Friday, December 28, 2012

I Really Hope this is PhotoShopped

I would hate to think that we are that sick in this country.  



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

All I Want for Christmas is..........A Dad??????


That's right.  A survey among children in the UK puts a dad as #10 on the list of top Christmas presents.  That is heartbreaking, simply heartbreaking.

Where are we as a culture that kids are asking for a dad for Christmas?

I realize that there are plenty of women out there raising children alone by no fault of their own.  They may be widowed and heaven knows there are plenty of dead beat dads out there, but how many of these moms made a "lifestyle choice" to raise children on their own?  I guess there is no sure way to know, but we do know there are some.

I do understand the desire to want to have children and not being able to find that suitable spouse.  I get that.  But, when you do make that choice to have kids without the traditional family, you need to know that your children are paying a price for that choice.

We are supposed to be all about "tolerance" of others, their choices, and not make judgements.  That is the politically correct thing to do.  Ok, but it is the correct thing for the child?

Children want to feel secure and feel loved.  Having a more traditional family life gives them that.  While it is very true that having a mom and dad in the house certainly doesn't guarantee a happy childhood.  Many people who have children, shouldn't.  An unhappy marriage isn't exactly the best thing for children to witness either.

But the thing is, if these kids are asking for a "dad" they most likely have no real male role model in their lives.  It isn't that mom and dad have decided to go their separate ways as far as the marriage is concerned, but still make being good parents a priority.  I know many divorced women who have managed to find that balance.  The children come first, so they put their differences aside and be what they are supposed to be, good parents.  That can be done.  I also know many good single mothers.

There was once a time when being a dead beat dad was like a scarlet letter.  There was societal pressure to be part of your child's life and participate in their upbringing.  What happened to those days?

Yes, I am for going to back to making people feel shame about bringing a child into the world that they don't care for after their 15 minutes of pleasure is over.

When we have kids asking Santa for a dad for Christmas, it is time we start looking at our priorities as a society again.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The NRA Goes All Orwellian



There, I said it.  I am so astonished, flabbergasted, and appalled at the presser that Wayne La Pierre and the NRA held today.  While he started out just fine, it just got creepier and yes Orwellian as it went along.  

A federal program that puts an armed guard in every school across the country?  Uh, no.  The security of a particular school system is a local/state issue, not a federal one.  Smitty over at The Other McCain accused me of being so federalist.  My reply, you're damn skippy I am.  What conservative can get behind this suggestion?  This is something that the left would do, not the right.  Not the gun part, but the federal government control part.  I mean the irony of all this is so thick you can cut it with a knife.  Some on the right are heralding this as the great cure-all, and the left is screaming about it.  Neither of things are true.  

First and foremost, I am 100% against forcing a teacher to become a gun toter.  Many teachers would not want to do this, and as an American citizen that is their right.  The second amendment says nothing about every American must bear arms, it says the government can't infringe upon that right.  Even if the teacher was someone who liked guns, I still think it is a bad idea.  All the students would know that the teacher is armed and I believed it could be a huge distraction; especially in schools were violence is an everyday part of life for the student body.  What I would be willing to go along with would be highly trained and certified guard of some sort.  I know where I live the police department has a unit of people who are hired out to all kinds of locations, even to some jewelry stores in the area.  But only if the school system wants this type of thing.  I don't think it should be forced on a federal level.  This is something that state/locality should decide upon.  I know here in Virginia there is discussion if our Constitution would even allow the commonwealth to force this on every school system.  A bill is expected to be put into our legislature next month.  We will see how it goes.  

But the thing that really takes the cake for me is the national database of the mentally ill.  What???????  Does he really think that a person like me deserves to have my name put into a national database simply because I have a chemical imbalance in my brain?   I have been very open and honest about my mental illness on this blog.  It didn't start out that way, but over time I have come to realize that in a very small way I could try to lift the stigma that surrounds mental illness.  

Mental illness isn't really a science.  There is no blood test to determine if you have it or not.  It is more of an art when it comes to getting a proper diagnosis.  Which, by the way, is part of the problem.  There is no way to determine who is going to become violent.  The vast majority of mentally ill people are not in any dangerous to other people.  They are in many ways self-destructive, but not dangerous.  The differences between the two is huge.  

I have been having a discussion about this on my Facebook page and have been told that I am already in a database about my MDD.  True, but that is for purposes of insurance.  While the police/government could get access to that information if they really needed to, but it would take a court order to do so.  The differences between a private company having this information for those type of purposes and the federal government creating one that they alone have access to don't compare in any way, shape, or form.  

Am I going to have to start wearing a scarlet letter to identify myself to others too?  

I have already seen comparisons between La Pierre and Hitler around the intertubes.   I am sorry, but that isn't so far off.  Hitler didn't like the mentally ill either.  I am was not considered a good person to continue breeding, heaven knows I shouldn't create any more mentally unstable people to mess up the landscape and the perfect utopia that due to be created in the imagination of that madman.  

Under no circumstances should anyone be heralding the idea of a national database about mental illness.  If you are, ask yourself, who gets to determine who is mentally ill or not?  Does a woman who goes through postpartum depression get added?  Postpartum depression is something that last a few months and is curable (yes curable) by a short round of meds.  Many women don't even go the route of meds, they push their way through it.  Does a person who experiences a bout of depression after a divorce get added?  Do we add all the over medicated children we have across the country too?  Does he have any idea how this hinder getting medical treatment for such illnesses?  Did he even remotely think this through?  We already have a huge problem with stigma about mental illness in this country.  This would make an already big problem even more unmanageable.  

This is a violation of our freedoms and rights of epic proportions.  It needs to be ridiculed for what it is.  A Orwellian overreach of government.  Wayne La Pierre should be deeply ashamed of his performance today, deeply and profoundly.  SMDH.


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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Day Before the End of the World Humor

Since the world is ending tomorrow this isn't so much of an issue.  But of course, since the Mayans didn't use leap years, this really is a problem.  




Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Newtown Shooter Motive? - Lanza fearful of Involuntary Commitment


It seems that one of the working theories of why Adam Lanza went on a killing spree in the small town of Newtown, CT was that he feared being put into a psychiatric hospital against his wishes.  Getting an adult (and even an underaged child) committed for reasons to do with mental health is very difficult thing to do.
What we don't know is if Adam was deteriorating even further that made it easier that a judge would consider conservatorship to his mother and allowing her to enter him into a hospital.  Several friends of mom have said that they believed Adam was becoming harder and harder for her to handle on her own.  It is also said that it was possible that she was going to relocate to the state of Washington where she located a school/treatment facility that would be able to help care for him.

As my regular readers know, I suffer from a mental illness; one thing I can be quite certain of, hospitalization is a scary prospect.  It is something that I have had to deal with at times in my life.  At moments I knew things were totally out of control and I couldn't continue on the path I was on.  If I had stayed on that path I wouldn't be here right now.  I know that with 100% certainty.  I also know for 100% certainty that I, like most mentally ill, was not a danger to anyone else.  Most behavior from mental illness is self-destructive, not violent.  But, how does one tell the difference between the self-destructive and the potentially deadly?  I am not even sure a doctor can do that.

I do believe that it is far too difficult to get a severely mentally ill person into treatment without their consent.
When I asked my son's social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. "If he's back in the system, they'll create a paper trail," he said. "That's the only way you're ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you've got charges."
I don't believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael's sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn't deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise—in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.
The words from a mother of a mentally ill child who is at the end of her wits.  She is struggling to find the right school, the right doctor, the cure.  She has been unable to find them and her son is ill.  She has to make a heart wrenching choice, jail her eldest child or take the chance that he be the next mass murderer when his rage rises to the surface.  She has two younger children to consider, and of course her own safety.  She has a "plan" that her two younger children follow if they see their big bro acting in a violent fashion.  They run to the car and lock themselves in.  I don't think that work as this now 12-year-old boy grows and becomes stronger.

We have to find a balance between the civil liberties of people like me and protecting the severely mentally ill from themselves and protecting society as well.  We went way too far back in the 50's and 60's.  We locked up people who had no real business being locked up.  We had parents who were shuffling off children that were difficult to handle, but not mentally ill.  Once you were put into this place, it was very hard to get out of.  The movie Girl, Interrupted was based on a true story of young woman who spent 18 months in mental institution against her will.  These things did happen.   These hospitals were sometimes hell holes.  Patients were sexually abused, raped, drugged, given severe medical treatments such as labotomies and shock treatments.  We cannot go back to those days.  But we went too far in the other direction.  We have made almost impossible to get any treatment until they hurt themselves or someone else.  By then, it usually already too late.  The laws are far too restrictive.

There are no easy answers and finding the proper balance between the needs of a civil and moral society and the rights of the individual is not going to be easy.  But we must try.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gee, We Wonder Why Life Isn’t Precious Anymore – Mom Leaves Newborn to Die, No Jail Time


We can talk about gun control until the cows come home, but it won't really help what is ailing this society.  I know very few people who are so militant about gun rights that they feel certain restrictions should be placed on who is able to purchase a gun.  I know that some exist, but they are the minority.  Most will agree that the mentally ill and people with criminal histories shouldn't be allowed to have guns.  The disagreements come on what other restrictions should be in place for law-abiding citizens.  We have laws in place that should protect us from criminals and the insane.  Those laws should be followed.  

What we never really discuss after a tragedy as what occurred in Newtown, is where we place the value of human life in the grand scheme of things in our daily lives and our society.  I am not even going to into the abortion discussion, because most people are immovable on this topic, and will remain that way, while there is always room for an epiphany, those are usually very personal episodes.  

What I would like to talk about is the role of life in general.  Recently a young mother was pregnant for the second time.  She says that she had no idea that she was so.  One night while on a family outing at the circus, she grabs her daughter and goes to use the lady's room.  She sent a text to another family member to come get her daughter due to stomach issues.  She then proceeds to give birth in that bathroom stall.  She leaves her newborn son in the toilet, surrounded by his own blood and presumably his placenta, and goes home.  The baby boy was found approximately 90 minutes later up to his neck in water and at a temperature of 85 degrees.  Thank heavens the little boy is doing fine and is said to be developing normally.  

Jessica Blackham, now 26, has given up her parental rights to the baby.  I am sure by now he has been adopted, presumably to a loving family that realizes how precious this little boy really is.  
Jessica has been judged in a court of law and has been sentenced.  One year of house arrest, three years of probation, counseling, and faces random drug tests.  Once she finishes her one year of house arrest, her five-year prison will be forgotten.  So let me get this straight, she left a helpless newborn baby in a toilet full of blood and gets no jail time.  
'Miss Blackham, you are not standard fare up here and I think your attorney's assessment that you will not be back is accurate,'
So said the judge who normally deals with crack and meth heads, reports show it took the judge a full couple of minutes to sentence her.  He thought about her sentence that carefully.  

While it is true that she had no prior criminal record that doesn't mean that absolves her from her crimes.  She left that baby to die.  Her own flesh and blood.  She says that she has no memory of giving birth and denies even knowing she was pregnant.  Now, didn't she gain any weight during this pregnancy?  Most woman gain somewhere between 20 and 30 pounds.  Didn't anyone else in her family notice that?  If she was hiding weight gain, wouldn't that fly in the face of her testimony?  Didn't she feel that baby kick?  Did she not realize that she wasn't getting her periods anymore?  While it is true that some women will have some bleeding during their entire pregnancy, that is pretty rare.  I mean this is a woman who was pregnant once before and was 25 at the time of the birth.  

Is it really so hard to believe that our children are growing up without a moral compass?  Is is really so hard to understand that they don't see life as sacred and precious?  This judge didn't and he is a grown man.  This woman didn't and she is already a mother of another child.  The only people who seemed to understand the importance of the that baby boy's life was the cleaning crew who found him and the doctors who saved his life that early morning.  This baby has been further dehumanized by this sentance.  His mother threw him away like he was trash.  

A baby was left to die in toilet filled with blood, other bodily fluids, his own after birth, and water and the punishment is that she gets to sit in the comfort of her own home for a year.  She can watch whatever television show she wants, she will sleep in her own bed, she can use the internet, she can have guests over.  Heck I guess if she wanted to she could get pregnant again if she is so inclined.  That isn't a punishment.  Especially when you consider that she lives in state that has a law that if you leave your newborn at a hospital, church, or other safe environment, you will not be prosecuted.  She could have picked up this baby and dropped him at any number of places and choose instead to leave him in filth to die.  

You can take away more and more rights on gun ownership in this country all you want, until you change this, it won't accomplish a damn thing.  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tragedy in Newtown


I want to start this out by saying I personally know children that were in that house of horrors today.  Luckily they are fine, physically.  Emotionally, well that is going to be something that time will only tell about.

I grew up in Fairfield County, Connecticut.  I lived in the other side of the county, about 35 minutes away.  So this hits home for a number of reasons.

In most instances, we find out days/hours later that the shooter is mentally ill.  I have written about this in the past.  I have a mental illness.  I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder.  I can clearly remember the symptoms showing up in about my freshman year of high school.  I was 13 at the time.  It has a major effect on the trajectory of your life and the lives of people around you.  There isn't an aspect of your life that isn't affected.  You may be able to hide it for a while, but sooner or later it comes through.  How much the people around understand depends on the education level of mental illness within that person.

Today, a 20-year-old man shot his mother in the face, killing her.  Drove to the school she allegedly worked at (this aspect of the story is still cloudy), walked into the office of the school shot and killed the principal and school psychologist, continued into a classroom of kindergarteners and massacred them.  20 dead children in all, and that number could very well change in the next few days.

All every one wants to know right now is why.  A question that we never fully have answers to since the shooter killed himself after he did his dirty deeds.  His mother, whom he was living with, is also dead.  His father and brother lived in a different state and apparently did not have a great deal of contact with him.  The brother, who was originally called the shooter in the early hours in the fog of reporting has told police that his brother had a personality disorder (gee, ya think) and was either suffering from autism or asbergers.  Neither of which are known for this type of depraved violence.   So we will be forced to make assumptions on what his motives were.

But what I can tell you is that this type of act isn't thought of in one day.  He had to have had this planned out in his head.  But before we even had a body count, the cries of "GUN CONTROL" were being heard loudly and clearly.  Well, as I said I grew up in CT.  I can tell you they have strict gun laws.  He was not able to buy these guns legally.  He was under age.  He also committed this horror in a gun free zone.  Obviously he didn't care about the laws.   Today, in a much less reported story, there was an incident of 20 children and a teacher being attacked by some knife wielding lunatic.  Luckily none of those children were killed as far as I know.  But it just goes to show you, if there is a will, there is a way.

Look, I dont' know what really happened today, and neither does anyone else.  We know that far too many died.  We know that the surviving children that were in that school today are going to be traumatized for quite some time, if not forever.  There will be children who will be afraid to go back to school.  First responders are having a hard time with the scene they witnessed today as well.  The town of Newtown have already started pulling resources together to get counseling for those who will need it.

What I do know is that we have many issues that could have contributed to why this happened today.
  1. violence in our culture is glorified.  Look at almost any movie that is out today.  I loved The Dark Knight movie.  But it was horribly violent.  It is far from the only that is.  Jaime Foxx was just making jokes last week that he killed all the white guys in his latest film due out on Christmas Day of all days.  
  2. We live in a 24/7 news cycle in this country.  Where these incidents are plastered all over the news for days on end.  We have You Tube where any idiot can post things to make themselves look "cool".  We have an obsession with becoming rich and famous; in this case becoming infamous.
  3. Mental Health issues are so stigmatized in this country that many people are unwilling to admit that they, or a loved one, has a problem that needs to be addressed.  I happen to live in a state that has a law that insurance companies must cover certain illnesses at a medical problem instead of a mental health problem.  Which many of them are.  Many other states do not have these laws.  They should.  Mental health care should not be something to be ashamed of.
  4. People in the U.S. are largely uneducated about mental illness.  We make these assumptions that if you are not in need of straight jacket sitting in a rubber room that you some how are not really mentally ill.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  I am a living example.  I have journals that I was writing in during one of my really downward spirals.  I was able to plan.  My plan was to kill myself and make it look like an accident.  I wanted to make my loved ones wonder.  It was some sick sense of revenge that I was going through at the time.
  5. Yes, we have lost our moral compass in this country.  We have a culture that says if it feels good, do it.  We have become rude and that seems to increase almost daily.  We have lost respect for ourselves, for our communities, and for worst of all for each other.
  6. Parenting, and I mean real parenting, is very lacking in this country.  Go to any mall in America and watch how children behave.  They run wild and parents do little to stop it.
  7. We assign labels to virtually every childhood ill these days.  Autism, ADHD, and Aspbergers.  I don't deny this things exist, nor do I say that there are not children who honestly need to be medicated.  But many that are being medicated can very likely be more in need of a firm hand at home.  By that I don't mean spanking, I just mean a parent that is truly parenting.  Setting limits for your children is loving them and being the best parent you can be.  All children need boundaries.
I have said this before and sadly, I will have to say this again.  We fail people with mental illness in this country and we fail them in a big way.  Mental illness is not a something that you choose to have.  The same way you do not choose to have a heart problem.   It isn't something that you do to yourself.  It isn't an illness that is brought on by lifestyle choices.  It is a chemical imbalance in your brain.  That imbalance can make you hear voices.  It can make you so paranoid that you do quite literally put on a tin foil hat.  That saying came from something that is real.  Many believe that the televisions are sending signals to them.  It can make you barely be able to get out of bed, to cry incessantly.  You will over/under eat.  You will lose friends.  You will lose jobs.  You will have a difficult time holding relationships.  Another thing I have heard people say is that it is so selfish.  Why yes, yes it is.  That is another part of the illness.  You can't see beyond your own pain.  The rest of the world be damned.

Until we start having the difficult conversations in this country and talk about the underlying reasons that these shooting keep happening, all the gun control in the world won't change it.  I am all for common sense restrictions on guns.  We should have  a permitting system.  We should have background checks for mental illness and criminal activity.  But what we can't do is take guns away from law-abiding citizens that allow them to protect themselves.  Do I want to see every school in this country full of  armed people.  Heck no.  The idea of that repulses me.  But maybe we are getting to the point that at very least every school entrance must be locked on the outside and metal detectors are installed.  As sad as that makes me, it just may be necessary.  As I said, I grew up near Newtown, CT.  It is a sleepy little town that has virtually no crime.  It is a very family friendly environment.  It has one of the largest American flags in the town square that I have ever seen in my life.  The people in that town take pride in that flag.  On summer weekends people are watching their kids compete in sports and having neighborhood BBQ's.  It is the kind of town where most people know your business.  This is one of the places that hear about these things in a far away place.  The people who live there say to themselves how terrible, but go to bed feeling safe it will never happen to them.  But today it did.

So thanks heavens that Leslie, her children, and Graham all made it out ok today.  I am thankful for that.  But the time has well past that they have the difficult conversations and deal with the real problems instead of political talking points.

Quote of the Day - Paul Krugman Edition Part Two

‎"We are not having a debt crisis. It’s important to make this point, because I keep seeing articles about the “fiscal cliff” that do, in fact, describe it — often in the headline — as a debt crisis. But it isn’t. The U.S. government is having no trouble borrowing to cover its deficit, No, what we’re having is a political crisis, born of the fact that one of our two great political parties has reached the end of a 30-year road."

Paul Krugman of The New York Times

So as long as we can keep borrowing, spending isn't a problem according to this lunatic.  The CBO estimates that the U.S. will be paying $778B in interest alone by the year 2020.  3.4% of GDP  

No problem whatsoever.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's Lucia


THE FESTIVAL OF SANTA LUCIA
The festival of Santa Lucia begins before dawn, on the thirteenth of December, which under the old Julian calendar (used in Sweden before 1753) was Christmas Day and the longest night of the year. Throughout Sweden, the eldest daughter in each household comes to her sleeping parents, dressed in a long white gown tied with a red sash, and wearing a crown of lingonberry leaves in which are set seven lighted candies. In her hands she carries a tray of steaming hot coffee and "Lussekattor" (Lucia Runs). The procession includes her sisters and brothers also dressed in white, holding lighted candles, and singing of the light and joy of Christmas.

The sisters of the Lucia Bride wear a wreath of tinsel in their hair and a piece tied around their waist, while the boys have tall pointed caps sprinkled with stars. Awakened by the lights and the singing, the parents arise and eat the breakfast served, thus ushering in the Christmas season. 
Scandinavian tradition holds that in Värmland, Sweden, a white-clad maiden, wearing a crown of burning candies, brought food to the starving villagers on the shores of Lake Vänern. No one knows how long ago the tradition began, but it was so far back that the festival of Santa Lucia was marked by a notch on the primitive "primstav" (calendar stick), the precursor of the calendar. It later became customary in western Sweden to finish the threshing by Lucia Day so as to begin the cooking and baking for the long Christmas festivities. From its beginnings in Värmland, the customs in honor of Santa Lucia have spread throughout Sweden, and more recently to the rest of Scandinavia. Today, the festival is celebrated in schools, hospitals, businesses, and towns; each of which has its own Lucia Bride and festivities to mark the beginning of Christmas. Santa Lucia Day is also an international holiday, celebrated not only in Scandinavia, but also in Italy and France in the rites of the church. 
However, the origins of this tradition are not in Scandinavia, but in Syracuse on the island of Sicily around 304 A.D. According to the Sicilian legend, Lucia's mother, a wealthy lady, had been miraculously cured of an illness at the sepulcher of Saint Agatha in Catania. Lucia, a Christian, persuaded her mother in thankfulness to distribute her wealth to the poor. So, by candlelight, the mother and daughter went about the city secretly ministering to the poor of Syracuse.
Unfortunately, this was during the last great persecution of Christians in the reign of the Emperor Diocletian. The pagan young man, to whom Lucia was engaged, took a dim view of this distributing of her dowry, and denounced her to the prefect, Pascasius, who ordered that she be seized and tortured. Miraculously, when neither boiling oil nor burning pitch had the power to hurt her, she was blinded and slain with a sword. Her martyrdom is recorded in ancient sources and in an inscription found in Syracuse. 
How or when this legend and tradition came to Värmland, Sweden, no one knows. With the coming of Christianity to Sweden shortly after 1000 A.D., missionaries and priests may have told the story to inspire new converts. Another possibility is that sailors from Sweden may have been captivated by the popular candlelight festival of Santa Lucia in Italy and brought the tradition back with them. A newer theory, requiring more research is that St. Birgitta (1303-1373), during her stay in Rome (1349-1373) in her effort to get papal approval of the Bridgittine Order for women, probably wrote home to Sweden telling of the Lucia legend which was widely known in Italy. As Lucia Day comes at the darkest time of year, the candies of the ministering Santa Lucia portend and witness to the True Light-the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. On the morning of the thirteenth of December, the strains of "Santa Lucia" are heard everywhere in Sweden as the white-robed maiden comes out of the night with her burning crown of candies dispelling the darkness. In honor of her martyrdom, It has long been the custom to donate money on Lucia Day to institutions working for the blind.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

It is Official, Chuck Shumer is an Idiot

Quote of the Day - Chuck Schumer Edition

"Nothing"

Chuck Schummer's response to what has changed, after being shown clip of him in 2006 being against filibuster reform.  Something that he is in favor today.  

I will tell you what has changed, they are in the majority.  That is what has changed.  

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bob Costas Dilemna for Tomorrow’s Sunday Night Football Game – Prohibition or Ban Cars?


The NFL is not having a very good week.  This weekend two Dallas Cowboy players were involved in a car accident.  Jerry Brown, 24, was killed while riding in a car with linebacker Joshua Price-Bent.  The car apparently was travelling at a high rate of speed, hit a curb, flipped over and caught on fire.  
Bent was seen trying to help his teammate out of the car when police arrived.  He was brought to the hospital and pronounced dead.  Bent failed a sobriety test.  The exact amount he was over the legal limit is not known at this time, but he has been charged with intoxication manslaughter (never heard of such a thing).  

A tragedy for both men.  Bent faces 20 years in prison if convicted and of course a very young man has lost his life.  My deepest sympathies to his loved ones.  

The dilemma comes does Bob Costas during his lecture to the Sunday Night Football watching public decide to ban cars or bring back prohibition?  

I am not trying to make light of a horrible situation, but this question must be asked.  Professional athletes have a culture of drugs and drinking just as much as a culture of guns.  So with Costas' logic, they must be banned from all society because these individuals can't handle the money, fame, and all the things that come with it.  

Your guess on which it will be? 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hey Dems, You Can Have Him - Charlie Announces as Democrat

Proud and honored to join the Democratic Party in the home of President 

Ugh,  what a jerk.  This is a man who shown that he is dishonest and unreliable, as well as starving for attention.  He said he wouldn't run as independent, and did.  He said he wouldn't become a democrat, and did.  Why anyone would take this man seriously is beyond me.  

A Day that Lives in Infamy - America Attacked


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Quote of the Day - Paul Ryan Edition Part 3


 ”Just last year, total federal and state spending on means-tested programs came to over one trillion dollars. What does that mean in practical terms? For that amount of money, you could give every single poor American a check for $20,000 – every man, woman and child.”
Congressman Ryan talking about the amount of money we spend as a country on welfare related programs for the poor.  Please don’t tell me that we are helping these people with these programs.  A single mother of three would get $80,000.  That would put her and her family in the position to be self-reliant immediately.
Our “welfare” program is not only a joke, but it is beyond a doubt harmful to the people who are on it as well as to the people who are not and are paying ever-increasing taxes to pay for this monstrosity.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Teacher Locks Child in Closet - Then Leaves Him to go Home for the Day


yep, our public schools are working "just fine".



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Christmas Friendly Retailers

Companies For "Christmas"
AFA Online Store
ACE Hardware
Amazon.com
Bass Pro Shops
Bed Bath & Beyond
Belk
Best Buy
Big Lots
Books-A-Million
Cabella's
Collective Brands
Costco
CVS Pharmacy
Dick's Sporting Goods
Dilliards
Dollar General
Dollar Tree
H.E.B. Stores
HSN.com
Hallmark
Hancock Fabrics
Harris Teeter Stores
Hobby Lobby
Home Shopping Network
JC Penney
JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts Stores
Kmart
Kohl's
Kroger
L.L. Bean
Lowe's
Macy's
Marshals
Meijer
Menard's
Michael's Stores
Neiman Marcus
Nordstrom
Office Max
Petsmart
Pier One Imports
ProFlowers.com
Publix
QVC.com
Rite Aid
Sam's Club
Sears
Scheels Sporting Goods
Super D Drug Stores
Target
TJ Maxx
Toys R Us
True Value
Wal-Mart
Zappos.com
Companies marginal on "Christmas"
1-800-Flowers.com
Bath & Body Works
Cooking.com
Hy-Vee Stores
Safeway
Starbucks
UncommonGoods.com
Walgreens
Whole Foods
Companies AGAINST "Christmas"
Banana Republic
Barnes & Noble
Family Dollar
Foot Locker
Gap Stores BOYCOTT!
Limited Brands
Maurice's
Office Depot
Old Navy BOYCOTT!
Radio Shack
Staples
Supervalu
Victoria's Secret

Today


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

@CoryBooker and the SNAP Challenge


Newark Mayor Cory Booker has decided to take the "SNAP Challenge" and purchase food with the money that would be the same as what he would get through the SNAP program.  This is a challenge I think more people should try.  But, there are few problems with how he is going about this.

The SNAP Program was never designed to be your only source of purchasing food.  SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  Hence the S standing for supplemental.

sup·ple·men·tal

 [suhp-luh-men-tl]  Show IPA
adjective
2.
nonscheduled (  def 2 ) .
3.
(of a pleading, an affidavit, etc.) added to furnish what is lacking or missing.
As you can see, supplemental is meant to add.  The entire point of the program is allow low-income people to take their food budget and allow it to purchase healthier foods.  Fresh fruit and vegetables are very expensive.  Another reason that the program allows you to buy seed and/or plants to grow your own.  While that is not always possible depending on where you live, but most people can at least grow herbs in their kitchens.  If you think about it, herbs are very expensive, it can be over $5 for some basil or chives.  Growing your own in your kitchen (which I have done) is a very good way to cut costs.

If you look at the poor in this country and what they in their households on average you will find:
Amenities in Poor Families with Children. Poor families with children have more conveniences and amenities than other poor families. In 2005, the median amenity score for poor families with children was 16. We examined all poor families with children with an amenity score of 16 to determine which items appeared most frequently in these homes.
  • These homes typically had both air conditioning and a personal computer.
  • For entertainment, they typically had cable or satellite TV, three color televisions, a DVD player, a VCR, and a video game system, such as an Xbox or Play Station.
  • In the kitchen, they had a refrigerator, a stove and oven, a microwave, and an automatic coffee maker.
  • Other amenities included a cell phone, a cordless phone, and a clothes washer.[17]
These conveniences may be considered representative of the living standards of the median or typical poor family with children in 2005. **
Now, if they internet access, some sort of television package, video games, and cell phones obviously additional funds exist to pay for these items.  While it is possible that the cell phone is something that comes without cost, the rest of these items will have some sort of monthly expense.

It is wonderful that people who have not had to experience what it is like to try to feed yourself on SNAP Benefits goes out and tries to do it.  But they are not being intellectually honest if all they are spending is just the SNAP Benefit money.  One of the tweets I saw coming from the Mayor said he wouldn't be able to afford coffee.  Why?  Now there is no way to know exactly how much the average is that poor families put into their grocery budgets of their own money, but the chances are it is at least something.  If they can afford an X-Box, cable TV, multiple televisions, they are likely able to afford a canister of coffee.  I don't drink coffee, so I have no idea how much it costs, but I am sure you can get one for about $10 and that would last you for a few weeks.  Again, I could be wrong about that, but the cans I have seen in the stores are a good size and I would think that one can lasts for more than a week.

While I do believe that there is much talk by certain quarters that people on food assistance shouldn't be buying certain types of foods and that talk should stop.  As I said the entire point of the program is to buy fresh foods, leaner cuts of meat, and all around healthier foods.  Lets be honest, many people sell their EBT cards for cash.  So unless they are not eating for the balance of the month, they have other sources of getting food for their families.  Even with the homeless that I have worked with over the years, they have sources of income that allow them to get food on their own besides EBT and the meals that are served to them through various programs.

I respect what Mayor Booker is trying to do, but his outcome is not going to be the outcome that most poor families deal with on a monthly basis.  In many ways it is a publicity stunt.  Which is sad to me, that people use the poor for such purposes.

I also would suggest that the Mayor learn how to cook things from scratch, as it saves a great deal of money.  A pound of flour can go a very long way if you know what to do with it.  A small roasted chicken can get a single person three to four meals if you know what you are doing, and chicken freezes beautifully.  The bones make great stock for stews and soups.

You see I have been very broke in my life.  To the point that I had to move in with friends for a short time.  I had to learn to make do with little money and learn to stretch that money until the next pay-day.  So I do know what it feels like to have a limited amount of money to spend on food.  I also know that it can be done if you are wise in what you purchase, cook from scratch, and have freezer bags to protect your leftovers.

The problems that we have in this country, such as what to do to help the poor, won't be solved unless we are honest about them.  Only using the amount given for the EBT program to eat for two weeks isn't solving the problem, nor is it being honest about how they really live.

**Please note 2005 is last year that this information has been made public.
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