November 9th, 2014
The Blaze / Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski
Belle Harbor Manor resident Robert Rosenberg, 61, sits in his room in an assisted living facility in New York, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. (Image source: AP/Kathy Willens)
NEW YORK (AP) — The residents of Belle Harbor Manor spent four miserable months in emergency shelters after Superstorm Sandy’s floodwaters surged through their assisted-living center on New York City’s Rockaway peninsula.
Now, the home’s disabled, elderly and mostly poor residents have a new headache: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked at least a dozen of them to pay back thousands of dollars in disaster aid.
Robert Rosenberg, 61, was among the Belle Harbor Manor residents who recently got notices from FEMA informing them that they had retroactively been declared ineligible for aid checks they received two years ago in the storm’s immediate aftermath. The problem, the letters said, was that the money was supposed to have been spent on temporary housing, but that never happened because the residents were moved from one state-funded shelter to another.
FEMA gave Rosenberg until Nov. 15 to send a refund check for $2,486 or file an appeal.
“We’re on a fixed income. I don’t have that kind of money!” said Rosenberg, who suffers from a spinal disability and other chronic health problems. He said he spent the aid money long ago on food and clothing, both of which were in short supply after the storm.
The demand letters are part of a broader FEMA effort to recover millions of dollars in aid payments that went to ineligible households, either because of errors, a misunderstanding of the rules or outright fraud.
The Associated Press reported in September that FEMA was scrutinizing 4,500 households it suspected had received improper payments. At that time, 850 had been asked to return a collective $5.8 million. The other cases were still under review.
The AP on Tuesday asked for updated numbers on the number of storm victims who had been asked to return money, but FEMA didn’t immediately provide them.
Data obtained through a previous public records request, however, showed that as of July 30, the agency was considering a recoupment action against 35 residents of assisted living facilities in the same part of Queens that is home to Belle Harbor Manor. Collectively, those residents had received $108,598, with most of that money intended to cover temporary housing. Five residents had also received aid to cover destroyed belongings.
After their chaotic evacuation, Belle Harbor Manor residents were initially taken to a huge evacuation center set up inside a Brooklyn armory, then spent a brief period sleeping four-to-a-room at a hotel in a crime-plagued neighborhood where they were advised not to go outside after dark.
The state then moved the residents, many of whom suffer from mild mental illnesses, to a halfway house on the grounds of a partly-abandoned psychiatric hospital in Queens, where they bunked on cots and were barred from having visitors in their rooms.
Rosenberg said the FEMA workers who urged him to apply for assistance during the period when residents were staying at the armory never explained that the money could only be used for housing.
“Everyone asked, ‘Do we have to pay this back later on? Is it a loan?’ They said, ‘No. It’s a gift from Obama,’” he said. “If I wasn’t eligible, then why give it to me in the first place? They knew we were living in an adult home. They knew our shelter was being paid for by the state. It’s not like we lied on the application.”
At the time, it wasn’t clear how long they would be in the shelter, or where they would go next.
FEMA spokeswoman Rafael Lemaitre said the agency was required by law to recoup improper payments but did not directly address the residents’ situation.
“FEMA remains committed to working with applicants and ensuring they have an understanding of the options available to resolve their debt, which includes making a payment, filling an appeal, requesting a compromise and establishing a payment plan,” he said.
More common types of FEMA recoupment actions involve households ineligible for assistance because their damaged properties were vacation homes or rental properties, or families that received extra payments because more than one household member had applied for assistance. FEMA also commonly recoups emergency aid payments for damage later covered by insurance.
Lawyers at MFY Legal Services, a legal aid group that has worked with adult home residents in the past, have offered to help Belle Harbor Manor residents with their appeals.
“Our position is that it would be an unbearable financial hardship and unjust,” to require the residents to repay the money, said MFY attorney Nahid Sorooshyar.
November 9th, 2014
Is it mere coincidence, that the UN's effort to abolish Constitutionally guaranteed 1st amendment rights in the US, begins on the most celebrated of all Christian holidays, Christmas Eve?
Even more alarming might be the fact that the Republican Party ( the Conservative party of the 1st amendment) will not take over the US Senate until January 3rd, 2015, leaving the 2nd amendment exposed.
Watch this one very closely, Ladies and Gentlemen......
The New American
Written by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
On its official website, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (yes, that’s really a thing and yes, it is housed right here in the United States) announced that the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) “will enter into force on 24 December 2014.”
It is ironical that on the day before the world’s 2.18 billion Christians commemorate the coming of Jesus Christ to the Earth, the United Nations will officially put into motion a plan to deny them of a right given to them by the very God whose birth they celebrate.
For those unfamiliar with the text of the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty, here’s a brief sketch of the most noxious provisions:
• Article 2 of the treaty defines the scope of the treaty’s prohibitions. The right to own, buy, sell, trade, or transfer all means of armed resistance, including handguns, is denied to civilians by this section of the Arms Trade Treaty.
• Article 3 places the “ammunition/munitions fired, launched or delivered by the conventional arms covered under Article 2” within the scope of the treaty’s prohibitions, as well.
• Article 4 rounds out the regulations, also placing all “parts and components” of weapons within the scheme.
• Perhaps the most immediate threat to the rights of gun owners in the Arms Trade Treaty is found in Article 5. Under the title of “General Implementation,” Article 5 mandates that all countries participating in the treaty “shall establish and maintain a national control system, including a national control list.” This list should “apply the provisions of this Treaty to the broadest range of conventional arms.”
• Article 12 adds to the record-keeping requirement, mandating that the list include “the quantity, value, model/type, authorized international transfers of conventional arms,” as well as the identity of the “end users” of these items.
• Finally, the agreement demands that national governments take “appropriate measures” to enforce the terms of the treaty, including civilian disarmament. If these countries can’t get this done on their own, however, Article 16 provides for UN assistance, specifically including help with the enforcement of “stockpile management, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes.” In fact, a “voluntary trust fund” will be established to assist those countries that need help from UN peacekeepers or other regional forces to disarm their citizens.
Arguably, the Arms Trade Treaty would become the law of the United States if the Senate were to ratify the treaty.
While that is the process that the Constitution establishes for the implementation of treaties, fundamental principles of construction and constitutional law dictate that no treaty that violates the Constitution can become the supreme law of the land. In the case of the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty, there is no doubt that regardless of presidential signatures or congressional consent, this treaty cannot pass constitutional muster and therefore will never be the valid law of the land.
Unless, of course, Americans once again acquiesce to President Obama’s assumption of illegal authority and relinquish their rights and weapons regardless of the reasons they should not do so.
There is a higher authority, however, who never asked his followers to surrender their weapons and leave themselves defenseless in the war against tyranny.
While the president declares that greater federal restriction on the right to own, transfer, buy, and sell guns and ammunition is necessary in order to “heal our troubled minds,” Christians believe that there is only one place to turn for such relief: the Great Physician.
Christians, moreover, believe they not only have the right to keep and bear arms, but have the obligation to do so in the fight to protect freedom. The idea that God has commanded his children to own weapons and to be ready to wield them in defense of liberty might sound odd to many, but the scriptures provide ample evidence of this divine injunction...
November 9th, 2014
By Barry Secrest
We've seen numerous stories concerning an explosion of bizarre sightings and odd phenomena, over the past 12 to 24 months.
We've also read a constant stream of articles concerning the Vatican and its rather odd preoccupation with ET, even as we've seen an explosion of so-called exorcisms and paranormal activity, across the world.
All of this, also while a number of highly credible religious leaders have come out admonishing us that the world may have entered into its "End-of-Days" phase.
Now a video has surfaced, which many maintain is real, of a vehicle vanishing without a trace in a remote North Dakota town, along with odd visual and sound anomalies accompanying the supposed abduction.
According to Headlines and Global News:
"Non-believers in UFOs claim the disappearing car could have coincidentally vanished due to a glitch in the camera or professional video editing. Others commented on the video asking if anyone was missing their car."
The story from the Examiner has remained a top US story for at least two days now, a thing rare enough in of itself....so, is it real?
November 8th, 2014
By Bob Unruh
A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday stunningly affirmed the rights of voters in four states – Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee – to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, throwing a boulder into the millpond of complacent assumptions by homosexual-rights advocates that same-sex marriage is a given across the United States.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently has refused to take on any same-sex marriage cases, allowing the movement to expand into about 30 states.
But Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, which has fought on behalf of traditional marriage, said that now may change.
“With a divide in the appeals court rulings, the Supreme Court will likely take up the issue,” he said.
Previous rulings from the high court on the issue have found that the institution is necessarily defined as the union of one man and one woman. In 1942, it said marriage is “fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race.” In 1888 it ruled, “An institution in the maintenance of which in its purity the public is deeply interested, for it is the foundation of the family and of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress.”
Staver said marriage “is not merely a creation of any one civilization or its statutes, but is an institution older than the Constitution and, indeed, older than any laws of any nation.”
“Marriage is a natural bond that society or religion can only ‘solemnize,’” he said.
The 6th Circuit agreed in a 2-1 decision, concluding no federal judges should be making such a decision....
November 7th, 2014
The atmosphere before the midterm elections apparently didn't do a thing to chasten Obama's most hardcore, Democrat fans. A new poll shows that nearly a third of those Democrats surveyed wish Obama could have a third term.
A new Economist/YouGov poll that was conducted just before the elections certainly showed that overall a large number of respondents are unhappy with Obama, but there was also a large number of Democrats who thought that Obama was so great that he deserves a third term.
The poll found that 39 percent of the Democrats surveyed wished that the 22nd Amendment that holds a president to only two terms didn't exist so that Obama could run for a third term.
The number grows even higher with African-American respondents. Sixty-four percent said they'd love to see Obama get a third term....