Sunday, June 30, 2013

"Black English" and Low Expectations

“It’s been a little scary. Sometimes it’s like she’s speaking Hungarian, and he’s speaking Cantonese. She’s been articulate, just in a different kind of English than mainstream English, she’s speaking Black English. Everything she says, where you can see the Twittersphere, or people I know thinking she’s making a grammatical mistake. If a Martian came down and the Martian happened to be in South-Central rather than in Grand Rapids, the Martian would have as hard a time figuring out how this dialect worked as any other. She said in the clip that ‘I had told you.’ Many people are thinking, ‘why is she using that?’ That’s Black English.”
So says a talking head on MSNBC when discussing the testimony of Rachel Jeantel.  A network that prides itself on being for the "little guy" and champion for minorities.  Really?  This is sticking up for minorities?  This is championing the cause of the inner city blacks?  I think not.  This is nothing but a huge insult as well-being more proof that the liberal mindset that they need special dispensation because obviously they are not able to better.  Another words, they are too stupid.  

I have heard many making fun of her and I am certainly not going to do that.  I personally find the entire episode sad and symptomatic of what is wrong with our education system and our society that we are willing to accept this.  I don't buy the argument that English is not her first language, she was born here.  I grew up with parents who didn't speak English as their first language either.  But I certainly learned it and so did all the children of my parents immigrant friends.  Kids especially will pick up languages quite quickly.  Outside of that even this talking head isn't using that as a reason.  This man is saying she is just an average black kid, talking like black kids do.  Why is this acceptable? 

This young woman will have a difficult time finding a good job.  She will likely stay in the confines of the inner cities.  But what really gets me about this is why does the black community accept this meme?  Why aren't they up in arms over these comments?  This is saying this is about what we can expect of the black community and we just shrug and say, hey this is the culture.  Why aren't we trying to change this culture?  Why aren't we saying there are obvious problems and these problems need to be addressed and addressed now?  

Don't they understand that they have been called too stupid to speak proper English?  That by accepting this, in reality they are accepting the low expectations that have cursed that community?  Lets face facts here, the black population is only around 12% of our population.  Yet somewhere around 27% of the welfare given out goes to that community.  They are living in poverty in higher numbers than others.  Isn't this part of the reason for that?  We have accepted that they have a "culture" that allows them to speak almost incoherently in a setting such as a courtroom.  She came across as ignorant as well as outright belligerent.  

I would have felt so much better if MSNBC was screaming about how poor of an education this young woman received.  Now she is far from the only person who can't read cursive, I asked a 16-year-old suburban white girl yesterday, and she says that she has a hard time reading it as well.  She doesn't write that way, and her public school has done little to nothing to educate her on that type of writing.  Cursive is being taken out of public and private schools at an alarming rate, and I say it is to the detriment of our society.  It is a skill that shouldn't be tossed aside simply because we are more of a technological society, learning how to write properly will also help with other skills such as reading and comprehending what you are reading.  

We can't keep saying well that is just culture when it comes to these types of things.  We need to start asking why is this considered acceptable?  Why is this "just culture"?  What does this say about our culture? 

I want to make it perfectly clear, that I am not making fun of this young woman.  Exactly the opposite.  I think we need to do something that stops promoting this meme and stop coming out with comments like this is "Black English".  We shouldn't be accepting that the simple act of speaking is done along racial lines in this country.  We should have but one "English" in this country.  

My advice to Ms. Jeantel is to go to your local public library, they normally have some sort of class that can be taken at no charge to address your language deficiencies.  Then you won't have to accept whatever job you can find and just get by.  Sadly, the talking heads at MSNBC seem to think that is all you are qualified for.  With a little help and motivation on your part, I think you can prove them wrong.  

Friday, June 28, 2013

Quote of the Day - Geraldo Riveria Edition

Rachel Jeantel was a sincere credible witness to me but probably not so much to the five white ladies on Zimmerman jury Hope she fares well.
Oh my.  But I don't really expect anything other than this from Geraldo 

I guess he thinks "white ladies" don't understand that Rachel comes a from a poor neighborhood and went to substandard schools.  

Twins are Ruining My Life - Mom Speaks after Dad's Essay

You may remember the dad that was wishing away the impending birth of his twins.  His wife has decided to speak out as well:
 I don't want to read the message boards that talk about what a joy twins are and how it's so worth it and how "this too will pass" and what a blessing it is. When I complain that this pregnancy feels extremely more difficult than my first one, I don't want to hear another doctor say, "Well it's different - there are two." None of this makes me feel any better. Quite frankly, it just pisses me off.
Before pursuing fertility I was a positive person, a cheerleader type with the mindset that everything happens for a reason. Now I find my mindset has shifted. While I am grateful we are pregnant, I am changed. There has been too much pain, too much struggle, and not enough learning. The "glass half full" person is no longer. The twins are coming fast, and I don't feel a sense of joy. Instead, I feel responsible. We only wanted one.
She doesn't want to read on message boards about the joy of the situation?  Well. one must ask why did you and your husband decide to make your complaints so publicly?  Do you think you are doing some sort of public service by talking about how you don't really want both of the children that you are carrying?
There is no denying that it is somewhat human nature not to be able to see another point of view when you are going through an emotional time.  But the selfishness of both of these people is nothing short of stunning.  At least her husband didn't put his name on his essay, but the wife decided to put it out there for all the world to see.  One of the biggest problems with that is that it will last forever and it may very well be read by her children one day.

I don't have twins so I have no idea what that is like.  But I do have several friends who do.  If they felt this way, they certainly didn't share it with me.  One of my friends that had twins didn't use fertility drugs/procedures, which would make it even more of a shock when it did happen.  Using fertility drugs does make it more likely that you will have multiple babies.  That is part of the process that was fully explained to this couple.  They admit that themselves.

But I will tell you I was a person who desperately wanted children, I got ovarian cancer at a relatively young age and that dream was not very likely to come true.  It was heartbreaking.  I know people who have tried virtually everything under the sun to have a biological child and it just won't happen.  It is not in God's plan.  These families would give their eye tooth to be in this position.

It seems that the desire to have additional children was not even something that they necessarily wanted:
Yet despite these challenges, we still wanted another child - a sibling for our son, mind you, not so much for us. We spent the next two years trying to conceive. Every month when I would get my period, I didn't just feel grief or disappointment - I was losing hope. I was exhausted and depressed. The emotional pain was incomprehensible to me. I was eroding as a person, losing weight and not being the best mom, wife, or professional.
Did this woman think that having even one newborn with a three-year old would be easy?  Newborns need a great deal of attention, feedings, diaper changes, hugs, baths, and everything else that goes with it.  It would never be easy even if you had only one child.  You don't have a child simply because you think your existing child needs a sibling.  That isn't a very good reason.
I wonder how much strain having two infants at the same time will put on my marriage and older son. We are not rich. We work hard to provide a good life for our son, and we have dreams, as all families do, of going to Disney, college, etc. I worry about how much of our attention and resources will be taken away from our firstborn. We also now need a bigger car and a bigger house. What had I done?
I thought of colic, and the change that postpartum depression had inflicted on me the first time around. Why would the universe, God, karma, whatever, whomever think it was a good idea to bring forth twins in our lives? When would anything go my way? Before I had children, it seems like it used to.
None of my friends that have twins are rich either.  They make due.  But it seems pretty clear that it comes down to this:
I completely acknowledge that for many, the journey to conceive is more difficult than our story. I realize better people than me are out there feeling joyful and benefiting from a far sunnier perspective. For anyone who is worried about me and my husband, our son brings us a ton of joy. We are always amazed by how much we love him, and I'm sure this indescribable love will extend to his brothers. But for now, I'm having trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Worried about you and your husband?  Honey, don't you realize that most people are worried about your three sons?  They are the issue here, not how things are not going your way.

If these parents don't realize that there are many, many childless couples that would happily adopt one of those boys, they are sadly mistaken.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Slippery Slope of Liberalism Part 8

Most have heard of the new hero of the left, Wendy Davis, who successfully did a 13 hour filibuster to stop some additional laws on abortion.  These laws by the way wanted to, in part, make sure that abortion clinics are close to a hospital, the doctor performing the abortion has staff privileges at that hospital, and that the clinics are up to par when it comes to safety and cleanliness.  The horror.
Speaking at National Right to Life Convention Rick Perry said this:
“Who are we to say that children born in the worst of circumstances can’t grow to live successful lives?  In fact, even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances. She was the daughter of a single woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas senate. It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.”
This is being viewed by the left as an attack.  An attack?  He complimented both her and her mother for the bravery of bringing a child into the world under what many consider difficult circumstances.  This woman managed to graduate from an ivy league school even though she was "punished" with a baby.

This is what the left has done with life.  It has been minimized to the point that even complimenting a woman is viewed as an attack.  Yesterday on twitter a young woman who described herself as an "intellectual progressive" compared a baby in the womb to both a tape worm and a parasite.  She has since deleted her account on twitter, but there is plenty of evidence of it still around.

Is it any wonder that young people all over this country have no real sense of the value of life?  A 23-year-old professional football player has now been charged with murder allegedly over a "conversation".  He threw away a successful career doing something that little boys all over the country dream of when they are showing up at pop warner on a Saturday morning.  We hear stories about people being killed over a leather coat, or a pair of Air Jordans, or any number of other material items that really have no meaning next to the life of a human being.  Yet, it happens over and over again.

I have said in the past that language matters.  I do believe that.  I think this is confirmation of my point.  This law was designed to make women safer during the abortion procedure.  Yet it is attack as a war on women.  Wanting to make sure that other women are not confronted with another Dr. Gosnell is somehow not only bad, but damaging to women.  Wanting to make sure that a woman is close to hospital in cases of an emergency is as well.  Women do die during botched abortions.  It isn't as unusual as the left would like people to believe.  Yet, trying to ensure that women have access to adequate medical care in cases of emergencies is part and parcel of the "War on Women".

One of the lines you hear often about abortion is Safe, Legal, and Rare.  Women have bought into this farce by burying the stories of Gosnell, by not talking about how some states don't have legal standards that would have them as clean as a  clinic where plastic surgery is done.  Do most people in this country even understand that simple bar is fought tooth and nail by many on the left?

While people who are pro abortion will say that I am stretching, but I am sorry I am not.  Life has been devalued in our society to the point that saying that a teenage girl who chose to not only give life to her child, raised her on her own and still managed to make something out of her life is an attack.

Wendy Davis shows that a having an unplanned pregnancy, even in your teenage years, is not the end of your life.  You can succeed and still follow your own goals.  Her life was most likely more difficult, but I am sure when she looks at her child, she sees nothing but the same thing a mother who wanted to get pregnant feels.  Love, a never-ending and very deep love.

Quote of the Day - Piers Morgan Edition Part 4

There's something powerfully real & convincing about #RachelJeantal the reluctant, but crucial witness
Really?  The woman who lied under oath numerous times is convincing?  This is also a woman who today admitted that she didn't write a letter written to the Martin family.  If she was unable to read it, how does she know that it says what her exact thoughts were?  Who wrote that letter?  Yes, throughly convincing.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Quote of the Day – Abortion Enthusiast Edition

An unwanted zygote lives inside of a woman using her nutrients to grow against her will. It's essentially a tapeworm.

DOMA Section Deamed Unconstitutional

I have made no secret of the fact that I am against gay marriage, so it may come as a surprise to some that I am happy with this ruling.  I have also made no secret of the fact that I am a huge supporter of the tenth amendment and the rights of states.

Marriage is not the issue of the federal government.  It never has been and will remain that way unless a constitutional amendment on the issue is passed.  While I would like to see that amendment, the chances of it passing at this point in time is basically nill.  Due to that, I have to support this ruling.  Marriage is a state issue and I have never been able to wrap my brain around how a legal marriage could not be recognized by the federal government.

Even Justice Alito acknowledges in his dissent that the constitution doesn't speak on the issue:
no provision of the Constitution speaks to the issue.
If no provision speaks to the issue and Americans fully expect our government to treat people equally under the law, what is the justification for the federal government to decide which legally married couple they give benefits to and which couples they don't?

As a limited government. constitutional conservative,  I couldn't find a justifiable reason for that particular section of DOMA being upheld.  This doesn't change my views of gay marriage.  I am against it.  But marriage is state issue, not a federal one.   This is an issue that must be fought on the state level.  If states are going to legalize gay marriage, the federal government has no right to overrule that.  Limited government means just that, limiting the power of the federal government.

The main section of DOMA has not been overturned, a state like Connecticut that has legalized gay marriage has no right to force a state like Virginia to recognize that marriage.  As it should be.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Race Baiters and the Voting Rights Act

The Supreme Court released its decision on Shelby County V. Holder.  This case dealt with only one section of the Voting Rights Act; section 4.  This section used data from the 1960's in order to decide which states/counties/districts have shown acts of discrimination in allowing minorities to vote, ever.  
There is no denying that in sections in the country the ability for minorities to vote was made almost impossible.  In many cases, those areas are in the south.  But the question in front of the court was does the federal government still have the right to micro manage every aspect of how voting procedures are done in all these areas of the country close to 50 years later.  They answered no.  Chief Justice Roberts said that times have changed and the law must change with those times.  

I am not going to sit here and deny that racism exists, it most certainly does.  We have heard recent stories about churches in the deep south refusing to marry inter-racial couples.  But the other side to that coin is that in many of the areas that this section covered have minority voters registered at equitable numbers of their populations.  

Now we have all the racebaiters out in force today saying that minorities will be again denied the right to register and vote.  Where is the proof of that?  Many areas of the south have black representatives at all levels of government.  Is that automatically going to stop simply because one small provision of the act needs to be adjusted?  It is simply ridiculous.  But Jesse Jackson usually is.  

Herein lies the problem.  We are not in 1964 anymore.  Times have changed and the congress was warned years ago that this provisions needed to be updated, not just rubber stamped to continue for an additional 25 years.  This section actually forced the areas it covered to get permission from The Department of Justice if they needed to do something as simple as change a voting location 25 feet away.  How exactly is that going to effect minorities from voting?  If a white person can get 25 feet so can anyone else.  

In one recent instance, one small town wanted to take the party affiliation off the ballot on local elections.  The Department of Justice said that was going to disenfranchise black voters.  All it was going to do was make people actually research who was running instead of seeing a letter after their name and voting based on that.  Since it was a very small town, most people most likely knew them anyway.  But it didn't stop the federal government from sticking their nose into business that had nothing to do with them.  
Congress should have acted on this years ago.  Why won't they?  They are afraid of being labeled racist simply because they admit that many areas of the country no longer discriminate when it comes voting.  The democrats don't get to hold onto they are the champions of minorities and the republicans don't want to get called names.  So what do they do?  They simply act like nothing has changed in 5 decades.  We all know that it has.  

Many on the left are talking about the voting rights act has been gutted.  No such thing is true.  What we really have seen here is that voting rights act has been successful and it is a law that has done what it was supposed to do (the law was always supposed to be a temporary one until things leveled out) and we should be celebrating that.  There may very well still be areas of the country where problems exist.  Lets figure out where those areas are and write laws that make sense.  If this is still such a problem, it should be no problem being able to prove it.  

But of course that will make the likes of Jesse Jackson less relevant.  We wouldn't want that would we?  

College Students Talk Affirmative Action - Video

What I want to know is how the white guy is helped from affirmative action?

Quote of the Day - Mick Jagger

“I don’t think President Obama is here tonight… But I’m sure he’s listening in.”
The Rolling Stones played in D.C.  last night.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Politically Correct Firing of Paula Dean

The Food Network has announced that they will not be renewing the contract of Paula Dean that expires at the end of this month.  She has been fired.  The Food Network is a private business and they can hire and fire people at will.  That is their prerogative.  But the reason they did it was the mansy pansy politically correct world we have found ourselves living in.  

Dean is being sued by a white woman who is claiming that she was exposed to a hostile work environment.  Now, I at one time worked at this non-profit who gave us training on hostile work environments often.  I think I had to sit through that seminar four times in the two years that I worked there.  Like most federal laws there are too broad and far too encompassing to my taste.  Virtually anything can be an offense under these laws.  The woman says that there was porn passed around in the back of  the house in the restaurant and their were people who used racial slurs.  Unless I am mistaken, the lawsuit doesn't claim that Paula Dean herself used those slurs, just that employees did and nothing was done to stop the behavior.  

During a deposition that was taken in May, Paula Dean was asked the question if she has ever used the N word.  She said yes and relayed a story about a private conversation that she had in her HOME  with her husband that took place in 1986.  At the time she was working in a bank.  A black man came into that bank, pointed a gun at her head and robbed it.  After this experience she used the N word to describe him to her husband.  This is a firable offense?  

Paula Dean is not being accused of using racial slurs at the work place.  Paula Dean is not being accused of discriminatory hiring practices.  Paula Dean was asked if she ever used the word.  Paula Dean was born and raised in the south during segregation.  Does anyone in their right mind think that word never left her lips throughout her life?  If so, those people are fooling themselves.  

This isn't about the right or wrong of the word.  This is about does a person have any right to have a personal conversation in the privacy of their own home anymore?  Look the word is offensive, when used by whites.  I don't deny that.  I certainly don't use the word and I cringe on the very rare occasions that I hear it.  But that doesn't mean that The Food Network should feel pressured into firing this woman because of that private conversation.  

Be honest, haven't you said things in a private conversation in your home that could easily be found offensive to someone?  Should your place of employment feel that due to that you are unemployable if that conversation ever became public knowledge?  

I was going back and forth with others on this last evening and one of  the things that I heard was if I went into work on Monday and used that word to a co-worker I wouldn't have a job on Tuesday.  True enough.  But that isn't what happened here.   I also saw comparisons to the man who fired from the television show Grey's Anatomy for using the word faggot.  Again, that wasn't done in the privacy of his home. That was done in public and if I remember correctly was directed towards a coworker who is gay.  There is no comparing the two.  First and foremost I have a problem with these laws to begin with. But even if I didn't, what happen in that case was public and done in the workplace setting.  

Look, you can pass all the laws you like, it won't change people's hearts.  I actually contend it was that people's hearts changing that directly led to the civil rights laws being passed.  What Martin Luther King did so brilliantly was he humanized the people who were being mistreated.  He put a face to the discrimination.  When images of people being attacked by dogs and water hoses were shown in every household across the country, people had to take a look at themselves.  That is when things changed.  The law followed the heart.  

People are allowed to be racists if they choose.  There isn't anything that anyone can do about that.  People are allowed to say what they want in their homes.  She is free to spray paint the N word on her living room wall if she wants to.  I wouldn't go to someone's home that did that.  But it doesn't change the right of her to do it.  This is private behavior.  

She will be just fine.  She has plenty of money and she certainly won't starve.  But that isn't the point.  The Food Network is yet another victim of political correctness that has run amok.  They are bowing to public pressure because she is now perceived as being a racist.  She used a racial slur in her lifetime.  That isn't a racist make.  Everyone one of us has said things that offend someone else at one point or another in our lives.  That doesn't mean we should be able to allow public pressure to force employers across the country to fire everyone who has.  

Friday, June 21, 2013

Quote of the Day - Chelsea Clinton Edition

“did not have access to services that are so crucial that Planned Parenthood helps provide.”
Chelsea Clinton talking about the people who gave birth to her grandmother.  One must wonder if she understood that what she really said there was that her grandmother, her mother, and she herself, could have been prevented had planned parenthood existed back then.   Considering she worked so hard for her mother to become the first female U.S. President she would see for herself that just because a child is not planned, doesn't mean that the child isn't wanted nor can they not achieve amazing things.  Asshat


Thursday, June 20, 2013

The SNAP Challenge and the Congressional Aide

There has been an ongoing debate in the House in regards to the "Farm Bill" which contains additional money to be added to the SNAP program.  Many people in the house who feel that the money should be added have decided to take the "SNAP Challenge", which is basically living off the amount of money which most people get for benefits on a monthly basis.  Know the SNAP program stands for  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  A few key words here, supplemental and nutrition.
nonscheduled (  def 2 ) .
(of a pleading, an affidavit, etc.) added to furnish what is lacking or missing.
The entire point of the program is give people of limited means additional money towards eating healthier foods.  It is was never meant to be your only source of groceries.

As such the democrats that are taking this challenge are being dishonest because they are basing their claims that this is the only source of food these people have.  So in walks Danny Ferguson, an aide for Steve Stockman (R-TX).  He decides to do a little experiment on his lunch hour.  He goes to a dollar store to buy a weeks worth of groceries with the budget of $31.50 per week.  Here is a list of what he purchased:
Two boxes of Honeycombs cereal
Three cans of red beans and rice
Jar of peanut butter
Bottle of grape jelly
Loaf of whole wheat bread
Two cans of refried beans
Box of spaghetti
Large can of pasta sauce
Two liters of root beer
Large box of popsicles
24 servings of Wyler’s fruit drink mix
Eight cups of applesauce
Bag of pinto beans
Bag of rice
Bag of cookies
This is what he feels that people of limited means should be eating for a week.  He says his total cost came to $27.58, so he came in at $3.92 under budget:
“Not only did I buy a week’s worth of food on what Democrats claim is too little, I have money left over.  Based on my personal experience with SNAP benefit limits we have room to cut about 12 percent more.  “I didn’t use coupons, I didn’t compare prices and was buying for one, instead of a family. I could have bought even more food per person if I were splitting $126 four ways, instead of budgeting $31.50 to eat for one. I could have bought cheaper vegetables instead of prepared red beans and rice, but I like red beans and rice.  Folks aren’t buying fast food instead of vegetables because of benefit limits, they’re buying fast food because fast food tastes great and vegetables taste like vegetables.”
So he will get some protein from the peanut butter, he will get some fiber from the wheat bread, and some vitamins from the apple sauce and milk.  He will also get very large amounts of fat, salt, and cholesterol.  I don't know how old he is or what his fitness habits are, but it is very possible if that he ate like this on a permanent basis he would gain a great deal of weight and over time develop some health issues.  It would seem from his above statement he isn't a big fan of healthier foods, but many people are.

Now I recently moved from the D.C. area and where I am living now is actually more expensive when it comes to food.  I spend more than $40 a month on milk alone.  I don't live on peanut butter and beans & rice.   Where is the meat in this diet?  It is possible that he is a vegetarian, but most vegatarians I know personally spend a great deal of money on food because fresh vegatables and grains can be very expensive.

So I decided to buy his grocery list at my local grocery store.  I went to the online section and purchased the list.  Now, I don't buy many of these items on a regular basis, but the milk and the peanut butter  was the same price online as it is in the store.  My total came to $45.37.   Now I had to buy a larger jar of peanut butter and the pinto beans and rice could be different sizes, but I got as close as I could.  Now I don't want to eat some sugary cereal every morning, call me picky, but it isn't my cup of tea.  So if I had bought the type of cereal I wanted it would have cost me more as it seems when they put less junk in a box of cereal it actually costs more.  So to say that it can be cut across the board for every area of the country is simply untrue. A facebook friend and I were discussing this and she said she ran out of money as well.  As I said I lived that area for years and years, dollar stores are pretty much everywhere.  I left that area about six months ago, and I couldn't tell you where the nearest dollar store is here.  I am sure there are some, but I don't know where.  So that type of store isn't going to be accessible to everyone.

The truth is this, both sides politicalize this issue and end up sounding like idiots.  Democrats forget the fact that people are supposed to be adding their own funds to the grocery bills over the month.  But republicans have the habit of only talking about the fraud in the system and how easy it is to live on Food Stamps and that those that do end up eating better than they do.  Neither is true.  I have heard people say that they see people in the grocery stores all the time buying better cuts of meat then they can afford.  The average payout for the SNAP program is about $6 per person per day.  For that budget you are not eating filet mignon and lobster every night.  It just isn't possible unless you are putting your own money in as well.

Another thing that happens is the fraud issue is overblown by both sides.  Democrats hold onto the myth that it doesn't go beyond the 3% estimates given out by the federal government.  That is what they catch.  That isn't what the fraud is.  Republicans act like the Fraud is about 50% or even higher.  There are those that think the program should be done away with altogether.  I am not among them.  I think the SNAP program is necessary and I have no problem with my tax dollars being used for it.  But I would like to see more crackdown on the fraud.  I worked for years with a homeless day shelter, and I can tell you the fraud is well above what dems say and well below what the GOP says.

Sadly, real people are caught up in the middle of the back and forth.  People who are having a hard time making ends meet.  People who have real reasons why they need some help from time to time.  Food banks around the country say they cannot keep up as the need is great right now.  So to say that it should be only charity that does this isn't working at the moment.  Especially when you consider that many food banks do get government grants to cover some of their costs.  The day shelter I was involved with got some state money, while many of their expenses are covered by churches (it is a faith based organization) and chartiable contributions, they don't cover all of the costs.

The economy is improving but not quickly enough for many people.  Many families that never thought they would need assistance have found themselves in the unfortunate situation that they must look for other sources to feed their families.  What this aide really did was demonize those people.  They don't need no stinkin chicken.  Heck they don't even get hamburger.  So for those on the right that say they eat better than you do, is this diet you want to eat week after week?

But hey, don't worry about Ol' Danny.  His salary is public record, he made $17,211.10 for the first three months of 2013, so I am sure he can afford to buy himself a steak sandwich on occassion.  People on food stamps, hey they can have some pinto beans.  Is it any wonder that conservatives get told they don't care about the less fortunate?  Sadly, I don't think he even sees what he did.

We need to make changes to these programs.  We need to cut out the fraud and abuse.  We need to find ways to make these programs a helping hand to people in need and not a lifestyle.  What he did just makes it all the harder to accomplish.  Shame on him.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Quote of the Day - Jim Allen Edition

"Rodney Davis will win and the love child of the D.N.C. will be back in Shitcago by May of 2014 working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires, the little queen touts her abstinence and she won the crown because she got bullied in school,,, are cruel, life sucks and you move on.. Now, miss queen is being used like a street walker and her pimps are the DEMOCRAT PARTY and RINO REPUBLICANS."
 Jim Allen, Republican Party Chair on Congressional Candidate Erika Harrold 

There are days that I am ashamed by republicans and this is one of them.  I don't know much about Ms. Harrold and her stances, but what I do know is that she is a human being that deserves more respect than this man has shown her.  

We have gotten to the point in this country that anytime anyone disagrees with your views it is perfectly acceptable to personally attack them.  To bring her race into this just makes it all the worse.  People like this need to be drummed out of party leadership.  This reflects on all republicans, even though it is not their views.  

Is it any wonder we get called racists?  

Quote of the Day - Chris Matthews Edition

“I think a lot of the problem he had today was the late afternoon sun in Berlin. I think it ruined his use of the teleprompters and his usual dramatic windup was ruined”
Is there no water this man won’t carry for President Obama?  It doesn’t seem to occur to this man that he should be able to give a speech without a teleprompter.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Quote of the Day - Sally Kohn Edition

98.5% of abortions performed before 20 wks. Republicans only supporting later-term ban to foster broader anti-abortion climate in US
I suppose the undeniable fact that babies feel pain during late term abortions shouldn't enter into the equation.

Federal Law, State Law & The Constitution

I have seen much going around on social media on the SCOTUS ruling on Arizona and the motor voter laws.  Yesterday, the court came out with a 7-2 ruling that Arizona couldn't add additional requirements to the federal forms for voter registration.  Arizona wanted to require additional paperwork proving American citizenship.  

On the face it seems silly that the court would come out against this.  But it isn't silly.  It is completely Constitutional.  The federal government gives states money to cover the costs of all seats that are held in the federal government.  The Constitution says:
The Elections Clause, Art. I, §4, cl. 1, provides:
“The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections
for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed
in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the
Congress may at any time by Law make or alter
such Regulations, except as to the places of chusing
Now that sentence about Senators is no longer valid since the 17th amendment made senators also subject to direct elections.  But the point is the federal government absolutely has the right to decide how registration is done for federal elections.  

The court also has given Arizona a pathway to make changes to the Motor Voter form.  Arizona can, if the so choose, go to the Elections Assistance Commission and ask them to make changes to the federal form.  While that is highly unlikely under the current administration, if they don't like the result, they then can take it to court.  

The Court did not rule on anything other than could a state require additional information on a mail in federal form for registration.  Arizona is free to require additional information on state forms.  Those registration rolls can be cross checked if they so choose to do it.  

The main point of this ruling is that the court did exactly what it was supposed to do, follow the constitution.  You may not necessarily like the outcome, but the federal government has the right and the responsibility to set rules for how federal elections are set up.  If we want changes made to include more safeguards for proof of citizenship, the avenue to do that is there.  The State of Arizona doesn't seem to be shy about pursuing their options, so let them lead the charge to put more safeguards into place.  

You can read Scalia's opinion here.  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dick Cheney on Snowden, IRS, and NSA

But, But, I Thought Guns Were Bad? White House Father's Day Photo

I know that this is silly, but it just part of the hypocrisy of it all.  If he truly believes that guns are so bad, why is playing with them with his kids?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Headline of the Day - The Today Show Edition

Sales of Orwell's '1984' up over 6,000 percent after NSA news


Some Morning Humor

Yes, this about covers it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Happy Father's Day - Richmond, VA Boasts a 60% Single Parent Rate

The City of Richmond, VA is one of the country's leaders in single parent households.  This past weekend the city sponsored a Celebrate Fatherhood celebration in order to draw some attention to this very serious problem.  The number grows to 86% percent in black community of the city.  

Think about that, barely over 1 in 10 black children grow up in a two parent home.  That number is not just stunning, but horribly tragic.  Lets face it, a single parent has a much more difficult time raising a child when they don't have another person in the home to help them.  There are things that have to be done, laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, and all the other chores that have to be done to keep a household running.  When does this parent have time to read a book, throw a ball, help with homework?  I am not saying that single parents can't be wonderful.  Many single parents do a great job.  But the problems that go along with being a single parent can't be ignored.  

This isn't even an American issue:
The poverty rate for children living with a single parent has risen 15 per cent since 2001, up from 20.9 per cent to 24.1 per cent. The HILDA survey, managed by the University of Melbourne, has tracked social trends by interviewing the same 12,000 people each year since 2001.
In America:
Over one quarter of U.S. children under age 18 reside with only one of their parents, and as many as half of U.S. children may reside in a single parent family at some point in their childhood.  The vast majority - over 85% - of single parents are single mothers.
Poverty is widespread and severe in single mother families.  According to the recently released Census Bureau data on poverty in 2010, people in single mother families had a poverty rate of 42.2% and an extreme poverty rate of 21.6%.
There are very real reasons that women end up being single parents.  In some cases they leave an abusive relationship and are doing the very best that they can under difficult circumstances.  But one of the outcomes of so many children being raised in single parent homes is the fact they grow up thinking that men don't/won't stick around.  They grow up thinking that men are much more than a sperm donor.  It just creates more problems for future generations.  

Sadly, in the U.S. our government actually encourages single parent homes through our welfare system.  If you are married, you are basically punished.  It makes much more sense for a woman who is low-income to not marry.  While living on welfare certainly isn't an easy life, getting benefits is far better than getting none even though your job skills are no different if you are married or single.  

Lets take a look at crime rates in Richmond:

Richmond Crime Data

(100 is safest)Safer than 8% of
the cities
in the US.
Richmond Annual Crimes
annual crimes per 1,000 residents

Violent Crime Comparison per 1,000 residents

in Richmond 1 in 141
in  Virginia 1 in 508
Population 205,533

Richmond violent crimes
REPORT TOTAL3654686680
RATE PER 1,0000.180.263.343.31
Population 311,591,917

United States violent crimes
REPORT TOTAL14,61283,425354,396751,131
RATE PER 1,0000.

Property Crime Rate Comparison per 1,000 residents

in Richmond 1 in 22
in Virginia 1 in 44
Population 205,533

Richmond property crimes
REPORT TOTAL1,9246,500937
RATE PER 1,0009.3631.634.56
Population 311,591,917

United States property crimes
REPORT TOTAL2,188,0056,159,795715,373
RATE PER 1,0007.0219.772.30

Crimes Per Square Mile


92% of U.S. cities are safer than Richmond.  Which is really a shame.  If you have never been there, Richmond is a beautiful city filled with history.  But you need to be careful where you go or you will likely end up being a victim of crime.  Of course there will be some saying these two things are not connected.  The police chief disagrees with you.  
“I do know that a large of number of young folks we interact with do not have a father in their home and I think it’s on all of us to recognize a responsibility to help those children,” Chief Middleton said.
Wouldn't it be a good idea for the government to stop rewarding single parenthood?  From Web MD:
In the latest study, reported in the Jan. 25 issue of The Lancet, European researchers reveal that the risks facing children living with one parent may be even more widespread and immediate. They found the risk of suicide was more than twice as high among children in one-parent households compared with those living with both parents
Children in single-parent homes were also twice as likely to have a psychiatric disease, have alcohol-related problems, and were up to four times more likely to abuse drugs
Gee, what a good idea to support that.  
“We have a major father absenteeism issue in Richmond,” First Things First Executive Director Truin Huntle said. “I wish more people were discussing why this is such a major issue. We see more people beginning to give some credence to it because they are looking for the root cause of other issues like childhood poverty, poor performance in school. Father absenteeism, broken homes, broken marriages and teen pregnancy are continually being found as the root cause of those problems.”
This is a man who is on the front lines in Richmond, working every day to help children and fathers.  Maybe he is someone worth listening to.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Snowden: Hero or Traitor

The short answer is that Snowden is both a traitor and a hero.  There is no question that Snowden broke the law, releasing classified information to those who are not authorized is a felony.  The U.S. Government has every right and the responsibility to go after him and prosecute to him to the fullest extent of the law.  

That said I am glad that Snowden did what he did.  One of the things that must be remembered in all of this everything this government does is done in the name of average Americans.  We all have a vested interest in what this government does.  This is true about both domestic and foreign policy.  We have a Bill of Rights and a Constitution.  Both of those of documents intent was to give the power to the people and to reign in the power of a centralized government.  We are losing those rights more and more every single day.  Snowden has only confirmed what many around the country already knew.  This government is taking more and more control over our daily lives.

We have been hearing for days now that this is a "legal" program.  A program that has been authorized by congress and is put in front of a court.  That is supposed to make me feel better?  We have plenty of evidence that congress passes laws all the time that they have no constitutional authority all the time.  One very simple example is the Violence Against Women act.  I am in no way in favor of violence against women, but is there any state that doesn't have laws against this already?  Why in heaven's name would spousal abuse a federal issue?  Every state has the right to request a fugitive from another state.  If the laws are not strong enough in one state then people should be working on the state level to strengthen those laws.  Not forcing every police department across the country to deal with cumbersome federal regulations and completely ignoring the fact that Tribal Courts have more power over non Native Americans, even though these courts do not have to give constitutional rights to anyone that is in that court.  
The opposition's first concern is that the power given to tribal courts would strip non-reservation residing offenders of their constitutional rights. Tribal courts are not bound by the laws of federal and state governments, and do not offer to defendants legal protections such as the First and Fifth Amendments or due process. Additionally, offering tribal courts jurisdiction over sex crimes would set a precedent for their jurisdiction when other crimes are involved.
So, it is of no comfort that congress has authorized this.  It is of no comfort that President Obama is basically saying "Trust Me".  I don't trust that man as far as I can throw him.  He certainly hasn't proven that he has my best interests at heart.  

One of the things that I find so infuriating about this whole thing is that it was just a few weeks ago that President Obama gave a speech on terrorism where he said this:
Today, the core of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on a path to defeat. Their remaining operatives spend more time thinking about their own safety than plotting against us. They did not direct the attacks in Benghazi or Boston. They have not carried out a successful attack on our homeland since 9/11
If that is true why exactly are we expanding the programs?  I have been against The Patriot Act from day one.  I agree with the founders who warned us that giving up security in the name of liberty would give us neither.  I don't dismiss the dangers of terrorism and Islamic extremism.  What I question is how effective are these programs?  I say not so much.  
The path to his capture, according to the public records, began in April 2009, when British authorities arrested several suspected terrorists. According to a 2010 rulingfrom Britain’s Special Immigration Appeals Commission, one of the suspects’ computers included email correspondence with an address in Pakistan.
The open case is founded upon a series of emails exchanged between a Pakistani registered email account and an email account admittedly used by Naseer between 30 November 2008 and 3 April 2009. The Security Service’s assessment is that the user of the sana_pakhtana account was an Al Qaeda associate…”
“For reasons which are wholly set out in the closed judgment, we are sure satisfied to the criminal standard that the user of the sana_pakhtana account was an Al Qaeda associate,” the British court wrote.
Later that year, according to a transcript of Zazi’s July, 2011 trial, Zazi emailed his al Qaeda handler in Pakistan for help with the recipe for his bombs. He sent his inquiry to the same email address:
An FBI agent, Eric Jurgenson, testified, “I was notified, I should say. My office was in receipt of several e-mail messages, e-mail communications.” Those emails — from Zazi to the same — “led to the investigation,” he testified.
Here are some sad truths, the Fort Hood Shooter was a terrorist.  A terrorist that we should have been able to stop before his killing spree.  The reason we did not was due to political correctness.  To this day this is not even called an act of terrorism but work place violence.  The Russians turned over information on one of the Boston Bombers, yet we did nothing.  Are these programs worth the loss of our liberties when it is obvious that when given the information on a silver platter they are still able to go ahead with their dastardly deeds.  

One of the biggest problems is that we are still not willing to follow a simple tried and true criminal investigation tool; profiling.  We have seen recently a Muslim turn over a fellow Muslim 
Both the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition took a moment in the House of Commons on Tuesday to thank the Muslim community for its role in thwarting an alleged terror plot against a Via Rail train.
“I’d like to begin by thanking law enforcement officials, as well as a brave religious leader from the Toronto Muslim community who, as we learned yesterday, helped to prevent a potentially devastating attack on Canadian soil,” NDP leader Tom Mulcair said as he opened question period.
If we start working with these communities maybe they will start communicating more and realize we are only interesting in rooting out terrorism and want to leave law-abiding citizens alone to live their lives.  
I, for one, am not willing to give away my liberties for a false sense of security.  I want my civil liberties to left alone.  There are plenty of ways to thwart terrorism without our government gathering information on virtually every American and have a huge database that can be used and abused in ways that we really don't fully understand.  

The government has shown us over and over again that they can't be trusted and have abused their power.  The IRS ring a bell for the naysayers?  

Snowden is both a hero and criminal.  Snowden has raised an issue that needed to be raised.  How much of your privacy are you willing to turn over to clandestine government agencies?  Where does it end?  This isn't a left or right issue.  This is an issue that should matter to all Americans.  To those that are willing to do this in the name of security, just remember your chance of being killed by terrorist is even less likely than being struck by lightning.  Yes we have dangers to deal with, but those dangers are relatively remote.  The powers of big government are not.  
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