Sunday, July 1, 2018

Thieves empty bank account of oldest living US veteran

A Note from SJ Francis: Here's an article I found  that I knew I needed to share with others. Identity theft is rampant and no one is safe. This article is proof of that and it's very sad. Check your credit reports. Freeze your credit, if necessary. Keep an eye on your elderly family member and their finances. Keep an eye on your finances. Question any amount that isn't one you or your loved one made. Thieves like to make small charges to test your account.

Originally from MSN:
 June 29, 2018



Richard Overton, the oldest living U.S. Veteran at the age of 111, is back in the east Austin home he has owned since 1948 after a renovation provided by Meals on Wheels of Central Texas and the Home Depot Foundation. He greets guests as he enjoys a cigar in the back living room, his favorite room in the house. (Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
© Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman via AP Richard Overton, the oldest living U.S. Veteran at the age 
of 111, is back in the east Austin home he has owned since 1948 after a renovation provided by Meals on Wheels
 of Central Texas and the Home Depot Foundation. He greets guests as he enjoys a cigar in the back living room,
 his favorite room in the house. (Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Someone has stolen the identity of the oldest living veteran in America
and emptied his bank account. The family of 112-year-old Richard 
Overton said they don't know how a thief got Overton's social
 security and personal checking account numbers.
They discovered the issue on Thursday when one of the World War
II veteran's cousins made a deposit into his account. 
"I looked at it -- what the hell are these debits?" Overton's cousin 
Volma Overton Jr. told CNN affiliate KXAN.
Several purchases of saving bonds with Treasury Direct were 
made in recent months and by Thursday there was nothing 
left in the account.
"It's a shock, it hurts, it hurts tremendously," Overton Jr. said.
While the family doesn't know who may have stolen Overton's money, 
his cousin said "it'd be terrible to know somebody who's been that
 close to him has used him like that."
His family would not discuss the amount of money that was taken
but said it was a "considerable amount."
Overton, who now lives in Austin, Texas, volunteered for service 
in 1942. He became a member of the Army's 188th Aviation 
Engineer Battalion, an all-black unit that served on various islands
 in the Pacific.
In 2013, he was honored by then-President Barack Obama during
 a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony.
He is the oldest man in America, according to the 
In 2016, his family launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds to help 
pay for Overton's round-the-clock home care. People have donated 
more than $330,000 since then.
His family said the money from the online fundraising page is 
intact in a separate bank account.
Police are investigating the incident.

UPDATE on July 5, 2018:

Bank restores stolen funds to 112-year-old Texas man


That's it for this time. Thank you all for visiting with us. Until next month,
every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. 
Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. 
Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, 
elephant or monkey.  One person, one voice can make a difference. 
Read a book. Review it. Share it. Pass it along.

Make adoption your first option when seeking a pet. Adopt. Don’t shop. Can’t adopt. Please consider 
fostering one. The animal will have the taste of home and the shelter will cover the expenses. 
Can’t foster? Make a donation or volunteer at your local shelter. Please, don’t hunt. 
Unless you’re starving down in a ditch somewhere, there is no logical reason to do so. 
Whatever you do, however you do it, please be a voice for the animals large and small. 
All it takes is one to make a difference, good or bad. 
 
                                    Together, you and I can make a difference. If you like 
what you see here, please consider signing up to become a follower. 
Please feel free to share this post with others.
Regards,
S.J. Francis Writing is my passion, but animals are my world.
    In Shattered Lies: "Good and bad, it's All About Family."  
Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at on-line 
retailers and independent booksellers. 
    “Some secrets should remain that way.” 
    My web page: http://www.sjfranciswriter.com  
                                     Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjfrancis419 

                               
 Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/SJ-Francis/480058115420325 
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                          A Book Review 4 U: http://abookreview4u.blogspot.com  
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And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2018 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.                           
Remember: Animals don't have voices. We must be their voice. Always. Forever. Wherever. whenever. I'm one for the animals. Are you?

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Forgiving Student Debt Is Just Stupid & Not Fair for the Rest of Us....

                                   

What is this I hear about forgiving student loans? I’m sorry college tuition and fees are so exorbitant, but students and their parents chose the University they decided to go to. No one forced them to go to a specific school. College tuition isn’t a surprise. The cost of a school’s tuition and fees are available on the school’s website. Further, every University will be glad to provide an estimate of fees to pay upon request. Everyone attending college knew the cost of tuition and fees before attending. Why should I or any other American foot the bill for others? We all are accountable and should all have to pay back our loans. Student loans are not gifts. That’s why they’re called loans.
                           


     However, not everyone feels like that. “Advocates of loan forgiveness claim that banks take advantage of student borrowers, who are “forced” to pay those high costs of debt repayment. But they are not forced; the loans are absolutely voluntary. Moreover, student borrowers are painfully well-informed.  Students know how much they’re borrowing, how much they’ll pay back, and how much of that amount is pure interest. Some may argue that 18-year-old students can’t comprehend what they are agreeing to, but this argument, if consistently followed, would deny thousands of young Americans the opportunity to attend college.”(Insidesources)
                                           

     Every few months or so I hear a story about someone suggesting the U.S. government forgive student loan debt. Former students tell stories of unemployment, worthless majors, low-paying jobs and resulting six-figure debt, insurmountable interest, forbearance and default. From a human standpoint, it’s easy to see why forgiving student debt holds some appeal to some. Usually, it’s the student or parent lamenting. However, many have questioned not only the “enormous and economically unfeasible cost, but the purported benefits and fairness of a one-time student loan bailout.”(A look at Shocking Student Loan Debt Statistics for 2017)
                                     


     “Americans owe over $1.4 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 44 million borrowers. That’s about $620 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt. In fact, the average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt, up six percent from last year.”(StudentLoanHero) Yes, that’s a great deal of money, but no one forced any student to take on that much debt.

     Forgiving these loans would cause a huge deficit for the country. There’s no argument there. In the end, the average taxpayer, you and me, those who didn’t rack up this debt would eventually be the one to pay it off. That is always what happens. Remember the huge auto and bank bailouts made in 2008 by the U.S. government. American taxpayers financed that. One former student even proposed a one-time bailout as a solution to stimulate the economy. “After all, college graduates are the type of people society needs to do things like start businesses, buy homes and cars, invent things and make babies — and people burdened with debt are less likely to make those kinds of decisions. Unburden them and the housing market might improve, along with the overall economy. With the stroke of the President’s pen, millions of Americans would suddenly have hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of extra dollars in their pockets each and every month with which to spend on ailing sectors of the economy,” - (Time.com)
                                                 


     It sounds like a very expensive idea, doesn’t it? Of course, it is. But so were the bank and auto bailouts, you might say, which I also objected to and with good reason. Why should American taxpayers bail out anyone for voluntarily taking out loans that they signed for? The answer is easy. We shouldn’t. Not now. Not later. I paid for all my years of University education. So have many others and they continue to do so through scholarships, grants, and working.

     The argument presented by some students and those supporting student loan forgiveness that it will strengthen the economy by putting more money into their pockets to buy more things just doesn’t cut it. They didn’t pay for their student loans, do we actually want to give them more money than they already haven’t earned? Do we dare give them credit cards when they already proved they couldn’t handle debt? Could we really expect them to behave responsibly when they got a free ride through college? I think not.
                                   


     Are there mortgage loan programs for forgiveness? No, though the government was quick to come in 2009 to forgive a great number of mortgage loans for those that willingly and knowingly purchased houses they couldn’t afford, and shouldn’t have been allowed to buy. The average American who purchased a house within their limits and continued paying for their homes through the crash received nothing from the government. Are there auto loan forgiveness programs available? No. How is it students deserve to be forgiven their student loans?                                    


     As if this forgiving student loans idea isn’t enough, we have the Republican Congress currently considering changes to the GI Bill which would force veterans to increase the amount they are paying to access their education benefits. WTF! Huh! What! Are you kidding me? This is also a total load of crap on top of forgiving student loans. Don’t believe me, here is the petition that is circulating. How can you consider forgiving student loans when you want to charge more to those actually serving in the military?


     You bet right that I signed it. First, I’m an American. Second, I’m a Veteran. Third, I’m a disabled veteran. Anything that inflicts veterans I stand up for loud and clear.
                                  


     Attending University and college in America is expensive. There is no argument on that. Throw other fees on top of it and it is astronomical, but no one is telling any student to take on more than they can handle. That is a choice. I tell all my students that a college education is an investment.  An expensive but necessary one. Fact is those who have a college degree earn more than those without one.  Those without a trade earn less than those with one. Student loans allow people without resources to undertake this education. It’s not a hobby. You shouldn’t go to college or trade school if you really don’t want to just because everyone else is going, or your parents expect you to. Not everyone can afford to go to Princeton, Yale or others expensive Universities. Why go there if you can’t afford to? Why take on such debt just to keep up with others? There are community colleges that cost nearly nothing depending on where you live and where you go. Public Universities subsidized by the government are also cheaper. One can also apply to a military academy and get a free education.  There is no need to amass a student debt for more than you can afford. Forgiving student loan debt is bad in so many ways.
                                           

     Work hard, get the best grades and apply for scholarships. Get a grant. Incur fewer debts. Get a job and work after school, on weekends and during summers. Think about this, if the government was to allow student loans to be forgiven, without any repayment necessary, would banks continue to give loans they’d never get paid back. I don’t think so. Many people wouldn’t be able to go to college or trade school at all.  Lower-income students would especially suffer as a result. Why save any money for college if loans will be forgiven? 
                                               
     Here’s an idea: If students really want student loans written off, they need to give something in return. Write off a student loan for those joining the military for a minimum of say, six years. Just like those students that attend the military academies, or those getting ROTC scholarships that cover all expenses. They already forgive student loans when you work for certain government jobs and in the military for a certain time, but to completely forgive student debt simply because it’s too costly is a bad idea. For you and for me. That is my opinion. How do you feel about forgiving student loans? Do you think the American people should just write off millions of dollars that would otherwise go back into the economy? As a result, you and I would have to foot that bill with higher taxes. How else would the government get their money back?
                                     


For More information:
A Look at the Shocking Student Loan Debt Statistics for 2017

Is Forgiving Student Loan Debt a Good Idea?

Forgive Student Loans? Worst Idea Ever.

Don’t Forgive Us Our Debts: The Case Against Student Loan Forgiveness


That’s it for this time. Thank you all for visiting with us. Until next month, every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey.  One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book. Review it. Share it. Pass it along.


Make adoption your first option when seeking a pet. Adopt. Don’t shop. Can’t adopt. Please consider fostering one. The animal will have the taste of home and the shelter will cover the expenses. Can’t foster? Make a donation or volunteer at your local shelter. Please, don’t hunt. Unless you’re starving down in a ditch somewhere, there is no logical reason to do so. Whatever you do, however you do it, please be a voice for the animals large and small. All it takes is one to make a difference, good or bad. 
 
                                    Together, you and I can make a difference. If you like what you see here, please consider signing up to become a follower. Please feel free to share this post with others.
Regards,
S.J. Francis Writing is my passion, but animals are my world.
    In Shattered Lies: "Good and bad, it's All About Family."  Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at on-line retailers and independent booksellers. 
    “Some secrets should remain that way.” 
    My web page: http://www.sjfranciswriter.com  
                                     Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjfrancis419 

                               
 Facebook fan page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/SJ-Francis/480058115420325 
                  My writing Blog: http://sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com    
                                               
          A Book Review 4 U: http://abookreview4u.blogspot.com  
                  A Consumer's View: http://aconsumersview.blogspot.com
                           


                 Google Plus:https://plus.google.com/u/0/104831238907682620486/about 
Good Reads:       https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33550975-s-j 
                                     
And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2017 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.                           
Remember: Animals don't have voices. We must be their voice. Always. Forever. Wherever. whenever. I'm one for the animals. Are you?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Technology Will Be the Death of Us....

                                 
Power Outages. Ransonware.  Hackers. Crashes. Electrical Shocks. Lightning Storms. Loss of Passwords. You name it and any and all of these can affect your electronic gadget whether it is a computer, smart phone or GPS. Everything in our lives that we use runs on electricity and is an electronic gadget. Electronic gadgets are a wonderful thing. They’re an asset to our modern life. They make things easier. They keep things moving smoothly. They help us keep track of things, events and more. When they’re new, they’re great. When they work, they’re terrific. Problem is, the human race relies on computers and electronic gadgets way too much, which can lead to problems.

     Think about how much you use electronics in your life. What would happen if electricity no longer existed, or say an Electromagnetic Pulse struck and shut down all electronic gadgets? We’d be back in the stone-age. It could happen. Very few countries out there don’t have the capability to do that to another. Right now, North Korea remains a strong foe to the United States. Can you imagine your life without your cell phone or your computer or your tablet in your hand?                                    

     What would you do without your television? Cable? DVD’s? Your stereo or radio? You could read a book. That is if it is a real book and not on a gadget. You could read a book on a gadget because of the battery, but what happens when that battery loses power. I tried to read a book on my Kindle the other day but I couldn’t so without the internet being on. What if the internet is out, too? Then what? You could read a real book, but you need light to do that? Do you have a source of light? A Flashlight? Candles? What would you do without your electronic gadget?
                                

     Think about all the electronics in your life. All our appliances run on electricity, but more than that they have some sort of electronic part in them, too. There are very few things in our lives don’t compose of some kind of electronic part. Do you have a home alarm system? That is all electronic. Even the technicians rely on their computers when making repairs to it. Perhaps, just a bit too much, too because the computer might tell them all is okay, but it really isn’t. If the technician just took the time to look with his eyes instead of relying on the pc, he/she might have caught the problem. Same thing goes with automotive mechanics. Modern cars have little computers in them.
                                         

    Remember the WannaCry cyber-attack in May of this year? The attack began on Friday, 12 May 2017, and within a day was reported to have infected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries. The United Kingdom's National Health Service were infected, causing it to run some services on an emergency-only basis during the attack, Spain's Telefonica, FedEx and Deutsche Bahn were hit, along with many other countries and companies worldwide. And that is just one attack. Think of all the attacks you don’t hear about.
                                 

     I remember a few times over the years when I visited a bank or supermarket and their computers were down. They had no way to work without electronics, which meant they couldn’t do anything at all.  One bank I know simply wrote everything down and then, processed everything later on the computer. That was if the bank employees knew you. If not, you were out of luck. Another supermarket basically did the same thing and you could only pay with check or cash. No credit cards. Do you rely solely on your credit card for all your purchases? What would you do now? How would you get by? Today, I went to the local pharmacy to pick up a medication, but they couldn’t process it. Their computers were down. Despite the fact, they know me and I had identification, they couldn’t verify insurance, etc. Hence, I had to go home to go back at a later time.
                                      

    When I was growing up not too long ago in the dark ages, the day before electronic gadgets became the cornerstone of our lives, people functioned without the aid of gadgets. We had. As a result, people could think for themselves. I think they were also smarter. They could read and write legibly and intelligently. Now because of texting there’s an entirely new language out there that only they understand. Everything has become abbreviated. Children today can’t function without a computer. Ask them what a phone booth is and they stop and stare. When was the last time you read and understood a map? Or are you the type to rely solely on your GPS? Be careful not to make a turn where you shouldn’t. GPS systems aren’t human. They can’t think. They are not perfect. They do give out wrong directions. Remember that before you turn off into a lake on go wrong way on the freeway.
                               

    The electronic or digital age has caused a crimp in personal relationships. People have lost the skills of interpersonal relationships. People email or talk via cell phones instead of carrying on conversations face to face. Cell phones rings everywhere you go. Wearing headphones people talk loudly and get angry when you listen in. They talk and walk. People work on computers or answer phones in the middle of meals at restaurants and in movie theaters while they’re with others. I know. Some of these things happened to me while out with friends. I literally had to ask people to put their gadgets away or I’d just go home. How about the man that’s suing his girlfriend because he took her out to a movie and all she did was talk on her cellphone? He’s suing her for $17.59 for the cost of the film and snacks. Sounds fair to me. If all she wanted to do was talk on her cellphone why go out to see a film?                                      

    Electronics are an asset to everyday life, but you shouldn’t rely on them all the time. They certainly shouldn’t be the center of your life. Think of other ways to get the job done. Think outside the box. Don’t let your electronics run your life. Better yet, don’t let them ruin your life. What would you do without them? How would you get by? What could you do without them? A great deal, actually. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone and sent in via snail mail? Can you even write a legible letter, or is it all in textese? When was the last time you had a face to face chat with someone? Technology will be the death of us, but only if you let them. That’s my opinion. What’s yours? Are you smarter or dumber living in the digital age? What could happen if there was no electricity to power us? No phones. No appliances. Nothing. We’d be s—t out of luck, but that’s just one thing to know. Read the book One Second After by William R. Forstchen and find out one possibility.

For more information:
The WannaCry ransomware attack has spread to 150 countries:

CYBERSECURITY
The Wannacry Cyber Attack Puts NSA Hacking Back Into Focus

Newly Discovered Vulnerability Raises Fears of Another WannaCry Cyber Attack

6 Things You Probably Didn't Know About WannaCry and NotPetya

Global ransomware attack: 5 things to know


That’s it for this time. Thank you all for visiting with us. Until next month, every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey.  One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book. Review it. Share it. Pass it along.


Make adoption your first option when seeking a pet. Adopt. Don’t shop. Can’t adopt. Please consider fostering one. The animal will have the taste of home and the shelter will cover the expenses. Can’t foster? Make a donation or volunteer at your local shelter. Please, don’t hunt. Unless you’re starving down in a ditch somewhere, there is no logical reason to do so. Whatever you do, however you do it, please be a voice for the animals large and small. All it takes is one to make a difference, good or bad. 
 
                                    Together, you and I can make a difference. If you like what you see here, please consider signing up to become a follower. Please feel free to share this post with others.
Regards,
S.J. Francis Writing is my passion, but animals are my world.
    In Shattered Lies: "Good and bad, it's All About Family."  Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at on-line retailers and independent booksellers. 
    “Some secrets should remain that way.” 
    My web page: http://www.sjfranciswriter.com  
                                     Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjfrancis419 
                 
 Facebook fan page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/SJ-Francis/480058115420325 
                  My writing Blog: http://sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com    
                                               
          A Book Review 4 U: http://abookreview4u.blogspot.com  
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One for the Animals blog: http://onefortheanimals.blogspot.com 
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Good Reads:       https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33550975-s-j 
                                     
And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2017 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.                           

Remember: Animals don't have voices. We must be their voice. Always. Forever. Wherever. whenever. I'm one for the animals. Are you?