Monday, July 10, 2006

Invasion of Columbus – Part III

My last tirade ended with my promise to elucidate on my comments concerning my wife being flustered about forgetting to buy the bread and a story about the lunch meat. This addition is my attempt to fulfill that promise. So…we were both mad when she returned to the car after an hour of my waiting with only half the items (2) that was on her meager list! I fairly screamed at her, “What took you so long and where’s the Friggin bread and lunchmeat?” Her reply was something like, “Oh Crap, I forgot the bread, but I was just about to get the pack of bologna when I was shoved aside by three Somali women who then proceeded to put all the bologna into their carts. I told them ‘Excuse me, but I was here first and could you please let me have just the one package I need?’ They looked at me and then of the two giggled and pointed at me and the third started jabbering on her cell phone. When they left I asked the manager if there was any bologna left not on display, but he was Somali and had to wait until the store’s only bi-lingual employee came into work to translate, so I had to wait fifteen minutes to be told ‘no’. I had gathered the other three items, including the bread, but when the bi-lingual worker said ‘no’, I threw the bread at the manager. I guess I forgot to get another.”
I started to feel sorry for her, but dammit, it had still taken 45 minutes to purchase the other two items on the list, so I asked in a little more tolerant tone, “Okay, but tell me way it took so long to get the other two items!” “Well, I figured I’d use the express, cash only lane. I didn’t want to bump into those Somali broads again and they had way too much stuff to use the express lane. Besides, there was only one other lane open anyway and its line ran to the back of the store. Imagine my shock when, just as I was starting to unload my small basket, I was rudely jostled out of the line by those very same Somali women. They each had a cart that was almost over flowing! I was livid! I started to scream, rant and rave while pointing to the sign declaring that the Express lane was limited to 10 items or less. The same two women pointed and me and started giggling and the third one started frantically speed dialing her cell phone again. I then changed my tactics by pointing at the Express lane sign; then pointing at their overflowing baskets and demanded that the cashier throw them out of the line! She looked at me as if I had just asked her to sell her entire family into bondage and then answered her ringing cell phone. After garbling, she looked at me; pointed to the sign; then pointed to the 3 carts of food and motioned that they were seven under the limit! She then pointed to the other checkout lane indicating I could use that one. Unfortunately, the bi-lingual employee was on a break and could not be found, so I went to back of the other lane.”
I took her in my arms; kissed her gently upon her cheeks and told her, “There there now, sweetheart, I still love you.” It did not good; I still did not get laid,

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Invasion of Columbus – Part II

Okay, so here’s the next part of my rant. I took my wife to Aldi’s (you know, one of those cheap discount grocery store that we SSA recipients need to shop at) and of course, all the Somali’s are also shopping there. Now I find that amazingly, especially since there are two, count ’em TWO African markets in the same shopping complex. I’ve never seen any Somali’s using those stores. In fact, I’ve only every seen one couple shop there at all; two 90-year old white couple wearing matching khaki shirts, shorts and pith helmets. But I digress.
Anyway, I told my wife to buy four items and figured it should take no more than ten minutes at the longest, but I turned off the ignition to save gas anyway. It was a hot day, so I rolled down the windows and leaned back to enjoy the cool breeze that was blowing. I closed my eyes and if I did not suffer from Sleep Apnea, I would have dozed off. Suddenly, I was disturbed by some god-awful screeching that seemed to be erupting right by my head. There had to be Somali’s arguing right outside my door! I sat up and looked around, but saw no one near me in the parking lot, yet the screaming continued. Then I glanced at the other end of the shopping center, where there is a Pizza place, and saw two Somali women walking back out to their car…and they were not arguing! Just talking as I noticed they were laughing! It seems like all Somali’s; whether male or female are always yelling at the top of there lungs and I then I realized it wasn’t their fault. After decades of machinegun fire serenading them day and night, all are deaf. They have to yell! That way why, I finally realized, honking your horn at Somali drivers never worked. They aren’t ignoring you, they just can’t hear it. I started to feel guilty about the rough feelings I had been having about these people.
Oh, you want to know how I know that I am observing Somalis? Well, the women wear those head to toe scarf-like things. Nothing like normal, Muslim Buirka’s, they look more like king-sized bed sheets that they have wrapped around themselves. Bad fitting one’s as they seem to block their view, but they are cheap and suddenly I realized why all female Somali drivers don’t seem to know where they are going. How simple, they flat just can’t see through those huge, billowing sheets! Now I feel I must apologize to all those Somali women drivers I have accused of being bad drivers by either mouth or had gestures. Who could expect good driving from a blind, deaf person?
There is yet another way to identify Somalis in traffic. As I sit in my son’s 1992, manual transmission Tracer with all its rust and dents, I which these Somalis drive by in their brand new SUV’s or Family sized Mini-vans. All their vehicles have to be large to accommodate about 3,000 passengers, because they all live, travel and shop together. I can tell they are Somalis since there are always a few women wearing their bed spreads, but the other tip-off is they are all talking…make that screaming on their cell-phones. Now I know they can’t be talking to anyone back in Somalia, talk about a dead zone, but realize that they can only communicate with each other in the car by cell-phone! Holy Shit! Another excuse for their bad driving!
Over an hour later, my wife storms back to the car. I don’t know which of us is madder. Me, for having to wait so long, or her for why it did take her so long to purchase two items…she was so flustered, she forgot the bread and had a some kind of story about the lunch meat, but I’ll have to divulge those details in my next edition.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Ohio’s Medicaid & Welfare Systems

Everyone told me that I would require help getting Social Security because it was very difficult to become accepted for disability, but not to worry because there was Workman’s Compensation, Medicaid and welfare to tide me over. Maybe if I lived in Iraq, however, I happen to live in Ohio.
As it turns out, in June of 2003, I had no problem becoming accepted for disability by the SSA. Since I was a computer analyst and was deemed unable to physically perform my job by the State of Ohio, the SSA figured I really was disabled. I just had to wait 6 months before collecting any money. So I applied for Workman’s compensation and went down to the local office of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) to apply for welfare benefits, which included Medicaid for me and my wife. She had not worked since we left California to return to Ohio and had shattered her femur when she hit a bus. She still had the stitches over the area where they inserted the metal rod in her thigh to be attached by screws to the bone and walked almost as poorly as I did.
I signed up for Food stamps (which we received right away for the family), Medicaid (which took 4 months to receive) and monetary assistance (about $118 @ month) which we never received! When I finally did get my Medicaid card, it only covered my prescriptions (which were and are over $1000 @ month), but it did not cover Doctor’s visits, equipment rentals ($650 @ month for a sleep apnea machine) or hospital visits. Since part of my disability is degenerative joint disease (crippling arthritis) and the doctor’s wanted to replace my knee and hip, this I could not do with the Medicaid card I had. And since I also suffered from out-of-control diabetes, my doctor wanted to check me every month. The blood, eye and urine tests were expensive.
It was worse for my wife. My case worker looked at her and declared her able to work, since she was only 54, and therefore not eligible for monetary assistance (big deal I didn’t get mine anyway) or Medicaid (I must have missed his Mayo Clinic credentials posting and the physical he performed on her). I had to purchase a hospitalization plan for her for emergencies only, that cost me $127 @ month and had to pay for her daily prescriptions, 2 blood pressure pills, thyroid medication and Paxil, out of my own pocket (which was rapidly draining). She would never get a prescription for her arthritis, due to no prescription or doctor’s visit coverage, and to this day still takes six, nighttime Tylenols a day instead.
What really made me see red was my case worker’s comment to us on the way out of his office. He said it was too bad that my wife had not just gotten out of jail, because then she would have qualified for both Medicaid and monetary assistance! I was mad because I had just spent over $500 for a lawyer to represent her in court; $390 for a required, weekend alcohol rehabilitation session ordered by the court and a $450 fine for the DUI was charged with for hitting the bus because I did not want her to have to go to jail. Silly me, I could have saved over $1300 and she would have received all the welfare and Medicaid goodies she was denied if I had let her go to jail. Even worse, I found out this year, thanks to the wife of the City of Columbus mayor, that you can pick your choice of jails for DUI incarceration and she could have chosen the same jail Mrs. Coleman selected. The one in Akron, Ohio that is described as a country club because of its spacious, private quarters and no jail uniform requirements. I believe they also allow multiple furloughs on weekends and Holidays and since my wife’s family lives in Akron, she could have visited with them at the expense of the State of Ohio.
Now you say, why are you complaining? You should have received the maximum amount for Workman’s compensation and do receive the maximum amount of SSA Disability payments (due to your former, high paying jobs).Well, first there was the Worker’s compensation that I collected. Zero dollars. Why? Well, although I qualified to receive payments (I know I did, they sent me a letter saying so), since I answered the questionnaires honestly, I was rejected for each payment because I was not actively looking for work. Duh! I am unable to work, how can I actively look for work? What work would be easier to do than the work I was deemed, by the State, unable to perform? So, I never received any Workman’s compensation payments.
Now for the real kick in the pants. When I received my first, monthly SSA Disability check ($1760) in November 2003, I received a letter from Medicaid stating that the lousy coverage I already had was going to get worse. They used the term “Spenddown”, which is a euphemism for co-pay or deductible, in describing how my Medicaid coverage was changing. Until I met the Spenddown assigned to me ($1250) each month, I would not receive a Medicaid card for that month. They said my wife and I could both live on $510 @ month and not to blame ODJFS, because it was the Federal Government that mandated this amount.
Needless to say, I fought and finally received a “stay of execution” from the brand of Welfare and Medicaid assistance Ohio was condemning me to. However, that is another, even longer story that will have to be described in a Weblog of its own.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Invasion of Columbus Part I

Everyone is so concerned about the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, but the biggest problem we face today is the invasion of Columbus (Ohio) by the Somalis. Do you realize that the second largest populations of Somalis in the US can be found in Columbus? What’s worse is the fact that they are migrating from the largest concentration, located in Minnesota, to Columbus due to the greater job opportunities that exist here. Because of this, I had to change my drugstore from a place open 24 hours @ day and 7 days a week to one that is only open Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 5:00 and only until Noon on Saturdays.
Why you ask? Well, we were having communication issues with Kroger’s Drugs once they hired Somali clerks, but our Doctor’s office would eventually straighten things out with only a couple of days of interruption in the availability of my medication. This changed once our Doctor’s office also hired Somali clerks. The interruption in my medicinal service started lasting weeks instead of days. Obviously, having no formal Government to speak of in Somalia, the Somalis have trouble communicating among themselves. We tried intervening by scheduling doctor’s appointments to rectify their issues, but I got too ill without my medication to sit for the 4 to 5 hours that our Doctor’s “appointment” required for the clerks to recognize the presence of an American patient.
Still, the delays were not life-threatening because the State of Ohio would intervene (they had a large translator service available to them) and I would eventually get my medication. The problem became intolerable once the State of Ohio started hiring Somalis. Apparently the translating service was deemed no longer required and was abolished. We could not get anyone to help us when re-filling, valid, unexpired prescriptions since we could not convince the Somali State employees that Medicaid was available to ALL Ohio residents, not just Somali immigrants.
Today I am safe because we shifted to a small, American owned drug store that actually provides me with enough medication to last until they get all issues cleared up between the Doctor’s office and the State of Ohio when re-filling my prescriptions. Even they were having problems communicating with the various agencies until they finally procured the services of a Somali translator (which was extremely difficult since there were no longer Somalis looking for jobs in that area). Ohio State University was going to expand their Somali language and cultural classes to help provide American translators for the area, but the Board of Directors decided that the money would be better spent in providing expanded English and American culture classes (that was in September of 2004 and since the enrollment was so negligible, not only were the expanded classes abolished, but the classes in understanding American Culture were discontinued altogether).
Today, I live in constant fear that my pharmacy will sell out to one of the many Somali Entrepreneurs that infest the Columbus area and to survive, I will have to re-locate. If I move to North Carolina, will I have to learn how to speak Southern? My Y’alls and Sure ‘nuffs good buddy do require some brushing up, but I understand that Duke University offers some excellent courses in adopting the Southern Cultural way of life. Y’all come back now right cheer for mo’ about this problem good buddy, Ya hear?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Solution to Illegal Immigrants

If everyone was really interested in solving the “Illegal” immigrant problem, the Constitution would have to be amended. Right now States that have large populations of these “Illegals” benefit from the Constitutional requirement that a census be taken every ten years. Both the number of seats in the House of Representatives and the number of Electoral College votes a state has are determined by this count of the “population”. No mentions of a residence status or voting privileges are listed as prerequisites.
The amendment(s) should state that during the census, the legal residential status of each individual counted must be determined and the number of Electoral College votes a state possess should be based on its number of registered voters. After all, why should a state benefit from the count of its population if that population cannot determine the outcome of the presidential election? Additionally, if determining the legal residence of a person cannot be accomplished, then the number of House of Representatives could also just be determined by the number of registered voters as well. Since Congressmen are representing their constituents and the definition of constituent is:” noun: a member of a constituency; a citizen who is represented in a government by officials for whom he or she votes”, then why base the number of House of Representatives on non-voters?
The number of both should be set after the deadline for registering to vote in a presidential election. That way the numbers are dynamically updated every four years instead of every ten years. This seems a more equitable procedure to me and it might provide states like California, New York, New Mexico, etc, with some incentive to actually control the legality of their population’s immigration status. Right now, they derive benefits from “Illegals”, so they don’t mind their presence.