We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Friday, September 6. 2013
First, the bad news: Hollywood Legend Jack Nicholson Retires From Acting
Either way, the first article mentioned that Sean Connery had recently retired, which I didn't know: Sean Connery Turns 80, Reiterates His Permanent Retirement
That's too bad. He's always been a fave. Looking over the twelve Connery movies in my collection, I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite, but I have a particular fondness for The Rock because he was pretty old by that time but still kicked butt.
Naturally, I left a comment:
On the subject, although the author doesn't mention Sarah Palin by name, he continues her theme of "Let Allah sort them out": Syria is Allah's war, Mr. Obama
This time they set up some poor Frenchman as the fall guy, those clever bastards.
Yep, and we're already feeling its effects: Atlanta cold snap: Why is it sweater weather in the South?
Then there are those poor bastards in Peru: Peru snow state of emergency extended to more regions
And although this guy is a Warmist, some good points are made: Why Science and Politics Don’t Mix
And here's how the Prez is sneaking things through: Obama's Stealth War on Global Warming
So it's nice to see him dumping all that silly, outdated 'morals' and 'ethics' stuff. And if 2,000 years of Catholicism gets washed down the drain in the process, well, there's no stopping progress.
"Who am I to judge them?"
The Pope said that.
And then there's Hillary: Republicans may boycott CNN, NBC presidential debates
Some of you economic majors out there might be able to pry apart the one, tiny little flaw in this otherwise great piece of right-wing propaganda.
Food stamps are $200/mo. After buying the expensive sushi, lobster and coconut water, he had just used up half of his monthly allotment in one day.
The implication of the article, of course, is that he does this every day, never quite explaining how one can live like a king by spending half his monthly allotment for one meal.
In other words, just like the rest of the MSM, Fox News thinks you're an idiot, and certainly the blogger who wrote the article fits that description to the letter.
These awards aren't handed out to just anybody, y'know.
Finally! After all that ugly stuff up above, it's always nice to hit the political section where good news always abounds.
I have two pets, by the way. Well, they're not exactly 'mine', but they visit me regularly. The male is Oscar and the female is Periwinkle.
So I've got that going for me.
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I agree, the lobster eating food stamps story is misleading, but it's directionally correct.
My feeling is, if you're going to give people money (or a money substitute), let them use it however they want. So this isn't the issue at all. It's the fact we're subsidizing, in any small way, an attitude similar to that which the surfer fellow has.
This is a guy who has no interest in being productive, and while we may not be giving him enough to live, he resourceful enough to survive 25 additional days after spending the $200 he gets from the taxpayers.
My guess adding 5-6 more days won't hurt him, if we take away the $200 (and any additional benefits he currently gets, or may get in the future *cough, cough, ACA*) to send the message "if you want to live this way, do it on your own dime and the dime you convince any other fool to give you."
A specific portion of the article is misleading. The general point is correct.
The implication I got from the story is that he doesn't NEED the assistance. If he can afford to blow through half his allowance in a day, he obviously has the means to buy himself food without my donations for the rest of the month.
If we truly wanted to feed the hungry, we'd buy a zillion MREs, set up warehouses and distribute that food to the hungry. We could even deliver it.
I'd let them take all they want. What are they going to do, trade it for something else? When almost anyone who wanted it could get it? And unlike a SNAP card MREs wouldn't be a cash equivalent.
Even MREs can be sold. A black market would develop.
I feel if you're going to play the role of 'helper to the poor' from the standpoint of government, you have to let people make their own decisions. Give them money. I'm not opposed to the EBTs, these are a good way of limiting the amount of money people can get, and if you used money substitutes, they'd sell the substitutes at a discount for the cash just to have the cash. We know this, because that's EXACTLY what used to happen with the old style food stamps. So, in essence, we did the poor a disservice. They wound up even poorer! (ahem, there's a reason they are poor, after all...not to be insensitive, but most people are where they are because they aren't fully capable of understanding what it takes to make a good decision).
Along those lines, I'll recount a personal story from my days of living in London in 1983.
I met 3 guys my age at a pub I frequented, and we became friendly. They weren't in school like I was, and they weren't working. They gladly copped to being 'on the dole'. After drinking a few hours, we went back to their flat, and one of them had a sister who lived there with them. She worked as a nurse.
We got into a gin-fueled discussion of the dole, and I asked her how she felt that she provided the cash for all of them, while they hung out and had a good time. She laughed and said "they provide, too! The TV set and the flat are provided by their benefits, and they get some money for food, so we're all chipping in."
She didn't even recognize the absurdity of her statement. She felt they were 'providing' because they 'got stuff and money', while she worked for her money. My guess is she had the hots for one of her brother's friends and was willing to put up with their antics.
I met with these fellows several times at the pub, played darts and whatnot, but could never see eye-to-eye with them regarding their relaxed attitude toward work. Maggie reformed all this a year or two later...but by then I was gone.
Anything can be sold. My idea is to "flood the market" with them. Heck, I'd give them to anyone who wanted them. No means test. [Or maybe the old C-rats would be better. I thought a couple were okay, but didn't care for most.]
I'm betting that enough people wouldn't want the MREs so that the result would be a less costly program that would provide good nutrition to anyone who would eat them. That way all the whining about "the hungry" should at least die down, and instead of 50 cents on the dollar [the going rate since food stamps started, although I understand that now you allow access to your SNAP card for the dough] the 'trade' value would be much lower.
Fun post, Doc. I'm honestly shocked at what McCain said. It's one of those "boggles the mind" stories where you're actually not sure how to reply. Loved your comment, tho'. :-)
I've bookmarked a couple of the AGW/NGC links for later reading, but skimming over the Obama one, it looks pretty serious. We should start calling him "End-Around Obama," because that's what he's constantly trying to pull. I grew up with the belief that "presidents don't make laws", but I'm afraid that antiquated notion will have to be revised.
And I hate to sound misogynistic, but I think Bo, with those white paws, is much cuter than Sunny. (I sure hope my comment doesn't sound racist!)
Also, kudos to the Repubs for pressing the debate issue. I'm sure I join a hundred million other people in thinking IT'S ABOUT TIME!! The bias last year was just pathetic.
Loved the pic. :-)
"(I sure hope my comment doesn't sound racist!)"
Alas, you used the word "white", which automatically makes it a racist comment -- and you should be ashamed!
As for McCain, what I want to say to him is, "Say, John, remember when you were in that North Vietnamese prison camp and the guards were shouting "Death to the American pigs!" in Vietnamese? I just wanted to let you know that that was the equivalent of a Christian saying "Thank God", so don't hold it against them."
Great linking, Doc. All the right buttons. A far cry from your usual computer tips. Oh, and the tacit tactics with which you diffuse the ticking time bombs of tension.
I must say your dog article seems rather caninist. There are plenty other animals that make fine pets: cats, goldfish, gerbels, budgerigars, rocks. There's a few more, but I was never any good at zoology ... horses, yeah, that's another one. IIRC Captain Brown of the Horse Marines fed his horse on pork & beans.
"A far cry from your usual computer tips."
Apples and oranges. The Computin' Tips are not designed to reach the majority of readers, only those interested in that very specific subject.
"I must say your dog article seems rather caninist."
Well, better caninist than caninophobic, right? Besides, I mentioned manatees -- that's got cute kittens beat by a mile. Their big brown eyes. The way they like their bellies rubbed. The way they act as such great surfboards when riding the waves. You see anybody riding cats as surfboards? Of course not.
In summation, both dogs and manatees have more value than cats. If any of you cat lovers out there disagree with that, blame Chasmatic for forcing the truth out of me.
Sure Doc, throw me to the wolves. May I remind you that at night, all cats are grey? I forget what number that is in the spectrum charts, I have CRS.
Besides, cats make good bait for coyotes.
Yes, but need I remind you that manatees are also gray -- and that's both daytime and night!
As for throwing you to the wolves, no, I could do much better than that.
"Hey, everybody, Chasmatic thinks food stamps are great and Michelle Obama is really HOT!"
Now that's throwing you to the wolves. :)
Haw haw. Doc, yer more fun than a barrel fulla monkeys.
How'd you see those videos? She told me she'd keep 'em close to her heart.
Never trust a whistling woman.
"She told me she'd keep 'em close to her heart."
Perhaps the confusion arose because you didn't know that her personal web site is called "My Heart", so she wasn't lyin'. Well, except in the videos, where she's lyin' all over the living room rug.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that she filed the videos under 'Comedy'.
So much for reputations. :)
OK, OK, yew win. I'm feeling kinda sheepish that I ever tried matching wits with you. You skunked me, I ain't lion. I realize I grabbed a tiger by the tail and now I'm lettin' go. Crow about it if you wish, but your victory will be Pyrrhic. Like shootin' fish in a barrel. Owl be seein' ya.
You sound pretty catty, for a dogmatic sort of fellow. Perhaps you're just horsing around and not making a jackass out of yourself, but either way I'm now cowed. But if you want to badger me, even hound me, I'm game, although it sounds a bit squirrelly.
If not a bit fishy.
McCain is functionally senile. He's also a traitor on citizenship issue. The sooner he's gone the better.
I actually shed a tiny tear when Sean Connery retired. He's been my secret heartthrob (don't tell hubby!) for decades. "The Rock" was a little too action-y for my tastes, I prefer him in something like "Entrapment", where he's more clever than anything else.
As for that dirty Israeli spy, the one last month was in Turkey, right? And Syria before that, about two years ago? Wasn't there some kind of shark attack that was blamed on those sneaky Israelis? Jeebus, these guys are stupid. Palin was right.
There were a whole bunch of interesting things in this post, but the one that intrigued me the most was the video mentioning that Portuguese Water Dogs (like Bird Dog's Water Poodle) have hair, not fur, and thus are non-allergenic. From an evolutionary standpoint, that's actually kind of stunning, that 95% of all dogs have fur, but a few don't? How does that happen?
The next question is, how many other animals have hair instead of fur, or is it just a few dogs? I tried a Google search but got nowhere fast.
"Turning from one religion to another:"
Great segue. :)
"How does that happen?"
Uh, damn good question, actually. I'll see if I can dig up some info on it. And both questions are intriguing: if it's only dogs, then why just a few? But if it's also true with other species, again, why? If an entire species had hair instead of fur, sure, no problem. But for just a couple of sub-genres, it's indeed puzzling.
Yeah, Doc, I am curious, too. Plus, it will give me something interesting to think about instead of the constant insanity from our "leaders".
I didn't get very far just typing in "fur" and "hair", but once I included "hypoallergenic", all kinds of things popped up.
"Why don't humans have fur?"
Another damn good question. :)
Re our Pharasaical Pope:
Catholic doctrine is that homosexuals are loved by God and offered His grace. However, homosexually is a severe mental disorder, and homosexual acts are sinful. So, the question is, Does Frances accept the doctrine of the Church? His comment is consistent with doctrine if he means narrowly that Jesus is the judge of the status of one's soul, but he should have clarified his meaning.
The larger Church doctrine is that any sex outside a sanctified marriage of a man and a woman is sinful, and that some forms of sex inside such a marriage are sinful, too. So, homosexual acts are just one kind of proscribed behavior.
My thought was, if the friggin' POPE can't "judge" somebody, then nobody in the whole dang GALAXY can judge anybody.
We also note the article said that allowing gay clergy is only the "beginning" of his drive to upend 2,000 years of Catholicism. Secular historians of the future will probably refer to it as "The Reformation, Part II".
Meh, note the publication and the author bio. He's a poli-sci major with an 'interest' in 'learning' about religion. In other words, he's a properly educated humanist leaning leftist writing for a leftist publication who has only a shallow understanding of religions and probably on in terms of broader social/political contexts. And who's the favorite target of this particular segment? Bueller, anyone?
This is taken out of context. The Church has always had men with homosexual orientation in the clergy and the abbeys. The Church has historically provided a safe haven for these men who traditionally have been expected to suppress their sexual desires which is the heart of the homosexual issue. This struggle against sinful desires of the flesh was traditionally considered a virtue. As in the broader cultural decay starting in the late 60's, the culture of suppression of sexual desire was loosened and we know the rest of that story. One may not be able to help their sexual orientation, but one is responsible for the resulting actions of that orientation.
The Pope is obviously separating orientation, which should not be judged, from actions which can and should be judged. The broader context of what the Pope actually stated is either purposely left out or the Pope has more to follow on this topic.
When I was a poor married student and had pretty much no money, my wife and I got assistance. No, we didn't get food stamps. We got food. Flour, sugar, peanut butter, jelly, some other stuff I don't remember. Staples. How about we go back to that?
Regarding SNAP: "The implication of the article, of course, is that he does this every day". That is of course not the implication. What the story was telling us is food stamps are mostly abused. The fact that he bought lobster was tacky and maybe even necessary to get the point across to the low information people out there but the point was that he was abusing a system that was set up to help those most needy. Most of welfare is wasted with much of the cash and cash equivalents being spent on drugs and alcohol. In fact if you want to break the drug cartels stop welfare. Federal welfare is unconstitutional and counter-productive. More welfare simply results in more dependent people.
That was my take and my general assumption of the type of abuse that broadly applied loosely controlled distribution of 'food stamps' would create.
That Fox or any media outlet might subtly insinuate a more sensationalized angle...SHOCKING!!!
"is food stamps are mostly abused."
One bad apple and this is proof the system is mostly abused?
"being spent on drugs and alcohol."
Food stamps can only be used for food, and not even all food.
"That is of course not the implication."
Okay, let's say it's not. Let's say he only buys lobster and sushi one day a month. How is that "abuse"? If you're telling him he can ONLY spend it on food you approve of, then what's the difference between you and Michelle Obama telling school kids what to eat? If I were on food stamps and wanted to spend half of it on lobster and sushi one day a month and spend the rest of the time eating Rice Krispies, what business is that of yours or Fox News'? Again, how is that "abuse"?
The only way it's "abuse" is if I'm right and that was the intention of the article; to show how this guy is "abusing" the system by eating like a king on the public dime. But the monetary numbers just don't support it.
I agree completely, doc. GWTW is trying to have his cake and eat it too. Either Fox was implying he did it most every day and thus "abusing" the system, or he isn't and it's none of anybody's goddamn business what he eats.
Now that I've entered the fray, allow me to make another strong statement that might go against the grain of the crowd:
I think Bo is cuter, too.
There, I said it.
That the food stamp program is massively abused by most of the recipients isn't even arguable. If you stopped food stamps today the illegal drug sales would drop by 80%. Mothers and fathers might even have to go to work to take care of their families. In a sane world we would have ended it and all the rest of the free stuff the government gives out to buy off voters. Picking apart the news story seems nit picky and misses the point. If the "surfer dude" had purchased bread and peanut butter the premise of the article would remain the same, i.e. that food stamps are too easy to get and are being abused by people who could easily fend for themselves. We have created a nation of dependency. What I believe is the worst crime is not that it is unconstitutional and thus illegal for the government to take from Peter to pay Paul (to vote for them) but that it robs all of these people of the chance to succeed in life and to become full human beings with pride and self respect.
"That the food stamp program is massively abused by most of the recipients isn't even arguable."
Funny, I was going to ask you for one single shred of proof.
"That is of course not the implication."
See the similarity in your two sentences? See the "isn't even" and the "of course"? There's no debating an issue with you. You're always 1,000% right and the other person is always 1,000% wrong. Yawn.
Google food stamp fraud and you will find numerous articles that cite millions of cases of fraud every year. But more then that a person on food stamps who commits no "legal" fraud but could work (which is most of them) is a fraud. I am 70 years old and in my entire life I have been unemployed for exactly one week. This was during good times and bad. I have worked two and even three jobs at a time. Why? Well probably because of my upbringing and protestant work ethic. But also because there really was no other choice. I'm not a woman or a single mom so food stamps and other forms of welfare were never a possibility. Given no other choice I was left with working and taking care of myself. So in my opinion anyone who accepts food stamps or any welfare who could work is defrauding the system. Under my criteria of fraud most food stamp users are fradulent.
Apparently you were also not a man of leisure hipster surfer dude.
As a smart guy, I'm surprised at you. There are two gigantic holes in his reasoning, and you're missing both of them:
1. He admits he's only been unemployed one week in his life, yet this is the guy who purports to be an expert on poor people?
2. He draws no distinction, whatsoever, between WANT to work and CAN work. Lots of people WANT to work, but they CAN'T work because -- fucking duh! -- there aren't any jobs around.
How wonderful it must be to have nice jobs and be able to look down on the lesser folk and pronounce your judgments. How easy it is to do from where you sit.
My family was poor when I was growing up. In fact I attribute being poor as one of the two most important factors in my success in life. I worked from 7 years old, I collected newspapers and rags to sell to the "junkman". I shoveled snow and would take on any driveway even after a blizzard. I worked at a car wash toweling off the cars. The list of menial jobs goes on and on and minimum wage was $1.35 back then. I have been poor and could do it again anytime; I don't fear it and I know how to deal with it. Ironically baked beans is my favorite food even though as a child we ate it often because it was cheap. I got my BS in computer sicence and an MBA all while working full time to support my family. Even today at 70 I'm painting my house (two story) hope to finish the South side today since there is a fog. When it's done I will dig out the area we have picked out for our garden. Our soil is river bottom and it is like concrete with clay and rocks. It needs a pick just to break it up. When winter finally sets in I will build a Kentucky rifle. Hope to use it this spring. Love the smell of gunpowder in the morning. During this time I will not take drugs or alcohol, won't rob a convenience stores and definitely will not kill any 88 year old men because he was a creepy cracker. I believe the willingness to do nothing with one's life while accepting welfare and of course the scourge of drugs has destroyed our country. Being poor is not an excuse, in fact I would have more sympathy for someone raised with a silver spoon in their mouth then I would have for someone raised poor. Being poor is a reason to work harder and learn, not a reason to give up or accept cradle to grave welfare.
Be sure to tune in around 9:30 Monday morning. I took your advice.
The issue I have with this character and other like him on SNAP is the attitude. They want to live a life of non productive leisure and programs like SNAP simply enable it. It is corrupting and this character is corrupted and quite pleased about it. In my mind SNAP and other assistance programs should not be in place to enable this sort of decadence.
I could care less about what he actually purchased and the supposed incorrect implications of the story that he eats like this everyday.
It's about the surfer dude's attitude and choice to not work and getting support from those who do work to live that worthless life style. It is a great example of how welfare contributes to the corrupting of the recipient. It is a spit in the face similar to those of us who bust our ass to raise and provide for a family and actually contribute to the collective social capital. People like him are free to do what they want as far as I'm concerned, just not on my dime.
There are people who need help, at least temporarily and should get it, if we can afford it [and right now we can]. The "surfer dude" shows no signs of needing help [well perhaps a good, swift kick in the ass] and is merely feeding at the trough. What is he returning to the society and [probably mostly working] taxpayers for this largesse?
People being human, I expect them to try to 'work' the system. That's what humans do. That doesn't mean that I have to like or accept as legitimate that they do.
Personally, I think we should have jobs for the unemployed that pay a bounty for identifying and pointing out those who are 'cheating the system' [under proper rules for who gets and who doesn't] who then get kicked off.
And I grew up in extreme rural poverty and despite working all my life [started on the farm at about age 4 -- first paying job at around 9] have occasionally been poor as an adult [divorce will do that]. I know poor people and I know about poor people. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Well, shit. I had no idea Sean Connery had retired. Of course, I also didn't know he was 80, so I guess I can forgive him a tiny little bit. I've also had a lifelong crush on the man (I hope Ginny doesn't mind sharing!) and have loved almost every one of his pictures going back to 'Zardoz'.
Apart from THAT piece of depressing news, thanks for the fun post. John McCain, please do us all a favor and retire.
Now that the Obambi's have TWO dogs does that mean the Air Force has to keep TWO Ospreys on stand-by?
Well, four, because there's always a backup plane, like there are two Air Force Ones. Still, hard to resent the issue when you look into those big, brown puppy-dog eyes.
"Good boy! Want to go for a ride?"
"Great! Captain, warm 'er up!"
Seriously, how can you turn the li'l fella down?
Saay ... that reminds me of a story I heard about a talking dog. For ten dollars I'll tell it to ya. Small bills.