onto the backs’ of US tax payers.  We can let OLDCATMAN draw up our contract, who’s with me?

America is at a crossroads, thanks to the combinationof UnitedAirlines’ record $10 billion pension default and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.’s operating deficit. A major challenge to conservative thinking is taking shape before our eyes. Capitalists are urging socialist measures to address the looming pension crisis. Unless clear thinking prevails in Congress, American corporations will succeed in shifting their employee obligations from the private sector onto the taxpayers.

This goes far beyond corporate welfare. The new deal corporations are seeking in a global economy is to offload their costs onto government, while preserving transnational access to markets, consumers and labor. We saw the glimmerings of this nascent era of capitalist-socialism in the 2004 presidential campaign. CEOs from smokestack and high-tech industries supported the concept of universal health-care as a way to shed the burden of employer-provided health insurance. And no wonder. With the annual price of premiums rising at double-digit rates, health insurance now ranks alongside pension benefits as costs that sink troubled companies into bankruptcy.




Posted by Z Woof   United States  on 05/18/2005 at 03:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (13) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Tuesday - May 17, 2005

Star Parker On Social Security

Self proclaimed “former welfare queen” Star Parker had some thoughts yesterday about Social Security.  Notice how Star calls the private accounts in Social Security “personal savings accounts.” Star has some suggestions for President Bush on how to shape his message and I think she is correct.  I can just imagine Star as a Presidential advisor and President Bush asking her, “I love your first book, Pimps, Whores and Welfare Brats, but do you really think I should be that direct?”

What is the point of personal savings accounts (don’t even think about calling them private accounts)? Are they supposed to strengthen Social Security? Or, are they being proposed because Social Security is a bad deal and Americans should be permitted to keep and invest their money for retirement?

Is it any wonder that the American people are confused? What are they supposed to do with a confused message that says, on the one hand, the system is broken and a bad deal for working Americans and, on the other hand, that we need to strengthen and save it?

One of Reagan’s most famous speeches was the one he gave in Germany urging that the Berlin Wall be torn down. The person who wrote the speech relates that political operatives in the White House and State Department wanted this line removed. It only stayed in because Reagan himself insisted that it remain.

Bush needs to follow Reagan’s example. He should forget the political games and have confidence that if he tells the simple and honest truth to the American people, they will understand and follow his leadership.

The simple truth is that the Social Security system needs to be replaced with one in which American workers retain their own money and invest in their own retirement accounts. Our task is to devise a plan to let workers opt for personal accounts. And, in the meantime, we must tap our resources to meet existing obligations to current retirees. That’s it. Clear and simple.

Social Security and Medicare will engulf the entire federal budget.  If you are the type of person who needs charts, here you go ....

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Posted by Z Woof   United States  on 05/17/2005 at 03:29 PM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (7) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Monday - May 16, 2005

Social Security Exit?

Allen Helton of the Washington Times has perhaps the best argument yet for reform of the Social Security system .... let him out of it. Makes sense to me. Let me out too ....

To those who oppose any meaningful reform of the Social Security system, I say fine. You can keep the system, but just let me out. I am perfectly willing to take my chances with a personal investment account.

I am willing to take this chance despite the chorus on the left warning of the dangers of personal accounts and assuring us Social Security offers a “guaranteed” benefit.

I am willing to take this chance because the alleged “danger” of the personal investment accounts and the supposed “guaranteed” nature of Social security have both been wildly exaggerated by reform opponents.




Posted by Z Woof   United States  on 05/16/2005 at 10:09 AM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (5) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
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