Knee Jerk Jerks?

Yesterday, we had a very ‘unheated’ conversation about the manner in which the Malay government handled missing flight 370.  I’m sure a lot of the comments were due to “missing aircraft overload” since the airliner’s disappearance has been the center of every newscast. Speculation of highjacking, dishonest pilots, thoughts, questions…my God, how confusing, and one single black box can never answer all the questions that have been raised.

My bone of contention came when others discussed the amount of money that should be paid survivors for having lost loved ones, and since I’m not a fan of suing people over things they don’t and can’t control, I took exception.  I suppose having read ”Overreaction Nation by Lenore Skenazy” in a 2012 issue of Reader’s Digest spurred me on even more.  May I quote some of her statements verbatim…of course giving her full credit?

“Nothing is too small or too insignificant for Americans to get worked up about.”  She emphasized her quote with this story.  ”A bus full of ten-year-olds is evacuated in Massachusetts.  Is there a terrorist on board?  A fire?  A wolf?  TRY: a peanut!  It seems to be a single legume, unarmed, on the floor, but you can’t be too careful can you? What is there’s a child on the bus who allergic?  What if he hurls himself toward the nut and eats it quicker than an elephant coming off a juice fast?  There’s only one way to make absolutely sure that tragedy never happens (besides the driver picking up the nut and throwing it away):  mass evacuation.

Overreact much?  Somewhere along the line, we’ve lost the age-old ability to distinguish between getting our feet wet in a puddle and the Poseidon Adventure.”

Ms. Skanzy goes on to mention how one town banned a barber pool because they might be distracting to motorists, a school in Virginia gave a boy a half-year suspension for launching a spit-wad (assault is assault), and when a young man relieved himself in a reservoir in Portland, the city, in reaction to a pint of fluid, drained the entire reservoir of eight million gallons.  She asks, “What do the bureaucrats think the fish do in that water.”  Ignoring these petty and stupid offenses might have sent a message being delivered  to the public that indicated no one cared about their safety.

Recalls have become a way of life to avoid being sued.  If someone is forewarned by a product recall, then they can’t hold a company responsible.  If you want someone to blame…try the media.  Their announcement such as “The danger in your den–details at eleven” leave us wary and waiting only to hear a wayward screw may have snagged fur from a passing dog. Or even better, CNN reported on a baby taken from a health-care facility (in 2010 ONE out of 4,3000,000 births resulted in a kidnapping) and made new mothers distrustful of nurses because they may well be baby snatchers in disguise.

When one child in Michigan displayed symptoms of over-imbibing, which by the way was highly unlikely, and the restaurant switched to single serve juice boxes under suspicion of having spiked kiddie drinks for decades, rather than enjoy a free meal on the house, the parents sued for $25,000 for emotional distress and medical expenses.  Ms. Skarnzy indicates “All this knee-jerk overreaction is turning us into idiots, going nuts on cue over the pettiest of problems and demanding apologies, precautions and laws that are unnecessary at best….”

Ms. Skenazy’s article did a fine job of showing our mentality when it comes to safety, but where do we surrender our own responsibility? I’m not indicating that the grief incurred by losing a loved one is a petty problem, but even if a recovered black box shows pilot error, the pilots are dead as well as the others aboard, so who is accountable, and should  the airline have to pay people who surely have been told during their lifetime…what goes up, must come down.  Unfortunately, airplanes once in a while descend sooner than they’re supposed to.  What is a life worth on the market these days, and does money alleviate pain?  I say no, but the majority of others believe insurance companies need to dish out the dough to those with lost loved ones.  Maybe I just don’t have much believe in the insurance system since my health insurance cancelled me when Obamacare came into play, and when my basement flooded while we were on vacation due to a broken pipe, my homeowners cancelled me too.  Yes, I expected them to pay for the damage because I pay them an exorbitant amount monthly just in case something happens…just as I do with my car insurance, but when I step on a plane…unless I have a policy against my demise, I don’t believe my family would expect a crash to be a means to making money.  Just my two cents worth…and I’m not inviting an argument.  We simply agreed to disagree, and that’s what civil folks do.

Food Stamps and Welfare

I saw a very negative post today on Facebook about those of us, who are just plain tired of the abuses that go on in the food stamp/welfare entitlement system.  Now everyone is entitled to their opinion, but this FB friend just seems to have that liberal superior attitude that I find most annoying. You know the attitude I’m talking about. The one where they are always right and anyone who doesn’t agree with them is always wrong.

There’s a lot of truth in what this person said about the greedy wealthy, but to use Papa John’s Pizza as an example of business owners in order to push for raising the minimum wage is really not fair. All business owners are not wealthy. In fact, I would venture to say that most are not since it’s only about the top 1% that meet that status.

Most small business owners are hanging on by the same thread that a lot of their workers are in this economy. Having owned a business, I can tell you that the overhead, the percentage of SS you pay for each employee, the Workers Comp you are required to have, the insurance you are required to provide, paid vacations, sick pay, the regulations, the taxes, and the list goes on and on, takes it’s toll. You don’t mind doing for your employees, but you, also, need to have something left to take home and provide for your own family. This fact seems to get overlooked by people who want to demean business owners.

Everyone should know that there is tremendous fraud in the food stamp/welfare entitlement system. Besides, a lot of people complaining about the system are the ones who really need help, but make a couple of dollars over the limit, so they are left to try and figure out how to feed their kids while others are fraudulently taking taxpayers money and living better than they are. The government does nothing to try to fix the fraud. When you have multiple generations of one family on the system, there is a problem. To deny that fact is just ridiculous. To continue to add to the roles without trying to fix the problem is, also, ridiculous. It’s like offering amnesty prior to fixing the border.

You have to look at all sides to understand why people have different opinions about issues. And, I don’t consider poor people lazy, as was said (not of me personally) in this post, and I don’t know anyone personally who does think that. One thing is for sure. There will always be rich and poor. The only thing that will change is the middle class getting poorer while the rich get richer.

It’s fine to have a “cause,” and let’s face it, there are way too many causes these days that take precedent over the good of the country. But, how long do people think our country can go on the way it is?

Sorry, but that’s my rant for this evening!

Focus On Their Actions Not Their Words

There is a real problem these day with the Democratic Party members in Congress when it comes to preserving American values. Way too many Democrats seem to want to destroy American values. Instead of encouraging people to “go for it” and “be all you can be” so to speak, they encourage people to let the government provide for their well being. In other words be dependent, not independent.  Too many Democrats are not interested in having people get ahead in life. They want everybody to be equal. They want everybody to just get by and depend on the government in true communist fashion. All the while these Democrats have no problem taking very high salaries and benefits provided by those who have “gone for it” and were successful. Something very wrong going on here. It is time to stop it before it is too late.

Obama’s Fantasy World

1378230_477080392417665_1901069596_nWhen I look at this picture of Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton, I see two people lying to the American public. It’s unconscionable that anyone could remember that fact, and still believe that she should be our next president…but like with Obama in the last election, people will forget anything just to push their agenda.

I’ve said for quite some time that many people on the left vote with a ideologically utopian view of what the world should be. Like the beauty contestant saying with simpering sincerity that she hopes for “world peace.”An unobtainable goal, in my opinion. But, on the other hand, not just my opinion. All we have to do is look at history to see that human beings are flawed, and world peace, multiculturalism, open borders, etc does not and will not work.

I was surprised to see that my humble opinion has been agreed with by none other that The Washington Post. Here is what the Editorial Board had to say on March 2nd:

FOR FIVE YEARS, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality. It was a world in whichthe tide of war is receding” and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world. Invasions, brute force, great-power games and shifting alliances — these were things of the past. Secretary of State John F. Kerry displayed this mindset on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday when he said, of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, “It’s a 19th century act in the 21st century.”

That’s a nice thought, and we all know what he means. A country’s standing is no longer measured in throw-weight or battalions. The world is too interconnected to break into blocs. A small country that plugs into cyberspace can deliver more prosperity to its people (think Singapore or Estonia) than a giant with natural resources and standing armies.

Unfortunately, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not received the memo on 21st-century behavior. Neither has China’s president, Xi Jinping, who is engaging in gunboat diplomacy against Japan and the weaker nations of Southeast Asia. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is waging a very 20th-century war against his own people, sending helicopters to drop exploding barrels full of screws, nails and other shrapnel onto apartment buildings where families cower in basements. These men will not be deterred by the disapproval of their peers, the weight of world opinion or even disinvestment by Silicon Valley companies. They are concerned primarily with maintaining their holds on power.

Mr. Obama is not responsible for their misbehavior. But he does, or could, play a leading role in structuring the costs and benefits they must consider before acting. The model for Mr. Putin’s occupation of Crimea was his incursion into Georgia in 2008, when George W. Bush was president. Mr. Putin paid no price for that action; in fact, with parts of Georgia still under Russia’s control, he was permitted to host a Winter Olympics just around the corner. China has bullied the Philippines and unilaterally staked claims to wide swaths of international air space and sea lanes as it continues a rapid and technologically impressive military buildup. Arguably, it has paid a price in the nervousness of its neighbors, who are desperate for the United States to play a balancing role in the region. But none of those neighbors feel confident that the United States can be counted on. Since the Syrian dictator crossed Mr. Obama’s red line with a chemical weapons attack that killed 1,400 civilians, the dictator’s military and diplomatic position has steadily strengthened.

The urge to pull back — to concentrate on what Mr. Obama calls “nation-building at home” — is nothing new, as former ambassador Stephen Sestanovich recounts in his illuminating history of U.S. foreign policy, “Maximalist.” There were similar retrenchments after the Korea and Vietnam wars and when the Soviet Union crumbled. But the United States discovered each time that the world became a more dangerous place without its leadership and that disorder in the world could threaten U.S. prosperity. Each period of retrenchment was followed by more active (though not always wiser) policy. Today Mr. Obama has plenty of company in his impulse, within both parties and as reflected by public opinion. But he’s also in part responsible for the national mood: If a president doesn’t make the case for global engagement, no one else effectively can.

The White House often responds by accusing critics of being warmongers who want American “boots on the ground” all over the world and have yet to learn the lessons of Iraq. So let’s stipulate: We don’t want U.S. troops in Syria, and we don’t want U.S. troops in Crimea. A great power can become overextended, and if its economy falters, so will its ability to lead. None of this is simple.

But it’s also true that, as long as some leaders play by what Mr. Kerry dismisses as 19th-century rules, the United States can’t pretend that the only game is in another arena altogether. Military strength, trustworthiness as an ally, staying power in difficult corners of the world such as Afghanistan — these still matter, much as we might wish they did not. While the United States has been retrenching, the tide of democracy in the world, which once seemed inexorable, has been receding. In the long run, that’s harmful to U.S. national security, too.

As Mr. Putin ponders whether to advance further — into eastern Ukraine, say — he will measure the seriousness of U.S. and allied actions, not their statements. China, pondering its next steps in the East China Sea, will do the same. Sadly, that’s the nature of the century we’re living in.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/president-obamas-foreign-policy-is-based-on-fantasy/2014/03/02/c7854436-a238-11e3-a5fa-55f0c77bf39c_story.html

 

 

Breaking Down the Welfare System

I’ve always been curious what programs make up the “welfare system” so I Googled it and found an interesting report by the Heritage Foundation. If you’d like to know more about where about $1 trillion a year are spent – this was the breakdown in 2011.

The 69 means-tested programs operated by the federal government provide a wide variety of benefits. They include:

  • 12 programs providing food aid;
  • 10 housing assistance programs;
  • 10 programs funding social services;
  • 9 educational assistance programs;
  • 8 programs providing cash assistance;
  • 8 vocational training programs;
  • 7 medical assistance programs;
  • 3 energy and utility assistance programs; and,
  • 2 child care and child development programs.

A full list of these programs is provided at the end of this testimony. (Note: Social Security, Medicare, veterans programs, unemployment insurance, and workmen’s compensation are not considered means-tested aid and are not included in this list.)

History of Total Welfare Spending Welfare Spending 1 Welfare Spending 2 Welfare Spending 3The full report can be read here – http://www.heritage.org/research/testimony/2012/06/welfare-state-69-means-tested-programs-and-940-billion-in-annual-spending

These are the topics in the report

Welfare Spending: The Fastest Growing Component of Government Spending

“Slashing” Spending on the Poor: The Perpetual Myth

Growth of the Welfare State

Welfare Spending Increases under the Obama Administration

Table 1 shows the growth in means-tested spending over recent years. In FY 2007, total government spending on means-tested welfare or aid to the poor was a record high $657 billion. By fiscal year 2011, total government spending on means-tested aid will rise to $944 billion, nearly a 50 percent increase.

Table 1. Growth in Means-Tested Spending

Federal Spending

(in billions)

State Spending

(in billions)

Total Spending

(in billions)

FY 2007 $468.7 $189.2 $657.9
FY 2008 $522.3 $191.6 $714.1
FY 2009 $612.7 $167.2 $779.9
FY 2010 $695.3 $192.7 $888.0
FY 2011 $694.9 $249.4 $944.4

 

President Obama’s increase in federal means-tested welfare spending during his first two years in office is two-and-a-half times greater than any previous increase in federal welfare spending in U.S. history, after adjusting for inflation.

Obama’s Welfare Spendathon Versus the Cost of the Iraq War

Obama Plans Permanent Increases in Welfare

Means-Tested Welfare Spending on Lower-Income Persons

Means-tested Spending on Families with Children

Are American Values Disappearing

We often hear people say that we have to help under privileged or less fortunate countries. Our politicians and media jump in to say that the US has to help others to elevate them to our level. We hear about American Exceptional-ism. There are some things that are exceptional about the way things are done in the US — but we have to stop ignoring the way things are changing around us.  Here are some examples and there is more detail at the link at the bottom of the page.

#2 Speaking of our courts, many of them appear to have literally gone insane.

#3 Parents are starting to lose the natural affection that they should have for their children.  For example, a pregnant mother that already had three children recently tried to kill them all by driving her minivan into the ocean

#4 In the old days, some people would cruelly abandon their pets in the woods, but now this is actually happening to children

#5 Teenagers in America just continue to become even more cruel.  Perhaps we should rethink the way that we are raising our children…

#6 The FDA is actually considering making it legal for doctors and scientists to create “three parent babies” in the United States.

#7 Our financial system appears to be more corrupt than it ever has been before.  And yet nobody ever seems to go to prison

#8 Sexual perversion of all types is running rampant in America.

#10 The popularity of “throuples” has surged so much that a new dating website has been launched that will cater to them specifically.

#11 Authorities around the nation are alarmed at the rise in occult-inspired crimes that appears to be happening.  Most of you have probably heard about “the Craigslist Killer” by now…

#12 The United States already has the highest rate of divorce in the entire world, and now the divorce rate is on the rise again.  Some pundits are blaming the “improving economy” for this.

#13 In America today, there are 60 million people that abuse alcohol and there are 22 million people that use illegal drugs.

#14 There are 747,408 registered sex offenders in the U.S. according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.  That number only includes the ones that have been caught and convicted.

Read the complete article here – http://www.dcclothesline.com/2014/03/06/16-examples-show-united-states-become-seriously-messed-country/

 

Worldwide Audience

I was just looking over the stats for the site and looking at where our readers are located. Some people only visited a time or two, but there have been many visits from around the world…

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