Pundits and policymakers love to brawl over who should be receiving Social Security benefits—but it’s hard to imagine any of them vying for deceased Aunt Edna.
According to a Social Security Inspector General report, $40.3 million in social security benefits have been paid to the dead since 2008. Typically, family members or funeral homes are supposed to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) that a person has died, at which point the information is put in the SSA’s Death Master File. However, people sometimes fail to report this information and even when they do—the SSA continues to make erroneous payments.
Read more at the POGO blog.
Image via Flickr user Truus, Bob & Jan too!.
After 9/11, the government began encouraging local police, private security and everyday Americans to report so-called “suspicious activity” that may indicate a security threat. Taking photos of landmarks, walking “nervously” and writing in a notebook are all activities that have led to people being stopped and questioned. Could you be next? Watch our Suspect America animation and then click through to read our investigation with NPR: Mall of America visitors unknowingly end up in counterterrorism reports.
oldParasiteSingle: The #ACLU , @FrontlinePBS #washingtonpost & other FBI & #HomelandInsecurity Agency watch groups are all doing stories this week for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. #nytimes was careful to do their coverage last week of FBI hyper-surveillance inside NYC mosques, so it would not overlap too closely with the 9/11 anniversary. @centerforinvestigativereporting coverage is posted to tumblr here.
Basically the orgy of >$1T domestic surveillance spending over the last 10 years has not made us any safer. What it has done is put #HomelandInsecurity cameras on nearly every intersection & street light and GPS trackers on every vehicle-of-interest. The Soviets had and Communist China has less domestic surveillance ability than the US. We are all set up and ready for a nice, juicy federal declaration of emergency powers. The recent BART police abuses could be considered a test case to judge public reactions to unlawful restraints. It is possible there is a secret US plan for future segregation of ‘special’ populations into open prisons and concentration camps over small infractions. If not, it would still be relatively easy in the future for any President Obama, President Romney, or President Perry to whip up and execute such a plan given the advanced tools we have bankrolled and provided them. This process is societal militarism out-of-control and bound to bring US democracy to a sticky end.
Hurricane Irene’s movements here are documented in 30-minute imagery from the NOAA-goes East satellite.
(GIF by Travis Daub)
In related news GMA announced this AM that a grounding of Russian space launches may result in NASA abandonment of the International Space Station in November. Its the first long term casualty of global #Austerity cuts
To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:
I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.
I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.
-PBS @Newshour announced they would be investigating this reported phenomenon as part of their US income inequality investigation this week. Family groups are more unstable than ever here. I happen to know that the numbers mean that groups of urban homeless children are squatting together like Oliver Twist in meth dens. It isn’t only the émigrés Lost Boys of Sudan doing that anymore. (via oldParasiteSingle)
“The latest numbers on poverty among U.S. children are so striking that they make you do a double take.”