Hidden Entitlements

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Hidden Entitlements

The new Administration in Washington seems to have one main goal, that is not hidden! It appears they want to do away with all entitlement programs, or send them back to the state level and let the states Governors control and regulate them. No money, no entitlements, sounds like a simple solution.

The popular rhetoric for years now has been to stop the abuse of entitlement programs. Many politicians have been elected standing on that platform. It appears that most abuse is not hidden or very hard to find.

The main problem, there is a lot of abuse. Most not done by individuals, but you do see it and you hear people talk about abusing programs. Some almost seem proud of the fact that they did it to the government. People today seem to be more inclined to not give accurate information when applying for entitlement programs, that is cheating. That is just the tip of the big fraud wave, the big fish swim under.

There is a growing bipartisan consensus that the nations indebtedness is unsustainable,  not from twenty years of unfunded wars, that just added to it. The plan is for the largest tax cut in history and restructuring the Federal Income Tax. Not  a prudent thing to do with looming unsustainable debt?

Something has to be done to start controlling the Nation’s debt. The fearless and wise lawmakers will do the natural thing, go after all of the entitlement programs. How they go about lowering the costs of all these different programs is anybody’s guess. They are looking at the individual as the cause.

They’re going to have to get their heads together and face reality, the controls that they put on the systems simply do not work. Hopefully the new computer age will help them control the future costs of all entitlement programs, by catching more fraud that has been easily hidden in the past.

The politicians in power now, who are steering our ship of State through these murky, muddled, waters have been vowing to do away with that terrible, Affordable Health Care Program for years. They have no plan of their own yet, but they’re sure they have to do away with the healthcare system that we now have in place. The first thing they should do is repeal Medicare Part D, ‘that they created.’ It has given drug companies billions, maybe trillions of dollars in extra profits, while robbing those needing medication. It also hurt the future of Medicare, that no doubt was their goal.

One of the first things they better look into, is all of the for-profit groups, with their hands grabbing up all the health care money, causing premium rates to become out of sight. Hospitals, Senior Care Facilities, drugs, anything to do with medical care. Their bottom line is like anybody else on Wall Street, the investors want a big return on their money. There is no way this Nation can have Affordable Health Care if we have investors demanding xxxxxxxxxx number of dollars in profit each quarter.

Here is a real life example: A small town, Midwestern Senior Care Center charged an insurance company $11,500.00 for a person staying there for 30 days, in a semi-private room. That person was only allowed 20 days worth of insurance coverage, so he had to pay another $1,600 out of his own pocket. The insurance company no doubt paid a large portion of that $11,500.00. This was for a 30 day, semi-private stay! There is something wrong with this picture, that would be $138,000.00 for a year! That is why insurance rates are so damn high. Insurance companies are tired of being robbed, so are the policy holders.

I have to wonder, if that person would have been on Medicaid, would the government have paid that same amount? This crap went on long before the so called GOP invented “Obama Care”!

The same people who deregulated the price controls on drugs in the middle of the night, now want to turn complete control of healthcare over to for-profit organizations who have very little concern for the individual citizen.

“In 2003, a Republican-majority Congress created Medicare Part D, which prevented Medicare the country’s largest single-payer health care system from negotiating drug prices. In effect, drug manufacturers in the US were allowed to set their own prices resulting in the unregulated pricing variation for prescription drugs. “However, the government does employ drug pricing strategies for other smaller government health programs like the Veterans Health Administration, the Department of Defense.”

The political powers that rule, repay those who control the hidden fortunes, they now want a new health care system for  those who still have some money left. Everyone has to be in any system for it to work. The law makers better soon learn that.




“Just How Wrong Is Conventional Wisdom About Government Fraud?”
“Entitlement programs, from food stamps to Medicare, don’t see unusually high cheating rates — and the culprits are usually managers and executives, not “welfare queens.

“Though some might still deny it, there is growing bipartisan belief that our nation’s level of indebtedness is unsustainable. How we reduce the debt burden is another matter; this is where political knives are sharpened. Yet there is one uncontroversial issue that could result in dramatic savings and, interestingly is almost never mentioned: fraud, fraud in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages cash benefits for people with disabilities accounting for approximately $150 billion. There are two programs in this category, Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the former for workers with disabilities including families.”

“Remarkably the GAO analysis of SSA and federal salary data found that 1,500 federal civilian employees are receiving funds improperly to the tune of $1.7 million monthly or $20.4 million annually. This is approximately two percent of SSA fraud cases which demonstrates the magnitude of the problem. In fact, there are literally hundreds of SSI recipients who receive their checks in Mexico City, to cite one example, who haven’t resided in the United States in years and who never contributed a dime to the Social Security agency.

The Government Accountability Office recently announced it found $137 billion in improper payments in 2015, an increase of $31 billion in just  two years.


Dormant Driven Drought



Dormant Driven Drought

If this oppressive heat wave continues, Everything will go dormant. All the agriculture crops, even trees are suffering from the Heat and lack of moisture. It is even affecting old coots like me. I have been going dormant rocking back and forth in my chair trying to stay cool. I drink liquids to the point, I could ring  out  my clothes every night. Eight glasses, plus a gallon or two.

Triple-digit temperatures with humidity levels that almost matches the Temps makes it life threatening for many plants and animals. This is nothing new. I recall hot winds blowing as a youngster. Hot strong southerly winds blowing day and night withered plants to the point they they went dormant and didn’t produce hardly anything.

I recall the old two-story farmhouse, the young folks slept upstairs where the temperature must have been around a hundred or more during the day and cooled down very little at night. You would lay in bed sweating, listening to the wind eerily whistling through the window screens, playing music for you, but not to put you to sleep, to remind you another day was coming with the same kind of temperatures. You might even be able to stack hay tomorrow, it surely will be a good day for hay to dry and put into a stack.

My Grandfather had an Old Red Wing  Brown Jug. It must have held about a gallon of water, no doubt a gallon of moonshine once or twice since it left Red Wing, Minnesota. It had a big old cork in the top, He would wrap that Brown Jug in a burlap bag and soak it down with water real good. That old jug kept water nice and cool enough to drink for a half a day out in the blazing sun. Oh what a treat to drink that cool water out in the field. If you were shocking grain it was good to remember what shock the jug was under.

Many farms had no running water back in the early days, the water came from a well that supplied the livestock and everything else on the farm that needed to drink water. There was usually a windmill that pumped the water from the well and then it ran into a water tank where the cattle could all get a drink. Many kids had a quick swim, when no body was watching. Some farms had a cooler that the well water ran through first before it got to the main water tank, These coolers were Oak tubs about four feet high and four feet wide, you could put cream cans in to keep them nice and cool or keep your milk in there, then carry it to the house at Meal Time. Sometimes beer found its way into the old cooler. This was in the days before propane refrigerators.

I recall at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, Grandpa chewed Copenhagen and after Grandpa took a drink of water there was an ever-so-slight taste of Copenhagen still on the dipper, that didn’t seem to bother us boys any.

Somebody would have the job at the end of a hot day to take the water bucket from the house and walk out to that well and fill the water pail and bring it back to the pantry, everyone drank from the same Dipper and the cold water was a very popular thing as soon as a fresh pail arrived at the house. If Kool-Aid was going to be made it was usually made with that water that was just brought in from the well.

I recall at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, Grandpa chewed Copenhagen and after Grandpa took a drink of water there was an ever-so-slight Taste of Copenhagen still on the dipper, but that didn’t seem to bother us boys any.

Looking back at the way we lived 70 years ago people will think we had a rather dormant lifestyle. I wouldn’t call it dormant, as a matter of fact I’m quite proud to have lived in that era. We were a little more laid back maybe, things were done at a slower pace but everyone appreciated each other and had time for one another.





Edible Equals Survival

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Edible Equals Survival

I want you young folks to start digging, as fast as you can into this hillside, we’re going to make our selves a little tunnel that will have a room at the end of it. We want to get as far back in as we can, that’s why I had you carry all the tree branches we could find. They will help hold the sides and the ceiling up so we don’t have it cave-in on top of us later.

Slide the dirt out to the front of the hole on that tarp and dump it down the hillside. Some of it will slide down by itself that will help make a little wind break after a while, also it will be clean dirt to sit on.

Great uncle Simon lived this way when he first came from Norway it 1888, He and his family dug a hole into this same Hillside, that’s where they spent their first winter, even brought the Ox in during a bad blizzard. Later he built this stone house.

We’re going to use the two standing walls of the stone house to help protect our cave that we’re going to have dug below it. One reason Simon picked this location, there is a spring that comes out of the hillside and it flows down into the edge of that slough down below. Hopefully, a clean water supply.

We have carried just about all the dried food, canned goods, and bottled water that we could get our hands on, we’re going to have to ration all of these items very carefully, to make them last as long as possible. I’m afraid we’re not going to find any food out in the wild that is going to be safe to eat for a long time. Frogs from the slough might be our first fresh food. We will have to hope that heavy rains come that are not full of radiation that will help give us a fairly clean start.

This project could easily have been done several years ago, or even last year but who would have ever thought the world leaders would have been crazy enough to start firing nuclear missiles at one another.

It looks like living through this nightmare, is going to all depend on limiting the amount of time we come out of our little cave, trying to catch water from the spring before it gets out on to the contaminated ground, and most of all making our edible items last as long as possible.

It appears we will have drinking water to survive on. The edible food will be the major problem to overcome, if we can get through this first year, the lake is close by, we will have to figure out a way to catch our life-saving fish, that is if the frogs don’t come back. We will literally have to pool all of our talents and live off the land. Many things will become edible!


Bury or Burn

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Bury or Burn

Pirates used to bury their Loot on deserted Islands before they set sail to do more pirating and pillaging. A dog will bury a bone in the backyard, that is his prized treasure. You may be able to bury your dog in the backyard if something should happen to it.

The authorities seem to draw the line when it comes to burying a spouse in the backyard. With high burial costs, at one time I considered having a large garden, then when I died all my wife had to do was plant me  among the tomatoes, rutabagas or whatever it might be. That dream plan ended when we had to move into an apartment.

We bought a burial plot in a beautiful Small Town Cemetery just on the outskirts of town with spruce and pine trees planted all around, a beautiful place. Thirty years later the town built a sewer lagoon, right across the street from the cemetery. I told my wife if I should go first, for her to put a clothespin on my nose before they close the lid on the coffin.

I guess that wouldn’t maybe make a lot of difference after all. That would be like dying on the wagon train headed west, they bury you in the ground next to the trail, then proceed on West, leaving you in a cloud of dust but the dust won’t get in your eyes after they’ve already covered you with dirt in your roadside grave. Seems to be very extra sad though, to be left in the ground along the trail.

Our immediate family is buried in four different cemeteries within a 10 mile radius of where we live. Some of these graves have been in the cemeteries for over a hundred years. At one time, all of the work that was needed to be done at a cemetery was done by volunteers. They took care of the grave digging the mowing and the other upkeep of the Cemetery grounds. Most all the work was done with volunteers for decades, we have progressed to a point where there no are longer volunteers available to get the work done.

All cemeteries had Perpetual Care Funds set up. Through the years as volunteer workers became fewer and fewer, laws were changed to help make it easier to maintain the cemetery graves. Most caskets deteriorate and collapse within a matter of years and nowadays, possibly they’re made out of cardboard. When a casket collapses the ground caves in up above, so work is needed to fill that dirt that caved in to the ground, which requires someone to haul in a load of dirt and level it off and replant grass.

This created laws to be passed requiring a cement box be lowered into the ground that the casket would go into and a cement lid went on that box, this would pretty well do away with graves caving in, creating extra work.

The high cost of the cement boxes, the high cost of caskets and the High Cost of funerals have brought about a whole new wave of Cremations and that appears to be the way of the future instead of being buried you will be cremated and your ashes can be scattered to the Four Winds, at your favorite fishing spot or Watering Hole or cemetery.

Even if everyone is cremated in the future the need is still there to maintain all of these cemeteries. Family members will have to think about digging into their pockets to donate more money for care.

I think it would be a good idea to contact their Senators and Congress people and getting some type of legislation passed that will help recover the interest lost through  the past 20 + years and protect Perpetual Care Funds for future years.


Grit Plus Peace



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Grit or Grace

Grit is good, grit is great, most of the time! Everyday we seem to need more grit to carry on in this world. It would be very hard to survive, just exist without a lot of grit or determination and drive. There is a term for this grit in the country of Finland they call it sisu.  Sisu is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain that courage. It is a word that cannot be fully translated.

There is something else that we need more than grit and it is free, it might possibly be the most important thing we can have. It is peace, we need peace, an inner peace that has much more power than all the grit we can conjure up. There is only one place to find that true peace and that is God’s peace that surpasses all understanding, it has so much power, the human mind cannot comprehend the power of God’s peace.

In Philippians 4:7 we have a wonderful promise: “The peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” It is important to note the context of this promise, because that’s where we find the condition: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (verse 6). God’s peace is promised to guard those who pray—with thanksgiving—about everything. This peace will transcend our ability to understand.

God’s peace is a personal bond between “Him” and each individual who follows him, when people  have his peace they truly understand it, although they cannot explain it. It is there to carry them, each and every day through all the trials and tribulations of this world.

Many people continually pray for peace, peace between peoples and nations to stop all the killing. That peace will never happen according to God’s word which says there will always be wars and rumors of wars.”Matthew 4:6-10 New King James Version (NKJV)”
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Human nature does not change, man cannot get along with man, they let their differences, in some cases large differences over freedom and individual rights control their actions. Many would never live with peace, treating their fellow man equally. Their only hope is in finding  God’s life changing peace.

People in the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church greet each other with, “God’s peace!” There could not be a better greeting than, “God’s peace”! if you have it, you know you want to share it and tell the world about it and hope they can have that same feeling of inner peace. If you have God’s peace in the church building and take it with you when you leave, people all week long, all year long, all life-long will be able to witness God’s peace through your daily actions and how you live your life and treat your neighbor. That is the true gauge of what God’s peace can do.

Our individual grit drives us forward, as we seek peace and Grace. When somebody asks, “How are you?” I hope you can say, “BLESSED.”




To The Well And Back


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To The Well And Back

What would you do if you were the person in this dream? You have been walking for days in the blistering hot sun, your tongue is parched, your mouth is so dry you cannot spit. WATER, your body cries out! There is none. You are walking in the middle of a desert, wondering why you’re still carrying two very empty water canteens.

Through sunburned bleary eyes, suddenly, far off in the distance, you see something sticking out of the sand, it must be a mirage, you cannot believe your eyes. It looks like an old fashioned water pump with a long handle on it. An old style pump that you pumped by hand. You quicken your pace in spite of your body screaming for a drink of water, you press on to that distant old water pump.

There is a can partially buried in the sand, it must be at least a 2-gallon can. You lift it up and shake it, it has something in it, not sand. It actually has water in it. You have heard the stories about old water pumps. The leathers dry up, when you pour in the priming water you hear it, just run down into the well. They will not pump anymore, with dry, bad leathers.

You recall hearing the Kingston Trio folk song, Desert Pete. You’ve got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believe. That is why that can of water was left for you, with love. Do you prime this pump? Now you are faced with a question. Do you put your faith in yourself who wants to drink that nasty water quick, now, chug-a-lug? Or put your hopes in a belief that a higher power is in control of your destiny? Maybe a few sips, then prime it, yeah right! No way.

You must decide if you want to drink that water that is going to taste Very Bad. It has been sitting in that can for the Lord knows how long. If you prime that old pump, with that putrid water, you no doubt will shortly have some cool water to fill your canteens with, to drink all you want, or pour some over your head if you wish. Then you can refill that precious can, and place it back in the ground for the next person who is lost and is in dire need or the life-saving water that can come from that old well.

I feel this story about priming the pump has a powerful message. Do we go it alone, or step out in faith? I do believe this links our faith to a higher power in our life walk here on this Earth. Each new day has many traps and snares to turn us from the right path. We almost daily find ourselves in need of Living Water, be it from a pump or the Grace received through trials and tribulations.

If we are fortunate enough to have been to the Well for a new life, received the life-saving water, we should share it with others so they might be blessed too. Grace and peace flow abundantly from the well.

James 2:17 says, “Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone.” Verse 26 says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”


Independence Day


Independence Day

Oh, my country so faithful to me.
Where now is my allegiance more?
Is it in that grand old flag?
“Or is it in my own credit score.”

Many who have gone before?
“Fought and died for this great land.”
They sacrificed, some gave all,
“so the rest could have a life so grand.”

“We love our Independence Day”
Parades, picnics, and fireworks are all on display.
How much longer can it last?
Our identities now bring out looks of dismay.”

“Our lives are consumed with trivial stuff”
We see the enemy each place we look.
How can this be?
We gave up on reading the good book?

“Only through patriotism can our freedom endure”
“A revived National Patriotism that is real.”
“Not just the use of the word”
“to make a political deal”



Old Apostolic Lutheran Church


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Old Apostolic Lutheran Church  c. 1900


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Old Apostolic  Lutheran Church 2017

Old Apostolic Lutheran Church
It would seem that almost every year a new study comes out trying to figure out what church attendance numbers actually are in the United States. It has to be a fairly tough subject for any pollster to tackle. People might say they attend church regularly when regularly to them might be once a month or just on holidays. Most of the studies would have us believe going to church attendance numbers have been falling off in numbers and going down for decades.

I do not believe this holds true for the whole country, as there are different sections of the country where Church attendance would seem to remain relatively High. I had the privilege of attending a live church last Sunday. A church that definitely is growing on a constant basis and has been for over a hundred years. People are not staying away from the doors of that church, they are coming in great numbers and most of them are young families seeking a church home.

“In the United States today, we have more than our share of nattering nabobs of negativism” they should visit this place for a study on faith and hope.

Old Apostolic Lutheran church
of Lake Norden, SD
Weekly Sunday Services at 11 am.
Everyone is Welcome.
Sunday school starts after the Service except on Communion which falls on the first Sunday of every month.

Location Address

44768 SD Hwy 28
Lake Norden SD 57248

Mailing Address

Old Apostolic Lutheran Church
of Lake Norden
18747 US Hwy 81
Hayti, SD 57241

Contact Person:
Email: lake_norden@oalc.us