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Food Stamps, Etc.

Doc in Yuma (a regular, loyal reader and sometime contributor) sent me this regarding control of Food Stamps.

Sent to him under the title “Compassionate Conservatism”.

Put me in charge…

  Put me in charge of food stamps. I’d get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for
Ding Dongs or Ho Ho’s, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans,
blocks of cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away.  If you want
steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.
  Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I’d do is to get women
Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations.  Then, we’ll test
recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine and document all tattoos and
piercings.  If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, smoke or get
tats and piercings, then get a job.
  Put me in charge of government housing.  Ever live in a military barracks?
You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair.  Your
“home” will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be
inventoried.  If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your
own place.
  In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or
you will report to a “government” job.  It may be cleaning the roadways of
trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you.  We
will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo
and speakers and put that money toward the “common good..”
  Before you write that I’ve violated someone’s rights, realize that all of
the above is voluntary.  If you want our money, accept our rules.  Before
you say that this would be “demeaning” and ruin their “self esteem,”
consider that it wasn’t that long ago that taking someone else’s money for
doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.
  If we are expected to pay for other people’s mistakes we should at least
attempt to make them learn from their bad choices.  The current system
rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.
  AND – While you are on Gov’t subsistence, you no longer can VOTE!  Yes that
is correct.  For you to vote would be a conflict of interest.  You will
voluntarily remove yourself from voting while you are receiving a Gov’t
welfare check.  If you want to vote, then get a job.
  Alfred W. Evans, Gatesville , TX
First of all, I’m a (conservative) libertarian (small L).  Voluntarism, coupled with non-nanny-statism would be the order of the day.   With that in mind, some of the controls suggested are ones with which I disagree.  For example…
“Food” choices.  If an EBT (food stamp) recipient wants T-bone steak or Twinkies to eat – I don’t care!  Only so many funds are allocated each month, and buying steak will ‘eat up’ the funds rather quickly.
It would be nice if the purchase of TP, laundry soap and similar household items were included on the ‘approved’ list, though.
Forced birth control is repugnant to me.  And recreational drugs and body disfigurement are not on the food stamp list.  Not my problem.
The whole ‘government housing’ thing is also repugnant.  If someone wants to live in a hovel or cannot afford maintenance, it is no concern of mine.  As long as it doesn’t affect the public health and safety.   Funny how a ‘conservative’ cries for such control, but screams about the prospect of FEMA camps…
I do like the idea of (voluntary) government service to help maintain the infrastructure.  I’m not certain it should be tied to receipt of food stamps, however.
“While you are on Gov’t subsistence, you can no longer VOTE!  For you to vote would be a conflict of interest.”
WOW – what a concept!
Of course, while a compassionate State maintains some kind of a ‘safety net’ for the truly needy, I’m a little unclear how this can be administered efficiently, fairly and at a reasonable cost.
After all, it IS government of which we speak!

Standing On Principles

gayI like to think I have Principles

I like to think I stand on them, and admire those who do also.

Unless, of course, their principles are diametrically opposed to mine!

One would think that working as a county clerk, and gay marriage was upheld by The Supreme Court, and licensing gays violated my principles, that it would behoove me to look for employment elsewhere(?)

The same thing applies to pharmacists who dislike dispensing a ‘morning after’ pill to their customers.

Or going to work at the Walmart sporting goods department, and being told you must sell guns and ammunition.  And you are anti-gun.

This just in – an Islamic flight attendant is objecting to be required to serve her passengers alcohol!  (as if she didn’t know this going in!)

If working there and doing your assigned job violates your principles – QUIT!

There’s an old saw, emblazoned on many a sampler and kitschy poster, stating “When you work for a man, WORK for him!”

Perhaps the women in the news are hoping to become another cause celebre, and make it to the Supreme Court?

In another lifetime.

I’m certainly not pristine in holding to my principles.  I AM human.  I worked for a polygraph company (not as a polygrapher) and federal legislation was pending to severely restrict private polygraph pre-employment companies.  (It passed).  But the boss had us calling in on company time (we were getting paid to do this) in an effort to sway the Congress to not pass the bill.

And, having had some (not all) negative experiences with polygraphs, I privately supported the legislation.

But, I also needed a paycheck, so…

I chose getting a paycheck over standing on my principles.

I was laid-off six months later, regardless, I’m sure in part to the decreased company revenue.

I probably should have quit.

THE Conundrum Of This Age

Bayou Renaissance Man (from whom I rarely steal quote, as I’d be doing it DAILY! – translation – you should be reading him, daily!) expresses most eloquently this conundrum…

The conundrum of dealing with radical Islam

I’ve written about the military side of dealing with fundamentalist Islamic terrorism in these pages from time to time.  The trouble is, a military solution isn’t a solution, because it can’t target the mindset that produces legions of suicidal fanatics.  The Russians developed a very direct, pragmatic and utterly ruthless approach to Iranian-sponsored terrorism during the 1980’s.  It worked, because those ‘at the top’ who were controlling the terrorists could be threatened into compliance.  That doesn’t seem to be the case with an organization like ISIL in Syria and Iraq.  When you believe – truly believe, with all your heart and soul – that death in battle, or by assassination, earns you a martyr’s reward in Paradise, death isn’t a threat.  It’s a promise of greatness that you embrace eagerly. The same applies to Hamas and its extreme attitudes towards Israel.  How can you reason with a movement that celebrates death in combat, that indoctrinates its youngest children with lessons about the praiseworthiness of martyrdom and hatred for Israel?  There are many other fundamentalist Islamic terrorist groups who’ve adopted similar outlooks on life.

So, how do we deal with them?  It’s easy to say “Kill them all” – but it’s also completely impractical.  Despite losing thousands of its fighters in combat, ISIL appears to have a limitless supply of replacements.  Young women in Europe and America even travel to areas it controls out of a desire to become brides of ‘jihadists’.  Fanaticism is an inbred streak in the human race – not confined to Islam by any means – and as long as there are fanatics, there’ll be those driven to join fanatical movements.  We can’t kill them all without killing the entire human race.  Speaking as a member of that race, I have a profound objection to being included in that process!  There is no way to completely destroy fanaticism.

The mistake politicians make is to assume that they’re dealing with rational human beings.  Rationality is relative.  ISIL’s leaders and its wannabe martyrs are entirely rational, according to their system of thought and belief.  To change their behavior, we have to change that system.  To do that, we have to radically reform the society and culture that have produced it.  Attacking and militarily overrunning that society won’t inculcate contrary values – we’ve proved that time and time again, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The solution has to include methods of changing the situation on the ground.  However, that requires a long-term commitment and huge amounts of money, neither of which are available right now.

The only answer our politicians and leaders appear to have is to keep killing as many Islamist fanatics as possible in order to ‘control the infection’ in their society and culture, even though they must know that doing so will produce still more fanaticsEinstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  That perfectly describes how we’ve tried to control radical Islam for the past few decades.  When will we learn from our failures and try to find a better solution?  Is there, in fact, a better solution?  In my darker moments, I fear there may not be one at all.  History suggests that may be the case, and that the struggle against fanaticism in all its forms may be a Sisyphean endeavor.

Your guess is as good as mine . . .


Thinking Outside The Box

Most of us live with our firearms.  They are as much part of our daily routine as shaving, brushing our teeth, picking up our wallets and keys on the way out the door.

But, what if…?

Melody Lauer aka Limatunes recently made a choice to put her gun away for an entire year!  Or in her words…


The Year I Put My Gun Away

If you could put my blog into a category it would be “self defense.”

To me, however, it’s a little more than that. It’s my story–my unique journey. If others can glean a little from my experiences and thoughts I’m honored, if not, it’s no big deal. There have been times, however, when I’ve purposely withheld parts of this journey from my readers because I wasn’t sure how what I had to say would be received. Or I may not have been ready to put it out into the virtual void. This is one of those times.

I’ve been hanging on to this post for almost two years and it feels like a good time to get it off my chest.

I want to tell you about my biggest “break-through” year in self defense. It was a year I learned more about how to defend myself, increased my confidence, improved my overall skills and expanded my horizons. I learned how to manage fear and angst and to trust my instincts. I learned how to manage medical emergencies, have fun and express myself in many other ways. This was one of the best years of my life.

It was the year I put my gun away.

My journey, my work, my goals have all been a means to build confidence in myself, not a tool. I chose a tool to aide in my journey, not to define it. I sought to be well-trained with a tool, not ruled by it. Guns, to me, are tools to master in a long list of other tools to master (including my sewing machine).

I have always wanted real self-defense solutions, not crutches or bandaids, platitudes or false security. So when I felt my gun was becoming a crutch I decided it was time to get rid of it–or, at least put it away for awhile.

I want to tell you about why I felt compelled to put it down and why I picked it up again and why I always knew it would find a place on my belt again, when I was ready.

While my husband and I were packing for a much-needed vacation to a place without reciprocity I felt nervous at the prospect of having to leave my gun behind. I started thinking about all the “what if” situations and wanting my gun.

I hated the feeling.

It exposed everything I’d wanted to avoid about carrying a gun in the first place. It exposed my weaknesses and my fears, my shortcomings and false security. I showed me I wasn’t confident that I could protect myself without my gun. I was using that gun as a means to “feel” safer, but that didn’t make me safer. It was becoming a cliche I wanted to avoid.

I honestly evaluated myself and decided it was time to rip off that bandaid, throw out the crutch and walk on my own.

You should really go and read her whole essay.  It does turn mindset on it’s head.

Thanks, Melody.

Nixon Redux

It’s been said The Libertarian Party (big L) was started by a number of folks in Colorado in 1971, who were having a political discussion regarding the downfall of The Republic.

Because President Nixon had instituted wage and price controls!  (And took us off the gold standard, furthered the Vietnam War, the draft, and started the EPA?- Guffaw)

Fast-forward to today, wherein Rand Paul is waging a largely one man battle against The Fed™, and now this…

(courtesy of Irish)

It’s Not Your Money – Feds Put Currency Control In Place

This story has been floating around for a few days, now, but I don’t see much coverage of it.  According to The Sovereign Man blog by Simon Black, the DOJ has instituted cash controls that require banks to notify them if anyone withdraws as little as $5000 cash in one transaction.

Assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell gave a speech in which he urged banks to “alert law enforcement authorities about the problem” so that police can “seize the funds” or at least “initiate an investigation”.
As Black highlights, according to the handbook for the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council, such suspicious activity includes, “Transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more…”

Imagine going to your local bank to get some cash; for a specific purchase or just because you want to have some cash on hand.  You tell the teller that you’d like to withdraw $5,000 from your account. She hesitates nervously and wants to know why.

You try to politely let her know that that’s none of the bank’s business as it’s your money.

The teller disappears for a few minutes, leaving you waiting.

When she returns she tells you that you can collect your money in a few days as they don’t have it on hand at the moment.

Slightly irritated because of the inconvenience, you head home.

But as you pull into your driveway later there’s an unexpected surprise waiting for you: two police officers would like to have a word with you about your intended withdrawal earlier…

How do you know you live in a police state?  That’s a pretty good working definition right there. 


for more information here are some additional links provided by blog buddy Leigh

In the interest of fairness, one of my jobs during my 21+ year tenure at TMCCC was to research and complete SARs (Suspicious Activity Reports) as part of financial institution law.

These are the reports regarding ‘suspicious’ financial transactions taking place at federally-licensed/insured financial institutions.  At the time, based on a floor of $10K.


This meant if you did a number of financial transactions involving moving funds around, or large credit card purchases totaling 10K, you would probably appear on the institution’s radar.  And some functionary (like me) would review your accounts, and prepare a report, if warranted.

Of course, 10K (or more) meant a report would be prepared, regardless.  (We did catch some bad guys this way!)

And you and your transactions were duly reported to The United States Treasury Department for further investigation.

Wouldn’t want any money-laundering or tax evasion amongst our citizens, would we?

And now the floor is 5K.  In this economy.

Can’t have the citizenry moving their money around all willy-nilly, now can we?  Because, whose money IS it, anyway?

A Machine Gun Theme Park?

Indeed!  :-)

Orlando, Florida – (in)famous for it’s theme parks – has added yet another.

But this is not in the Disney Family…

Inside Orlando’s First MACHINE GUN Theme Park!

Shooting simulation experiences start are $30 but tickets to shoot real weapons start at $99 and up depending the type of gun you choose to shoot.

“A traditional bulls-eye is our most popular target followed by Osama bin Laden.”  – Dan Shalloway, owner of Machine Gun America

Frankly, I like the inclusion of the word FIRST in the article’s title.

(And NO, FTC, they didn’t give me anything to post the article.)

h/t Doc in Yuma

Texas Was Always Iffy, Anyway…

Free North Carolina brings us this gem:

Ukraine Rebels Plan ‘Summit Of Unrecognized States’ Including Texas!

A top official from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) has said he will host a “summit of unrecognized states” in February or March if he can guarantee the security of its participants. In an interview with the Donetsk-based Oplot-TV, Aleksandr Kofman, the self-styled foreign minister of the Moscow-backed DNR, said talks on the summit have already begun and that he hopes the meeting will result in a “League of New States.” Kofman listed representatives from Spain’s Basque region, Belgium’s Flanders region, Venice, Italy, and the U.S. state of Texas as potential participants. (There was no mention of Kosovo, which has been recognized by 108 states but notably not by Russia.) Kofman’s interviewer expressed particular interest in Texas, asking if there are “sprouts of support” in the U.S. state. “There’s more than sprouts,” he said, adding that those in favor of Texas independence “fully support the Donetsk People’s Republic.”

Texas reportedly has the best and freest of the State economies, with ever-increasingly-more free gun laws and business growth!  Compare with NY and California.  And, they have made secession noises before.
And they were there own Republic, previously.
Who knows?  Could happen…

A Response To The French Terrorist Attacks

And to the hundreds thousands of others…(in part)

First all, a little more self-confidence in your own culture and civilization is a must. Right now. Stop apologizing for existing. Stop acting like the West invented all the evils of millennia in the past 4 centuries. And that the West has contributed ZERO good in that time. We are the ‘Best Civilization EVAH!’ Sure it’s subjective, but we all gotta get on board with that.  (New Jovian Thunderbolt)

As I oft intone, you should go to the link and see the whole essay.

I believe in The United States, warts and all.  Western Europe, not so much.  There are myriad reasons our ancestors left their shores to come here.

There are reports of massive Jewish emigration from Paris in recent days, and of Sharia Law Zones in Britain and Paris where even the police don’t wish to go.  And of parts of Europe where Registration of Jews has begun again!

Sadly, the Islamic Experience is much more spotty, when it comes to evolving as a culture.  They still subjugate women, and the fundamentalists despise those unlike themselves.  There are exceptions – the moderate Muslims who have been protecting Christians in Egypt and those who have protected Jews in Morocco.

And the king of Jordan, a direct descendant of Mohammad, marching with the forty thousand in Paris.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.  –  George Santayana

I don’t need a twisted cross to see the handwriting on the wall.


“We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” – Benjamin Franklin

First of all, my thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the magazine staff slaughtered by Muslim extremists in Paris.

Having said that, I don’t know what nuances ‘freedom of speech’ hold in France, but I am familiar with those nuances here.

And I side with those who do, say and publish vile things – the Piss Christ (jar with a crucifix submerged in urine) as ‘art’; some play in NYC where a Mormon has a Book of Mormon inserted rectally as part of a ‘performance’; those Westboro Baptist Church idiots…

And those who burn the American Flag as a means of social and political protest.

I side with their right to freedom of expression;  this doesn’t mean I agree with them!

But, now we come to those bastards who killed 12 people in Paris (a largely gun-free zone) because they had the nerve to publish cartoons making fun of the prophet Mohammad – something Muslim extremists find reprehensible.

I’ve no problem with Muslims going about their daily business and worshiping as they please.  And I can understand being upset at Mohammad being made light of, just as most Americans find the artistic and dramatic expressions mentioned earlier disgusting.

But most Americans wouldn’t kill people for exercising their ‘freedom of expression’.

“We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”  –  Benjamin Franklin

cartoonjyllandsposten_bombhead“The way to overcome them in this instance is to overwhelm them with disrespect and mockery. They can silence one magazine, but they can’t silence the entire Internet. Every blogger, of every political stripe, be it left, right, and everywhere in between, needs to realize that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are the two keystones of your ideology, whatever it may be. You need to make a stand. You need to make these terrorists lose the ideological battle. And the way to do that is to republish the Mohammed cartoons yourselves. Today. Right now.”(Sipsey Street Irregulars, PJ Media)

Lafayette, we are here!

(Recognizing, of course, that my tiny blog is infinitesimal in the world of self-expression and free press.  But we must take a stand somewhere.  Please go to the PJMedia link above and select one or more hated cartoons and put it(them) out there.  For the good of all freedom-loving people – Guffaw)


yin yangIt seems in the universe, there is a dichotomy.  A yin and a yang.  And thus it is with politics.

There was a ‘news’ story a few weeks ago, that the boy who chewed a Pop Tart into the shape of a pistol for play (we assume it was for play – can one rob the lunch lady with an L-shaped piece of pastry?) would still be expelled, due to his past acts weighing on his egregious behavior.  I think he was 8 years old.


Now Alphecca brings us the other end of the spectrum:


The Broken Bow School Board voted Monday night to allow seniors to pose with guns in their senior portraits.

After a student requested to take a senior picture with a gun last year and was denied, the school began looking into the option as Broken Bow is a rural town with a lot of hunting and gaming availability.

“We have the 1 Box Shooting Club, a great trap range and sporting clays range,” said Ken Myers, the Broken Bow School Board President. “A lot of youth are interested in that so that brings up firearms, I guess, a little bit more to the forefront along with the hunting.”

When I was in high school, guns were neither banned, nor encouraged.  I remember a good friend bringing his new hunting rifle in to show the chemistry and physics teachers (both avid hunters).  They kept it in their office for safety, as it was too long to fit into my friend’s locker.  No one blinked an eye.  He was probably 15.

I suspect his locker WAS large enough to hold a box of half-eaten Pop Tarts, though…

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw



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"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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