Sunday, July 13, 2014



I just heard on the CNN that food prices have gone up 26% over the last 12 months, and I had to scramble up to the Second Floor to check things out. Gasoline is up 100% from where it was 4 years ago. I wondered what the average yearly income was for someone collecting Social Security and found it to be $12,000. Being nosey, I checked out what a soldier is risking his life for our safety made each year. On average, a soldier’s pay is $38,000. Law enforcement and firefighters don’t make much more yet what would we do without them?

Things look different from the Second Floor.

Yesterday I was in line to pick up a prescription and watched an elderly man struggle at the cash register. He asked the pharmacist if he could buy a third of the pills needed because he couldn’t afford the whole prescription. He explained he had insurance, but they didn’t cover this drug and neither did Medicare. He left with sadness I hate to see. Too proud to accept help and too humiliated being in the position his life journey had taken him.

I thought, “What the heck is that all about?” If a doctor prescribes a particular drug shouldn’t it be covered or at least partially covered? Just thinking about it made me mad.

I know we can’t cover everyone, but there is a need here for better care. I have a neighbor who is missing half his teeth. We got into a conversation about it the other day, and he explained he was on Medicare. Proudly he worked all his life for the railroad. They provided him with limited secondary coverage, but that doesn't cover dental and neither does Medicare. He smiled and said he’d rather eat and keep the roof over his head than save enough for dental implants. A mouthful of dental implants can cost between 30 and $40,000. When he laughed, he covered his mouth so others wouldn’t see the missing teeth. The incident, as the first one had done, made me furious.
The entire situation got me into a thinking mode, and it’s scary when I go too deep with these thoughts.

Looking down, as I like to do, I see problems others pay little attention to or don’t want to know about too much.

On the news, there are lots of talk about all these new people coming into the country, and sadly they are not all children. I’m a big fan of being humanitarian about many things. I love to help a stranger. I donate to charitable causes that  spend the donated money to help others as they are supposed to do, and nothing would make me feel better then to help when I can. That said, we now have over 100,000 people without language skills, homes, food and more.

I am proud to be an American. America is the greatest country in the world. We are a strong nation full of noble, generous people, but I’m getting scared that no one is watching the store or our borders.

That said, better look around our own country might in the long run be a good idea. We have many problems here that no one seems to care about them or refuses to address the issues by correcting them one way, or another.

Like many in the entertainment industry, we travel and get to meet people in all walks of life. The one sure thing is, you don’t have to be BLACK, WHITE, or BROWN to be poor. Being impoverished comes in all flavors and does not discriminate. We have millions of people living in our country that are a citizen, born here and remain destitute. They have less than nothing, and some  starve so their children can eat. We have military veterans living in disgrace on the street, handicapped individuals who have been all, but discarded, and  thousands living in actual poverty in conditions even alley rats find disgusting.

That said, let’s try to keep politics out of the entire mess. It easy to do in this case because, frankly speaking; I’m sure not who is to blame. Is it the Congress for another failure? Is it the Senate for turning a blind eye, or is it people hired to help work with the issues that are so corrupt and incompetent? The one thing I know for sure is no one is doing anything about it. I also know both members of Congress and the Senate pure billions of dollars into stupid causes to satisfy their constituents and individual deep pocket supporters so they can stay in office. That doesn’t help the rest, those in dire need to pay for housing, gas, clothing, medicine and dental care. Some serious changes need to take place immediately.

We have people collecting a tiny retirement from Social Security. People who worked all their lives but never made enough to invest in any other type of savings program. Each gave weekly, and gladly parted with the mandatory fees taken for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, knowing they would retire safely and supposedly have enough to survive when the time came to retire. They also counted on having medical care because they had been paying for it for many years. The payments were voluntary – they were mandatorily taken out of each check. Sadly all of this is true, and what is currently being paid out would have been ten or twenty times that if that same amount of money had been put into a simple savings accounts at local banks. The money wasn’t, however, and now they are stuck getting pennies to buy food, pay rent or mortgages, buy gas and pay for utilities and this is hardly enough to go around and each year it gets harder.

Most of these people do not have supplemental insurance and must pay additional fees to buy it from the government. Medicare and Medicaid are not free to poor people so on top of what was taken out of their checks when they were working, wasn’t enough and more is needed.

Okay, I’ll step off the bandwagon but I’m staying up on the Second Floor.

Back to the issue at hand: Someone in our government has found billions yes billions with a capital B, to house, feed and care for our new visitors. Many of these visitors will stay and continue to collect more than our very citizens living here can, and that’s not right.

Don’t get me wrong. I am as big a humanitarian as anyone. All for helping those in need but shouldn’t there be a pecking order? Shouldn’t we be looking out for our own first? The poor, the vet’s, those that worked and served our country all their lives and now find it impossible to make ends meet? Shouldn’t they come first? Shouldn’t “our poor” come first?

If we can give housing, medicine and food to people flooding across our borders, don’t we own those already living here the same thing? Hello? Is anyone listening?

I need someone to tell me why a person can walk into our country and receive dental care, housing, clothes, food and shelter free – when our own citizens can’t get any of it or make ends meet?

I need someone to tell me why dental isn’t paid for in Medicare or Medicaid? If we can find billions to send to countries who hate us and billions more to feed and house people crossing our borders we can find billions to help our own.

I need someone to tell me why those struggling on Social Security haven’t received a decent raise? In reality, they should be receiving 100% more than they get now. Maybe, that is not enough either as everything around us gets costlier? The annual raise should rise with the cost of living index and taken from all the frivolous things we waste money doing.

Is it the public who is at fault for working all their lives? Everyone has had funds taken out of their checks, and all heard it was for their golden years. Social Security was created to build a retirement nest egg. Sadly when people arrive into their golden years they discover someone in the government “borrowed” all their savings. So, while no fault of their own they will only get pennies on the dollar? Don’t we put the heads of corporations in jail for doing this to stockholders?

So, if we can afford this humanitarian movement, and can afford to give untold billions to countries that hate us, we can afford to find billions for the poor. Instantly an increase should be given to those collecting a pittance in Social Security. The veterans who risked their lives to keep us safe and secure need to know they can live a healthy life. Those who never had a chance to know what a comfortable life meant  because they worked the only jobs they could find shouldn't have to suffer at the end of life's journey. Not everyone can figure out or gets the opportunity how to retire in comfort.

I have met people in all walks of life who worked hard, made a decent living but never quite made enough to get real comfortable. They either retire or are too old to land a job and now face this uncontrollable runaway train of expenses that are killing them.

Instead of our glorious politicians looking out for themselves and other selfish benefits, they need to take a closer look at what has been done to those in need. What has taken place didn’t just happen. It’s taken years to get here. Both parties wear blinders and sadly most politicians have never been poor, have never gone without a meal, have never been threatened with an eviction notice or letter threatening foreclosure on their home. Fact is, most politicians are wealthy and come from affluent families. Many never had to work at a job, and the majority never worked for minimum wage or had to hold down two jobs just to pay the bills.

I’ve heard some of these rich guys talking about cutting back on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other services because they put a drain on us and yet they will spend billions sending money to other nations or helping people crossing the border. Hello? Does anyone care?

It’s so easy to look down from the Second Floor and see all these problems. It’s not easy to find or suggest a solution. What is clear is the public has a dreadful track record of electing people with lots of money who takeout ads full of lies people believe and it gets them elected. Now those who get elected must have tons of money and made promises to others for more money – promises they giveback when they get into office. These are the promises that cost us the billions needed to help those in need.

We live in a cycle – so maybe it should be called the circle of life. We keep repeating the same mistake over and over. Most don’t pay attention they just vote because it’s the right things to do. Sadly most don’t even remember who they voted for or the names of those elected. I hope that changes.

We will never have a perfect world. I’m a dreamer, and I admit it. I just want care for those in need. I want those who can’t afford to have their teeth fixed to enjoy an excellent meal and not be afraid to smile. I want those without to have “something” or at least be comfortable. I don’t want citizens to be last in the line for help. I want those who depend on their savings account (Social Security) to receive what should be paid and this needs to be fixed and the funds found immediately or taken from some other careless cause we don’t need. I want those who come into our country to get in line not be at the front of it.

Lastly, I want honor for those who served our nation. I want everyone to salute those wounded and now discarded or living on the street. I want everyone who served in Wether it's the military, law enforcement, emergency services or firemen I think everyone who served should get the help needed and retire with the grace, love and respect of everyone.

No one should live their golden years without teeth or not be able to afford the very medicine needed to stay live or live without pain.

Yes, I also want happiness to prevail, to see smiles in abundance, eyes that dance with joy and spirits that lift high with respected. Oh, I also want us all to get along, work together to make a better home, and a better life. I don’t want much, just peace and lots of happiness.

I’m a dreamer – and dreamers speak their peace and try to get changes done. It’s time we make some changes for the better.

William Byron Hillman © 2014

Just released:
HOAX – Prematurely Terminated a thriller
My next planned films are:
Quigley’s Christmas Adventure
(Sequel to the hit film Quigley)
Of Light and Darkness
Web announcements are coming soon

Book Links:
Veronique and Murray:
Zebra’s Rock and Me
Quigley’s Christmas Adventure
In development Veronique and Murray’s Honeymoon
Rollie Kemp Books
Ghosts and Phantoms Part I:
Ghosts and Phantoms Part II:
Hoax – Prematurely Terminated
In editorial – Cheater