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Archive for October, 2012

Welfare Abuse

What is welfare abuse you ask? Let us first ask what is welfare and the EBT program. Welfare and EBT is the food stamp program put simply. EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer – this is what got rid of paper food stamps. There is a cash benefit offered on this new program that allows cash withdraws from ATMs or purchases. Not everyone qualifies for the cash back option, but the criteria on the EBT site is quite vague and no specifics are given leaving to your imagination the requirements for receiving this option with your “benefits”. Now to the abuse.

People are getting this free money from the government because they are too poor to purchase their own food. They need monetary assistance. Well, in an effort to keep humiliation down, the credit card came into play. No more handing over embarrassing stamps to pay for food. The people behind you know you are poor, now you get an ATM card like everyone else! Just swipe and go, keep your pride and use the government for food at the same time! No more incentive to get off this program since the humiliation factor is depleted. Food stamps are for sustenance and nothing more. You are eating off the government’s dime, which means you are NOT getting the steak and lobster, beer, magazines, etc. Those are things you have to work for – they are extra, not part of staying alive (The real reason for the assistance). Where is the abuse you may ask? I won’t even say it – see for yourself at your local Dollar General, and then ask yourself why we are going broke again…

One more thing worth noting: The EBT cards/program is owned by JP Morgan Chase & Co. (Now it’s interesting)

– Me

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Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy or SadNY haha (B/C New York is all sad now; nevermind) has flooded NY City and tore up most of the East Coast of the US. Here is the pressing question: Which countries are going to send aid and money to US to assist in this natural disaster? I would certainly take note of the ones who do not, and would reciprocate the good will if the need ever arose in their misfortune. First, Japan needs to cut a check and start sending medical supplies, followed closely by the EU and Pakistan. Palestine needs to get out their checkbooks as well, and should probably nudge the Kuwaitis to do so as well. I understand some nations such as Haiti are incapable of doing so, and I expect nothing from them, but the other countries need to start their engines and get the race going to send assistance the way we do for them when needed.

Speaking of countries not doing anything, what the Hell are we still mad at Cuba about? I Would like to take a slow bourbon on that beach one day, so what is the problem. Are we still mad about the missile crisis b/s? We aren’t even mad at Russia anymore and they were merely using the Cubans as a strategic location. I say we quit crappin in our backyard and get those delicious cigars this way! Who knows, maybe then we could help Cuba rebuild even though they laugh at us when we fall upon hard times (like the rest of the world).

– Me

Presidential Campaigns

The Presidential Campaigns have been put on temporary hold for the perfect storm. No, not the one George Cloony and his caterpillar eyebrows doesn’t come back from, the real one. Obama is taking this opportunity to “suspend” his campaign while taking obvious photo ops “helping” out. He is the common man relating to common problems, and refuses to retreat – as is the American way. Romney is also taking this opportunity to “suspend” his campaign and help personally box things up and request no donations to his campaign – instead suggesting you donate what you can to Red Cross. Two brave, sincere, and giving men desperately trying to show which of them is MORE charitable in times of crises.

Problem is this: Both men are using this to their advantage, and why not? Don’t insult us by saying you are not though. Own it, and whip each others asses with more help! I love it. This is becoming the first ever nice fight. Who can give the most and show they care more? Romney is on TV boxing up supplies which are much needed. I assume only a matter of time before Obama is photographed with his sleeves rolled up pulling someone from a dangerous situation. Never-mind that the Secret Service would have to be quite derelict in their duties for a real photo like this to evolve, it will happen eventually is my guess. Staged kindness… Because when you don’t have real kindness, you HAVE to fake it.

I personally don’t think Romney is faking it. The man is rich, yes, but a good man nonetheless – he does not appear to fake kindness. Obama on the other hand, his kindness seems liken to pulling teeth with no medicinal aid. He really strives to pull off the image, but its just not him. He is a pompous, snooty, entitled dick-head. That’s just who he is. I guess no matter the excuse these guys are spreading the message to help and all said and done, that is a good thing!

– Me

AP Poll is a JOKE

I don’t know how many of you out there watch college football, or the polls for that matter. I watch it daily and have noticed something pretty entertaining. The AP has Ohio State as number 9 in the nation. Ohio state has won 8 games and lost 0, so why not rank them you ask? To answer that question simply: They are not eligible for post season play. The Buckeyes, while they may have a strong team, cannot play in bowl games. They are ineligible so why gunk up the rankings with a team that needs no ranking? Win 6 games and you go to a bowl, so why do the rankings matter?

Here is the meat and potatoes: Recruiting. If teams are on the fence of bragging rights (Fl State 11, Tx Tech 16, or Boise St 21) they could more easily recruit top talent if they could tell future recruits we are in the top 10, 15, or 20. They are unable to say that now because a sanctioned team is clogging up rankings in the AP Poll. Now I make the argument that the AP does not really matter because the BCS Poll dictates the Bowl games and who is where – and is highly different from the AP in who is where, go see for yourself. Fact is, the AP is off from the BCS, and placing a team that is INELIGIBLE for post season in a ranked position shows a disregard for honest play by the AP.

That’s my two pennies, and that is precisely why the AP Poll is a joke at best…

– Me

The Scandal You Never Heard Of

Charles Gasparino writes this article in the New York Post October 22, 2012…

James Biden isn’t a big name in the business of residential housing development, so what exactly qualifies him to work at a construction company and share in the winnings of a $1.5 billion project to build affordable homes in Iraq?

If you said it has something to do with his last name, the one shared by his older brother Vice President Joe Biden, you wouldn’t be far off. At least that’s the guess of some Wall Street analysts who cover the Marlton, NJ-based company Hill International and think they’ve seen yet another sordid tale of crony capitalism.

Hill has been around for decades; its main business is managing construction projects in the Middle East and here in America. It’s built a good reputation over the years, as has the father-son team who run it, Irv and David Richter.

But the bursting of the real-estate bubble took its toll; Hill shares are down 80 percent since 2008. Since 2011, the company has reported losses. Its Middle East business has also been stymied by the Arab Spring uprisings; in Libya alone, Hill is out $60 million in payments that it’s still trying to recover.

But it got some good news not long after its housing subsidiary hired James Biden as an executive vice president in late 2010. Just six months later, Hill won one of its biggest contracts ever, a $1.5 billion deal to build at least 100,000 affordable homes in Iraq.

A good deal for Hill, a relative newcomer to building homes — and for James Biden, who as one partner will get a good share of that $1.5 billion.

The deal is contingent on the Iraqi government providing financing, which it has yet to do, but Hill execs tell analysts the money could start flowing by the end of the year. That’s when everyone involved, James Biden included, will start collecting on tens of millions of dollars in profits.

One friend of James Biden’s estimates his net worth at around $7 million, yet he seems to have a remarkable lack of concrete business experience. An attorney who’s done work for him called him a “serial entrepreneur,” but didn’t name the startups he was responsible for.

Hill chief Irv Richter called Biden a “good salesman” and the firm’s Web site describes “40 years of experience dealing with principals in business, political, legal and financial circles across the nation and internationally.”

(James Biden also had a relatively short and somewhat controversial run as a co-owner of a hedge-fund company with Joe’s son Hunter. The company, as it turns out, was marketed by companies controlled by now convicted Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford. Neither Biden was charged, but the fund company is now winding down its operations.)

No, James Biden’s obvious value comes from his connection to the Obama administration. Richter assures me that James’ ties to Joe played no part in landing the plum assignment in Iraq or any of the other government-related jobs Hill has received recently.

Really? Connect these dots: Both the Iraqi government and the Obama State Department played roles in helping Hill win the assignment, Richter concedes. And Joe Biden is President Obama’s point man on Iraq — a country where people expect politicians’ families to be “taken care of.”

Also key is TRAC Development, a South Korean firm that won the master contract for the Iraq work. And — huh! — James Biden and his wife were guests of President Obama and Michelle for last October’s state dinner honoring the president of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak.

All one big coincidence?

Well, Richter insists that, while Biden’s name and connections might open doors when government business is on the line, that doesn’t guarantee success. “If he had the name Obama, he would get in the door easier,” Richter joked.

During this month’s vice-presidential debate, Joe Biden told Americans to just ignore all that stimulus money that went to administration-connected failures like Solyndra. Crony capitalism, he insisted, hardly exists with Joe Biden and Barack Obama watching the store.

Maybe that’s why the veep, after making that dopey statement, was laughing so much that night.

– Me

Softening of a Nation & the lessons of baseball

The United States is becoming an entitled nation of whining, complaining, lazy, self-indulgent bunch of wieners. This slow, methodical pussy-fication (sorry if that offends) starts at childhood and teaches this handout society mentality at an early age – starting with sports. Here we go.

Baseball, Dizzie Dean or Dixie Youth where I live. You know, the 5-12 year old leagues. This may be called something different where you live, but it is the same thing. When I was growing up, there were rules to baseball. The pros played by that set of rules, and so did us children. You pitched, hit, ran, caught, threw, and slid. Pretty simple concept. Really the only difference in the youth ball of my childhood and pro ball of my childhood was field distance. Everything else was identical because the rules were the rules – you either played by the rules of baseball or you did not play. Now I will give that the earliest of ages play T-Ball (Stationary ball atop a stick for those who don’t know) and Coach or machine pitch. This actually makes sense because these very young ages are merely learning the game. Once that learning curve is over, the real baseball begins.

Enough about my reminiscing. Today’s childhood baseball is something myself as a child would laugh at. T-Ball is now played with some sort of spongy ball so the kids don’t get injured (like any of them could hit or throw hard enough to injure each other) and everyone gets on first base. Now, when I was younger, when you were thrown out at first, you were out. If you wanted to sit in the dugout and cry about it, you could, but the fact remained that you were no longer on the field of play. Today, you WILL get on first. Regardless of the actions of the opposing team, you will get on first. There is no expectation at failure or success depending on which side of the ball you are on. Everyone is a winner, no hurt feelings – this is FAIR. Ahhh, now that sounds familiar.

Coach pitch is very similar now. The coach tosses this spongy ball to the kid, who can swing until he finally makes contact. No strike outs in this league, that would me MEAN of the adults to teach the kids that when they miss three times it is someone else’s turn to try. The lack of strike outs shows the children that their missing the ball has no consequence. This is not being tough on the kid, but rather teaches them valuable life skills. This is paramount at a young age for these kids to realize they are not constant winners.

The no hurt feelings and everyone is a winner mentality teaches children at a very early age the mentality that they are not ABLE to lose. They are all winners no matter the circumstance. That principle is against the very premise of our country’s founding and intent. Success and failure must exist in order to have freedom. The more “Fair” you make the game, the less freedom there is to enjoy it. This is comparable to a video game, how many times have you seen a child play a game on the easiest setting only to brag about beating it without re-spawning? Especially if you allow your children to play the first person shooter type like Call of Duty or Halo. The upcoming generation is being taught from the start that winning is the only thing they will ever know, and if they don’t actually win, then some rule or other entity will step in and MAKE them winners.

You may not see our government as a nanny, but I do. This baseball and video game talk is a perfect analogy for the nanny state. Our children are being indoctrinated through team sports and daily activities to take the handout. Take the easy way out, and even if you are terrible at something, you still win! Cookie cutter society, everyone is the same, uniform, winners. Be careful with this, pay attention to it as the more we act like we need rules to make things fair the more rules will pop up ensuring that happens. Make your children understand failure is part of life, and more importantly part of the American dream. The absence of failure leads to the absence of personal responsibility and pride. Once those are gone, we are all just property labelled by numbers. Oh, that reminds me, what exactly CAN you do now without your Social Security Number?

Everyone wins… Everyone wins when success is rewarded and not stripped away making winners, and those who lost are motivated to try harder next time in order to win and become winners. That is the only way Everyone wins – NOT by punishing success and rewarding failure.

– Me

College Football and the History Lessons

This weekend my Bulldogs from Starkville face off against the Tide in Tuscaloosa. This is a pretty significant game for a couple of reasons, and the talk is sputtering from both ends. Let us look closer…

First the history lesson: 1980 Bear Bryant (AL football hero and most winning coach in history) faced MS State in Starkville. AL lost that game 6-3 ending one of college football’s longest winning streaks EVER. MS State was not going to win that game, and should not have won that game – but they did. MS State is a tough, physical opponent.

Second the records: Both teams come into this bout 7-0. No matter the competition, both teams are equally undefeated at this point. Just for the cynicism out there, we will look at the actual schedule. AL played one ranked team thus far (Michigan #8). MS State has yet to play a ranked opponent. The argument for a tougher schedule is therefore squashed. AL clearly had a tougher schedule since they played more ranked teams. Using just those facts, AL should come out unscathed. Is there more? You bet, both teams played TN, to which Bama had a much larger margin of victory, but interesting enough MSU scored 41 and AL 44.

Third the attitude: A lot of Bama fans, not all of course, are incapable of looking objectionably at their team. To a lot of the Tide fans, AL can not lose. They are so superior in football that to play them is really a waste of everyone’s time – including Bamas. MS State fans are not much better. MSU has a winning season, but AL is no pushover, and to think otherwise would be ill-conceived. Most State fans I spoke to think State will give AL a good game, but will probably not win. Probably is the key word used here, as a huge upset against an undefeated Tide has happened before (Even if that was 1980). MS State whipped AU pretty bad, but Bama fans said “AU sucks so bad you can’t even call that a victory”. I wonder if Bama fans will have that same nonchalant attitude when they win against their interstate rival or if this will become a victory worth bragging about?

Bottom line is this: Both teams are playing good football this year. Nick Saban has a great program in Tuscaloosa, and appears to keep his team on task and not look ahead to the next game. This keep your mind on your opponent strategy has worked very well for him, and that is the right thing to do. Dan Mullen has taken MS State to a new level. He has brought pride back to Starkville and packed the house. I saw on the ESPN chat forum a Bama fan was attempting to make fun of MS State seating 50K fans against Middle TN, and that Bama could do so with a scrimmage game. That may be true, but that has nothing to do with this Saturday, and nothing to do with how the team is playing. Any Saturday, any team can be beaten by any other team. Just ask SC, LSU, USC, GA, OK, TX Tech, FL State, or WV. Some of these rednecks in AL did not finish high school or even attempt to attend college, but will physically fight you for downing “their team” (Whether AU or AL). College football is like religion in AL, and like some religions, these idiots will blindly defend it without looking objectively at the content.

I personally do not think MSU will defeat the pride of AL, but I do think they will give them a game, and not roll over. Either way, this will be fun to watch and an interesting game. If AL BEATS MS State, then they should have, according to almost everyone who watches. My interest is where does State go in the polls with one loss, and where would Bama wind up if the shoe is on THAT foot? They are 7-0 facing the #1 team in the country – and I have my cowbell ready deep in Bama country…

– Me

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