Some Planned Parenthood Facts

Something to consider – there are MANY clinics, offices etc where women can get an appointment and a referral to the specialists that do many of the appointments and screenings that we need to have done on a regular basis.

 

 

803mammograms

 

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Poverty and the Social Welfare State in the United States and Other Nations

This is just an excerpt comparing “poverty” in the US and in other countries.

Seemed like it might be interesting to take a look the week the pope is coming to the US – a man who has seen abject poverty in so many parts of the world.

Living Standards of the Poor in the United States

The actual living standards of Americans defined as poor by the government are far higher than most imagine. The federal government measures poverty by comparing a household’s “money income” to specific poverty income thresholds. If a family’s income falls below the relevant threshold, it is identified as poor. As noted, in 2014, the poverty income threshold for a family of four was $24,008.

The problem is that the Census Bureau’s count of income is wildly inaccurate. In the first place, the Census definition of “money income” excludes nearly all of the welfare state. Last year, government spent over $1 trillion on means-tested welfare programs for the poor and near poor; over 90 percent of this spending is omitted by the Census for purposes of calculating official poverty.

If a family receives benefits from major programs such as food stamps, public housing, section 8 housing, the refundable earned income tax credit, the Women, Infants and Children food program, energy aid, and Medicaid, Census ignores those benefits completely for purposes of determining if the family lives in poverty. The Census does count benefits from a few cash programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as income, but it severely undercounts spending on those programs. Excluding expensive medical benefits from the calculation of poverty may make sense, but ignoring the other welfare programs is severely misleading. A principal merit of Garfinkel, Rainwater, and Smeeding’s poverty analysis is that they make a good-faith effort to include the EITC and food benefits in their calculations and to correct for underreporting.

The government’s own data show that the actual living conditions of the more than 45 million people who are deemed “poor” by the Census Bureau differ greatly from popular conceptions of poverty.[18] Consider these facts taken from various government reports:[19]

  • Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, at the beginning of the War on Poverty, only about 12 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • Nearly three-quarters have a car or truck; 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.[20]
  • Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite television.
  • Half have a personal computer; one in seven has two or more computers.
  • More than half of poor families with children have a video game system such as an Xbox or PlayStation.
  • Forty-three percent have Internet access.
  • Forty percent have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV.
  • A quarter have a digital video recorder system such as a TIVO.

Poverty, Nutrition, and Hunger. Despite impressions to the contrary, most of those who are designated as poor by the U.S. government do not experience undernutrition, hunger, or food shortages.[21]Information on these topics is collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s household food security survey. The USDA survey shows that in 2009:

  • Ninety-six percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry at any time during the year because they could not afford food.
  • Some 82 percent of poor adults reported that they were never hungry at any time in the prior year due to lack of money to buy food.
  • As a group, America’s poor are far from being chronically undernourished. The average consumption of protein, vitamins, and minerals is virtually the same for poor and middle-class children and in most cases is well above recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat than do higher-income children and have average protein intakes 100 percent above recommended levels.[22]
  • Most poor children today are in fact supernourished and grow up to be, on average, one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier that the GIs who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II.[23]

Housing and Poverty. Depictions of poverty in America that suggest the majority of the poor are homeless or residing in dilapidated living conditions do not give an accurate picture of poverty in the United States. While such families do exist, they are far from typical of the population defined as poor by the Census Bureau. The actual housing conditions of poor families are very different.[24]

  • Over the course of a year, only 4 percent of poor persons become temporarily homeless. At a single point in time, one in 70 poor persons is homeless.[25]
  • Only 9.5 percent of the poor live in mobile homes or trailers; 49.5 percent live in separate single-family houses or townhouses, and 40 percent live in apartments.
  • Forty-two percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
  • Only 7 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
  • The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Sweden, France, Germany, or the United Kingdom. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those who are classified as poor.)[26]
  • The vast majority of the homes or apartments of the poor are in good repair and without significant defects.

By his own report, the average poor person had sufficient funds to meet all essential needs and was able to obtain medical care for his family throughout the year whenever needed.

Of course, poor Americans clearly do not live in the lap of luxury. Many of the poor struggle to make ends meet, but they are generally struggling to pay for cable TV, air conditioning, and a car while putting food on the table. The average poor person is far from affluent, but his lifestyle is equally far from the images of stark deprivation purveyed by advocacy groups and the mainstream media.

Conclusion

Social welfare expenditures consist of spending on health care, education, retirement benefits, and other government transfer payments. The U.S. social welfare system differs from systems in other advanced nations because it contains a larger private-sector/non-governmental component.

When governmental and non-governmental spending are combined, social welfare absorbs around one-third of U.S. gross domestic product. As a share of GDP, social welfare expenditures in the U.S. are slightly less than the average for other wealthy nations. However, because the U.S. is wealthier than most other advanced nations, real per capita social welfare spending is significantly higher in the U.S. than elsewhere.

The U.S. has very high levels of health care spending per capita and education spending per student. This higher spending does not always lead to improved results. Reforms should be undertaken to reduce health care and education costs while improving outcomes.

Compared against a uniform standard, the U.S. has a poverty rate that is similar to poverty rates in most other advanced nations. However, the U.S. should not seek to outspend other nations in its anti-poverty programs. Instead, the U.S. should seek to reduce poverty by promoting self-sufficiency: the ability to support one’s self and family above the poverty level without reliance on welfare aid.

The key to improving self-sufficiency is to increase work and healthy marriage. Increased self-reliance will lead to an enhanced sense of self-achievement, a principal component of human well-being.[27] Restoring healthy marriage will sharply reduce poverty, improve child outcomes, and increase adult happiness.[28

 

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/09/poverty-and-the-social-welfare-state-in-the-united-states-and-other-nations

 

 

The Beginning of the End?

My son sent me this link to very interesting post.  Now mind you, I’m not a doomsdayprepper and I’m not buying to book advertised here because who wants to live in the world they predict, but I must admit I was shocked to see two “forbidden” topics in the same post:  religion AND politics.

I invite you to watch or read the following with an open mind.  I’d never heard of an EMP and the idea is totally frightening and highly likely  What better way to cripple the US then hitting us where we would really feel it…every avenue of our lives:  grocery stores, ATMS, electrical grids, telecommications, gas stations, anything that requires power of any kind.  Pretty scarey stuff.  Like I said, keep an open mind, and you’ll be plenty scared.

http://survivetheenddays.com/nbbt_i4/?t=

9/11 – 14 Years After

(This morning a friend of mine shared this “rant” and he covered so many great points that I simply had to share – 9/11 seems like a great day to reflect on things that have happened in our country and to look ahead at the current situation and what our future looks like. Definitely take a look at what my friend had to say and feel free to share your thoughts.)

“The only solace on mornings like today, is that I don’t wake up to an Emergency Alert on my phone”…

How many of us have actually said this to ourselves on at least one 9/11 Annual Memorial within the past 14 years?  I know I have, EACH of the past 14 years, in fact…..and cell phones have come a long way since then, too.  Enough, that you can now use your cell phone to control your cable TV or home electricity from it….you can play games now that, in 2001, your desktop PC probably didn’t even have the capability to play…. you can shop rather securely online…you can use a GPS app to get you back to the main roads if you happen to be hiking forty miles out in the bush and get lost…..all for free….
You can also use your cell phone to detonate bombs or launch terror attacks from one, too…..
It IS a vastly different world now, compared to 9/11/2001….. The amount of “Security” we now feel is not only commonplace, but have actually come to EXPECT, dwarfs what we were used to, back then.  We’ve given up certain aspects of Liberty and Freedom of Privacy or even Movement, in the name of this “Security”.  We spend BILLIONS upon BILLIONS of dollars each year, trying to make sure another 9/11 doesn’t happen here, again. We’ve heard stories about protecting water supplies and electrical grids and all that, and at times we’ve thrown up our hands and said, “Well, if they really wanna get us, they’ll get us one way or another; we can’t protect everything”…..
But the truth is, we can’t TRULY protect ANYthing.
Air travel has, indeed, become at least the semblance of “safer”, and we hardly even notice who the Air Marshalls might be, anymore….that is, whenever we do choose to fly and go through the entire rigmarole of getting up 6 hours early, getting to the Airport 2-3 hours early, to stand in the Perp Walk Line with ten thousand other regular, normal, everyday people who just wanna get somewhere for Thanksgiving or Christmas or a Funeral… We take off our shoes, open our laptops and stand like robots inside chambers designed to see if we have any metal or chemical bombs on us, hidden underneath our skin in an RFID chip or something…. And true, there has not been ONE single incident of real, true air terror in the U.S.  publicized since 2001. . . . . “Publicized”, being the key word…..there’s been a few   plots foiled and some swarthy people hauled off flights who might have had intentions but weren’t able to carry them out.
And we say we feel “safer”….but there’s really no such thing….and we’re really NOT one BIT safer.  In fact, we’ve never been so ripe for another attack, as we are this very day.
It’s been well documented how poorly our electrical grid is protected and how, with just the right hacking and secrecy, someone could send our country back to the dark ages (literally) for anywhere from 6 months to a couple years, inciting civil unrest, riots, and maybe even outright civil war, in the process. And if anyone learned anything from Edward Snowden, it is, that the Government does NOT only not TRUST You, they are actively spying on You – – and I – – under the guise of protecting us from ourselves and each other.
There are secret mountain fortresses under Arkansas and other states, designed so that the Government can continue to operate along with over 50,000 of their closest friends, in the case of such a disaster…There has been a tightening of water supplies in some places while others sell the water rights to companies like Nestle’ and others….and yet, we laugh at the foil hat wearing Preppers who preach doom and gloom because, after all, “nothing’s happened since”…. Obama got Osama….right???
Kids….. if you really wanna know how its going to happen, stop looking to the skies….look at the news, instead…..
Syria, one of the only previously tolerant countries in the Middle East, has been embroiled in a 5 year + long Civil War, where not only is the government killing people, but the two main terror organizations we are aware of are fighting both the government AND each other, displacing millions of people, who are even now, streaming across Europe and forever changing the landscape…..the Iranian Ayatollah has stated that “within 20 years, Israel will cease to exist”, and the terror organizations themselves have openly admitted that the Sleeper Cells are well in place, throughout the world, wherever they wanted them set up….all we’re waiting on folks, is the horn to sound. And while we focus on individual acts like the racist murderer in South Carolina that somehow demonized the Confederate Flag by killing some black churchgoers, or the shooter picking off drivers in Phoenix or other cities, the news reports all go in depth on each event with the “Could these all be related?” Terror Plot story teasers….
Well, you heard it here first, people…. They ARE all related.
“How so”, you might ask?
I’ll use a couple words to explain it:  “Mass Psychosis”.
We in America are STILL somewhat protected from alot of the world’s ills, by our two big-ass oceans…and to some extent, always will be, no matter if Trump rebuilds the Tortilla Curtain or not….but whether the incidents come from a White guy in South Carolina, a group of Black thugs in Ferguson or Baltimore, a Muslim outside of Dallas or a Tibetan Monk in the Northest of Dakotas, the reality is, that The Crazy has infiltrated our society, and the mass paranoia that accompanies it has infected each and every one of us, to some degree. We’re now suspicious of everyone who ain’t “us”, and we are pretty much always on guard, in case someone tries some crazy shit in our presence…..unless that crazy guy IS us, and then, of course, the rules change a bit…
Point being, that the terrorists HAVE won already.  You’re not GOING to see another dozen planes drop from the skies, because that’s already been done.  They have technology nowadays, that any nutjob whacko with an axe to grind can utilize to achieve their goals, much of it, free technology right there on your cell phone…..Airport Security is horribly underwitted, against the main terror groups and more than 80% of real airport-related terror plots that DO occur, you will NEVER hear about because they know that We The People simply couldn’t handle another 9/11….another 9/11…..another 9/11…..
But Another 9/11 is Today, kids….and Every day…..
We’ve turned into a polarized nations of two camps, the narcs or the liberty uberfreaks….. the far left or the far right…. “Us, and Them”…. and each side demonizes the other one, saying they “hate women” or they “want socialism” or “they’re racist”, or whatever…. We have become the Land of the Chickenshit and the Home of the Scared Shitless.
When enough of these repressed anger elements infect enough people at once, you see a Ferguson or a Baltimore happen….with increasing regularity. You hear stories of podunk Baptist Churches picketing military funerals and bikers going to the edge of town to stomp them Christless, if they try it….. You have each side, already armed o the teeth and ready to fight….Someone….. Doesn’t matter who, as long as it’s someone we can easily identify as “Them”, instead of “Us”.
That’s the problem with Mass Psychosis, is that once you’ve distinguished whose different than you and you off them, then you’re still scared, and you still look for even more cockroaches to step on….maybe the smokers are evil, or the gays, or the Catholics….and after you’ve eliminated everyone who could possibly threaten you, well…there’s only You, left.  That’s where we’re heading, if we don’t control our own shit, people.
There’s always gonna be bad guys who wanna get ya’, no matter how nice a person you might actually be. JUST because you’re different than them. That’s the only reason they need. And you can’t or won’t stop them from it, no matter how hard you try – – if the Fates have you in their sights, then you’re gonna’ feel it brush against ya’, before you pass on to the next phase of our existence. There IS NO THING as total and complete “Security”, anymore, and we can stop trying to trick ourselves into thinking there is.
We can, however, minimize our chances a bit, by one simple, free action that, if taken by 250 Million of us at once,
CAN and WILL save us…..and that one free and simple thing is called…………………….
…….”Shut the Fuck Up”…
That’s right; just shut up….it’s our mouths that get us all in trouble, fighting over what God’s REAL name is, or about whether blacks and whites can ever become one grey race or whether Hillary and Obama are genuinely bad people or not….our very own freedom of speech is the root of our problem, because no one, seemingly, understands that Freedom Of Speech does NOT equate to Freedom From Repercussions.

SOMEONE isn’t gonna’ like what you….yes, YOU…have to say.  You see it every day right here on Facebook, and you see it in the papers (if anyone still reads ’em) and on TV…. We dissent; it’s the National Pastime.  But, if the thing you say pisses off the right whacko, then you’re probably going to die.

Even if you DON’T say something, you MIGHT STILL die at the hands of a sociopath, but by constantly fighting about bullshit that really has nothing to do with you, personally, you invite someone else’s drama to become your own…. You make someone else’s business, yours….and, just how sometimes, you get into a Facebook fight with some moron who thinks differently than you and you eventually “block” them, that’s pretty much the only way you can eliminate them from your carefully constructed little glass house……unless they decide to come throw rocks and bombs, through the panels while you sleep.

In the Real World, we cannot “block” the assholes who wanna’ bait us into a fight; in REAL life, sometimes ya’ gotta’ fight for what you believe in, once your belief pisses off the wrong person or people….BUT—but simply shutting the fuck up, we can avoid it all, and maximize our chances for obtaining a true and lasting Peace, not only in our houses, but our nation and world.  Agree to disagree….because we WILL disagree at some point, and I don’t wanna’ have to slay you……with extreme prejudice….

Or be slayed BY you.

It’s 2015, and the world is a very different place than we were September 11th, 2001.  Not terribly improved, but actually going backwards, kinda’ like Greece and Rome, before their falls. We’re heading quickly to a point of no return, where we will turn our nation into the very thing we all came here to escape, if we don’t learn to Shut the Fuck Up and live peaceably with each other.  After all, it’s only 72 or so years we’re expecting here….it ain’t forever…Surely, your version of God will reward you for being kind to each other and spreading the word through love and charity rather than through oppression and tyranny, right????

There are still a few truly brave amongst us, who practice loving unconditionally and giving without expectation of recompense….but their numbers are becoming fewer and fewer. Their quietness is becoming quieter, as the din from the blowhards is increasing, exposing us ALL to an ever-increasing likelihood that we will get caught up in someone else’s drama…..that just might be what takes our lives and cuts that 72 year expectation short, by a couple dozen years….years that COULD have been spent, raising our kids to be better than we were…..

This is the United States of America….a Republic, founded on ideals of democracy and agreeing to disagree sometimes, for the Greater Good.  We are supposed to be the Beacon of Light TO the world, not the trash heap of crap that comes FROM it….. We are the one place where Freedom is supposed to reign, o’er all other concerns……  And we CAN still Save The Earth, by example, if we simply quit bitching about everything and teach OURSELVES how to get along with those who believe differently than we do, whatever those differences may be.  We’re all going to die some day, Ben Franklin knew that….and the government is always gonna’ suck, no matter who you put in to lead the suck-fest……but you don’t have to let it get you so butt hurt, that you go off and start picking off people from the side of the freeway or putting arsenic in their city’s water pond.

You’re America, Goddamnit…the Greatest Nation on Earth……….   In the name of 3,000 people who died 14 years ago today…. Start Acting Like It!

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