Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How To Stop Being Poor

Townhall.com ^ | November 11, 2014 | John Hawkins 

Liberalism is for poor people who are content to stay poor. Conservatism is for poor people who want to make a better life for themselves.

I tell you that from experience because I have been poor.

Once in college, on a trip out of town, I slept in an elevator all night because I couldn’t afford to pay to share a room with friends and I was too proud to crash without paying. On another trip, I slept in my car the whole week-end and ate bags of apples and powdered doughnuts because they were cheap. Later on, I got so hard up for cash that I very seriously considered planned homelessness. I came very close to sleeping in my car for a couple of months so I could save up the rent money.

I also know what it’s like to get so broke that I had to live on a bag of potatoes and three for a dollar burritos for a week. I’ve driven around on brakes that squeaked like a piglet because I couldn’t afford the repair. I bounced a few checks in my early twenties because I had so little money. I’d only have 2-3 dollars extra in my account. Then, the bank would take out an unexpected small fee for some reason and suddenly, I owed the check AND a 20 dollar bounced check fee I couldn’t afford. When I first started doing volunteer work with the Republican Party in my early twenties, I was told that my clothes were too shabby and that unless I could wear a jacket, the officials didn’t want me to fill in at their local headquarters even though I was doing it for free. I quit going because I couldn’t afford to buy one. That turned me off to politics for years.

When I did get into really desperate straits, it never even crossed my mind to try to get government assistance. That being said, I did feel horribly embarrassed the handful of times I asked my own parents for help, usually during some sort of dire emergency where I needed enough money to keep the lights on until my next paycheck or to get my phone turned back on.

That was how I was taught. My father grew up in the Depression and he had to deal with a level of poverty that made me feel lucky, even when I had nothing. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when your father grew up thinking of peanut butter and soda pop as luxuries while he walked around with holes in his shoes and hoped his parents had the money to afford a haircut.

My father taught me to save my money, to never be ashamed of any honest job and avoid government handouts like the plague. Once when I was a teenager, he came to me and told me that we qualified for the school lunch program. He asked what I thought about it. I looked him straight in the eye and told him that if we didn’t have the money, then I’d rather just skip lunch from then on. I honestly don’t know if we really qualified for the program or if he was just testing me, but either way, he was pleased with my answer.

In the end, that’s why I’m not poor anymore. The government didn’t do it for me. God bless my parents, but they didn’t do it for me. With a little help from God, I did it myself.

I did all sorts of crummy jobs. I worked as a Walmart portrait studio photographer, I was an assistant manager at Burger King, I worked in a group home, I did day care, I laid sod -- I even worked at Barnes and Noble where, I kid you not, a manager threatened to fire me because I was TOO GOOD at doing announcements over the intercom (Don’t ask me; to this day I still don’t understand that). Eventually, I found a job doing Internet technical support and the managers didn’t care what I did when I wasn’t on a call. I took the job because it allowed me to work on my own website,Right Wing News, during the down time and then I worked for hours on it every night. I spent YEARS working at my job, working on my web page, getting 4-5 hours of sleep per night, and then getting up and doing it again. Finally, when the company laid me off, I was doing well enough that I was able to go full-time as a blogger. Last month, Right Wing News had more than 10 million visits and, yeah, I’m not poor anymore.

You want to get out of poverty? Well, start with this advice from Walter Williams.

"Here’s Williams’ roadmap out of poverty: Complete high school; get a job, any kind of a job; get married before having children; and be a law-abiding citizen. Among both black and white Americans so described, the poverty rate is in the single digits."

Of course, you can be above the poverty rate and still be living paycheck-to-paycheck. You want to get ahead? Get a second job if you can and put the money back. The feeling you have when you accumulate enough money in the bank to KNOW that you can cover a big car repair, a surprise medical bill or even a few months out of work will change your life.

You also shouldn’t take any big unnecessary risks. By that, I mean you have unprotected sex, drive drunk, or break into a house once and it can change the course of your life forever. While, we’re at it, don’t go $100,000 into debt getting a philosophy degree from a private school and then whine about how hard it is to pay it off. Everybody makes mistakes, but the consequences of a single big mistake can follow you for the rest of your life. Don’t ever forget that.

As to the government, the best thing it can do for poor Americans is to create the conditions that allow them to pull themselves out of poverty. Keep a business-friendly environment, low taxes and minimal debt so that the economy can continue to grow. Stop crime in its tracks so that the poor aren’t victimized and businesses feel comfortable moving into their neighborhoods. Provide good quality schools or better yet, vouchers so poor Americans can get the education they need to move ahead. Keep illegal aliens out of our country so that they don’t drive down wages and take jobs that should be held by Americans. Beyond that, the government should pave the roads, put up the street signs, maintain a police force, and stay out of everyone’s way as much as possible.

You might be poor because of bad luck, bad decisions or maybe because you’re young and haven’t had time to accumulate any skills or wealth, butyou don’t have to stay poor in a country like America.

“Among children from families in the bottom fifth of the income distribution, 84 percent of those who go on to get a college degree will escape the bottom fifth, and 19 percent will make it all the way to the top fifth.”

Liberalism offers to make a lifetime in poverty a little more comfortable with welfare, food stamps, and handouts. Conservatism tells you to educate yourself, work hard, avoid big mistakes, save money, and treat handouts from the government like they cause a disease so you can leave poverty behind. The conservative course may ask more of you, but it’ll raise you out of poverty while delivering dignity, self-respect and self-reliance, which is something liberals in the government can never do for you.

Crazy Smart: Why the Tea Party is more savvy, sophisticated, and disciplined than you think!

SLATE ^ | November 9 2014 11:09 PM | Betsy Woodruff 

At first glance, the 2014 midterms look like a catastrophe for the Tea Party. Sarah Palin’s candidates lost in state after state, conservatives like Louisiana’s Rob Maness who proudly embraced the Tea Party label got walloped, and favorites of the so-called RINO surrender caucus—including Thom Tillis and incumbent Sen. Lamar Alexander—sailed to wins in their primaries ahead of their victories last Tuesday.
But movement conservative and Tea Party Republicans see it differently. They argue that their strategy for this cycle worked out fairly well—at the very least, well enough for them to see no reason to shift strategy. Prominent conservative activists who backed upstart challengers like Maness and Chris McDaniel in Mississippi are eager to push back against the emerging narrative that GOP gains in the 2014 midterms were the result of establishment Republicans’ efforts to “kick out the crazies”—for lack of a better term. In retrospect, these activists feel little regret for how the 2014 midterms played out; if anything, they feel vindicated.
Conservatives’ biggest win came early in the cycle, in the Nebraska Republican primary between former Bush administration official Ben Sasse and former Nebraska treasurer Shane Osborn. The ideological differences between those two candidates were a tad inscrutable—the two weren’t identical, but they probably had more in common than any other top primary contenders. But that race quickly became a proxy battle between insurgent Tea Party grassroots activists (there’s not a simple term to use to describe anyone involved here, alas) and often-more-moderate Washington Republicans with comparatively strong ties to business interests and less interest in ideological purity.
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...

Firing Offense? Valerie Jarrett is now scapegoat-in-chief!

FoxNews.com ^ | 11-11-2014 | Howard Kurtz 

The media have identified the problem with the Obama presidency and want her tarred and feathered.
Or just fired. Or sidelined. Or made an ambassador to some faraway land.
Her name is Valerie Jarrett.
White House aide and longtime Chicago pal of Barack and Michelle Obama has been a target roughly from the day she stepped foot in Washington.
But now, in the wake of the Democrats’ midterm wipeout, the press is really unloading on her. She has become the scapegoat-in-chief.
The notion that a single staff person is responsible for most of the administration’s shortcomings over the last six years is rather far-fetched. Whether it’s ObamaCare or the VA or immigration or ISIS or Syria, it’s the president who is making the decisions and selling them. If the principal problem, as the president told Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation,” was a failure to adequately communicate his policies, then the man with the bully pulpit must take most of the blame.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...

Soldiers Aren’t Heroes?

Salon.com: (leftist)

 | November 10 2014
Jennifer Glen
Salon.com has hit a new low.  Sunday’s article, titled, “You don’t protect my freedom: Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy” argues that patriotic celebration and respect of our military is a “childish trait” and “forced troop worship and compulsory patriotism must end”.
Put a man in uniform, preferably a white man, give him a gun, and Americans will worship him. It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as “heroes.” The rhetorical sloppiness and intellectual shallowness of affixing such a reverent label to everyone in the military or law enforcement betrays a frightening cultural streak of nationalism, chauvinism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism, but it also makes honest and serious conversations necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of a fragile democracy nearly impossible.
One of the reasons that the American public so eagerly and excitedly complies with the cultural code of lionizing every soldier and cop is because of the physical risk-taking and bravery many of them display on the foreign battleground and the American street. Physical strength and courage is only useful and laudable when invested in a cause that is noble and moral. The causes of American foreign policy, especially at the present, rarely qualify for either compliment. The “troops are heroes” boosters of American life typically toss out clichés to defend their generalization – “They defend our freedom,” “They fight so we don’t have to.”
No American freedom is currently at stake in Afghanistan. It is impossible to imagine an argument to the contrary, just as the war in Iraq was clearly fought for the interests of empire, the profits of defense contractors, and the edification of neoconservative theorists. It had nothing to do with the safety or freedom of the American people. The last time the U.S. military deployed to fight for the protection of American life was in World War II – an inconvenient fact that reduces clichés about “thanking a soldier” for free speech to rubble. If a soldier deserves gratitude, so does the litigator who argued key First Amendment cases in court, the legislators who voted for the protection of free speech, and thousands of external agitators who rallied for more speech rights, less censorship and broader access to media.
Wars that are not heroic have no real heroes, except for the people who oppose those wars. Far from being the heroes of recent wars, American troops are among their victims. No rational person can blame the soldier, the Marine, the airman, or the Navy man for the stupid and destructive foreign policy of the U.S. government, but calling them “heroes,” and settling for nothing less, makes honest and critical conversations about American foreign policy less likely to happen. If all troops are heroes, it doesn’t make much sense to call their mission unnecessary and unjust. It also makes conversations about the sexual assault epidemic, or the killing of innocent civilians, impossible. If all troops are heroes, it doesn’t make any sense to acknowledge that some are rapists and sadists.
An understandable reason for calling all troops heroes, even on the left, is to honor the sacrifice they make after they die or endure a life-altering injury in one of America’s foolish acts of aggression. A more helpful and productive act of citizenship, and sign of solidarity with the military, is the enlistment in an antiwar movement that would prevent the government from using its volunteer Army as a plaything for the financial advancement and political cover of the state-corporate nexus and the military-industrial complex of Dwight Eishenhower’s nightmares.

The Spirit of Courage Lives in Texas!

www.cruz.senate.gov ^ | November 11, 2014 | Senator Ted Cruz 

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today released the following message in commemoration of Veterans Day:

Ninety-six years ago, young men from the states of Texas and Oklahoma who had no combat experience, were deployed to France and soon thrust into one of the bloodiest battles of World War One – known as the Hundreds Days Offensive.

On the morning of October 8, 1918, the troops were woken minutes before the engagement and rushed to the trenches along the French-German border. Toxic gasses filled the air; planes swooped below; and machine guns buzzed well into the night. In the first two days, the Division lost roughly 1,600 men. But they kept fighting, held the line, and captured over 600 enemy soldiers. The Texas troops forced the Germans to concede a primary stronghold, which proved to be a critical step in winning the war.

A month later, on November 11, 1918, Germany signed an armistice ending the Great War, and ever since we have commemorated our veterans on this day.

Each person who serves in the Armed Forces deserves our utmost gratitude – they pledge their lives so that we might remain free. Today we honor them.

Texans have always been proud of our troops who, like those who charged the dark forest of Blanc Mont Ridge, defend liberty in the most harrowing circumstances.

Just shy of a century since that most fateful night, the men and women of Texas continue to serve with great courage and commitment.

Ninety Texans have been awarded the Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest recognition of personal bravery. Thousands have volunteered to defend our nation since 9-11, and hundreds have given their lives in the war against terrorism. In the past year, over 17,500 Texans have joined the Armed Forces. With over 200,000 active duty personnel, reservists, National Guardsmen, and civilians at 15 military institutions across the state, Texans play a critical role in keeping Americans safe and free.

Today, service members from Dyess Air Force base are conducting airstrikes against ISIS targets. ISIS is the face of evil. It is persecuting Christians. It is beheading children. It is pillaging towns. And Dyess Air Force base is playing a critical role in exterminating this evil.

Today, troops from Fort Bliss and Fort Hood are deploying to Africa and fighting the spread of what Texans have unfortunately already witnessed to be the deadly disease of Ebola. These soldiers are going into the thick of the epidemic and risking their own wellbeing to end this outbreak. We are grateful for their swift response.

Today, the Texas National Guard has stepped up to secure the border and protect citizens from dangerous illegal criminals that only perpetuate the humanitarian crisis on the border. They are on the front lines of saving lives on American soil. In one case, just over a month ago, three National Guard soldiers rescued a Texan who was injured along the river. He was bleeding profusely, but with their swift response, he survived and has recovered.

Today, bases from Shepperd to Goodfellow to Camp Bullis train our next generation of pilots, medics, and ground troops. Bases scattered throughout the state ensure that the future of our military is strong, and that the young men and women who pledge their lives to defend this nation are well-trained and equipped. These training programs provide them a future of service and opportunity, and in turn, these young soldiers safeguard our national security interests.

Today we recognize a life-long Texan, Richard Overton, who at 108 is the oldest living American World War Two veteran – we thank him for his continued patriotism.

These are only a handful of examples highlighting the robust military presence in the Lone Star State. There are countless told and untold stories of the heroes in the state. Let us never forget to tell them.

This spirit of courage lives on in Texas, and it is with grateful hearts that today we say thank you to all the men and women who have served our country. So today, take a minute to call a service member you know or shake the hand of a veteran. Thank them for their sacrifice. It’s an honor to know them. And let us never forget the price they pay so that we may enjoy the many blessings of liberty.

Angus King: Gruber Who?—Fox & Friends 'Cruel' to Question Obamacare!

NewsBusters ^ | Mark Finkelstein 

Such an "independent," that Angus King. Nancy Pelosi couldn't have performed a more partisan hack job of defending Obamacare and attacking those who dare question it.

Things got ugly on today's Fox & Friends. The show ran the clip [that NB's P.J. Gladnick uncovered and that few in the MSM have aired] of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber admitting that the bill's drafters had deliberately deceived the CBO as to the costs of the program, and relied on the "stupidity" of voters to push it through. King claimed he had never heard of Gruber, jabbed his finger while instructing the Fox & Friends hosts "don't lecture me," and accused them of being "cruel" for raising questions about Obamacare.

View the video here: newsbusters.org

Obamacare may not have enough enrollees to stay solvent (PRICELESS)!

Washington Times ^ | November 11, 2014 | Tom Howell, JR. 

The administration on Monday said fewer than 10 million Americans will enroll in Obamacare’s health exchanges this go-around, well short of the 13 million target congressional scorekeepers deemed critical to its economics, suggesting another rocky rollout in the law’s second year of full operation.
Policy advisers at the Health & Human Services Department estimated that 9 million to 9.9 million people would enroll through the exchanges — or only a slight increase over the 8 million that the administration says were active at the end of the first enrollment period this April. The Congressional Budget Office, which is the government’s official scorekeeper, had predicted the law would need 13 million customers on the exchanges.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...

Democratic Candidates Spent At Least $700K To Fly In Clintons!

buzzfeed.com ^ | 11/11/14 | Ruby Cramer 

The first estimate of the costs of bringing in the Clintons to campaign. The final total will likely top $1 million by the time more filings become available....
....Supporters estimate that, together, the Clintons headlined 75 rallies and fundraisers — and logged roughly 50,000 miles jetting from state to state.....
(Excerpt) Read more at buzzfeed.com ...

Food Stamp Recipients Top 46 Million for 36th Straight Month!

cnsnews ^ | Nov. 10, 2014 | Ali Meyer 

(CNSNews.com) - The number of beneficiaries on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program--food stamps--has now topped 46,000,000 for 36 straight months, according to new data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

From September 2011 through August 2014, the latest month for which data is available, the number of persons participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has exceeded 46 million.

In August 2014, according to USDA, there were 46,484,828 beneficiaries of the SNAP program. That was down slightly—2,060 beneficiaries—from the 46,486,888 who got food stamps in July.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnsnews.com ...

My Veterans Day Test

Townhall.com ^ | November 11, 2014 | Chuck Norris 

With Veterans Day being Nov. 11, patriots everywhere feel a sense of pride as we again honor all who have served our country. But can you pass my Veterans Day test?
Do you know these facts about Veterans Day?
According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau statistics:
--There are 19.6 million veterans in the U.S.
--There are 9.3 million U.S. veterans who are older than 65.
--There are 1.6 million younger than 35.
--There are 1.6 million female veterans.
--There are 39,890 veterans still alive who served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
--There are 3.6 million veterans with a service-connected disability rating.
Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, the anniversary of the end of the Great War, now known as World War I. (An armistice is an agreement by opposing forces to stop fighting.)
In 1926, Congress passed a resolution to make Nov. 11 an annual observance.
In 1938, Nov. 11 became a national holiday.
In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation that changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor those who served in all American wars.
It's interesting to note that in 1968, Congress changed Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October so that federal employees would have another three-day weekend. But in 1975, President Gerald Ford changed the date back to Nov. 11, effective in 1978, because of its initial importance.
Veterans Day is commonly confused with Memorial Day. That is why it is important for citizens to realize Veterans Day falls on Nov. 11 and honors living service members, whereas Memorial Day is commemorated on the fourth Monday in May and honors those who have died in service of our country or from resulting injuries thereof.
As far as caring for living veterans goes, History's website highlights a few noteworthy facts: "The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets."
A 1946 Gallup poll revealed that most veterans -- 75 percent from World War I and 69 percent from World War II -- believed that the U.S. government had given them sufficient help. What's interesting is that uninjured combat vets from World War I were given "little more than a $60 allowance and a train ticket home," according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. With the GI Bill becoming law in 1944, however, additional benefits for vets included education, job training, unemployment compensation and guaranteed home and business loans.
My father fought in World War II at the Battle of the Bulge. I served for four years in the Air Force in South Korea, and my brother Aaron served in the Army in the Korean Demilitarized Zone. My other brother, Wieland, was killed in action in Vietnam when he walked point alone and drew out enemy fire so that others in his platoon could fight their way out to freedom. Many souls were saved on that day because of my brother's bravery. (My mom wrote a chapter on each of us and our military service -- and for the first time tells Wieland's war story at length -- in her autobiography, "Acts of Kindness: My Story," available at http://www.chucknorris.com.)
Honoring vets on Veterans Day is about not knowledge but homage. It is not about looking at your neighbor's Stars and Stripes but about posting Old Glory with pride on your own home. It is not about merely saluting from afar those who have served but about shaking the hands of those who have valiantly sacrificed their time and lives for our republic.
I agree with these words by President John F. Kennedy: "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
You want to pass my Veterans Day test? Then educate others about veterans and, as often as they are before you, shake the hands of those who are serving or have served our country as you say, "Thanks for your service."
On behalf of millions of Americans, my wife, Gena, and I salute all who serve and have served our great country and the cause of freedom. And we pray daily for those who continue to put themselves in harm's way and humbly bow our heads in thanks for our fallen heroes who have given their lives so that we might live ours.





A Win/Win situation!




We was robbed!


You built that!


Thank You!


Pen and Ballot




New Official Portrait


Cut offs




Give us a "wave"


Camel Shit


A new attitude


Flag Waving


Our Gift




Doormat Hillary






Today is "Armistice Day"


Ted Cruz Wins: The Shutdown Worked!

The American Spectator ^ | November 11, 2014 | Jeffrey Lord 

“There is no possibility of a government shutdown. Remember me? I’m the guy that gets us out of government shutdowns,”
— Soon-to-be-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to Time magazine

The lefties over at Think Progress were elated.
It was September 30, 2013, and they thought they had the GOP right where they wanted it as Texas Senator Ted Cruz plowed ahead with the idea of defunding Obamacare—an action that caused Democrats to promptly shut down the government — and blame not just Cruz but the Republican Party. The whole event was giving prominent Republicans in and out of office the political willies.
Think Progress loved it. So much did they love it that they spent some time making a list of Republican senators, congressmen, governors, ex-office holders, potential presidential candidates, lobbyists and pundits who were spreading the word. That word? If Senator Cruz went ahead with his plan, it was some version of curtains for the GOP. The party would be toast.
Cruz sailed on, confident he would be seen not only as right — but that what he was doing was a boost to the GOP. It was, in fact, the exact same strategy that Ronald Reagan employed when he would veto a bill knowing full well he would be overridden by both Democrats and less than courageous Republicans in Congress — yet issuing the veto to draw a line between Democrats and Republicans so Americans would understand the bright line that was supposed to divide the two parties. At The American Spectator dinner last fall at which Cruz, along with Donald Trump, was featured? Cruz was candid. He recounted his criticisms from GOP colleagues in the Senate and noted that he had asked them for their alternative. Cruz paused, then said that the response he got was “the sound of crickets chirping.”
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...

Stay Classy, Liberals: Gov. Rick Perry Gets Anal Sex Questions At Dartmouth

Townhall.com ^ | November 10, 2014 | Matt Vespa 

This is liberalism at its finest. Get really angry with someone who holds views different from your own, and then berate that person with hyper-emotional drivel. In this case, the victim was Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who received sexually explicit questions from Dartmouth's student body regarding anal sex during a visit to the college. Perry is a social conservative.

According to the Dartmouth, the student newspaper, Perry was there to discuss the midterms, border security, energy initiatives and foreign policy. There was a Q&A session–and that’s when things devolved. Both presidents of the College Democrats and Republicans condemned the actions of their peers [emphasis mine]:

When Perry opened up discussion to the audience, several students posed questions, deriding Perry’s views on same-sex marriage.

Emily Sellers ’15 asked if Perry would have anal sex in exchange for campaign contributions of $102 million, while Timothy Messen ’18 accused the governor of comparing homosexuality to alcoholism.

Ben Packer ’17, who wrote and distributed these and other questions, said Perry’s views were more insulting than the questions.

Several members of the audience said they were excited to hear Perry speak but offended by the questions.

“I was really excited to see him come out to Dartmouth and speak with the students and I think he was able to cater towards the entire audience, not only the College Republicans,” Abraham Herrera ’18 said, noting that some students’ remarks were offensive.

“They were phrased in incredibly insulting ways, and I’m horrified,” College Republicans president Michelle Knesbach ’17 said. “We allow people to ask policy-driven questions, but when they’re phrased in an insulting manner, we try to avoid that, because it just detracts from the overall political discourse we can have on campus.”

College Democrats president Spencer Blair ’17 agreed, stating that he understood concerns about Perry’s stance on gay marriage but was disappointed by the tone of the questions.

“I think it’s really disappointing that anyone would undermine a serious political event with sexually explicit questions, and neither I nor anyone from College Democrats would ever condone such behavior,” said Blair. “We appreciate Governor Perry visiting campus, as we encourage any sort of political engagement and discourse here at Dartmouth.”

Zachary Myslinski ’15 said that he thought the questions posed legitimate concerns about Perry’s social policies.

Keep in mind; this is the same school that held a lesson in “cultural appropriation” for Halloween costumes last month.

Again, liberalism at its finest.
H/T Campus Reform